What’s news in the Northwest today:
BOISE — Two long-term residents of a Boise homeless shelter have gotten married. The Idaho Statesman reports about 50 people gathered Sunday in a city park to witness Verdell Stirm and Robert “Stretch” Anderson exchange vows. Stirm and Anderson have lived at the Interfaith Sanctuary for about five years. Sanctuary director Jayne Sorrels says the bride and groom are like den parents at the shelter and are committed to helping people when and where it’s needed. Shelter residents and volunteers pitched in to pay for a reception and a wedding cake. Stirm says her recently approved disability benefits will provide enough money to pay for a modest home for the couple. She says they have no expectations because they’ve had nothing.
Officials: Flooding increases West Nile threat
GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Authorities say flooding in Montana this year has increased the breeding habitat for a type of mosquito that carries West Nile virus. Weed and Mosquito Management administrator Ryan Arkoudas says the increase in standing water elevates the risk of mosquitoes transmitting the virus to people and animals. Culex tarsalis, a species of mosquito that carries the virus, typically shows up in mid- to late July and stays until August. Jim Murphy of the state Department of Public Health and Human Services tells the Great Falls Tribune that it’s difficult to predict how many West Nile cases there will be. Last year, there were no human cases reported in Montana. This year, there have been no reports of animals or people being infected.
Sea-Tac expanding space for international arrivals
SEATAC, Wash. — Sea-Tac Airport plans a $24 million expansion of it terminal for international arrivals. But the two-year project to add waiting space, baggage-claim devices and immigration inspection booths is seen as a midterm step to deal with an increasing number of flights from Asia and Europe. Airport officials want airlines to pay for a much bigger expansion that would cost hundreds of millions and take five to seven years to complete. The Seattle Times reports one problem with the current layout is that passengers are forced to claim their luggage twice after going through immigration at Sea-Tac. Airport officials discussed the plans at a June meeting of the Port of Seattle commissioners.
Precision Castparts to buy Primus for $900 million
PORTLAND, Ore. — Precision Castparts Corp., a manufacturer of metal components for the aerospace, power and general industrial markets, said it has agreed to acquire aerospace component supplier Primus International for $900 million in cash. Primus, based in Bellevue, Wash., supplies components used to manufacture wings, fuselages, engine-related assembly, passenger and exit doors, flight controls and other aircraft parts. The company, owned by private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners, has about 1,500 employees across seven manufacturing locations, including three in the Seattle area. Precision Castparts said Primus’ customers include Boeing Co. and Airbus. Precision Castparts said the acquisition is expected to close in its fiscal 2012 second quarter and will immediately add to earnings.
Fire damages View Point Inn at Corbett
CORBETT, Ore. — The Multnomah County Rural Fire Protection District says the fire Sunday that damaged the historic View Point Inn at Corbett was accidental. Chief Tom Layton says it was started on the roof by sparks from the chimney. The Oregonian reports the fire damaged the roof, attic and third floor. The first and second floors have smoke and water damage. No one was injured. The inn overlooking the Columbia River Gorge is a frequent wedding site and was featured in a “Twilight” movie.
Whatcom County man accidentally shoots grandson
BELLINGHAM, Wash. — The Whatcom County sheriff’s office says an 11-year-old boy was shot by his grandfather Sunday when they were target shooting in the back yard of a home near Custer. The handgun jammed and then fired as the man was trying to clear it. The bullet hit the boy in the abdomen. KING reports he’s in serious condition after surgery at St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham.
Bulldozer rolls on 81-year-old driver in Hillsboro
HILLSBORO, Ore. — An 81-year-old Hillsboro man was pinned under the bulldozer he was operating Sunday afternoon when it rolled off a 15-foot embankment. Hillsboro Fire and Rescue says firefighters dug underneath the bulldozer to rescue the man. He was taken to a hospital and is expected to recover.
Three Forks councilman arrested on assault charge
BOZEMAN, Mont. — A Three Forks city councilman has been charged with assault after being arrested on suspicion of choking and pushing a woman. Councilman Matt Jones pleaded not guilty last Tuesday to the charge in Gallatin County Justice Court. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports he was released on a $500 bond after spending two days in the county jail. Court documents say Jones got into an argument with the woman at 5 a.m. on July 3. He allegedly choked her and slammed her arm in a door. Jones told deputies he had pushed the woman and she kicked the door open. Three Forks Mayor Gene Townsend says he doesn’t think Jones violated his oath of office and the councilman is not likely to be punished by the city.
Jerome wastewater plant under EPA scrutiny
JEROME, Idaho — The city of Jerome is trying to find a solution to overflow problems at its wastewater treatment plant heavily used by the dairy industry that could bring fines of up to $37,500 a day from the Environmental Protection Agency. The Times-News reports the plant’s filters clogged in December. Then, partially treated water entered a discharge canal in February. Idaho Milk Products, Jerome Cheese and Darigold put a combined 1.68 million gallons of wastewater a day through the plant. The wastewater goes through a membrane filtration system that became clogged earlier this year by a foreign substance. City Administrator Ben Marchant says officials have to come up with a solution quickly to show the EPA the city is doing something about the problem. Initial estimates put the work at $3.25 million.
Derelict barge aground in Columbia River near
ASTORIA, Ore. — The Coast Guard and Corps of Engineers are assessing a derelict barge that broke away from a mooring Sunday near The Dalles Dam and went aground in the Columbia River east of the Hood River Bridge near Lyle, Wash. The Coast Guard says the barge was recently inspected and is free of hazardous material. There is no pollution threat. Contractors secured the barge just before midnight Sunday. The Coast Guard plans to have the barge towed away from the navigation channel.
High-climbing Lacey 6-year-old rescued from tree
LACEY, Wash. — A 6-year-old climbed about 40 feet up a neighbor’s cherry tree in Lacey, but he got stuck and couldn’t climb down. A homeowner heard him calling for help Sunday evening. Firefighters arrived and reached him with a ladder extended from a truck. KOMO-TV reports the boy promised firefighters he wouldn’t climb the tree again.