March 15, 2008 in Idaho

In brief: Highway 27 collision kills 92-year-old man

The Spokesman-Review

A 92-year-old Mica man died Friday afternoon in a two-car collision.

Porter Ales Kreshel was northbound on Highway 27 when he veered into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with an Isuzu Trooper, Washington State Patrol investigators said. Kreshel was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Trooper’s driver, Vicki Lynn Wieber, was injured and taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center, authorities said. The extent of her injuries was not available.

The collision occurred about 4:25 p.m. at 16th Avenue and Highway 27, authorities said.

– Jody Lawrence-Turner


State issues report on 2007 wolf deaths

Of the 78 wolves known to have died in Idaho last year, 68 were killed by people.

Fifty of the deaths were from government removal efforts or from landowners legally killing wolves in response to livestock predation, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s 2007 wolf report. Eighteen more wolves died from other human causes, including poaching.

The 10 remaining known wolf deaths were attributed to natural or unknown causes.

Last year, 73 cattle, 185 sheep, and 14 dogs were classified as confirmed or probable kills by wolves.

According to state estimates, at least 732 wolves roam Idaho. The population is expanding by about 20 percent a year.

As a result of expanding populations, wolves in the Northern Rockies could be dropped from the Endangered Species List as early as March 28.

– Becky Kramer

Washington, D.C.

GOP lawmakers plan earmark moratorium

Two of the three Republicans representing Washington in Congress say they are taking a one-year break from pet projects known as earmarks.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who kicks off her re-election campaign Monday, said she has used earmarks to get money for many Eastern Washington needs. But she and Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, said the system encourages corruption.

Rep. Doc Hastings, the state’s other Republican congressman, said through his spokesman that he’ll only observe a moratorium if the entire House does.

Republicans say majority Democrats are blocking reform proposals, including one killed Thursday in the Senate. House Minority Leader John Boehner in January urged all GOP members to voluntarily swear off earmarks, but the idea was rejected.

Earmarks are a longtime target of congressional critics. U.S. Sen. John McCain in 1999 chastised his own party – then in charge of the House and Senate – for allowing earmarks to “dramatically” increase.

The omnibus spending and defense bills approved by Congress in December included 11,000 earmarks.

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