What’s news in the Northwest today:
SEATTLE — Seattle’s self-proclaimed superhero known as Phoenix Jones was arrested early Sunday and accused of assaulting several people with pepper spray. Police say they were attacked after leaving a nightclub. Officers arrest the 23-year-old. He was released on bond and is due to be arraigned Thursday. The seattlepi.com reports the man who wears a black and yellow costume was trying to break up a fight. Video shot by a friend shows he used the spray after he was attacked. Jones and supporters have been conducting late night patrols since last year in Seattle.
Idaho Vandals get new logo
MOSCOW — The University of Idaho has unveiled a new logo and is urging fans to “Throw the V,” a hand signal like a peace sign, to declare their support for Vandal athletics. The new logo is a gold stylized “V” with a black outline and a banner that says: THROW THE “V.” Athletics director Rob Spear says the new logo is “about Vandals connecting with other Vandals, showing their pride and building a tradition.” He says the university heard from fans who wanted something distinctive. He says they listened and created and licensed the new logo and phrase, which are now available on Vandal athletics merchandise. The new logo was unveiled for the university’s homecoming weekend. Louisiana Tech’s football team beat Idaho 24-11 on Saturday.
Motorcycle driver dies in Whitman County accident
A 65-year-old Post Falls man died of injuries he sustained during a three-motorcycle accident Saturday morning near Rock Lake in northwest Whitman County. The Whitman County Sheriff’s Office received a report at 11:35 a.m. Saturday that three motorcycles had crashed on Rock Lake Road near its intersection with Dewey Road several miles south of the Spokane County line. Ambulance crews from St. John, Rosalia and Cheney, in addition to a MedStar helicopter, were dispatched to the scene. Whitman County deputies arrived and determined that about 30 motorcycle riders from the Spokane-based Combat Vet Riders club had been participating in their final ride of the year at the time of the accident. According to the sheriff’s office, 64-year-old Harold Teufert of Newman Lake, Wash., was negotiating a turn on his motorcycle when it drifted onto the shoulder and fell down an embankment. The motorcycle rolled into a field and flipped over onto both Teufert and his passenger, 65-year-old Judy Teufert. The Teuferts were transported to Deaconess Medical Center in Spokane with serious injuries. Rick Downs, 65, of Post Falls, had been following the Teuferts on his motorcycle, which drove onto the gravel shoulder. He lost control of his motorcycle, crashed and was transported via MedStar helicopter to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, where he later died of his injuries. A third motorcycle, driven by 29-year-old Travis Lee of Spokane, was behind Downs and also lost control and crashed after entering the gravel shoulder. Lee was transported to Deaconess with a shoulder injury. The accident is still under investigation, but the sheriff’s office says alcohol is not believed to be a factor.
Idaho families facing higher food prices
BOISE — Idaho residents say they are cutting back on luxury food items like chips and ice cream because the rising cost of groceries is taking a bite out of their pocketbooks. The Idaho Statesman reports that food prices are trending higher, with beef setting back buyers some 10 percent more while fish and seafood has risen more than 8 percent. Boisean Sarah Nokleby used to be able to feed her five kids on $150 a week. She says these days, it costs $200 per week, at a minimum, something that’s prompted her to complain about it for a while to her husband. Nokleby is buying two newspapers every Sunday for the coupons and is buying some of her food in bulk, to help take the pressure off her purse.
Investigators trying to identify Bridgeport body
BRIDGEPORT, Wash. — Douglas County sheriff’s investigators are trying to identify the body of a woman found Saturday evening at an intersection near Bridgeport. The Wenatchee World reports detectives are treating the case as a homicide. She’s described as possibly Hispanic or Native American, in her 20s or 30s, 5-foot-4, about 140 pounds. She was wearing a silver-colored ring with a purple stone on her left middle finger and a square-faced watch with a black band on her left wrist.
Oregon autopsy may ID last body in NW crime spree
PORTLAND, Ore. — An autopsy today may confirm a body found in a Jeep in Oregon is a missing Washington man whose wife was killed in what a sheriff’s official has alleged was a “vicious, vile reign of terror” by the man’s son and the son’s girlfriend. The Jeep belonged to David Jones “Red” Pedersen. He’s been missing since last month, when his wife was found stabbed to death in their Everett, Wash., home. Pedersen’s 31-year-old son, David Joseph Pederson, and David’s 24-year-old girlfriend, Holly Grigsby, are being investigated in the slaying. They’re also being investigated in the death of a 19-year-old man who was found shot in the head near Corvallis, Ore. Grigsby and David Joseph Pederson were arrested Wednesday in California. They pleaded not guilty to weapons and auto-theft charges and are expected in court Tuesday for an extradition hearing. Yamhill County Sheriff’s Capt. Ken Summers said when the two were arrested a “vicious, vile reign of terror … has come to an end.”
Workers insist pot garden was within state law
MEDFORD, Ore. — Workers at an Eastern Oregon marijuana garden raided by local and federal police insist their operation was legitimate and that none of the pot found its way to the black market. Grower Tony Machado says the people growing at the marijuana garden near Central Point, Ore., were using it as medicine and stayed within Oregon’s limit of six plants per patient, the Medford Mail Tribune reports. The government says marijuana from Oregon providers is going on the black market, sometimes depriving people with state cards that allow them to use it for pain relief and other medical reasons. Drug Enforcement Administration agents took at least four dump trucks of marijuana from the property last week. The site featured more than 22 providers who grew for about 80 patients.
Body found at home of missing Bonney Lake woman
BONNEY LAKE, Wash. — Officers looking for a missing Bonney Lake woman found human remains in her home on Lake Tapps. Her boyfriend was arrested for investigation of homicide. KIRO-TV reports he had reported the 42-year-old woman, Mary Mushapaidzi, missing Sunday. He says she left home for a jog about 5:30 a.m. and did not return. The couple have a 2-year-old child. She also has an 8-year-old.
UW dorms feel the strain of largest freshman class
SEATTLE – The University of Washington’s largest ever freshman class has left undergraduate housing more crowded than ever. UW’s Housing and Food Services has had to strain to accommodate as many students as possible, reports The Daily of the University of Washington. There are 846 students living in Terry Hall this year, compared to 624 last year. Many rooms that once held two students have been converted to triples. There were 49 students on the waiting list and 71 students living in temporary housing in UW dorms as of last week. Many of those live in dorm lounges that have been outfitted with beds and converted into sleeping halls.
Diesel sheen reported on Lake Washington
KIRKLAND, Wash. — Responders worked to contain a diesel oil sheen on Lake Washington off Kirkland. The sheen was reported about 10 a.m. Sunday and measured about 100 feet by 30 feet. The state Ecology Department, Kirkland Fire Department and King County Sheriff’s Office arrived and deployed 900 feet of oil containment boom. The diesel appeared to have entered the lake through two storm drains. Responders plugged the drains to keep more diesel from entering the lake and were investigating the source of the oil. Ecology officials say all diesel spills cause environmental damage, regardless of size, and a single quart of oil has the potential to foul more than 100,000 gallons of water.
Horse’s tail hair cut
BELGRADE, Mont. — Belgrade-area resident Alisha Novotny says she knows it sounds mean, but she hopes her horse at least tried to kick the person that cut the hair off her tail. Novotny tells KTVM-TV that she noticed her mare, Raz, was missing the hair from her tail last Sunday morning. She says it looks like they grabbed pretty fast and chopped. Novotny says horse hair can be valuable, especially white hair like Raz has, for making belts and bridles and key chains. Gallatin County authorities say this isn’t the first time a horse owner as found an animal missing the hair from its tail.