What’s news in the Northwest today:
BOISE — They suck your blood, can leave an itchy rash and send shivers up the spines of clean freaks. And they’re apparently in Idaho. Bedbugs, that is. The Idaho Statesman reports pest control agencies in Boise and beyond say their calls to eradicate the bugs from homes in southwestern Idaho have been on the rise. One company, Sprague Pest Solutions, says its bedbug calls are up 400 to 500 percent this year. Pest-control giant Orkin says it’s getting three to five calls monthly at its Boise affiliate, up from four treatments all last year. Other cities are also reporting bedbug bedlam, including a senior center in Blackfoot, Idaho.
Maybe he was channeling Otis
TWIN FALLS, Idaho — A 28-year-old Twin Falls County jail inmate is charged with stealing a set of keys from a maintenance worker. The Times-News reports Scott Lee Beede of Buhl was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of petit theft. Police say the maintenance worker said he accidentally left the keys out. Deputies said the keys only opened a locked box that houses a security camera. Beede was identified from security footage as the one who took the keys. He later told officers he wrapped each key in toilet paper and flushed them, although he didn’t say why. Beede faces a recommended 10-year prison sentence for one count of injury to a child. He was charged with 10 counts that included shooting a BB gun at two children and causing burns by forcing a child into a hot bath.
Boisterous bridge workout prompts suicide fears
STATELINE, Idaho — A man’s boisterous exercise routine on a bridge above the Spokane River sparked fears that he was about to jump. A motorist traveling on nearby U.S. Interstate 90 spotted the man on the bridge along the popular Centennial Trail path where it crosses the Spokane River near the Idaho-Washington border. Concerned the 40-year-old man was about to jump to his death, the driver called in authorities. But when Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputies arrived, they found only a man engaged in a strenuous workout routine — animated, pacing, burning those calories with a vengeance — but by no means contemplating a plunge into the abyss. The Coeur d’Alene Press reports the emergency call was dismissed as a false report.
Man accused of holding hunters near Oroville
OKANOGAN, Wash. — A man accused of holding two grouse hunters at gunpoint near Oroville has been charged in Okanogan County Superior Court with unlawful imprisonment and other charges. The Wenatchee World reports 52-year-old Patrick M. Shivnen of Tenino accused the men of trespassing last month near his vacation home. The two hunters say Shivnen forced them to the ground, held them for half and hour, threatened to kill them and took a shotgun. He has been released on $50,000 bail.
$2 billion in federal projects for Washington contractors
SEATTLE — A new wharf at the Navy’s submarine base at Bangor that will cost more than $500 million is one the biggest federal construction projects in the works over the next few years in Washington. The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce reports the Navy, Corps of Engineers and the General Services Administration are planning about $2 billion worth of work. Officials presented the upcoming projects recently to members of the Associated General Contractors of Washington. Design work for the Bangor wharf has begun. The project will be built in four stages and is expected to be completed in 2016.
Rebuilt Bozeman Legion holds grand opening
BOZEMAN, Mont. — Bozeman Mayor Jeff Kraus says the American Legion in Bozeman led the way in rebuilding after a natural-gas explosion leveled half a block of downtown. On Thursday, Gallatin Legion Post 14 held its grand opening while also celebrating Veterans Day. Krauss presented Legion Commander Len Albright with a check for $30,000 in city economic development funds to help pay for the new two-story building. The Legion missed out on stimulus money made available to building owners affected by the March 2009 blast that also killed a woman. The federal funds required environmental reviews to be completed before any construction, but the Legion had already broken ground. Albright says the Legion also received an anonymous $10,000 donation this week.
Springfield postpones Christmas parade to Dec. 11
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — In a conflict between a football game and a Christmas parade in Springfield, the parade gave way. Organizers decided to postpone the Springfield Christmas Parade from its traditional date on the first Saturday in December to the following Saturday, Dec. 11. This way, no will have to choose between the parade and watching the Civil War — the Oregon-Oregon State football game. The Register-Guard reports the parade often attracts as many as 90 entrants and 10,000 people along the parade route.
Former custodian to plead guilty to injuring child
TWIN FALLS, Idaho — A former custodian for the Kimberly School District has reached a plea agreement after being charged with placing a “love letter” inside the locker of a middle-school girl. The Times-News reports William A. Palmer has agreed to plead guilty to one count of felony injury to a child during a hearing Monday in 5th District Court. The 45-year-old Palmer was initially charged in April with sexual abuse of a minor under 16. The plea agreement recommends a nine-year prison term with parole eligibility possible after three years, depending on the results of a psychosexual evaluation.
Butte-area woman wants to start pet food bank
BUTTE, Mont. — The owner of a Butte-area doggie day care plans to open a food bank for pets by the end of the month. Samantha Collier, owner of All About the Dawg in Walkerville, is taking donations of dog and cat food and other pet supplies. Collier tells The Montana Standard that the Kibble Connection will provide food and other supplies to people in need of basic necessities to keep their pets healthy and happy. She says a lot of people have lot their jobs or are having a tough time and don’t want to give up their pets.
Groggy bear found in Issaquah had been shot
SEATTLE — Now we know what was wrong with a young black bear that appeared to be stuck in a creek in the back yard of a home near Issaquah. KIRO-TV reports that an X-ray taken at the Progressive Animal Welfare Society in Lynnwood showed a bullet near its spine. It’s unknown when or where the bear was shot. The Issaquah homeowner who noticed the bear stuck under a log Thursday called state wildlife agents. They tranquilized it and took it a veterinarian. Officials are deciding whether to operate on the bear or euthanize it.
Glacier on pace for record visitation
KALISPELL, Mont. — Glacier National Park is on pace for a record year for visitation after receiving more than 66,000 visitors in October. The Daily Inter Lake Reports that through he first 10 months of Glacier’s centennial year, just over 2.2 million people have entered the park, a nearly 10 percent increase over the previous year. The busiest year on record for glacier was 1983, when the park attracted 2,203,847 visitors — or just 1,368 more than the park saw through the end of October this year.
The Kootenai County Democrats have selected their guest speaker, Christine Pelosi, for their annual North Idaho Democracy Dinner on Feb. 20. The dinner will be held 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. ...
Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, proposed legislation in the Senate Resources Committee today that’s nearly word-for-word identical to an American Legislative Exchange Council model law aimed at allowing local officials to ...
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 ...
Democratic legislators from the 3rd District will hold a "town hall" meeting minus the town hall on Monday night. They'll do it by phone. Sen. Andy Billig and Reps. Timm ...