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In brief: Nine kids contract whooping cough

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, has been confirmed in nine Kootenai County children, ranging in age from 3 months to 15 years old, a news release from Panhandle Health District said. None of the children has been hospitalized.

“Most of the sick children have not been immunized,” said Dave Hylsky, epidemiologist for the health district, noting that pertussis is highly contagious in group settings.

The pertussis vaccine is 60 to 80 percent effective, said Cynthia Taggart, a spokesperson for the health district. However, the release said, the vaccine has been shown to prevent more serious symptoms.

Pertussis is particularly dangerous for children younger than 1.

Pertussis starts with a runny nose and watery eyes but the cough takes over in a week or two.

Anyone with symptoms should contact a doctor, the release said. The disease is spread through coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others. People remain contagious for up to three weeks after the cough starts. Antibiotics can kill the infection and prevent spreading.

Arrests expected in rash of burglaries

Arrests are expected soon in the rash of nearly 100 residential burglaries that have occurred over the past couple of months in Kootenai County.

Detectives have located and recovered large amounts of suspected stolen jewelry this week and have started contacting victims to identify it, a news release from the county Sheriff’s Office said.

Items were recovered in pawn shops as well as in the homes of the suspected burglars.

Investigators must confirm the property belongs to the victims before proceeding with arrests, Detective Division Commander Lt. Lee Richardson said in the news release.

Woman admits aiding burglars

A Bonners Ferry woman pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Coeur d’Alene to acting as a lookout for burglars.

Twyla Dawn Basil, 33, will be sentenced Jan. 31 on the charge of misprision of a felony, which carries a maximum punishment of up to three years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to one year of supervised release, a U.S. Department of Justice news release said.

According to a plea agreement, Basil served as a lookout for burglars who went into a home and stole guns, the release said. The case was charged in federal court because the crime occurred on tribal land and the victim and Basil are members of the Kootenai Tribe.

Yellowstone roads to close Monday

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. – Roads to most of Yellowstone National Park’s popular tourist spots, including Old Faithful, are scheduled to be closed Monday for the winter season.

After the roads are closed, park staff are expected to begin preparing for limited, commercially guided snowmobile and snow coach travel starting Dec. 15.

The only park road open to vehicles all year is the section from the north entrance at Gardiner, Mont., through Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction and the Lamar Valley, on to the park’s northeast entrance and the communities of Silver Gate and Cooke City, Mont.

Most visitor services in the park have already ended for the season.