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In brief: Dock similar to that washed up in Oregon

Sun., Dec. 30, 2012, midnight

A scientist who examined the dock that has washed ashore on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula said it looks just like the one that came ashore on a central Oregon beach last summer.

John Chapman, an assistant professor of fisheries at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, said Friday the Washington dock has the same dimensions and configuration as the one near Newport, Ore.

But there was no commemorative plaque to identify where it came from.

The Oregon dock broke loose from a Japanese fishing port in 2011.

Chapman said 30 marine species were identified on the Washington dock – more than 100 were found on the Oregon dock. He said the Washington dock was in the ocean longer, and fewer species from Japan survived.

Oregon officer injured severely in Mexico

EUGENE – A Lane County sheriff’s deputy who was severely injured while vacationing in Mexico has returned to Oregon.

The county said Drew Wattier was moved to a long-term care facility in Portland from San Diego on Thursday. He is not awake, but officials say he has made “great progress” in recent days.

Wattier’s wife, Michelle, remains at a San Diego hospital, where she is now awake and able to talk with medical staff and family. The county said both face a long rehabilitation period.

The couple were hit by a speeding car outside their hotel Nov. 30, according to the Register Guard. The driver fled.

‘Three Cups of Tea’ co-author sues insurer

HELENA – The co-author of the best-selling book “Three Cups of Tea” and his charity are suing their insurer over the cost of defending their legal woes.

Greg Mortenson and the Central Asia Institute say in their lawsuit that Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. should pay for the attorney fees amassed in defending a civil lawsuit alleging parts of Mortenson’s biographical book were fabricated.

They also said the insurer should cover the cost to defend a Montana attorney general probe into whether Mortenson benefited from the charity.

An appeal is pending after U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon dismissed the lawsuit.

520 bridge tolls raise $50 million in one year

SEATTLE – The state Department of Transportation says bridge tolls on state Route 520 have brought in $50 million since tolling began a year ago.

Saturday was the first anniversary of the electronic tolling system.

Transportation officials predicted traffic on the bridge would be cut in half as drivers found other ways across Lake Washington. But a year later, bridge traffic has risen to 70 percent of pre-toll volume.

The tolls are being collected to help pay $1 billion needed for construction of a new bridge.


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