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3 dead, 3 injured in McCall aiport crash

Two small airplanes collided at the McCall Municipal Airport and burst into flames, killing three and sending three others – two from North Idaho – to hospitals, a federal aviation official said Saturday.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor in Los Angeles said the accident happened when a Cessna 172 with two people aboard was landing and struck another Cessna 172 with four people aboard on the runway about 7 p.m. Friday. Both aircraft exploded on impact, he said.

KTVB in Boise reported that Bill Keating, 52, of McCall, the pilot of one of the aircraft, and two grandsons, ages 1 and 6, from Caldwell, died at the scene.

Another grandson, 2, was flown to the University of Utah Burn Center in critical condition with third-degree burns, KTVB reported. A spokeswoman said she could give no information on the child’s condition Saturday because of privacy laws.

The pilot of the other aircraft, Justin Mooney, 30, of Post Falls, and passenger Mark Fuller, 27, of Hayden, pulled the 2-year-old from the burning plane. They were treated and released from McCall Memorial Hospital, a nursing supervisor said Saturday.

Gregor said Mooney and Fuller had taken off from Felts Field in Spokane and were landing at the McCall airstrip when the planes collided. Keating had picked up his grandsons at Caldwell about 6 p.m. and flew to McCall for a visit, KTVB reported.

The McCall airport, which has no air traffic control tower, remained closed Saturday while the cause of the accident was investigated.

– Associated Press

Grant County

Officials confirm ninth measles case

Washington state Department of Health officials said Saturday a Grant County girl is the ninth reported case of measles in the state. All nine reported cases have been in Grant County.

Last week eight members of a Grant County family were identified as having the infectious disease. That family attended a religious event in Kirkland called Generation Church Conference that drew about 2,000 participants in April.

The newly reported case involves a female student at Moses Lake Christian Academy who traveled from Moses Lake to the Seattle area last week, possibly exposing other people susceptible to the virus. The girl was taking part in a school trip to the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum in Seattle.

Health Department officials suggest vaccination as the best way to protect against measles.

– Tom Sowa


Forums will address school budget cuts

Spokane Public Schools is holding two public forums to gather input on the district’s 2008-‘09 operating budget.

The first session is Monday at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Chase Middle School, 4747 E. 37th. The second takes place Wednesday, also at 7 p.m., at Glover Middle School, 2404 W. Longfellow. The district needs to trim spending by $1.5 million but hopes to balance the budget through staff attrition rather than layoffs.

– Staff report