Other items: Victim identified in rollover crash; State to vote on bid to tax cruise ships; Hacker sentenced in NASA case.

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Shelton, Mason County

“Person of interest” held in homicide

Mason County sheriff’s officers last night arrested a Bremerton man described as a “person of interest” in a double homicide on Hartstene Island.

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David W. Barnard, 37, was taken into custody at a home in Bremerton, said Inspector Dean Byrd of the sheriff’s office. He was charged with violating the terms of his release from a state Department of Corrections facility, Byrd said.

“We’re interviewing him now to find out the nature and scope of any involvement [in the case] he has had or what information he has to offer for the investigation,” Byrd said last night.

The man and woman found fatally shot Friday were identified as 44-year-old Tony Tolias and his 24-year-old wife, Ilmira Tolias. The bodies were found at a residence at the south end of the island by a friend who had gone to visit, said Byrd. Authorities were notified around noon Friday.

Barnard, also known as “River Dave,” was identified as a friend of the victims who lived on their property at times, according to the sheriff’s office.

Oak Harbor

Victim identified in rollover crash

An Oak Harbor man who died late Friday night in a rollover car accident has been identified as Matthew S. Rogers, 21.

Rogers died at the scene after his car veered off the road near the intersection of Jones Road and Dike Road in Island County, according to the Washington State Patrol. He was ejected as the car rolled over, killing him.

Police said alcohol was involved in the crash.

Juneau, Alaska

State to vote on bid to tax cruise ships

An initiative to tax cruise ships $50 per passenger and have cruise lines pay state income taxes has been certified for the next statewide election.

Lt. Gov. Loren Leman on Friday certified the 23,286 signatures required to put the measure on the ballot. The measure will be decided by voters in the August 2006 election unless a special election is held earlier.

The initiative would have the state charge the tax on cruise ships with more than 250 berths. Some of the revenue would be given to Alaska port cities where the big boats stop.

The state would also tax gambling on the ships.

About 800,000 cruise-ship passengers visited Alaska last summer.


Hacker sentenced in NASA case

A Portland man was sentenced to six months in federal prison for breaking into a NASA computer system in 2001 and causing more than $200,000 in damage.

Gregory Aaron Herns, 21, was a 17-year-old computer whiz at an alternative high school in southeast Portland when he hacked into the computer system at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Herns told federal agents he was looking for computer space to store movies he’d downloaded. It took hours for technicians to find the problem, fix it and patch the system’s security holes.

Herns, now a computer-science student at Mt. Hood Community College, apologized to the space agency and federal law-enforcement officials on Friday.

Herns was ordered to pay restitution for the damage.

Mount Baker

Scarce snow means few ski areas open

Snowfall has been scarce this season, and only two of Washington’s ski areas are open.

Mount Baker is fully operational. At Crystal Mountain, four lifts are running seven days a week and lift-ticket prices have been reduced until more terrain is open.


Superfund site exposure reported

Heavy-metals pollution in the Coeur d’Alene River Basin poses little risk to tourists, but some residents living in the Superfund site may face higher exposures, according to a new report.

The report by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry studied the 3,700-square-mile basin from the Idaho-Montana border to the confluence of the Spokane and Columbia rivers in Washington. It generally found the effects of pollution were declining.

Times staff and news services