What’s news in the Northwest today:
OLYMPIA — The state Health Department says Jacob and Sophia were the most popular baby names in Washington in 2010, accounting for about 1 percent of the total. The department says Jacob was the first choice for boys this decade in every year but three. Sophia has been one of the top four names since 2007. Figures released today by the department show 416 of the 44,247 boys born last year were named Jacob, and 474 of the 42,233 girls were named Sophia. The next most-popular names for boys were Alexander, Daniel, William, Ethan, Logan, Benjamin, Liam, Elijah and Noah. The next most-popular names for girls were Olivia, Isabella, Emma, Ava, Abigail, Emily, Elizabeth, Madison and Chloe.
6 troopers hurt in Capitol protest
OLYMPIA — After compiling reports on Monday night’s demonstration at the Capitol in Olympia, the Washington State Patrol says a total of six troopers were injured in clashes with protesters, five more than first reported. The patrol says two were bitten and the other four others had bumps and bruises. In addition another state worker caught in a violent push had bruised ribs and minor facial injuries. The patrol estimated costs at $96,000 — $76,000 in straight time, $12,000 in overtime and $8,200 in travel costs for troopers from outside Olympia. Troopers arrested four people on charges including disorderly conduct and felony assault. They used Tasers on three people and issued 30 trespassing citations. Demonstrators opposing spending cuts and demanding higher taxes on the wealthy said they’d be back.
Occupy’s new tactic on the West Coast: squatting
SEATTLE — To continue their protests on wealth inequality, Occupy Wall Street demonstrators in Seattle, Portland and Oakland have taken up a new tactic: Squatting in vacant properties. Squatting marks a move away from the public demonstrations that have been a marquee of the national protest, one that is attempting to re-energize the protests in Oakland and Portland — two cities that have seen violent clashes with police and evictions from parks. But police have already moved in at least one city. Portland police officers have arrested more than a dozen people trying to squat in a home in the city. Occupy Portland Andrea Townsend says squatting provides a safe and warm place for demonstrators and keeps attention on the city’s homelessness.
Oregon corrections officer slain helping motorist
PENDLETON, Ore. — A prison guard driving to work in Eastern Oregon has been killed after stopping to help a man stranded by a car crash outside Pendleton. Authorities said Monday they have a suspect in jail. Police told the East Oregonian newspaper that 42-year-old Buddy Ray Herron, a guard at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution, died at a hospital in Pendleton after calling 911 to report he was attacked by someone he stopped to help late Monday at a car crash. The newspaper reported that police in Stanfield, Ore., arrested 22-year-old Joshua Charles Weeks of Multnomah County after a chase in Herron’s pickup truck. Umatilla County District Attorney Dan Primus says Weeks was jailed on one count of murder, and will be arraigned on Wednesday. Primus adds no firearms were involved.
Bicyclist falls on icy trail, gets nearly $100,000
FLORENCE, Mont. — A bicyclist who was injured when he hit a patch of ice and crashed on a pedestrian/bike path in Florence last winter has reached an out-of-court settlement worth nearly $100,000. The president of the Florence Park District says he’s disappointed in a system that allows a man riding a motorized bicycle on a winter night on a trail that doesn’t allow motorized vehicles to receive an insurance settlement. Half of the settlement came from a Florence bar because snow was pushed onto the trail when the bar parking lot was plowed. John Cornish tells the Ravalli Republic for a story published Monday that people should know riding a bike at night in winter is a little dangerous.
Idaho woman gets 8 years in beating, kidnapping
POCATELLO, Idaho — A Chubbuck, Idaho, woman was sentenced Monday to at least eight years in prison for her role in the beating and kidnapping of a woman who was thrown off a bridge into the Snake River on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. Authorities said Jamie L. Nappo, 18, and three others lured the victim to a Chubbuck apartment in April, then hit and kicked her and at times struck her on the head with a hammer. The victim told police she was then put into a car before being beaten again and dumped off a bridge and into a creek running. Sixth District Judge Stephen Dunn handed Nappo a sentence of eight to 18 years in prison following the guilty pleas to charges of first-degree kidnapping and principal to attempted first-degree murder. In separate plea agreements, all four people involved pleaded guilty to the same charges. Stephanie Christensen, 19, was sentenced last week to at least 12 years in prison for her role in the attack.
Wolf shot after attacking sheep in SW Montana
MILES CITY, Mont. — State wildlife officials say a collared black male wolf was shot on private property after attacking sheep in southwestern Montana. Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 7 spokesman Dwayne Andrews says the 2-year-old wolf was shot Sunday near Hammond. Montana laws allow people to kill a wolf in the act of threatening, attacking or killing livestock. The USDA Wildlife Services investigated and confirmed the wolf had killed one lamb and fatally injured another that had to be put down. The wolf was originally collared near Jackson, Wyo., in 2010, about 300 miles from where it died. On average in the northern Rockies, wolves disperse about 60 miles, but dispersal distances of over 500 miles have been recorded.
Mail truck driver jailed after Federal Way crash
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — The driver of a semi-truck hauling mail that crashed into construction work on Interstate 5 at Federal Way was jailed for investigation of driving under the influence. King County Jail records showed the 47-year-old Des Moines woman was held today on $500 bail. The Washington State Patrol says her truck was southbound Monday night at the Highway 18 interchange when it hit four Transportation Department trucks as workers were putting out barrels. One of the DOT drivers was taken to a hospital. KOMO reports the Ecology Department responded to help clean up diesel fuel that leaked from the damaged trucks.
Letter gives police new hope in solving cold case
BOISE — A tip contained in an anonymous letter has reinvigorated the investigation into a Boise man’s mysterious disappearance seven years ago, police say. Ahren “Benji” Barnard was last seen Dec. 4, 2004, at a McDonald’s restaurant on the city’s south side. He was last heard from later that day when he called his roommate on a cellphone. He left behind his cars, wallet and phone, police said. After recently receiving an anonymous letter, police are again asking anyone with information about the disappearance to help solve the mystery. A $1,000 reward also is being offered. Boise Police Sgt. Mark Barnett said mounting information suggests Barnard’s disappearance may involve foul play. He said detectives are following new leads, though he declined to elaborate or share details of the anonymous letter. Barnard was a gun dealer who also worked as a deejay in strip clubs, police said. He attended gun shows and was known to carry weapons, police said.
Post office seeks views on closing Pasco facility
PASCO, Wash. – Officials with the U.S. Postal Service want to hear from Tri-City residents at a public meeting tonight about the proposal to start sorting Pasco’s mail in Spokane. The postal service announced earlier this month that Yakima’s mail facility was moving to Pasco – a move expected to save $1.2 million – but officials still are considering moving Pasco’s facility to Spokane. Officials began a study Sept. 15 at the Pasco Mail Processing Facility to determine whether consolidating redundant operations would result in any efficiencies and cost savings. Initial study results support consolidating the mail processing operations at Pasco by taking advantage of available processing capacity at the Spokane Processing and Distribution Center.