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Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 4/4/06

The front and back of the new Washington State quarter. The U.S. Mint must approve the design, but it has so far not rejected any design selected by a governor here/Richard Roesler, Spokesman-Review.

Extra! Gov. Dirk Kempthorne differs with Bush administration on the sale of public lands here.

1. Baby Boomers check up on Medicare benefits, according to David Horsey/Seattle PI, here.

2. On Wednesday afternoon, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer granted posthumous pardons to 78 men and women turned criminal by Montana's Sedition Act. One man had his sentence commuted in 1921 here.

3. The state of Idaho and a Seattle-based construction company agreed Wednesday to pay $895,000 in fines for a highway improvement project that ended up sending torrents of mud into Mica Creek and downstream to Lake Coeur d'Alene here.

4. Searchers using a specialized sonar device and robotic underwater cameras Tuesday found fragments from a military aircraft that crashed into Flathead Lake on March 21, 1960, here.

5. Kevin McCoy has been told he's accomplished a seemingly impossible mission: getting actor Tom Cruise to visit this timber town of less than 17,000 people in Western Washington here.

6. IMHO-NW: Bert Caldwell/Spokesman-Review (Exxon CEO primes pump), Robert Herold/Inlander (Urban warrior), Cole Smithey/Inlander (Review: Mission Impossible III), Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (Rebuilding Going To The Sun Highway), and Steve Kelley/Seattle Times (Ex-Mariner Bucky Jacobsen).

Online Poll: 81.1% of 1336 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll believe it's a good idea to ban sugary sodas from school vending machines.

*the average cost of waging a successful bid for the Washington state Senate has grown to nearly $150,000 here.

*Montana confirms first case of hantavirus this year here.

*Eddie Guardado no longer Seattle's primary closer here.

Orbusmax Special: Idaho to tap fund used for grizzlies to pay Planned Parenthood bill 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.