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

Officials pleased with area boaters

The sunny weather brought lots of people out on Inland Northwest waters Saturday, and Sgt. Matt Street of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department said most boaters were doing a great job.

“We expected it to be busy, and it really was,” Street said.

All the boats he inspected at local boat ramps were in compliance with their safety gear and licenses, he said.

Compliance was scant, however, for the newly required Invasive Species Fund sticker, which all boats longer than 10 feet, including rafts, kayaks and canoes, must have.

“The boaters want to do it, there is just some confusion about how to get the sticker,” Street said, adding that the stickers are available at any Idaho State Parks office, including the regional headquarters in Coeur d’Alene. “You no longer have to go to Boise to get them.”

Street said because the invasive species sticker requirement is so new, he hadn’t issued any citations.

“It’s about educating the public at this point,” Street said.

Street offered a reminder to boaters that they still need to be very careful on the Spokane River, especially between North Idaho College and the Post Falls Dam.

“The water looks flat and calm, but it’s moving pretty quickly,” Street said. “If your boat dies, you’ll start floating downriver right away.”

Man’s leg badly cut by boat propeller

A boater visiting Lake Coeur d’Alene from Denver got his right leg severely cut by a boat propeller Saturday afternoon near Carlin Bay.

Nicholas McMordie, 25, got too close to the propeller of a boat driven by his friend, Benjamin Stein, 25, of Spokane.

EMTs from the Coeur d’Alene City Fire Department responded to the Third Street Public Boat Launch around 3:30 p.m. from which McMordie was taken to Kootenai Medical Center to be treated for his injuries.

“He fell over the back of the boat, and the propeller got him,” said Sgt. Matt Street of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department.

McMordie had numerous lacerations to his lower right leg. The injuries were not life-threatening.

According to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department, it appears that alcohol was not a factor in the accident, and no citations will be issued.

Pair sentenced for drug trafficking

Wylie Gail Hunter, 52, of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Chase Storlie, 25, of Coeur d’Alene, were sentenced Friday in a drug trafficking case dating from Sept. 2, 2007.

Hunter was sentenced to 15 years and Storlie was sentenced to 12 years in state prison, both for marijuana trafficking, according to a news release from Kootenai County.

Hunter was driving the car and Storlie, a former standout football player for Lake City High School, was a passenger when Idaho State Patrol troopers stopped them because they were speeding. The car they were driving also was a suspected drug-trafficking car.

A search of the car revealed 75 pounds of marijuana, known as BC bud, with a street value of about $225,000.

At the time, Hunter was on probation in connection with a prior drug smuggling case.

“The long sentences imposed by Judge Lansing Haynes reflects the seriousness of the offense and the defendants’ prior criminal history,” Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney Barry McHugh said in a statement. “We hope the sentence deters others from engaging in this dangerous illegal activity.”

As part of his sentencing, Hunter has to pay a $15,000 fine and $5,200 in laboratory fees incurred by the state of Idaho while investigating the case.

Spokane County

Moose struck near previous crash site

A driver hit with a moose Saturday afternoon, at approximately the same location where a 19-year-old Spokane woman was killed after hitting a moose on May 13.

Saturday’s crash happened westbound on Interstate 90, near the state line.

The Washington State Patrol said the driver had left the scene by the time WSP troopers arrived. It’s not illegal to leave the scene of an accident with an animal.

The moose had to be euthanized by Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife because of injuries it suffered.

POCATELLO, Idaho

Students punished for kicking chick

Five students at Highland High School in eastern Idaho have been punished after a baby chicken was kicked to death in what administrators are calling a senior class prank gone wrong.

Principal David Ross said some high school seniors brought six chickens into the school building in Pocatello on Wednesday, and other students began kicking one of the small birds, which were about two weeks old.

Ross says students who witnessed the incident in a school hallway were able to rescue five of the chicks, and a Highland High teacher who has a small farm took them home.

The principal did not comment on the details of the sanctions for the four students.

PORT GAMBLE, Wash.

Hood Canal bridge may open early

The state Transportation Department says the Hood Canal floating bridge might open one week earlier than planned.

A cooperative Mother Nature has allowed the state and Poulsbo, Wash.,-based contractor Kiewit-General to make good progress this week joining portions of the bridge, which closed May 1.

The DOT says crews brought in extra tug boats to work during rough weather and accelerated pontoon installation when the weather was good. Work to join the pontoons finished Thursday.

The work is part of a $499 million effort to replace the east half of the bridge and update parts of the west side.

From staff and wire reports

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