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250-acre wildfire under control

WENATCHEE – Firefighters have controlled a 250-acre wildfire about 10 miles north of Wenatchee.

State Department of Natural Resources spokesman Mark Grassel said the blaze was controlled at 6 p.m. Tuesday. He said two helicopters dropping water Tuesday helped about 65 local, state and federal firefighters on the ground.

The fire started near an electrical transformer pole Monday night and spread quickly in a steady wind through grass and brush dried after several days of hot, sunny weather.

No structures were damaged.

Herald Building sold to investors

BELLINGHAM – The McClatchy Co., owner of the Bellingham Herald, has sold the Herald Building to two local investors for $2.35 million.

The newspaper reports that the six-story building was purchased Tuesday by Herald Building LLC, operated by developers Bob Hall and David Johnston. Hall says the Herald neon sign atop the building will remain.

Herald President and Publisher Glen Nardi says there will be no noticeable changes for the employees of the Bellingham Herald.

The company has signed a five-year lease with the new owners, and employees will continue to occupy the first and second floors of the building. In addition, the company will lease 5,000 square feet of basement space for its distribution center.

Hood Canal bridge will reopen soon

SHINE, Wash. – The Washington Transportation Department hasn’t said exactly when it will reopen the Hood Canal floating bridge, but it has a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for Saturday.

The bridge has been closed since May 1 for a $500 million renovation project.

The reopening depends on final testing of the drawspan. It has to complete 20 successful operations in a row.

The ribbon-cutting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Salsbury Park, Kitsap County, and a Bridge Opening Bash is scheduled Saturday in Port Townsend.

Mother indicted in bridge incident

PORTLAND – A mother whose two children plunged from a Portland bridge into the frigid Willamette River has been indicted on murder charges.

Amanda Jo Stott-Smith is being held at the Multnomah County Jail. She was formally indicted on eight counts of aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder on Tuesday.

Eldon Smith, 4, died in the fall off the Sellwood Bridge in the early morning hours of May 23. His 7-year-old sister was rescued by nearby residents who heard her moans in the darkness and jumped in their boat to investigate.

Stott-Smith, 31, was taken into custody the next day after threatening to jump from a downtown parking garage.

Police have not said how they believe the children fell from the bridge.

Yellowstone Club sale approved

BILLINGS – A federal bankruptcy judge Tuesday approved a plan to sell the Yellowstone Club for $115 million, turning the page on a resort that became synonymous with wealth even as its owners diverted hundreds of millions of dollars for their own use.

The ruling will allow the Montana club to emerge from bankruptcy protection with a new owner, Boston-based CrossHarbor Capital Partners, and shake off most of its $400 million in debts.

Details of the club’s sale were approved in an order signed Tuesday by U.S Bankruptcy Judge Ralph Kirscher in Butte.

CrossHarbor – which loaned Edra Blixseth tens of millions of dollars in recent months – will pay $35 million in cash and take on $80 million in debt to acquire the 13,600-acre resort. A $35 million loan from CrossHarbor to her was not part of the transaction.


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