Yogurt company Chobani opens research facility in Idaho
TWIN FALLS — The founder and CEO of Greek yogurt company Chobani has opened a $21 million research and development center in south central Idaho.
Hamdi Ulukaya said at a ribbon-cutting on Monday in Twin Falls that he’s relieved the 71,000-square-foot facility is up and running. It’s been in use since June.
Republican Idaho Gov. Brad Little attended the event and praised Ulukaya for his commitment to the state.
The company opened a $450 million, 1 million-square-foot yogurt plant in Twin Falls in 2012. The company has about $1.5 billion in sales annually.
Washington police officer arrested for woman’s assault
RENTON, Wash. — A police officer from Washington has been arrested in connection with an assault on a woman.
Local news media reported the Renton police officer was arrested Saturday in Des Moines, Wash.
The Des Moines Police Department said the officer was arrested for second-degree assault with sexual motivation, but is no longer in custody.
Neither the officer nor the woman were identified by authorities.
Police records said the woman told authorities the man asked her to meet him at a park.
She said the man hit her after encouraging her to drink wine and telling her to remove her clothes.
The officer has denied the assault and told authorities the woman was a confidential informant.
Renton police said the officer has been placed on administrative leave.
Oregon to pay $500,000 to man whose wife perished in crash
MEDFORD, Ore. — The state of Oregon will pay $500,000 to an Ashland man whose wife died in a head-on collision with a wrong-way drunk driver.
A civil trial was to begin Tuesday in Jackson County over the 2014 death of 911 dispatcher Karen Greenstein.
The Mail Tribune said the settlement was approved Friday.
Her husband, Bill Greenstein, argued in his lawsuit that the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles shouldn’t have granted a driver’s license to Richard Webster Scott, Jr.
Scott had five convictions for driving under the influence in California and a suspended and revoked license in that state.
He’s now serving nearly 12 years in prison after being convicted of first-degree manslaughter in Greenstein’s death.
Salem voters likely to decide fate of payroll tax
SALEM, Ore. — Voters in Salem will likely decide on a payroll tax dedicated to paying for public safety as the city tries to patch a multimillion-dollar deficit.
The Statesman Journal reported councilors struck a compromise Monday when they tentatively decided to send local voters the payroll tax, which would also apply to commuters driving into town for work, instead of approving it themselves.
The payroll tax would stand at 0.266 percent for workers making more than minimum wage and as much as $15 an hour. Workers with higher hourly wages would see a tax of 0.39 percent. Minimum wage earners would be fully exempt.
Woman charged with embezzling domestic violence grant money
BILLINGS, Mont. — Federal prosecutors say two members of a statewide organization formed to advocate on behalf of American Indian victims of domestic and sexual violence began stealing grant money from the group just months after the former executive director pleaded guilty to doing the same thing.
Barbara Mary Daychief of Browning is a former board member of the Montana Native Women’s Coalition. She pleaded not guilty to fraud charges Tuesday in Billings.
An indictment alleges Daychief and a co-defendant received advance payment for travel not completed or excessive payments for travel totaling about $4,800 between them. Authorities alleged other fraud, including claiming excess pay.
The former executive director, Toni Louise Plummer-Alvernaz, pleaded guilty to fraud in March 2017, was sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay nearly $250,000 in restitution.
Montana State University president upbeat about school year
BOZEMAN, Mont. — The president of Montana State University says the school is looking forward to a promising year.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported Sunday that 59-year-old Waded Cruzado is optimistic about potential school year highlights including increased student enrollment.
The university’s first female president said enrollment “looks very strong” as administrators wait to see whether the final figures will beat last year’s record of 16,902 students.
MSU enrollment has grown 25 percent to make it the state’s biggest campus.
As she approaches her 10-year anniversary as president in January, Cruzado is also overseeing five major construction projects on campus at a cost of more than $128 million.
Cruzado said she also is looking forward to hosting the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and the return of the International Food Bazaar.