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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 20, 2010

Council member survives bear attack

ChelminiakSEATTLE -- Council member John Chelminiak remained in stable condition Monday at Harborview Medical Center after being mauled by a black bear Friday night near Lake Wenatchee.

According to his wife, Lynn Semler, Council member Chelminiak was in good spirits after doctors over the weekend treated him for multiple wounds to his upper body. She said the family was discouraging visitors and phone calls at the present time to allow the council member time to recuperate and regain strength. People wishing to send him a message can go to his Facebook page.

"I want to thank the many, many people who have been in contact the past few days concerned about John's condition and offering to help any way they could," Semler said. "It has truly been a huge comfort during this terrible ordeal."

Cheminiak was walking two family dogs near the family's Lake Wenatchee cabin at about 8:45 p.m., when the bear attacked. Chelminiak was able to shout to his family warning of a bear. An ambulance took Chelminiak to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, and from there he was airlifted to Harborview.

State Department of Fish and Wildlife agents tracked and killed the bear, a 6- to 10-year-old female, about three hours after the attack.

"John and I appreciate the help of the Chelan County Sherriff's Office, the medics and the Department of Fish and Wildife, and the care provided by the staffs of both hospitals," Semler said.

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