What’s news in the Northwest today:
PORTLAND, Ore. — Three California condors hatched and raised at the Oregon Zoo have been released to the wild in Arizona and California, with two more to follow. One of the endangered birds was released at the Vermilion Cliffs Monument and the other two were released in California last month. Zoo officials say California condors help clean up the environment as scavengers and are part of the nation’s cultural and historical heritage. Condors are the largest land birds in North America and have wingspans of up to 10 feet and weigh 18 to 30 pounds. Just 22 condors remained in the wild in 1987 and all were captured for a breeding program that has increased their population to 185 released in Arizona, California and Mexico.
Woman sentenced for fleeing with son to Nicaragua
BOISE — A woman convicted for kidnapping her son and fleeing to Central America has been ordered to serve 16 months in the Ada County Jail. Margaret Dunbar-Alcalde was convicted for second-degree kidnapping for her son after a Thanksgiving visit in 2008. Federal investigators apprehended her in Nicaragua in March, and she was returned to Boise to face charges in the case. A 4th District Judge originally sentenced Dunbar-Alcalde to 10 years in prison, but she received a withheld judgment that suspended a good portion of the jail term. However, she will serve 10 years on probation. She also has been given credit for serving eight months in jail. The boy, who was seven when reported missing, has since been reunited with his father.
Seattle mayor calls for review of pot bust policy
SEATTLE — Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has called for city and King County police and prosecutors to join him in a review of marijuana enforcement policies. Wednesday’s announcement is a response to an Oct. 25 raid on a suspected marijuana grower who turned out to be a medical marijuana patient. Medical marijuana has been legal under state law since 1998, and in 2003 Seattle voters passed an initiative declaring marijuana offenses the lowest law enforcement policy.
Bremerton council OKs backyard chickens
BREMERTON — It’s now legal to own chickens in Bremerton. The city council approved an ordinance Wednesday allowing residents to keep up to four hens on their property. The Kitsap Sun reports chicken advocates had launched two petition drives to force the council to act. The ordinance requires residents to pay $12.50 a year for a chicken license. The hens can’t be slaughtered on the property, and no crowing roosters are permitted. The four hens don’t count against the city’s four-pet limit.
Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Portland
PORTLAND — The family of a man shot by Portland police has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city. The suit filed Wednesday in federal court also names police officers. It seeks an unspecified amount of money. The parents of Aaron Campbell say he left four young children who need to be provided for. The 25-year-old was shot in January by officers responding to a report of a suicidal man at an apartment. The officer who fired thought Campbell was reaching for a weapon. A Multnomah County grand jury found no criminal wrongdoing but said police training, command and communication were inadequate.
At least 2 Billings payday lenders closing
BILLINGS, Mont. — At least two payday lenders in Billings are closing after voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative to cap interest rates on payday and title loans at 36 percent. Joyce Bird tells KULR-TV in Billings that she is closing Money Lenders, a business she opened 12 years ago. Although the initiative doesn’t take effect until January, Bird says she is informing her nearly 400 customers that she will be closing down by the end of the month. Lenders have said they would not be able to stay in business by charging $1.38 on a two-week loan for $100. The owners of Tiki Hut Title Loan closed their doors on Wednesday and had no comment on the initiative.
Oregon county, Horizon agree on $40 million investment plan
LA GRANDE, Ore. — Union County and Horizon Wind Energy say they have reached a tentative agreement on a $40 million strategic investment program for the proposed Antelope Ridge Wind Farm. Taxes and fees would bring that money into the county over 15 years to spend on can schools, the community and economic development. Mark Davidson, chairman of the Union County board of commissioners, said the agreement, if approved, will help the economy recover in Eastern Oregon. Horizon opened the 100-megawatt Elkhorn Valley Wind Farm near Telocaset in Union County in 2007. The company has applied to the Oregon Department of Energy for a site certificate to build the 300-megawatt Antelope Ridge Wind Farm in the Craig Mountain area near Union.
Boy sentenced for stealing guns, escape
HAMILTON, Mont. — A 17-year-old Hamilton boy will spend the rest of his life under state supervision for a crime spree that included stealing guns and assaulting a peace officer. The Ravalli Republic reports Jacob A. Wilson was sentenced Wednesday to 100 years under the supervision of the Department of Corrections, with all but five years suspended. Prosecutors say Wilson was being held in a juvenile detention center after breaking into a house and stealing handguns when he met co-defendant Kagen Richardson. The boys escaped from the center in March after Richardson used a cribbage board to hit a female detention officer in the head several times. Richardson has pleaded guilty to several charges and was to be sentenced Thursday.
California parole absconder arrested in Montana
HELENA, Mont. — A man who absconded from parole in California 12 years ago has been arrested in northern Montana, where authorities say he’s been working harvests for a decade. Glacier County sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Siefert tells the Independent Record a fugitive task force in California learned that 47-year-old Robert Lewis Crose was working in the Cut Bank area from updates to Crose’s Facebook page. Crose was convicted of making a terrorist threat and a gun violation for using a sawed-off shotgun to fend off an intruder at his appliance store in Ventura, Calif., in 1996. He served less than a year in prison and was paroled. Los Angeles Times reports say he was returned to prison for a parole violation and paroled again in October 1998.
Call center hiring workers in Lacey, Federal Way
TACOMA — A national call center plans to hire more than 1,200 workers over the next several weeks for jobs in Lacey and Federal Way. The majority of the jobs will pay $10 an hour with more for supervisors and technicians. The call centers are operated by Affiliated Computer Services, a division of Xerox.
Old Indian story pole taken down in Olympia
OLYMPIA — A 71-foot Indian story pole that stood on the state Capitol campus in Olympia since the 1930s was taken down Wednesday. The state Department of General Administration says it was rotten from water damage and in danger of falling. The cedar pole — adorned with colorful animal figures — was cut into six sections that are temporarily being stored in a vacant greenhouse.
On Friday heads rolled, to borrow a phrase from our own Republican state Sen. Michael Baumgartner. Actually, just one head rolled: Lynn Peterson, the state's transportation secretary. But why? According ...
During the weekend, I took time to watch a debate on each side of the political divide -- one a re-run of the Democratic debate earlier last week. The Democratic ...
When the U.S. Supreme Court last summer gave same-sex couples the right to marry, Republican Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho said Congress should move quickly to protect the religious liberty ...
There has been a strange vibe at Macy's in recent days. We all know how Spokane residents love a bargain. And there have been bargains, to be sure. It's a ...