LIBBY, Mont. – A 61-year-old Post Falls woman was killed by a falling tree as she hiked with a friend west of Libby over the weekend, authorities said.
Roby Bowe with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said Diane Triplett was hit by the tree on the Cedar Lakes Trail on Sunday. Her friend was able to duck under a nearby log.
A forest fire burned the area in 2000, and numerous blackened snags remain along the trail.
The trail crosses U.S. Forest Service land at the northern end of the Cabinet Mountains.
of river reopens
Spokane River users are now permitted to use the stretch between the Spokane Street Bridge and Post Falls Dam. Sinking water levels allowed for the spill gates at the Post Falls Dam to close, and the section of river to open.
The Q’emlin Park boat launch near Post Falls reopened Tuesday, according to the City of Post Falls officials. Avista officials said the site should be open through Labor Day, depending on weather conditions.
For more information on Spokane River flow and elevation, call (509) 495-8043.
Post Falls to sue over river plan
The Post Falls City Council passed a resolution Tuesday approving a lawsuit against the federal government over a phosphorus-reduction plan for the Spokane River.
City Manager Eric Keck said Post Falls is willing to do its part to reduce the amount of algae-spurring contaminants in treated sewage discharged into the river. But city officials contend that phosphorus limits in the plan crafted by the Washington Department of Ecology would strangle growth in North Idaho, unfairly penalizing Idaho dischargers while giving more generous limits to Washington municipalities.
In May, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency endorsed the interstate plan for improving the river’s water quality despite strong objections from Idaho dischargers.
Keck said that the Hayden Area Regional Sewer Board will join Post Falls in the lawsuit, which could be filed as early as this week in federal court in Boise. The city of Coeur d’Alene also has concerns about the new permit limits, but hasn’t decided whether to pursue litigation, said Sid Frederickson, Coeur d’Alene’s wastewater superintendent.
Trials in killing
of six set for 2011
SEATTLE – Two people accused of killing six members of a family in Carnation, Wash., on Christmas Eve 2007 will not face a jury until October 2011.
Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ramsdell has not ruled whether Michele Anderson or Joseph McEnroe will be tried first.
Both could receive the death penalty if convicted on six counts of aggravated murder for allegedly killing Anderson’s parents, her brother and his wife, and their children, ages 5 and 3.
The judge said he did not want a jury to be seated around the Christmas holiday, but he did not say why the first case would not go to trial for another 15 months.
Cleanup of Sound gets $30 million
SEATTLE – The Puget Sound is getting nearly $30 million in federal money to address decades of pollution.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the grants Tuesday in Suquamish.
The money will be used to support local projects to protect and restore the sound’s water quality and habitat.
The 36 grants cover projects throughout the Puget Sound, from Bellingham to Olympia.
The Suquamish Tribe, for example, is getting nearly $600,000 for a project to restore the Chico Creek estuary to improve fish passage and water quality in shellfish growing areas.
Whale watchers’ boat hits rock
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A Friday Harbor, Wash.-based charter boat with whale watchers on board ran aground in Southeast Alaska waters after it struck a rock, the Coast Guard said.
Coast Guard officials said there were no injuries among the nine passengers and four crew members aboard the 75-foot Catalyst, which ran aground Tuesday west of Robert Island, about 68 miles from Juneau. Crew members used a skiff to transport the passengers to Robert Island.
A Coast Guard cutter was dispatched to the scene.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Charly Hengen said Tuesday evening’s high tide refloated the Catalyst and the captain reported no signs of damage to the vessel.
The vessel had about 1,600 gallons of diesel fuel on board. Hengen said a Coast Guard helicopter flew over the scene and found no evidence of pollution.