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In brief: Motorcyclist dies after hitting vehicle

Mon., April 19, 2010

A 44-year-old Smelterville, Idaho, man died Sunday morning after his Honda 450 motorcycle veered off Silver Valley Road, about 3 1/2  miles west of Kellogg, and struck a parked vehicle.

The Idaho State Police said Darrell L. Zinn was westbound when his motorcycle drifted across the eastbound lane and the south shoulder of the road shortly after 7 a.m.

Zinn struck a state Department of Transportation drilling rig that was parked off the south edge of the road. He was taken to Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene, where he died shortly before noon.

State police said Zinn was wearing a helmet, but it was knocked off by the impact. Alcohol was not a factor, officers said, and the cause remained under investigation Sunday night.

Three killed in rollover crash

YAKIMA – Three people from Yakima are dead from a rollover crash on U.S. Highway 97 about a mile south of Wapato, Wash.

Washington State Patrol Lt. Jim Keightley said the crash occurred around noon Friday after the vehicle went off the road and the driver overcorrected and the vehicle rolled over several times.

He identified the victims as the 38-year-old driver James Chapman Pratt, and passengers 56-year-old Anna M. Chapman and 61-year-old Marlin D. Armstrong.

Pratt was Chapman’s son.

Keightley said troopers are investigating the possibility that alcohol contributed to the crash.

Crab pot lines killed baby whale

GEARHART, Ore. – A scientist said a baby whale that washed up on a northwest Oregon beach died from entanglement with crab pot lines.

KATU-TV reported that a necropsy was completed Sunday by Portland State University staff and students.

Dr. Debbie Duffield, head of marine biology at the university, said the whale also showed evidence it was still of nursing age.

The baby whale washed up dead on Clatsop Beach north of Gearhart on Friday.

Keith Chandler with the Marine Mammal Stranding Network said the baby whale was already in bad shape when it washed up. He said a rope was stringing from its mouth.

Experts said the death isn’t connected to the deaths of five other gray whales in Washington.

Resort reports increase in skiers

Officials at Schweitzer Mountain Resort in North Idaho said skier visits increased 7.5 percent over last season to more than 217,000.

Officials had feared a drop due to the struggling economy and predictions of low snowfall.

The mountain received only 177 inches of snow, about half of last season’s total, but found skiers still heading for the mountain anyway.

President Tom Chasse said the resort this year battled the perception of its snowpack level. He attributes the increase in skier visits to the terrain and staff.

Schweitzer even extended its season through April 11, which ended up the snowiest week of the season with late storms.

Seattle weighing panhandling law

SEATTLE – The Seattle City Council is considering a measure to prohibit aggressive panhandling.

The council is expected to take up the ordinance today.

It would ban begging near parking meters or within 15 feet of someone using an ATM. It would also ban threatening language or gestures. Violators could be fined $50.

KING-TV reports that the ACLU is urging council members not to pass the law.

The group said it could be used to target “undesirable” people who panhandle to support themselves.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has said he will veto the ordinance if it passes with fewer than six votes.

Tacoma school will reopen today

SEATTLE – Jennie Reed Elementary School in Tacoma will reopen today after a sickening odor forced students and staff members to evacuate last week.

The News Tribune of Tacoma said health officials and investigators inspected the school Friday night and gave it a clean bill of health.

The school was closed Friday after 25 students and staff members were sickened by a strange gas-like odor. Eleven students were taken to the hospital for nausea, dizziness and other problems but none was admitted.

A report from Orion Environmental Services of Federal Way said the odor could have come from a residential gas leak, a construction site or traffic from Interstate 5.


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