What’s news in the Northwest today:
KENNEWICK — A fight outside a downtown Kennewick bar ended with one person getting part of his ear bitten off, one man in jail and seven people cited for disorderly conduct, police said. Kennewick police were called to the Sports Page Bar & Grill at 1:30 a.m. Sunday after the fight involving two groups of “highly intoxicated” people broke out in the street in front of the bar, said Sgt. Ken Lattin. During the fight, Erik Pelayo-Vera, 23, of Kennewick, bit off about a quarter of Logan Jacob Booth’s left ear, Lattin said. Pelayo-Vera also allegedly hit Colby Cook, 21, of Kennewick, under his left eye, causing a small cut. Booth, 21, of Kennewick, was treated at Kennewick General Hospital. Pelayo-Vera was arrested and booked into the Benton County jail on suspicion of second-degree assault.
Dog rescued from Idaho mine shaft
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — An Idaho man’s dog is recovering after tumbling down a 50-foot mine shaft west of Dubois. Hubert Quade tells KIFI-TV that he was flying his falcons Friday afternoon and training his bird-dog, a 6-year-old English pointer named Chester. When it was time to leave, he couldn’t find his dog. Quade followed the tracking device on Chester’s collar to a 5 foot-by-5 foot hole in the ground. It was an unmarked mine shaft about 50 feet deep. Quade called 911. Clark County search and rescue used a tow truck and a boom to lower Chief Deputy Boyd Eddins into the mine to rescue the dog. Quade says Chester is using the sympathy generated from his black eye and bruised leg to get a few extra treats.
2 level-three sex offenders enrolled at UW
SEATTLE — The University of Washington has sent an email notification to all students, faculty and staff at its Seattle campus because two level-three sex offenders are enrolled during winter quarter. Spokesman Norm Arkans told The Seattle Times he believes it is the first time the UW has ever sent a campus-wide email notice about a sex offender attending classes on the Seattle campus. One of the men was convicted of child molestation in 2004. The other was convicted of second-degree rape in 2003. Arkans says the university has mapped out their schedules to make sure there are no minor students in any of their classes.
Explosion on fishing vessel at Port Townsend
PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. — The Coast Guard says there was an explosion today morning on board a vessel moored near the Coast Guard Cutter Osprey in Port Townsend. East Jefferson County Fire and Rescue says the owner was on board the 56-foot fishing vessel Silver Lady, but he wasn’t injured. The cause of the explosion wasn’t immediately clear, but investigators believed it was gas-related. The vessel suffered shrapnel damage and a hatch blew apart, but it didn’t take on water. There was no damage to the cutter.
Dereliction detailed in Wash. prison guard death
EVERETT, Wash. — One of the three Washington state prison guards fired after the slaying of corrections officer Jayme Biendl was away from his post during the attack, and officials still don’t know where he was. The officer was supposed to be watching inmates as they filed out of the Monroe Correctional Facility’s prison chapel on Jan. 29. In his absence, inmate Byron Scherf was able to re-enter the chapel where he’s accused of strangling Biendl. Documents released at the request of The Daily Herald show that officials believe the guard was still on prison grounds. He says he was helping with pat-down searches and talked with two other guards, but neither remembers seeing him. Prison Superintendent Scott Frakes wouldn’t speculate on whether the officer shares responsibility for Biendl’s death.
Presbyterian church camp plagued by vandalism
LEWISTON — Officials with the Talmaks Camp Association say their church camp site in north-central Idaho has been the site of vandalism for years. Association President Maple Stuivenga told the Lewiston Tribune that the most recent indignity included an old refrigerator, toilet, windows and other debris dumped at the historic campground between Craigmont and Winchester. The Talmaks camp began in 1897 when the six Presbyterian churches on the Nez Perce Reservation came together for an annual meeting. Stuivenga says she hopes the incidents aren’t racially motivated, but others in the organization are convinced the vandalism is because it’s an Indian campground. Nez Perce Tribal Police Chief Leslie Hendrick says there are no suspects in the most recent vandalism case.
Sentencing delayed for man who killed sister
KENNEWICK, Wash. – The sentencing for a Pasco man convicted of killing his younger sister in a brutal machete attack has been delayed to Jan. 31. Aaron Velasco, 29, had been scheduled to appear today in Franklin County Superior Court. He pleaded guilty in December to one count of second-degree murder with a special allegation that it was an act of domestic violence and was set to be sentenced. But the hearing was delayed at the request of a defense lawyer. Velasco had no criminal history before this case and faces a sentencing range of 10 to 18 years in prison. Prosecutor Shawn Sant has said he will recommend a 15-year term. Magdalena “Maggy” Velasco-Garcia, 22, was found dead June 9 in a neighbor’s driveway on Glendive Court. She died of severe blood loss after being hit on her head, torso, arms and legs.
Victims identified in bus crash on Montana highway
MISSOULA, Mont. — The Missoula Sheriff’s Office has identified the two people who died in a bus crash in western Montana as a 56-year-old truck driver and a 60-year-old Chicago woman. Deputy Jason Johnson says the truck driver, Robert Lange, of Kalispell, Mont., was a passenger on his way home when the bus crashed Sunday morning on an icy interstate highway near Clinton. Johnson says the other victim, Fatimah Amatullah, of Chicago, was on her way to visit relatives in Seattle. Lange, Amatullah and two others were pinned under the bus after it spun around and rolled onto its side. All 32 others onboard the Billings-to-Missoula bus were injured. St. Patrick Hospital spokeswoman Joanne Hoven says one person is in critical condition and seven others are in serious condition.
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