October 28, 2010 in Region

NW today: Kids’ pumpkin stand dustup ends well

Compiled from wire reports

What’s news in the Northwest today:

LEWISTON — A Lewiston family is finally winding down after a whirlwind of national media exposure over the state’s threat to shut down their kids’ pumpkin stand. Jacob and Sami-Lou Charais made headlines around the world last week, when a representative from the Idaho State Tax Commission stopped by and told their mother they needed a permit to sell the gourds. Jacob, 6, and 4-year-old Sami-Lou set up the venture on their front porch with the help of a Lewiston Orchards grower to raise money for sports and after-school activities. News of the tax commission’s actions tripled business at the Normal Hill stand. The kids took in about $603 from sales of the Halloween staple. The family also got a temporary seller’s permit from Nez Perce County and another permit from the state. The family plans to turn over about $36 to the tax commission.

Mistake could cost prairie farmers $10 million

LEWISTON — Farmers in north-central Idaho lost out on millions of dollars in disaster payments last year, because Gov. Butch Otter’s office failed to submit some paperwork to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in time. The exact cost of the snafu isn’t available, but agriculture officials say it could be as high as $10 million. Farmers in Lewis, Idaho, Nez Perce and Clearwater counties were affected. “We took a major, major hit,” said Lewis County Commissioner Don Davis. “We just found out it may have cost something in the neighborhood of $5 million in Lewis County alone. Farmers in this area are unhappy.” In a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack earlier this year, Otter owned up to the mistake and asked that Idaho farmers not bear the price.

Oregon schools still teaching cursive writing

PORTLAND, Ore. — Looking through 17 papers that University of Portland students recently wrote in class, Education Professor Richard S. Christen finds only two are in cursive handwriting. Everyone else prints. The Oregonian reports cursive writing has gone by the wayside because most college students write on computers. When they have to write by hand, they print. Oregon schools are still teaching cursive. It’s part of the curriculum in third and fourth grades. But starting in the fifth grade, students are expected only to write legibly — whether in cursive or print.

Aircraft threat reported at Salt Lake City airport

SALT LAKE CITY — Officials say a commuter jet from Montana is being searched in Salt Lake City after a telephone threat of an explosive on board. Delta Airlines issued a statement saying Skywest flight 4654 landed just before 8 a.m. at Salt Lake City International Airport, and all passengers were safely taken off the aircraft. The airline says the flight departed at 6:09 a.m. from Helena, Mont. Airport spokeswoman Barbara Gann says the airport received a threatening call about an explosive incendiary device on the flight.

She says there were 46 passengers and three crew members aboard.

Ombudsman holds officer accountable in shooting

BOISE — Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson says a city police officer who accidentally shot a suspect in the arm will be disciplined for violating department policy because he did not have a holster for his gun. The violation happened when the plainclothes officer was chasing a man who fled a car crash just after midnight June 12. The officer had his gun in his right hand and a flashlight in his left. The suspect tried to climb a fence and as the officer pulled him down they both fell and the gun went off. Jeremiah Jones was hit in the arm, but the 21-year-old was not badly injured.

Unmanned Spokane fire engine rolls into home

SPOKANE — A parked Spokane Fire Department engine with nobody at the wheel rolled into a home where firefighters were making an aid call. Fire Chief Bobby Williams says the truck had been parked about 100 yards away from the home Wednesday night. Shortly after medics walked inside, they heard the crash. KXLY-TV reports the engine knocked down porch supports and punched a hole in the living room wall. No one was hurt.

Tacoma trial beginning in Lakewood police killings

TACOMA — Trial proceedings are scheduled to begin Thursday in Tacoma for four people accused of helping Maurice Clemmons last November after he shot and killed four Lakewood police officers. KIRO-FM reports the four charged with rendering criminal assistance include Clemmons’ half-brother Rickey Hinton. Also on trial are Doug Davis, Eddie Davis, and Letrecia Nelson. Motions and jury selection will take up the first week of the trial. Two others have already been convicted of helping Clemmons. The accused getaway driver, Darcus Allen goes on trial in March on aggravated murder charges. Clemmons was killed two days after the murders in a confrontation with a Seattle police officer.

Parents sue Butte bar after son’s suicide

BUTTE, Mont. — The parents of a 21-year-old Anaconda man who committed suicide in March have filed a lawsuit against a bar alleging its employees contributed to his death by continuing to serve him drinks when he was intoxicated. Shawn and Jody Glanton filed the lawsuit in District Court Wednesday against the owners of Ted and Julie’s Park Street Party Palace and Cafe. The lawsuit says Matthew Glanton won a contest that gave him free drinks for an hour and that his March 9 suicide was the result of extreme intoxication. Bar owner Ted Deschner told The Montana Standard that the allegations against the bar are not true.

Search for source of postcards continues

MOSCOW — The identity of the person or persons responsible for mailing campaign materials in possible violation of state election laws remains the focus of an investigation by the Latah County Sheriff’s Office. Lt. Brannon Jordan said Wednesday between 140 and 150 postcards have been collected by his office and sent to U.S. Postal Service investigators to, among other things, determine from where and when the items were mailed. The postcards purport to be a product of the Gresham Bouma campaign. Bouma, a Republican, is running against Democrat Dan Schmidt for the District 6 Idaho Senate seat. The postcards, among other things, picture Bouma and his wife with a pitchfork and warn that true Christians are “on a path to hell” if they don’t strike down certain candidates.

Man’s body found in house fire near Chehalis

CHEHALIS, Wash. — Firefighters found a man’s body in a house destroyed by fire Wednesday night at the Lewis County town of Ethel, near Chehalis. The coroner’s office will identify the victim after an autopsy. Chehalis fire investigator Derrick Paul told KITI he’s working with the sheriff’s office to determine the cause of the fire.

Butte man killed when vehicle backs over him

BUTTE — Authorities say a 53-year-old Butte man was killed when a vehicle backed over him while he was on a hunting trip in southwest Montana’s Gravelly Mountains. The Montana Highway Patrol says five hunters from Butte arrived at a campground near the Ruby River at about 10 p.m. Tuesday. Trooper Marcus Cook told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that four of them got out of the SUV and three walked toward the tent, but the victim went behind the vehicle. The driver didn’t see the victim as he backed the SUV up to park it. Madison County Undersheriff Roger Thompson tells KXLF-TV that John Rohan died at the scene. The hunting group called authorities from a nearby ranch.

Aberdeen hunter shoots self in foot

ABERDEEN, Wash. — An Aberdeen man accidentally shot himself in the foot during a hunting trip. Grays Harbor County Undersheriff Rick Scott says the man was driving with two friends in a truck Tuesday when his rifle fired. The Aberdeen Daily World reports the bullet went through his right foot, through the floorboard and punctured a tire. He was taken to Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Aberdeen.

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