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Local briefs 

by Pia K. Hansen

Janet Reno visits

MOSCOW, Idaho -- As part of the University of Idaho's College of Law's Bellwood Lecture series, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno is coming to town. Reno served both terms under President Bill Clinton and is currently running for governor of Florida. She is the longest serving attorney general since before the Civil War, and she was the first woman to hold the office.

"She doesn't like for people to point that out," says the college's LeAnn Phillips. "She's more like, 'So, I'm a woman, and then what?' You get the impression that she's an amazing law person before anything else."

Prior to Reno's appointment as attorney general, she served for 15 years as the state attorney for Florida's Dade County.

While many may remember her for the immigration turmoil surrounding Elian Gonzales, or for the FBI's dealings with David Koresh and his followers in Waco, Texas, there is much more to Reno.

"The topic of her talk is quite interesting: she's going to talk about legal professionals as peacemakers and problem solvers," says Phillips. "Just think that someone of Reno's caliber is coming to a law school that's located in a rural area. This is a unique experience for the students and everyone."

Janet Reno speaks on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 2 pm at the University of Idaho, in the student union building ballroom. Free. Call: (208) 885-4977.

Giving greatly

SPOKANE -- Since the early-morning attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., on September 11, the phones haven't been quiet for long at the American Red Cross office in Spokane.

As of Tuesday, people in the Inland Northwest had donated a total of $592,000, and the second installment of $250,000 was sent off to disaster relief on the East Coast.

"It's been absolutely incredible," says Brad Stark of the Red Cross. "This total does not include the more than $100,000 that has been dropped off at the Q-6 TV station, and another $200,000 that has been collected by KREM-2 TV and Sterling Savings."

And the donations keep coming in. "If this continues, we are going to hit $1 million real soon," says Stark. "And 100 percent of this money goes straight to the disaster relief."

The state of Idaho has raised a total of about $600,000, and people in Portland have donated $480,000 to the Red Cross.

"We are blowing them way out of the water," says Stark, who hopes people will continue to donate as much as they can.

"There are many needs that still have to be met, we keep seeing photos of the buildings," says Stark. "But what people don't realize is that there are about 25,000 families who can't return to their homes yet."

The Red Cross has established a new fund, the Red Cross Liberty Defense Fund.

"In case people keep donating, and there ends up being money left over, this is where it's going," says Stark. "We need to be prepared."

Credit card donations are accepted via the Internet at Donations can be also be dropped off at the Red Cross office, located at 315 W. Nora. Call: 326-3330 or 1-800-HELP-NOW.
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