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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Man hospitalized after van rollover

U.S. Highway 2 north of Elk-Chattaroy Road was closed for several hours Monday following a one-vehicle accident that injured a 76-year-old Colbert man.

The driver, James Allen Wittman, was taken by ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center a short time after the 10:49 a.m. accident, where he remained hospitalized late Monday.

The rollover accident at Jim Hill Road blocked the southbound lanes for three hours. Southbound traffic was rerouted onto Chattaroy Road during an investigation by officers, Washington State Patrol troopers said.

According to troopers, Wittman was headed north on the highway when he stopped his 2005 Dodge Caravan in the roadway at Colbert Road. He then resumed travel northbound, but at a high rate of speed, losing control and going off the highway into the grassy median strip.

The vehicle rolled several times before coming to rest in the southbound lanes, blocking traffic, troopers said.

Wittman was wearing a seat belt. Alcohol or drugs are not believed to be involved.


Child left in car seven hours dies

Police are investigating the death of a 1-year-old boy left alone in his mother’s car for seven hours while she worked at an assisted living facility.

Lynnwood police spokeswoman Shannon Sessions said the baby was left in a car seat from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday, when the 21-year-old Everett woman returned to the car and found him unresponsive.

The mother brought the baby inside to the Sunrise Assisted Living facility and someone called 911. Lynnwood firemen determined the child was dead.

The mother was not immediately identified.

Sessions said the baby’s death is under investigation, and the Snohomish County medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

The spokeswoman said she did not know the temperature inside the car. The National Weather Service reported Monday’s high temperature in nearby Everett was 69.

Gresham, Ore.

Two climbers die in Columbia Gorge

An Oregon police detective and his sister-in-law have been identified as the two climbers who died in an accident at Horsethief Butte in the Columbia River Gorge.

The Gresham Police Department said Monday that Detective Tony “T.C.” Silva and his sister-in-law Laura Dyal-Silva fell to their deaths Sunday. Emergency personnel responded quickly, but the duo could not be resuscitated.

According to the department, Silva was an eight-year veteran and was working as a detective in a gang enforcement team. He’d previously served as a field training officer and a SWAT member. His dad, Tony Silva, is also a police officer for the department.

Horsethief Butte is a climbing area at Columbia Hills State Park on the Columbia River. The park is about 85 miles east of Vancouver, Wash.


Underwood tagged for U.S. marshal

Rep. Walt Minnick is nominating a city council member and former police officer from Pocatello to be the next U.S. marshal in Idaho.

Minnick, a Democrat, announced Monday that he has nominated Brian Underwood. Now it’s up to President Barack Obama to approve hiring Underwood for the job.

Underwood is the warden at the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center, a post he has held since 2002. He is also a three-term city council member in Pocatello, and from 2006-’08 served as council president.

Underwood emerged as the finalist in a review by a committee appointed by Minnick to consider all applicants for the federal position.

That committee included a former U.S. marshal and others from Idaho’s law enforcement community.


Free Easter meals offered for families

Women’s and Children’s Free Restaurant, 1620 N. Monroe St., is offering a free Easter dinner today from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant, located in the lower level of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, provides sit-down meals to low-income women and their children several times a week, but it’s opening Easter dinner to entire families, men included. At 3:30, children can have their photo taken with “Bob the Bunny.” For more information, call (509) 324-1995.


Party to raise funds for milfoil control

A spring bash and weevil party on Saturday will help raise money for a new tool for attacking milfoil infestations in Lake Pend Oreille.

Partners for Milfoil Control is raising money for a native milfoil weevil demonstration project this summer.

Admission is $12 and includes a showing of the film “FLOW” at the Panida Theatre, 300 N. First. The doors open at 6 p.m. in advance of the 7 p.m. showing. The evening continues with four musical acts and an auction.

Tickets will be sold at Common Knowledge, Eichardt’s, Stage Right Cellars, and the Panida Theatre box office. Individuals may contribute tax-deductible cash gifts securely online at

For more information, call Partners for Milfoil Control, (208) 597-7188.

From staff and wire reports

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