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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Child, 4, improving after tractor mishap

Steve Barnhart says it’s a miracle his young son survived a gruesome farm accident last week in North Idaho.

“We expect a full recovery,” the father said Monday, adding that the family wants to thank the public for an outpouring of support and prayers.

The 4-year-old boy, Tytus, was sitting on a tractor pulling a 7-foot-wide rototiller when he fell off Thursday evening. The tiller rolled over the child, fracturing his skull and causing several large cuts.

Barnhart, who said he has training as a nurse, rushed to the unconscious boy and got him breathing again. He gave his son CPR until medics arrived at the field, in Bonner County 12 miles north of Silverwood Theme Park.

Tytus is recovering at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. He suffered two skull fractures but shows no signs of brain injury, or any neck, back or intestinal injuries, Barnhart said. The boy is breathing fine and talking, he added.

“He’s watching ‘Bambi’ right now,” the father said.

Tytus was scheduled to have surgery on his humerus, the upper arm bone, Monday afternoon. He was expected to be released from the intensive care unit later in the day, Barnhart said.

“It was just a miracle,” the father said. “It had to be a God thing. We’re really grateful for all those people who prayed for him.”

Pend Oreille County

Car crash kills one, injures three others

An 82-year-old Ione, Wash., man was killed Monday and three passengers injured when their car struck a tree on state Route 20 near Cusick, Wash.

Nolan C. Lewis was driving a 1998 Chevrolet Blazer westbound on the highway in Pend Oreille County when the truck drifted to the right shoulder, hit gravel, overcorrected and went back onto the shoulder before striking a tree, the Washington State Patrol said.

Lewis died at the scene. Passengers Robert G. Thomas, 56, of Metaline Falls, Wash., Michelle K. Brennan, 67, and a 10-year-old girl, both of Ione, were all injured and taken by ambulance to Newport Hospital, the WSP said.

All four were wearing seat belts. The crash is under investigation.


Skunk odors delay sign ordinance debate

The stench coming from Spokane City Council chambers Monday night couldn’t be blamed on bad politics.

As the council debated the city’s proposed sign ordinance, many audience members began sniffing the air, whispering to those nearby and looking for the source of the strong smell of skunk that drifted through the City Hall basement.

Councilman Al French left the room to request the air system be shut down.

“This meeting stinks,” said Council President Joe Shogan, as he briefly interrupted council debate on the city’s proposed sign law. “Somehow a skunk has crawled into the ventilation system.”

Debate on the sign code, which would create standards on electronic signs and change rules on height and size of signs, lingered past 10:30 p.m. So did the smell.

Council President Joe Shogan said debate would continue at next week’s meeting.

Kootenai County

Cremated remains found in urn in forest

A Coeur d’Alene man hiking Saturday in a forest near Blue Creek Landing Road in Kootenai County discovered cremated remains left in an urn near the trail.

Kootenai County sheriff’s officials recovered the white, gray and black marble urn Sunday. It was placed in police property.

The ashes were in a plastic bag inside the urn, officials said. There was nothing on the urn to indicate a name or funeral home to locate the owner.

The hiker said he found the urn along a trail about a mile south from the intersection of Yellowstone Trail and Blue Creek Landing Road. The urn was resting under a set of small trees and had been tipped over with the lid slightly ajar. He thought it was a vase that someone had thrown away, officials said.

Anyone with information about the urn’s owner should call the sheriff at (208) 446-1300.

Boundary County

Driver, 21, hurt in Highway 95 rollover

A 21-year-old Coeur d’Alene man was injured Sunday night when he lost control of his vehicle and it rolled on U.S. Highway 95 north of Bonners Ferry.

Jason R. Guffey was northbound on the highway about 11 p.m. in a 2002 Cadillac Escalade when his car left the roadway to the right, the Idaho State Police said. He overcorrected, and the SUV crossed back over into the oncoming lane of traffic before leaving the road and rolling several times.

Guffey, who was ejected from the car, was transported by MedStar helicopter to Deaconess Medical Center in Spokane, where he was in critical condition Monday night.

Alcohol was a factor in the crash, the ISP said. The investigation is ongoing.

LIBBY, Mont.

Court puts timber sale in grizzly area on hold

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary injunction Monday halting a timber sale in grizzly habitat in the Kootenai National Forest in northwest Montana.

The Northeast Yaak Project would log 16.7 million board feet of timber, according to the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, which is challenging the sale. The environmental group said the logging and road-building would harm grizzlies. The sale has been in litigation since 2007.

Between 30 and 40 grizzly bears inhabit the Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates.

The temporary injunction was granted pending review by a panel assigned to hear the merits of the appeal, court documents said.

Spokane Valley

Fire destroys home, damages another

A Spokane Valley trailer home was destroyed and another damaged by fire Sunday.

Spokane Valley firefighters were called to the King’s Court Trailer Park, 4706 E. First Ave., about 7:30 a.m. When crews arrived they found a single-wide trailer engulfed in flames.

The home’s resident told fire officials he awoke to find flames in his living room. He tried to extinguish the blaze before escaping outside, said Capt. Jeff Bordwell.

The fire caused heavy damage to the trailer, and some exterior damage to a trailer next door, Bordwell said. The cause is under investigation.

Wallace, Idaho

Soil disposal site to be discussed

Plans for a new soil repository in the Silver Valley will be discussed Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Wallace Inn, 100 Front St.

Contaminated soils from the Bunker Hill Superfund site cleanup will be housed in the repository, which will be located between Big Creek and Mullan. The site hasn’t been chosen yet. At the meeting, officials will explain how they will develop site selection criteria.

Comments may be sent before June 19 to Andy Mork, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, 1410 N. Hilton St., Boise, ID 83706, or

From staff reports
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