Local news

In brief: Woman struck, killed by train

A woman was killed Saturday morning when she was struck by a freight train in Ephrata, Wash.

The victim was hit by a train traveling eastbound at about 9:45 a.m. Her body was found near the Amtrak station on Alder Street.

The Grant County coroner did not immediately release the identity of the victim. The circumstances of her death were under investigation.

ISP: Three dead in single-vehicle crash

Idaho State Police said three people died in a single-vehicle crash early Saturday in northern Idaho near Grangeville.

Police said the driver of a Ford F250 pickup lost control on a curve on the Grangeville-Salmon Road about 1:20 a.m. The vehicle went off the east side of the road, came back on, and then went off the west side, where it struck a tree and became engulfed in flames.

One of the passengers who died was identified as 18-year-old Justin R. Dempsey, of Grangeville. Authorities did not release the names of the driver or other passenger.

The crash remained under investigation.

2 killed, boy injured in Idaho plane crash

IDAHO FALLS – Two eastern Idaho men died and a 13-year-old boy was injured Saturday when a twin-engine aircraft crashed a few minutes after taking off from the Idaho Falls Regional Airport.

Idaho Falls Police Department spokeswoman Joelyn Hansen said the pilot of the Piper Comanche was circling back toward the airport when the aircraft went down in a vacant lot about a mile south of the airport.

A 64-year-old Idaho Falls man and a 43-year-old Rexburg man died at the scene, Hansen said. She said the boy was taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, where he was in stable condition.

Gregoire named to Fred Hutch board

SEATTLE – Former Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has been appointed to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s board of trustees.

She is one of four new board members appointed Friday. Their terms begin July 1.

Hutchinson president Dr. Larry Corey noted Gregoire’s leadership experience as well as her recognition of the importance of biomedical research. She established the state’s Life Sciences Discovery Fund in 2005 to support innovative research.

Woman sentenced in benefits fraud

SEATTLE – A Seattle woman has been sentenced to 18 months in prison plus three years of probation for illegally collecting her father’s Social Security benefits for more than 19 years after he died.

Fifty-seven-year-old Patty Buchanan was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court.

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said Buchanan forged documents and even had someone impersonate her father on the telephone so she could continue collecting his Social Security after he died in 1993. She was charged with making more than $900,000 in fraudulent collections.

U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman also ordered Buchanan to pay nearly $240,000 in restitution.

The case was one of the largest Social Security benefit fraud cases prosecuted in Washington since a national effort against benefit fraud began.

An anonymous tip to Social Security ended the fraud in December 2012.

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