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NW today: Gas spills in Idaho tanker crash

What’s news in the Northwest today:

LOWELL, Idaho — A weekend fuel tanker crash along the Lochsa River in northern Idaho spilled about 850 gallons of gasoline, but none is believed to have reached the water. The tanker driven by Marco Williamson of Florence, Mont., failed to negotiate a curve and crashed about 8 a.m. Saturday on U.S. Highway 12 about 29 miles east of Lowell. Lewiston Fire Department engineer and paramedic Mike Schmidt tells the Lewiston Tribune the tanker was carrying diesel fuel and gasoline, but only the gasoline tanker was breached. About 2,000 gallons of diesel was recovered along with half of the estimated 1,700 gallons of gasoline. Schmidt says crews placed about 200 feet of absorbent booming in the river as a precaution, but the spill site was about 75 feet of the water.

Elk hunter missing near Mount St. Helens

STEVENSON, Wash. — Skamania County sheriff’s searchers are looking for an elk hunter missing near Mount St. Helens. The sheriff’s office says 56-year-old David Sherwood of Onalaska was reported overdue Friday evening when he did not return from hunting in the Ryan Lake area of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. His vehicle was found Saturday on a Forest Service road. Nearly 80 people, including friends and family members, searched Sunday, and the search was set to resume at daybreak today. The sheriff’s office says heavy snow at times has limited visibility in the area which is steep and heavily timbered.

Man killed in avalanche near Snowbird

SALT LAKE CITY — A skier from Montana has been killed in an avalanche at Snowbird Ski Resort in northern Utah. Unified Police say 38-year-old Matthew Jamie Pierre of Big Sky, Mont., was killed while snowboarding near Gad Valley on Sunday afternoon. Unified Police spokesman Lt. Justin Hoyal says there is no avalanche control on the mountain because the resort has not yet opened for the winter season. The Deseret News reports that at least five avalanches have been reported in the Cottonwood Canyons since Saturday. The newspaper reports Pierre was a professional who set a world record cliff-jump in 2006 when he jumped 255 feet and landed on his head in the snow. He has also appeared in skiing films.

Oil speculation spreading to Rocky Mountain Front

HELENA, Mont. — Speculation that the oil-rich Bakken shale formation may extend as far west as the Rocky Mountain Front has sparked increased leasing of land along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains and in north-central Montana. Primary Petroleum president Mike Marrandino says his company has been interested in exploration along the Front since about 2005, but it was the results from three test wells released in February 2010 that is spurring the latest land rush on oil leases. Marrandino tells the Independent Record the test wells estimated there were 13 to 15 million barrels of recoverable oil per square mile. The oil is shallower and more accessible than the oil in the Bakken formation, which is fueling an oil boom in eastern Montana and western North Dakota.

BSU green fuel club beats own speed record

BOISE — Members of the Boise State University green fuel club Greenspeed beat their own record by creating a truck that can drive 155 miles an hour on vegetable oil. The Idaho Statesman reports the truck is the world’s fastest vegetable oil-powered vehicle. The team first broke the record on Saturday, when the truck was clocked at 139 miles per hour during the Southern California Timing Association Event in El Mirage. On Sunday, the revamped 1998 Chevy S-10 pickup truck was clocked at just over 155 miles per hour. Greenspeed hopes to prove that vegetable oil is a viable source of energy and works as well as fossil fuels. The team competes next at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah next summer.

Woman wounded in Bonney Lake shootout dies

TACOMA, Wash. — The Pierce County medical examiner’s office says the woman who was wounded in a Sunday afternoon shootout with officers at Bonney Lake died of her injuries at a hospital. She’s identified as 38-year-old Holly Crahay of SeaTac. She fled a traffic stop and a deputy forced her into a guardrail on Highway 410. The sheriff’s office says Crahay opened fire on the deputy and a Bonney Lake police officer who returned fire, fatally wounding her and killing a pit bull dog. The deputy suffered a cut face after a bullet went through his car window. The News Tribune reports Crahay was wanted in King County for violating a protection order, felony harassment-domestic violence and unlawful possession of a firearm.

5 Idaho students cited for tossing caustic liquid

REXBURG, Idaho — Police have cited five college students for tossing plastic bottles filled with caustic liquid over the fence of an apartment complex and hitting one man in the face on the Brigham Young University-Idaho campus in Rexburg. The Rexburg Standard Journal reports 19-year-old Christopher M. Kiernan, Jr. and 18-year-olds Danny M. Scaife, Cody Weaver, Austin K. Chapman and Brandon M. Sharkey were each cited earlier this month for disturbing the peace. All five suspects are students at Brigham Young University in southeastern Idaho. Police say the liquid was thrown over the fence at a campus residence hall on Oct. 25 and splashed one man in the face. He was treated by paramedics, who administered first aid and were able to prevented injuries to the man’s face.

Tension between Whatcom farmers, Border Patrol

SEATTLE — There’s an uneasy truce along the U.S.-Canadian border in Whatcom County. Both sides are trying to reduce tensions. The sides in this dispute are swarming Border Patrol agents and farmers who feel their lands — if not their rights — are being trampled. The Seattle Times reports the patrol has backed off the low-level late-night helicopter patrols that rattled residents. One man who shined a spotlight on a helicopter in September 2010, Wayne Groen, was convicted of interfering with the operation of an aircraft and sentenced to two months in federal detention. Hundreds of residents protested and complained of being treated like drug runners or illegal crossers. The Border Patrol says it’s trying to be more responsive by listening to complaint and holding community meetings.

Elk hunter kills friend west of Falls City

DALLAS, Ore. — The Polk County sheriff’s office says a hunter accidentally shot and killed his friend after mistaking him for an elk in heavy vegetation in a rugged area of the Coast Range west of Falls City. Deputies, assisted by county, Corvallis and Salem search and rescue experts, removed the body Sunday of the 32-year-old Newport man, Felipe Amado Fernandez Galicia. He was killed Saturday about a mile-and-a-half from the nearest road. The shooter is a 24-year-old co-worker of the victim from Albany. The sheriff’s office says Fernandez Galicia was driving a bull elk ahead of him when his friend mistook him for the elk and fired. Fernandez Galicia was hit in the back and died at the scene. The victim was wearing light-colored clothes and no orange.

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