In brief: Occupy Portland reduces camp
PORTLAND – Protesters with the Occupy Portland movement dismantled large sections of their encampment amid a heavy police presence Saturday before a midnight deadline to clear out of two downtown parks following a monthlong protest.
Demonstrators marched through downtown before an evening potluck, and demonstrators said they hope radical elements don’t use violence to overshadow the movement’s attempt to peacefully demonstrate its right to assemble.
But police with nightsticks and helmets were prepared for a possible clash, warning that dozens of anarchists may be planning a confrontation with authorities. Officers said they believe some demonstrators are building shields and trying to collect gas masks.
On Saturday, police released photos of wooden pallets with nails sticking outward and other “improvised weapons” they say they’ve seized.
Search widens for missing toddler
SEATTLE – Facing a dearth of leads in the disappearance of a Washington state toddler, investigators expanded their search efforts to a popular suburban park Saturday, combing through fields and brush as the boy’s mother continued to refuse to speak with police.
By late afternoon, the search began to wrap up with no sign of the boy.
Volunteers arrived early at Marymoor Park in Redmond. The 640-acre expanse on Lake Sammamish is one of the region’s most popular parks.
Teams fanned out in hopes of finding 2-year-old Sky Metalwala. Authorities had received no information leading them to the park but were searching there merely because of its proximity to the apartment complex where the boy lived with his 4-year-old sister and their mother, Julia Biryukova, Bellevue police Maj. Mike Johnson told a news conference.
Investigators also took another look Saturday at the area in Bellevue where Biryukova reported Sky missing last Sunday. No further clues were immediately turned up there, either.
Coldwater theft results in plea
SANDPOINT – A North Idaho woman has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $260,000 from Coldwater Creek.
Susan Alene Hopkins, also known as Susan Scott, pleaded guilty to one count of grand theft on Thursday. A second grand theft count is being dismissed as part of the deal, the Bonner County Daily Bee reports.
Authorities said the former Coldwater Creek executive used a company credit card to embezzle the money between 2006 and 2010. Police said she also took money from the Panhandle Alliance For Education between 2008 and 2010.
The 54-year-old Hopkins is scheduled to be sentenced in February.