What’s news in the Northwest today:
BUTTE, Mont. — Federal wildlife officials have cleared an Elk Park landowner of wrongdoing in the shooting death of a grizzly bear the landowner found in a duck pen just outside his house. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Agent Terry Thibeault tells The Montana Standard that the U.S. attorney’s office opted not to prosecute the landowner after reviewing the report filed by a federal game warden. The landowner discovered the 358-pound male bear in his duck pen on June 12. Officials say the man did not know the bear was a grizzly. Thibeault says the bear was moving toward him and the homeowner felt threatened. State officials say the Elk Park area isn’t known to be occupied by grizzly bears, but grizzlies have been expanding their range.
Gig Harbor schools on bear alert
GIG HARBOR, Wash. — The Peninsula School District at Gig Harbor is taking extra precautions because a bear that attacked a woman Sunday remains at large in the area. The district says on its website that extra staff will be out Tuesday during recess and lunch breaks to keep students away from playgrounds that border wooded areas. The state Fish and Wildlife Department has put out two traps in an attempt to catch the bear. The woman who was attacked while walking her dog is recovering from cuts to her arm and bites to her back.
Cougar cub to meet the public at Oregon Zoo
PORTLAND, Ore. — A new cougar cub goes on public display Thursday at the Oregon Zoo. Since it was born Sept. 19, the cub has lived in a maternity den with its mother, Chinook. The cub now weighs 9 pounds and will be allowed out in the cougar exhibit. Keepers at the Portland zoo describe the cub as “brave and feisty.”
Fed investigators probe Idaho worker’s death
MENAN, Idaho — Federal safety officials are investigating the death of a 25-year-old eastern Idaho man who was crushed beneath a 1,000-pound loading rack at a produce business last week. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and local authorities are trying to determine just what happened when David Rodriguez, an employee at Walker Produce, died when the loading rack fell on him while he was cleaning last Wednesday. Rodriguez, employed at Walker Produce since July, was found unconscious and died two days later at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
Missing North Plains man found unconscious
HILLSBORO, Ore. — The Washington County sheriff’s office says a North Plains man was unconscious and wearing only shorts and a T-shirt when searchers found him Monday night in woods about a half-mile from his home. The sheriff’s office says Jonathan Cupps would not have made it through the night outdoors with temperatures in the 30s. He was taken to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland. The Oregonian reports the 30-year-old who suffers from mental and physical disabilities had left home early Monday. He was found by a team with North Oregon Search and Rescue.
Pedestrians killed at Newberg, Cottage Grove
PORTLAND, Ore. — There have been two more pedestrian fatalities in Oregon. Police report a 21-year-old man was hit and run over by two trucks Monday evening on Highway 219 in Newberg. Police say a woman was struck and killed Monday evening in Cottage Grove while pushing a shopping cart. She was wearing dark clothing and there were no street lights in the area. That makes 54 deaths of people walking on roadways so far this year in Oregon — nearly double the number of a year ago.
Land purchased for Eugene park comes with a name
EUGENE, Ore. — The Eugene City Council has authorized the purchase of 315 acres near Lane Community College for a major park. The Register-Guard reports there’s a catch with the $1.94 million deal approved Monday with Arlie & Co. The land development firm want the park named after Suzanne Arlie who co-founded the company. The council will take public comment on the name and vote at its Dec. 13 meeting.
Robotic arm to clean out Hanford waste tank
RICHLAND, Wash. — Workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation are cutting a bigger hole in a high-level radioactive waste tank so a robotic arm can be inserted for cleanup work. The Tri-City Herald reports that digging down to the tank and cutting a 42-inch-hole is a complicated task to limit worker exposure to radiation. A manager on the project, Scott Sax, calls it one of the most significant projects at the Hanford tank farm. By the end of the month workers hope to insert the robotic arm, which can rotate in a full circle and reach 40 feet. It will use a water cannon to break up sludge and move waste toward a pump. The Tank C-107 holds 247,000 gallons of radioactive and chemical sludge left over from the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons.
Two men recovered from carbon monoxide poisoning
BUTTE, Mont. — Two of three western Montana hunters who were found unconscious and suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning have been released from a Utah hospital. LDS Hospital spokesman Jess Gomez says 44-year-old Randy Cook of Missoula was discharged Thursday and 50-year-old Bret Butler of Frenchtown left Saturday. The Montana Standard reports 65-year-old Carl Saunders of Frenchtown is listed in satisfactory condition. The three men were camping near Lima when a propane heater apparently filled their tent with carbon monoxide. Five teenage boys, who had been sleeping in a different tent, discovered the men unconscious on the morning of Nov. 1 and called for help.
Idaho extends deadline for school solar projects
BOISE — The state’s energy czar will give Idaho school districts an extra week to apply for a slice of about $2.75 million in federal stimulus money set aside for solar projects. The Office of Energy Resources had planned to take grant proposals from districts for the Idaho Solar Panels for Schools program until Friday. That deadline has been extended to Nov. 19. The money will go to installing large solar electric net-metered equipment at schools. Each project is expected to be up to 100 KW in size and will generate electricity and revenue to cut districts’ energy bills. The program is also meant to teach students about alternative energy.