Local news

In brief: Algae prompts caution about Fernan Lake water

A health advisory was issued Tuesday for Fernan Lake because of the presence of blue-green algae.

People should avoid swimming in or drinking water from the lake where the algae is visible, according to the advisory from the Panhandle Health District and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.

The toxins cannot be removed by filtering the water. They can cause gastroenteritis, skin irritation, allergic responses, liver damage and other health effects, according to the district. Children and pets are particularly susceptible.

People who want to eat fish from the lake should remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking since toxins are more likely to collect in those tissues. 

The public will be notified when the advisory is lifted for the lake.

Accusations of child rape lead to officer’s suspension

A part-time Spokane Airport police officer has been suspended without pay after being charged with several incidents of child rape and child molestation.

Jesus “Jesse” R. Guerrero, 49, is being held in the Spokane County Jail on $250,000 bond. The deputy prosecuting attorney in the case told Spokane County Superior Court Judge Annette Plese that more charges are likely to be filed later this week.

A relative of the two victims in the case reported the suspected abuse to police on Monday, according to court documents. Guerrero is accused of raping a 14-year-old girl once and a 17-year-old girl multiple times. The 17-year-old told police that Guerrero began fondling her when she was 5 and began having sex with her regularly when she was 9. She also reported that he has taken nude photos of her in the past. She reported that the rapes had escalated to several times a week recently, court documents say.

The 14-year-old told police that Guerrero had begun molesting her when she was 6 or 7 and said he had sex with her once, according to court documents.

Spokane Airport spokesman Todd Woodard said Guerrero has worked as a part-time reserve commissioned officer at the Spokane International Airport since 2002. He was suspended Tuesday pending the outcome of the investigation, Woodard said.

Plane fuselages removed from river after derailment

MISSOULA – Crews have removed all three commercial airplane fuselages from a river embankment in western Montana after they tumbled off a train in a derailment.

Montana Rail Link spokeswoman Lynda Frost told the Missoulian newspaper that the last of the newly manufactured Boeing 737 fuselages was hoisted up Tuesday. A fuselage is the main body of an aircraft.

Nineteen train cars derailed Thursday, spilling three fuselages into the Clark Fork River near Alberton and three more near the tracks. Frost said the fuselages and their flatbed cars weigh a combined 70 tons each.

The fuselages and other airplane parts were being transported from a manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kansas, to Boeing facilities in Washington.

Railway officials are investigating the cause of the derailment.

Fire outside Corbin center disrupts art classes

A brush fire on the hillside near the historic Corbin Art Center on Seventh Avenue in Spokane early Tuesday afternoon disrupted several summer art classes held inside.

The fire was only about 30 feet in diameter but it was in heavy brush, said Spokane Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Sabo. The fire was human-caused. “It’s not near a path,” he said. “It’s still pretty green in there. It didn’t really take off.”

Art Center director Scott Niemeier said kids under his care were having lunch when a staff member noticed smoke nearby. He said he thinks the fire was set by two children who have been hanging around the area lately.

The two, who are around 10 to 12 years old, have been breaking branches off trees in the nearby gardens and causing other problems, he said. A staff member saw them leaving the area shortly before the fire was discovered.

“That’s who I suspect,” he said. “They’ve been here all summer long just always doing something wrong.”

Worker fatally hurt in fight at SeaTac, prosecutors say

SEATTLE – Prosecutors say a fight between two workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport left one man fatally injured and another in jail.

The man who died worked for Korean Air and the other man worked as a contractor for the airline through International Cargo Services, KOMO-TV reported.

Probable cause court documents say the two argued Saturday about a piece of work equipment. Prosecutors say the exchange turned violent, with one man slapping the other in the face, causing him to fall and hit his head on concrete. The documents say Jason Keum was taken to a local hospital but later died.

Prosecutors said a 27-year-old Federal Way man has been arrested, with bail set at $1 million. KOMO reported he’s due back in court today.

Recycled explosive causes evacuation at center

SEATTLE – Seattle police have found it necessary to issue this guidance on recycling homemade explosives: Don’t do it.

Police say workers at a recycling facility in the Delridge neighborhood called for help Tuesday after finding that someone had tried to recycle a cardboard box packed with a homemade explosive.

Patrol officers evacuated everyone from the facility and called for bomb squad detectives, who dismantled the explosive. It was made out of fireworks.

Police said those who need help disposing of leftover explosives, ammunition or firearms should call their non-emergency phone line.

Food handler certificates from site not valid in state

SEATTLE – The Washington attorney general’s office says food handler certificates issued through the eFoodhandlers website are not valid in the state.

Food service workers should obtain a food worker card from their local health department office. The Tacoma-Pierce County health department is the only one in the state approved for online training and certification.

About 11,000 people in Washington with a permit from eFoodhandlers must take an exam for a permit from an authorized source.

The attorney general’s office said Monday those people will receive restitution from eFoodhandlers. Under a settlement with the state, they should receive refunds by September in the mail. Most checks are under $20 and the total is about $120,000.


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