Searchers look for climber on Rainier
ASHFORD — A 57-year-old climber unclipped his rope and vanished near Mount Rainier’s summit, setting off searches by ground and helicopter, a National Parks spokeswoman said Friday.
Eric Lewis of Duvall was ascending with two partners Thursday when they stopped to rest and regroup. Lewis was last on their rope line. When they pulled the rope, they discovered Lewis had unclipped it and was nowhere to be seen, Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Lee Taylor said.
The climbing partners scoured the nearby area but could not find him. Searchers later located Lewis’ backpack and shovel at 13,600 feet and a snow cave at 13,800 feet.
Two helicopters — one from Fort Lewis and another from a private company — flew for several hours Friday, but turned back as the weather worsened.
Taylor said crews would search for Lewis until dark and resume today if he is not found.
Seattle: EPA offers money for Sound
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that nearly $30 million in federal money is on the way to help restore Puget Sound.
The money will be used to support local projects to protect and restore the sound’s water quality and habitat.
The agency says it will announce how some of the grant money will be used next week.
25-year sentence for fatal shooting
A man accused of firing into a crowded community center in south King County and killing a 21-year-old man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Seattlepi.com reports that Sopheatheara Kim apologized to the family of 21-year-old Shiloh Drott before he was sentenced Friday in King County Superior Court.
Police say Drott was socializing at a church-sponsored event in the small town of Pacific on Nov. 14, 2008 when he was shot.
Police say Kim fired at least eight rounds into the center while trying to shoot two men who had offended him earlier.
Tacoma: Owners denied dogs’ return
A Pierce County judge has refused to return 20 dogs and a duck to their Eatonville owners.
The dogs were among 77 animals, including 18 horses, seized June 3 by county officials who cited deplorable living conditions.
The judge says the dogs can be made available for adoption.
The owners — Bonnie and Lori Neisinger and Beverly and Holly Marks — say they’ll appeal. Holly Marks tells The News Tribune, “It’s like they stole my children.”
Pullman: Charges in Nov. hit-and-run
Whitman County prosecutors have filed a felony hit-and-run charge against the former boyfriend of a young woman left severely injured last November in the middle of a road outside Pullman.
Charged Thursday was 24-year-old Richard C. Pasma.
Washington State University graduate Kristen Grindley of Woodinville was found in a pool of blood early on Nov. 11.
Investigators believe she either fell out of a moving vehicle or was pushed from it. She was unconscious for days but her family says she has made a remarkable recovery. Investigators say she still has large gaps in her memory. She returned to her home in January.
Pasma’s lawyer Tim Esser says he’s confident his client will be exonerated. He says Pasma left last week on a fishing boat and is currently in the Bering Sea.
(Information from KOMO, KREM, KHQ)