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In brief: Suspect in brother’s murder arrested

Stevens County deputies arrested a Colville-area man Monday night suspected of killing his younger brother.

Eric Harris, 48, was jailed after deputies found him hiding in a mobile home less than a mile away from his rural home where Larch Harris, 43, was shot in the chest and killed Sunday.

Eric Harris has an extensive criminal history, according to the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies took Harris into custody without incident. He is expected to make an initial court appearance today.

Inslee remains confident on budget deal

OLYMPIA – Warnings of a possible temporary layoff began going out to state workers Monday, but Gov. Jay Inslee and legislative leaders said they were increasingly optimistic a budget agreement would be reached before a partial government shutdown would be needed.

Inslee said “very substantial progress” on key items led him to believe an agreement might be announced by the end of Monday. “Top leadership has found a path” that would put a substantial amount of new money into education and protect key social service programs, he said, but refused to provide further information.

When both chambers of the Legislature adjourned for the day legislative sources said some details of the $32 billion-plus two-year spending plan remained to be worked out and an agreement couldn’t be announced before today.

Company will seek bids with local labor

About 30 people from Boilermakers Local 242 showed up at the Spokane City Council chambers Monday night, all in favor of amending city business to allow for more local tradesmen to be put to work on local projects.

The union protested a closed bidding process at the Waste-to-Energy plant, which was leading to $8.6 million in upcoming projects going to companies that use no local labor.

“Why should we not have something in our own backyard,” said Ron Fowler, a second-generation boilermaker.

With urging from the council, New Hampshire-based Wheelabrator said it would entertain two more bidders that use local labor, in addition to the two bidders they’ve already chosen for four projects. The council amended a contract with the company Monday night to allow such a move.

Wheelabrator has had a contract with the city since 1987, when the Waste-to-Energy plant began construction.

The company has operated the facility since.

Helicopter crash leaves pilot injured

A man was injured Monday morning after a helicopter he piloted crashed into a cherry orchard in Grant County.

A release from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office said 31-year-old Christopher Iezzoni, of Tumwater, Wash., suffered back injuries and was having trouble breathing. He was transported by ambulance to Quincy Valley Medical Center.

The release said Iezzoni was flying a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter around 7:45 a.m. over an orchard near County Road 9 and M-Southwest, between Royal City and George.

He crashed when the helicopter became tangled in bird control netting over the orchard.

He was able to extricate himself from the helicopter.

“Helicopter rotor wash is often used to blow water off of cherries in an effort to keep the fruit from splitting open after rainfall,” the release said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

Weather hinders search for climber

PORTLAND – Bad weather forced volunteer crews to suspend Monday’s search for an Oregon climber missing on Mount Hood.

Kinley Adams, a 59-year-old Salem dentist, was reported missing by family Saturday night, roughly six hours after his expected return from a climb on the west side of the mountain. The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office found his vehicle at Timberline Lodge.

After an empty search Sunday, volunteers returned to the mountain Monday amid poor visibility that limited the scope of the effort.

Steve Rollins, spokesman for Portland Mountain Rescue, said conditions kept searchers tethered to the lower elevation of the mountain, near timberline.

Though frustrating not to go higher, he said it’s a search area that could bear fruit.

“If a climber gets lost, they often wander down into the woods,” he said.

But rain, snow, wind and low visibility stopped the crews by early afternoon. The search will resume today, if the weather cooperates. The skies, however, are not expected to clear until Thursday.

Described as an experienced climber, Adams indicated he would take the Leuthold Couloir route to the summit.

It’s easy to miss Leuthold and get into steeper gullies, Rollins said. Moreover, the ice that holds Mount Hood’s notoriously crumbly rock is melting.

“It’s maybe getting a little bit late in the season,” Rollins said.


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