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Hucks: FBI Exercises Rights To Buy Cheap Goods

There was considerable testimony in the 1st District Court on Tuesday about a botched FBI tape recording involving murder suspect Joseph Edward Duncan III. Let's rewind the tape to last summer when the FBI first questioned Duncan about his possible connection with the killings of Brenda Groene, her two sons, and lover Mark McKenzie. Seems FBI agents borrowed a tape recorder from Kootenai County sheriff's detectives to conduct an initial interview. But the recorder wasn't available later when Duncan requested the FBI to return for a follow-up chat. So, an agent got permission from a supervisor to buy a digital recorder from the local Fred Meyer. Unfortunately, he didn't have time to read the lengthy manual that came with it before interrogating Duncan again. He winged it. The tape ran out. And that's how the FBI lost about an hour's worth of its interview with Duncan, including a brief discussion about the Groenes. That disclosure caused a courtroom wag to quip: "I wonder where the FBI buys its guns?" Wal-Mart?

•That great deal that the Human Rights Education Institute got on folding chairs wasn't so great, after all. Two collapsed "like tinfoil" during U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's wild town hall meeting at the institute Tuesday – one with Repub die-hard Ruthie Johnson on board, the other bearing Jim Aucutt of the Kootenai County and Waterways Advisory Board. Neither Seasoned Citizen was hurt. Let's hope institute Director K.J. Torgerson kept her big-box-store receipt.

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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.