What’s news in the Northwest today:
HELENA, Mont. — Audrey Bloomquist doesn’t even like cabbage. But the fourth-grade girl took pride in the small cabbage plant she received last May. As it grew, she transplanted it into larger and larger pots and then into the garden. She watered it and used a garbage can to protect it from hail. When she picked the cabbage it weighed 17 pounds, enough to win the statewide Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program. The Independent Record reports Bloomquist received a $1,000 savings bond from the Alabama-based company on Wednesday during an assembly at Rossiter Elementary. Agriculture in Montana Schools president Helena Hanson says the project helps children learn about nutritious food and where it comes from. Bloomquist says the cabbage was made into a big batch of coleslaw for a block party and the rest was made into sauerkraut and given away to friends.
Salem police: Dad drove to drug deal with toddler
SALEM, Ore. — An Aumsville man has been arrested after showing up to a marijuana deal with his 1-year-old daughter in the backseat of his car. Salem Police Lt. Dave Okada says 30-year-old Jonathen Hudnell had driven to a location to sell about a quarter-pound of marijuana. Police say his daughter was placed in state custody. KGW-TV reports that Hudnell in jail on accusations of drug possession and delivery. He is also accused of first-degree child neglect.
Idaho woman sentenced in vulnerable adult case
NAMPA, Idaho — A southwestern Idaho woman who pleaded guilty to exploiting a vulnerable adult by using the person’s credit card to buy a diamond ring and other items has been sentenced to up eight years in prison. Forty-six-year-old Adelita Urrabazo of Nampa was sentenced Tuesday in 3rd District Court, with Judge Juneal Kerrick suspending the prison sentence and ordering Urrabazo to serve 90 days in the Canyon County jail and 90 days on the sheriff’s work detail. Kerrick also ordered Urrabazo to repay nearly $9,000 and placed her on eight years of probation. Idaho Medicaid paid Urrabazo to take care of two clients in her home as part of Medicaid’s Certified Family Home program.
Yakima County sued over jail inmate suicide
YAKIMA, Wash. — Yakima County is being sued over the 2007 suicide of a jail inmate. The lawsuit filed this week in Yakima County Superior Court alleges 43-year-old Sandra Knight killed herself at the county jail because she didn’t get treatment for extensive mental health problems. Her estate filed the lawsuit. The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that county officials have declined to comment. Then-corrections director Steve Robertson said at the time that Knight had shown no tendencies to harm herself when officers checked on her 10 minutes before she was found.
Montana governor wants ethics case dismissed
HELENA, Mont. — Gov. Brian Schweitzer has asked that an ethics case against him be dismissed, citing “inexcusable delay.” Attorneys for the Montana Republican Party, which filed the complaint, say any alleged delay is primarily the result of the governor’s own litigation strategy. Former Commissioner of Political Practices Dennis Unsworth ruled in November 2008 that Schweitzer violated ethics laws by using state resources to tape a public-service announcement shortly after he filed for a second term. Unsworth said further evidence should be heard on how many violations occurred and what the penalty should be. Schweitzer’s request for a state judge to overturn the decision was rejected in December 2009. The case was dormant for months while the Republican Party hired a new attorney.
Man pleads guilty in fatal crash
MISSOULA, Mont. — A 25-year-old Missoula man has pleaded guilty to driving drunk and causing a crash that killed his best friend. KECI-TV reports Shane Carl Espinoza pleaded guilty in District Court Wednesday to negligent vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol and criminal endangerment for the Oct. 7 crash that killed 21-year-old Chason Buxton. Prosecutors say Espinoza was driving on U.S. 200 near Clearwater Junction when he turned left in front of another car. The second car slammed into the passenger side of Espinoza’s car, killing Buxton.
Oregon coach sentenced on sex abuse charges
EUGENE, Ore. — A Sheldon High School cross-country coach accused of having sex with a 15-year-old female student at the Eugene school has been sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison. Lane County Circuit Court Judge Ilisa Rooke-Ley told Chad Schacht Wednesday that he stole the victim’s innocence and his actions will be felt throughout the community. Schact apologized in court. The 40-year-old also teaches at Agnes Stewart Middle School in Springfield. The victim also spoke in court and said she is determined to recover from the difficult experience. Eugene police arrested Schacht in October on second-degree sexual abuse charges. The Register-Guard reports that he pleaded guilty to the felony charges last month.
E. Idaho motorists warned to watch out for elk
RIRIE, Idaho — Idaho Fish and Game is warning motorists using U.S. Highway 26 near Ririe in eastern Idaho to be alert for a herd of 300 elk that moved into the area. Spokesman Gregg Losinski says Fish and Game workers plan to move the elk back into the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area to get them away from the road. Losinski tells KIFI-TV that the elk are in good shape and aren’t starving, but sometimes when conditions are right the elk move into the valley.
Woman pleads not guilty to animal cruelty
LONGVIEW, Wash. — A Woodland woman has pleaded not guilty to a charge of animal cruelty for neglecting her horses. Jamie Hatfield-Taylor told the Longview Daily News after her arraignment Wednesday that she didn’t have money to take care of the animals. Humane Society officer Mike Nicholson said the two horses were in bad shape. One was overweight and couldn’t walk because its untrimmed hooves had grown too long. Her trial in Cowlitz County District Court is set for March 28.
Taser-carrying robber hits third location
BELLLINGHAM, Wash. — Bellingham police say a man carrying a Taser may be responsible for a third robbery in one week. Spokesman Mark Young says the latest incident happened Monday at a pizza restaurant. Police believe the same man previously hit a bakery outlet and a gas station. In all three cases, Young says the man demanded money and threatened to stun victims with a Taser. No injuries have been reported.
Wind project leases bring money to state schools
KENNEWICK — Wind turbines on state-owned land generated more than $1 million dollars in lease revenues last year. The Washington state Department of Natural Resources says the leases help pay for construction of kindergarten to 12th grade schools across the state. There are 108 turbines on state-owned lands generating about 191 megawatts of energy. KNDU-TV reports the turbines are in Benton, Kittitas, Klickitat, Walla Walla, Garfield, and Columbia counties.