Deborah Clark, who was among those suing Hanford contractors over her cancer, has died.
Clark, 61, died Saturday of complications from thyroid cancer at a hospice in Longview, Wash., according to her mother, Betty Hiatt. She was among 1,500 Hanford downwinders who remained in the case, which was filed in 1990 against the contractors who released radioactive iodine-131 from Hanford’s plutonium factories in the late 1940s and 1950s.
Clark spent her childhood in northeastern Oregon, where she was exposed to the radioactive emissions. Just last week she was offered $10,000 to settle her case, based on an estimate she had received a low dose of radiation, less than 1 rad. Her lawyer, Steven Eymann of Spokane, said Clark received a far higher dose, 32 rads, and had sought $2 million. She amassed medical bills of $600,000 as her thyroid cancer spread to her bones.
The settlement issue hasn’t yet been resolved.
Last year, Eymann requested Clark’s case be expedited because of her failing health. U.S. District Court Judge William F. Nielsen denied that request.
Officer injured during arrest
A Spokane Valley police officer suffered a broken hand while arresting an unruly panhandler Saturday near Sprague Avenue and Robie Road.
Officer Jerad Kiehn was injured after he and other officers responded to several complaints about an aggressive panhandler. Matthew Zimmerman, 29, was resisting arrest when he ended up face-down on the ground with his hands under his torso, police said. Kiehn broke a bone in his hand while trying to dislodge Zimmerman’s hands.
Zimmerman was booked into Spokane County Jail on two counts of harassment and one count of resisting arrest. Police said it was the third time in recent weeks they have encountered Zimmerman violating Spokane Valley’s no-panhandling ordinance. One person reported Zimmerman had reached inside his vehicle and punched his dog.
Kiehn was released from duty after the arrest.
Man suspected of raping teenager
A reward is being offered for tips on a 33-year-old Spokane man suspected of raping a 15-year-old girl.
Tracy M. Bear is charged with unlawful imprisonment and two counts of second-degree rape for an alleged incident on Nov. 12.
The girl told police she met Bear at a park, then accompanied him to a party, where she said he raped her in a bathroom. A stranger opened the bathroom door, allowing her to escape, according to court documents.
The girl ran from the house, in the 2300 block of West Everett Avenue, screaming that she’d been raped. She underwent a sexual assault exam at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.
Bullet holes in Bear’s Suburban helped identify him as a suspect, documents say. A $75,000 arrest warrant was issued Feb. 2. Crime Stoppers issued a reward for tips on his location this week.
Bear, 5-foot-9 and 215 pounds, is considered by police to be a gang associate and has several felony convictions. Anyone with information on his location is asked to call (800) 222-TIPS or submit tips online at www.crimestoppers inlandnorthwest.org.