Northwest News

Idaho lawmaker says some teachers "clearly" overpaid

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An eastern Idaho lawmaker says he doesn't remember saying that there are teachers in school districts "clearly overpaid" while his microphone was still on when the House floor was at ease.Rep. Ron Nate, a Republican from Rexburg, declined to clarify his statement when asked by The Associated Press on Tuesday. Nate said he knew his microphone was turned on, but added that he often doesn't remember the details of recent conversations.

Wet winter good for pears in southwest Oregon

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Orchardists in southwestern Oregon are benefiting from the wet winter but say all the water will result in a late season for pears.The Mail Tribune reports ( Medford has exceeded the 18-inch annual average precipitation total with more than 21 inches since the water year began Oct. 1. The city is also more than 8 inches above the normal count for this time of year.

No charges against Seattle officers who fatally shot man

SEATTLE (AP) — A Washington state prosecutor says he will not file criminal charges against two Seattle police officers who fatally shot a 46-year-old African-American man last year.King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said at a news conference Tuesday that the officers, who are white, reasonably believed their lives were in danger when they shot Che Taylor in February 2016. He says "their use of deadly force at that moment was authorized by law."

Reward money offered for information on Idaho town vandals

SUGAR CITY, Idaho (AP) — A small town in southeastern Idaho is working to track down the person responsible for spray-painting city buildings and homes with messages promoting the legalization of meth and marijuana.The Standard Journal reports ( that former Sugar City Mayor LaMont Merrill presented city officials with $500 to be used as reward money for those who help authorities catch the suspect or suspects. The city agreed to match Merrill's offer on Monday.

Idaho House OKs bill offering incentives to data centers

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation offering sales tax incentives to data centers is headed to the Idaho Senate.House members narrowly approved the measure on Tuesday on a 35-34 vote.Officials with the Idaho Department of Commerce are backing a measure that would offer sales tax rebates to eligible server equipment, which are typically replaced every three to five years in a data center.

Seattle homeless shelter told to leave for new shelter

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle homeless shelter is trying to figure out alternative sleeping arrangements for 75 men who will be displaced once the city takes over the building and puts a new homeless shelter there.KOMO-TV reported ( Tuesday that Operation Nightwatch offers men a place to stay overnight in the lobby of a building in Seattle's international district.

Federal authorities cite UW for research monkey death

SEATTLE (AP) — Federal regulators have cited the University of Washington for allowing a research monkey to die of thirst.The Seattle Times reports ( ) that the U.S. Department of Agriculture animal welfare inspection report says that keepers noticed an 8-year-old female pigtail macaque was lethargic on Jan. 8. The animal was found to be severely dehydrated and died within an hour.

More details released about woman found slain in car trunk

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Clackamas County woman who was found dead in the trunk of her car was discovered with handcuffs attached to one wrist, a bottle of water, a bag of cookies and used duct tape.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports ( ) that police found Merrilee Cooley's car parked in an apartment complex in Milwaukie on Jan. 5 with the doors unlocked and the key in the ignition.

Woman who inadvertently shot neighbor gets 6 years in prison

OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) — A young woman who fired a gun during an argument with her boyfriend — inadvertently killing her elderly neighbor — has been sentenced to six years and three months in prison.Noelle St. John told investigators she grabbed her boyfriend's .380 caliber handgun at a suburban Portland apartment last June. She pointed it at her head, then opened the front door and fired a round.

Court vacates 2 of former Idaho sheriff's convictions

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Supreme Court has vacated two counts from a former Jefferson County sheriff's conviction for misuse of public funds.The Post Register reports ( ) that under direction from the high court, a district court judge on Monday vacated two out of three felony counts of misuse of public funds against former sheriff Blair Olsen. The charges were related to Olsen's wife, Marie Olsen, using a county-paid cellphone primarily for personal use.

Oregon City woman gets life in prison for killing husband

OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon City woman who killed her divorce-seeking husband has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.According to court documents, 57-year-old Lisa Peterson told investigators that she initially planned to shoot herself in front of her husband on Feb. 11, 2016. She instead shot Joseph Peterson in the chest.

Burien teen dies in accidental shooting, close friend booked

SEATTLE (AP) — A 17-year-old boy has been booked into King County youth detention for manslaughter after police say he killed a close friend in an accidental shooting south of Seattle.Donovan Spann was killed when a gun discharged Friday evening at a home in the White Center area.Highline High School principal Vicki Fisher told the Seattle Times that 18-year-old Spann was on track to graduate in June from New Starts alternative high school.

Police looking for Oregon woman last seen at Thanksgiving

CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. (AP) — Police are searching for a southern Oregon woman who was reported missing last month, but has not been seen since Thanksgiving.Oregon State Police say 20-year-old Kayla Lee Yarbrough is known to frequent Cave Junction, where her family lives. She's 5-foot-2, 130 pounds and has strawberry blond hair.Relatives say it's not like her to go months without contacting family or friends.

Former Coulee Dam vice-principal gets 7 years for child porn

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A former assistant principal of Coulee Dam elementary school has been sentenced to seven years in prison for receiving child pornography.Nathan Piturachsatit was sentenced Monday in federal court in Spokane after pleading guilty to the charge in November.

Over 1,800 Oregon State students vaccinated

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State University vaccinated over 1,800 students to boost immunity on campus to a strain of meningococcal disease that sickened three students in recent months.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports ( ) the university hosted a two-day mass vaccination in Corvallis last week.

Embattled Bellevue hedge fund adviser accused of fraud

SEATTLE (AP) — Federal prosecutors have charged the former head of a Bellevue wealth management firm accused of running a Ponzi scheme with wire fraud and making false statements to the United reports ( ) charges against Summit Asset Strategies CEO Chris Young Yoo were unsealed Monday.Yoo's attorney Michelle Peterson says her client will be pleading guilty as part of a plea deal.

City says drugmaker knowingly let pills flood black market

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — A city in Washington state is suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the pain medication OxyContin, in an unusual case that alleges the drugmaker knowingly allowed pills to be funneled into the black market and into the city.The city of Everett, north of Seattle, wants the drugmaker to pay for damages to the community. Officials say Everett has spent millions combating OxyContin and heroin abuse and expects the tab to rise.

Landslide disrupts southwestern Washington Amtrak services

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Officials say Amtrak services have been temporarily disrupted between Vancouver and Kelso because of a landslide.Amtrak said in a news release Monday that BNSF Railway, which owns the tracks, has placed a 48-hour moratorium on all rail traffic in the area until Wednesday.Amtrak is working to secure alternate transportation for the Amtrak Cascades and Coast Starlight service.Normal rail operations continue south of Portland, Oregon to Eugene, Oregon.

Autopsy: Man shot by Bellingham officer bled to death

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — An initial autopsy of a man who was shot to death by a Bellingham police officer Sunday has determined he bled to death from a gunshot wound to the neck.The Bellingham Herald reports ( ) authorities are still working to confirm the man's identity.The incident occurred on a Bellingham street as witnesses reported a fight in which the man who was shot allegedly stabbed another man in the neck.

Man arrested after attack at Middle Eastern restaurant

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Police arrested an Oregon man accused of attacking a restaurant employee with a pipe while calling the worker a terrorist and telling him to go back to his country.Court documents say Jason Kendall told an arresting officer he entered the Middle Eastern restaurant in Salem last week after seeing a woman who he thought was being held as a slave because of the style of blouse she was wearing.

Lawmakers, advocates demand funding of education measure

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — As the Oregon Legislature considers sweeping cutbacks and tax hikes to close ag $1.6 billion budget deficit, an education ballot initiative that voters overwhelmingly approved in November may be on the chopping block before it goes into effect.A group of education advocates and bipartisan lawmakers are now demanding the Legislature carry out the will of Oregon voters and fully fund the $300 million per-biennium cost as required by Measure 98.

Warrant for Facebook pipeline protest data dropped

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — A sheriff's search warrant in northwestern Washington that sought private Facebook data as part of an investigation into a Dakota Access oil pipeline protest has been withdrawn after an American Civil Liberties Union challenge.The ACLU of Washington said in a news release that the Whatcom County prosecutor on Monday withdrew the search warrant obtained by the Whatcom County Sheriff Department.