Latest from The Spokesman-Review
(AP) A Moscow man whose lawyer blamed caffeine-induced psychosis for alleged hit-and-run crashes at Washington State University in December has been acquitted by reason of insanity.
Whitman County Superior Court Judge David Frazier ruled today that Daniel Noble, 31, was temporarily insane during the Dec. 9 incident and acquitted him of two felony counts of vehicular assault, two felony counts of hit-and-run and misdemeanor resisting arrest.
The Lewiston Tribune reports that Frazier granted a defense motion to acquit Noble based on Noble’s attorney’s intent to use an insanity defense at trial.
The two crashes injured pedestrians, Neil Waldbjorn, 19, of Malaga, Wash., and Hogun Hahm, 23, of Pullman. Each suffered a broken leg. Officers used a Taser to subdue Noble.
Noble’s attorney, Mark Moorer, had previously said his client was suffering from caffeine-induced psychosis brought on by too much coffee and energy drinks.
Washington State University will get $2.5 million to teach students about green engineering and smart grid technology, Sen. Maria Cantwell announced on Thursday.
WSU along with two other state groups will share more than $11 million going to smart-grid related training, Cantwell’s office said in a media release.
The $11 million is part of $100 million in grid funding announced by the Department of Energy, for 54 projects nationwide. The federal money is to be combined with $95 million provided by the institutions and partnering companies and manufacturers.
Centralia College will get $5 million for training utility workers in the Pacific Northwest.
And Incremental Systems Corp., in Issaquah, will get $3.6 million to train operators, engineers and military veterans.
A hotel and convention center could be built on the Washington State University campus in Pullman, if negotiations between a California developer and the university are successful.
WSU’s board of regents approved a plan Friday to begin negotiations with Sonnenblick-Del Rio Development for the sale of 7.5 acres of WSU property, according to a news release. The Brentwood, Calif., company wants to build a 125-room Hilton hotel and 10,000- to 12,000-square-foot convention center on the site, which is at the northeast end of campus, east of the Student Recreation Center.
(AP) A Moscow man whose lawyer blamed caffeine-induced psychosis for alleged hit-and-run crashes at Washington State University in December has been released from a hospital and will face trial.
Dan Noble, 31, (left) has been declared fit to stand trial by doctors at Eastern State Hospital, said Whitman County Prosecutor Denis Tracy.
He is charged with two felony counts of vehicular assault, two felony counts of hit and run and misdemeanor resisting arrest after being arrested in December.
Drivers on the highway between Moscow and Pullman reported Noble’s car driving erratically in the westbound lanes Monday morning, according to previously published reports.
Noble then turned onto Stadium Way, the main street through the WSU campus, where he allegedly struck students Hogun Hahm, 23, of Pullman, and Neil Waldbjorn, 19, of Malaga, Wash., in crosswalks about a block apart, according to the Associated Press. Both pedestrians suffered a broken leg and other injuries.
Noble then reportedly stopped and exited the vehicle at the intersection of Stadium Way and Grimes Way, about 175 yards from the second victim.
When WSU police approached him, Noble became “argumentative, incoherent, and resistive,” documents said. Officers used a Taser to subdue him.
Noble’s arraignment is set for April 9, court records show.
Noble’s attorney, Mark Moorer, has previously said his client was suffering from caffeine-induced psychosis brought on by too much coffee and energy drinks.
Past coverage: Lawyer: Blame it on the caffeine
From tomorrow’s paper:
Washington’s two largest public universities painted a bleak picture Tuesday of looming budget cuts as the state grapples with a budget shortfall that lawmakers say could reach $8 billion.
State lawmakers won’t finalize the budget for another two months, but state colleges and agencies have all been asked to show how they would deal with deep budget cuts.
The proposed cuts would mean “600 to 800 jobs, it’s a 2-6 percent decline in enrollment…and it’s 1-2 quarters of added time to degree,” University of Washington President Mark Emmert told lawmakers.
In Pullman, Washington State University officials are “doing our best to minimize the number of warm bodies that will lose their jobs,” Provost Warwick Bayly said. “But it is inevitable that there will be some.”
(Note: I included a TVW video of Bayly’s entire testimony in this post. Click on the “continue reading” link below for more of this story and the embedded video.)
Under Gov. Gregoire’s budget proposal, WSU would face a 12 percent cut in state funding. Boosting tuition by 7 percent – the current maximum – for the next two years would reduce that to just under 7 percent.
With Washington’s revenues getting steadily worse, state lawmakers have asked both institutions to draw up plans for even higher cuts: 50 percent more than what Gregoire called for. Cutting that 18 percent would mean WSU would have to slash $93 million from its budget over the next two years.
Officials from both schools said they’re not ready to name specific programs or services that definitely would be axed. But they sketched out the broad picture. At WSU, Bayly said, such cuts would reach deep – 41 percent — into WSU’s research and public service operations.
“We are trying to protect instruction to the extent that we can,” he said. Public services includes things like agricultural and natural resource outreach programs, nutritional services and small business development centers.
“They are all on the table and would in all likelihood be impacted by the reduction here,” Bayly said.
Also targeted in the plan: student services and administration. Student services includes things like recruiting, the registrar’s office, tutors and admissions.
“Each and every one of those may suffer to some extent,” Bayly said.
Both Emmert and Bayly said they would like to hold tuition increases to 7 percent a year, although Emmert argued that tuition increases of even 14 percent would be preferable to the