Northwest Briefly

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Grange on Thursday sued Gov. Gary Locke, challenging the constitutionality of a veto that restricts voters to one party’s primary ballot.

The grange, which is backing a rival plan similar to the outlawed blanket primary, asked the state Supreme Court for direct and speedy review of the governor’s action.

Grange lawyer James Johnson, a prominent appeals attorney who is running for a vacant seat on the high court, said Locke’s veto was clearly unconstitutional.

The new system threatens to devastate voter turnout in September, he told a news conference near the Capitol. Voters simply will stay away from the polls rather than limit themselves to one party’s ballot, he said.

Locke’s office defended the veto and the new primary, saying the governor’s action was carefully researched and reviewed by outside counsel before he announced his decision April 1.

Associated Press

Vancouver, Wash.: Stolen diamond found

Vancouver police recovered a woman’s stolen $11,000 diamond thanks to an appraiser who noticed a microscopic laser inscription on the 1.1-carat jewel. “That’s the only reason the stone was recovered,” said Joe Lanning, owner of My Jewelers, the downtown Vancouver store from which the jewel was taken in December. “It’s a positive identification, like the VIN number on a car.” Without such a mark, it would be difficult to distinguish a diamond from similar stones. The laser mark would not be visible without the aid of at least a 10-power magnifier. Such inscriptions cost about $60 and can be arranged through jewelers, Lanning said.

The Columbian

Port Hadlock: Man charged in dog killing

A 53-year-old Port Hadlock man was charged this week with killing his dog with a golf club. William Michael Kelly was charged with first-degree animal cruelty Tuesday. He was arrested Monday night after neighbors called 911 and reported him beating the dog, according to court documents. He told the deputies he was putting the dog out of its misery because of an ear infection, documents show. But the man’s wife allegedly told officers the beating was because the dog defecated inside the house.

Peninsula Daily News

Idaho: Experts study ancient dugout canoe

Archeologists and divers are studying what may be an ancient dugout canoe found submerged under 40 feet of water in Lake Pend Oreille. Matthew Russell, an underwater archaeologist with the National Park Service headquartered in Santa Fe, N.M., said it may take several weeks to determine the canoe’s age and origin. Radiocarbon testing will determine whether the craft is prehistoric, Russell said. “It looks like Barney Rubble’s car with no wheels,” said Mark Jones, who found the craft.

Associated Press

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