August 31, 2011 in Region

NW today: Another human foot washes ashore in B.C.

Compiled from wire reports
 

What’s news in the Northwest today:

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Police in Vancouver, B.C., say a human foot inside a running shoe has washed ashore, the latest in roughly a dozen such cases since 2007. Police say the foot and leg bone were seen late Tuesday afternoon floating along the shore of Vancouver’s False Creek. Police so far have no theories about how the foot ended up in the water. In the past four years, about a dozen feet encased in shoes have washed up on beaches near Vancouver, along the southern Georgia Strait and off Washington state. Most of the remains are unidentified, although investigators said at least two of the feet belong to men who were reported missing. In previous cases, police said it appeared the feet separated from bodies naturally in the water and foul play wasn’t suspected.

Grizzly research season begins in Yellowstone

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — Trapping of grizzly bears for scientific research is set to resume in Yellowstone National Park not far from where a grizzly killed a hiker last week. Park officials say the research could help identify which bear killed the man. The regularly scheduled fall research season for the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team begins today and continues to Oct. 20. Yellowstone officials say the research involves baiting and trapping bears at several sites within Yellowstone. Once trapped, bears are sedated and studied. Trapping will begin near Yellowstone’s Hayden Valley. Park officials say scientists will mark the areas where trapping is taking place. They say park visitors should heed the signs and keep out of those areas.

Obama to make West Coast swing in September

WASHINGTON — A White House official says President Barack Obama will make a three-day West Coast swing next month. The president’s trip will start in Seattle on Sept. 25. He will also make three stops in California: San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles. Obama’s trip will wrap up in Denver on Sept. 27. The president’s travel schedule is picking up again following a summer that saw him largely stuck in Washington to deal with the contentious and protracted debate over raising the nation’s debt ceiling and cutting government spending. The official insisted on anonymity because the trip has not been officially announced.

Search on in Glacier National Park, hiker missing

WEST GLACIER, Mont. — Glacier National Park rangers say they have found a potential lead in the search for a 27-year-old seasonal park employee who did not return from a personal day hike in the southern part of the park. Jacob Rigby was reported overdue at 2 a.m. Monday and air and ground searches were launched. Rangers say it appears Rigby signed the summit register at Brave Dog Mountain on Sunday, which narrowed the search to the “extremely treacherous” area between Brave Dog Mountain and Mount Despair. The search was to continue today. However, it could be hampered by an incoming storm. The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the area from tonight through noon Thursday, with the possibility of snow at elevations above 6,500 feet.

Girl, 9, raises $1,000 to rehab Sunriver eagle

SUNRIVER, Ore. — An injured eagle named Patriot is expected to continue recovering at the Sunriver Nature Center, thanks to a $1,000 donation from a 9-year-old girl. Patriot was unable to fly or stand when it was found in June near Crane Prairie Reservoir. KTVZ reports the bird is back on his feet. The 9-year-old girl who hopes to be a veterinarian one day, Kira Neilsen, set up donation jars in Bend and elsewhere and raised the money she delivered Tuesday to help pay for medications and vet bills. Patriot will soon be moved to another facility for more rehab.

Washington ferry fares going up 2.5 percent in October

OLYMPIA — Small cars (shorter than 14 feet) will be charged a lower fare on Washington ferries and bike riders won’t need an annual permit under changes approved by the state Transportation Commission. Small cars would pay 90 percent of the standard vehicle fare when changes take effect Oct. 1, and the small car fare would drop to 70 percent in 2013. The bicycle permit is eliminated for passengers with monthly passes. The big change for most ferry riders will be a general fare increase of 2.5 percent in October and another 3 percent increase next May. Also a 25-cent surcharge will be added on every ticket to go into a fund dedicated for vessel replacement.

Cops still searching for Kamiah shooting suspect

NEZPERCE, Idaho — Authorities in north-central Idaho are still searching for a man charged with attempted murder in connection with a shootout in Kamiah. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says 40-year-old Steven R. Francis is charged with three counts of attempted second-degree murder in connection with a July 31 shooting that left Francis, 42-year-old Harold D. Smart, Doran C. Eslinger and Vernon O. Calhoun injured. Detectives said all but Francis were treated and released at an area hospital. The Lewiston Tribune reports that the Sheriff’s Office issued a statement Tuesday asking that anyone with information about Francis’ whereabouts call authorities. The Sheriff’s Office says the shootout took place after several men stormed a Kamiah residence in an apparent attempt to collect on a debt.

Person of interest in WA search for missing woman

STEVENSON, Wash. — The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office has released a sketch of a person of interest in the search for a California woman missing after this year’s Rainbow Family gathering. Fifty-four-year-old Marie C. Hanson of South Lake Tahoe was last seen on the evening of July 6 leaving the Gifford Pinchot National Forest with a man. The witness said he appeared to be in his 40s or 50s, about 5-foot-8 with a slim build. He wore many silver necklaces with medallions, had rings on his fingers and carried a cane. Hanson’s family said she made a spur-of-the-moment decision to attend a “peace rally” and lost touch with the neighbors who took her to southwest Washington. About 20,000 people attended the counterculture campout over the Fourth of July weekend.

Officials asking how website handles adult ads

OLYMPIA — Attorneys general in 45 states are asking a classified ads website to explain how it handles postings for adult services. The officials said in a letter to Backpage.com today that hundreds of ads on the site are for prostitution, and the site attracts people seeking to exploit minors. They want Backpage.com to prove it is monitoring the site to prevent illegal activity and to willingly provide information in lieu of a subpoena. Carl Ferrer, a spokesman for Backpage owner Village Voice Media, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. Craigslist closed its adult services section last year after attorneys general and others raised concerns it could not effectively screen out illegal ads.

Cold front helps firefighters in western Montana

HELENA — A cold front moved in to the region today, providing welcome relief to firefighters in western Montana but bringing strong wind gusts and red-flag fire conditions to the south-central and southeastern parts of the state. The front meant temperatures in the 60s this morning near Bonner, where fire crews battled a 3,700-acre wildfire. The crews planned to take advantage of the cool, moist conditions to attack the fire’s northern and eastern flanks directly. The fire was 45 percent contained and has cost $3.3 million since it was discovered Aug. 22 behind a subdivision seven miles east of Missoula. Its cause is under investigation. The front is expected to bring rain and even snow to higher elevations in northwestern Montana.

Idaho inmate to be resentenced in double murder

MOSCOW, Idaho — A man convicted a decade ago in the shooting deaths of his ex-wife and her boyfriend will be resentenced next month. A judge previously sentenced Dale Shackelford to death row in 2000 for the murders of Donna Fontaine and Fred Palahniuk. Their bodies were set ablaze and found in a garage in the small town of Kendrick. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled in a separate case that juries, not judges, must determine if defendants are eligible for the death penalty. That ruling prompted Idaho 2nd District Judge John Stegner to order a new sentencing for Shackelford. The Lewiston Tribune reports Stegner is expected to resentence Shackelford on Sept. 28. Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson has already said he will not seek the death penalty at Shackelford’s resentencing.

3 drownings this summer in river at Leavenworth

LEAVENWORTH, Wash. — The Burien teen who drowned while swimming over the weekend in the Wenatchee River at Leavenworth was the third person this summer to die in a short stretch of the river near a private campground. Chelan County sheriff’s Lt. Kent Sisson told the Wenatchee World that people underestimate the danger of white water and eddies around boulders, but he said the stretch of water near the KOA campground is probably no more dangerous than other parts of the river. In addition to the death of the swimmer, one man drowned when his kayak capsized in mid-August and a woman drowned in July when a raft flipped and she slipped out of her life jacket.


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