Local briefly: BASE jumper likely subject of 911 call

BOTHELL — A skydiver, rather than a hang glider, most likely is what a witness saw Tuesday when they called 911 to report someone in trouble in the skies near Bothell, officials said.

About 1 p.m. someone thought they saw a hang glider crash into a radio tower and emergency crews used a helicopter, thermal imaging and dozens of people to scour an area near a 385-foot radio tower off 51st Avenue SE, Snohomish County sheriff’s spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said.

After a 90-minute search, officials found no signs of anyone hurt, she said.

Crews believed a BASE jumper, someone who uses a parachute to jump from heights sometimes only hundreds-of-feet high, may have prompted the search, Hover said. BASE is an acronym for building, antennae, span and earth.

“We can’t prove that it’s a BASE jumper. That’s the theory that we’re working,” she said.

Stanwood: Helicopter rotor forces landing

An Airlift Northwest ambulance helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing Tuesday morning in a Stanwood field about 6 miles west of I-5 because of problems with a rotor blade, officials said.

The pilot and two nurses aboard were not injured in the landing, Airlift Northwest spokeswoman Mardie Rhodes said. No patients were aboard the helicopter.

Airlift Northwest grounded most of its fleet of helicopters for much of the day as a precaution. The company worked with other air medical providers to make sure service is available if needed, Rhodes said.

In September 2005, a pilot and two nurses died when an Airlift Northwest helicopter crashed into Puget Sound off Edmonds. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the cause of the crash could not be determined.

Lynnwood: Message leads to lockdown

A threatening phone message sometime over the weekend at Alderwood Middle School prompted a lockdown Tuesday morning as police searched the building for anything suspicious, officials said.

A police search found nothing suspicious, Edmonds School District spokeswoman Debbie Jakala said.

A school secretary first listened to the message about 7:30 a.m. and called police, Jakala said. School was closed Monday for Veterans Day.

Students were told to stay in their classrooms while Snoho­mish County sheriff’s deputies and Washington State Patrol troopers searched the building, she said.

“It was a precautionary move to make sure there was nothing behind the threatening message. (Police) determined the building was safe,” Jakala said.

Police looking for espresso stand robber

Police are searching for a man who robbed a Lynnwood espresso stand Sunday night.

The man walked up to the barista about 6 p.m. in the 16400 block of 36th Avenue W. and used a gun to demand money, Snohomish County sheriff’s spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said.

The man ran off and deputies used a police dog to search the area but didn’t find the suspect, she said.

The suspect is described as a white male, wearing a gray sweatshirt with red lettering on it. He was wearing a red beanie and dark gloves, Hover said.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 425-388-3845.

Monroe: Man charged with rape of girl, 14

A man who was convicted of first-degree murder two decades ago in Arkansas was charged Tuesday with second-degree rape in an alleged sexual assault on a 14-year-old Monroe girl.

Lloyd Eugene McElhiney, 45, was being held on $250,000 bail.

Relatives said McElhiney recently had been living out of his 1992 Ford Explorer, according to charging documents.

The girl was assaulted Nov. 4 after the relatives asked McElhiney to tow away a Jeep from their property. The victim accompanied him, court documents said.

He pulled off a road near the Snohomish River, injected cocaine and forcibly raped the girl, deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson said in charging papers.

McElhiney was paroled from Arkansas to Oregon in 2000 in the 1988 murder conviction, Matheson said. He moved to Washington in 2003, where he was being supervised by state community correction officials, documents said.

From Herald staff reports

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