Tugboat captain in 520 bridge crash surrenders license

Herald news services

SEATTLE — The captain of a tugboat that collided with the Evergreen Point floating bridge has surrendered his captain’s license for two months and agreed to a year’s probation.

The agreement between the U.S. Coast Guard and 59-year-old captain Myron Kjos was approved last week by administrative law Judge Edwin Bladen.

The Coast Guard concluded Kjos fell asleep while pushing an empty gravel barge early July 29, and woke up too late to keep the barge from hitting one of the bridge’s support columns. The accident closed the bridge’s right eastbound lane, snarling traffic for 12 days.

Kjos has agreed to stay off the water for good and accept an administrative job with his employer, Sea Coast Towing, operations manager Michael Myers said.

The Coast Guard is still considering a fine against Sea Coast Towing.

  • Photographer pleads innocent to exploitation charge: The owner of a Richland photography studio pleaded innocent Friday to sexual exploitation of a minor stemming from modeling sessions involving a 16-year-old girl. Harold C. Fleener, owner of Marlin’s Columbia Photography, is accused of arranging modeling sessions in which the teen-age girl posed nude while a 20-year-old female apprentice took photos. Fleener, 48, contends he didn’t find out the girl was underage until after the photo sessions in September and October. Police began their investigation in October after the girl told a school counselor about the sessions. If convicted, Fleener faces a 31- to 41-month prison sentence.

  • Neighborhood "candy man" charged with sex crimes: A man is in jail charged with 50 child-related sex crimes against at least four young girls who lived in his northeast Portland neighborhood. Leroy Myron Holmes, 61, was arrested Wednesday at his home in northeast Portland by the Multnomah County Child Abuse Team. Holmes, who is also known as "Bud" or "Buddy," faces multiple sex-related charges, including sodomy, sexual penetration and attempted rape. Holmes is being held in the Multnomah County Jail on $11 million bail. Police said Holmes was known by neighborhood children as the "candy man" because he handed out sweets on his doorstep.

  • State workers ordered to cooperate in investigation: Gov. John Kitzhaber’s office has ordered the state Department of Transportation to cooperate with a criminal investigation into a botched cleaning project that resulted in the accidental killing of federally protected steelhead in the Columbia River Gorge. The investigation includes determining whether state workers falsified documents, The Oregonian reported in its Saturday’s editions. The fish were killed on Oct. 9 when Tumult Creek was diverted from its bed so crews could remove debris. The creek is near the small community of Dodson and flows into the Columbia River. At the time, Transportation Department crews were supervising a contracting company hired to clean a culvert under Interstate 84.

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