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Kettle Falls Five case could impact Wash. marijuana industry

Kettle Falls Five case could impact Wash. marijuana industry

A federal case that could seriously impact Washington's new marijuana industry will be decided in Spokane as five people face decades in prison for growing medical pot on a remote property near Colville.

The defendants claim they were abiding by state law and only growing for themselves. However, the case is in federal court and under its laws marijuana is completely illegal.

Many pot advocates worry if federal agents are going after medical marijuana patients, that the state licensed grows and pot shops could be next.

"We were growing a few pot plants up there just for our own consumption and along comes the law," defendant Larry Harvey said.

The medical marijuana grow of 74 plants was raided in August of 2012 at Harvey's home. Larry, his wife and three others face five marijuana related charges and a weapons charge. They are now called the 'Kettle Falls Five.'

If all of them were growing cannabis individually, the 74 plants would be considered legal in Washington.

Inland Northwest sees dusting of snow

Inland Northwest sees dusting of snow

Residents of Eastern Washington and North Idaho saw a light dusting of snow Wednesday morning.

Snow is expected to fall early Wednesday morning then turn to rain.

The rain is expected to last through Friday, then warm up and dry off for the weekend.

Kettle Falls Five marijuana case pits federal laws against state laws

Kettle Falls Five marijuana case pits federal laws against state laws

The fight over medical marijuana grows has landed in Spokane's federal court. Five people from Kettle Falls face up to 40 years in prison and another faces life, for something they say is legal in Washington.

The case started when federal agents raided the home of Larry and Rhonda Harvey in Kettle Falls in 2012. Inside, they found marijuana plants and a gun. The indictment states more than 100 plants were found.

"We were growing a few pot plants up there just for our own consumption and along comes the law," defendant Larry Harvey said.

Harvey says he grew the plants for severe pain. Now Harvey and his wife Rhonda, his stepson and his wife, and a family friend are facing five federal marijuana related charges and a weapons charge. Each claim they had a medical marijuana card from a doctor.

"We thought we were legal, as far as the state is concerned we were legal," Harvey said. "But the federal, we didn't understand that at all."

McMorris-Rodgers to seek 6th term

 McMorris-Rodgers to seek 6th term

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers says she will seek her sixth term in the U.S. House from Washington's Fifth Congressional District.

McMorris Rodgers on Monday announced the kickoff of her re-election campaign. The Fifth District includes Spokane and the eastern third of the state.

McMorris Rodgers is a member of House Republican leadership and is the highest ranking GOP woman in Congress.

She says her top priorities have been to control federal spending and stop needless regulations.

Washington's pot license lottery gets underway

Washington state is holding a lottery this week to select more than 300 licensees across the state to run recreational marijuana shops.

In places like Spokane eight recreational pot stores are allowed but 108 people applied to run those stores, so the state is holding a city-by-city lottery to see who gets the licenses.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board started the lottery Monday and it runs through the end of the week.

It's double-blind, which means absolute anonymity for the applicants so no one gets special treatment.

The people applying still have to pass a background check, financial investigation and other requirements before any licenses are issued.

Although we won't know who gets a license for a few weeks it's an exciting time for the applicants, like Dan Magadanz, who manages "The Peaceful Choice," a local medical marijuana dispensary.

"The second recreational market in the United States is opening and nobody has anything right now. We're standing in a position where we're really excited to be one of the people that help this industry move into legitimate business," Magadanz said.

Ecology offers incentives to remove old wood stoves

Ecology offers incentives to remove old wood stoves

In an effort to improve air quality, the Washington State Department of Ecology is offering incentives for homeowners to remove old wood stoves from their homes. Residents in Colville River Valley are eligible for a $200 voucher if they turn in their wood stoves on April 27th.

Red Cross offering free training for rural volunteers

Red Cross offering free training for rural volunteers

Thanks to a new a grant, the Inland Northwest chapter of the Red Cross will be providing free disaster response training for those wishing to volunteer in rural areas.


The Red Cross will be hosting training sessions in Whitman, Pend Oreille, Bonner, Stevens, and Ferry counties between now and June 1st. Once trained, volunteers are placed on a Disaster Action Team which responds immediately to local disasters. Volunteers who are trained as local disaster responders are also qualified to deploy to national disasters when needed.