What’s news in the Northwest today:
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — Some espresso stands with barely covered baristas in Kitsap County could be classified as adult entertainment. The Kitsap Sun reports it’s one option as the Department of Community Development responds to complaints about so-called sexpresso stands. If the stands are classified as adult entertainment they would have to post signs and check customers’ identification. The public will get a chance to comment this summer when the planning commission holds a hearing on the proposed regulations.
Prison guard says she had sex with Monroe inmate
EVERETT, Wash. — A woman who worked as a corrections officer at the Washington state Reformatory at Monroe pleaded guilty to custodial misconduct for having sex with an inmate. The Daily Herald reports Danette Skelton faces up to a year in jail when she is sentenced for Wednesday’s plea in Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett. Prosecutors says Skelton brought the man home-cooked meals and gave him a cell phone and had consensual sex while on duty. She resigned in December 2009 following a Department of Corrections investigation. The inmate is serving time for burglaries in King County.
Activist environmental group may target megaloads
LEWISTON — An environmental activist group is gathering in the Lolo National Forest next month and organizers say they may target oversized truckloads of oil refinery equipment traveling along U.S. Highway 12. Earth First! organizer Greg Mack of Moscow says the gathering is set to run July 5 through July 12 between the Idaho border and Lolo, Mont. Mack told the Lewiston Tribune that the day after every annual rendezvous the group performs an act of civil disobedience. He says that if the oversized trucks, dubbed megaloads, aren’t moving at that time, the group may choose a different subject. ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil wants to send more than 100 oversized loads on U.S. Highway 12. The Idaho Transportation Department hasn’t granted permission for the megaloads. It’s waiting on a recommendation from a hearing officer.
Body of Salmon woman found in Salmon River
SALMON, Idaho — Lemhi County officials say a body found in the Salmon River in central Idaho earlier this week has been identified as a 21-year-old Salmon woman who has been missing since late May. Sheriff Lynn Bowerman said today an autopsy confirmed the body found in the river near Elk City was that of Lela Knox, who was believed to have drowned when she was swept while trying to rescue a dog on May 25. Bowerman says hikers spotted the body Monday. The autopsy was done in Ada County and officials used dental records to confirm it was Knox. Bowerman estimated Knox’s body traveled 80 to 100 miles.
Lightning sparks fires, sends man to hospital
BOISE — Boise police say an electrical storm that moved through the Treasure Valley sparked small fires in the Boise Foothills while a man was reportedly struck by lightning and injured. Boise Fire Department spokeswoman Lynn Hightower tells the Idaho Statesman that a 48-year-old Garden City man was standing at the front door of his house holding onto a metal screen door frame when he was struck during Wednesday evening’s storm. He was semi-conscious when emergency crews arrived and his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. The thunderstorm sparked a 10-acre fire near the Ada County landfill along with a smaller fire. Hightower says both fires were contained by 11:30 p.m. and no buildings were threatened.
4 officers on leave after Idaho Falls shooting
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Four law enforcement officers are on administrative leave after a routine traffic stop ended with the suspect shooting at an officer and the officers returning fire, killing the suspect. Idaho Falls police tell KIFI-TV the leave for the two police officers and two Bonneville County deputies follows department policy. The shooting at Douglas Walter’s house last Friday started as a traffic stop that led to a car chase. Officers followed Walter into his house, where police say Walters shot Officer Malin Reynolds point-blank in the chest. A bulletproof vest saved Reynolds’ life. Officers returned fire, killing Walters. The shooting remains under investigation.
3 killed in rollover crash west of American Falls
POCATELLO, Idaho — The Idaho State Police says a minivan carrying 11 people went off Interstate 86 in southeastern Idaho and rolled several times, killing three people. The ISP says the crash happened just before 8 p.m. Wednesday in the eastbound lanes six miles west of American Falls. Officers say the crash killed the driver, 22-year-old Todd Shugart of Heath Springs, S.C., along with 20-year-old Kevin Lewis of Idaho and 22-year-old Christopher Middleton of Florida. Officials say 24-year-old Charles Alderman of Illinois and 20-year-old Zakery Spencer of South Carolina were taken by air ambulance to a Pocatello hospital while 19-year-old Steven Agee of Idaho was flown to a Salt Lake City hospital. Four others were hospitalized in American Falls while one sustained superficial injuries. None were wearing seat belts.
Bozeman bar to reopen 2-1/2 years after explosion
BOZEMAN, Mont. — A downtown Bozeman bar destroyed by natural gas explosion in March 2009 is scheduled to reopen next month. Co-owner Mike Hope tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle they’re going to have a big party to celebrate on July 26. The bar has been a fixture in downtown Bozeman since the 1900s. Hope says the bar’s historic sign is going to be put back up next week. Architect Steve Locati says the bar’s new design includes a 10-foot-wide door at the front of the bar that opens like a garage door and the bar will have a more historical and natural feel. The Sideline Grill is scheduled to open inside the bar. Santa Fe Red’s restaurant is expected to open in the fall in the same building.
Gregoire wrapping up European trade mission
SEATTLE — Gov. Chris Gregoire says her week-long European trade mission is well worth it, and meetings in Spain, France and Germany have expanded contacts and potential deals for Washington businesses. The trip included a stop at the Paris Air Show where she says Washington was recognized for its work in composite materials. She says state aerospace suppliers and labor representatives saw the international scope of competition; it’s not just Boeing versus Airbus. In a conference call with reporters today from Germany, Gregoire said the delegation also has made business contacts on wind power, automotive technology and life sciences. The trip is Gregoire’s sixth foreign trade mission. She is not seeking a third term and said she’ll use her final months in office helping restore the state’s economy and reducing unemployment.
Portland firefighters to begin shifts with stretch
PORTLAND, Ore. — Starting July 1 Portland firefighters will start their shifts with a 10-to-15-minute stretching exercise. The Oregonian reports the Portland Fire Bureau is requiring the program in an effort to reduce injuries. The city’s public safety disability fund is giving $23,000 to support the program. About 25 peer fitness trainers will encourage the morning stretching at each station. Sports chiropractor Todd Turnbull expects the stretching will reduce firefighter injuries by 20 percent.