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In brief: Fire bureau’s rescue boat honors kids thrown into river

PORTLAND – Rather than name its new rescue boat in honor of a former firefighter, the Portland Fire Bureau is remembering two children tossed into the Willamette River by their mother.

Four-year-old Eldon Smith drowned on May 23, 2009. His sister Trinity Smith survived.

The new $400,000 boat will be named Eldon Trinity. The Oregonian says now-8-year-old Trinity will help dedicate it on Dec. 7.

Amanda Stott-Smith pleaded guilty last April to aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder and has been sentenced to at least 35 years in prison.

Portable GPS unit credited for aiding rescue of hunters

HELENA – The Lewis and Clark County sheriff said two snowed-in hunters used a portable GPS unit to help rescuers reach them by snowmobile.

Sheriff Leo Dutton said 26-year-old Ernie Schmidt, of Power, Mont., and his father-in-law, 58-year-old Alex Gaverscheff, of Great Falls, made it back to a parking area but were trapped by snow, high winds and low visibility on Wednesday.

Dutton said they called 911 with a mobile phone and gave Search and Rescue coordinator Willy Wegner the coordinates of their location.

Dutton said the men described their location as Home Gulch, but the GPS gave their correct location as over a ridge near Barr Creek.

Rescuers arrived by snowmobile about 12:45 a.m. Thanksgiving Day and everyone was out by about 1:30 a.m., Dutton said.

Dutton said the hunters were prepared for winter weather and remained calm.

Time to hunt grizzly bears, wildlife manager says

POWELL, Wyo. – A Wyoming wildlife manager said he supports hunting grizzly bears now that the population in the Yellowstone National Park area has reached the highest level in decades.

Researchers said last month that more than 600 grizzlies roam the Yellowstone area of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

That’s more than three times the number in 1975, when hunting was outlawed and the species was placed on the endangered list.

Mark Bruscino, supervisor of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department bear management program, said his department supports the bear recovery program, but the best habitat areas are now full and bears are moving into marginal areas.

Hypothermia caused death of woman found outside car

AMERICAN FALLS, Idaho – The Power County coroner has ruled a woman whose body was found Thanksgiving Day outside her locked vehicle on a remote stretch of road in eastern Idaho died of hypothermia.

Coroner Mark Rose said officials are still trying to determine how long Christina Moldenhauer, of American Falls, was outside when the temperature in the area was minus 4 degrees.

Chief Deputy Jackie Morris with the Power County Sheriff’s Office said an investigation is continuing to try to determine a timeline and why the woman was in the area.

Authorities said Moldenhauer likely slid off the road in her Ford Edge, got out to inspect the damage, and was locked out of her car.