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In brief: Omak family among four killed in car collision west of Davenport

From Staff Reports

Three members of an Omak family were among four killed Wednesday night in a car wreck west of Davenport.

The Washington State Patrol said Jake Walter, 28, Georgina Walter, 32, and 5-month-old Logan Walter died when their 1999 Chrysler 300 slammed head-on into a semi-truck on state Highway 2. George Friedlander, 68, of Nespelem, was the fourth person in the car killed when Jake Walter failed to negotiate a turn, crossed the centerline and collided with the tanker truck.

The truck’s driver, Gerard Kane, of Clayton, was injured.

The Washington State Patrol said it’s unknown if drugs or alcohol played a role. The adults were wearing seat belts but the baby was not properly restrained, the WSP said.

The accident closed the roadway for several hours and traffic was detoured onto Miles Creston Road and Highway 25.

Fire east of Gifford growing

A 30-acre wildfire threatened homes near Gifford in Stevens County on Thursday night.

The fire was reported around 3:30 p.m. and was not contained as of 8:30 p.m. It started south of Addy-Gifford Road and spread north, said Rick Anderson, the county’s emergency management coordinator.

Residents of more than 30 homes at first were advised to evacuate, but that was updated to an “evacuation readiness warning” just before 8:30 p.m.

“It’s one way in and one way out,” said Anderson. “Everybody needs to be ready to go on short notice.”

Firefighters from the Department of Natural Resources, Stevens County Fire District 12 and the U.S. Forest Service saved three homes threatened by flames, Anderson said.

Fire crews are nervous about forecasts for strong winds in the next few days, Anderson said.

The Red Cross opened a shelter for evacuees at the Evergreen School in Gifford.

WSU: Roundup not found in breast milk

Washington State University researchers have found that glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, does not accumulate in human breast milk.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is using the study as part of a review of glyphosate prompted by public concern last year over a controversial report that said traces of glyphosate were found in three of 10 breast milk samples.

“Our study provides strong evidence that glyphosate is not in human milk,” said Michelle McGuire, an associate WSU professor and lead researcher.

She and her colleagues collected milk and urine samples from 41 lactating women near Pullman and Moscow. The study did not find glyphosate in the milk samples, even when the mother had detectable amounts in her urine.

The study’s findings were presented Thursday at the Federation of American Societies of Biology Conference in Big Sky, Montana.

Downtown skatepark to be demolished

Downtown Spokane’s Under the Freeway Skatepark will be demolished starting Aug. 3, the city says.

The park sits on Department of Transportation property and has a reputation for attracting crime and graffiti, prompting city officials to begin talking about options for its replacement several years ago.

The city’s parks and recreation division is working with Seattle-based Grindline Inc., a skatepark design company, to identify a location for a replacement. The consensus of people attending a meeting on the subject in June was for a new park in Riverfront Park.

The  Grindline report is posted at the parks division website. The city’s park board will have the final say on a location.

The city has earmarked $288,000 from a previous park bond for a new skatepark.

City officials are encouraging people who use the park to visit before it’s demolished and post photos to Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #UTFTribute.

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