August 18, 2009 in City

Region in brief: Milfoil grows too low for weevil treatment

From Staff Reports
 

A plan to knock back Eurasian milfoil with an aquatic weevil is on hold until next summer at Lake Pend Oreille, according to the Tri-State Water Quality Council.

The council and other organizations had planned to introduce the beetles into the lake’s milfoil in an effort to combat the invasive water plant. The weevil burrows into the plants and weakens them. The effort would have included monitoring of the insects’ effectiveness.

But this year’s milfoil growth was stunted, apparently by a variety of factors including a 10-foot drawdown of the lake last winter and an unusual early freeze without snow cover.

The weevils are effective when the milfoil grows to just beneath the surface, but much of this year’s growth is not reaching up to near the surface, according to Diane Williams of the council.

About 65 acres of the lake infested with milfoil will not be treated with herbicides by the county this year in order to allow for weevil research on that stretch of lake next summer. The county has planned to treat 330 acres with herbicides this year.

Bomb squad called over THC extractor

A homemade THC extractor prompted the evacuation of Spokane apartments Monday as a bomb squad was called in to examine the device.

Employees at the complex in the 15600 block of East Fourth Avenue found the plastic pipe, which was capped at both ends, while cleaning the back deck of an apartment that had been abandoned nearly three weeks ago, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.

Police responded about 2:20 p.m., and a bomb technician determined the device was used to remove and concentrate THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Severed gas main prompts evacuation

A street worker operating a backhoe severed a gas main in Post Falls on Monday morning, causing nearby residents to evacuate.

The accident occurred about 8:40 a.m. at North Spokane Street and West Poleline Avenue on the north side of the city where workers are installing a roundabout-style intersection, said police Sgt. Pat Kenner.

Residents of a duplex adjacent to the intersection, at the Treaty Rock subdivision and at a mobile home park were asked to leave their homes along with residents in homes served by the gas line.

Avista Utilities sent a crew to the scene to stop the gas flow and make repairs. They were also planning to check residences for any potential damage to feeder lines as a result of the break.


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