In brief: Driver in I-90 car crash hospitalized
A Spokane Valley man crashed his car down an Interstate 90 embankment near Post Falls on Wednesday afternoon, according to Idaho State Police.
The driver, Donald R. Cochrane, 75, was taken to Kootenai Medical Center. His vehicle, a 2012 Mazda, traveled into the median and hit a concrete retaining wall between the bridges near milepost 2, according to ISP. The car came to rest against the barriers along Pleasant View Road.
Cochrane was wearing a seat belt.
Avista announces heating subsidies
Avista Corp. is providing $326,000 for heating assistance through Project Share and 19 other organizations in Eastern Washington, the company announced Wednesday.
Project Share provides emergency heating subsidies for qualified residents across Avista’s service area, which includes North Idaho, Eastern Washington and parts of Oregon.
It will distribute $226,000 donated by Avista and its employees. The program is administered by SNAP in Eastern Washington and by community action programs in other areas of the region.
Another $100,000 from Avista will be directed to 19 agencies that provide residents with emergency energy costs. That money will be provided through Avista’s CARES program and will be distributed across the region by groups including Cancer Patient Care, the Spokane Tribe of Indians, the Salvation Army and others.
The $100,000 comes from a state utility tax credit Avista receives associated with low-income energy assistance programs.
Crapo offers no details on DUI arrest
BOISE – U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho is headed back to Washington, D.C., to participate in negotiations over averting the so-called fiscal cliff and doesn’t plan to immediately provide details about what led to his arrest early Sunday on suspicion of drunken driving.
The Republican lawmaker’s spokesman in Boise, Lindsay Nothern, said Crapo was traveling Wednesday after spending Christmas with family in Idaho Falls.
The three-term senator is accused of registering a 0.11 percent blood-alcohol level on a breath test after running a red light in Alexandria, Va., where the legal limit is 0.08.
Nothern says Crapo plans to eventually provide more information about his arrest. He provided no timeframe but indicated it could be several days.
Crapo, who is 61, faces a Jan. 4 court hearing.
Woman recovering from fall into well
WATERVILLE, Wash. – An 83-year-old woman who fell into a backyard well on Christmas Eve is resting at a Wenatchee hospital in satisfactory condition.
The Wenatchee World reports Ernestine Eggers plunged into a well just off her family carport in Waterville and spent about 20 minutes in cold water before she was rescued.
An emergency crew found her close to unconscious, sitting in a few feet of water at the bottom of the well.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Couey said Eggers and her husband routinely remove snow from their driveway by shoveling it into the opened well. The woman stumbled into the well Monday after the lid was left off.
Missing couple found safe in Oregon
SALEM – A couple reported missing after failing to arrive at their daughter’s Redding, Calif., home for Christmas Eve dinner were found safe about 400 miles away in Oregon.
The Oregon State Police said the 85-year-old man and 83-year-old woman were found late Christmas night in their car, which ran out of gas on Interstate 5 near Woodburn. Police said the two seemed confused and were taken to Salem Hospital for medical evaluations.
The daughter who was hosting the Christmas Eve dinner told police her stepfather was picking up her mother at a care facility, and the drive to her home should have taken about 10 minutes.
Libraries won’t fine kids for overdue books
BELLINGHAM – Whatcom County library officials want to encourage kids to read, so they have decided to stop issuing fines for overdue library books in the two public library systems as of Jan. 1.
The Bellingham Herald reports library officials want to support early learning by getting library cards into youngsters’ hands.
Parents have told library staff that fines make them reluctant to get library cards for their children.
The change will affect card holders 17 and younger, who check out children and teen materials.
Youths who fail to return items on time will be notified that they’re overdue. They will be charged the cost of replacing items that are 60 days overdue.
Young people still will face overdue fines if they check out materials meant for adults and don’t return them in time.
Man overboard south of Kodiak Island
JUNEAU, Alaska – The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a crewman missing more than 12 hours from a vessel bound from Washington state to eastern Asia.
KINY-radio reports he fell from the boat carrier Aqua Splendor.
The Coast Guard took a distress alert from the vessel Tuesday night when it was 300 miles south of the city of Kodiak.
Crew members threw floatation devices to the man overboard to assist him and to mark the location.
The Coast Guard launched a C-130 aircraft to assist in the search but foul weather forced the airplane back to its base.
The vessel APL China responded and helped search.
The Coast Guard had planned to resume searching Wednesday but inclement weather kept its plane grounded.