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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Monday, May 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

In brief: Girl who survived fall released

The 7-year-old girl who survived a fall from a Portland bridge and more than 30 minutes in the Willamette River has been released from Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and is with her father.

The authorities say the first-grader is expected to fully recover from her injuries.

The girl’s mother, 31-year-old Amanda Stott-Smith, is in a Portland jail on accusations of murder and attempted murder. Police believe she forced her two children off the Sellwood Bridge early Saturday.

Though the girl survived, her 4-year-old brother did not.

A lawyer for the father said Thursday that a memorial fund to help pay for Eldon Smith’s funeral has been established through Bank of America. Contributions may be made at any branch to The Eldon J. Smith Memorial Fund.

SEATTLE

Man gets prison in random stabbing

A man who randomly stabbed a Seattle woman to death on Dec. 31, 2007, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison.

James A. Williams, 51, has a long history of mental illness. He was sentenced Thursday in King County Superior Court for first-degree murder.

He stabbed 31-year-old Shannon Harps to death near her home in the Capitol Hill neighborhood while shouting “die, die, die.” When he entered his guilty plea earlier this month, Williams said he didn’t really remember the crime because, in his words, “God erased my memory.”

Judge Palmer Robinson heard from Harps’ family and friends before handing down the lengthy prison term.

Prosecutor Dan Satterberg has said the case highlighted gaps in the state’s mental health and criminal justice systems.

SEATTLE

Grants will fund wind research

Three Washington companies are getting federal grants totaling nearly $570,000 to support wind energy research.

The projects are among 53 selected by the U.S. Department of Energy this month to receive a total of up to $8.5 million.

Energy Northwest in Richland will get $100,000 to promote wind power development. eFormative Options on Vashon Island will get $200,000 to help utilities promote onsite wind generation. DNV Global Energy Concepts Inc. in Seattle will get about $270,000 to develop training for those entering the wind industry.

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK, Wash.

Fisher weasel births confirmed

Biologists have confirmed the first fishers born in Washington since the animals, members of the weasel family, were reintroduced to the state two years ago.

Photographs taken last weekend from a remote camera placed deep in Olympic National Park show a female fisher carrying four kits down a large snag.

The female in the photograph is one of the first fishers reintroduced to the park as part of a plan to restore the animal to its native habitat.

State officials say the discovery of kits indicates fishers are adapting to their new habitat. Biologists are also tracking the movements of 36 fishers released since 2008.

The stocky animals were listed as a state endangered species in 1998. They usually give birth in late March and use tree cavities as dens.

From wire reports

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