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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Guilty plea to presidential threat

From wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Boise A Boise man has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to threatening to kill President Bush when discussing the war in Iraq in an Internet chat room.

Vaughn Alan Clark will be sentenced in March for violating a federal law that prohibits threats against the president or vice president. The crime carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

“I am going to kill President Bush tomorrow,” Clark wrote while in an America Online Iraq War chat room on April 8, 2003, about a month after U.S. forces began their invasion of the Middle Eastern country.

Federal prosecutor Terry Derden said his office in Boise and more than 90 others around the U.S. handle numerous threats against the president every year, often from people who are frustrated with a policy or decisions they link to the White House.

“It’s one of those typical threats against the president,” Derden said. “The U.S. Secret Service investigates every one. But I don’t think he (Clark) represented a serious threat against the president.”

Laws forbidding such threats require that they be made knowingly and willfully and under circumstances in which a reasonable person could foresee that others would take it seriously.

Clark was reported by a woman who was also participating in the chat room and saw his typed threat.

Attempts to reach Clark at his Boise home were unsuccessful.

District investigates how boy was left on bus

Richland A 4-year-old special education pupil in the Richland School District was left on an empty school bus for almost two hours this week.

The boy, Zachary Bagley, went unnoticed when students unloaded for their afternoon preschool class Tuesday at Jefferson Elementary School. He sat alone in the bus garage until drivers began leaving to take students home.

“There’s no excuse for this,” Superintendent Rich Semler said after the incident.

District spokesman Steve Aagaard said an investigation of the incident was completed and action was taken against those involved. He declined to comment further, citing the employees’ confidentiality.

The district requires its bus drivers to check up and down the aisles of the bus after each route is completed and pupils are let off.

But the boy was missed, and the bus was driven to the district’s transportation center. School officials had said the boy likely was sleeping when he was taken to the bus garage.

The boy’s mother, Rebecca Bagley, said she received a call from a school district employee who told her that Zachary had been left alone.

Zachary Bagley attends a preschool class three days a week at the elementary school.

Bagley said she was not upset with the bus aide or the driver, who apologized profusely later in the afternoon.

Young Web whiz blogs his way to big bucks

Portland A 24-year-old Portland blogger has turned a home-grown Web project into big bucks.

In 1999, Brad Fitzpatrick launched an online posting site using money he saved from mowing Portland lawns. It grew into, one of the earliest sites for creating personal blogs – online web diaries.

On Wednesday, the young entrepreneur became possibly the first blogging millionaire after selling Danga Interactive Inc., the Portland company that ran, to San Francisco-based Six Apart Ltd.

In the past month alone, a total of 1.4 million people used LiveJournal to create and update their personal blogs.

Six Apart Ltd. paid an undisclosed amount of cash and stock for Danga and LiveJournal. Fitzpatrick told The Oregonian that a price tag above $1 million “would be a safe guess.”

Fitzpatrick and his 10 Portland staffers will move to California, where he will become Six Apart’s chief architect.

Bevis Lake or Butthead Lake?

Lake Stevens, Wash.

To the Washington state Department of Natural Resources, it’s Bevis Lake. In Census Bureau records, it’s Butthead Lake.

Ken Brown, a land surveyor with the state agency, suspects somebody in the federal agency decided to have some fun with the name of the 5.7-acre lake in a forested area about 25 miles northeast of Seattle.

“That means someone is playing a joke, I think,” Brown said.

He noted that U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps also show the name as Bevis Lake.

The names Bevis and Butthead are almost identical to the 1990s MTV cartoon show “Beavis and Butt-head,” which featured a pair of slacker teenagers who watch music videos on television, mess around at work with food sold at Burger World and make bad jokes at school.

It’s not unusual for small lakes in out-of-the-way places to have different names because of variations in county, state or other official records, but there are no such indications in this case, Brown said.

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