August 6, 2012 in Region

NW today: Horse dies in Omak qualifying race

Associated Press
 

What’s news in the Northwest today:

OMAK, Wash. — A horse has died after injuring its leg while attempting to qualify for the World Famous Suicide Race at the Omak Stampede, according to The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle.

The newspaper said the horse Little Big Man stumbled at the bottom of the race hill Friday as it entered the Okanogan River. The horse, owned by Jerry Ford of Wellpinit, was attempting to complete the final qualifying test for the races later this week.

Pete Palmer of the Owner’s and Jockey’s Association told the Chronicle that the owners, jockeys and horses train hard for the race and a loss impacts the entire racing community.

The association sanctions the Suicide Race, which began in 1935. Three horses died in 2004, the last year a horse was lost.

Wash. legal marijuana group launches TV campaign

SEATTLE — A group pushing a measure to legalize and tax marijuana in Washington state is launching a three-week television ad campaign.

New Approach Washington, the group behind Initiative 502, says the advertisement will begin airing throughout Western Washington on Wednesday, during KING and KOMO-TV’s early morning news and during Comcast NBC Sports Morning.

The advertisement features a woman who says she doesn’t like marijuana, but it’s a multimillion-dollar industry that doesn’t benefit the state. She says that if marijuana is taxed and regulated, the state would control the money — “not the gangs” — and it could go toward schools and health care, while freeing up police to go after violent crime.

Voters in Washington, Colorado and Oregon are voting this fall on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Outed candidate withdraws from Idaho House race

BOISE — A Democratic state House hopeful who was accidentally outed as a bisexual by a party colleague earlier this year has withdrawn from his race.

Nate Murphy of Pocatello had sought election in District 29.

In March, he was accidentally outed after Idaho’s only openly gay lawmaker, Sen. Nicole LeFavour of Boise, told The New York Times that Murphy would be taking up her legacy.

Murphy’s former campaign manager, Ryan Hand, said personal issues prompted the 23-year-old candidate’s departure from the race, not the outing.

Murphy also had faced questions about a marijuana conviction five years ago.

Hand declined to provide specifics behind the decision to exit the race, and Murphy didn’t return a phone call.

Southeastern Idaho Democrats are seeking a replacement for Murphy to run against Republican Dave Bowen.

Mountain lion shot, crashed through door in Baker

BILLINGS — State wildlife officials shot a mountain lion after it crashed through a glass storm door at a house in Baker and then hid in the basement.

The Billings Gazette reports the mountain lion was shot Sunday as it crouched underneath a porch after an effort to tranquilize it failed.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks warden Todd Enders says a dispatcher called Isabelle Jacobson on Sunday morning to warn her that someone spotted a mountain lion in her yard.

Jacobsen says her husband slipped out the door to go pick up their daughter, who had walked to church. About the time he reached his vehicle, the mountain lion crashed through the door.

The family dog barked at the cat, which bolted for the basement. It fled the house after the tranquilizer dart failed.

Vann’s appliance store files for bankruptcy

MISSOULA — Appliance and electronics retailer Vann’s Inc. has filed for bankruptcy to give it time to reorganize its finances.

The Missoulian reports Vann’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Sunday after it lost a key credit line from GE Capital Solutions.

Company CEO Jerry McConnell says First Interstate Bank has agreed to provide financing while Vann’s is in Chapter 11.

McConnell says the filing should not affect its store or website operations.

McConnell, who has experience turning companies around, became Vann’s CEO in June.

Vann’s was founded in Missoula in 1961 as an appliance store. It grew to an electronics and appliance store with retail stores in Billings, Bozeman, Kalispell, Hamilton and Missoula. The company closed its Helena store in March.

3 weekend drownings in Western Washington

SEATTLE — Waters were deadly for at least three people enjoying warm weekend weather in Western Washington.

A man died while swimming with friends Saturday at American Lake. The News Tribune reports he was identified as 27-year-old Leuma Keke of Lakewood.

A 19-year-old rescued by divers from Lake Tapps died Sunday night at a hospital. Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer told KOMO he was under water for more than 15 minutes.

A 60-year-old water boarder fell in the water and died Sunday afternoon at Spencer Lake in Mason County. The sheriff’s office says John E. Eads of Puyallup apparently suffered a seizure.

A 15-year-old was underwater for about 30 minutes Sunday before he was pulled out of Steel Lake at Federal Way. KIRO-TV reports he was taken to a hospital.

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