October 5, 2010 in Region

NW today: Black Lab may hold clues to hiker’s location

 

What’s news in the Northwest today:

LEWISTON – Searchers looking for a missing hiker between the Seven Devils mountain range and the Snake River in Hells Canyon are perplexed by a lack of clues in the case, but think a black Lab may give them answers. Todd Hofflander, 39, of Lucile, has not been seen for more than a week. The experienced outdoorsman was helping his friend Jeff Wieber scout mule deer bucks when the pair decided to separate Sept. 27. The search has been scaled back until a clue directs the searchers where to look next. Hofflander’s family and friends and Idaho County deputies want to know if anybody in Hells Canyon or the Seven Devils may have found the dog and assumed it was abandoned. If so, they want to know where the dog was found so they can search the area.

Wenatchee golf course vandals put carts away

EAST WENATCHEE, Wash. — Joyriders who stole six golf carts and tore up the Wenatchee Golf and Country Club were thoughtful enough to put the carts back in the storage shed. Police said they plugged in the electric carts and locked up the shed Saturday night before leaving. The Wenatchee World reports two of the carts were damaged and there was significant damage to the golf course.

Maryhill plans $10 million expansion

YAKIMA – When you’re running a world-class art museum that can’t accept loaned or donated collections because it’s been around for 70 years without once expanding, it’s probably time to add a new wing. Maryhill Museum of Art outside of Goldendale announced plans Monday for a largely underground $10 million expansion to be completed by spring 2012, allowing for more educational outreach, easier access to its collections and, yes, more storage space for art and artifacts. The museum, originally built as a mansion home for railroad magnate Sam Hill, is known for a varied collection highlighted by Native American artifacts, an extensive display of Auguste Rodin sculpture and artifacts from the late 19th- and early 20th-century Romanian royal family.

Oregon woman, 61, gets 15 years for $1.5 million in thefts

EUGENE, Ore. — An Oregon woman has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for embezzling more than $1.5 million from a timber company to feed a gambling habit. Doris Jean Harris, 61, pleaded guilty to 68 counts of felony theft over a six-year period as bookkeeper for Transition Management Inc. The thefts were discovered after the death of Ray Swanson, who hired Harris out of high school as a secretary at Swanson Superior Lumber Co. in Noti. Harris apologized in court during sentencing Monday in Eugene, and blamed the thefts on her gambling habit, spending most of the money at tribal casinos.

Special wheelchair taken in Lynnwood car theft

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — Christine Wells lost more than her car when it was stolen last weekend outside her apartment in Lynnwood. The car contained a custom wheelchair and orthopedic car seat for her 4-year-old disabled son, Christopher. The Daily Herald reports Wells can’t afford to quickly replace the $3,000 wheelchair and $625 car seat. Police are looking for her 1995 red GMC SUV, Washington license 908 VSU.

Idaho U.S. Attorney collects $9.7 million in fines, debts

BOISE — The U.S. Attorney’s office in Idaho has collected more than $9.7 million in fines, assessments, restitution and other payments for the fiscal year. U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson made the announcement Monday, saying that more than $7.7 was collected by the financial litigation unit in fines, assessments, restitution and civil debts for the fiscal year that ended in September. Another $2 million in cash and property was seized from convicted criminals by the asset forfeiture unit. That money was deemed to be all from the proceeds of crimes.

North Idaho county tries to keep wildlife off runway

ST. MARIES — A North Idaho county hopes a fence will discourage wildlife from wandering across a landing strip at St. Maries Municipal Airport. Benewah County has requested approval to pay for the fencing with money from an existing federal grant that is dedicated to extending the airport runway. Project manager J.R. Norvell says there were concerns over wildlife at the airport long before an August accident, in which an airplane crashed into a deer that had strayed onto the runway.

Silverton man accused of burning boss’s car

SILVERTON, Ore. — A Silverton man who learned he was about to be fired has been accused of burning his boss’s car. Police say a 33-year-old man poured gasoline on the car early Saturday and set it on fire. Investigators learned the victim is the suspect’s supervisor at a Silverton restaurant. The Statesman Journal reports the suspect was taken to the Marion County Jail on charges of arson, criminal mischief and reckless burning.

Maryland man missing, car found in Yellowstone

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — A search is under way in Yellowstone National Park for a Maryland man who has been reported missing. Authorities say 48-year-old Stuart Isaac of Burtonsville, Md., was reportedly on a cross country trip. His black 2009 Lexus sedan was found Sunday evening at Craig Pass along the section of the Grand Loop Road linking Old Faithful and West Thumb. Repeated searches from the ground and air have failed to locate Isaac, described as a black man who is 5 feet, 8-inches tall with black hair, brown eyes and tattoos on his shoulder blades and right triceps.

OSU fraternity fined for burning couch

CORVALLIS, Ore. — An Oregon State fraternity has been fined $1,000 for burning a couch. The Department of Environmental Quality says the Delta Upsilon Fraternity illegally burned the couch last June in a pit fire, releasing noxious smoke from treated wood, foam and upholstery. KVAL reports the fraternity has until Oct. 14 to appeal.

King County deputy injured in Sammamish crash

SAMMAMISH, Wash. — A King County sheriff’s deputy has been seriously injured in a crash near Sammamish. Spokesman John Urquhart says the deputy has been taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and is expected to survive. Urquhart told KIRO-TV the deputy was not responding to a call but his car was “moving at a pretty good clip” when it left the Redmond-Fall City Road about 2 a.m. Tuesday, went down an embankment and hit a tree.

Hunters step up to feed Sunny Boy

KENNEWICK – Sunny Boy’s owners can rest easier now thanks to the generosity of Mid-Columbia hunters. The red-blond Siberian husky has acute inflammatory bowel disease and can’t digest regular dog food, beef, pork or chicken. Instead, the lovable pooch dines three times a day on a mixture of mashed sweet potatoes and shredded and diced elk and deer meat. Those meats are hard to come by. Which is why Barb Winckler of Kennewick put up posters last week appealing for meaty donations. Hunters already had dropped off 200 to 225 pounds of venison and more was on the way.


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