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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Worker suffers serious injuries

Compiled from staff and wire reports The Spokesman-Review

A construction worker suffered serious injuries Thursday afternoon when he fell in a trench at a water reservoir construction site near Mead.

The man, who was not identified, was taken by helicopter to Sacred Heart Medical Center, said Spokane County Fire District 9 Deputy Chief Doug Bleeker. His condition was unknown Thursday evening.

The man was working at the construction site off of Florida Lane, south of Sorrel Lane, when he fell about 8 feet into a trench and hit the edge of a concrete drywell, Bleeker said. He then dropped about another 4 feet into the well.

Rescuers were called about 2:30 p.m.

The worker sustained a skull fracture and a possible broken leg and was suffering from respiratory problems, Bleeker said.

The man was working for Wesslen Construction and helping to install the drywell as part of the construction of a new water reservoir for Spokane County Water District 3, said Jerry Wesslen, president of Wesslen Construction. The reservoir is scheduled to be completed this fall.

Nez Perce police chief announces retirement

Lapwai, Idaho Nez Perce Tribal Police Chief Tom Idol is retiring this month.

Idol, who has served as police chief for eight years, said health problems required that he slow his work pace. He did not release further details.

“We appreciate the years of dedicated service Chief Idol has given to the Nez Perce Tribe,” tribal Chairwoman Rebecca Miles said in a statement. “We will greatly miss his leadership of the Tribal Police Department because he has always strived to make the department run in the most efficient manner.”

Before taking the top tribal police job, Idol worked for the Latah County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Energy and the Air Force.

Patrol blames leaking truck for accidents

Seattle The State Patrol believes it was a large truck making deliveries that leaked slippery hydraulic fluid on Interstate 5 between Seattle and Federal Way, causing about 40 accidents.

The truck apparently traveled north to Seattle, then turned around at the Mercer Street exit and headed back south because fluid was on the freeway in both directions – and 20 accidents occurred in each direction Wednesday night, Trooper Kelly Spangler said. No serious injuries were reported. The Mercer Street exit was closed for about an hour while crews put down sand to absorb the fluid.

Man gets 20 years for running meth lab

Seattle A Bellingham man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for running a methamphetamine lab that left his son and other children contaminated.

James J. Templeton, 35, pleaded guilty in February in U.S. District Court in Seattle to conspiracy to make meth. He admitted producing up to a pound of the substance a week.

“The amount of methamphetamine here is shocking,” Judge Marsha Pechman told him at sentencing Wednesday. “You are off the charts.”

Templeton’s son and his sister’s children all tested positive for meth due to their contact with the environment of the lab, the U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle said. A family that bought one home where Templeton had produced meth wound up having to have the entire property decontaminated at their own expense.

Climber back home after Nepal quest

Seattle Bainbridge Island mountain climber Ed Viesturs is home after successfully reaching the summit of Annapurna in Nepal.

Viesturs said last week’s summit was a big challenge and a huge feeling of accomplishment because he has now climbed the world’s 14 highest mountains. All are more than 26,000 feet.

His voice is still hoarse from breathing the cold air but Viesturs said he’s recovered from the ordeal, although he lost 10 pounds.

Viesturs is the 12th mountaineer to climb the 14 peaks. The 45-year-old began his mission 16 years ago.

At 26,545 feet, Annapurna is the 10th highest peak in the world. Viesturs had been turned back five years ago in his first attempt.

Plane passengers hit heads in turbulence

Seattle Three passengers hit their heads on overhead bins when a Horizon Air Q200 twin-engine turboprop encountered heavy turbulence Thursday as it landed in rain and wind at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

No one was seriously hurt, an airline spokeswoman said.

One woman passenger, who was not identified, was looked at by firefighters from the Port of Seattle Fire Department, but did not require hospitalization, said Horizon spokeswoman Jen McSkimming.

The other two passengers who hit their heads did not have to be looked at by the firefighters, she added.

There were 29 passengers and three crew members aboard the flight from Redmond, Ore., that landed at 3:50 p.m.

Letourneau set for televised wedding

Seattle Mary Kay Letourneau and her former sixth-grade pupil – the father of her two youngest children – are to be married Friday night at a secluded spot in King County, “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider” reported Thursday.

Tents were being erected Thursday afternoon for the ceremony, according to the television programs, which obtained exclusive rights to cover the ceremony. A rehearsal dinner was planned Thursday, with bridesmaids, groomsmen and relatives in attendance.

Letourneau, now 43, served 7 1/2 years in prison after she was convicted of raping Vili Fualaau, now 22. She was released last August.

The couple first met when he was in second grade. Their relationship became sexual when he was 12 and she was a 34-year-old married mother of four, a teacher at Burien’s Shorewood Elementary School.

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