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Region in brief: Lake Cocolalla water level proposed

Thu., Oct. 1, 2009

The Idaho Water Resource Board is applying for a water right to establish a minimum water level for Lake Cocolalla.

A lake level of 2,207.77 feet in elevation would preserve Lake Cocolalla’s recreational, aesthetic and water-quality attributes, the application says.

A public hearing is scheduled for Oct. 22 at the Federal Building, 1500 U.S. Highway 2, Sandpoint. At 3 p.m., people can provide formal testimony. A 6 p.m. session will provide a less formal setting for public comments.

The water rights application and other documents can be found on the Idaho Department of Water Resources Web site,

Police investigate shooting, stabbing

YAKIMA – Yakima police are investigating two homicides.

Police say a 17-year-old gang member was killed Tuesday night in a drive-by shooting. And a woman is accused of stabbing her 33-year-old husband to death at an apartment. She has been jailed.

Police are still looking for the shooting suspect. A witness said a car pulled up alongside the Yakima teen, Yobane Ortiz, and shots were fired.

Responding officers found him on a street corner with one bullet wound to the head and several to the torso.

He was pronounced dead at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.

Lucky Dog to close for winter

SHELTON, Wash. – The general manager of the Skokomish Tribe’s Lucky Dog Casino north of Shelton said it will close for the winter due to the recession.

Nick Phillips said Wednesday was the casino’s last day. It planned to lay off 120 employees, including 80 full-time workers.

He said about 10 percent of the staff was American Indian; many workers commuted from cities such as Olympia and Belfair.

The Olympian reports the casino will honor its remaining financial obligations by redeeming valid slot tickets and outstanding gaming chips through Oct. 30.

Phillips said casino workers personally knew customers who have lost jobs as well as senior citizens who have become more careful with discretionary income.

He says no date has been set for the casino to reopen.

In 2006, the Lucky Dog underwent a $4 million expansion.

Defendant head-butts his attorney

YAKIMA – A murder trial in Yakima was interrupted when the defendant head-butted his lawyer.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports medics were called Wednesday for attorney Adolfo Banda, who was bleeding heavily from a cut above his left eye.

He later told Judge Michael Schwab he would have to leave for stitches.

Just before the attack Banda told the judge his defendant, Eriberto Gonzalez, disagreed with his strategy to call defense witnesses.

Gonzalez is charged with first-degree murder in the March 2007 shooting death of a man he believed had an affair with his girlfriend.

Gonzalez was restrained by court security officers after hitting his lawyer.


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