October 11, 2010 in Region

NW today: Walla Walla debating purple octopus mural

Associated Press
 

What’s news in the Northwest today:

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — A giant purple octopus is on the public comment agenda for today’s city council meeting in Walla Walla. It’s a mural that was painted over the Labor Day weekend on a downtown building. The owner of the Inland Octopus toy store calls it art. The city says it violates the sign code. City Attorney Tim Donaldson told The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin he’s not against the purple octopus, it’s just four times too big. Octopus supporters say the city should spend its time on more important things.

Olympic College adopts policy restricting non-student protesters

BREMERTON, Wash. —A group of activists has sought legal counsel in response to protest restrictions on Olympic College campuses. Members of the Bremerton-based Anti-Choice Project, who carried large photographs of aborted fetuses on campus last fall, were met with student ire, prompting forums and ultimately a revision of the college’s policy on protests. In response to students’ concerns, the college gathered a group to review its First Amendment policy. Recommended changes were reviewed by the college’s legal counsel and approved by its board of trustees this summer, said Barbara Martin, Olympic College’s vice president of administrative services.

Pakistani students to spread culture

MOSCOW — Four young women and one young man from Pakistan are attending the University of Idaho in Moscow this semester to promote cultural understanding between their country and the United States. They are doing so as part of the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State. The students are expected to interact with Americans in school, social and other settings as cultural ambassadors. They also must complete community service while enrolled in school here. When the semester ends, they will return to Pakistan and share their U.S. experiences with friends, family and community members.

Man creates disturbances at businesses

VANCOUVER — Police say a Vancouver man went on a spree of bad behavior at three businesses and a church before he was subdued in an east Vancouver grocery store parking lot Sunday afternoon and taken to jail. Vancouver Sgt. Troy Price said it all started when the man became enraged at a KFC restaurant Sunday morning. Price said “his behavior was so unpredictable … he went from simply ordering a sandwich” to damaging fixtures and equipment in the store. An employee told police those damages amounted to about $15,000. He then went to Destiny Church, caused another disturbance and was asked to leave, Price said.

Nellis touts University of Idaho tuition amendment

MOSCOW — Voters will have a chance in November to give the University of Idaho more flexibility in divvying up the revenue it gets from its roughly 12,000 students. There’s a constitutional amendment to allow tuition at the school, something that had been forbidden by Idaho’s 1889 Constitution. Vandals pay “student fees” instead. But since such fees can’t go to paying for professors, that has limited the Moscow-based school’s ability to move money around more freely to shore up instruction as state funding dwindles. The Legislature overwhelmingly approved the measure. Now, UI President Duane Nellis is making the rounds, insisting to voters across the state that his school needs the same flexibility as Idaho State University and Boise State University.

Montesano teen sisters accused of hit-run

ELMA, Wash. — Police say tips led to the arrest of two Montesano sisters, ages 17 and 15, accused of trying to run down an Elma High School cross-country runner. Grays Harbor County sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Shumate told KXRO the suspects acknowledged their involvement last week and were arrested for investigation of assault. No motive was given. A 15-year-old girl was jogging on a road Wednesday near Elma when she was struck by the door of a car that drove past. The girl says the car turned and came at her a second time before fleeing.

Yellowstone closing after record season

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — Yellowstone National Park is gradually closing down after the busiest summer season on record. Yellowstone has had 3.4 million visitors so far this year, already making it a record year for park visitation. All facilities at Lake, Fishing Bridge, Tower/Roosevelt and Grant Village have closed for the season except for pay-at-the-pump gas stations. The hotel at Mammoth Hot Springs closes Monday. The Old Faithful Inn closes Oct. 17, followed by the Old Faithful Snow Lodge on Oct. 24. Remaining facilities close for the season on Nov. 7.

Two bodies found in steep terrain in likely accident

INKOM, Idaho — Hunters in southeastern Idaho this weekend found the bodies of a man and woman who likely died when their truck rolled multiple times on a rugged off-road vehicle trail. The bodies were found in a remote, steep area about a mile-and-a-half from the town of Inkom. The woman had been ejected from the vehicle, while the man’s body was found inside. The terrain was so rugged, the pair had to be transported out of the area by four-wheeler. From the condition of the bodies, it appears as though the accident may have occurred a week ago.

Boise man dies after hit by pickup truck

BOISE — Boise police say a man who was struck by a pickup truck while walking across the street Saturday night has died. The man, who is in his early 60s, died Sunday morning at a Boise hospital. His name was not immediately released. Officers say the man was crossing the street shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday when he was hit by a pickup that drove off. A 26-year-old man returned to the scene about 20 minutes later and told police he was the driver involved.

Payette man dies in crash after police chase

PAYETTE, Idaho — Idaho State Police say a 53-year-old Payette man has died after crashing into a power pole during a police chase. Payette Police responded to a domestic battery call shortly before 12:30 a.m. Monday. Officers say Toby Webster drove away in his pickup on U.S. Highway 95. KTVB-TV reports that Webster lost control of his pickup during the pursuit and hit a power pole. He was not wearing a seat belt and died at the scene.

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