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Eye On Boise

New book chronicles how journalist Louise Shadduck helped transform Idaho

Louise Shadduck was a well-known Coeur d'Alene author and longtime journalist - and a former Spokesman-Review reporter - but when she died in 2008, her pastor at First Presbyterian, who had known her since 1993, was stunned when he walked into the church to conduct her funeral. “The church was full of plain-clothes cops,” Mike Bullard said, and the front three rows were filled with current and past governors and top state officials. “They'd chartered a plane.”

The now-retired pastor decided to go through Shadduck's extensive papers at the University of Idaho to write a biography, and found pictures of Shadduck with presidents Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan; records of how she changed Idaho and helped both boost the state's then-moribund economy and create Farragut State Park; and much more. Shadduck was 93 when she died, and Bullard says few alive today know of her remarkable early career, including her work for two Idaho governors, a U.S. senator and a congressman. His book, “Lioness of Idaho: Louise Shadduck and the Power of Polite,” came out Sunday; you can read my full story here at

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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