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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

In brief: Miner’s memorial service set for Friday

From Staff Reports

A memorial service for Brandon Lloyd Gray, who died of injuries last week from a mining accident, is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday at the Athletic Pavilion in Mullan, Idaho.

Family members have requested that people wear casual clothing to the service, including hunting attire.

Gray, 26, enjoyed hunting, fishing, family gatherings, motorcycles and winter sports, according to his obituary. He was born into a longtime Silver Valley mining family and graduated from Mullan High School.

Gray, a miner since 2008, was working for Cementation U.S.A., a contractor at the Lucky Friday Mine. He was critically injured Nov. 17 when he was engulfed in a bin for waste rock. He died Saturday at Kootenai Medical Center.

The family suggests that memorials be made to the Mullan Volunteer Fire Department or the Shoshone County Groomers Association.

Meanwhile, operations have resumed at the Lucky Friday Mine, where work is under way to lower the mine to depths of nearly 9,000 feet in a $200 million project.

Fewer eagles counted so far this year

The annual gathering of bald eagles that feast on spawning kokanee at Lake Coeur d’Alene is getting off to a slow start.

The eagle count at Wolf Lodge Bay is down about 70 percent from last year at this time, said Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist.

Hugo made the first weekly survey of the season on Tuesday and counted only 12 bald eagles, compared with 42 counted the same day last year.

“It could be the storm we just had,” she said. “We’ll be out on the lake Saturday for the special eagle boat cruise for veterans, so we’ll see if the changing weather makes a difference.”

She also noted that 2010 was a record year for the migration; 254 eagles were counted in the bay during the BLM survey Dec. 21.

The eagles traditionally start gathering in mid-November, peaking in numbers during December before the birds start moving on as kokanee spawning ends in January.

Pot dispensary operators plead guilty

Two men have pleaded guilty to felony possession of marijuana following raids of several marijuana dispensaries in the Spokane area in April.

Charles W. Wright, 41, of Rathdrum, and Jon R. Vivian, 31, of Spokane, pleaded guilty this week to the charges in U.S. District Court.

Wright and Vivian were business partners in a dispensary called THC Pharmacy, located at 1108 S. Perry St.

A search conducted on April 28 netted 36 plants, $12,706 in cash and bottles full of marijuana buds. Sentencing for both men has been set for February.

THC Pharmacy was one of more than 40 medicinal marijuana businesses raided that month. “Our goal was to seek voluntary compliance with the federal law,” U.S. Attorney Mike Ormsby said in a news release. “Absent that, we were left with no other alternative than to enforce the law with quick and direct action.”

Offices, services affected by holiday

Schools and many government offices across the Inland Northwest will be closed today and Friday in observance of Thanksgiving.

All state and county, and many federal and municipal offices and courts will be closed.

Post offices will be closed today and open Friday.

Riverfront Park’s Imax Theater and Ice Palace will be open today, and the Looff Carrousel and Skyride will be open Friday.

Parking meters in Spokane do not have to be plugged today.

Spokane city libraries, the solid waste transfer stations, and the Waste-to-Energy Plant will be closed today and open regular operating hours for the rest of the weekend.

Garbage pickup and curbside recycling will be a day late for residents whose pickup is normally on Thursday or Friday.