What’s news in the Northwest today:
GRESHAM, Ore. — Oregon State Police gave an 82-year-old woman a ticket for driving 28 miles per hour over her age. KVAL-TV reports a trooper spotted Marcia Brandon’s car going 110 mph on Thursday on Highway 26 west of Gresham. The posted limit is 55 mph. She said she was on her way to an appointment and wasn’t aware she was going that fast. She was given a ticket for $1,103.
Gov. Otter to sign Idaho synthetic pot ban
BOISE — Idaho is poised to become the latest state to outlaw a synthetic marijuana often called “Spice” by temporarily banning seven chemicals used to make the substance. Gov. Butch Otter is expected to sign the rule today, after giving retailers time to return or destroy the incense that some people smoke to get a marijuana-like high. The Idaho Board of Pharmacy proposed the rule late last month. It puts the chemicals into the same category as heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs.
Animal activists claim raid on Oregon deer farm
MOLALLA, Ore. — A posting on a website that conveys information for the Animal Liberation Front says animal activists removed a large section of fencing at a deer farm at Molalla. The message says the raid last Saturday was intended to allow deer to escape into the surrounding forest. Owner Richard Bentley told KGW-TV he’s raising 80 European Fallow deer for meat, but there were no animals on the land where the fence was cut. He wonders why animal activists would want to release tame deer during deer hunting season.
Tacoma park clears out last of Never Never Land
TACOMA — The story is over for the Never Never Land attraction at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park. Workers demolished the last storybook figures on Thursday — a shoe that children once slid down and a stack of giant books that had served as an entranceway. Metro Parks spokeswoman Nancy Johnson told The News Tribune the structures were dilapidated and moldy. Never Never Land opened in 1964 and had structures illustrating 26 nursery rhymes and stories from Mother Goose and the Brothers Grimm. Features included a Hickory Dickory Doc house, Gingerbread House and a 400-pound Humpty Dumpty perched on books waving to visitors.
Clint Stennett, former minority leader, dies at 54
BOISE — State Sen. Clint Stennett, a former Democratic minority leader who represented Blaine, Camas, Gooding and Lincoln counties, has died after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 54. Rep. Wendy Jaquet, a Democrat from Ketchum, said Stennett died at his home in Ketchum on Thursday afternoon with his wife, Michelle, at his side. Stennett was raised in rural southern Idaho. A graduate of Idaho State University, Stennett parlayed his business acumen into ownership of Idaho TV stations, as well as several ranch properties throughout the state.
Missoula gets credit card parking meters
MISSOULA — The Missoula Parking Commission is giving credit card parking meters a try. KECI-TV reports workers installed the new meters Tuesday as part of a three-month pilot program. The 42 meters run on solar power and allow motorists to pay for their parking using a credit or debit card. The city says it will lose money on any transaction under 50 cents because of processing fees. The new meters will also take your money the old fashioned way.
Army vet runs 4,425 miles to honor fallen troops
ROCKLAND, Maine — An Army veteran who pounded the pavement from coast to coast to honor the nation’s fallen troops has finished his grueling journey in rain and high winds in Maine. Mike Ehredt of Hope, Idaho, placed a U.S. flag in the ground every mile to honor military personnel killed in Iraq. Today he placed six flags including the final flag to honor Marine Maj. Jay Aubin, a pilot from Waterville who died when his CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter went down near the Iraq border. The 49-year-old extreme runner kicked off his journey in May in Astoria, Ore., averaged about 29 miles a day and took only four days off. He ran 4,425 miles.
Astoria garden will mark Chinese contribution
PORTLAND, Ore. — A new garden being planned for Astoria will commemorate the contribution of Chinese people to the building of that city. Astoria Mayor Willis Van Dusen says he never knew that part of the city’s history until he invited a Chinese American elder to a meeting at a local museum. Duncan Law declined to the enter the museum because it had not mention the contribution Chinese people made to the city: building the jetties, and the railroad and processing salmon, for example.
Otter pleased that healthcare lawsuit will advance
BOISE — Gov. Butch Otter is pleased with a federal judge’s decision to let 19 states including Idaho move ahead with their lawsuit against the federal government over Congress’ health care overhaul. U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson in Florida said Thursday that crucial pieces of a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s health care reforms can go to trial. Vinson wants to hear more arguments over the constitutionality of forcing citizens to buy health insurance.
Walla Walla issues $100 fine for purple octopus
WALLA WALLA — The city of Walla Walla has notified the owner of a toy store he will be fined $100 each day he keeps a large mural of a purple octopus on the downtown storefront. The city says the mural violates the sign code. The Inland Octopus toy store owner maintains the mural is art. The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reports a code enforcement officer issued the fine notice Thursday, and it will add up each day until the purple octopus situation is resolved.