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Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 4/11/06

In this undated image provided by the U.S. Mint, one of three options for the design of Washington's official state quarter is shown. An online opinion poll that allowed Washingtonians to pick their favorite was suspended Monday after robotic computer programs flooded the poll with bogus repeat votes here. (AP Photo/U.S. Mint)

Sagebrush: Cantwell fights to save high gas prices here.

1. David Horsey/PI issues a Homeland Security Alert here.

2. Dave Boling/Tacoma News Tribune, who as a sports writer in the Inland Northwest, has covered back-to-the-future University of Idaho football coach Dennis Erickson for decades, visits Moscow to see what a man who's coached a national champion and professional football is doing there here (free subscription required).

3. Washington taxpayers paid $84,000 for 20 surgeries over three years so a man named Andy could become a woman named Ava here.

4. Another College Sports Controversy: Two members of the University of Washington's men's crew team were kicked off the squad after admitting they painted a gay slur on a teammate's fence here.

5. Timber tycoon and luxury-resort developer Tim Blixseth is offering to trade up to 100,000 acres he owns in Idaho, including a historic campground on the Lewis and Clark Trail, for state or federal land he can develop near McCall and New Meadows here.

6. IMHO-NW: Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (Immigration is a privilege), Idaho Statesman (Lawmakers failed future community college students), Ingrid Rachinski/WSU Daily Evergreen (Looking past our bodies), Josh Studor/UI Argonaut (Christianity and sexuality redefined), and Susan Payntner/Seattle PI (Punishing young killers).

Online Poll: 79% of 146 respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll say they don't cheat on their taxes.

*Police here have unearthed the remains of an infant buried two years ago in a backyard grave, as part of an investigation into the newborn's teenage mother here.

*A Miles City man provides Gonzaga with a traveling exhibit on L. Frank Baum's Oz books and memorabilia here.

*The accident that sent a woman plunging five stories to her death wasn't the first time the walls of a Spokane parking garage were breached here.

*An ex-BSU footballer received 6 months in jail for leaving the scene of an accident that killed a Boise family here.

Orbusmax Special: Liberal PI columnist Joel Connelly has 4 people registered to vote at his tiny Whidbey Island retreat here. Connelly's response here.

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.