What’s news in the Northwest today:
KENNEWICK — Cheri Schumann would like Kennewick High School’s class of 1971 to know she is very much alive. A story in Saturday’s Tri-City Herald about Kennewick High’s reunion focused on seven classmates who were slain out of 80 who had died. Schumann — now Cheri Taylor — was included. But Taylor lives in Mill Creek, north of Seattle, with her husband and four children. She says she’s happy, healthy and not ready to be buried. Reunion co-chairwoman Debra Blum told the newspaper the report of Taylor’s premature demise came by email, apparently from another classmate. Blum says she used other sources to verify it. Blum says another classmate listed in Saturday’s story — Leo Marcel — also wasn’t murdered. He died in 2004 after a lengthy illness.
Kucinich tells Washington state he doesn’t like nukes
POULSBO, Wash. — During a visit to Washington state over the weekend, U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich made it clear he doesn’t like nuclear weapons or nuclear power. But he did nothing to clear up his political plans in the state. Kucinich spoke in Poulsbo to about 100 people at the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action next to the Navy base at Bangor on Sunday evening. The Kitsap Sun reports this was Kucinich’s fifth visit to Washington in recent months. There is widespread speculation that the seven-term Ohio Democrat plans to run for Congress in this state after redistricting in Ohio is likely to put him among a sea of new Republican-dominated districts in that state.
Tacoma woman turns sand sculpting into career
TACOMA — After graduating from college in 2008, Sue McGrew found herself a job through a lucky accident. When the economy collapsed, the 25-year-old Tacoma woman started to travel around and compete in sand sculpting contests. Because the number of sand sculptors is so small, McGrew tells The News-Tribune, artists are compensated for participating in competitions. McGrew’s job allows her to travel the world, leaving her apartment in Tacoma empty much of the time. She has been in 25 competitions since 2006 and has placed in eight, most recently in Port Angeles, where she finished second. She’s scheduled to take part in the International Sand Sculpting Contest in Federal Way from Aug. 18-28.
Woman missing after rafting accident on Payette
BOISE — Gem County officials are searching for an 18-year-old woman who is missing after a weekend rafting accident on the Payette River. Dispatchers say seven adults and a child were floating the river north of Emmett with three rafts that were tied together Sunday evening, when one of the rafts hit a log and overturned. It was later when the group realized the 18-year-old was missing. The report of the missing woman was called in at about 9:30 p.m. Sunday. A search that began Sunday evening was called off when it got too dark. The search resumed today morning by boat with assistance from an airplane. The missing woman’s name and hometown haven’t been released.
Paraglider dies in crash near Squak Mountain
ISSAQUAH, Wash. — A paraglider died in a crash near Squak Mountain State Park in Issaquah over the weekend. King County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. John Urguhart says the 53-year-old Renton man died at the scene Sunday evening around 7 p.m. Witnesses told authorities they saw the paraglider gliding on what appeared to be a thermal current, and watched as he came toward them in a northeasterly direction. Then suddenly the wing of the paraglider started twisting and spinning out of control and it collapsed about 40 to 50 feet above the ground before crashing in a pasture. The man’s name has not been released.
Officials ID Glendive family killed in crash
GLENDIVE, Mont. — Officials with the Silvernale-Silha Funeral home in Glendive have released the names of a woman and two children who were killed in a two-vehicle crash on Raynolds Pass, near the Montana-Idaho border. The victims are 42-year-old Gerri Anderson of Glendive along with her children, 12-year-old Shelby Anderson and 5-year-old Jacob Anderson. The Montana Highway Patrol says the Andersons’ vehicle failed to negotiate a curve on Highway 287 south of Cameron at 11 p.m. on Aug. 3. The vehicle crossed into the southbound lane and collided head-on with a semi tractor-trailer. The driver of the semi was not injured.
Coeur d’Alene leaders may ban e-cigarette sales to kids
COEUR D’ALENE — The city of Coeur d’Alene is considering banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. The electronic cigarettes allow the user to heat nicotine, herbs or other substances and ingest the active ingredients without actually burning the substance. Proponents say e-cigarettes are healthier than smoking and can be used to help people quit, but groups including the American Lung Association say more needs to be studied before they can be called a safer alternative or even a cessation step. The Coeur d’Alene Press reports that anti-smoking advocates including Natalie Forsyth with the American Lung Association of Idaho have asked the city to enforce a ban in the spring. The advocates feel that banning sales of the devices to minors will send an important message to kids about smoking in general.
Sept. 2 sentencing set in 8-year-old boy’s death
BOISE — A Boise woman and her then-boyfriend, convicted of their roles in the 2009 death of the woman’s 8-year-old son, are scheduled to be sentenced early next month. Sentencing for Melissa Jenkins had been set for Thursday. She pleaded guilty in January to aiding and abetting the second-degree murder of her son, Robert Manwill. Prosecutors said Jenkins knew Daniel Ehrlick was beating her son and did nothing to stop it. The Idaho Statesman reports her sentencing has been rescheduled to Sept. 2 due to scheduling conflicts with defense attorneys. Ehrlick is to be sentenced on Sept. 2 after being convicted of first-degree murder. He faces up to life in prison. Jenkins’ plea agreement calls for a 25-year prison term.
Grand Teton rangers rescue 2 hikers by helicopter
GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — Rangers say two hikers had to be rescued in separate incidents at Grand Teton National Park on Saturday. Seventy-year-old Robert Martin of Birmingham, Ala. slipped while hiking down a snowfield in Garnet Canyon after deciding against climbing the Grand Teton. The Jackson Hole Daily reported that an emergency medical technician and a nurse who were nearby helped treat him and a Teton Interagency helicopter was called in to rescue him. Around that time, rangers learned that a 34-year-old hiker — Heather Hanamaikai of Rexburg, Idaho — was descending on her own after falling ill while trying to summit the Grand Teton. She ran into the nurse who helped Martin, who advised her to wait for help. Rangers hiked with her to Garnet Canyon where she was picked up by the helicopter.
Boat stopped twice for boating under influence
SEATTLE — The Washington State Patrol says two different drivers of the same boat were arrested for boating under the influence during a four-hour stretch at Seafair this weekend. During a patrol to catch impaired boat operators on Lake Washington, the boat was stopped for two different reasons on Sunday. Both times a driver was taken to the King County Jail under investigation of boating under the influence. Multiple agencies including local marine patrols and the U.S. Coast Guard stopped 554 boats during the weekend. They made 71 arrests for boating under the influence.
Seventh DUI sends Richland man to prison
KENNEWICK – A Richland man with a history of drunken driving is going to prison for four years and three months after his seventh DUI conviction. Karl David Givens, 49, was sentenced in Benton County Superior Court after his guilty plea to felony driving under the influence. This time it was charged as a felony because he had four prior DUIs within the past 10 years based on Washington law. He had two other DUIs before that. According to court documents, Kennewick police Officer Brian Banner was off duty April 3 when he noticed a car driving through Kennewick that was “all over the roadway, swerving from fog line to skip line.” Banner followed the car, driven by Givens, to Columbia Center Boulevard, where it swerved across three lanes. Givens then got onto Highway 240 and sped up to 90 mph while crossing over four lanes, documents said.