What’s news in the Northwest today:
EVERETT, Wash. — A Monroe woman who stabbed a man who teased her about having stinky feet entered a guilty plea and could be sentenced to up to two years in prison. The Daily Herald of Everett reports Dallas Smith acknowledged Thursday she would likely be convicted of assault, although she didn’t admit doing anything wrong. Snohomish County prosecutors say the 18-year-old stabbed a 19-year-old man in the back at a Sept. 7 party in Monroe after he made the comment about her feet. The man suffered a collapsed lung.
O’Henry’s Go-Go restaurant founder dies at 88
KENNEWICK, Wash. – He was known around town – and then around the world. Henry Belair, the longtime owner of O’Henry’s in downtown Kennewick, died Tuesday at the age of 88. He ran the eatery for nearly 50 years and gained national attention in 1984 when he put an ad in the paper seeking go-go dancers older than age 60. Belair said he put the ad in because older customers requested dancing girls, and he decided that since those asking for the dancers were older than 60, the dancers should be, too. The story made the CBS Morning News, the Paul Harvey Show and the Wall Street Journal. A Japanese TV station even did a story. After that, the restaurant was called O’Henry’s Go-Go.
Butte man pleads guilty to 9th DUI
BUTTE, Mont. — A 60-year-old Butte man has pleaded guilty to his ninth DUI. Chester Kaczmarek admitted to felony driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs during a hearing Thursday before District Judge Kurt Krueger. Krueger ordered a presentence investigation and kept Kaczmarek’s bail at $10,000. He was given a temporary release to get his personal affairs in order. Kaczmarek was arrested in July after his van was stopped by the Montana Highway Patrol. Court records say his blood-alcohol level was 0.21, nearly three times the legal limit. Prosecutors say he has eight previous DUI convictions.
Gaza Strip resident granted visa after months of trying, rallying support
MOSCOW – University of Idaho professor Melissa Saul and housemate Michael Hayes, a Washington State University professor, have been instrumental in getting a resident of the Gaza Strip to WSU for spring semester. In the end, college administrators, members of Congress, and human rights groups rallied to the cause of Abed Al Hadi Basheer, 25, who will leave Gaza for the Palouse in a few weeks with a hard-won student visa. The young man hopes to obtain a master’s degree, as well as a Ph.D. in cultural studies and social thought in education. Afterward, he intends to return to Gaza and start a non-governmental organization working with children. The Israeli blockade makes it difficult for many students to leave the country.
Woman pleads guilty to Hanford fraud
YAKIMA, Wash. — A Hanford worker who charged $564,000 for personal goods to a federal credit card was sentenced Thursday to a year and eight months in prison. Suzie Zuniga pleaded guilty in federal court in Yakima to wire fraud. She took the money from 2004 to 2008 when she was a materials coordinator for the contractor Fluor Hanford. The 47-year-old Prosser woman was ordered to pay back the money at the rate of 10 percent of her monthly income. Zuniga is one of seven people who were charged last spring with fraud related to Hanford credit cards. Five have pleaded guilty. She is the first to be sentenced.
Butte man pleads no contest to prostitution charge
BUTTE — A 28-year-old Butte man who placed a classified advertisement seeking a nanny “with benefits” has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor prostitution. Patrick Kakouris was charged in June after women who responded to the ad in The Montana Standard were told that having sex with him was part of the job. On Thursday, District Judge Brad Newman sentenced Kakouris to nine months in jail, with all but two days suspended. Kakouris was given credit for two days already served. A no contest plea means the defendant isn’t challenging the charge, but doesn’t admit guilt.
LCSC provost among finalists to vie for presidency
LEWISTON — The provost who temporarily replaced outgoing Lewis-Clark State College president Dene Thomas is among finalists to permanently fill the position. LCSC interim president Tony Fernandez and four other finalists will vie to replace Thomas, who resigned this year to become the next president of Fort Lewis College in Colorado. Other finalists include Daniel Bingham, dean at the University of Montana-Helena’s college of technology; former Tennessee Wesleyan College president Stephen Condon; Sierra Nevada College Provost Lynn Gillette; and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine’s former president, Richard Rafes.
Yellowstone to open for winter season Wednesday
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — Trails are being groomed ahead of the start of winter season in Yellowstone National Park. The roads between West Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Springs and the South Entrance are set to open to commercially guided snowmobiles and snowcoaches on Wednesday.
Travel over Sylvan Pass on the east side of Yellowstone is scheduled to begin a week later, on Dec. 22. The same winter use plan as last year will be in effect, allowing as many as 396 commercially guided snowmobiles into the park each day.
41-year sentence for double-killing in Ferndale
BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A 29-year-old man convicted of murder in the beating deaths of his girlfriend and her 1-year-old son was sentenced Thursday in Bellingham to 41 years in prison. Daniel Edward Johnson apologized in court to the family of Laura McQueen. The Bellingham Herald reports the 24-year-old McQueen and her infant son Dominic Blackburn were found dead in a blood-covered Ferndale apartment in March 2009. The medical examiner said they died of blows to the head.
Man pleads not guilty to theft from fire district
KALISPELL, Mont. — The former chairman of the Hungry Horse Fire Department board of trustees has pleaded not guilty to taking about $2,600 from the district. Ross Barker was arrested Nov. 17 and charged with felony theft and misdemeanor official misconduct. The Daily Inter Lake reports Barker entered his plea Thursday before District Judge Ted Lympus. Flathead County officials began investigating when they learned the district was facing a $70,000 deficit. No one else has been charged in connection with the shortfall. Prosecutors allege that between July 2007 and February 2010, Barker wrote fire department checks to his wife for $1,052 and used department money to purchase parts for personal vehicles totaling $1,537.
Wildlife using highway underpass
BOISE — Just over a month after a wildlife underpass opened east of Boise, the animals seem to be getting the hang of it. Boise River Wildlife Management Area manager Ed Bottum says the animals almost immediately began using the tunnel, and a motion-sensor camera has caught images of deer, elk and even a fox using the underpass. Bottum tells The Idaho Statesman the animals use the pathway more late and night and early in the morning and tend to shy away during heavy traffic times, when it would be noisier in the tunnel. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game hopes the $800,000 tunnel will save some of the up to 100 mule deer and 10 elk that are struck by vehicles on Idaho 21.
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