November 21, 2011 in Region

NW today: 17 arrested for cock fighting

Compiled from wire reports
 

What’s news in the Northwest today:

GOLD BAR, Wash. — Police have arrested 17 people at a home east of Gold Bar who are suspected of involvement in a cockfighting operation. Monroe Police Department spokeswoman Debbie Willis says about 50 roosters found in cages and cardboard boxes on the property were confiscated. The Everett Herald reports the Sky Valley Enforcement Team made the arrests about 12:30 p.m. Sunday with the help of other police agencies. The arrests were timed with an apparent cockfighting event planned for Sunday afternoon at the site. Wills says the enforcement team acted on a tip and spent more than two months investigating the operation. In addition to those arrested, four people fled when police arrived and are being sought.

North Idaho school hit with 2 football injury suits

SANDPOINT — A school district in north Idaho is preparing to defend itself against a pair of lawsuits over injuries suffered by junior varsity football players. The civil lawsuits were filed last week in 1st District Court against the West Bonner County School District. One case accuses junior varsity coach Jake Stark of tossing a full plastic water bottle at a player’s face during a halftime pep talk, causing a laceration and concussion. The other alleges a player suffered permanent vision damage after being struck in the eye with a football during practice. The lawsuit claims the player underwent surgery for a detached retina three days after the injury. The Bonner County Daily Bee reports the suits seek damages of more than $10,000. School officials did not immediately return messages today.

Junk food bad for brown pelicans who don’t migrate

PORTLAND — Junk food handouts from humans are tempting formerly endangered brown pelicans into staying on the Oregon coast when they should be migrating south. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says the pelicans are getting sick off hotdogs, donuts and potato chips. The pelicans were on the federal Endangered Species List until 2009, threatened by the insecticide DDT. The pesticide was banned, but junk food poses a new threat, the Oregonian reports. Tall, rough waves keep them out of the ocean, where they find their typical diet of fish. That would typically send them south to California, but wildlife biologist Herman Biederbeck says the handouts encourage the birds to stay on the coast.

Boy, 4, OK after wandering from grandma’s house

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Four-year-old Anthony went on an adventure in east Vancouver early Sunday morning and was found by a passer-by at 2:55 a.m., Vancouver police reported. He said he had a bad dream while staying at grandma’s. He was wearing his Spider-Man pajamas, a black coat and a backpack with his blanket. He was carrying a blue metal flashlight, said Vancouver Sgt. Mike Chylack. He was discovered at Northeast Third Street and 104th Avenue, not far from a Walmart store. The temperature was near freezing. Police took the boy to a nearby Arco station and bought him chips and hot cocoa, then to a police station. There, he watched cartoons and ate an orange. His mother called 911 at 7:22 a.m. and soon was reunited.

Man dies of hypothermia after pickup crash

GENESEE, Idaho — Latah County officials say a 34-year-old Juliaetta man died of apparent hypothermia after leaving his stranded vehicle to seek help. Officials say Lee F. Roberts was driving his pickup truck on a south Latah County road at about midnight Friday when slick conditions caused the pickup to go off the road and get stuck. Roberts and his passenger were unable to free the truck and he left around 2:30 a.m. to go for help. After four hours, 30-year-old Dawn Moore of Moscow went looking for Roberts. She found him unconscious and covered in snow about a half-mile from the pickup. A passing motorist took Moore to a grocery store, where she called 911 at about 7:30 a.m. He was taken to the hospital, where he died at 10:40 a.m. Saturday.

Fired deputy files wrongful discharge lawsuit

SANDPOINT — A Bonner County sheriff’s deputy who was fired after his son was shocked briefly by his stun gun is suing the county for wrongful discharge. The Bonner County Daily Bee reports attorneys for Corey Cotter filed the lawsuit in 1st District Court on Friday. Cotter was fired last year after his 4-year-old son kicked his stun gun when he was “spark testing” it in April 2010, causing the boy to be briefly shocked. Cotter told his superiors about the incident. An internal investigation found Cotter violated several department policies. County officials do not comment on pending litigation. Cotter filed a $500,000 tort claim against the county last year.

Police officer’s daughter dies in 2-vehicle crash

SMITH’S FERRY, Idaho — The Idaho State Police report an 18-year-old University of Idaho student died in a two-vehicle crash on state Highway 55 south of Smith’s Ferry. KIFI-TV reports the victim, Sarah Asmus, is the daughter of Blackfoot Police Capt. Kurt Asmus. The ISP says Asmus was a passenger in a car that lost control on a curve Saturday morning. The vehicle fish-tailed and crossed into the oncoming lane, where it was struck by a pickup. The pickup driver was unable to avoid the crash. Asmus died of her injuries on Sunday.

Busy Montana track resumes service after derailment

GLASGOW, Mont. — Railroad tracks are open again along a busy Montana line after a large derailment was cleared. Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas says the line was reopened around 9:30 p.m. Sunday. He says a 70-car freight train derailed Saturday night in a remote area about 25 miles west of Glasgow. No one was injured as the 11 segmented cars, the equivalent of about 40 normal sized rail cars, went off the tracks. A jumble of overturned and crushed cars along with the general freight they contained was spread along a 750-foot stretch of track. Melonas says heavy equipment operators spent the day pushing the wreckage away from the tracks. He says officials haven’t yet determined the cause of the derailment.

Oregon food stamp use surges, leads nation

Oregon has surged to the top of a category that no state wants to lead: the percentage of its residents who have turned to food stamps. Nearly one in five Oregon residents, or 18 percent, reported using food stamps over the course of a single year, according to a new survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. Oregon is among a handful of states – and the only one in the West – where more than 15 percent of residents received food stamps, according to the survey. The others are Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Tennessee and West Virginia.

400 Oregon state employees missed furlough days

SALEM, Ore. — About 400 Oregon state employees failed to take enough furlough days in the last budget period. The Department of Administrative Services says they will not be penalized. Legislative coordinator Marjorie Taylor says they’ll be warned of disciplinary action if they miss their next round of furlough requirements. A union spokesman, Don Loving of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, told the Statesman Journal the 400 employees — a little more than 1 percent of the workforce — is probably a reasonable number considering the complexity of scheduling the furloughs. Another 10 furlough days are scheduled this budget period. The next is Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Each furlough day is estimated to save the state $2 million.


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