Local news

In brief: Seven-year-old suspended for bringing knife to school

A 7-year-old Otis Orchards Elementary School girl has been suspended after arming herself with a knife to defend against a couple of bullies.

The girl, who has not been identified, took a 3-inch folding knife from holiday visitors at her home, said Suzanne Savall, the school principal. The second-grader explained she wanted the weapon because she felt bullied by a couple of kindergartners.

The girl reportedly showed the knife to bus riders on the way to school Tuesday and said, “I could kill you with this,” Savall said. As soon as the kids exited the bus, they told an adult what she’d done.

The girl is undergoing a risk assessment by Spokane Mental Health, Savall said. The student hadn’t been in serious trouble before. Her actions surprised the principal: “When I talked to her, I told her: I love you, but you made a really bad decision today.”

Driver, 19, killed in collision with freight train near Sandpoint

A BNSF Railway spokesman said a 19-year-old woman driving a BMW was struck and killed by a BNSF freight train in North Idaho.

Railway spokesman Gus Melonas said the train collided with the car Wednesday afternoon about 15 miles east of Sandpoint. The driver was identified by Idaho State Police as Kayle Porter, of Sandpoint.

Melonas said the collision happened at a public rail crossing marked by stop signs.

Lake CdA seeing much lower count of feeding bald eagles

Bald eagles are far short of their historical mark for showing up to feed on spawning kokanee at Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist, counted only 11 adult bald eagles in the Wolf Lodge Bay area Wednesday.  That’s  up from two eagles counted during her weekly survey last week, but down from 100 eagles counted during this week in 2012.

A record 273 bald eagles were counted at Lake Coeur d’Alene on Dec. 29, 2011.

The eagles have provided  a popular wildlife-viewing attraction as the birds are lured to the northeast corner of the lake from mid-November into January to feast on spawning kokanee that stack up in the bay.

Birders and biologists have suggested several theories, Hugo said:

• The revival of kokanee at Lake Pend Oreille could be detouring eagles that normally would be flocking to Lake Coeur d’Alene by now.

• Bald eagle gatherings on the Clearwater River near Lewiston suggest that this year’s record run of fall chinook could be luring more eagles to bigger meals in the Columbia and Snake river drainages.

Convicted murderer charged with robbing woman on trail

A Spokane man imprisoned for killing a woman now faces additional charges of robbery stemming from an assault about four months later.

Avondre Graham, 18, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder for the brutal stabbing death of Sharlotte McGill on May 3, 2012.

Graham was back in court Wednesday on second-degree robbery charges. On Sept. 13, 2012, Graham assaulted a woman walking on the Centennial Trail just south of Mission Park with a rubber mallet, according to a probable cause affidavit. Graham took her cellphone and fled, police say. When police captured Graham, he admitted to the assault and robbery of the woman, authorities said.

Graham’s bond was set at $20,000 for the robbery charge. However, he is serving a 10-year sentence in the McGill case, so he is ineligible for release.

Firefighters quickly douse North Side apartment blaze

A north Spokane apartment was damaged by a fire Wednesday.

Spokane fire crews responded to the report of a structure fire in the three-story Rosewood Club Apartments at 401 E. Magnesium Road about 3 p.m., according to a news release. A fire had started in a second-floor unit.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire before it spread to other units, according to the release. The apartment building was evacuated, but everyone was able to return to their homes afterward.

The Spokane Fire Department estimates the fire caused about $10,000 in damage.

NIC receives almost $300,000 for forestry products training

North Idaho College will receive nearly $300,000 in state and industry grants to train workers for jobs in the forest products industry.

The Wood Products Manufacturing Center for Excellence will train students on industrial controls, saw filing and log scaling to fill openings created by workers retiring or leaving the workforce for other reasons. Jobs in those areas pay $16 to $24 per hour.

Idaho Forest Group, Potlatch Corp. and Stimson Lumber Co. are contributing a combined $93,679 to the program.

The remaining $187,357 comes from the state’s industry sector grant initiative.

Grants are made to educational institutions that partner with at least three Idaho companies to train workers for jobs critical to those businesses. The companies must contribute at least 25 percent of the grant award.



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