What’s news in the Northwest today:
PORTLAND, Ore. — A fiercely protective, elderly mutt is up for a national hero award for pestering her owner in the hours before he had a heart attack and then barking for help once it struck. Ceili, a 15-year-old Lab-mix, usually spends much of her day lounging in her home. But one steamy day last August, she clung to her owner, Danny Fincher, trotting behind him from room to room, sometimes blocking his path. When he sat down, she licked his arms and legs and then jumped on his easy chair, sniffing his breath. “She was driving me nuts,” he said. That evening, when he headed upstairs to bed, feeling knotted with indigestion, she nipped at his feet and pulled off a shoe, trying to prevent him from climbing the stairs. Moments later, Fincher suffered the heart attack. The dog ran into a back room where his wife was watching television. Barking furiously, Ceili darted between the two until Jewell checked on her husband and whisked him to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. Thanks in part to Ceili, Fincher was treated within 20 minutes of his attack. “There’s no question she saved my life,” said Fincher, 62. For her actions, Ceili was nominated along with nine other dogs for a “Dogs of Valor” award sponsored by the nationwide Humane Society of the United States.
Idaho plane crash in Sawtooth forest kills 2
TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Officials in Idaho’s Twin Falls County say both people on board an airplane that went down in the Sawtooth National Forest were killed. The sheriff’s office says search crew members discovered the bodies in the aircraft Wednesday afternoon. They were tentatively identified as 55-year-old Danny Joe Summers, of Sugar City, and 47-year-old Jodi Wyatt, of Rexburg. The plane crashed about a mile north of the Idaho-Nevada border and the wreckage was spotted by Civil Air Patrol pilots late Wednesday morning. The Idaho Transportation Department says the 1952 Korean War-era airplane left Wendover, Utah, at about 4 p.m. Tuesday and was expected in Idaho Falls by 5 p.m. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the crash.
Seattle paying $974,000 for police damage to home
SEATTLE — The city of Seattle has agreed to pay $974,000 to compensate a family for damage to their home that was hit by dozens of tear gas canisters as police were searching for the man who killed four Lakewood police officers. The Seattle Times reports about $250,000 goes to restore the home that was left uninhabitable. The rest compensates the family of Chrisceda Clemmons for other losses and expenses. She’s the aunt of Maurice Clemmons and called police when she thought he was heading for her home after shooting the officers in November 2009. Clemmons was not found at the home. He was later shot and killed in a confrontation with a Seattle police officer.
Megaloads travel through Missoula
MISSOULA, Mont. — Two huge loads of oil refinery equipment bound for Billings moved through Missoula early today as protesters tried to impede their progress. ConocoPhillips spokesman Rich Johnson flew to Missoula from the company’s corporate headquarters in Houston, Texas to watch the overnight move through the city. He called it a success. The loads, dubbed Lewis and Clark, began moving just before 1 a.m., traveled along Reserve Street and ended about 15 miles away at Interstate 90 at about 3:30 a.m. Two groups protested the move. The second protest was organized by Northern Rockies Rising Tide and the Missoulian reported two women sat in the street while 100 others stood in the way, halting the first megaload for about 10 minutes. One person was arrested.
10-year sentence for Gresham poker shooting
PORTLAND — A 67-year-old man who walked into the Gresham Eagles club and shot two men playing poker was sentenced Wednesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court to 10 years in prison. Carroll Lochiel Mayfield, a retired Gresham public utility worker, had pleaded no contest in December to attempted murder and assault charges. The Oregonian reports he told the court and his victims he had no explanation when opened fire on the crowd in January 2010. Defense lawyer Russell Barnett says Mayfield suffers from the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease and the shooting was completely out of character.
Dueling 911 caller arrested in Washington
PORTLAND — The Portland man who made headlines when he called 911Monday to report he had broken into a home is in trouble again, this time in southwest Washington. KPTV reports 24-year-old Timothy James Chapek was released from jail but failed to show up at his arraignment Tuesday on a trespass charge. Beaverton police say he stole a car from a BMW dealership. He was arrested at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday in Chehalis, Wash., where police say he was loading unpaid items into the stolen car. Chapek is held in the Lewis County Jail for investigation of burglary and possessing a stolen car. His brother, Caleb Chapek, told KPTV that Timothy Chapek has been showing signs of deteriorating mental health.
Vancouver police fire detective for misconduct
VANCOUVER, Wash. — Vancouver police have fired a detective accused of misconduct during the investigation of a relationship between another officer and an informant. The Columbian reports 38-year-old Det. Brian Billingsley was fired March 4 for making false statements, neglect of duty and unbecoming conduct. Billingsley is contesting the firing, and the Vancouver Police Guild has filed a grievance. The other officer, 43-year-old Erik McGarrity, resigned in November during the internal affairs investigation of his relationship with a woman who provided information about drug crimes and reportedly had a methamphetamine habit.
Yakama Nation Legends Casino expanding
TOPPENISH, Wash. — The Yakama tribal general council approved plans for a $90 million expansion to the Yakama Nation Legends Casino. KNDO reports work will begin this summer on the project that includes a 200-room hotel at the casino at Toppenish.
Police arrest woman in newborn’s decapitation
CENTRALIA, Wash. — A 25-year-old woman has been arrested for investigation of first-degree murder in the death of a baby boy born prematurely and found decapitated, Centralia police say. Laura Lynn Hickey was arrested Wednesday after a weeklong investigation, which included a post-mortem examination of the baby by a forensic pathologist. The pathologist concluded the 21-week baby was alive at birth but “suffered fatal injuries by decapitation,” Officer John Panco said Wednesday night. Police said the body was found March 2 under the kitchen sink in Hickey’s trailer home. Hickey was scheduled to appear today afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court. Panco said he expected she would be formally charged with first-degree murder. The Lewis County prosecutor’s office joined Centralia police in a statement announcing the arrest.
Oregon House set to vote on faith healing bill
SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon House is nearing a vote on a bill that would remove legal protections for parents who refuse medical treatment and rely on faith to heal their dying children. Lawmakers will vote on the measure today. The measure targets an Oregon City church with a history of children dying after their parents refused secular medicine in favor of religious rituals like prayer or anointing the sick with oils. The bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Carolyn Tomei of Milwaukie would eliminate faith healing as a defense for murder charges. It follows a 1999 measure that eliminated the faith healing defense from some charges of manslaughter, criminal mistreatment and nonpayment of child support. Parents found guilty of murder would be subject to long mandatory minimum sentences under Measure 11.
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