News


In brief: Sheriff’s sniper shot Montana fugitive

SATURDAY, MARCH 8, 2014

A 13-year veteran of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and longtime sniper with the agency’s SWAT team fired the shot that struck a Montana fugitive in the hand Tuesday morning, according to a news release.

Deputy Mike McNees was identified Friday as the marksman who fired on Bonnie Ulrick, a 37-year-old wanted on felony warrants for assault and weapons charges out of Flathead County, Montana. Ulrick and Eric Heil, 32, barricaded themselves in a Spokane Valley motel early Tuesday. Negotiators reported Ulrick told them she was armed with a pistol and would not surrender, according to court documents.

Heil is listed in custody of the Spokane County Jail awaiting extradition back to Montana. Ulrick was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for her injuries and released late Wednesday to the King County Jail, where she is awaiting extradition as well.

McNees has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 13 years, 11 as a member of the SWAT team, according to a news release. In the late 1990s, McNees received an award from the Optimists club for community service, according to Spokesman-Review records.

Pot theft may be tied to sick student

Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a link between the burglary of an Elk medical marijuana dispensary and a hospital visit for a Riverside High School student who ate chocolate laced with THC.

JD’s Garden at 39817 N. Newport Highway reported a commercial burglary Monday, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. In the burglary, 22 ounces of marijuana, two custom pipes and 38 candy bars infused with THC were stolen, according to the business owner.

Later that day, a student at Riverside High School, 4120 E. Deer Park Milan Road in Chattaroy, told administrators a classmate gave him a chocolate bar that he later discovered was infused with THC. The boy’s mother took him to the hospital, where tests confirmed the drug was in his system. The student who handed out the chocolate was later expelled.

Deputes are asking anyone with information about the burglary to contact Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest at (800) 222-8477. A cash reward is being offered for tips that lead to an arrest.

Wastewater will be flushed into creek

The city of Tensed, Idaho, will start pumping untreated wastewater into Hangman Creek to prevent the city’s wastewater lagoons from overflowing, state officials said Friday.

People should avoid contact with Hangman Creek until further notice, according to the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.

Recent flooding put the lagoons at risk of failure without action by the city, DEQ officials said. Hangman Creek flows northwest from Idaho into Washington and eventually into the Spokane River.

Juvenile records bill passes in Senate

OLYMPIA – A bill that makes it easier to seal juvenile criminal records after the age of 18, except for the most serious offenses, has passed the Senate.

House Bill 1651 requires that all terms of the sentence must be completed prior to sealing. The measure now heads to the House for a concurrence vote because it was amended in the Senate. The Senate and House must reach an agreement on the different versions of the bill before any measure could go to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature.

The bill is a result of a deal struck between judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, police and others.

Washington is among the few states that does not have juvenile records covered by confidentiality. Since 1977, juvenile offender records have been public unless sealed in accordance with statutory requirements. Noncriminal juvenile records, such as those in a dependency matter or adoption, are not open to the public.

Soldier who died is identified

YAKIMA – The Army Reserve has released the identity of a soldier who died Thursday at the Yakima Training Center.

He was 45-year-old Master Sgt. Bert J. Garvin, of Yakima. That’s according to the 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command.

Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins said he was told the soldier shot himself.

Prisoners proposed as farm workers

BOISE – A bill that would allow Idaho farmers to use prison inmate labor when there is a farmworker shortage is before the Idaho state Senate.

The bill would allow inmates to help grow, harvest or process perishable Idaho farm commodities.

State Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, the bill’s author, said fruit growers in southwestern Idaho have struggled to find enough workers in recent years. She said a lot of pears in the Sunny Slope region near Caldwell went unpicked last year.

The Capital Press reported that the inmates would make at least minimum wage and some of their earnings would help offset the cost of transportation and security.

Oregon spikes plan for Columbia bridge

SALEM – The Oregon Department of Transportation announced Friday that it’s shutting down planning for the Columbia River Crossing project after the state Legislature declined to approve funding to build a new Interstate 5 and light-rail bridge into Washington.

Moments after the Legislature adjourned, ODOT said it “will begin the process of orderly archival and closeout.” Spending will be reduced immediately, the agency said in a news release, and the project will be shut down completely by June.

Lawmakers in Salem approved a two-state funding plan last year only to watch it wither in Olympia, where the Republicans who control the Senate vigorously oppose plans to use the new bridge to extend Portland’s light-rail system into Vancouver, Wash.

Two firms licensed for marijuana grows

OLYMPIA – Washington state has issued two more legal marijuana licenses, bringing the total to three.

Bremerton’s Nine Point Growth Industries and the Downtown Cannabis Co. in the Pierce County town of Pacific have both received licenses to grow and process marijuana for sale at pot shops due to open later this year. They join Spokane’s Kouchlock Productions, which was issued the first license Wednesday.

Washington’s voters approved the state-licensed sale of marijuana to adults when they approved Initiative 502 in 2012.

Nine Point Growth plans to begin growing next week, the Kitsap Sun reported. It’s not clear when Downtown Cannabis might begin production.

The state Liquor Control Board is reviewing more than 2,700 applications from people who hope to be licensed to grow marijuana for the recreational industry.


 

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