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Region in brief: Lost Silver Mountain worker rescued

A Silver Mountain Resort employee was rescued after spending Sunday lost on the mountain.

Joel Kopf, 43, was taken to Kootenai Medical Center with a head wound after a Fairchild Air Force Base helicopter found him walking on a trail about 11:30 p.m.

The crew had spotted his ATV overturned below a roadway in steep terrain. Kopf remained at the hospital Monday in stable condition.

Kopf had left the top of the mountain, south of Kellogg, about 7 a.m. Sunday on an ATV to set up barricades for a bike race. “How long he laid there with the machine, injured, we don’t know,” sheriff’s Capt. Jeremy Groves said.

Meghann M. Cuniff

Humane Society gets anonymous windfall

The Spokane Humane Society on Monday reported that an anonymous donor has given the society $25,000 to help animals.

“It’s very exciting to know that somebody out there cares enough about animals to do something to help and they believe in our mission and trust us to use their donation wisely,” said Dave Richardson, executive director. The person dropped off a $25,000 cashier’s check, the organization said in a press release.

The shelter at 6607 N. Havana St. serves as a refuge for more than 3,000 animals annually. It relies on donations and volunteers.

Mike Prager

Three planets visible as a group this week

Three of Earth’s nearest celestial neighbors will be visible as a group in the morning twilight this week, astronomers said.

Saturn, Venus and Mercury can be seen in the predawn hours, and Saturn and Mercury will pass each other with a separation of 0.3 degrees prior to sunrise Thursday.

Mercury will reach its greatest separation from the sun this morning. Saturn is reappearing in the morning sky this month and will be below and slightly to the left of Mercury today, but rising to meet Mercury by Thursday morning.

Sunrise is about 7 a.m., and astronomers said the three planets should be visible by about 6:15 a.m. Their relative positions will change each morning.

In addition, a waning harvest moon will appear high in the western sky before dawn.

Mike Prager

Deadline extended for input on river plan

The Washington Department of Ecology is extending the public comment period for the draft Spokane River cleanup plan until Oct. 30.

A public hearing on the plan will take place at 6 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Spokane Community College Lair Student Center, Sasquatch Room. The plan outlines how the community will reduce phosphorus and other substances in the Spokane River and Long Lake. The document can be found at biblio/0710073.html. Comments or questions should be directed to David Moore at Washington Department of Ecology, 4601 N. Monroe St., Spokane, WA 99205-1295; (509) 329-3514; or

Becky Kramer


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