Region in brief: Wintry blasts in the forecast
Last weekend’s sunshine and mild temperatures may have got people thinking spring, but winter has two more weeks to go and this week’s forecast will prove that.
The first in a pair of storms could bring rain and snow to lower elevations today, and then a second cold front on Tuesday night and Wednesday may be cold enough to bring up to an inch of snow during overnight hours to all valley elevations.
That will be in sharp contrast to the high of 56 degrees on Sunday at Spokane International Airport.
Forecasters said highs will drop to the upper 30s to lower 40s today through Wednesday and then to the upper 40s on Thursday. The normal high for Spokane at this time of year is 46.
“That’s actually the longest stretch of below-normal temperatures we’ve seen since late December,” forecaster Jon Fox said in a National Weather Service briefing.
Line reopened after derailment
WILSON CREEK, Wash. – A rail line that closed in Eastern Washington after a 24-car derailment has reopened.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas said the line reopened 5 p.m. Sunday.
No one was hurt when the 110-car train traveling from Florence, Minn., to Seattle derailed Saturday morning near Wilson Creek, about 18 miles north of Moses Lake.
Deputy fired on during stop
TOPPENISH, Wash. – Yakima County sheriff’s deputies said one of their officers was shot at more than a dozen times by people he had stopped in a car near Toppenish.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Udell said the deputy was unhurt in the early Saturday incident. He said that the deputy tried to stop a suspicious car that was driving slowly through a neighborhood – instead two occupants began firing. The deputy drove off the road into a field.
Udell said the car was found burning about 45 minutes later.
Local firefighters vie in Seattle
A team of stair climbers from the Spokane Fire Department finished in third place out of 129 teams competing Sunday in a Seattle stair-climb fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Spokane firefighters Eric Ross, Jason Keen and Jesse Ayotte completed the climb with a cumulative time of 41 minutes, 36.8 seconds.
The Spokane Valley Fire Department placed sixth, with Paul Kimball, Mark Knokey and Dustin Waterbly finishing in 41 minutes, 49.4 seconds.
Individually, Kimball finished third; Ross, sixth; Keen, 20th; and Knokey, 31st out of 1,294 climbers from the U.S., Canada and New Zealand.
Ross, 44, took first place in the master’s division.
The Scott Firefighter Stairclimb is an annual event at Columbia Center tower in downtown Seattle and involves a climb with fire gear up 69 flights with 1,311 steps.
The Spokane department raised $12,960 for the charity this year. Donations are still being accepted at firefighterstairclimb.org.
The Fairchild Air Force Base team finished 40th; Spokane County Fire District No. 9 finished 44th; and Spokane County Fire District No. 10 placed 88th.