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Two held after marijuana plants found

 (The Spokesman-Review)
Silversten (The Spokesman-Review)

A Boundary County man was arrested Thursday after 285 marijuana plants were found inside his Naples home.

Ronald Tweedie, 53, was booked at the Boundary County Detention Facility on charges relating to the alleged manufacturing of marijuana, a Boundary County Sheriff Department press release said.

Another person also was arrested but no name or further information was available Saturday.

No bail had been set for either suspect.

The Boundary County Drug Task Force and Idaho State Police detectives had a search warrant for Tweedie’s home. Several firearms and other indicators of an indoor grow operation also were seized.

Other searches are anticipated because of the size and location of the operation, the release said.

Reward offered in prisoner’s escape

Secret Witness is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of a man wanted on escape charges.

Steven J. Silversten escaped from a Department of Corrections van on Wednesday by kicking out the rear window in the West Central neighborhood. Silversten has felony convictions for burglary and theft. Numerous charges are pending.

Silversten is a 34-year-old white male, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 175 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes. He may have a beard and mustache.

He discarded the orange jail-issued jumpsuit during the escape and may now be wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information on Silversten’s whereabouts is asked to call Secret Witness at 327-5111. Callers are asked to use a code name or number, and do not have to give their own name to be eligible for the reward.

Assault charge dropped and man arrested

The victim and defendant in a domestic violence dispute last month have switched places.

Melanie A. Durham, 45, was arrested March 26 and booked into jail on a charge of second-degree assault. At the time, police said that she had stabbed John W. Maron, 38, at an apartment at 310 S. Madison St.

Two days later, charges against Durham were dropped “in the interests of justice,” according to court documents. On March 30, Maron was charged with violating a criminal protection order stemming from the same incident. He remained in custody on Saturday at Geiger Corrections Center.

Maron told police that the two got into an argument and that Durham threw a block of kitchen knives at him and stabbed him in his arm, hand and foot.

But Durham later told a detective that Maron had restrained her with one arm and jammed his fingers in her nose, causing severe pain and bleeding, according to court documents. She said that she picked up the knife block to strike Maron, and that he cut himself in the struggle.

Bill orders support for moms to nurse at work


A coalition of lawmakers and women’s groups wants Oregon to join the list of states that require workplace accommodations for breast-feeding.

Senate Bill 618 would require employers to allow flexible breaks and encourage them to establish private places for mothers to nurse their babies or pump breast milk.

But the legislation is facing opposition from the state’s most powerful business association.

The business lobby could press for changes in the bill that would exempt employers from complying unless they have 25 or more employees. That’s up from eight in the original bill.

Other amendments could remove the possibility of civil penalties if employers don’t comply.

The workplace nursing bill was prompted by complaints of workplace pressure and a growing awareness that it’s good for moms – and ultimately employers – when women breast-feed, said Amelia Psmythe, a mother of two and activist for the Nursing Mothers Counsel of Oregon.

Even if the bill clears the Democrat-controlled Senate, it could face long odds in the Republican-controlled House.

“We won’t be able to support it unless there are significant changes,” said Julie Brandis, a lobbyist for Associated Oregon Industries.

Hurdles ahead for sea lions feasting at dam

Bonneville Dam, Ore.

Sea lions making a nuisance of themselves by indulging in a fish ladder feast at Bonneville Dam may find their dining interrupted soon.

They may face bombardment with noisy fireworks, high-pressure water hoses and irritating sounds broadcast underwater as biologists try to keep them from damaging fish runs.

Until recently, the marine mammals had not climbed the fish ladders. But one sea lion this year has made repeated runs up and down both of the fishways, eating a steelhead or two in front of visitors and the workers who count salmon.

The new behavior presents a significant problem because the presence of sea lions within the narrow fish passageways could deter large numbers of salmon from entering and heading upstream to spawning grounds.

The Army Corps of Engineers hopes to install equipment next week to broadcast high-pitched sounds underwater, a tactic that worked at Ballard Locks in the Puget Sound when sea lions were killing as much as 65 percent of the winter steelhead in the mid-1990s.