Grizzly bear attacks federal biologist in Montana

MISSOULA, Mont. — A grizzly bear has attacked a federal biologist during a surprise encounter at a research site in Montana’s Centennial Valley.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Joseph Szuszwalak said the biologist, who was not named, was treated for serious bite wounds Wednesday before being released from a hospital in Rexburg, Idaho, the Missoulian reported.

The biologist heard a noise in the brush while monitoring a sage grouse research project and saw two grizzly bears less than 100 yards away, Szuszwalak said. One bear stood up while the other charged.

The biologist used bear spray until the animals ran off. Other Fish and Wildlife Service staff nearby helped escort the biologist to safety.

The attack occurred in the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge west of Elk Lake in Beaverhead County.

Both Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks and Idaho Department of Fish and Game investigators are reviewing the incident.

Recreationists and people who work outdoors are urged to be aware of surroundings, carry bear spray, travel in groups and follow U.S. Forest Service food storage orders.

Man who fatally stabbed two people gets 66 years in prison

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A 38-year-old man who fatally stabbed two neighbors and tried to kill another while living in a transitional housing apartment complex in Vancouver was sentenced to 66 years in prison.

Clark County Superior Court Judge John Fairgrieve sentenced Dustin Zapel on Friday for the deaths of Thomas West, 42, and James Olsen, 55, the Columbian reported.

A jury convicted Zapel in March of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree attempted murder. Jurors also returned a special verdict, finding that he was armed with a deadly weapon when he committed the crimes.

According to court records, on July 16, 2017, officers found West and Olsen’s bodies in the apartment complex’s courtyard. Surveillance cameras captured the attack, which police said appeared to be unprovoked.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Anna Klein said during trial that Zapel was wandering around the common areas of the apartment complex at 1:20 a.m. when he came upon West in a smoking area. Zapel stabbed West 26 times, according to the prosecutor. Next, he attacked Olsen, stabbing him 18 times.

David Garner stumbled upon the scene, and Zapel tried to attack him, but he escaped and called 911.

Remains confirmed to be Oregon woman missing since December

NORTH PLAINS, Ore. — Authorities say a body found Saturday in an unincorporated area near North Plains, Ore., belongs to a 20-year-old woman reported missing in December.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said Friday that the county medical examiner had identified the remains as Allyson Watterson. No final cause of death has been determined and the sheriff’s office said detectives will continue to follow up on tips.

Her remains were discovered where a property owner had been clearing brush.

Watterson was first reported missing Dec. 23 by her boyfriend’s father, Don Garland, who claimed Watterson and Benjamin Garland were hiking when the couple became separated in the woods in North Plains.

Misty Watterson, Allyson’s mother, had said that her daughter and the boyfriend were in North Plains to visit a friend when their car broke down and that the two got separated as they left to go get help.

Deputies arrested Benjamin Garland the day after Watterson was reported missing on charges unrelated to her disappearance. He was sentenced to three years in prison in April after pleading guilty to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, fraudulent use of a credit card and theft for incidents between October and December.

Warm Springs advised to boil water after mainline break

WARM SPRINGS, Ore. — Residents on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation have been advised to boil water before using it because of a break in the water delivery system.

The notice was issued after a mainline break where the water pipes cross Shitike Creek, according to the public utilities branch of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

The break could allow harmful microbes into the water system, which if consumed could cause diarrhea, cramps, headaches and other symptoms, and could pose a special health risk to infants, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.

Warm Springs residents were issued boil water notices multiple times last year because of breaks in the water infrastructure that required emergency repairs in Shitike Creek, the Bulletin reported.

Water crews will make repairs that are expected to be completed by July 3.

The areas affected include Kah-Nee-Ta Resort, Wolfe Point, Sunnyside, Dry Creek, the Warm Springs industrial park, Miller Heights, the Campus, Greely Heights, the senior center, Tenino Valley, West Hills, Tenino Apartments and the U.S. Highway 26 corridor.

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