August 24, 2014 in City, Region

In brief: Boy, 7, critical after gunshot to head

From Staff And Wire Reports

A 7-year-old boy was in critical condition Saturday after he was shot while playing with a gun at a home in Hayden, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Deputies were called to the Midtown mobile home park in the 9400 block of North Government Way about 7 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. On scene, they were told that two children were playing unsupervised with a handgun when it discharged. The boy was struck in the head with a small-caliber bullet.

He was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition late Saturday, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Driver faces charge after crash; two hurt

A driver who lost control of his car on state Highway 27 south of Spokane Valley early Saturday morning will face a charge of vehicular assault, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Johnathon M. Norris, 21, was driving a 2006 Subaru Impreza north just after 3:30 a.m. Saturday when he lost control of his car, went off the road, hit a culvert and rolled. The car came to a stop on its top. Norris is believed to have been intoxicated and speeding at the time of the crash, the Washington State Patrol said in a news release.

Both Norris and his passenger, 18-year-old Marcus D. Balliet, were taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center for treatment of injuries. Norris was listed in serious condition Saturday evening. Balliet was listed in satisfactory condition.

Q&A meetings set for ex-Hanford workers

Current and former employees of nuclear weapons programs at Hanford and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are invited to learn about compensation programs they may be eligible for at town hall meetings Wednesday in Spokane.

The U.S. Department of Labor is hosting the meetings, along with one Tuesday in Richland, to answer questions about the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. The program provides compensation and medical benefits to employees, and in some cases to their survivors, who worked at one of the facilities and became ill from exposure to toxic substances.

The program has paid $875 million in compensation and benefits to date to nearly 8,000 people in Washington.

The meetings will be at noon and 6 p.m. at Spokane Falls Community College, in room 102 of the Student Union Building, 3410 W. Fort George Wright Drive. For more information, call (888) 654-0014.

More rain coming to north-central region

TWISP, Wash. – A slow-moving front bringing heavy rain and thunder is expected to arrive today in areas of Washington scarred by wildfires – days after flash floods destroyed at least 10 homes and closed highways.

The rain is forecast to arrive late this morning and slowly move over the area, bringing new headaches to an area already reeling from widespread wildfires and flooding.

“That combination of heavy rain and slow-moving thunderstorms could be a concern for burnt scars and bring the possibility of flash floods and debris flows,” National Weather Service meteorologist Steven Van Horn said.

An estimated 10 homes were damaged or destroyed and highways were blocked as heavy rains unleashed mudslides Thursday in an area of north-central Washington where hillsides have been left barren by wildfires.

A section of state Highway 153 through the hard-hit Methow Valley remained closed Friday. But Highway 20, a key corridor in the area, has reopened.

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