January 11, 2010 in City

Region in brief: Biologists recovering from copter crash

From Wire Reports

LEWISTON – An official with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said two biologists and a pilot injured in a helicopter crash in North Idaho on Friday are being treated at a Missoula hospital.

Jim Unsworth, deputy director of the agency, said the three are in good spirits and a full recovery is expected.

He said biologists George Pauley of Kamiah and Craig White of Boise have rib and back injuries, and that pilot Rick Swisher of Fairbanks, Alaska, has arm and back injuries.

He says it’s unclear what caused the crash on the North Fork of the Clearwater River.

The biologists were attempting to dart wolves, elk and moose from the helicopter to put on radio collars as part of a research project on wolf predation.

Driver accused of running over arm

KENNEWICK – A Kennewick woman has been charged with vehicular assault after prosecutors say she ran over the arm of another woman during a scuffle outside a restaurant.

According to the Tri-City Herald, 56-year-old Diana Lynn Jones pleaded not guilty in court to the allegations on Thursday.

Authorities said Jones was with her husband at Hill’s Restaurant in Kennewick last May when her husband got into a fight with another man. A woman was knocked to the ground in the scuffle. That’s when authorities say Jones got into her car and drove over the woman’s arm.

Court documents say the woman suffered “significant bruising and soft-tissue damage.”

Authorities say Jones’ blood-alcohol level was more than two times the legal limit, but she denies getting behind the wheel.

A trial date has been set for March 15 in Benton County Superior Court.

Police investigate shooting of officer

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Nearly two days after a car carrying more than two men opened fire on an Anchorage police officer, authorities in Alaska’s largest city continued to search for the unknown attackers.

“We’re following all leads,” Lt. Dave Parker said Sunday.

The shooting early Saturday left Officer Jason Allen with serious injuries, but he is expected to recover.

Allen, 47, remained hospitalized Sunday but was able to talk to family members and investigators, according to Parker. He said the family told him Allen, an eight-year veteran of the force, is “making good progress.”

Allen was sitting in his parked cruiser in a residential neighborhood near downtown, working on an unrelated case, when a dark-colored sedan pulled up next to his vehicle on the driver’s side just before 2 a.m. Saturday.

A passenger fired some rounds, striking Allen as many as five times in his arms and torso, police said. Allen was wearing a bulletproof vest, but Parker didn’t know if it saved his life.

Authorities believe Allen was targeted because he is a police officer. Anchorage patrol officers have generally worked alone for many years.

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