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In brief: Woman dies 11 weeks after crash

Wed., Sept. 7, 2011

A Spokane woman who was hospitalized after a June car crash died Saturday.

Laura E. McHoes, 85, died at 6:40 p.m. at St. Joseph Nursing Center, according to a Washington State Patrol news release.

The June 20 crash occurred about 8:30 a.m. west of Spokane, the news release said.

McHoes, driving a Dodge Neon, was eastbound on South Spotted Road. She stopped at West Airport Drive before attempting to cross the road and collided in the intersection with Joseph Perry, 28, who was driving a Jeep Liberty.

McHoes was transported by ambulance to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, and later to St. Joseph Nursing Center, the news release said. Perry and his passenger, Laura Perry, 28, both of Happy Valley, Calif., were taken by ambulance to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Lake Coeur d’Alene drawdown starts

Avista began its annual fall drawdown of Lake Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday.

The lake will be gradually lowered approximately a foot over the course of September, and an additional 1  1/2 feet each month until the lake reaches its winter level. Avista officials said property owners and boaters should take measures to secure docks and boats in anticipation of lower lake levels.

The slow drawdown will increase Spokane River flows downstream of Post Falls and will slightly decrease river levels between the lake and Post Falls Bridge. Spill gates at the Post Falls Dam will not be opened during the drawdown, and the river should remain open for recreation until November. However, river users should be aware that water levels can fluctuate at any time depending on weather and dam operations, officials said.

For more information about water levels, call Avista’s hotline. In Idaho, the number is (208) 769-1357; in Washington it’s (509) 495-8043.

Youth hunting clinics include mentors

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has scheduled three mentored waterfowl-hunting clinics for those ages 15 and younger.

The hunts are planned for Sept. 24, the opening day of the annual youth-only waterfowl season. The mentored hunting clinics will be held at Boundary Creek Wildlife Management Area, Heyburn State Park and the Clark Fork River delta.

Space is limited and reservations are required. For the Boundary Creek and Heyburn hunts, contact Dave Leptich at (208) 769-1414. For the Clark Fork hunt, contact Ray Millard at (208) 264-5252.

Young hunters will need to be accompanied by a nonhunting adult and bring a shotgun and ammunition. Prior to the event, young hunters will also need to purchase a youth or small-game license ($7.25) with a federal migratory bird permit ($1.75). 

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is also seeking experienced waterfowl hunters willing to assist with the clinics. To volunteer, call either of the numbers listed above.

Grant helps toughen sex offender laws

The Kootenai County prosecutor’s office received a $494,000 grant from the U.S. Justice Department to prosecute people who sexually abuse and exploit children and to enforce sex offender registration laws.

The two-year grant will be used to set up a task force to investigate and prosecute child-victim crimes in Idaho’s five northern counties, said Prosecutor Barry McHugh.

The grant from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services is through the Child Sexual Predator Program, a news release said. McHugh wrote the grant as a cooperative venture between law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. attorney’s office and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Other agencies that are partners in the proposal include the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department; the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police; the Rathdrum, Spirit Lake and Post Falls police departments; and the sheriff’s and prosecutor’s offices of Shoshone, Boundary, Benewah and Bonner counties.

Medical assistance for poor gets boost

The Kootenai County Board of Commissioners and Kootenai Health executives signed an agreement Tuesday to ensure state-mandated medical services for the poor would be properly funded.

The County Assistance program has been underfunded in the past, and this year’s appropriation has almost been depleted, the commissioners said in a news release. The commissioners held a budget hearing Aug. 8 to appropriate $1.01 million to cover that shortfall, the release said.

In addition, next year’s budget was increased by $1.12 million to $2.66 million in order to fully fund the county’s obligations. The county provides emergency medical assistance to qualifying indigent residents for rent, utilities, dental extractions, prescriptions, burial and cremation, and medical and hospital expenses.

As part of the agreement, the hospital agreed to accept a 12 percent reduction in expenses due this fiscal year and a 10 percent reduction for next year, the release said.

Fire danger high for Cascades, Olympics

SEATTLE – The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for a high level of wildfire danger today over much of Washington’s Cascade and Olympic mountains. A combination of low humidity and warm temperatures could create the potential for explosive fire growth, the weather service warned.

On the Olympic Peninsula near Port Townsend, fire crews contained a wildfire that burned about 30 acres. That fire had threatened several waterfront homes, but state Department of Natural Resources spokesman Bryan Flint says no homes were lost.

Also on the Olympic Peninsula, a 150-acre wildfire closed the Duckabush and Mount Jupiter trails in the Brothers Wilderness Area. No structures were threatened by that fire.

Both fires are believed to be human-caused.

Trooper helps clear smelly mess on I-5

SEATTLE – A Washington State Patrol trooper checking a report of a lost load slowing traffic in north Seattle found a pile of bloody fish heads spilled across several lanes of northbound Interstate 5.

So Trooper Jaime Arnold grabbed a shovel and set to work Tuesday evening, KOMO-TV reported.

A state Transportation Department camera showed him scooping the fish heads and moving them off the highway, even dodging cars entering the freeway as he made repeated trips to the side of the road.

About 10 minutes of shoveling cleared the road, and Arnold headed back on patrol.

State Patrol spokeswoman Julie Startup said it’s not clear where the fish heads came from.


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