Northwest briefly: Washougal man’s remains found in Haiti, family says

  • Mon Feb 8th, 2010 10:25pm
  • News

VANCOUVER, Wash. — In a Facebook announcement, the family of a 57-year-old Washougal man missing since Haiti’s Jan. 12 earthquake says his remains have been identified in the rubble of the collapsed Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince.

Walt Ratterman was visiting Haiti to check on a solar-power project. He was co-founder of Sun Energy Power International, a Washougal-based nonprofit agency that provides help with renewal energy systems in remote rural parts of the world.

Family members wrote Monday that they learned the news late Sunday night. They say his remains will be flown home and they plan a memorial gathering soon.

He is survived by his wife, Jeanne, his son, Shane, and daughter, Briana.

Seattle: Amtrak increases security

Amtrak said it’s stepping up security this week on trains operating to Vancouver, British Columbia, because of the Winter Olympics.

Passengers may notice more police, baggage screening and bomb-sniffing dogs at stations. Passengers will encounter more random identification checks. Undercover Amtrak police will be riding the trains.

Armored car guard shoots attacker

A man wounded by an armored car guard remains in critical condition Monday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. A spokeswoman says he’s in the intensive care unit.

Police said the 40-year-old was shot Sunday during an attempted robbery. The guard was returning to the armored car with a bag of money when the suspect came up from behind and tried to steal it. The guard did not let go and was being dragged. Police said he feared for his safety when he pulled his gun and fired six shots. The man was hit by two rounds — in the chest and elbow.

The guard was not injured.

$250M energy plant planned at Shelton

Areva, the international energy company based in France, and Charlotte, N.C.,-based Duke Energy have formed a joint venture to build a biomass energy plant at Shelton. The joint venture called Adage plans to spend $250 million on the plant that would burn logging waste and generate enough electricity to power 40,000 homes. The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce reported Adage chose Shelton because of its proximity to logging operations.

Adage spokesman Jarret Adams said more than 400 jobs will be created when construction begins later this year. More than 100 workers will operate the facility when it opens in 2013.

Adage said it is planning to build other biomass plants in the Northwest.

Olympia: Gregoire in torch ceremony

Gov. Chris Gregoire will join British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell for a cross-border Olympic torch ceremony. The event takes place today, when a Canadian relay runner will briefly hand-off the torch to an American runner at the Peace Arch State Park near Blaine.

That will mark the only time the Olympic torch relay visits the United States ahead of this year’s Winter Games. Gregoire plans to greet the runners at the event. The torch will then continue on its way to Vancouver for Friday’s opening ceremonies.

From Herald news services

Suquamish: Man wounded by police has long record

Police said the man wounded by two Suquamish tribal officers has nine felony convictions for drug, burglary and violent offense.

Police had responded to a report of a disturbance Saturday night when they say the suspect drove at them.

Chief Mike Lasnier said the car struck one officer and ran over another officer’s foot. Both fired. The officers were treated at a Bremerton hospital for their injuries.

They had tried to arrest the man for probation violations.

The Kitsap Sun reported the wounded driver surrendered at the Suquamish police department and was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he was reported in satisfactory condition.

The Kitsap County sheriff’s office is investigating the shooting.

Pasco: Bouncer stabbed to death outside nightclub

The man stabbed to death outside a Pasco nightclub was a bouncer.

Police say the 41-year-old victim, Forilan Godinez, of Kennewick was attacked early Sunday in an alley after he left the club, the El Patron.

The Tri-City Herald reported a witness told police the bouncer had argued earlier with a suspect about not carrying a drink out the door.

An officer found the bouncer with multiple stab wounds, and he was taken to Lourdes Medical Center where he died.

Police are looking for two men who drove off. The are believed to be cousins, 28-year-old Adan Virgen and 20-year-old Concepcion Virgen.

Port Orchard: Teen pleas insanity in robbery-killing

A Kitsap County teenager charged with stabbing an elderly neighbor to death has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

The Kitsap Sun reported Daniel J. Mustard, 18, entered the plea Friday in the Kitsap County Superior Court.

Mustard had previously pleaded not guilty to aggravated first-degree murder in the stabbing of Ruby Andrews, his 87-year-old neighbor, during a robbery at her home in Manchester in April 2009.

In the court filing, Mustard said he believes he was legally insane at the time of the killing. He said that he’s competent to stand trail, but claims to suffer from several disorders, including psychosis and bipolar disorder.

If convicted he faces a mandatory life prison term without parole.

Lake Tapps: 3rd suspect at large in fatal burglary

A burglary suspect who was shot and killed by a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy at Lake Tapps has been identified as a 23-year-old Renton man, Ion Ungureanu.

Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer says he was driving a car that tried to run down the deputy. A passenger in the car was wounded. A third man involved in the Saturday night burglary fled on foot.

Detectives think the men used a torch to try to open a safe in the garage. The homeowner had called 911 to report a break-in.

Yakima: 4 horses shot in Yakima County pasture

Four riding horses were shot in a pasture in Yakima County.

The sheriff’s office said one was found dead Sunday; one was not expected to survive; and two are likely to recover.

Deputies are asking the public for any information that could help them catch the shooter.

Walla Walla: 3 doors busted open at three homes

Someone kicked in doors at three different homes early Monday in Walla Walla.

Police say nothing was taken but there was heavy damage to the doors.

There was a similar doorbusting spree during burglies late last year in Walla Walla.