SANDPOINT – Bonner County Commissioner Mike Nielsen said the county will consider a plan to avoid hiring new employees who smoke or chew tobacco.
Nielsen plans to discuss the idea during a department head meeting on Jan. 6, reported the Bonner County Daily Bee.
The policy is needed to prevent tobacco users from raising health care costs that are paid for in part by taxpayers, he said.
Nielsen said smokers could still be hired, but they’d have six months to quit to remain employed by the county.
Existing employees who smoke or chew tobacco wouldn’t be affected. But those employees wouldn’t be allowed a 20-percent discount on health insurance costs.
Poulsbo man gets 17 years for killing 74-year-old friend
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. – A Poulsbo man has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for the second-degree murder of a 74-year-old friend who reportedly made a pass at him.
The Kitsap Sun reported that 58-year-old Casey Cutlip apologized to the victim’s family as he was sentenced Friday in Kitsap County Superior Court. Cutlip claimed that a conversation he had with his older friend, Darwin Dunker, last year sent him into a dissociative state because of a history of sexual abuse.
Following the visit at Dunker’s home in Poulsbo, Cutlip armed himself with a .22 pistol, then returned and shot Dunker four times in the head.
Prosecutors said that afterward, Cutlip called 911 and then confessed to detectives.
Judge Leila Mills said she was convinced that Cutlip was still in a “state of disbelief” at his own actions, but said Dunker was a “truly innocent victim” and that Cutlip’s history of abuse and mental illness did not excuse the crime.
Former sheriff’s employee admits to embezzling charges
KALISPELL, Mont. – A former Flathead County Sheriff’s Office employee has pleaded guilty to felony theft after embezzling thousands of dollars from the Sheriff’s Office employees association.
The Daily Inter Lake reported 36-year-old Nicole Fister, of Kalispell, made the plea earlier this month in Flathead District Court.
The plea deal called for Fister to receive a sentence of five years in prison followed by five years of probation.
The plea deal didn’t address restitution. Authorities said Fister admitted to illegally cashing 30 checks adding up to more than $30,000. But officials said more than $90,000 was missing.
Fister was a civilian employee of the Sheriff’s Office and served as treasurer of the employees association. The association’s funds come from membership dues and fundraising and are used to support charitable causes.
Man faces assault charge after pulling knife on kids
BUTTE – A 54-year-old Butte man who police said emerged from a bar drunk and then pulled a knife after a group of kids started mocking him has been taken into custody.
The Montana Standard reported James Earl Neely faces a felony charge of assault with a weapon.
Police said that at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday a group of young people between 11 and 13 years old was walking from one fast-food restaurant to another when they encountered Neely coming out of a bar.
Police said Neely pulled a silver pocket knife and threatened the kids.
Neely’s bond has been set at $5,000.
Man stabbed with fillet knife he gave as Christmas gift
EVERETT – Everett police said a man who staggered into a grocery store and collapsed had been stabbed with a fillet knife he gave his girlfriend for Christmas.
The 25-year-old Shoreline man had an 11-inch gash across his throat as well as stab wounds to his chest and hands when he entered the store Thursday night, according to the Daily Herald. Store employees pressed cloth to his wounds and the man was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where his condition was listed as stable.
Police said his 18-year-old live-in girlfriend admitted attacking him in their car after a fishing trip, and said she did it because he had threatened her. She reported that she acted out of fear when she unsheathed the knife and cut him.
Investigators wrote in a report that the man denied threatening her and said he had no idea why she did it. The woman was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree domestic violence assault.
Police hunt for Portland-area coffee shop exhibitionist
LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. – Police are looking for a man who has been exposing himself to employees at Portland metro area drive-thru coffee shops.
KGW News reported the latest incident took place Thursday night at a Starbucks in Lake Oswego.
Sgt. Jay Weitman of the Lake Oswego Police Department said similar incidents were reported in Tualatin and Tigard over the past few days.
Officers were looking for surveillance images and asking the public to help track down the man “before he commits potentially more serious criminal acts.”
The suspect was described as a white man in his 40s or 50s with thinning blond hair and a pot belly police said. He was last seen in a charcoal, older-model sedan, possibly a Honda or Ford.