What’s news in the Northwest today:
Former U.S. Ski Team member Ani Haas says she feels fortunate to have suffered just scratches to her left arm and chest when she encountered a black bear while running in western Montana. The 24-year-old freestyle skier this morning told NBC’s “Today” that she was on a trail near her home town of Missoula, Mont., Friday morning when she saw some cubs scramble up a tree. The mother bear ran at her. Haas tried to run away, but was not fast enough. She turned around to face the bear and it lunged at her. Haas hit the bear in the head and threw a rock at it before the bear attacked her again. Haas says she backed away and the bear eventually lost interest.
Space Needle wants to send a person to suborbit
SEATTLE — To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle, organizers want to go beyond Earth. “We went back to 1962 and questioned why the Space Needle was built,” said Ron Sevart, President and CEO of the Pacific Northwest landmark. “It was an optimistic time, a forward-looking time, right in the middle of the space race.” The Space Needle — with its hourglass tower and a top that resembles a flying saucer — embodied the era. Inspired, Sevart and his team decided to create a multi-tiered contest to send a member of the public into short ride into space using a company from the burgeoning private space travel industry. “The private business of taking people to space is right in front of us, it felt so natural for us to build a contest around that,” Sevart said. To help celebrate the future of space travel, the Space Needle is bringing in one of its pioneers. Buzz Aldrin, the second astronaut to step on the moon, was expected at today’s formal contest announcement. The winning trip to space would be a suborbital shot, with about 6 minutes of zero gravity.
Quadriplegic man dies in Montana skydiving accident
KALISPELL, Mont. — Flathead County officials say a 27-year-old quadriplegic man with five years of skydiving experience died in a weekend skydiving accident in northwestern Montana. Sheriff Chuck Curry says Zack Fogle of Kingston, Wash., died Saturday afternoon when his parachute failed to open after a jump at the Lost Prairie Boogie, an annual skydiving event near Marion. Undersheriff Jordan White says Fogle had limited mobility in his extremities after being struck by a car in high school, but had a custom-built parachute and was certified as a skydiver. He had completed more than 125 jumps and had participated in the Lost Prairie Boogie before. An investigation found Fogle failed to manually deploy his primary or emergency parachutes and an emergency deployment mechanism that would have released his emergency chute was not activated prior to the jump.
Fatality changed rules for WA DNR forest employees
OLYMPIA — The state Department of Natural Resources says it’s changing training and procedures for employees who work alone to improve safety after the death of forest worker while clearing weeds near Forks. Spokesman Bryan Flint says it made some changes after the death in February of Sam Gaydeski of Beaver who was accidentally killed by the blade of his brush cutter. Flint says the department is making other changes to address safety violations identified by a Department of Labor & Industries investigation. The citation announced last week proposes a fine of nearly $17,000. The violations included not checking on employees working alone or having them check in at the end of the day. Gaydeski wasn’t found until nearly three hours after the end of his shift.
Stolen trumpet returned to Oregon jazz player
PORTLAND, Ore. — A stolen trumpet has been found and returned to an Oregon jazz musician who needed a custom-made instrument in order to play. KOIN-TV reports the trumpet was stolen from Portland jazz player and music teacher Thara Memory when he was moving into a new condo near downtown. Partial amputations made necessary by complications from diabetes make it impossible for Memory to play without the custom design. Trumpet-maker Dave Monette of Portland created the left-handed trumpet for Memory because standard trumpets are right-handed. Memory made a public plea for the horn and a reward grew to $750 for its return before Memory got a call last Friday from a man who said he found it along U.S. Highway 30 in northwest Portland. Memory says he can’t wait to play again.
Adult male cougar killed on I405 in Bellevue
BELLEVUE, Wash. — A state Fish and Wildlife officer says a cougar that was hit and killed on Interstate 405 in Bellevue is apparently the same one that killed a duck Saturday in a neighborhood in nearby Medina. Sgt. Kim Chandler says the cougar found dead Sunday night is an adult male. He says that’s a little unusual because it’s usually young cougars that get into trouble wandering into urban areas. Chandler says the cougar may have come out of the Cascades and might have been trying to go back when it was killed trying to cross the freeway. Wildlife officers searched for the cougar Saturday after the duck was killed. Chandler says it’s apparently the same cougar that was sighted a week-and-a-half ago in the Woodinville area.
Idaho appellate court to hear arguments next week
BOISE — The Idaho Court of Appeals is meeting next week to hear arguments in five cases, including an appeal from a convicted sex offender and one from someone convicted of assault. Scott Cadman is challenging the state’s decision to label him a violent sexual predator based on crimes he was convicted of while in Oregon. A lower court said Cadman waited too long to challenge the designation and that a previous Idaho Supreme Court ruling doesn’t apply to his case. He’s appealing the lower court’s dismissal of his case. Steven Harley Maidwell is appealing his conviction on a felony charge of using a deadly weapon during an aggravated assault and misdemeanor eluding a police officer. He contends in part that the jury instructions were faulty. The court meets Tuesday and Thursday.
Montana Western campus goes tobacco free
DILLON, Mont. — The University of Montana Western in Dillon became a tobacco free campus, effective today. The policy was signed by Chancellor Richard Storey in February. It prohibits the use of tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, as well as all forms of smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes. The effort to move Western to a tobacco free campus began in the fall of 2009. A survey found that nearly 80 percent of the campus community favored a tobacco free campus. Classes resume on Aug. 29.
Police investigate shooting in north-central Idaho
KAMIAH, Idaho — Officers with the Idaho State Police and the Lewis County sheriff’s office are investigating after three people sought treatment for gunshot wounds. The Lewis County sheriff’s office says there may also be a fourth victim who didn’t seek treatment after a shooting in the Kamiah area early Sunday morning. The Lewiston Tribune reports that none of the injuries have resulted in a fatality, but victims’ conditions were not given. No other details about the shooting were released.
Former QB Harrington hit while biking in Portland
PORTLAND — Former University of Oregon and NFL quarterback Joey Harrington was hit by a vehicle while riding a bicycle Sunday night in Portland. Police say he was taken to a hospital with injuries described as non-life-threatening. Police say Harrington was hit from behind at an intersection by an SUV driven by a 26-year-old man who remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators. He was cited for following too close. KGW reports the 33-year-old Harrington led the Ducks to three bowl wins and played for four teams in eight years in the NFL.
Man shot through wall at Portland apartment
PORTLAND — Police gang detectives are investigating the shooting of a 75-year-old man through the wall of an apartment in Portland. Officers were called to the apartment building Sunday night when witnesses heard shots after hearing four men arguing in a courtyard. Officers were searching the complex when they heard someone calling for help. They broke in and found the wounded man. The Oregonian reports he was taken to a hospital with serious injuries.