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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Court rejects fraternity’s appeal

A Washington State University fraternity lost its appeal of a school decision to suspend the chapter due to alleged drug use and sales, under-age drinking and other violations of university policy.

A student conduct board decided in February 2008 to revoke recognition of the Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity for five years, followed by two years of probation.

The fraternity appealed that decision in Whitman County Superior Court and lost there. The Washington Appeals Court published its opinion affirming the university’s action on Thursday.

Timothy Esser, the Pullman lawyer who represented AKL in its latest appeal, said, “It’s unfortunate that the fraternity is suffering such draconian consequences because of the serious misbehavior of a handful.”

He noted that the fraternity didn’t have legal representation at the initial conduct-board hearing, but he doesn’t anticipate taking the case any further.

Students are still living in the frat house, but it’s not a registered student organization, said WSU spokesman James Tinney.

Addy Hatch

Newspaper wins photo awards

Spokesman-Review photographer Kathy Plonka won the Cowles Cup, the annual award for best overall entry in the Washington-Oregon Associated Press Photo Contest, for her photographs of a Coeur d’Alene couple raising their four great-grandchildren.

The photo essay, titled “Difficult Blessings,” was praised by contest judges as “wonderful storytelling through touching moments.” The winner was announced Thursday at the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association annual meeting.

The Cowles trophy, awarded each year since 1952, is named for William Hutchison Cowles, former publisher of The Spokesman-Review. It goes to the best entry in the two-state photo contest, regardless of category.

The Spokesman-Review won six other awards in the photo contest: news photo, first place, Colin Mulvany; sports photo: first place, Dan Pelle; second and third, Christopher Anderson; feature photo: second place, Christopher Anderson; multiple photos, first place, Kathy Plonka.

Staff reports

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