USA TODAY International Edition
Oregon jogger rescues woman from fire
Grandfather was in right place at the right time
One Tuesday morning, Greg Spike, 74, jogged a shorter path than he typically would.
“I didn’t have much time to go up into the hills,” Spike told USA TODAY.
It turns out, the grandfather of 16 was in the right place at the right time to become a hero.
Spike saw smoke ahead on his running trail along the Willamette River in Eugene, Oregon – smoke from a fire at a hotel, where Illinois native Stacy Barkley was staying while visiting family.
The three- alarm fire at the Valley River Inn on Feb. 28 ignited on the second floor late that morning before spreading to the third floor, reported the RegisterGuard, part of the USA TODAY Network.
Spike filmed the blaze on his phone as he jogged when he heard a woman cry for help, KVAL CBS 13 reported. It was Barkley. Spike jumped into action.
“He didn’t even hesitate – he ran right over,” Barkley told USA TODAY.
‘ Hallway was filled with smoke’
Barkley began her day Feb. 28 working on a crafting project from her Valley River Inn room while her husband of 35 years, Donald, visited his sister in Eugene.
The grandparents had flown from Deerfield, Illinois, to spend time with their son and pregnant daughter- inlaw, who live in Vancouver, Washington.
As Barkley sat on the bed watching television, she thought she heard a faint alarm.
“When I opened the door, the hallway was filled with smoke,” she said.
She closed the door and called her husband, who told his wife to leave, but the smoke outside rattled her.
“I didn’t want to get disoriented, I didn’t know where the fire was,” Barkley said.
Barkley followed her husband’s advice to close the door and put a towel underneath. When she walked to the balcony, she saw flames racing from the adjacent room – and she began to panic.
‘ He was there to save me’
Barkley grabbed some belongings, put on her coat and shoes and returned to the patio door, where she felt the fire’s intense heat.
“I was afraid to go out there, but at that point, I wasn’t sure what else to do,” she said.
That’s when she saw a jogger – Spike – on the walking path.
Spike yelled: “Get out! Get out!” But Barkley told him smoke was engulfing the hallway. Spike ran toward the building and told Barkley to drop her bags before she lowered herself down.
“I said, ‘ Come on, hit me, hit me,’” Spike said. “I was trying to tell her I would break her fall.”
Barkley said she climbed over the railing and lowered herself as much as possible until she could touch Spike.
“He just said ‘ Jump,’ so I did, and he was there to save me.”
After the rescue, Spike consoled the frightened woman, who can be seen in the video wearing a KN95 mask. “You’re OK now, deep breaths,” he said.
“Thank you!” Barkley told her rescuer as the two hugged, shortly before her sister- in- law and husband joined them. “Oh my God, you saved me,” Barkley said to Spike.
They plan to reunite
The heroic video clip was shared on social media, and Barkley’s daughter reached out to Spike’s son.
“That’s how I got in contact with Greg and the local news,” said Barkley, who reunited virtually with Spike via a Zoom interview with KVAL CBS 13.
“What really hit me was she said it kept going through her mind that she would never see her ( unborn) grandson,” said Spike, who was commended for his actions by the Eugene Springfield Fire Department.
Barkley expects to return to the Pacific Northwest in June when the baby is born, and she and Spike plan to meet. Meanwhile, Barkley sent her rescuer a thank- you note – along with the bunny cross- stitch design she had been working on when the blaze ignited.
“It’s hard to thank someone that saved you in that way, but he didn’t hesitate to answer my plea for help,” Barkley said. “It was very kind of him.”
ALABAMA Montgomery: The House advanced a plan to use the state’s final $ 1 billion in federal pandemic relief funds mostly on a mix of water and sewer infrastructure, broadband expansion and health care reimbursements. Representatives voted 102- 3 for the legislation, which now moves to the Senate.
ALASKA Nome: Ryan Redington won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, bringing his six dogs off the Bering Sea ice to the finish line on Nome’s main street. Redington, 40, is the grandson of Joe Redington Sr., who helped co- found the arduous race across Alaska that was first held in 1973 and is known as the “Father of the Iditarod.”
ARIZONA Tempe: Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego slammed independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona for backing a bank deregulation bill he says contributed to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, highlighting Sinema’s Wall Street ties as he campaigns for her seat.
ARKANSAS Little Rock: Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has signed legislation making it easier to sue providers of gender- affirming care for children, a move that could effectively reinstate a blocked ban on such care.
CALIFORNIA Los Angeles: A residential care home company and three of its managers have been charged in connection with 14 COVID- related deaths at one of its facilities, prosecutors said. The criminal complaint alleges Silverado Senior Living Management failed to follow appropriate safety procedures when admitting a new resident in March 2020. The resident arrived from New York City and was not properly screened upon arrival or placed in isolation after later testing positive for the virus, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said.
COLORADO Denver: The city will pay $ 1.6 million to settle lawsuits filed by seven people injured during demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd in 2020. The protesters claimed police shot them with pepper balls, rubber bullets and flash- bang devices, even though they were demonstrating peacefully.
CONNECTICUT Putnam: A Catholicrun health care system has withdrawn its application to affiliate with Day Kimball Healthcare, an independent, financially struggling hospital and health care system.
DELAWARE Seaford: A 52- year- old Seaford School District employee has been accused of child sex- abuse offenses dating back to 2016. Attorney General Kathleen Jennings said Jerry Sodano was serving as a Seaford School District athletic trainer at the time of the alleged offenses.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Washing
ton: The nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program is offering free rides with Lyft on St. Patrick’s Day to discourage drunk driving in the D. C. area, WUSA- TV reports.
FLORIDA Sebring: A man has pleaded guilty to fatally shooting five women at a SunTrust Bank branch in 2019 and will face either life in prison or a death sentence during the penalty phase next year.
GEORGIA Clayton County: A former sheriff convicted of violating the civil rights of people in his custody by unnecessarily strapping them into restraint chairs was sentenced to serve a year and a half in prison.
HAWAII Manoa: Five mopeds have been reported stolen over the last few weeks at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii News Now reports, and authorities are warning moped owners to make sure they secure their mopeds properly.
IDAHO Moscow: Lawmakers approved $ 1 million in funding for the University of Idaho to help cover the costs related to last year’s killings of four students, including increased security and counseling services, the Idaho Statesman reports.
ILLINOIS Springfield: Lawmakers’ effort to end cash bail is in the state Supreme Court’s hands after justices heard arguments on behalf of top Democrats, and a group of prosecutors and sheriffs who are challenging the law.
INDIANA New Albany: A chemical plant released a cloud of nitrogen oxide, prompting officials to close roads and issue shelter- in- place orders until the cloud dissipated.
IOWA Des Moines: The state’s three public universities have been ordered to halt any new diversity, equity and inclusion programs while the Board of Regents reviews existing DEI efforts, Board of Regents President Michael Richards announced. Richards directed the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa to “pause the implementation of any new DEI programs.”
KANSAS Wichita: The city approved a $ 5 million settlement of a lawsuit filed by the family of a man who was shot and killed by a police officer during a hoax call in 2017. The death drew national attention to “swatting,” a form of retaliation in which someone reports a false emergency to get authorities, particularly a SWAT team, to respond to an address.
KENTUCKY Martin County: A former supervisor at a federal prison has been convicted of writing false reports to cover up assaults on two inmates by corrections officers.
LOUISIANA New Orleans: A court settlement that significantly lowered the number of petition signatures Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s opponents need to force a recall election was challenged in two state courts by Cantrell and one of her supporters.
MAINE Monroe: A 10- year- old student accused of bringing a gun to school was returned to the care of their parents and is scheduled to appear in court in May, police said. Police arrested the student last week after receiving a call about a gun at Monroe Elementary School.
MARYLAND Baltimore: A judge granted the Maryland Attorney General’s Office permission to publicly release a redacted version of an investigative report detailing sex abuse allegations against more than 150 Roman Catholic priests and examining the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s response.
MASSACHUSETTS Boston: The police department has fired two officers, one who protested vaccine mandates at the mayor’s house and other places and another who criticized former Vice President Mike Pence on social media for allowing the certification of President Joe Biden’s election. Sgt. Shana Cottone and Officer Joseph Abasciano were fired for violating department policies, Commissioner Michael Cox said in a statement.
MICHIGAN Lansing: Hundreds of union supporters filled the halls of the Michigan Capitol on Tuesday as Senate Democrats voted along party lines in support of repealing the decade- old “right- to- work” law in a state long considered a pillar of organized labor. The law prohibits public and private unions from requiring that nonunion employees pay union dues even if the union bargains on their behalf.
MINNESOTA St. Paul: Lunches and breakfasts would be free to students regardless of income under a bill that won approval in the state Senate. Universal free school meals for all students have been a Democratic priority this session.
MISSISSIPPI Jackson: Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill restricting electric car manufacturers from selling vehicles in person unless they open franchised dealerships.
MISSOURI St. Louis: The elected prosecutor, under intense criticism after a visiting teenage athlete lost her legs in a crash blamed on a man who remained free from jail despite multiple bond violations, is accusing the state’s attorney general of seeking her ouster for political gain.
MONTANA Great Falls: One week after a routine traffic stop ended in a gun battle, the police department has released the identity of the police officer who was repeatedly shot and seriously injured. The injured officer has been identified as Tanner Lee, who was shot in the chest and arm.
NEBRASKA Blair: A former middle school janitor has been sentenced to eight years in prison for sending an explicit image to a female student, the Omaha World- Herald reports.
NEVADA Las Vegas: The state’s dominant electric utility, NV Energy, is asking state regulators to approve a $ 373 million maintenance and infrastructure resilience plan that executives say is needed to protect against extreme weather, wildfires and natural disasters.
NEW HAMPSHIRE Newington: An Olive Garden diner was treated and released from Frisbie Memorial Hospital after a car struck the restaurant near his table, according to police. Police, firefighters and medics responded to the crash on Woodbury Avenue, finding a car had driven into a corner on the front of the building, smashing a window and damaging a truss.
NEW JERSEY Princeton: A Princeton University student was arrested on charges that he joined other rioters in pushing against police officers guarding an entrance to the U. S. Capitol during a mob’s attack, court records show.
NEW MEXICO Santa Fe: Legislators rejected a proposal to prohibit state and local government agencies from contracting with U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain immigrants as they seek asylum in the U. S. The bill held implications for three privately operated detention facilities in the state.
NEW YORK New York City: Amtrak service connecting New York City and Montreal will resume next month, more than two years after the pandemic halted trains from crossing across the shared border between the U. S. and Canada.
NORTH DAKOTA Bismarck: Bismarck- Burleigh Public Health is offering free Narcan training March 21, the Bismarck Tribune reports. Narcan can reverse opioid overdoses.
OHIO Columbus: Ohio State University is asking the U. S. Supreme Court to consider questions about the law known as Title IX in a case that affects whether more than 230 men can proceed with lawsuits against the school over decades- old sexual abuse by a team doctor, the late Richard Strauss.
OKLAHOMA Oklahoma City: Police arrested a 19- year- old man after a shooting at a mental health facility left an officer with minor injuries. The officer was called to deescalate a situation at the Oklahoma County Crisis Intervention Center after the man began displaying erratic behavior and attacked three employees, officials said.
OREGON Eugene: John Karl Scholz, an economist, professor and provost at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, was hired in a unanimous vote to be the new president of the University of Oregon.
PENNSYLVANIA Philadelphia: Authorities say a man intentionally rammed a minivan into the entrance of the new Philadelphia police headquarters. The crash damaged the doors, but the vehicle did not enter the lobby.
RHODE ISLAND Providence: A former social worker at a veterans’ hospital who used stolen patient information to pass herself off as a Marine Corps veteran with cancer and fraudulently collect nearly $ 300,000 in benefits, charitable contributions, and donations was sentenced to nearly six years in prison.
SOUTH CAROLINA Greenville: Larry Jackson, 76, founder and former CEO of Jackson, a national brand marketing and motorsports marketing agency headquartered in Greenville, has died.
SOUTH DAKOTA Sioux Falls: The city council has advanced an ordinance that would appropriate $ 250,000 to be used in the creation of a homelessness street outreach program, one of several recommendations made last year by the city’s Homeless Task Force.
TENNESSEE Jackson: Police responding to a report of shots fired at a residence fatally shot an armed man who pointed a gun at officers, authorities said. The man was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. No officers were injured.
TEXAS El Paso: A U. S. Customs and Border Protection officer was indicted on three federal charges after being accused of using excessive force against two victims in unrelated incidents at the Bridge of the Americas port of entry.
UTAH Kane County: A hiker was found dead inside Buckskin Gulch, which is considered one of the most dangerous slot canyons in the country, KSTU reports. Another hiker was rescued, and one remains missing, according to the news outlet.
VERMONT Springfield: Authorities are investigating after a man was found unresponsive in his cell at Southern State Correctional Facility, the Brattleboro Reformer reports.
VIRGINIA Arlington: Federal officials announced that they’re investigating after a taxiing airplane took a wrong turn at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and crossed a runway where another plane was preparing to take off.
WASHINGTON Kitsap County: A former Kitsap Transit deckhand is suing the transit agency, alleging pregnancy discrimination and a failure to accommodate her desire to pump breast milk while working. The lawsuit was filed in Kitsap County Superior Court by an attorney representing the former employee, seeking lost wages and benefits and compensatory damages.
WEST VIRGINIA Charleston: A bill that would cap some of the damages workers and their families can receive if their employer deliberately puts them in harm’s way on the job is headed to the desk of Gov. Jim Justice.
WISCONSIN Madison: A retired detective has lost a defamation lawsuit against Netflix over his portrayal in the 2015 documentary series “Making a Murderer.” U. S. District Judge Brett Ludwig ruled in favor of Netflix and filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, concluding that none of them acted with any malice toward nowretired Manitowoc County Sheriff ’ s Detective Andrew Colborn.
WYOMING Jackson: The contractor that was set to provide security screening at Jackson Hole Airport starting May 1 has backed out, leaving the airport staff with uncertainty, Jackson Hole News & Guide reports.