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Troopers: Man dies of starvation, exposure
KODIAK - A 69-year-old Kodiak man apparently died from malnutrition and hypothermia, Alaska State Troopers said.
The body of William Suryan was found Friday in his trailer, and officials say it's possible his body had been there for a couple of weeks before the discovery.
It wasn't unusual for neighbors not to see Suryan for days, troopers said, but Jackson Mobile Home Park Manager Jim Jones found Suryan's body after deciding to check on him after the weather turned cold.
The state medical examiner ruled the death was from natural causes, State Trooper Daniel Cox said. No autopsy was scheduled.
Cox also said Suryan's electricity had been disconnected due to nonpayment. It is not yet known if the heater in his trailer was working or was dependent on electrical power.
Kodiak Electric spokeswoman Alice Job said there is no law that bars disconnecting power during the winter in the state of Alaska, and that power is not turned off for a minimum of 58 days after a bill is past due.
She added there are many social service agencies available to help those needing assistance to pay their electric bills.
Suryan had no family members nearby, and officials were trying to contact relatives in other parts of Alaska and in the Lower 48.
Rockslides turn roads hazardous
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house for Thanksgiving? Don't even think about it if it means a motor trip across the Cascade Mountains, state officials are warning.
Washington's main east-west freeway through the Cascades, Interstate 90, is down to one lane in each direction as crews deal with rockslides in Snoqualmie Pass, the most recent one on Monday.
A media tour of the slide zone was canceled Tuesday, with officials citing safety concerns. Lengthy traffic backups were noted.
As a two-lane road, I-90 can handle only about 800 cars an hour. A typical Turkey Day weekend usually jams an extra 20,000 vehicles onto the popular crossing.
Worst case, that could mean a 30-mile backup and delays of five hours or more, the Department of Transportation says. About 28,000 vehicles cross Snoqualmie Pass on an average weekday.
Washington apple exports meet trouble
YAKIMA, Wash. - Officials in Taiwan have discovered a second instance of codling moth in a shipment of apples from Washington state, pushing the industry one step closer to the possibility that shipments could be halted if a third case of the banned pest is found.
Taiwan is the state's third largest export market, behind Canada and Mexico.
"We're at significant risk of having a third detection this year," said Mike Willett, senior vice president for scientific affairs at the Northwest Horticultural Council in Yakima, a group that works to address policy issues affecting growers and shippers in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
Taiwan's first codling moth detection this year came in early October, followed by a second detection last week.
Under the terms of a trade agreement, a third incident of codling moths is grounds for closing the Taiwanese border to U.S. apples. The United States and Taiwan reached that agreement after Taiwan banned the import of U.S. apples for more than a month in late 2002, when similar larvae were found.
The Northwest Horticultural Council has shown that the risk of codling moth establishing itself in Taiwan doesn't justify this kind of zero tolerance, Willett said.
Scientists in the United States don't believe the country has a climate suitable to the spread of the moth.
"I don't know if they'll budge or not. I hope they will," he said.
Search on in Seattle for pair tied to killing
SEATTLE - A couple sought in the death of the husband's mother in Charlotte, N.C., may be in the Seattle area, police say.
Scottland "Scott" Kevin Belk, 38, a white supremacist who served time for bank robbery, and his wife, Rhonda Simpson Belk, 37, may have arrived in Seattle by bus Nov. 9 or 10, Seattle police officer Richard W. Pruitt said.
Both are wanted for investigation in the killing of Scott Belk's mother, Margarette Moser Kalinoski, 59, whose body was found in her home Oct. 28th, days after she died, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said.
They should be considered armed and dangerous, police in both jurisdictions said. Police have not given a motive for the killing.
Belk "calls himself a reverend" in the white supremacist group Aryan Nations, formerly known as the Church of Jesus Christ Christian (Aryan Nations) and based in Hayden Lake, Idaho, Pruitt said.
Belk pleaded guilty to bank robbery in 1998, was released from prison in 2001 and apparently was living with his wife and mother at the time his mother was killed, investigators said. He has numerous tattoos, including the word "Aryan" on his back, and may seek treatment for a serious medical condition, police said.
Oregon wine auction aids seasonal workers
PORTLAND, Ore. - Salud! Oregon's Pinot Noir Auction generated a record $708,670 to benefit health-care outreach services for the wine industry's seasonal workers and their families.
This dramatic increase of 47 percent over the 2004 total of $482,490 places the two-day event squarely among the Northwest's most successful fundraisers.
Now in its 14th year, Salud! is a unique program to recognize seasonal vineyard workers who are so critical to wine production. This work force moves from crop to crop, rarely remaining with one employer long enough to qualify for health insurance.
Washington man dies after Glacier Park fall
WEST GLACIER, Mont. - Divers have recovered the body of a Washington state man from deep water below a waterfall in Upper McDonald Creek, Flathead County authorities said.
The man was identified Tuesday as Dennis Brooks, 40, of Everett, Wash., Flathead County Deputy Coroner and sheriff's Sgt. Bob Provo said. His body was recovered Monday evening.
Patrick Suddath, the West Lakes District Ranger, said the man was with three other people at a viewing platform just off Going-to-the-Sun Road.
"It's my understanding that the victim was not within the platform area when he apparently slipped into the water," Suddath said.
He said the man was swept through cascading falls below the platform.
Jordan White, a Flathead County deputy and county dive-team leader, said the creek made a sharp drop-off into a deep hole with fast-moving water.