In brief: Rammell poaching conviction upheld
BOISE – Colorful former Idaho gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell has lost his second appeal over a 2010 elk poaching charge, with the Idaho Court of Appeals ruling unanimously that two lower courts correctly upheld Rammell’s misdemeanor conviction.
Representing himself in court, he challenged it on multiple grounds, nearly all centering around his contention that the state didn’t prove he intended to unlawfully kill the elk; Rammell said he didn’t know it mattered in which zone he shot the elk. But the high court found that the offense requires no specific intent. “It only requires general intent, namely, that a person knowingly possessed an animal protected under the statute, not that he or she intended to commit a crime,” wrote Court of Appeals Judge David Gratton.
Rescue crews pull woman from river
Spokane rescue crews fished a woman out of the Spokane River on Friday evening after she jumped in the water along Riverfront Park.
The jump was reported around 8:30 p.m. Avista staff turned off the water flow to the Upper Falls intake structure within 10 minutes, fire officials said.
The unidentified woman grabbed onto a rope in the water before rescue crews kayaked to her location upstream from the Post Street Bridge. She howled hysterically and struggled as crews brought her to shore.
Spokane Valley rescue crews responded as well as the Spokane Fire Department.
The woman was taken to a local hospital. Police believe it was an attempted suicide.
State must open culverts for salmon
SEATTLE – A federal judge on Friday ordered the state of Washington to fix culverts that block salmon from reaching their habitat, setting a timeline and pressuring officials to find the money needed to do the job.
U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez’s ruling was the result of a decades-old legal battle tied to treaties dating back to the mid-1800s. Tribes have said the state has blocked salmon passage and contributed to the decline of fish harvests.
Under the ruling, the state must first fix culverts on recreational lands by fall 2016. The state would have 17 years to provide fish passage through Transportation Department culverts.
Switch blamed for train’s open door
PORTLAND – The Portland-area regional transit agency says corrosion on switches inside the door of a light rail train probably caused the door to stay open during a Feb. 15 trip along Interstate 84.
TriMet officials said Friday they plan to change equipment and maintenance schedules. They’ll also remind operators to watch door indicators and make sure all doors close before leaving stations.
A passenger posted a video on YouTube of a train speeding along the I-84 corridor with a door open. No one was hurt, but the video showed many startled passengers.
Agency safety and security executive Harry Saporta said “it’s safe to say that this is a rare occurrence.”