Several elk hit by train in southeastern Idaho

DINGLE, Idaho — Idaho Fish and Game officials say a small group of elk were hit by a train in rural Bear Lake County over the weekend.

Conservation officers said 11 elk were killed in the collision near Dingle early Sunday morning. Two others were injured and had to be dispatched by wildlife managers. The salvageable meat was donated to members of the community, Fish and Wildlife officials said.

Such incidents are uncommon in southeastern Idaho, though this is the second incident in the area in a little more than a year. In January 2019, about 30 elk were killed by a train traveling between Montpelier and Soda Springs.

Earlier this month, about 45 pronghorn were killed and another 19 were injured and had to be put down by wildlife managers in a train collision north of Hamer in eastern Idaho.

Eastern Idaho man sentenced to 20 years in sexual abuse case

IDAHO FALLS — An eastern Idaho man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after prosecutors said he sexually abused two girls, threatened them with violence and attempted to intimidate their mother.

District Judge Stevan Thompson handed down the sentence against 40-year-old James Gordon Davis of Rigby on Monday. Thompson said Davis would be eligible for parole after serving three years, however.

The Post Register reported Davis was arrested in July 2018 and charged with two counts of lewd conduct with a child younger than 16. Prosecutors later filed additional intimidation charges after they said jail recordings showed he called the victims’ mother from jail and told her to flee the county with the children and to convince the children to “clam up.”

Prosecutors later dropped the lewd conduct and other charges in exchange for Davis’ guilty plea to battery with the intent to commit a serious felony and intimidating a witness. Davis will be required to register as a sex offender after his release from prison.

Oregon mill to close, lay off all 84 workers

EUGENE, Ore. — A Chilean company notified Oregon state officials Tuesday that it will shutter a Eugene fiberboard mill and lay off all 84 workers May 1.

Arauco North America said the closure results from an “economic imbalance” in the U.S. market for medium density fiberboard, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported. The company said it will shift Eugene production work to its other U.S. facilities.

The Eugene facility opened in 1962, according to the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce. The chamber said Arauco uses local lumber mill byproducts and converts them into fiberboard for home construction.

Arauco’s layoff is the latest in cutbacks at Oregon employers this year, which include layoffs at Precision Castparts, Blount International, transportation technology company Moovel and loan serving company Mr. Cooper Group.

The layoffs took place for disparate reasons. Precision Castparts’ cuts resulted from the shutdown in production of Boeing’s 737 MAX, for example, while Moovel’s cuts reflected retrenchment in the car sharing market.

Oregon man loses $200,000 in apparent online-dating scam over artwork

SALEM, Ore. — Officials are warning of online dating service scams after an Oregon man lost money believing he was entering a personal and business relationship with a person posing as a Florida woman.

The 80-year-old man was convinced to hand over more than $200,000 for what he believed to be an investment to bring a piece of art to a Florida art gallery, according to the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation.

The scammer stole a Florida woman’s identity and, over several months, developed a long-distance romantic relationship with the man, officials said.

“Romance scams typically target older individuals, gain their trust, then ask for money through social media and dating websites,” said Andrew Stolfi, division administrator. “Unfortunately, victims often wire funds overseas or to third-party transfer agents, making it difficult to track the money and identify the con artist.”

The scammer proposed a business investment opportunity, complete with forged supporting financial documents, to cover transportation costs for bringing what was described as a 500-ton marble lion sculpture from China to a Florida art gallery.

Montana authorities arrest two men who escaped a county jail

BILLINGS, Mont. — Montana authorities have arrested two of three men who escaped from the Big Horn County Detention Center in Hardin last week.

Anthony Castro and Stephen Caplett were booked into jail late Monday and early Tuesday after escaping Friday, the Billings Police Department said. The third man who escaped has not yet been found.

The inmates lured a detention officer into a cell, assaulted and bound him before stealing his key. They assaulted another officer before escaping through a garage door in the booking area, authorities said.

Castro and Caplett face charges of felony assault on a peace officer, felony escape from a detention center and obstructing a peace officer and both are being held without bond, Yellowstone County jail records show.

Inmate Andrew Parham, 25, remains at large, police Sgt. Tina Hoeger said. He is described as a white male who is 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing 185 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.

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