January 3, 2014 in Region

In brief: Seattle Seahawks, Sounders license plates go on sale

From Wire Reports

TACOMA – Specialized license plates for Seattle Seahawks and Sounders fans went on sale Thursday and football fans were especially eager.

The Washington state Department of Licensing said 1,810 Seahawks plates had been issued by about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, along with 148 Sounders plates.

The plates feature the 12th Man flag for the Seahawks and a team scarf for Sounders FC.

Proceeds will benefit three nonprofit groups.

Megaloads leave, enter Idaho

BOISE – Idaho Transportation Department officials said a 45-ton shipment of oil production equipment is drawing close to the Montana border and could leave Idaho roads this weekend, around the same time a second shipment enters Idaho from Oregon.

The megaloads, hauled by transport company Omega Morgan, are bound for Canada’s disputed tar sands energy development, and they have been a focal point for protesters.

Idaho Transportation Department spokesman Adam Rush said the first shipment is just east of Arco, Idaho, and is expected to travel through Leadore and Salmon before crossing the Lost Trail Pass into Montana. A second shipment, currently in Oregon, is expected to enter Idaho this weekend.

Montana avalanche kills one

BOZEMAN – One snowmobiler died and two others suffered minor injuries in an avalanche in southwestern Montana, marking the fourth death in the region in a week.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said the three were snowmobiling in the Portal Creek area south of Bozeman late Wednesday afternoon when they were caught in the slide.

Gootkin said a man in his 40s was buried. His name hasn’t been released.

Three other people have died in avalanches in Wyoming and Colorado over the past week.

Skier Mike Kazanjy, of Santa Ana, Calif., and snowmobiler Rex Anderson, of Arco, Idaho, died in separate avalanches near Jackson, Wyo., on Dec. 26. Another person died Tuesday in a slide north of Granby, Colo.

Ski resort creates tubing area

SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. – At least one Western Washington ski resort is getting creative and moving snow around since it’s not falling from the sky.

KING-TV reported ski resorts are weeks behind their usual openings.

For New Year’s Eve, crews at Alpental scooped about 15 tons of snow from its parking lots and moved it to a tubing area a few miles east.

That doesn’t help the people who want to take a ski lift up the mountain to go skiing, but at least some snow lovers are having fun.

The Summit at Snoqualmie Pass is still closed for skiing and snowboarding, almost three weeks past its average open date.

Snoqualmie season pass holders can use some other resorts for free while they pray for snow at home.

Jailer charged with felonies

BOISE – An Ada County jailer has been arrested on suspicion of having sexual contact with a female inmate.

The Sheriff’s Office said 36-year-old Seanjay Wright, of Meridian, was booked into jail Wednesday on two felony counts. He also was fired.

Sheriff Gary Raney said jail deputies learned Wednesday morning of possible contact between Wright and the inmate. Boise police investigated and found enough evidence to arrest Wright, who had been a department employee for two years.

Raney said his office will look closely at the jail operations to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

It was not immediately clear when Wright would appear in court.

Blast may be linked to pot

KIRKLAND, Wash. – Kirkland police said an explosion at an apartment complex may have been caused by malfunctioning equipment used in marijuana production.

KIRO-TV reported two men were injured in the explosion just after 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Kirkland police would not share more information about the explosion.

Three people were hurt in a similar incident in August in Mount Vernon, where butane was being used to extract hash oil from marijuana.

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