What’s news in the Northwest today:
UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. — An Amber alert has been canceled in Washington state after a slaying suspect on the run with his 9-month old daughter surrendered early today at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup. The Pierce County sheriff’s office says the baby is safe. The man, 23-year-old Joseph Andrew Lester, was jailed in Tacoma for investigation of the stabbing death of his 21-year-old girlfriend. The sheriff’s office says Lester fled with the baby Monday and left the woman’s 2-year-old son unharmed at the University Place home. The boy and baby girl are now in the care of the state. Authorities issued the Amber alert because they feared the baby could be hurt while she was with her father. His car was found abandoned Monday night in Tacoma.
Occupy Portland campers ousted from federal plaza
PORTLAND — For the second time, police in Portland have dislodged protesters who tried to expand the Occupy Portland encampment. Before dawn today, city officers helped Federal Protective Service agents clear a federal plaza next to two city parks where a tent city sprang up on Oct. 6. Nine people were arrested, and the tents they had erected the day before were removed. That followed the arrests early Sunday of 27 people who refused to leave a park in the gentrified Pearl District. The city has allowed protesters to camp on two city-owned park blocks but said they can’t occupy more.
Mine work suspended after underground death
BILLINGS, Mont. — Underground work has been suspended at a central Montana precious metals mine as federal safety inspectors investigate the death of a worker 1,200 feet underground. Stillwater Mining Co. spokesman John Beaudry describes Monday afternoon’s death as an isolated accident. He says no one else was injured and there was no collapse inside the mine. Beaudry says further details, including the identity of the miner, will be released once the family is notified. The body has been removed. The Mine Safety and Health Administration is investigating.
Ex- Cain spokeswoman hired by Idaho’s Labrador
BOISE — The former spokeswoman for Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain has gone to work for U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador. The congressman’s office issued a statement today saying Ellen Carmichael had been hired as the new communications director for Labrador, a Republican who represents Idaho’s 1st Congressional District. Carmichael most recently served as the chief spokeswoman and communications director for Cain’s presidential campaign. She joined Labrador’s office in Washington, D.C., on Monday. Carmichael’s job history includes a stint as a Louisiana coordinator for the group, Americans for Prosperity, which was founded by two billionaire brothers who bankroll right-leaning causes. She is from Baton Rouge, La.
It wasn’t a crime to secretly record Eugene cop
PORTLAND — An Oregon Court of Appeals ruled it wasn’t a crime for a man to secretly record his encounter with a Eugene police officer. The court ruled last week it wasn’t necessary for Shane Neff to mention his cellphone because the officer already said he was recording with his patrol car camera. The traffic stop in 2008 ended in Neff’s arrest when the officer noticed the recording. While the Cottage Grove’s man case is settled, his lawyer, Bronson James of Portland, told The Oregonian the issue of recording public servants is still bubbling. He says it may be an issue for the Legislature. Eugene police now say they won’t arrest anyone whose only perceived crime is secretly recording officers.
Man accused in police shootout jailed
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — A 31-year-old man charged in connection with a shootout with police has been released from the hospital and taken into the custody of the Bonneville County Jail. Scott Daniel Parker is charged with two counts of aggravated assault and other felonies. Prosecutors say he fled from police on Oct. 14 and exchanged gunfire with officers. Parker was hit three times in the shootout and hospitalized. Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputy Nick Contreras was also injured but was treated and released the day of the gunfight. The Post Register reports Parker was transported to the local jail on Sunday. He is being held on $1 million bond.
Lewiston man sentenced for counterfeiting
COEUR d’ALENE — The U.S. attorney’s office in Idaho says a 43-year-old Lewiston man was sentenced to 18 months in prison for counterfeiting. Jeffrey Lee Bentley pleaded guilty to the charge in June and was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge. The judge also ordered Bentley to serve three years of supervised release and pay a $3,000 fine. Prosecutors allege Bentley sold someone $1,800 in counterfeit currency from his home in Lewiston. Several days later, law enforcement officers searched his residence and seized two color printers, high quality paper and counterfeiting templates.
44 wolves killed by hunters so far
BUTTE, Mont. — State Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say Montana hunters have killed 44 wolves, including 33 since the Oct. 22 start of the statewide deer and elk rifle season. Montana’s first wolf hunt, held in 2009, netted 73 wolves. This year’s quota is 220. FWP Region 2 wildlife manager Mike Thompson tells The Montana Standard that hunting has been slow in two areas. Just two of the allowed 18 wolves have been killed in the West Fork of the Bitterroot River area, while one of 22 has been taken in the district that includes the Big Hole Valley and most of Granite and Deer Lodge counties. Agency spokesman John Fraley says he expects the harvest will pick up when it snows. The wolf season lasts for two more months.
Tacoma judge warns victim’s family not to pray
TACOMA, Wash. — At a Tacoma murder trial the judge admonished the family of the victim against praying outside the courtroom. KIRO-TV reports the judge told the family of Camille Love to be sensitive to the risk of influencing the jurors and forcing a mistrial. One defense lawyer said he heard the family praying Monday for conviction of the four defendants. Love’s father said they were just praying for justice. The 20-year-old Love was shot to death in February 2009 as she rode in a car with her brother. Police say the gunmen were rival gang members.
Prison inmates helping harvest Washington apples
SEATTLE — Some prison inmates are now helping harvest Washington’s apple crop, as growers take unusual steps to deal with a labor shortage. The Seattle Times reports 105 inmates from the Olympic Corrections Center in Clallam County started picking apples Monday at a Grant County orchard, McDougall and Sons in Quincy. The grower agreed to pay $22 an hour for each offender, but that also covers housing, transportation and guards. Offenders get the minimum wage with amounts deducted for child support and crime-victim compensation. The prisoners are living in tents with mobile showers and kitchens.
Boy delays return to school in hazing case
KALISPELL, Mont. — Kalispell schools superintendent Darlene Schottle says a 15-year-old boy charged with assaulting teammates on a freshman football bus has not returned to Glacier High School. Schottle tells the Daily Inter Lake the district and the boy’s family decided it was in all the students’ best interests for the boy to attend classes in one of the district’s alternative settings. The boy had been scheduled to return to classes Monday, which was the start of the second quarter. However, parents of three of the boys who reported being assaulted on the bus sought a temporary restraining order to keep the boy out of school. The judge denied the request and set a Nov. 14 hearing on the matter. Schottle says the boy will attend alternative classes at least until the hearing is held.