Northwest Briefly: Family, friends plan memorial for slain teacher

  • Sat Feb 27th, 2010 11:13pm
  • News

TACOMA — A service to commemorate the life of a teacher killed outside her Tacoma school has been scheduled for noon Tuesday at Life Center Church in Tacoma. The public is invited.

Local clergy will also gather on Monday at Birney Elementary School for a brief ceremony in honor of Jennifer Paulson. The moment of blessing ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. at the Tacoma school where Paulson was killed on Friday.

Associated Ministries hosts moments of blessing to “reclaim” places where people are killed in Pierce County. The ceremony is open to the public.

McCleary: FBI returns to search missing girl’s home again

Taking advantage of a last opportunity before a missing girl’s mother moves, FBI agents have returned to Lindsey Baum’s home in McCleary to conduct a new search. Grays Harbor County Undersheriff Rick Scott said forensic experts are taking samples of carpeting, furniture, hair strands, car materials and anything else that might help them.

Scott said Friday the 10-year-old girl’s home has been searched at least three times before. But an outside review of the investigation suggested another sweep of the home be made by crime-scene specialists and an FBI team was available.

Scott said there is no new evidence but the girl’s mother, Melissa Baum, is moving out of McCleary soon. He said there are no suspects. He said the girl’s room has been preserved untouched since the evening of June 26, when she vanished while walking home from a friend’s residence.

Longview: State agency levies $40,000 fine for petroleum spill

The state Department of Ecology has fined a Longview company $40,000 for a petroleum coke spill on the Columbia River.

The agency on Friday told Chinook Ventures to stop unloading petroleum coke from rail cars onto river barges until the company gets permits to make sure its conveyer belt is safe. DOE said the conveyer belt is the source of the spill.

Chinook Ventures is conducting its own investigation of the spill and company officials are not sure what happened. But they stopped moving the coke from rail cars onto river barges until the investigation is complete.

Chinook has hired an outside engineering firm to review the company’s operations, including the conveyor belt.

Vancouver, Wash.: Police get credit for helping bust meth ring

A Clark County team is getting credit for helping police around the region stop methamphetamine cooks and dealers.

As of Friday, officers with several police agencies in Washington and Oregon had seized more than 1 1/2 pounds of crystal meth, $10,000 cash, meth lab equipment, plus guns, other drugs and other evidence.

The task force gives some of the credit for the success of the operation to Clark County tipsters and local police agencies.

The investigation continues, however, because the task force believes other members of the group are still operating in the five-county area of southwest Washington and northwest Oregon.

Oregon: New director takes over Oregon Zoo

The Oregon Zoo has a new director, beginning Monday.

Kimberly Smith comes to Portland from Chicago, where she was vice president of animal care at the Brookfield Zoo.

Portland’s is the oldest zoo west of the Mississippi and is in the early stages of $125 million worth of improvements, thanks to a bond measure voters passed in 2008.

Smith said she’ll continue the zoo’s conservation mission, such as past work done on the captive breeding of pygmy rabbits and California condors. She also hopes to improve the zoo’s elephant facility.

Oregon State Police name standoff suspect

Oregon State Police say a sex-abuse suspect found dead after a four-hour standoff was 46-year-old Troy Adam Baker.

Baker was found dead Friday night in his Creswell-area home of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

He was being investigated for the sexual abuse of a male victim over a several years.

Portland School Board OKs teacher contract

The Portland School Board has given its approval to a three-year contract with teachers.

The board voted unanimously Saturday to approve the deal, which calls for a 2 percent raise in the first year, none in the second, and another two percent raise in the third. The Portland Association of Teachers ratified the contract last week.

The deal was reached after 19 months of bargaining and mediation.

From Herald news services