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Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 1/31/07

Two coyotes fight over an animal carcass next to the Gardner River near Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo., in Yellowstone National Park, Tuesday morning/Garrett Cheen, AP Photo/The Livingston Enterprise.

Stapilus: An evolution of sorts was behind the 9th Circuit's decision to yank field burning from Idaho's purview here.

1. A Kent, Wash., mother who police say let her two young children starve to death while she got drunk is no longer facing criminal charges here.

2. Growth on the Vancouver campus is bucking a couple of trends in the Washington State University system. When spring enrollment figures for the four-campus WSU system were announced Friday, Vancouver was the only site showing a gain, with 323 more students than a year ago here.

3. KING 5 News in Seattle has learned that three former foster children have just filed a $45 million claim against the State of Washington. The girls say their foster dad abused them for years while the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) ignored a slew of graphic complaints that should have put a stop to it here.

4. Gov. Butch Otter plans to meet with the billionaire founder of the Montana Meth Project about bringing an in-your-face advertising campaign on the perils of methamphetamine to Idaho here. (Online Poll: 88% of 720 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll favor Otter's plan here.)

5. Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith is threatening to filibuster a must-pass spending bill if Congress does not extend payments to rural counties hurt by cutbacks in federal logging here.

6. IMHO-NW: John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (Zags have to be as tough as schedule), Jim Fisher/Lewiston Tribune (Smaller capitol wings best for voters), Steve Crump/Twin Falls Times-News (Confronting dark hillbilly fears), Idaho Statesman (Table Otter's talk about dams), and Art Thiel/Seattle PI (Best Mariners rotation in years).

Online Poll: 76% of 357 respondents to a Great Falls Tribune poll oppose four-day weeks for schools.

*No serious injuries after school bus with six students plunges into Snake River here.

*Jury favors WTO protesters who sued Seattle here.

*Another baby girl has been born on Seattle's gridlocked streets this week here.

*Miss Montana 2003 claims she was a victim of battery and defamation by two pageant volunteer organizers here.

*Boise teens survive crash, cold swim, cut head, night alone here.

Orbusmax Special: Washington woman to pay court costs, serve probation for filling out daughter's absentee ballot and signing it 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.