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In brief: Idaho school districts alerted to beef recall

Fourteen North Idaho school districts were notified Monday that they may have received ground beef tainted with small pieces of plastic.

The beef was recalled by Central Valley Meat Co. of Hanford, Calif. It may have been served in some schools, but no problems have been reported so far, said Melissa McGrath, spokeswoman for the Idaho Department of Education.

The Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls school districts did not receive any of the beef.

The school districts notified of the recall are: Lakeland, West Bonner, Lake Pend Oreille, Kellogg, Wallace, Boundary County, St. Maries, Kootenai, Moscow, Potlatch, Nez Perce, Orofino, Kamiah and Cottonwood.

Central Valley Meat Co., which delivers products to Idaho schools through a U.S. Department of Agriculture program, has had problems. Federal regulators shuttered its slaughterhouse in 2012 after undercover video showed cows – some unable to walk – being repeatedly shocked and shot before being slaughtered.

Scott Maben

Everett man dies in motorcycle crash

An Everett man died when his motorcycle went off the road south of Spokane on Sunday night.

Dale D. Chapman, 65, was driving south on state Route 23 about 20 miles northwest of St. John when his motorcycle drifted onto the shoulder.

Chapman was thrown from his 1983 Honda GL1100 around 8:25 p.m., the Washington State Patrol reported.

He was wearing a helmet.

Kaitlin Gillespie

Of drivers using devices, about half seen texting

SEATTLE – More than 8 percent of drivers in Washington are distracted by electronic devices, including many who are actively texting on the roadway, according to a study released Monday by the University of Washington.

Researchers compiled their numbers after observing 7,800 motorists at intersections in six counties. The study found that nearly half of drivers using electronic devices were observed texting.

Dr. Beth Ebel, the principal investigator, said the findings suggest distracted driving is more common than thought.

“The risk of crash with texting is so high,” Ebel said. “It really makes you impaired.”

Of the drivers identified as using an electronic device, 45 percent were seen texting. Another 21 percent were talking on the phone with the device held at their ear. A similar number of people were talking into a phone in front of them, apparently using the speakerphone feature to avoid violating Washington law. Associated Press