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Northwest News Roundup – Latest Stories for WA, OR, and Idaho – April 4 Afternoon

National Security Agency closes Yakima surveillance station
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Here are the latest stories from the Associated Press and Newstalk 870.

Idaho Legislature Signs off on Drone Privacy Bill

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho lawmakers have signed off on legislation creating new guidelines for when police can deploy drones to gather criminal evidence.

The bill is intended to protect citizen privacy and bars police from using unmanned aircraft to conduct surveillance without a warrant — except in emergencies like hostage standoff.

Under the bill, anyone unlawfully targeted could press charges and would be entitled to $1,000 in damages.

The House approved the measure 66-2 early Wednesday, and the Senate followed suit later on a 30-4 vote. The bill is now on its way to the governor’s desk. A second resolution encouraging Idaho to compete with other states to become a drone testing site has passed the Senate, but is languishing in the House.

Oregon Man Sentenced in Juvenile Sex Crimes Case

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A judge has sentenced a Eugene man to 50 years in prison after convicting him on sex abuse charges involving six young girls. Circuit Court Judge Charles Zennaché found 50-year-old Russell Crummett guilty of 12 charges Wednesday. The Register-Guard reports Crummett will have no chance for early release. The defense plans to appeal the convictions. The prosecution says Crummett was a single father whose own child attended school with the victims and they became friends.

Spokane Grandmother Who Shot at Intruder Given Junior Police Badge

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Spokane police have given a 63-year-old woman a junior police badge for holding an intruder at gunpoint after he smashed his way into her home. Friends of Sandra Mize told The Spokesman-Review that she’s soft spoken with a friendly laugh but they wouldn’t cross the grandmother of 10. Mize fired one shot but missed before calling police Wednesday.

Feds Close Down Surveillance Listening Post on Yakima Firing Reservation

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — The National Security Agency is closing a secretive listening post it has quietly operated near Yakima since the early 1970s. The Yakima Research Station is located within the U.S. Army’s Yakima Training Center. The Yakima Herald-Republic reports the electronic eavesdropping operation has been linked to Echelon, a global surveillance network operated by the NSA.

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