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Senator: PTSD Made Me Plagiarize

After The New York Times reported that Sen. John Walsh plagiarized at least a quarter of his master's thesis, the Montana Democrat is telling The Associated Press that post-traumatic stress disorder may have played a role. “I don't want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor,” the Iraq war veteran said. “My head was not in a place very conducive to a classroom and an academic environment.” Walsh told the AP that he was on medication at the time and was dealing with the suicide of a fellow veteran. Walsh was appointed to the Senate in February, after Max Baucus resigned to become the U.S. ambassador to China. On Wednesday, the Times published a report that combed through the 14-pages of “The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy,” which Walsh submitted as his final paper to earn his Master of Strategic Studies degree from the United States Army War College/Eyder Peralta, Boise State Public Radio. More here. (AP photo: Sen. John Walsh and his son, Michael)

Question: Among the misdeeds committed by our elected officials, where does plagiarism rank?

Wild Card/Thursday — 7.24.14 Edit

Huckleberries Online survived the monster storm Wednesday afternoon by … staying on line while the police squawkers provided snippets of the ongoing damage. At one point, a dispatcher told a responder to a utility problem that he'd have to wait because there were 25 priority calls in front of his. Local police, firefighters & utility crews began to get the matter in hand within about an hour of the storm's beginning. They all deserve a monster hat tip for facing the storm and helping us through it. Now for today's Wild Card …

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.24.14

  • 9:43 a.m. Extra patrol requested in 1000 block of Foster Avenue/CdA, unknown reason.
  • 9:07 a.m. Someone is suffering a seizure at a trailer court @ 1356 H41/Post Falls.
  • 8:58 a.m. CPD is seeking brown 1985 utility trailer w/toolbox on back that was stolen in CdA June 27.
  • 8:51 a.m. Male driver appeared to be casing Hayden Lake Country Club, now leaving via Lakeview/Hayden.
  • 8:29 a.m. 84YO female suffering intense back Meyer/Buffalo Grass, Rathdrum.
  • 8:18 a.m. A tree has fallen across frontage fence on south side of I-90/H95, CdA.

Evening Adventure In Selle

On her Facebook wall, Marianne Love/Slight Detour posts this photo of Mama Turkey & her offspring having an evening outing in the Selle Valley, near Sandpoint, earlier this week. The wonderful photo received 14 comments and 146 likes.

CPD Gets Dog Encounter Training

Recently in Kootenai County there have been law enforcement related dog shooting incidents. Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Ron Clark looked into training for officers who encounter dogs while on duty. He found no training is available through the Idaho Peace Officer Standards Academy (POST). In his effort to seek out specialized training he discovered the U.S. Department of Justice has video based training available, which was found to be very informative and useful for police officers in dog encounters. Every officer in the Coeur d’Alene Police Department is currently receiving this mandatory training. “Training law enforcement in dog encounters is crucial” said Chief Clark. “I am not saying officers should compromise safety, but understanding dog behavior and having nonlethal options will reduce the number of lethal incidents that are a tragedy for all involved” Clark said/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police. More here.

Question: A good first step?

WSU Was Killer’s Main Target

Washington State University was alleged Seattle Pacific shooter Aaron Ybarra’s primary target, according to his redacted journal, released Tuesday by a King County judge. Ybarra, 26, of Mountlake Terrace, a northern suburb of Seattle, was charged June 10 with the first-degree murder of SPU student Paul Lee, 19, as well as two counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of second-degree assault. The journal, a nondescript spiral bound notebook, contains a little more than seven pages of writing with less than two weeks of entries, but it reveals the plans — and some of the reasoning — behind Ybarra’s alleged actions. “Sometime by the end of this week or the beginning of next week I will reveal how I really feel about humanity, America and the world it’s self,” he wrote. In a June 2 journal entry, Ybarra wrote, “There are a few universities in the state to choose from that I’m planning to attack. Washington State is the main target”/Shanon Quinn, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.


Idaho’s Death Penalty Unusual, Cruel

For every death row inmate Idaho executes, it has freed another on new evidence while an equal number died of illness - to say nothing of all the condemned people serving out life sentences thanks to successful appeals. What would you call that? Dysfunctional? Random? Since the death penalty was reinstated in the late 1970s, Idaho has condemned 41 people, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Three have been executed: Keith Eugene Welles in 1994, Paul Ezra Rhoades in 2011 and Richard Leavitt the following year. New evidence exonerated Donald Paradis, who emerged from prison 21 years after he was sentenced to death. Thomas Henry Gibson, Paradis' co-defendant, was released and paroled after an appeals court overturned his conviction/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Has the time come to do away with the death penalty?

SR: Protesters Get Hearing, Sorta

The Ada County courtroom where about two dozen “Add the 4 Words” protesters were sentenced Monday was packed. Too bad there wasn’t enough seating for Idaho’s legislators. They would have witnessed the hearing they have refused to give gay rights advocates, who want the words “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” added to Idaho’s Human Rights Act. They would have heard Magistrate Judge Michael Oths congratulate the demonstrators for their courage. They would have heard Oths fittingly associate them with the American tradition of civil disobedience in the face of injustice. They would have heard pleas from individuals whose families have suffered grievous losses because Idaho law continues to stigmatize gays and lesbians/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you think the 2015 Legislature will grant a hearing to Add the Words protesters & supporters?

Prosecutor Clears School Trustees

The Kootenai County Prosecutor's Office has determined that school board members in Coeur d'Alene did not violate the state's open meeting law. An investigation into a possible violation was initiated last spring in response to a March 27 complaint lodged with the prosecutor's office by citizen Mary Jo Finney. Finney, of Coeur d'Alene, alleged that school trustees Tom Hearn, Christa Hazel (pictured) and Dave Eubanks broke the state law which prohibits the formation of public policy in secret. In a June 6 letter to Finney, acquired by The Press through a public records request, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Bryant Bushling wrote, “…your input is appreciated and the issues that you raised are legitimate concerns. However, based on a thorough review of the available evidence, it cannot be shown that a violation of the open meeting law occurred.” Bushling advised Finney that his office reviewed hundreds of emails and portions of recordings of four school board meetings/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Am I the only one who thinks this investigation was a silly waste of time?

In The Path Of The Storm

This is what things looked like at Arch Druid's mobile home court at about 7:30 last evening, following the terrific wind storm that hit Kootenai County three hours earlier. Arch Druid posts: “I just got back from the Kootenai County Farmers Market where the storm had already disrupted all the business. I get back home and this is what I find. I need someone with a chainsaw to come up to Oak Crest Mobile home park. A major portion of that tree took out a Japanese maple and landed on the neighbor's deck.”

JohnA: We caught the brunt of it in Medimont, losing power from 4 PM last night to 4 AM this morning. Incredible show, the second such event in the last 10 days. I drove home from town in a downpour over the 4th of July and had to wait as crews cleared debris from Highway 3. We'll be clearing the same from our property today but nothing appears irreparable. I'm with Herb on this one. The state and utility crews do a great job during very difficult conditions. My hat's off to them this morning.

Question: How did you weather the storm?

Huckleberry Stains Source Of Pride

After a two-year hiatus from picking, I recently returned from a huckleberry excursion to the Metaline Falls area. The seat of my jeans was stained purple, I smelled like DEET, I was sunburned and I was so stiff I could barely make it out of the vehicle. I had spent $45 on gas and the truck needed washing, if not repainting. But I had huckleberry butt and a gallon of hard-earned huckleberries – the day was a success! Huckleberry stains are among the worst ever, soaking through jeans and even underwear, but they are an indication of a successful day picking. These butt stains are not as impressive as a tattoo of a three-headed, fire-breathing serpent wrapped around a sailing ship, of course, but they are worn proudly and last about a week. On bare skin, they create an interesting purple pattern that looks like a massive hematoma/Alan Liere, SR. More here. (SR illustration: Molly Quinn)

Question: Have you ever had huckleberry butt?

UI Recruit Gets Scholarship, Loses Dad

When Jaden Gardner received a scholarship offer to play football for the the University of Idaho on June 18, it should have been one of the happiest, most thrilling days of his life. Instead, the 16-year-old linebacker was handed a sobering reminder that some things are more important than sports when his father, former Idaho standout Bryson Gardner, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away that very same afternoon. “It as a big honor and was such a crazy day, but for my dad to not be there to experience it with me, it was really hard for me,” Jaden said. “My dad had told me he wanted to help me achieve my goals, and when I decided I wanted to play college football, he was right there helping me. For him not being able to be there when I got the offer was very hard.“It’s a big deal, getting your first offer from a college, but the importance of it was really weighed down. Not having my dad there showed what really matters in life”/Ben Handel, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here. (Courtesy photo from Laura Gardner, via Daily News: Jaden Gardner (10) watches from the sidelines while wearing one of his dad’s old jerseys during a June 18 football camp at the SprinTurf in Moscow)

Question: Did you lose a parent at a young age?

Good Cop, Pathetic Cop

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Hump Day Wild Card — 7.23.14

I've been enjoying a bag of huckleberries that Walkabout dropped by the office earlier this week. It's my midafternoon treat. I try to limit myself to two handfuls. But sometimes that doesn't work well. Can't get enough of Idaho's state fruit. I notice that someone along 5th Street (near Dave Smith Motors) is selling them for $45 per gallon. That seems like a decent price. Anyone else out there picking huckleberries this year? You can answer that question or start your own thread with this Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.23.14 Edit

An Australian athlete does a handstand as she arrives with her teammates during the opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland, earlier today. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Comment Of Day — Ron Burgundy

Ron Burgundy (RE: Idaho no dumping ground — Otter): This can only mean one thing. Butch has seen private polls that show Balukoff far too close for comfort so he is in full campaign mode and trying to encourage some tea partiers back into his fold. It is sad to watch when an old man starts dumping his principles in order to cling to office.

Question: Do you think Gov. Otter is running scared?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.23.14

  • 5:26 p.m. Minor injury reported from falling tree @ RV Park store/Silverwood.
  • 5:23 p.m. Dispatcher reports things are clearing up & sends officer to check on utility problem at Abbott/Chilco.
  • 5:14 p.m. Silverwood employees have gone through RV Park — and determined no injuries as result of falling trees.
  • 5:08 p.m. Responder reports tree on power wires @ 405 Buttercup/CdA — and told 25 priorities ahead of him.
  • 5:07 p.m. A tree is down across both lanes of traffic on Perimeter Road, north of traffic circle, Bayview-Athol.
  • 5:05 p.m. Utility problems @ Lintzy/Parks, Athol, and at Ohio Match/Pope, Athol.
  • 5:03 p.m. A tree has fallen across BNSF tracks, north of Ohio Match Road.
  • 5:01 p.m. Several trees have fallen on trailers in RV Park @ Silverwood/Athol, trapping several people inside.
  • 5 p.m. Dispatch reports that some individuals are trapped in mobile homes in northern Kootenai County.
  • 4:59 p.m. A utility problem is reported @ Lewellen Creek Road/H54, Athol.
  • 4:57 p.m. Utility problems reported @ H95/Brunner, Athol, and Hanley/Valley, Dalton Gardens.
  • 4:52 p.m. Response from Kootenai Fire delayed b/c can't get garage door open as a result of loss of power.
  • 4:51 p.m. Big tree is down over power lines @ H95/Garwood Road.
  • 4:48 p.m. Traffic lights are out in all directions @ H95/Garwood Road.
  • 4:43 p.m. Someone is suffering chest pain @ Old Highway 95/Garwood Road.
  • 4:34 p.m. Officer reports 2 transformers have blown @ Kathleen/Govt Way, CdA; dispatcher responds that transformers also has blown @ Cosgrove, Sherman Avenue, knocking out lights?
  • 4:31 p.m. CPD officer reports: It's raining buckets @ H95/Ironwood Drive/CdA.
  • 12 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

Coeur d’Alene Symphony’s Schedule

The Coeur d’Alene Symphony is excited to announce our 2014-2015 season…seven exciting events, including our free concert in Coeur d’Alene City Park on Labor Day. The Symphony’s five regular season performances will be at The Salvation Army Kroc Center Worship and Performing Arts Theater on Golf Course Road in Coeur d’alene.  Each concert will be presented twice, on Friday evening at 7:30, and again as a Saturday matinee at 2.

  • October 10 & 11:  Rossini’s “Thieving Magpie Overture”; Mozart’s “Symphonie Concertante”, featuring Concertmaster Dr. Phillip Baldwin and Principal Violist Jay Prior; Dvorak’s “Symphony #8.”
  • December 5 & 6:  “Christmas At The Kroc” with Tchaikovsky’s “Suite #3” and a whole lot of Holiday favorites.
  • January 23 & 24:  “Family Fun at the Symphony”  It’s Movie Night, and kids under 18 are free with a paid adult, thanks to a grant from Kootenai Electric Cooperative.
  • March 13 & 14:  “National Young Artists Competition Winners”  Seven amazing young artists from around the country, winners of our competition in January, will perform with the Orchestra.
  • May 1 & 2:  The Symphony’s regular season finale includes Brahms’ monumental 2nd Symphony…and a special performance by a soloist to be announced. More here.

Question: Are you a supporter of the Coeur d'Alene Symphony?

Poll: City Failed On Dog Shooting

Online voters (to a Coeur d'Alene Press poll) left no doubt about their assessment of the recent dog shooting by a police officer. Asked, “Are you satisfied with Coeur d'Alene's handling of the dog shooting?”, here's how readers on responded:

  • Yes, 153 votes (10 percent)
  • No, 1,327 votes (86 percent)
  • No opinion, 67 votes (4 percent)

KCSD Offers New Online Reporting

Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office now provides a new online reporting option for the public. This web based reporting system will allow the public to file certain types of incidences (Lost Property, Scam Calls, Crime Tips and Traffic Concerns) over the internet at their convenience. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office expects this internet based reporting service to be very popular among citizens who have come to expect services to be provided immediately and conveniently online/Gary Shults, Kootenai County Sheriff's Department. More here.

Question: Good move by the sheriff?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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