What’s news in the Northwest today:
MOSCOW — The Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine is starting a clinical trial using the herb artemisinin that could eventually aid in breast cancer research. The college is accepting dogs with B-cell lymphoma to participate in the trial. Lymphoma is the most common blood-related malignancy in dogs, and it happens when lymphosites, located in lymph nodes, develop cancerous cells and then circulate the body. The same kinds of genes that make canine lymphoma cells resistant to chemotherapy also make breast cancer cells resistant.
Cave Junction gas station employee beats robber
CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. — A 75-year-old gas station employee used a broomstick to fight off a robber at Cave Junction. Dan McLeod told The Oregonian he thought it was a joke when a masked man walked in early Wednesday and demanded cash. When the robber threatened to kill him, McLeod said he was scared. But when the robber pulled out his weapon, a small wrench, McLeod thought he could take him. He grabbed a broomstick and hit the man several times, backing him out of the station. Fellow employee Ray Wood says McLeod is an old-timer but says he’s “pretty salty.”
1 dead, 2 wounded in shootout west of Tacoma
LAKEBAY, Wash. — At least three people were shot, one fatally, when a gun battle broke out Thursday night during a home-invasion robbery at marijuana grow operation, Pierce County sheriff’s officers said. Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said up to seven heavily armed men raided the “fairly substantial” marijuana grow operation at the home near Lakebay on the Key Peninsula west of Tacoma. One person was shot to death by the homeowner, who also was wounded The intruders “were heavily strapped,” Troyer told The News Tribune. “We have close to 50 rounds that were fired.” They apparently were armed with shotguns, handguns and knives and dressed in camouflage.
Wolf management: Deadline passes with no deal
LEWISTON — The deadline set by Idaho Gov. Butch Otter to reach a new wolf-management agreement with the federal government expired without a deal Thursday, but his spokesman said the state is not yet walking away from the talks. Otter and members of his administration met with Steve Doherty, Pacific Northwest adviser to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, and senior members of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more than three hours on Thursday. Both sides characterized it as a productive meeting with a frank exchange of ideas. A spokesman for Otter said the state is going to evaluate information that came out of the meeting, then decide how to proceed.
Former coach, pastor sentenced for molesting boys
OLYMPIA — A former youth football coach and youth pastor will spend more than 12 years in prison for molesting three boys — two of them former players on the football team he coached in 2009 and a 13-year-old he ministered to at church in 2002. “It was an abuse of trust, where these young boys trusted their coach and youth pastor,” Thurston County Special Trials Division Chief Christy Peters said in court Thursday before Derwin Pasley’s sentencing. Pasley, 33, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of second-degree child molestation and one count of third-degree child molestation.
Ex-band director pleads guilty to sex with student
VANCOUVER, Wash. — A former Heritage High School band director pleaded guilty Thursday to having sex with a student. Tyler J. Benedict, 30, was escorted by his attorney from the Clark County Courthouse to the Clark County Jail after entering a guilty plea to one count of sexual misconduct with a minor in the first degree. Benedict worked as the band teacher at Heritage for three years. … In related news, the Clark County sheriff’s office says a teacher at Skyview High School in Vancouver has been booked for investigation of 30 counts of first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor. Vancouver School District officials were told that inappropriate text messaging had occurred between the teacher and a 17-year-old student during the 2007-08 school year. Detectives interviewed 33-year-old Nathan Botnen, of Vancouver, a teacher and coach at the school. The sheriff’s office says Botnen acknowledged engaging in sexual contact with his student multiple times.
Former Sequim pastor convicted of child rape
PORT ANGELES, Wash. — A former pastor of a Sequim church has been found guilty of six counts of child rape, six counts of child molestation and six counts of incest. The Peninsula Daily News says 59-year-old Steven G. Welty will be sentenced next month in Clallam County Superior Court. Judge S. Brooke Taylor decided the verdict Wednesday after a three-day, nonjury trial. Welty is accused of sexual intercourse with a relative who was between the ages of 4 and 10 when the incidents took place. Welty was the pastor of the Glory House Church in Sequim, which closed about two years ago.
Vice President Joe Biden campaigns for Sen. Murray
TACOMA — Vice President Joe Biden is in Washington today to campaign for Democratic Sen. Patty Murray. Biden is scheduled to join Murray for a get-out-the-vote rally at the University of Washington campus in Tacoma. Murray, a three-term incumbent, is in a competitive re-election contest against Republican Dino Rossi. Murray also is planning visits from former President Bill Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama later this month.
Lottery sting nabs 2 Everett store workers
EVERETT, Wash. — The state Lottery says an undercover investigator caught two Everett convenience store workers in a sting. The Daily Herald reports the workers told the man he won $2 when his ticket was really a $1,000 winner. The two were arrested Wednesday when they tried to claim the winnings at a lottery office. They were released Thursday after appearing in Everett District Court.
Body of 7-year-old found in Salmon River
SALMON, Idaho — Lemhi County officials say the body of a 7-year-old boy has been found in the Salmon River. Officials say a resident walking the river bank near Salmon spotted the body at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday. Investigators are looking into the case as a possible drowning. No other information, including the boy’s name, was made available.