LEWISTON – The Idaho Transportation Department is creating a committee to review a new law aiming to allow more large trucks on Idaho’s highways, a disputed proposal that got a lot of attention during the 2013 Legislature.
The panel, which will include members of the Idaho Transportation Board, will begin meeting this month or in June, the Lewiston Tribune reported.
The law requires ITD to set rules before new routes can be designated for trucks that weigh between 105,500 and 129,000 pounds.
Timber companies fought for allowing bigger shipments, saying it will help their businesses.
Foes, meanwhile, fear allowing larger trucks on highways including U.S. Highway 95 will make roads more dangerous.
Piling work ruled out, but dock in play
SANDPOINT – Idaho Supreme Court justices issued a split ruling last week on a disputed piling and dock proposal on Lake Pend Oreille.
The court affirmed the Idaho Department of Lands’ denial of a bid by a couple to replace pilings on Glengary Bay, the Bonner Daily Bee reported.
But the state lands agency will have to give further scrutiny to Peter and Shelagh Kaseburg’s bid to build a dock.
The Kaseburgs’ plans encountered concerns from neighbors on Glengary Bay.
They worried that existing pilings posed a navigational hazard to boats and that the dock would extend too far out into the bay, as well as increase silting and weed growth.
The IDL denied both bids, but now it must review the dock plan again.
Rally cites worries over coal trains
SEATTLE – The Sierra Club organized a small rally on Seattle’s waterfront Saturday to highlight concerns local business leaders have about plans for new coal trains along Puget Sound.
Trains already carry coal from the Rocky Mountains through Washington for export through British Columbia, but proposals for five more ports would ship as much as 140 million tons of coal a year from Montana and Wyoming.
The tracks through Seattle run between the waterfront and Pike Place Market, and business owners say the increased train traffic would increase traffic congestion and make it harder to get to the waterfront.
Among those attending the rally were Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, State Rep. Reuven Carlyle, Pier 57 and Great Wheel owner Kyle Griffith, and Cary Moon, co-founder of People’s Waterfront Coalition.
McGinn previously joined other city and tribal leaders in forming a coalition to oppose the coal trains.
Police: 14-year-old led chase 26 miles
WOODLAND, Wash. – Police in the southwest Washington town of Woodland say a 14-year-old boy took his mother’s car without permission and drove it up to 115 mph during a chase.
Officer Brent Murray saw the car swerving early Saturday morning and tried to pull it over, but the vehicle got onto Interstate 5 and sped north, weaving across all three lanes of traffic. After about 13 miles, police deployed spike strips and flattened the car’s front tires, but the boy kept driving, even after the tread was completely gone and sparks shot from the rims.
By the 26th mile of the chase, the car’s wheels had been completely ground off and it couldn’t go any farther.
The boy told the arresting officers he took the car out of boredom while his mother was sleeping and that he didn’t pull over because he wanted the thrill of the chase.
Police say he admitted drinking and smoking marijuana beforehand. His breath test showed a .06 blood-alcohol content, above the zero-tolerance for juveniles under the law.
He was booked into the Cowlitz County Juvenile Center for investigation of driving under the influence and attempting to elude.
Navy plans growth in Puget Sound
The U.S. Navy’s presence in the Puget Sound region is growing.
The Navy plans to more than double the number of P-8A Poseidon aircraft based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and accelerate the basing of destroyers at Naval Station Everett, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen said Friday in a news release.
Currently, four fleet squadrons with 24 total aircraft are stationed at NAS Whidbey, employing an estimated 2,600 people.
Pending the completion of an environmental impact review, the naval air base will be home to seven fleet squadrons with 49 P-8A aircraft before 2019. The additional planes come from a change in plans to base three fleet squadrons in Hawaii.
The P-8A Poseidon is a long-range anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare and reconnaissance aircraft, according to official Navy website navair.navy.mil.
The Navy also announced that three destroyers will replace three outgoing frigates at Naval Station Everett over the next few years.