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NW Today: Morton comment makes ‘Jeopardy!’ clue

Wed., April 4, 2012, 10:53 a.m.

What’s news in the Northwest today:

OLYMPIA — A state senator’s plan to split Washington in half is placing him in Double Jeopardy. Literally.

The long-running quiz show “Jeopardy!” used a clue in Tuesday night’s show that mentioned Republican Sen. Bob Morton. The Kettle Falls lawmaker has previously proposed breaking Washington into two states, arguing that people on the eastern half have different politics, cultures and economies.

Morton’s plan has never gotten any traction in the Legislature.

The proposal made an appearance in a “Double Jeopardy!” segment under the category “Proposed States.” The $800 clue said: “State Senator Bob Morton has proposed that Washington east of these mountains go its own way.”

A contestant got the correct response: “What are the Cascades?”

10-year-old dies playing ‘choking game’

KETCHUM, Idaho — A 10-year-old boy in Southern Idaho died from self-inflicted strangulation after playing a “choking game,” a coroner determined.

Austin Rasmussen of Dietrich was home alone in his bedroom at the time, said Lincoln County Deputy Coroner Mike Bright. Emergency medical personnel worked on the boy for about 45 minutes before he was pronounced dead shortly before 6 p.m., Bright said.

So-called choking games, sometimes called fainting games, involve intentionally shutting off the supply of oxygen to the brain with the goal of producing a temporary euphoria.

“He was not playing with other kids,” Bright said. “He was the only one in his room. Without other people being present, it’s difficult to come back.”

Bruce Willis: Ski area free to good owners

KETCHUM, Idaho — In the past two years, actor Bruce Willis has put his lavish central Idaho home and his nearby bar and nightclub on the market for a combined $19.5 million.

Now he says he’s willing to give his Idaho ski area away for free — to the right recipient.

The actor best known for his roles the Die Hard series and Sixth Sense has owned Soldier Mountain ski area near Fairfield, Idaho since the late 1990s. The Idaho Mountain Express ( ) reports that Willis recently told Camas County officials that he’s willing to give the ski area to a local nonprofit organization.

John Palan with the Soldier Mountain Recreation Association says his group hopes to get enough help from donors, sponsors and new members to take over the ski area’s operation.

Officials in Texas, Montana sort through Ryan Leaf probation

GREAT FALLS — Ryan Leaf will stay in jail in Great Falls a while longer while Texas prosecutors work with their Montana counterparts to revoke the ex-quarterback’s probation on 2010 drug charges.

Probation and Parole Office regional administrator Dawn Handa told the Great Falls Tribune that the 30-day hold gives authorities the time they need to send information between states.

The former Washington State and NFL quarterback was arrested last Friday and Monday on separate allegations that he broke into homes and stole prescription medication. Probation and parole officials placed a 72-hour hold on Leaf after the second arrest. It was extended on Tuesday.

Handa says offenders supervised by two states can be held without bail for up to 30 days.

A hearing set for Wednesday on Leaf’s probation status was canceled.

Seattle council consideres breastfeeding protection

SEATTLE — The Seattle City Council is taking up the issue of breastfeeding in public.

At its Wednesday afternoon meeting, the council is considering an ordinance to prevent discrimination against breastfeeding mothers.

Under the proposal, KING reported, it would be against the law to tell a mother to cover up, move or leave an establishment when she’s breastfeeding. A person found guilty would have to pay a fine or take a class.

The council is expected to vote on the ordinance at next Monday’s meeting.

Washington residents got pieces of lottery pie

OLYMPIA — Nobody in Washington won last week’s record Mega Millions jackpot, but eight people in the state won $250,000 each, and 21 won $10,000 each.

The Washington’s Lottery says more than $15 million in Mega Millions tickets were sold for Friday’s drawing.


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