$208,877,000. That’s the bottom line from a busy election night across the state. All told, voters approved just shy of $209 million in school levies and bond issues, according to an Idaho Education News analysis of election results. By and large, school districts fared well as they took their cases to the polls. Voters approved 41 of 48 ballot measures statewide/Kevin Richert, IdahoED NEWS. More here.
Question: Seems school patrons value public education more than the Idaho Legislature. Am I being too harsh in my judgment?
2 Days & Counting (to affiliate with the Republican Party to vote in the closed GOPrimary in May): Democrats, Libertarians & Constitutionalists are running out of time to contact the Kootenai County Clerk's Office to affiliate with the GOP to vote in the winner-take-all, closed GOPrimary this spring. Meanwhile, the races for GOPrecinct Committeemen positions are continuing to attract contestants. The dance card is filling up. But I suspect there will be a whole lotta more filings in the next two days. Now for today's Wild Card …
Leonard Hammrich, 74, has his injuries treated by Coeur d’Alene Fire Department firefighter Jason Wing after being struck head-on by another vehicle on U.S. 95. Coeur d'Alene Press story here. (Press photo: Shawn Gust)
Olivia Rodriguez, of Corpus Christi, left, spits out the beer as Meghan Lawler, of Austin, drinks from the beer bong, Tuesday, during spring break on the beach in Port Aransas, Texas. Sun and warmer weather brought out bigger crowds at beaches across the Coastal Bend. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Michael Zamora)
… That former Republican county commissioner Rick Currie will file his candidacy papers, perhaps today, to challenge state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, in the House District 4B race for the GOPrimary nomination. Stay tuned.
In this week's edition of Dueling GOP Luncheons (at noon Thursday):
Question: Which luncheon topic(s) interests you most?
A U.S. Supreme Court decision affecting the legality of a rails-to-trail route in Wyoming has left local officials wondering if the decision will affect any of the multiple recreation trails in the Inland Northwest. The court on Monday sided with a Wyoming property owner in a dispute over a bicycle trail that follows the route of an abandoned railroad. The decision could force the government to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to compensate landowners. The justices ruled 8-1 Monday that property owner Marvin Brandt remains the owner of a 200-foot-wide trail that crosses his 83-acre parcel in southern Wyoming’s Medicine Bow National Forest. The trail once was the path of a railroad and is among thousands of miles of abandoned railroads that have been converted to recreational trails. Chief Justice John Roberts said the government was wrong to assert that it owns the trail/SR, AP. More here.
Question: Can you imagine what this area would be like without its wonderful rails-to-trails system?
Can you see former Idaho Gov. Cecil D. Andrus acting in a soft-porn flick? No? How about former Gov. Phil Batt? Not really? Or even the current crop of Idaho politicians? How about Congressman Mike Simpson, R-Idaho? Or Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho? Come on.Such a thing would be so out of character for any of them that Idahoans would be stunned, dismayed and embarrassed. Yet, when it's Idaho Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter who turns up playing the role of the corrupt sheriff in an early 1990s Western potboiler, nobody gets all that worked up. When they read in the New York Daily News that Otter is part of a film that is “pure Idaho, complete with rodeos and chases on ATVs and horseback. The cowboy battles get so intense, somebody fires a rocket launcher at a horse trailer,” Idahoans shrug. That's just Butch, they say/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (SR file photo: Otter at a 2010 Tea Party rally in Spokane)
Question: Do you think Butch Otter makes a better governor than he does an actor?
A Duke University freshman starring in pornography films to help finance her expensive education is a 2013 Gonzaga Prep graduate. Miriam Weeks has whipped up a media storm during the past month defending her acting in more than a dozen adult movies under her screen name “Belle Knox.” The 18-year-old Spokane woman said her pornography experience will bolster her plans and hopes of becoming a lawyer and advocating for sex workers. As a student at Gonzaga Prep, she earned accolades for her public service work and volunteerism and top honors in foreign languages. She participated on the debate team while attending the private high school. “She was a good student,” said Gonzaga Prep Principal Cindy Reopelle, who would not comment about Weeks’ decisions since leaving the Catholic high school/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR. More here.
Question: Would you disown a child if s/he starred in porn to pay bills?
A large tree, which was planted in the ’80s, is felled by Specialty Tree Services Inc Tuesday next to the clock tower in downtown Coeur d’Alene. Two trees were removed as part of a city project to widen Centennial Trail. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Gabe Green)
They were literally clearing the path Tuesday to expand the Centennial Trail between City Park and McEuen Park. Starting today, the city, in partnership with the Hagadone Corporation, will break ground on the new $1 million pedestrian-friendly downtown corridor that will connect City Park with McEuen Park. Specialty Tree Service began clearing away 23 trees that stood in the way of the trail project. “We have to get this started on the right foot,” said Kenny Roberge, CEO of Specialty Tree Service. “We got down here and set up around 7 a.m. and we were cutting by 7:30 a.m.” By noon all but two of the trees had been felled, chipped and hauled away/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
JohnA: cutting trees down is never a fun thing to witness but I really believe the end result, including the new plaza square extending from City Park to McEuen will be a nice addition to the city.
Question: Do you believe that the end result of the $1M Front Avenue project will be far better than the trees and landscaping that had to be removed?
Idaho voters approved school funding levies Tuesday in Kootenai and Shoshone counties and rejected one in Bonner County. A two-year levy passed for the Lakeland Joint School District in Rathdrum. Voters approved the measure, which will raise $4.8 million a year for two years, 869 to 384 votes. Lakeland officials said the district of just over 4,000 students would have needed to cut 20 percent from its general fund budget if the levy had failed. Levies also passed in two school districts in the Silver Valley. The Kellogg School District’s levy request of $2.78 million a year for two years was approved 580 to 386, and the Wallace School District’s request of $2 million a year for two years passed by a mere two votes, 261 to 259/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Question: Is this a good sign that local voters appreciate public school education?
DFO: I'll be following the Kootenai County and state of Idaho Web sites closely, to bring you the latest filings.
Gonzaga's Sam Dower Jr. (35) puts up a shot against BYU's Eric Mika in the first half of the NCAA West Coast Conference tournament championship college basketball game tonight in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Senior Sam Dower Jr. scored 20 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to lead Gonzaga (28-6) to a 75-64 win over Brigham Young in the West Coast Conference championship game at the Orleans on Tuesday. Gary Bell Jr. scored 14 for Gonzaga and Kevin Pangos scored 11 all on free throws. BYU’s Tyler Haws led all scorers with 24. He win gives Gonzaga the automatic berth into the NCAA tournament, which begins next Tuesday with first-round games at Dayton, Ohio. BYU (23-11) will have to rely on an at-large berth to get into the tournament/AP.
3 Days & Counting (to affiliate with the Republican Party to vote in the closed GOPrimary in May): The time is winding down for partisan Democrats, Libertarians, Constitutionalists to affiliate with the Idaho GOP for the purpose of voting in the likely winner-take-all GOPrimaries this spring. The deadline is 5 p.m. Friday. That's also the deadline for filing candidacy papers. It'll be interesting to see how the GOPrecinct Committee dance card fills up. The fight for control of the GOP CC may be the most interesting campaign of the spring. Now for your Tuesday Wild Card …
Candidates are continuing to emerge for Kootenai County GOP Central Committeeman spots. Click here. However, candidates for Kootenai County Courthouse offices are still being shy. Click here. Meanwhile, president Jeff Ward of the Reagan Republicans has joined Don Cheatham in the GOPrimary race for state Rep. Frank Henderson's House District 3B seat. Click here.
A weekend investigation by Idaho State Police Alcohol Beverage Control in collaboration with Emmett, Nampa and Caldwell police found that nearly half of 12 adults who were approached agreed to illegally buy alcohol for a minor. However, only a little more than 10 percent of the businesses approached sold alcoholic beverages to minors, according to an Idaho State Police news release. The agencies conducted “alcohol age compliance checks” on Friday and Saturday nights at 93 businesses licensed to sell alcoholic beverages in Canyon, Owyhee, Payette and Gem counties. Ten of those businesses sold to a minor, and misdemeanor citations were issued/Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Has a minor ever asked you to buy alcohol for them?