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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: UI to study climate change

The University of Idaho will lead a $20 million research project to help Northwest wheat and barley growers adapt to climate change.

The Northwest grows about 13 percent of the nation’s wheat and 80 percent of the country’s soft white wheat exports. Grain sales are valued at $1.5 billion annually. Some climate models are predicting changes that would affect growing conditions in the Northwest and other prime wheat-producing regions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is funding the five-year, $20 million project.

UI entomologist Sanford Eigenbrode will head up a cross-disciplinary team of nearly 40 researchers and graduate students. Washington State University, Oregon State University and the USDA Agricultural Research Service are also involved.

“Once completed, this work will give wheat and barley growers the tools they need to evaluate and adapt to climate change as the change occurs,” said Howard Grimes, WSU’s vice president for research.

Man accused of abusing dog

A Spokane Valley man is in jail after animal control officers say they found his dog whimpering in pain from months of abuse.

Jeffrey S. Brown, 40, faces a first-degree animal cruelty charge after neighbors called the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service and said Brown beat and kicked the dog at his home at 14819 E. Fourth Ave.

Brown told investigators that he’d adopted the 1-year-old brown dog, Gizmoto, in June 2010 and said he’d recently taken it to a veterinarian, but the vet said he hadn’t seen Brown.

Brown released ownership of the dog to SCRAPS on Jan. 13, and the organization paid for the dog to be examined. The dog had a broken femur that was about 3 or 4 weeks old but had been reinjured. The vet said the dog was in severe pain and likely would require surgery.

Brown’s wife, Jennifer Brown, told police she’d left the dog with her husband after Child Protective Services took their 4-year-old son because of abuse.

Brown remains in jail on $10,000 bond after appearing before Superior Court Judge Linda Tompkins on Friday.

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