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NW today: PNNL improves breast cancer tests

What’s news in the Northwest today:

RICHLAND, Wash. – Research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory may lead to more accurate early detection of breast cancer. Scientists at the Department of Energy laboratory in Richland have refined blood tests that could indicate whether abnormalities found in mammograms are likely to be cancerous or benign. Although early detection of breast cancer saves lives, screening for breast cancer also produces false alarms that are stressful for patients and may require surgery or other invasive or expensive procedures to determine there is no cancer. But PNNL researchers showed in a small study that a panel of proteins shed by breast cancer can easily be detected using diagnostic tools already in clinics and can indicate whether a lump is likely to be cancerous or benign.

North Idaho woman shot to death, boyfriend arrested

BONNERS FERRY — Boundary County officials say a woman was shot to death in her house south of Bonners Ferry and her boyfriend was arrested after calling 911 to report the shooting. The sheriff’s office says 43-year-old Anna Old died Friday. County officials say 61-year-old John August Funkhouser of Oregon called 911 at 1:45 p.m. Friday to report the shooting. He was later arrested. The Bonner County Daily Bee reports Old’s death is being investigated by the sheriff’s office and the Idaho State Police. No charges have been filed.

Boeing 787 lands safely after landing gear trouble

Boeing’s new 787 wide-body plane, which just started carrying paying passengers, ran into its first technical glitch Sunday when the landing gear failed to deploy. The pilots of Japan’s All Nippon Airways used “an alternate procedure that worked,” according to Lori Gunter, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based Boeing Co. The plane landed safely and there were no reported injuries. “We are aware of this matter and are on-site in Japan with ANA offering whatever assistance they require,” Gunter said. “Maintenance was conducted and the airplane has returned to service.” ANA is the first — and so far only — airline to fly the new jet. It started using the plane on short shuttle flights within Japan last week. The plane, which relies heavily on lightweight carbon composites, was more than three years behind schedule. The plane was built using manufacturers around the globe and then assembled at Boeing’s Everett, Wash., facility.

Luna to testify to Congress on education law

BOISE — Public schools chief Tom Luna says he has been asked to testify before Congress on the reauthorization of the nation’s governing education law. Luna, who is president-elect of the Council of Chief State School Officers, says he will be traveling later Monday to Washington D.C., where there has been some progress in rewriting No Child Left Behind — although it’s unclear whether Congress will act this year. Idaho was among three states that vowed earlier this year to ignore the latest requirements under the law, saying they set unrealistic benchmarks. President Barack Obama in September said that since Congress had failed to rewrite the law, he was allowing states that meet certain requirements to get around it. Forty states have since said they intend to seek the waivers.

Bird hunter hit by shotgun pellets

YAKIMA, Wash. — The Yakima County sheriff’s office says a man who was hunting quail and pheasant near Mabton, Wash., Sunday afternoon with a large family group was accidentally shot and wounded. When several birds flushed, the shooting commenced and the 45-year-old man was hit in the face and hands with pellets. He was treated at a Sunnyside hospital, transferred to a hospital in Yakima and is expected to recover. The sheriff’s office says the accident could have been prevented by following common firearm safety practices.

Off-duty Secret Service shooting on Mercer Island

MERCER ISLAND, Wash. — Police say an off-duty Secret Service agent fired a shot at a person he thought was videotaping his daughter through a window at their home at Mercer Island. Police say the agent went into his backyard Sunday night and identified himself as a police officer. When the suspected peeping Tom made a furtive movement the agent fired. It’s unknown if the suspect was hit. The person ran off. A track by a Seattle police dog indicated the person went to a street and fled in a vehicle.

Another Occupy Portland group denies bank attack

PORTLAND — After a group that labeled itself “The Real Occupy Portland” claimed responsibility for vandalizing two banks in Portland on Saturday night, another group with the same name is denouncing the crimes. Portland police received an email at 3:01 a.m. Sunday from “The Real Occupy Portland and the 99%” that distanced itself from those who claimed responsibility for vandalism at the Chase Bank and Wells Fargo Bank branches. The Oregonian reports the email sent to police on Sunday says the group is a non-profit organization established five days ago. The group writes that it does not condone either vandalism or violence.

Vehicle carrying 8 plunges 125 feet into creek

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Authorities in eastern Idaho say a Chevrolet Suburban carrying eight people plunged 125 feet off State Highway 31 and into Pine Creek. Sgt. Jeff Edwards of the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office tells the Post Register that at least two of the occupants were flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center after the 9 a.m. crash on Saturday while six others were taken to the medical facility by vehicle. Idaho State Police identified the driver as Holly Galbraith of Jackson, Wyo. Edwards says all the occupants were female. Police say the roadway was covered with snow when Galbraith lost control and crashed through a guardrail. Edwards says it’s likely the Suburban rolled multiple times on the steep, rocky terrain. Edwards says some 40 emergency responders took part in the rescue.

Fish die after vandals damage reservoir valve

BOISE — Idaho Fish and Game officials say vandals damaged regulating equipment at Blacks Creek Dam, causing the reservoir to drain and killing the fish. The damage was discovered at the reservoir southeast of Boise recently by workers with the Pleasant Valley Irrigation Co., but it is believed to have happened this summer. The valve controlling water flow is normally closed at the end of the irrigation season, allowing the reservoir to refill and maintain enough water to sustain bass, bluegill, crappie and yellow perch. However, the outlet was jammed open. State fisheries biologist Art Butts said Friday the irrigation company hopes to have repairs completed by the end of the month so the reservoir can refill. The agency hopes to restock the reservoir next spring.

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