Local news

In brief: Long Lake fish deaths believed to be natural

It is not known what killed hundreds of carp in Long Lake, but state wildlife officials believe it may be a natural occurrence and does not pose a health risk.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists say it’s possible the fish came to shallow waters to spawn when temperatures were cooler and became stressed with quickly rising temperatures, causing the fish to become susceptible to bacteria or viruses, a news release said.

Water-quality experts ruled out toxic pollutants as a cause, as well as low oxygen levels.

Most of the fish carcasses are expected to decompose within a couple of weeks, officials said. State agencies do not have sufficient staff or equipment to pick up the dead fish. Homeowners are encouraged to bury the carcasses, taking care to wear gloves and wash off equipment.

Sara Leaming

Valley man sentenced over porn on iPod

A 44-year-old Spokane Valley man was sentenced to five years in federal prison this week on child pornography charges after his lost Apple iPod Nano revealed pornographic images of children.

After his release Richard Leon Vansant Jr., will be under court supervision for the rest of his life and be required to register as a sex offender, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Washington.

The case began in October 2008, when BNSF Railway police turned over a lost iPod containing images of child pornography to immigration and customs officials.

Authorities traced the device back to Vansant, a conductor/brakeman for the railroad. A search of his home turned up more than 10,000 explicit images of children and evidence of inappropriate communication, officials said. Vansant pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography charges in March.

Sara Leaming

Motorcyclist, passenger hurt in collision on I-90

A motorcyclist and his passenger were injured Thursday after another vehicle changed lanes abruptly on Interstate 90 near the Evergreen Road exit.

The motorcycle, a 2004 Harley-Davidson driven by Thomas F. Wolfe, 52, of Newman Lake, was eastbound on the highway about 4:50 p.m., when another vehicle made an abrupt lane change. Wolfe took evasive action, but his motorcycle struck the car in the rear. Wolfe, and his passenger, Rhonda D. Wolfe, 51, also of Newman Lake, were taken to Valley Hospital and Medical Center with minor injuries. Thomas Wolfe was treated and released. Rhonda Wolfe was in stable condition, a nursing supervisor said. Both were wearing helmets.

The driver of the car, Gennadiy A. Oukrainets, 18, was not injured. He was cited for negligent driving.

Sara Leaming


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