House panel rejects Idaho Human Rights Commission rules

BOISE — A panel of lawmakers on Tuesday rejected a rules package that outlines how the state investigates discrimination complaints involving employment, housing, education and public accommodations.

A majority of lawmakers on the House State Affairs Committee voted not to approve the rules put forward by the Idaho Human Rights Commission.

State agencies this year are seeking approval for their entire administrative rules after lawmakers last year failed to pass a bill approving them.

Some lawmakers on the committee Tuesday said the rules appeared to give the Human Rights Commission too much leeway.

The rules will also be considered by the Senate and could take effect with that chamber’s approval.

Salem moves forward with plan to allow car camping

SALEM, Ore. — The Salem City Council has voted unanimously to draft an emergency declaration legally allowing car camping in certain areas.

Many members of the public who spoke at the council meeting Monday supported the push for car camping, but stressed more needed to be done to help the homeless population.

Most demanded immediate action.

Mayor Chuck Bennett said he was “deeply concerned” about the homeless crisis, but added it has been 30 years in the making and officials are working to fight that crisis in a matter of weeks. He said the actions made during Monday’s session will help meet the needs of the community.

A study researching the option found the city of Salem has neither the funds nor the resources to manage a city-sponsored program. A privately-sponsored program — where site owners provide supervision, trash receptacles and access to bathrooms — was suggested as an alternative.

City officials said unorganized car camping negatively impacts property and neighboring property, and creates health and safety issues for the campers as well as the public.

The Statesman Journal reported the homeless population — which includes people living outside, in shelters and in cars — stands at about 1,800.

Organized car camping and semi-permanent warming shelters have been pushed as two short-term fixes to the homelessness crisis.

Child dies in house fire in western Washington

SNOHOMISH, Wash. — Authorities say an 8-year-old girl died and four others were burned in a fire that broke out in a house northeast of Seattle in Snohomish County.

Local news media reported a call came in about 1:30 a.m. Monday for a fire at a home about two miles south of Sultan.

Snohomish County Fire District 5 Chief Merlin Halvorson asid the firefighting effort was hampered by the home’s remote location in the woods, where heavy snow and toppled trees made it difficult for fire trucks to get to the blaze.

He said all of the family members sustained burns or some kind of injury. He said a 7-year-old boy had a broken arm and burns. They were taken to a hospital for treatment.

Authorities said the fire was caused by clothes that ignited while drying near a wood stove. There were also no smoke alarms in the home.

Man with meth on sailboat off Oregon Coast pleads guilty

NEWPORT, Ore. — A 65-year-old man from Canada found having a “possible drug overdose” aboard a sailboat loaded with jugs of liquid methamphetamine has pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge.

Local news media reported that prosecutors will recommend John Stirling serve a little more than seven years in prison as part of a plea agreement, the U.S. Attorney for Oregon said.

Stirling also agreed to forfeit the sailboat. Stirling pleaded guilty Monday to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine under the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act.

The Coast Guard discovered 28 seven-gallon jugs containing liquid methamphetamine during a search of the vessel in April. Stirling was found on the boat exhibiting signs of a possible drug overdose. Members of the Coast Guard administered medical aid before he was evacuated by helicopter to Astoria and then Portland for medical treatment.

Man found dead in Montana; suspect arrested

DILLON, Mont. — A 49-year-old man was found dead at a residence in Dillon over the weekend and a woman is charged with deliberate homicide, officials said.

Larry Coon was found Saturday after Dillon police were asked to do a welfare check, local news media reported. Officials have not released his cause of death.

Sandy Moore, 19, of Dillon, was charged Tuesday with deliberate homicide, Deputy Beaverhead County Attorney Russell Michaels said. Justice of the Peace Candy Horning set her bail at $200,000. Her preliminary hearing in District Court is set for Feb. 13.

Public defender Walter Hennessy of Butte represented Moore during her initial appearance, Michaels said. Hennessy did not immediately return a phone message the Associated Press left at the public defender’s office in Butte seeking comment on Moore’s behalf.

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