April 6, 2012 in Region

NW today: UW cafeteria won’t take cash

From wire reports

NW today: UW cafeteria won’t take cash

What’s news in the Northwest today:

SEATTLE — A cafeteria on the University of Washington campus in Seattle no longer accepts cash payments.

It has switched entirely to the plastic Husky cards that the majority of students already use to pay for their meals.

The cashless move comes after more than $4,000 disappeared last month from a kitchen safe, KOMO reported.

School officials will see how well the cashless cafeteria works and decide whether to expand the practice next fall to other areas of the campus.

Jail deputy dies after boating accident

BOISE — A southeastern Idaho jail deputy who was hospitalized after a boating accident earlier this week has died.

The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement today saying 46-year-old Mark Weaver of Hamer succumbed to injuries he sustained during the accident Wednesday at Mud Lake. A witness reported Weaver fell into the lake off a sinking boat at about 1 p.m.

Emergency medical responders found Weaver wearing a life jacket but face down in the 48-degree water. He was taken to an Idaho Falls hospital.

Authorities say Weaver, who had been a Bonneville County deputy for six years, purchased the boat a few weeks ago and was testing it.

Former hospital foundation president charged with theft

GRANGEVILLE, Idaho — The former president of a Grangeville hospital foundation is charged with 10 felony counts of grand theft and computer crimes for allegedly withholding or transferring money from the Syringa Hospital Foundation into her personal account.

The Lewiston Tribune reports Laurie Anne Rockwell was served with a summons Wednesday. She is scheduled to appear in Magistrate Court next Tuesday. Rockwell is married to Idaho County Commissioner James Rockwell.

The criminal complaint does not state how much money is missing from the foundation’s events, thrift store and tuition assistance funds, but the charges allege Rockwell took more than $1,000 from each account between January 2008 and January 2011.

The case was investigated and is being prosecuted by the Idaho Attorney General’s office.

Mental evaluation ordered for ex-professor charged with assault

BOISE — A magistrate judge in Ada County has ordered a mental health evaluation for a former Boise State and College of Western Idaho professor who is charged with threatening employees of a Boise-area office supply store with a handgun last month.

The Idaho Statesman reports 4th District Magistrate Kevin Swain on Thursday ordered an evaluation of former Idaho physician Cynthia Clinkingbeard to determine if she understands the charges against her and can participate in her defense.

Clinkingbeard’s attorney told a judge last month his client was likely in a “hypo-manic state” during the March 16 incident at the Staples store.

The Idaho Board of Medicine revoked Clinkingbeard’s medical license in 2005 for increasing erratic behavior due to bipolar disorder.

Clinkingbeard, who is 58, faces three counts of aggravated assault and a weapons charge.

Trial delayed in Crow triple-homicide

BILLINGS — The trial of a 23-year-old man charged in a triple-slaying on Montana’s Crow reservation has been rescheduled again, this time for September.

Sheldon Bernard Chase is charged with shooting his grandmother, cousin and cousin’s boyfriend at their home near Lodge Grass last Oct. 4. He has pleaded not guilty.

The trial before U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull was originally set to begin in December 2011.

Chase’s court-appointed attorney David Merchant II says the defense needs more time to investigate the circumstances of the case.

The shootings allegedly followed a fight between Chase and his cousin’s boyfriend, 20-year-old Ruben Jefferson. Authorities say the shooting was witnessed by Jefferson’s 3-year-old son.

Chase was arrested a day after the shootings in Spokane.

Salmon populations healthy, feds say

SAN FRANCISCO — Federal regulators will allow plenty of opportunity for fishermen to troll for Pacific Coast salmon as biologists forecast a dramatic rebound in populations of the prized fish.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council on Thursday approved salmon seasons that provide ample fishing time for commercial and recreational anglers in California, Oregon and Washington over the next six months.

The council, which regulates Pacific Coast fisheries, chose the final set of regulations from three options approved last month.

The panel’s decision comes as biologists project big increases in salmon populations from the Sacramento, Klamath and Rogue rivers. Their forecast for chinook salmon returning to the Klamath this fall is about four times greater than average and the highest on record since 1985.

That marks a sharp turnaround from just a few years ago when steep declines in salmon stocks led to the largest fishery closures on record in 2008 and 2009.

Lack of landslide warning results in $1 million damages

BOZEMAN — A Gallatin County jury has awarded over $1 million in damages to two couples who unknowingly purchased property on an active landslide at a private ski resort and golf community in southwestern Montana in 2005.

Last summer, a judge found two companies that sold lots at Spanish Peaks guilty of breach of several consumer protection laws for failing to tell the couples about the landslide.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports a jury heard six days of testimony before deciding Thursday to award Donald and Darla Harbaugh nearly $565,000 and Mel and Charline Harbaugh $545,000 in damages from Spanish Peaks Holdings.

Spanish Peaks Holdings II LLC filed for bankruptcy protection in October claiming $10 million to $50 million in assets and $100 million to $500 million in liabilities.

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