What’s news in the Northwest today:
OLYMPIA — Washington state officials have refused a small Nativity scene that a Catholic group sent to Gov. Chris Gregoire for the state Capitol. The Olympian reports state policy no long allows nongovernment displays inside Capitol buildings. The Department of General Administration says they may be displayed outside, if the meet certain conditions. The Nativity scene was sent to all 50 governors by the New York City-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
Police: Robbery part of plot to kidnap Gert Boyle
PORTLAND, Ore. — The investigation of the robbery of Columbia Sportswear Chairwoman Gert Boyle last week has revealed she was the target of a kidnapping plot. The Oregonian reported that one of the three men arrested in the robbery told police he planned to kidnap her in exchange for $20,000 ransom. Boyle was confronted by a man with a handgun outside her West Linn home but was able to trigger a silent alarm. The man fled when police arrived. Three Honduran immigrants, all from the Beaverton area, were being held on charges including burglary, robbery, coercion, assault and kidnapping.
Student driving making unsafe turn when car hit
KETCHUM, Idaho — Blaine County officials say a student driver was making an unsafe turn when a driver’s education vehicle was struck by another car in central Idaho, killing the student. Sheriff’s Lt. Jay Davis says the driver’s ed car was westbound on U.S. Highway 20 on Oct. 26 when the driver made the turn. A 45-year-old Gooding man was also westbound. He says he tried to stop when he saw the driver’s ed car make the turn, but he slid on ice and hit the car. The crash killed 15-year-old Austin Hennefer, a sophomore at Carey High School. Another student, the driver’s education instructor and the driver of the second vehicle were seriously injured.
Belfair Eagle Scout earns all 129 merit badges
BREMERTON, Wash. — Belfair Eagle Scout David Gentry has done something that few achieve. He has earned all 129 merit badges awarded by the Boy Scouts of America. The Scouts don’t keep a tally of such people, but spokeswoman Renee Fairrer told the Kitsap Sun it’s highly unusual. Gentry is being honored for his achievement on Thursday night at a Court of Honor ceremony in Port Orchard. The 18-year-old is home-schooled and had the encouragement and support of his parents. His 16-year-old brother Elisha already has 86 badges and hopes to beat his brother with 130, because the Scouts are adding a new badge.
Longview woman accused of selling drugs with sons
KELSO, Wash. — A 41-year-old Longview woman has been accused of selling drugs with her sons. The Daily News reports Stephaney Lanecee Malone was booked into the Cowlitz County Jail Monday for investigations of drug dealing. Police say undercover detectives bought crack cocaine from her several times in the past few months. They also say she directed her sons — ages 20 and 16 — to make deliveries. Both were arrested Nov. 5 for investigation of drug charges.
St. Ignatius man convicted of enticement
MISSOULA, Mont. — A 33-year-old St. Ignatius man accused of arriving at a Missoula middle school with a child’s fast-food meal and condoms for what he thought was a meeting with a 14-year-old girl has been convicted of attempted coercion and enticement. Prosecutors say Jason Allen Sands was under the impression he was chatting online with a teenager named Kayla when he arranged the meeting a year ago, telling the girl not to wear any underwear. But the “girl” was a Missoula police detective. Prosecutors say the detective began exchanging text messages with Sands after a 15-year-old Missoula girl reported receiving sexual messages from him after they met on a social networking page. Sands faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life in prison.
More megaload modules headed to Lewiston
LEWISTON — Seventeen more modules of ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil will be shipped to the Port of Lewiston before the Columbia/Snake river system closes to barge traffic for lock rehabilitation on Dec. 10. They will join 16 others already at the Port of Lewiston that are among the first of more than 200 megaloads ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil wants to cross Idaho on U.S. Highway 12 that will consume two lanes of traffic. But the oil company has yet to receive permission from the state for the first to pass, or offer a backup plan of what it will do if the paperwork is never issued. Barging from Lewiston to the Pacific Ocean won’t be open again until the middle of March. The oil company is surprised at how long it’s taking to secure the necessary permission. U.S. Highway 12 has a history of use for similar loads with the same weight per axle as the modules for a processing plant at the Kearl Oil Sands, a spokesman said.
Pocatello police seeking leads in attempted kidnap
POCATELLO, Idaho — The city of Pocatello is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever tired to kidnap a 5-year-old girl from her home last week. Police say the attempted abduction happened on Nov. 10 in the area of South 5th Avenue and Barton Road. An investigation found the suspect entered the house through a basement window and had taken the girl out of the house at about 2:30 a.m. when the girl’s cries awakened her mother, who pursued the suspect. The man dropped the girl and fled. Officials have not released any more information on the suspect because they don’t want to jeopardize the investigation.
Burglars steal $15,000 worth of medical marijuana
BOZEMAN, Mont. — Authorities say about $15,000 worth of pot was stolen from a medical marijuana grower’s building in Four Corners west of Bozeman. Gallatin County Sheriff Jim Cashell tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle the building was damaged Sunday night. He says it is the second time in two weeks the business has been burglarized. Additional details about the two burglaries have not been released. Jake Wagner, commander of the Missouri River Drug Task Force, says based on the $15,000 price tag of the medical marijuana, the burglars must have stolen about 5 pounds.
Washington OKs razor clam dig at 2 beaches
OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has approved a two-day razor clam dig this coming weekend at Long Beach and Twin Harbors on the Washington coast. The agency says marine toxin tests confirmed the clams on those two beaches are safe to eat. No digging will be allowed before noon on either beach. All other coastal beaches will remain closed to razor-clam digging on that weekend. Agency coastal shellfish manager Dan Ayres says Long Beach and Twin Harbors have the largest number of clams available for harvest. He says another dig is tentatively scheduled in early December at all five ocean beaches.