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Region in brief: Toy gun at school brings out police

Wed., Feb. 3, 2010, midnight

People carry paper and plastic shopping bags in Portland on Saturday. Two Oregon state senators introduced a bill proposing a  ban on plastic bags at checkout  – the first statewide ban in the nation if it passes.  (Associated Press)
People carry paper and plastic shopping bags in Portland on Saturday. Two Oregon state senators introduced a bill proposing a ban on plastic bags at checkout – the first statewide ban in the nation if it passes. (Associated Press)

VANCOUVER, Wash. – The initial 911 report from the Vancouver, Wash., elementary school was alarming: shots fired at a school playground. That brought police patrol and SWAT officers scrambling Tuesday morning – only to find the weapon was a bright orange cap gun.

Police and school officials say a second-grade boy at Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary School brought the gun and apparently pointed it at two 6-year-olds and fired it, discharging smoke.

The two students told a playground supervisor that another student had fired a gun at them – and the response took off from there.

Police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said, “When you have that type of a call, there’s no waiting.”

A SWAT sweep and school evacuation began, but officials say students were back in class by 9 a.m. after police confirmed the “gun” was only a toy.

District spokeswoman Kris Sork said school officials met with the child and his parents to determine possible punishment.

The school serves kindergartners through fifth-graders.

No stuffed melon for jail inmates

WENATCHEE – The donated cantaloupe that arrived at the Chelan County Regional Justice Center looked more like a pumpkin. Jail Administrator Phil Stanley said there was a noticeable cut around the top. And jail officers who intercepted the melon Monday before it reached inmates found tobacco and a baggie full of oxycodone pills stuffed inside.

Stanley said the jail routinely uses surplus food from local grocery stores and that contraband has come in with food in the past. In this case, a surveillance camera at the Plaza Super Jet had showed two young women dropping off a shopping bag containing the melon. It was placed with surplus food that was later picked up by jail staffers. Plaza Super Jet workers called and alerted the jail after they looked at the video.

Wenatchee police spokeswoman Cherie Smith said an investigation is continuing.

Wolf killed in southern Idaho

POCATELLO, Idaho – Idaho Fish and Game officials say a hunter has killed a wolf in the southern Idaho hunting zone, the last of Idaho’s zones to register a kill.

The Idaho State Journal reported that the zone is the state’s largest and covers the bottom third of the state, but there are few wolves in the region and the total hunt quota for the zone is five animals.

So far, 146 wolves have been killed by hunters in Idaho since the state’s first wolf hunt began Sept. 1. The state’s overall quota is 220.

Oregon considers plastic bag ban

SALEM – A bill to ban plastic bags at checkout in Oregon – the first statewide ban in the nation if it passes – is alive in the Legislature after all.

Senate President Peter Courtney issued a statement Tuesday saying he remains open to the bill introduced by Portland Democrat Mark Hass and Central Point Republican Jason Atkinson.

Asked about the bill at a news conference Monday, Courtney had indicated the bill was going nowhere. But his latest word on the issue says the “door is open” if sponsors can find a “path together” with industry.

The bill is still considered a long shot, but it is getting a hearing.

The bill would still allow paper bags at retail stores at checkout. While cities have banned plastic bags, no state has.


 

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