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Archive for August 2008

Wild Card/Thursday — 8/28/08

Finally, Joseph Edward Duncan III is receding in the rear-view mirror. And we’re looking ahead to Barack Obama’s speech at the Demo convention tonight and the Repub convention from Minneapolis-St. Paul next week. I wonder if McCain will upstage Obama by letting the VP announcement slip this afternoon. If that’s not enough, school and fall sports are about to resume. Never a dull moment. HBO has been above 10,000 page-views for the last 5 weekdays, topping out Wednesday at 11,999. So, things are good here. Now, I’ll play the Wild Card …

Evergreen: WSU Tackle Roof Deserved Boot

After a string of alcohol-related offenses, including two DUIs and six assault charges, the Student Conduct Board expelled Andy Roof (pictured), defensive tackle for the WSU football team, on Tuesday. “Andy’s changed his life around 180 degrees, and as a coaching staff we’ve seen the positive impact he’s made in the program,” head football coach Paul Wulff said in a Tuesday press conference. It is commendable that Roof apparently able to conquer his personal demons and make such a profoundly positive life change in merely five months. But simply being sorry and changing your life “around 180 degrees” doesn’t mean you won’t be held responsible for your actions/Daily Evergreen . More here .

Question: Did the student conduct board act properly in expelling WSU football player Andy Roof when he was beginning to turn his life around?

Scanner Traffic — Safeway Robbed

11:41 a.m. The Safeway pharmacy was robbed today by a man in a gray hood who fits the description of the armed suspect who robbed oxycontin from the Hayden’s Rite Aid last week. According to CDA police, the man handed the pharmacist a note demanding oxycontin. No weapon was seen. The man then left on foot southbound. He is described as a dark-complected male in his late 20s, about 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, wearing sunglasses, black or dark-blue sweatpants, a ring in lower lip, and possible facial hair. CPD Blue press release here And: SR story here.

5:08 p.m. A caller wants to know if the dump station next to JD’s Feed has been fixed.
5:05 p.m. A resident complains that his neighbor’s goat is coming onto his property and eating hay.
5:02 p.m. A person with a fractured arm is waiting for an ambulance on Government Way, just north of Neider.
4:35 p.m. An elderly man has abandoned a dog at one of the local boat launches.

Daily News: Incentives Better Than Bag Tax

The city of Pullman will get farther with a carrot than it would with a stick when it comes to plastic bags. Supporters of the proposal to charge a 20-cent tax on plastic bags should take the nondecision by the City Council on Tuesday as a sign that its best approach would be built around incentives rather than punishment. Members of the council didn’t seem too hot on the bag tax, and with good reason. As was noted by council members Tuesday, instituting a tax as a means to get people to bring their own bag to the grocery store is the wrong approach/Steve McClure, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Agree? Disagree?

Otter Talks Of Economic Downturn In Idaho

Gov. Butch Otter warned Boise-area business leaders against growing complacent because Idaho has not been hit as hard as some states by the current U.S. economic downturn. Delivering a State of the State address Thursday to a Boise Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Otter said the “bad news is that Idaho has not been immune from the national economic downturn,” and that the state’s own economic forecast predicts that the “next couple of years will be the most challenging in decades”/Idaho Statesman. More here.

Retired Doc Charged w/Felony In Puppy Case

Karen Nichols//Daily Inter Lake, AP
Jenn Makulec bottle feeds Rally on Thursday, one of a pair of week-old puppies found by a salvager at a Somers, Mont., garbage dump site. Ten other puppies were found dead in a discarded trash bag.

Item: Man charged in deaths of pups: Retired MD says he didn’t know it was illegal/Nicholas Ledden, Kalispell Daily Inter Lake

More Info: A retired Kalispell doctor will be prosecuted for abandoning 12 puppies last week at the green-box site in Somers. John L. Heine, 74, was charged Wednesday with felony aggravated cruelty to animals, according to the Flathead County Attorney’s Office. … The puppies were found the afternoon of Aug. 21, along with common household trash, in a gray plastic garbage bag. Ten of them were dead, apparently drowned.

Question: Is a felony charge justified in this case?

NMHOMB: Electrolysis Or Laser

No More Huckle On My Berry: A question for the ladies, and gentlemen, too, I suppose if they have experience with such things: permanent hair removal - electrolysis or laser?

Question: Well?

Idaho CEOs, Biz Leaders Back Ed Corridor

The potential to acquire this property adjacent to the NIC campus represents a unique opportunity that must be capitalized upon. Knowing that this acquisition is not without its detractors, we urge you to focus on the big picture and take the long view. Future generations will thank you. Tubbs Hill had its detractors as well/Idaho Coalition for Education Excellence. More here.

Skip Oppenheimer
CEO Oppenheimer Companies
Chairman, IBCEE

Dean Haagenson
President Contractors Northwest, Inc.
Co Chairman, IBCEE Higher Ed Committee

Gary Michael
Idaho Coalition of Education Excellence.
Retired Chairman, Albertson’s
Former Interim President, U of I

Duncan’s Ex-Stepmom: ‘I’d Push The Trigger’

“One of my sons asked `what if it was me that had done that?’ and I said `Honey, if you had done that, I would be the one to push the trigger,” said Pat Rybiski, 61. “I don’t care how abused or mistreated, there’s no excuse for what that man’s done. … The Lord is the one that gets vengeance, the eye for the eye, not we people. He guided the jury to that decision”/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia. More here.

Idaho Dems Cast Votes @ Convention

Jim Camden/Spin Control explains why Washington never got around to casting its votes in his quickie political briefing here.

Betsy Russell On Mack Show Today

Betsy Russell, waitress Amber Deahn and Prosecutor Bill Douglas will be guests on Rebecca Mack’s On The Air show (KJRB-AM, 790) at 11 this morning. You can catch the show live. Or listen to it later today by clicking on the SRadio bug on the right rail.

Hat Tip: Dick Haugen

YouTube Wrap-Up Of Duncan Case

From Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman: Here’s a second-day roundup on the story, starting with Associated Press video coverage of the sentencing.


McCain To Unveil VP Friday, If Not Sooner

Item: McCain to announce running mate on Friday: Could leak by 3 p.m. today/International Herald Tribune

More Info: Senator John McCain has decided on his running mate, two Republican strategists in contact with McCain’s campaign said Wednesday. He is expected to reveal his choice at a rally at a basketball arena in Dayton, Ohio, at 11 a.m. Friday.

Question: Who do you think is the best person for the job: Giuliani, K.B. Hutchison, Huckabee, Lieberman, Pawlenty, Romney, Other?

Clark: Duncan Worst Than Cold-Bloodiest Reptile

He reminds me of the lesson I learned while baby-sitting my best friend’s pet alligator when I was 17. Ralph, it was named. My duties while my friend was vacationing with his family were simple: Adjust the heat lamp that kept the 18-inch gator warm. Drop in some pork kidneys for food. Ralph, however, was unimpressed by my charity. Try as I might, the gator would just stare at me with watchful, expressionless eyes. But I was an optimist back then. I believed in my heart that I could win Ralph over with kindness. So one day I decided to make a show of friendship. Talking to Ralph in soothing tones, I slowly reached in my hand in give the gator a kindly pat on the head. Snap! Ralph was a strike of green leathery lightning, barely missing my fingers with his prehistoric teeth. That’s when it hit me. Some creatures are beyond the reach of affection. Some creatures are cold-blooded by nature/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Any last thoughts on Duncan before we turn the page and try to forget about this monster?

Online Poll: Labor Day Weekend Travel

Gas prices have been sliding down. How far will you travel this Labor Day weekend?/Billings Gazette

*0-25 mile(s)
*26-50 miles
*51-100 miles
*101-200 miles
*201-500 miles
*501+ miles

DeArmond Mill Site Worth $13.25 Million

Item: Appraisal: DeArmond Mill site worth more than Chesrown is asking North Idaho College/Maureen Dolan

More Info: There is no longer any question about the value of the piece of property that would anchor a higher education corridor in downtown Coeur d’Alene. The market value of Stimson Lumber Company’s DeArmond mill site property is $13,250,000. A long-awaited appraisal of the 17-acre parcel was made public at Wednesday’s meeting of the North Idaho College board of trustees by college president Priscilla Bell. Completed by Coeur d’Alene firm Morse & Co., the appraisal is conditional on the property being cleared, cleaned and not contaminated, Armon said. The college hopes to purchase the mill site from Black Rock developer Marshall Chesrown for $10,000,000.

Question: Now, do you support the purchase of the DeArmond Mill site by North Idaho College for an Education Corridor?

Hump Day Wild Card — 8/27/08

What an incredibly busy day. Duncan receives the justice he deserves. The Democrats nominate the first African-American ever to seek the presidency from a major party. And the blog continued to hop, as it has done all month. Thanks for hanging in there with me today as I juggled the major events of the day with important personal events of my own. I’ll drop this Wild Card on you — and head home to catch up on the Demo convention replay of Hillary’s call for Obama’s nomination by acclamation …

WSU Evergreen: Save Us From Smear Ads

Item: Campaign ads fail to inspire: Smear tactics focus on Paris Hilton and real estate/Chris Johnson, WSU Daily Evergreen

More Info: Sadly, there will be people who will reflect on those commercials and think, “Barack is Paris Hilton? I don’t want Paris Hilton for president!” or “McCain has eight houses? No president should ever own more than one home!” As the competition heats up, the tactics become more and more reminiscent to scare tactic propaganda posters most notably seen in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia.

Question: Obviously, smear campaigns are somewhat effective or the major parties wouldn’t use them against each other. Why are they effective?

Duncan Likely Headed To Indiana Prison

Now sentenced to death, Joseph Duncan likely will be transferred soon by deputy U.S. marshals from Boise to the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind. — the facility where federal death penalties are carried out. The 45-year-old sex-predator and killer could be held there or in some other high-security federal prison until his appeals run out – a process that could take three or four years, or maybe longer/Bill Morlin, SR. More here.

After Duncan Sentencing

Joe Jaszewski/AP Photo
Steve Groene, father of victims Dylan and Shasta Groene, speaks to the media outside the Federal Courthouse in Boise after a jury delivered a verdict of death on all three counts in the sentencing phase of the Joseph Edward Duncan III trial at the Federal Courthouse in Boise this afternoon. Duncan pleaded guilty in December to 10 federal charges involving the kidnappings and the murder of Dylan.

Steve Conner/AP Photo
U.S. Attorney Tom Moss addresses the media after a jury sentenced Joesph Duncan to death in Federal Court in Boise.

Steve Conner/AP Photo
Kootenai County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Brad Maskell, lead investigator in the case: “I just had to be here. I was the guy standing out in the rain that very first night.” talks with the media after leaving the Federal Courthouse in Boise.

Scanner Traffic — 8/27/08

4:57 p.m. A child is jumping back and forth between the back seat and the front seat of a vehicle traveling over the Memorial Bridge on I-90. The child lacks protective restraint.
4:28 p.m. Crash closes eastbound ramp at Northwest Boulevard and Interstate 90.
4:06 p.m. Minor injuries reported from 2-vehicle, T-bone accident on Blackwell Island slough bridge, Highway 95.
12:57 p.m. Michael J. Kramer, 36, of Kingston was injured early this morning when he failed to negotiate a curve on Highway 95, near Kidd Island Bay Road, and turned his chip truck over. ISP report here.

Meanwhile, In Denver …

Justin Stormogipson/Special for Huckleberries
In this Tuesday photo from the National Democratic Convention, Chairman Keith Roark and the rest of the Idaho delegation prepares for a roll call vote.

Richert: Duncan Case Abused 15 Decent Jurors

Forcing a jury to face the depravity of Duncan — through days of explicit testimony, and graphic video evidence showing Duncan’s sexual abuse of Dylan Groene — serves no purpose in terms of justice. With no question as to Duncan’s guilt, the sole question before jurors was the sentence: death or life in prison, without the possibility of parole. This does not justify subjecting 15 decent people (12 jurors and three alternates) to a traumatic experience they didn’t deserve, any more than they deserve to be insulted by being referred to as Duncan’s peers/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you agree or disagree with Opinion Editor Kevin Richert that justice wasn’t served by the Duncan sentencing case?

Duncan: ‘He Will Pay For What He’s Done’

Darlene Torres (pictured), Dylan and Shasta’s grandmother, was the first relative to come out of the courtroom. She said, “I am so glad this is over. Justice has been served. It’s been a long three years.” She said when she looked at Duncan in the courtroom, “I see nothing but an evil, empty cold-hearted shell, that’s all I see.” She said nothing can be done to Duncan that will relieve her emptiness, “but at least I know he’s not out there hurting anyone else”/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here.

*7 more charges
*US attorney: ‘Jury gave voice to the victims’
*Gag order now lifted
*‘He duped his friends, it was an act’
*Prosecutor: ‘Death is the appropriate punishment’
*Shasta’s words fill courtroom again
*‘Time to close the book on these horrific crimes’

Twitter: Death For Duncan

The jury unanimously sentenced Duncan to death on all three counts. Less than 20 seconds ago from web

Count 7: Using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. They answered yes to victim impact and future dangerousness. Verdict: Death.

Count 5: Sexual exploitation of a child resulting in death. They answered yes to victim impact and future dangerousness. Verdict: Death.

Count 1: Kidnapping resulting in death. Verdict: Death/Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here.

Daily News: 1 Beer Garden Enough @ Kibbie Dome

ASUI President Garrett Holbrook contends that an ASUI-hosted beer garden would regulate alcohol consumption among students and “give some legitimacy to what’s going on” outside the Kibbie Dome. We don’t know how he and other student leaders came to that conclusion, seeing how increased availability and responsible drinking usually don’t go hand in hand. Football fans have been imbibing before their teams take the field as long as the game’s been played. These days, tailgating is more of an art form than the loosely organized gatherings of yesteryear. That doesn’t mean students need another outlet from which to purchase their beverage of choice/Doug Bauer, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Should UI students be allowed to run their own beer garden at the Kibbie Dome?

HBO @ Noon: Benewah Co Kids Prefer Horses

It’s good to be a horse. Chickens, however, have few friends. That is the verdict of the 168 youngsters who cast a ballot in the special election sponsored by the Benewah County Democrats at the county fair. The young voters were asked to elect their favorite animal/St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here.

Question: Which animal did you most enjoy seeing at your local fair this year?

Blast From Demo Past

Paul Sancya/AP Photo
Former Senator and Democratic presidential nominee, George McGovern, second from left, shakes hands with Michelle Obama, right, wife of Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Tuesday. Looking on at left is Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, and Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., second from right.

Stapilus: No Surprise That Idaho’s For McCain, But …

The presidential poll released today by Greg Smith Associates (no link available) does put Idaho, in the national perspective, more or less where you’d think: Lagging behind only Utah and Wyoming in support for Republican John McCain over Democrat Barack Obama. Idaho (51.% McCain to 29.2% Obama) would likely be one of the last red states to turn blue. Some of the cross-tabs are a little unexpected, though. That Obama would do better in southwest Idaho (32.3%, where there’s a strong base in Boise) than most of the state would be expected. Comparable levels in the Magic Valley are not. And stronger McCain support among women than men seems off the beaten track, too/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press.

Question: Did you really think Idaho would go for Obama?

Duncan: ‘He Received An Epiphany On The Mountain’

Judy Clarke, standby counsel for Joseph Duncan, told the court just now that Duncan believes he has presented mitigating evidence, even though he called no witnesses and presented no testimony on that. “He received an epiphany on the mountain through S.G. (Shasta), and that’s the reason she is alive today,” Clarke told the court, and that’s what Duncan believes the mitigating evidence is. “Words hinder the understanding of the truth” in Duncan’s view, Clarke said. “That is Mr. Duncan’s view of mitigation”/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here.

APhoto of the Day — 8/27/08

Fernando Bustamante/AP Photo
Revelers throw tomatoes during the annual food fight, the Tomatina, in the town of Bunol, Spain, Wednesday. Each year thousands of people gather to hurl truckloads of tomatoes at each other. Local lore says it began in the mid-1940s with a food battle that broke out between youngsters near a vegetable stand on the town square in Bunol.

Top Cutlines:

1. It wasn’t the size of Indy’s tomatoes that enraged Fair goers so much as the way he insisted on wearing his blue ribbons, and the way he kept shaking his head sadly at the other entrant’s offerings — CindyH.
2. None of the tomatoes reached Michelle but they kept trying — Pecky.
3. Guy in yellow shirt-“Hey, you over there! If you hit me with any more tomatoes, I’m going to throw one of these watermelons I snuck in at you!” — Shannon.

Hayden Man Killed In Crash Near Oldtown Today

Originally posted at 10:46 p.m. Tuesday
An 18-year-old Hayden man was killed late this afternoon when he crossed the centerline on Highway 41, south of Oldtown, and crashed into a logging truck. Shane T. Scott was northbound trying to negotiate a downhill grade when he struck the side of an unloaded southbound truck, causing both vehicles to overturn. Scott was driving a 2001 Jeep Cherokee. Neither truck driver Fred Bell, 42, of St. Maries nor his passenger, Warren G. Bell, 75, of St. Maries, were injured in the crash. ISP accident report below.

Deputy Charged w/Defrauding Vets Administration

Item: Ex-Bonner County deputy charged with defrauding VA: Sebero allegedly collected $1.5M in benefits before indictment/SR

More Info: James M. Sebero is charged with three counts of making false statements on documents he filled out to begin receiving disability payments after his discharge from the U.S. Air Force in the 1970s. Sebero reportedly claimed he became paralyzed from a service-related injury in the 1970s when he apparently began receiving VA disability payments. In the meantime, he worked for four years as a seasonal marine deputy in Bonner County and also operated an aircraft repair facility at Felts Field in Spokane, authorities said.

Question: Is your view of law enforcement shaken when an officer is caught doing something inappropriate?

Rain Delay

Barry Kough/Lewiston Tribune, AP
Harvesting equipment sits idle on the Camas Prairie Tuesday, near Nezperce.

Parting Shot — 8/26/08

Frank Hormann/AP Photo
A worker stands in front of the ‘ Upside Down House’ in Trassenheide on Usedom Island, northern Germany Tuesday. The house of an entrepreneur from Poland is part of the project ‘The World Upside Down’ that should allow visitors a different view of every day items. The building is expected to open its doors for visitors in the upcoming week. For Andrew Zahler’s SR Today In Pictures, click here.

CindyH: Michelle, Cindy Feel My Pain? C’mon

CindyH: And for that matter, do you actually believe Michelle cleans her house? Oh yeah. Both candidates and wives have a lock on the common man. I’m sure Cindy and Michelle feel my pain as I scrub the boys’ toilet–which by the way looks and smells like a science experiment gone horribly wrong. Or maybe it’s progressing as planned?

Question: Of the 3 major pres/VP candidates and their wives, who’s most likely to feel your pain?

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 8/26/08

Courtesy: Thom George
Idaho delegation in the nose-bleed seats at Democratic National Convention (from left to right): Albert Wilkerson of Athol; Paulette Jordan of Plummer, Ryan Robinson (in back) of Coeur d’Alene, Richard Hill of Moscow, Maj StormoGipson of Coeur d’Alene and credentials committee member Justin StormoGipson of Coeur d’Alene.

*Court reschedules dates for double murder suspects/Shoshone News-Press
*CDA Tribe wins $400M contract/Indian Country
*Vandals expect to play at least 12 true freshmen/Idaho Statesman
*Spokane oral surgeon loses $14.8M verdict/SR
*WSU expels Cougar defensive tackle/SR
*Report errs on Bonner County housing totals/Bonner County Bee
*Biden gives Idaho delegates the boot/New West

Fraud Alert — From Dan of the County, Ysursa

Fraud Alert: Our office has been alerted that some people have received telephone calls offering to register them to vote over the telephone. The caller requests personal information, including your social security number. Idaho does not allow voter registration by telephone. These are not legitimate phone calls. Do not provide any personal information to these callers/Dan of the County & Secretary of State Ben Ysursa.

Scanner Traffic — 8/26/08

4:19 p.m. Man suffers at least a bloody nose in a rear-end accident at Hanley & Government Way. Woman hit her head. Both cars have pulled into US Bank parking lot.
2:50 p.m. Two-vehicle crash near Sagle is blocking traffic on Highway 95. Unknown if there are injuries.
11:32 a.m. Son reports he’s found his 77-year-old mother apparently dead on the floor of her home.
11:21 a.m. 5-month-old infant on Lemonwood Lane is choking on a fruit snack. Her mouth is bleeding. But she’s able to get some air.
9:18 a.m. Ambulance is bringing in a golfer who was injured when his cart went over an embankment.

Duncan Twitter: Steve Groene On Stand

Prior to his kidnapping, Dylan was just starting to get an interest in girls, Groene said. He’d try to style his hair and put on cologne. 9 minutes ago from web/Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here

Recess until 9 Wednesday MDT

Steve Conner/AP
Steve Groene leaves the Federal Courthouse in Boise on Monday afternoon after the second phase of Joseph Duncan’s death penalty sentencing trial began.

Meyer To Run For Another NIC Trustee Term

North Idaho College Trustee Judy Meyer told Huckleberries today that she will seek re-election. Meyer, who in 1975 started Parkwood Business properties with her husband, Steve, is finishing a six-year term. She served on the NIC board from 1990 to l994 until she was appointed by the governor to the Idaho Board of Education. She was president of the state board in 1998. In a news release, Meyer said she advocates collaboration among NIC, UIdaho and LCSC with four goals: minimize duplication between the schools, seamless student transfer between

JeanieSpokane: A Bag Full Of Unneeded Bras

For example, J1 had breast surgery, which she paid for herself, to make her more endowed. We individually went with her to the restroom at one of our dinners to have a viewing. It caused quite a lot of heads turning, people buzzing, what’s going on – and hard to explain that NO we aren’t doing an imitation of Larry Craig. After all the ooing and ahhing, we settled down for dinner and J1 passed a sack to me of her cast off bras, which slipped in the hand-off and spilled all over the floor of the bar we had decided to eat in. So – here I am, blushing the color of a tomato, gathering up various “practical” bras for someone who obviously doesn’t really have a use for them. But there you have it/JeanieSpokane, Nuts & Nonsense. More here.

Question: Would you consider botox, plastic surgery or some other form of plastic surgery to maximize your assets?

Hayden Rite Aid Robbed Monday Night …

Rite Aid/Prairie Avenue was robbed last night by a thin, dark-complected man who said he was armed and demanded various dosages of painkiller. According to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department, the suspect approached a pharmacy employee and made the demands about 8:42 p.m. Afterward, he was seen running toward Hayden Creek Plaza. The man is described as being about 5-foot-11, dark-complected and thin. He was wearing a grey-hooded Under Armour sweatshirt, a white T-shirt, dark pants and a black knit stocking cap. The KCSD press release said it isn’t known at this time if the robbery is connected to a series of Spokane area robberies of pharmacies, where Oxycontin and Hydrocodone were stolen.

Political Conventions Bring Out Party Animals

Charles Dharapak/AP Photo
Nany Bobo, a delegate from Des Moines, Iowa, smiles beneath her corn hat during the Democratic National Convention in Denver Monday.

Question: Does anyone get much out of engineered conventions, outside of the party insiders and the gaga conventioneers like Nany Bobo above?

Turner: Expo ‘74 Was In … Coeur d’Alene?

Kay Connors and her husband were recently at a family reunion in New Mexico. “I ran into a woman in the hotel who, when she found out that we live in Coeur d’Alene, told us she went to the world’s fair in Coeur d’Alene.” Connors said what anyone familiar with Expo ‘74 would say: “Oh, you mean the Spokane world’s fair?” But the geography genius she had encountered set her straight. “She informed me that, although they called it that, it was really on the outskirts of Coeur d’Alene.” OK, then. Thanks for clearing that up/Paul Turner, SR. More here.

Question: Which city — Coeur d’Alene or Spokane — benefits the other more?

AM Headlines — 8/26/08

Marina Svahn/AP Photo
In this photo provided by Marina Svahn, homes burn as a wildfire sweeps through a Boise, neighborhood Monday. A wildfire that started in a field of sagebrush and cheatgrass spread quickly up a ridge and burned as many as 10 homes in Boise neighborhood Monday night. A body believed to be that of a Boise State prof was found in the ashes of one home. Click here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Sunshine making an appearance/SR
*UI pronghorn antelope expert gets $600K grant/Becky Kramer, SR
*CDA to take closer look at Highway 95/Tom Hasslinger, CDA Press
*Vandalism spree strikes Post Falls/Brian Walker, CDA Press
*Hope native honored with bronze star for Iraq service/Conor Christofferson, Bonner County Bee

CDA Delegate Reports From Convention

Item: Local delegate talks from convention/Maurenn Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: As Coeur d’Alene resident Dr. Maj StormoGipson spoke to The Press by cell phone Monday from her seat at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, cheers, applause and the voice of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. could be heard in the background as the Illinois congressman spoke to the crowd. “It’s very exciting,” StormoGipson, an Obama delegate, said. She described the mood at the convention as “very upbeat.” “Everyone is determined to have unity,” StormoGipson said.

Question: Are you following the National Democratic Convention?

Democratic Convention, Day 2

Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo
Sasha Obama, 7, daughter of Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., blows a kiss to her dad, while he addresses the gathering via- satellite at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Monday. Looking on are Michelle Obama, left, wife of the Democratic presidential candidate, and her daughters Malia, 10.

Demo Convention Wild Card — 8/25/08

We’re off to a fast start this week. We still need to go through the motions before the Boise jury sentences Joseph Duncan to be put out of his misery. The Demo convention kicks off today. And Julie Fanselow/Red State Rebels will be provide Twitter here. Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko has revived the LaRocco scandal gambit (below). And there’s new info re: IVA’s outcry against same-sex wedding cards from Hallmark. All this before noon in the dog days of August. Amazing. If that’s not enough, you can always start your own thread with this Wild Card …

Gallup Poll: McCain Catches Obama @ 45%

Item: Obama, McCain tied at 45% apiece as Democratic Convention begins/Gallup Poll

More Info: The last Gallup Poll Daily tracking polling conducted before the beginning of the Democratic National Convention shows Barack Obama and John McCain tied at 45%. The latest update includes two days of interviewing following Obama’s selection of Sen. Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate, and neither day showed an improved performance for Obama.

Question: Why has Repub John McCain caught Demo Barack Obama in the polls, after Obama rode a wave of excitement to the Democratic nomination and appeared unbeatable?

Headlines @ Closin’ Time: Alaska Quarter

U.S. Mint/AP Photo
This image, provided by the U.S. Mint, depicts the Alaska quarter, which went into circulation on Monday.

*Baby boy cut from womb may have brain damage/KREM2
*Nez Perce County sheriff disappears from state/KXLY
*Boise Race for the Cure director charged in $74K theft/Idaho Statesman
*Astronaut Morgan starts work at BSU/Idaho Statesman
*Rammell on lawsuit: ‘Nothing done to cheat system’/Idaho Statesman
*Woman drowns trying to swim Payette River/KTVB
*Idaho lottery unveils game for Special Olympics/Idaho Statesman

Question: Which NW state has the best quarter?

Spin Control: Delaware Bumps Idaho @ Convention

The Idaho delegation to the Democratic National
Convention were in line to be front and center — or at least front, and a bit to the left of the podium — for the gathering in Denver. They were, that is, until Joe Biden was named Barack Obama’s running mate. That meant the delegation from Biden’s home state of Delaware got moved to the foreground and Idaho got Delaware’s location. A location which was described by a network news reporters as “in the nose bleed section”/Jim Camden, SR Spin Control. More here.

OPB News: No Fare Box For CityLink Service

Item: ‘Just hop on the bus, Gus,’ in Coeur d’Alene it’s free/Doug Nadvornick, Oregon Public Broadcast News

More Info: Climb aboard a CityLink bus in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and you notice something missing: a fare box. You can get on and ride all day without dropping a dime. Free public transit is rare these days. A growing number of North Idaho residents tired of paying four bucks a gallon for gas are taking advantage of it.

Question: Have you ridden CityLink?

Local Blogs — 8/25/08

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho
“The lovely and talented Julianne Hough will be back on Dancing with the Stars this season,” posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “Julianne has ties to Coeur d’Alene via her grandparents, Bob and Colleen Hough, as well as her dad, Bruce, being a CHS grad. This photo was taken in February when Ms. Hough visited North Idaho. Memo to me: avoid standing next to a beautiful blonde 19-year-old when there are cameras around.”

Evil Incarnate: Every day there was something more cruel or more gruesome. When I got to the day of the video and learned that Duncan shouted to DG that he was himself (Duncan) the devil; the devil has come; meet the devil. And suddenly DG was MY little 9-year-old boy. He was MY little sprite that loved to discover bugs in every curled leaf; who made friends with every dog he ever saw; who would take an hour to walk the one block home from school because of all the things he had to take time to discover! He was MY little boy who shouted Mummy, I’m home! and curled up in my lap to share his latest adventure/JeanieSpokane. More here.

*Hunting, fishing & BSing/Simple Mind
*Random Olympic thoughts/A Family Runs Through It
*Obama’s wisest choice/Arch Druid
*A walk on the beach/Atmospheric Ruminations
*Energy debate/Bay Views
*Wedding, wood gathering, wee one/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope

HBO Numbers (for week of Aug. 17-23): 57,549 page-views/30,754 unique views

‘Mama Mia’ — The Singalong Version

OK, get your barf bags ready. AMC just announced at its Spokane River Park Square site is going to be one of the national theaters to open the sing-along version of “Mamma Mia”! on Friday. That’s right, according to news stories, the print will include subtitled song lyrics, and movie fans are being encouraged “to dance and sing their hearts out.” What’s next in this new interactive world? Being given plastic Glocks and encouraged to shoot paint pellets at The Joker as he tries to incinerate Gotham?/Dan Webster, Movies & More. More here.

Question: Would you want to participate in a “Mama Mia” singalong? Or do you think the concept is flat wrong?

TUBOB: Spaghetti & Hateballs

Growing up, spaghetti and meat sauce was my favorite meal, bar none. I was a picky eater, a very picky eater, avoiding huge food groups like seafood and eggs and much of dairy and water and air. You’d think my parents woulda beaten me into eating more types of food but, even though they hated me more than the others, they not only didn’t hammer me into chomping tunafish sandwiches they actually turned Saturday night into spaghetti night. Every Saturday night, I swear to God. Except on rare occasions when they went out on a Saturday night and they’d leave us with crappy chicken pot pies and some poor teenage airhead babysitter to serve them to us/TUBOB. More here.

Question: What was your favorite childhood dish?

IVA: Boise Hallmarks Won’t Stock Same-Sex Cards

Great news on the culture front! The owners of the seven local Hallmark stores, which all go by the name “Jordan’s Hallmark,” will not stock the corporation’s newly developed homosexual-marriage greeting cards. The owners live here in the valley, and in a phone conversation this morning with me, they made it clear that they would not stock the card in any case because of their personal values, which are shaped by the Judeo-Christian tradition. They were blindsided by Hallmark on this rollout, and had no idea the cards were coming until they read about in the newspapers/Bryan Fischer, IVA. More here.

Question: What do you think of this development?

Idaho Blogs: Idaho Demos, Oxley Part Ways

In an interview on the radio this morning, Jim Hansen said that Chuck Oxley, the communications director for the Idaho Democratic Party, has “moved on.” Hansen said something about new challenges, but didn’t really praise Oxley, so I’m guessing it wasn’t a happy event. I suppose Chuck just wants to spend more time with his family/IdaBlue.

*Dan Kemmis: Father of reinvigorated western Demos/Rocky Barker
*Obama and Joe Mama/Dennis Mansfield
*Pro-abortion? I know you are but what am I/F-Words
*Hallmark playing the gay card/Left Side of the Moon
*Idahoans blogging the DNC/Unequivocal Notion
*Some thoughts on carrying concealed weapons/Free In Idaho

9th Circuit To Hear Sandpoint Bypass Case

Item: Federal appeals court hears bypass case/Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Daily Bee

More Info: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments Monday in the North Idaho Community Action Network’s federal lawsuit over the Sandpoint bypass. The appeals court, which is hearing the case in Seattle, is not expected to issue a ruling from the bench. Three of the court’s 48 judges — Thomas G. Nelson, Michael Daly Hawkins and Jay S. Bybee — are scheduled to hear the case.

Question: Is there anyone in the HBO blogosphere who opposes construction of a Sandpoint bypass along Sand Creek?

Online Poll: Favorite Kootenai County Event

Of these three, which is the best summertime treat (with additions)?/Coeur d’Alene Press

*Fourth of July festivities
*Art on the Green
*North Idaho Fair and Rodeo
*Car d’Lane

WND Poll: Democratic Convention

Question: Do you plan on watching the Democratic National Convention?/WorldNetDaily

1. Yes, as much as I can. I’m all for Obama
2. Yes, I’m sick of President Bush and need a change for the better
3. Yes, I wish to be informed about what the Democrats stand for
4. Yes, I’m on the fence about my vote, so I’m still shopping
5. Yes, the American political process is just fascinating
6. Yes, I’m not voting for Obama, and watching will help me work toward his defeat
7. Yes, I want to see how many lies the Democrats can spew
8. Yes, only because there’s not much else on TV
9. No, I want to, but my schedule precludes me from watching
10. No, I’m not interested in politics
11. No, and I won’t be watching the Republican clowns, either
12. No, but I’ll definitely watch the Republican convention
13. No, I’m so fed up with the lack of good choices this year, it has turned me off to watching
14. No, with speakers including Bill and Hillary Clinton, you can bet I’ll stay far away
15. No, I don’t need to hear a lot of rhetoric favoring abortion rights, higher taxes, global-warming action and same-sex marriage

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Sunday — 8/24/08

The Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre production of “Les Miserables” on closing night Saturday was every bit as good as advertised, with the lead roles of Jean Valjean and Jaubert performed as well as you’ll find at a summer theater level. Dunno why I waited until closing night of the last play to watch one this summer. Usually, I watch all four plays in a summer. Oh well, I have tickets to “Phantom of the Opera” this fall when the traveling Broadway show comes to Spokane. So I still getting a good quota of live theater. My wife thought she saw “Lord of the Rings” actor Sean Astin at the play tonight. But I didn’t see him. Mebbe Mike Kennedy can say if CDA’s favorite Hobbit was in the house. While we wait for his answer, I’ll play this Wild Card …

Risch Defends 2006 Property Tax Cut

Item: Risch: Voters gave 2006 property tax cuts 72% OK/Idaho Statesman

More Info: This newspaper and my Democratic opponent campaigned against the tax reform bill together. Although I respect their arguments, I disagree. They tried to convince voters in 2006 to vote no on the ballot question. Other Idaho newspapers and editorial boards supported our action wholeheartedly. They applauded the bill for finally taking action on a growing problem that was causing homeowners, especially senior citizens, to lose their homes. More than 72 percent of Idaho voters gave their approval to this tax plan. Less than 28 percent of Idaho voters were convinced to vote no.

Question: Larry LaRocco and the Demos continue to pound on the 2006 property tax cut and resulting penny sales tax increase. Is this issue playing with the general public?

Duncan May Face Other Trials

Item: Duncan may face other trials: California DA vows to prosecute killer/Meghann Cuniff, SR

More Info: In addition to his pending sentence on 10 federal counts relating to his abduction of Dylan and Shasta Groene and Dylan’s murder, Duncan faces a first-degree murder charge in connection with the 1997 kidnapping and murder of 10-year-old Anthony Martinez in Southern California. The Riverside County, Calif., district attorney’s office charged him with the Beaumont, Calif., boy’s death in January 2007. District Attorney Rob Pacheco has said he’ll seek the death penalty.

Question: How long will the jury in Boise deliberate on the death penalty Monday? What will the verdict be?

Clark: In-The-Buff Defecators? Case Solved

But returning to the current drug crisis, the officer quoted in the aforementioned story was a bit fuzzy on exactly which mind-altering substance could be behind this outbreak of clothes-shedding public evacuation. “The dope is either meth or PCP,” said Tim Moses, a Spokane police officer and narcotics expert. “With the memory loss, I think it sounds more like PCP.” Sorry, Moses. You need to study your drug textbooks a bit more. There’s only one diabolical drug that can explain what’s going on. Yes, I’m talking about a combination of speed and laxatives known by pushers as … Methamucil. Man, too much of that stuff’ll wipe you out. So far we have had four incidents in the last two weeks. Our poor Spokane cops don’t need this. They have a hard enough time dealing with the usual miscreants: bandits, brawlers, domestic abusers, cross-dressing Republicans …/Doug Clark, Spokesman-Review. More here.

Question: Do you have a theory better than Clark’s re: what’s behind the recent epidemic of nude public defecators in Spokane?

Sali Blast D’s On Oil Drilling In Radio Talk

Item: Sali criticizes Democrats on oil drilling in radio talk/Lewiston Tribune

More Info: Sali’s speech failed to mention Pelosi has since agreed to consider an offshore drilling vote once Congress returns to work on Sept. 8, so long as it’s part of a broader energy package that includes things such as an emergency release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The speech was delivered on Friday. It is part of an ongoing effort on the part of House Republicans to blame Democrats for high gas prices.

Question: Is either party to blame for the nation’s high gasoline prices?

Biden Wins Obama Veepstakes

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP
Democratic presidential hopefuls Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., left, laughs with Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., before the start of a presidential forum hosted by the AFL-CIO at Soldier Field in Chicago, in this Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2007, file photo. Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware is Barack Obama’s pick as vice presidential running mate, The Associated Press has learned Saturday. Story here.

Question: How will Barack Obama’s selection of U.S. Sen. Joe Biden help/hurt his presidential chances?

My 2 Cents: Dave’s Blog, Dave’s Rules

As you may have noticed, Huckleberries Online continues to pick up new commenters (and blurkers). And some of the newcomers are individuals at the heart of the political decision making process locally and statewide. Which makes them vulnerable when they comment on a Huckleberries thread. In fact, some of you think you have a license to vent when individuals such as GOP executive director Sid Smith, GOP Chairman Norm Semanko, Councilman Mike Kennedy, NIC Trustee Christie Wood and others post a comment on HBO. Or are featured out front. You do — to the extent that you keep your criticism directed at the issue rather than launching a personal attack. I like passionate discussion. I like clever jabs. I don’t like ad hominem attacks aimed at driving someone off this blog.

OTV Review: Elmer’s ‘Pleasantly Plain Breakfast’

We examined the menu, noticing the clever Northwest twist employed in the naming scheme. For example, there’s the Oregon Trail Flat-Iron Steak, the Mt. Rainier Burger, and Seattle Mama’s Pasta & Meatballs. Elmer’s does have a wide selection of lunch and dinner items, and it was nearly noon, but Q. and I were still in breakfast mode. The Washington State Apple French Toast sounded terrific as did the Idaho Potato and Sausage Skillet. We pondered what kinds of dishes we might name after other local places. Spokane Spam-n-Eggs? An Athol Avocado Omelet? Or maybe Post Falls Potato Pancakes with Smelterville Syrup?/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Which chain restaurant in the region is your favorite?

Former CHS Vik Leads USA Baseballers To Bronze

Kathy Willens/AP Photo
USA’s Matt Brown, a former Coeur d’Alene High baseball player, hits a third inning three-run home run off Japan’s starter Tsuyoshi Wada in their bronze medal baseball game at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing Saturday. USA won 8-4. Story here.

Question: What has been your favorite moment at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games?

Parting Shot — 8/22/08

Mark Jestesen/Waukesha Freeman, AP
Heidi Dalibor, who was arrested for ignoring a municipal violation for overdue library book poses with her library card, Wednesday in Grafton, Wis. Twenty-year-old Heidi Dalibor told the News Graphic in Cedarburg she ignored the library’s calls and letters as well as a notice to appear in court. Still, she was surprised when officers with a warrant knocked on her door, cuffed her and took her to the police station to be fingerprinted and photographed.

Question: When did you last pay a library fine for an overdue book?

Scanner Traffic — 8/22/08

6 p.m. A woman has lost her wedding ring in the recycling bin at Garwood Elementary.
5:18 p.m. A woman is threatening physical violence over a dispute of property in a vehicle parked on Hauser Lake Road.
5:12 p.m. An East Killarney Lake Road resident reports catching a stray horse.
4:31 p.m. Woman found 2 lost golden labs in Riverview area near State Line. (See 10:38 a.m. post)

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/18/08

Jae C. Hong/AP Photo
Scott Humphreys, a law student at University of Colorado at Boulder, writes down some legal rights for protesters during a activist training and legal rights day in Boulder, Colo., Thursday. The Democratic National Convention starts in Denver next week. You write the cutline.

Top Cutline:

1. (3) I do not consent to…Deodorant, soap, toothpaste, shaving cream, shampoo or any other brainwashing tactics — Poolman.
2. Christie Wood sits patiently as the instructor writes the lesson plan on the board. She can’t wait to argue the points he is making — Snap.
3. All went well for Humphreys until he pocketed the chalk as he left the building, and headed toward his illegally parked Moped. He regretted his “Cops Suck” forehead tattoo as he was being detained. Passersby heard him sobbing, “I want my mommy!” — CindyH.

HM: A Token D

EOB: Yes To Every County, Every Factor

The jurors agreed with federal prosecutors that Joseph Duncan qualifies for the death penalty on each of three separate counts, a federal jury has unanimously found, and the jurors found the existence of every aggravating or intent factor that the prosecutors alleged for all three counts. “You answered yes to torture, and you answered yes to serious physical abuse,” the judge said to the jury, reading over their verdict forms. Jurors nodded their heads, three different times. They made the determinations unanimously, and found it was clear beyond a reasonable doubt/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Meghann’s Duncan Twitter Thread (To Resume Monday)

Duncan Trial Roundup Today:
*Steve Groene: ‘I feel much better now’
*Verdict: He qualifies for death penalty
*‘I hated you’
*‘The true heinousness of what I’ve done’
*Duncan: Not because the system worked
*‘I had no intention of bringing the children home’
*‘It was no accident … my argument is no argument’
*Prosecutor: Shasta was ‘amazingly and heroically’ accurate

Sali Could Be Forced To Relocate Boise HQ

But the location is the subject of debate in Sali’s 2008 race against Democratic challenger Walt Minnick because it’s in the 2nd Congressional District, while Sali represents Idaho’s 1st Congressional District. A spokesman for the Committee on House Administration in Washington, D.C., says if Sali is re-elected in November, “he would be required to relocate his office to a location within his district”/AP More here.

Local Blogs — Schwan Driver Won’t Come Today

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho
“If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes and it will surely change,” posts Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “That statement was true in North Idaho on Thursday. Blue skies turned to wind, rain and hail mid-day. Thunder boomed and lightning cracked. Then it cleared, then it rained some more and on and on it went until early evening when Mother Nature treated us to several spectacular rainbows.” (See 2nd Photo in comments section.)

We had just begun to learn about Steve (Aune, 48, of Post Falls) and his life — grew up in Deer Park on a farm, knew and appreciated Border Collies like those here at the Lovestead who happily accepted his doggie biscuits the minute he stepped out of the truck. Steve was happy to be back up north after spending several years in Arizona. Bill and I both knew we were going like Steve, just as much as our other Schwan’s men of the past. Today is Schwan’s day, and Steve will not come/Marianne Love, Slight Detour. More here.

*Sunset on sadness/Synaptic Disunion
*dead beat/Tumblewords
*Boomlets and Demo veepstakes/Wayward Episcopalian
*Should we lower drinking age?/Bay Views
*Psalm 139: God’s love letter to me/Nuts & Nonsense

HBO Numbers (for Thursday, Aug. 20): 10,736 page-views/5357 unique views

Whitman Gazette: Coyote Hitches A Ride

A coyote got an up-front view of the South Palouse River Road after being hit by Kelly Reiber over the weekend. The coyote was lodged in the grill of Reiber’s car and rode inches above the road for more than five miles until she reached home. Kelly’s father, Bruce, noticed the animal lodged in the grill as he left for work. Kelly and mother Judy then went to dislodge the animal, which they assumed to be dead. When they pulled on the leg, the coyote pulled it back. Eventually they were able to free the coyote from the grill, and it wobbled off into the wilderness/Whitman County Gazette.

Photo: Bruce Rieber/Whitman County Gazette

Fischer: Say No To Same-Sex Wedding Cards

The Associated Press is reporting today that Hallmark is now rolling out same-sex wedding cards, featuring two tuxedos and either overlapping hearts or intertwined flowers. So now Hallmark, the venerable greeting card company, is doing nationwide what 48 states and the federal government have refused to do, and that is to recognize homosexual marriage. Hallmark’s largest competitor, American Greetings Corp., currently has no plans to enter the market, meaning the customers will have an alternative to Hallmark if they find its efforts to promote the radical homosexual agenda offensive/Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance. More here.

Question: Would the introduction of same-sex wedding cards at the local Hallmark store bother you?

Scouts Collect Evidence In Double Murder

Item: Pinehurst scout troop helps with Dobson Pass murder investigation/Ty Hampton, Shoshone News-Press

More Info: Just 72 hours after two bodies had been found atop Dobson Pass, sheriff’s deputies were back on the scene conducting an in-depth search Monday morning with the aid of some unorthodox investigators - nine members of Boy Scout Troop 326 of Pinehurst. Shoshone County Sheriff Chuck Reynalds called Scout Master Dan Chisholm last weekend and requested the troop’s assistance in helping his deputies look for evidence at the wilderness crime scene. He said he thought the Scouts would be just the community service group for the task.

Question: Should Boy Scouts as young as 11 be helping to collect evidence in a double murder investigation?

Smith: Right Decision Made On Duncan Video

Throughout all of this the backlash against the paper has been intense. Some demanded to know why we would victimize little Shasta, now nine, by reporting on her testimony and cross examination. That died down somewhat when all parties agreed that previously videotaped statements to police would eliminate the need for a personal appearance. But the fight to keep the court open for today’s video showing continued right up to the last minute. The pushback on that issue has been just as intense. We will lose some subscribers. And even though our critics accuse us of sensationalizing the story (if that were possible) to sell papers, editors know that stories like this depress readership/Steve Smith, Still A Newspaperman. More here.

Question: SReporter Betsy Russell said on the Rebecca Mack Show Thursday that the video was a key piece of evidence — that the testimony to jurors wasn’t nearly as compelling without it. Have you changed your mind re: the necessity to show the video in open court?

AM Headlines — 8/22/08

J. Bart Rayniak/Spokesman-Review
Spokane Valley resident Michael Andrews has spent 30 years running a business, inventing new devices and working as a day trader. Now he’s headed back to the University of Idaho as a freshman to finish a degree in computer engineering with a minor in creative writing. Story here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins
*Good weather set to return to area/KREM2
*Kroc Center seeks help to fund traffic light/Tom Hasslinger, CDA Press
*Head Start thief receives sentence/Tom Greene, CDA Press
*Oral surgery case goes to jurors/Karen Dorn Steele, SR
*PR firm to push corridor project/Tom Hasslinger, CDA Press
*DEQ, tribe plan for long haul/Alecia Warren, CDA Press

Chorus: We (Heart) Sali’s Indian Head Bands

Duane Rasmussen: I told Oliveria he could have a feather head band last night. He was very polite. Also I spoke to an person of Native American heritage about the headbands and was told that they were proud to assist me in the distribution of the headbands. I don’t think anything disrespectful has been done except perhaps by the whinning liberals and Democrats who understand that “advertising works”.

Frum Helen Back: My grandkids liked the headbands with the big yellow feather. We didn’t think it’s tacky but then we are part American Indian.

Whippersnapper: Of course the headbands are tacky….and FABULOUS!!!!

DFO: My 83-year-old mother was still saying last night how disappointed she was not to meet Congressman Sali. Maybe Sali won’t be as much of a pushover as the Demos would like to think.

Duncan Twitter: Death Penalty Phase Monday

Duncan Twitter: The second phase of the Joseph Duncan death sentence hearing will begin Monday at 9:30 a.m., mountain time/Meghann Cuniff, SR. Full Twitter report.

Duncan: Closing Arguments Begin Today

Meghann’s Twitter reports continue here

Here’s a link to my full story at on Thursday’s developments in the Joseph Duncan sentencing trial, and here’s my sidebar on what happens next in the case. It was a difficult and distressing day in court, but one that, on balance, makes sense in the context of this horrific crime, for which the government is seeking the death penalty. In our system, the death penalty is not handed down lightly. We’re seeing what happens when it’s in play; the stakes are as high as they get in any court proceeding. Here’s a link to my radio interview with Rebecca Mack, conducted 15 minutes after I left the courtroom after the showing of the graphic videos that Duncan made at an abandoned mountain cabin/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Wild Card/Thursday — 8/21/08

I’ve decided not to post any new questions today re: the HBO Book Club discussion of William Young’s “The Shack.” With the horrific testimony and video today re: Joseph Duncan’s torture of Dylan Groene, I thought it best to wait until tomorrow to continue the discussion. Or Monday, depending on what happens in the Boise court tomorrow. I’m hoping against hope that this goes to jury early tomorrow and jurors deliberate only minutes before deciding on execution. Now, for your Wild Card …

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 8/21/08

Bill Schaefer/Idaho State Journal, AP
Linda Copple-Trout, former Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court, speaks before the Idaho State Board of Education Thursday afternoon on the Idaho State University campus in Pocatello, supporting a proposal for a University of Idaho law school campus in Boise.

Enraged, Groene targeted two women — the only two members of the general public who chose to watch the disturbing video. Moments before the tapes were played, he rushed into the courtroom and made a profane hand gesture toward the women and verbally gave them a piece of his mind/KTVB. More here.

*Scouts help with Dobson Pass murder investigation/Shoshone News-Press
*Chilly night, fog before sun returns/SR
*Doug Clark: Sasquatch hoaxers have big shoes to fill/SR
*Ed Board rejects UI plan for Boise law school/Idaho Statesman
*Inmate suicide could be second for virtual prison/Twin Falls Times-News
*Ex-ISP director Charboneau’s condition improves/Idaho Statesman
*Rash of drunken drivers arrested overnight/KXLY
*Kimberly mayor’s son hurt in motorcycle crash/Twin Falls Times-News
*Motions made in Priest Lake murder case/Bonner County Daily Bee

Duncan: Defense Rests w/o Statement

Joseph Duncan took the witness stand, but had nothing to say. “I have no statement prepared, I was just intending to sit and answer whatever questions the government might have,” Duncan said. The judge called for a short recess, and the jury was led out. “Mr. Duncan, are you going to call any other witnesses?” Judge Lodge asked Duncan. “No,” Duncan responded. “We need to rest in the presence of the jury, so we’ll bring the jury back in,” the judge said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Evidence photos

Thursday Roundup:
Video played for jurors (warning: graphic)
*Today’s Twitter coverage/Meghann Cuniff
*Didn’t need 90 witnesses, after all
*Jury gets instructions
*Judge denies motion for reconsideration
*Jury sees beam, wire noose
*‘Not by jury of peers but by victims’
*Groene files motion on video
*Looming: The cabin video

Scanner Traffic — 8/21/08

4:43 p.m. An eastbound blue semi loaded with equipment has been stopped on Seltice Way by police after a passing motorist noticed fire coming from a rear axle.
4:13 p.m. Telephone pole line down on Fernan Lake Road, approximately 1 mile from Fernan Village. Line is disconnected from power. A homeowner is holding the line up to allow cars to go under the line.
4:03 p.m. Man in two-tone pickup driving north on 4th Street, holding a 6-month-old child on lap.

Judge Dismisses Flag Desecration Charge

Item: Judge dismisses flag desecration charge/AP

More Info: One student said he had his Mexican flag taken away and put in the garbage by gym instructor Clint Straatman, who later also resigned. Luker said he was responding to Straatman’s action and to what he said was the school administration’s indifference to general mistreatment of Hispanic students.

Question: Was this a good conclusion to this controversial case?

At The Fair — Sali Indian Head Band

I couldn’t resist nabbing one of those yellow head bands that Congressman Bill Sali hands out at fairs. I didn’t steal it, fuhcryinoutloud. While I was visiting DuaneR, Rep. Phil Hart, Jim Hollingsworth and Fred Ostermayer in the R booth last night, I saw a stack of them back in the corner. I wanted one for my office memorabilia collection. (Yeah, I have one of those Hillary Nutcracker figures, too.)

Question: I know the head bands are clever advertising devises because kids like to wear them around (although I didn’t see anyone doing so last night). But aren’t they a bit tacky?


Duncan Twitter: Duncan Makes No Statement

Twitter: Duncan said he has no statement. “I was just going to sit and answer any questions that the government might have,” he said. 14 minutes ago from web
/Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here.

Court adjourns for day

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 8/21/08

Christopher Anderson/SR
A fast moving thunderstorm dumps rain and hail over Spokane Washington Thursday August 21, 2008. The storm left almost an inch of hail in the Spokane Valley, causing a rash of traffic accidents. The photo was taken looking east from the Palisades Park area atop the Sunset Hill.

*UI, WSU won’t sign drinking-age initiative/Moscow-Pullman Daily News
*Montana parents sue over high school son’s death at football practice/Missoulian
*Search for CDA man takes to the skies/KXLY
*Sunnier skies on way after lunch hour storm/SR
*Boise soldier to plead guilty to desertion charge/Idaho Statesman
*Huge landslide spills into Columbia River/Tri-City Herald
*Idaho city mulls ban on pit bulls/KTVB
*Classified trouble cause revenue plunge for Statesman owner/KTVB
*Moscow roofer survives lightning storm/Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Orbusmax Special: National publisher kills Spokane journalist’s book for fear of Muslim retaliation here.

Smith: Why We Demanded To See Video

We didn’t ask that the video be shown. The decision to show the video in court was made by Judge Lodge. If the tape had not been placed in evidence, we certainly wouldn’t have sought it out. I know emotion clouds the larger issues. But our view is that courts are open to citizens. That is our system of justice. Holding back evidence shown in court isn’t censorship. It violates constitutional protections in place to ensure the justice system works and defendants receive a fair trial. If we were simply interested in sensationalism. You would be seeing a lot more detail in our reporting.

Foster: Desperate R’s Lying About Minnick House

Walt Minnick and his family do not live in the Second Congressional District. They live in the First. Moreover, they have owned property (and paid property taxes) in the First Congressional District, near their current home, for 25 years. Their plans have been to build a new home on that property, but like many people they have been unable to sell an old home, which is in the Second District. When it sells, they will begin construction on the new home, just down the road from their current residence outside Boise in the First District.

Reporter Gourges, Rides, Tries Not To Puke

Item: Tri-City Herald reporter finds out just how many rides she could go on after gorging on fair food/Laura Kate Zaichkin, Tri-City Herald

More Info: I thought my personal trainer was going to have a heart attack when I told her my story assignment for Wednesday. “I’m eating as much fair food as I possibly can,” I said as she turned several shades of furious red. “And then after I’m done stuffing myself, I’m going to ride the carnival rides and try not to puke.”

Question (choose): What’s your favorite fair food? Or … have you ever puked after going on a carnival/Silverwood ride?

Weird: Turn On, Tune In, Drop … Drawers?

Authorities are worried a tainted batch of illegal drugs has found its way to Spokane. The clue: Several reports of disoriented individuals stripping naked and defecating in public without any recollection of what they’d just done/Jody Lawrence-Turner. More here.

AM Headlines — 8/21/08

Taryn Hecker/SR Prairie Voice
Satchwell Farms Manager Wade McLean shows how tall the peppermint has grown in his field off Hayden Avenue. “Peppermint grows up, falls down and grows up again,” the 58-year-old farmer said. “About the second or third time it grows is when you cut it.” Harvest begins next week. Prairie Voice story by Taryn Hecker/SR here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Showers, cool temperatures in forecast/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR
*Wind, rain don’t dampen spirits on fair’s opening day/Alecia Warren, CDA Press
*Prairie Voice columns: Huckleberries: Common ground found in water/DFO; Spirit Lake ready for centennial celebration/Mary Jane Honegger; and Program helps people through grieving process/Cindy Hval
*Hearing for Kyra Wine’s alleged abuser Sept 12/Tim Trainor, St. Maries Gazette-Record
*LCDC looks to September meetings/Tom Hasslinger, CDA Press
*Schwan’s delivery driver killed in crash w/dump truck/SR
*Harrison councilman encourages development/Tom Greene, CDA Press

DFO: Remember to pick up you Prairie Voice today at local businesses throughout Kootenai County

Online Poll: Obama Veep?

Who should Barack Obama choose as his running mate?/Idaho Statesman.

*Sen. Hillary Clinton
*Sen. Joe Biden
*Gov. Tim Kaine
*Michael Phelps

Duncan: Cabin Video May Be Shown Today

Throughout the testimony thus far in the Joseph Duncan sentencing trial, there’s been a specter looming over the courtroom: The cabin video, which everyone knows will be shown to jurors at some point. It may happen today. The contents of the video, made by Duncan of his sexual abuse of a 9-year-old boy at an old cabin near the remote campsite where he held two children captive, are so graphic and disturbing that 325 prospective jurors were quizzed about it in their jury questionnaire and it was an issue in jury selection/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Related: Groene files motion re: video

EOB: Groene Files Motion To Limit Video Coverage

In Groene’s motion, filed today, he asked that the video, which shows Duncan abusing 9-year-old Dylan before the child’s murder, be shown only on individual monitors rather than on the court’s projection screen; that only one designated reporter be allowed to view the video, and no members of the public; and that “descriptions in the press that discuss what the videotape depicts be limited to the subject matter necessary for the public, through the press, to understand the death penalty process, comprehend what evidence has been presented to the jury for its consideration, and observe the impact that the playing of the video has on the trial participants including the jury, counsel and the defendant”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Parting Shot — 8/20/08

David Zalubowski/AP Photo
Scott Kwasny, front, joins Duke Austin and Christian Wright in wearing American flag bandanas across their mouths as they join other members of the Alliance for Real Democracy, a coalition of protest groups, to outline their plans for protests at the Democratic National Convention during a news conference outside the Pepsi Center in Denver on Wednesday. The arena will play host to the Democratic National Convention starting on Monday. One of the issues is that protesters are being kept too far away from the convention venue.

HBO Book Club Q-9: ‘The Shack’ Shortcomings?

In some reviews, “The Shack” by William P. Young is likened to Paul Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress.” The Young fiction focuses on a grieving Oregonian’s return to the site of his daughter’s murder, after she is abducted from his camp site in the Northwest. You’ll recognize such geographic places as Multnomah Falls. Where an old legend harkens back to the Christian understanding of Calvary. At “The Shack,” where the daughter is murdered, Mack has a close encounter with the Godhead in three unusual personas. JeanieSpokane has provided a list of questions, which I’ll sprinkle into today’s discussion. You can get straight to this post at any time by clicking on the HBO Book Club bug on the left rail.

Previous discussion threads

Question No. 9: What were some of the things The Shack teaches about God, faith and life that you disagreed with?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/20/08

Kathryn Grim/Medill News Services, AP
Ron Paul supporters march down Constitution Avenue to Capitol Hill in Washington July 12 to hold an all-day rally. Paul supporters will hold a second march on Sept. 2 at the Target Center in Minneapolis. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. When I first started seeing his signs, I thought Ron Paul was a realtor with a penchant for dilapidated buildings — Sisyphus.
2. HBO takes a break from the Olympics to celebrate Ron Paul’s 73rd birthday- happy birthday Ron Paul - you old geezer – now go away — Poolman.
3. At least they’re crossing with the light — Shoestring.

HM: Pecky

Post Falls Schwann Driver Killed In Crash

Schwann’s truck driver Steven Aune, 48, was killed in a two-vehicle crash this morning on state Highway 3 at Lane Road (M/P 109.5) when he failed to yield from a stop sign at Lane Road onto State Highway 3 at milepost 109.5. He entered the highway and was struck by a northbound dump truck driven by Donald Hanks, 71 of St. Maries. Aune was pronounced deceased at the scene. Hanks was taken to Kootenai Medical Center with injuries. Investigation continues by the Idaho State Police. ISP report here.

Scanner Traffic — 8/20/08

10:28 a.m. T-bone accident at M/P 110 on Highway 3 (near Killarney Lake road) involving a dump truck and a Schwanns truck. St. Maries Fire has been called to scene for extrication. Med*Star has launched. One driver is unconcious in vehicle. Update: One driver declared dead.

2:17 p.m. R/P says a neighbor’s two pitbulls as harassing his horses @ McGuire Road & Echo Drive, Post Falls.
2 p.m. CDA woodcutter Daniel Varner, 54, remains missing. KCSD news release.
1:43 p.m. R/P says someone is shooting off fireworks from the back of a car at St. Anthony’s & 16th, Post Falls area.

Extra! Meghann’s Goin’ A Twitterin’ Again

SReporter Meghann Cuniff told me just now that she’s headed back to Boise Thursday morning to Twitter the Duncan trial again. She guaranteed me that she’ll be back posting blow-by-blow accounts of the sentencing hearing by 11 o’clock PDT. Also, she sez that some expect the hearing phase of the trial to wind up shortly.

Washington: Gregoire Vs. Rossi, Round 2

Item: Gregoire, Rossi advance in Washington for rematch of controversial 2004 contest/Rich Roesler & Jim Camden, SR

More Info: Gregoire, the incumbent Democrat, took an early lead over Rossi as counties around the state reported their ballots. But she was polling just under 50 percentage points, and Rossi was trailing her by 3 percentage points or less throughout the night, as eight other would-be governors battled for electoral scraps.

Spokane County results and: SR coverage

Question: Who do you want to win the rematch between Demo Gov. Chris Gregoire and Repub Dino Rossi?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 8/20/08

Young Kwak/AP Photo
Ellreese Daniels, left, his attorney Tina Hunt, center, and an unidentified man arrive at federal court for sentencing in Spokane earlier today. A firefighting crew boss at the time, Daniels was charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter and seven felony counts for making false statements with relation to the deaths of four firefighters during a wildfire in 2001. Daniels made a plea agreement with prosecutors pleading guilty to two misdemeanor counts of making false statements to investigators.

**Body of former UMontana dean found in lake, and: Kriley’s death ‘huge loss’/Missoulian.
*Deaconess sale OK’d/SR
*Court: Independents’ lawyers may intervene in GOP primary lawsuit/Idaho Statesman
*Vietnam War hero dies in Boise/Idaho Statesman
*Obama opens campaign office in Boise/KTVB
*State extends UI lease on valuable land/Twin Falls Times-News
*Wyoming voter turnout below average/Billings Gazette
*Mountain lions killed in small Montana towns/Missoulian

Profiles In Courage — Natalie du Toit

Chuck Burton/AP, IOPP Pool
Natalie du Toit, of South Africa, center, removes her prosthetic leg before the start of the women’s marathon swimming during the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing earlier today. Portugal’s Daniela Inacio, left, and Italy’s Martina Grimaldi, right, look on.

Unequivocal Notion: Lower Drinking Age To 18

At 18, posts Unequivocal Notion:

*You can wear the uniform of your country and fight in its wars — you should be able to imbibe a beer if you so choose.
*You are legally obligated to any contract you sign — you should be able to order a rum & coke at the bar.
*You are granted the ability to vote, one of the most sacred rights of our country — you should be able to enjoy a bottle of wine with your family.
*You commit a crime, our law system considers you an adult, fully aware and responsible for the repercussions of your actions — you should be able to order a frothy brew with your burger & fries. More here.

Question: Agree? Disagree?

UIdaho Touts Diverse Law School

Item: University of Idaho College of Law touts gains in women, minorities/AP

More Info: The University of Idaho College of Law is a lot more diverse than it used to be. Administrators at the college in Moscow report that women made up more than 49 percent of the 2007 class, a total that exceeds the average for all law schools accredited by the American Bar Association.

Question: Some would like to see a second Idaho law school established in Boise. Would you support that idea?

In The News — Olympic Thrills, Spills

Ivan Sekretarev/AP Photo
Kyle Bennett, of the United States, second from left, crashes during the BMX quarterfinal run, at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Wednesday.)

Poll: 62% Want Better Prez Choices

Item: Nearly 2 in 3 voters want someone else: Stunning 62.4% of Americans would like to see better choices of candidates, parties in future/WorldNetDaily

More Info: A Zogby International poll commissioned by WND shows a surprisingly low 71.7 percent closely identifying with either of the two front-running, major-party candidates for president and a stunning 62.4 percent expressing their desire to see more viable candidate and party choices in future elections.

Question: Are you satisfied with the top two choices for president? If not, who’d you rather see topping either major party ticket?

Bree: Count Me In For Opening Day Of Fair

Bree: We’re going (to the fair) Wed. night in hopes of it not being that crowded. Last year when we went you couldn’t even get through the reptile exhibit, which was ok then, but now my daughter is old enough to enjoy the reptiles and petting zoo, etc. So I don’t want to have to struggle with crowds.

Question: If you were also planning to go to the North Idaho Fair tonight … will the rain change your plans?

Idaho 5th In Nation For Number Of Millionaires

Item: Florida Beats New York for millionaires: Florida has clinched the nation’s No. 2 spot for millionaires/Wall Street Journal.

More Info: Just behind New York came Texas, with 108,000 people with a net worth of $1.5 million or more. In fifth place was Idaho. That’s right Idaho. The lowest-ranking states were Alaska and North Dakota, each with 1,000.

Question: What do you make of this incredible statistic? Idaho, which is always considered in a league with Mississippi is running with the big dogs on the wealth front.

Wild Card/Tuesday — 8/19/08

I apologize for a less-than-sterling report to end the day, HBOers. But the computer problems that have plagued us all afternoon are here again. I’ve been able to post between meltdowns. But I can’t post the Parting Shot or the Headlines @ Closin’ Time. I’m hopeful that the system will be fixed Wednesday. Meanwhile, I’ll play this Wild Card and head down to Sherman Avenue Square for some tunes tonight (before I put my fist through the computer screen and regret it) …

EOB: Dylan Was A Very Brave Boy

As a child’s voice told of horrors suffered by herself and her 9-year-old brother, jurors listened intently, some clasping their hands over their mouths, other leaning forward or occasionally jotting a note on a clipboard. The victims’ father, Steve Groene, sat in the audience, where he clutched a tissue and left at the end of the day with reddened eyes. Duncan himself sat looking down, sometimes writing a note on a legal pad, but often closing his eyes. Then-8-year-old Shasta told of a killer who plotted carefully, but then kept changing his mind. He selected the campsite because it was heavily treed, she said. “He was trying to find a camp with a lot of trees so no one would hear us scream or anything”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here

The rest of today’s Duncan trial report

CDA Woodcutter Missing Since Saturday

Daniel B. Varner, 54 of Coeur d’Alene, has been missing since the weekend, according to the CDA police department and KCSDepartment. He was last seen in Coeur d’Alene on Saturday at about 6 a.m. en route to the Fernan area to cut firewood. The Sheriff’s Department is asking if you have seen Varner, or his vehicle, a 1998 maroon Ford F150 with an Idaho license No. K267796, contact the Sheriff’s Department at (208) 446-1300 or the Coeur d’Alene Police Department at (208) 769-2320.

Latest: Shasta Describes Dylan’s Death

Slideshow: The evidence
She described her brother’s death, saying Duncan was reaching into a clear plastic bin, rooting around for a cold can of beer, when the gun, which was in the same bin, went off, firing through the bin and hitting Dylan in the stomach. Shasta said Duncan was upset and crying, but took the gun and tried to shoot Dylan in the head at point-blank range, but it didn’t go off. She saw him reload, then put the gun to the boy’s head again and kill him/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Today’s Duncan roundup:
*Jurors hear Shasta’s KMC interview
*‘You guys would probably be crying really hard’
*What else might he have been up to?
*Duncan’s path traced across states
*Why Duncan abandoned Stryker camp
*Duncan prowled region for victims.

Local Blogs: Let Go, Let God — Kendramama

Mia Davidson/As The Lake Churns
Baby Molly has a great time at Steamboat Bay, Priest Lake

What’s ironic, though, is when near-tragedy befell me last summer- in danger of having to serve several years in prison because of a previous sentencing error, and I would have had to leave my husband and newborn son and it seemed all I’d worked so hard for to achieve… Well, at that point I was a fairly new believer, and I took the terrifying step of simply turning it over to God, and trying to accept whatever happened gracefully. And wouldn’t you know it, when I let go and really meant “Your will, not mine, be done”, I found an inner strength and courage I’d never experienced- and then everything wound up working out anyway!/Kendramama, HBO Book Club re: “The Shack.” More here.

HBO Numbers (for Monday, Aug. 18): 8565 page-views/4788 unique views

*Live-blogging Rick Warren’s forum/Wayward Episcopalian
*It’s not gym-nice-tics/PDX Pup
*CDA bookshelves, ‘Mama Mia’ get thumbs up/Silver Valley Girl
*Fair days and expected highs/Slight Detour
*Never forget/Synaptic Disunion
*Meanwhile, back in Iraq/Dogwalk Musings
*Minimum wage/Simple Mind

DFO: Remember, you can get to the lates HBO Book Club discussion re: “The Shack” simply by clicking the book club bug in the left rail.

Health Officials Warn Against Eating Bass

Item: Hold the bass: Idahoans warned against eating too much bass for fear of mercury levels/Nate Poppino, Twin Falls Times-News

More Info: Idaho health officials issued a statewide advisory on Monday warning about mercury levels in bass, the first statewide warning since the advisory system began in 2001. The warning, put out by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, recommends that women of childbearing age, women who are pregnant or nursing and children ages 15 and younger eat no more than two meals of bass per month. Anything more could risk affecting children’s nervous systems as they develop, officials warned.

Question: Do you eat much fish (frankly I can’t stand the taste)?

Computer Problems

Sorry, HBOers; our Coeur d’Alene office has been knocked offline since shortly after noon. I’m using a wireless computer to type this out and to try to post new material.

Gary Ingram: Risch Should Debate Online

Gary Ingram: Rammell will pull votes away from Risch as they both have similar conservative values. Risch would be well advised to advance his candidacy for the Senate by getting invloved in these debates, or I’m afraid my Republican colleagues will lose this seat in the Senate. God bless Rex because he is so right but it would take a major negative event in the other camps to seat him the U.S. Senate. More here.

DFO: I share Gary’s opinion that Lt. Gov. Jim Risch is taking a risk by not participating in at least some of the online debates with Larry LaRocco and Rex Rammell. Rammell’s message, in particular, will appeal to conservatives. Every vote he receives likely is one that Risch won’t. Which benefits LaRocco. If a solid conservative like Gary is worried, the Risch camp should be, too.

LaRocco Camp Labels Debate Successful

The first debate in the Idaho U.S. Senate race was a success. Democratic candidate Larry LaRocco and Independent candidate Rex Rammell debated the issues in a civil, accessible format last night, August 18. Republican candidate Jim Risch did not attend. Taking place in Coeur d’Alene as the first in a series of debates, this was the first U.S. Senate debate in Idaho history to be live-streamed over the internet in the general election. There were more than 1700 viewers online, making it the most viewed non-televised debate in the history of Idaho/Brad Baughman, LaRocco for Senate news release. Debate link here.

Question: What did you think of the first U.S. Senate debate, in CDA, sans Lt. Gov. Jim Risch?

Elderly Man Decries Thieving Kin’s Sentence

Item: Plea deal leaves elderly man dissatisfied/Alison Boggs, SR

More Info: In Coeur d’Alene on Wednesday, First District Judge Charles Hosack accepted a plea deal arranged by the prosecuting attorney’s office and Treat’s attorney, Mark Jackson. Although admitting no guilt, Treat paid $40,000 restitution and agreed to repay $8,800 more within a year. She will serve two years of probation for the felony conviction and perform 100 hours of community service. That was little comfort to Oehrlin and his daughter, Jan Stanton, who place the amount stolen by Treat closer to $150,000 when equity in the home is included. They decried the lack of jail time and the fact that Treat could one day expunge the conviction from her record.

Question: What do you think of this plea deal?

Mike Crapo Boosts Risch In Radio Ad

Jim Risch’s camp sent its latest radio ad to Huckleberries Online.

LCDC: Boundary Switch To Help Schools

Item: LCDC: Boundary shift will help schools: Switch will enable urban renewal agency to give Winton, Sorensen funding/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Two older Coeur d’Alene schools could get much-needed financial aid if the City Council agrees to stretch a Lake City Development Corp. boundary. The proposed modification would be the first tweak to the 729-acre Lake District, which was established in 1997. The district’s new boundary would include Sorenson Magnet School for the Fine Arts and Winton Elementary School.

Question: Do you support this expansion of the urban renewal district boundaries?

LaRocco-Rammell Debate Live Stream @ 6:30

I’m taking down the live stream from tonight’s candidate’s debate b/c at this point it is a “LaRocco for Senate” type ad. Which shouldn’t be leading the main thread of Huckleberries Online. I watched the debate from the comfort of my home office. I found LaRocco answers consistent with the ones he gave me during our Q-and-A last Tuesday. Rex Rammell came across as rock-solid conservative on a range of issues. I wonder what impact their 10 debates will have if more and more people watch the live stream on the Internet. You can see a recording of the show here.

Question: What did you think of the debate?

Parting Shot — 8/18/08

Penny Cox/Longmont Times-Call, AP
A cow named Apple confronts a bear climbing over a fence into her pasture after the bear had been found in an apple tree in Hygiene, Colo., on Sunday. Officers with the Colorado Division of Wildlife were called to the scene, but by the time they arrived the bear was gone.

OlyBlog: Enough Of Today’s Campaigns Already

It is bad enough that my mailbox fills up with expensively printed glossy pieces of political propaganda, bad enough that radio and television airwaves are unsafe during this time of year if you want to avoid exposure to political posturing and attacking, bad enough that unwanted visitors knock on my door to spread the word of their candidate or cause, and I really hate the phone calls. Even my email isn’t safe.
This isn’t educational. It isn’t informative. It’s advertising a product, and after awhile it becomes nagging and/or harassment/Olyblog. Link here.

Question: How would you change the campaign assault on your mailboxes, phones, street corners, etc., if you could?

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 8/18/08

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho
“A pair of osprey fledglings seem unsure about trying their wings. As we watched, the mama osprey encouraged her youngsters from a nearby piling on the Spokane River,” posts Kerri Thoreson.

*Kempthorne joins Jonas Brothers/Idaho Statesman
*Idaho health agency finds high mercury levels in bass/Idaho Statesman
*Idaho pilot injured in cropduster crash/AP
*Auger operator electrocuted/KREM2
*Seattle Times, PI to raise price 75 cents/PI
*Bag fee brings changes to checkout stand/PI
*ISP releases name of officer involved in fatal shooting/Idaho Statesman

2-Inch Hail Alert?

S&S Herb is on the horn to say that the National Weather Bureau is predicting 2-inch hail for the Idaho Panhandle between 4:05 and 11 p.m. today.Also predicted are thunderstorms, with possible 70 mph winds, and dangerous lightning. All this comes out of the Weather Bureau in Norma, Okla. Stay tuned.

Scanner Traffic — 8/18/08

5:08 p.m. Female driver in two-car crash in front of Safeway, at Neider & Government Way, complaining of bleeding behind ear.
4:22 p.m. Train vs. dump truck @ Chilco crossing west of Highway 95. Driver is outside his truck, arguing with railroad workers.
3:59 p.m. A resident reports that two males have climbed an embankment from their boat, on Fernan Lake Road just beyond Fernan Village, and are walking westbound. One is bleeding from the head.
3:37 p.m. A 54-year-old CDA woodcutter has been reported missing to the Coeur d’Alene Police Department. Click here/KCSD news release. See photo of Varner’s pickup.
3:19 p.m. A vehicle has side-swiped an Idaho Department of Transportation truck on Highway 95, north of Dalton Avenue.
1:41 p.m. 3 occupants of a vehicle pulled off I90, between M/P 12 & 13 (CDA), say they stopped because they smell gasoline.
12:16 p.m. Missing Harrison woman found in Seattle area/KCSD news release.

JeanieSpokane: Discontinuing Columns, Blogs

Last week we saw the ending of (Editor) Steve Smith’s “News in a Conversation,” and just now posted on Daily Briefing, Cheryl-Anne Millsap’s column, “The Home Planet,” will be discontinued, due to lack of budget/JeanieSpokane, Community Comment.

Question (from JeanieSpokane): Does this worry you, dear readers, that some of our blogs on the S-R might see the end of their days?

HBO To Stream LaRocco-Rammell Debate

Demo Larry LaRocco and Independent Rex Rammell will kick off a series of debates in Idaho’s U.S. Senate race in Coeur d’Alene today. The debate is scheduled from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Riverstone Room, Hampton Inn & Suites, 1500 Riverstone Drive. The live debate will have a 21st Century twist: It will be streamed live over the internet at Huckleberries Online will carry the live stream (if it works). North Idaho College Political Science Professor Tony Stewart will moderate. Questions will come mostly from internet viewers. Gov. Jim Risch didn’t respond to a request to participate.

IEG: Cousin Helen, A Table, Family Keepsakes

My mother attended the funeral of her cousin Helen in Moscow, Idaho yesterday. Helen had lived a very active life into her nineties. Helen had designated many of her keepsakes to family members before her death. Mom knew she would be receiving a table. After the services family members divided up some of her beautiful linens. When Mom arrived home we carried in the lovely table my cousin John had buckled into the backseat/Inland Empire Girl, Gathering Around The Table. More here.

Question: What is a favorite keepsake item that has been handed down from previous generations of your family?

Idaho Demos Don’t Contest 40% Of Seats

Item: Failure of Idaho Democrats to vie for uncontested legislative seats may be ‘a missed opportunity’ for the party/Idaho Statesman

More Info: In a year when Idaho Democrats hope to ride presidential coattails to success in state elections, nearly 40 percent of state legislative races are uncontested by the party. “There are seats that we could have, would have, should have, liked to have candidates for,” said Idaho Democratic Party spokesman Chuck Oxley.

Question: Why didn’t Idaho Demos challenge for more legislative seats in a year that they’re optimistic about their chances to win congressional races?

HBO@ Noon — Favorite Summer Fruit?

Petar Petrov/AP Photo
Girls fight with watermelons during the annual water- melon festival in the village of Salmanovo east of the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Saturday.

Question: Which summertime fruit is your favorite — watermelon, peach, plum, melon, tomato, other?

Armstrong Takes Boise Victory Lap

Katherine Jones/Idaho Statesman, AP
Olympic cyclist, Kristin Armstrong celebrates her gold medal and her welcome home parade with a ride from the downtown Boise YMCA to a rally at City Hall on Saturday in Boise.

Clark: Drink, Hold Nose, Mark Ballot

On Friday I finally cracked open my primary ballot and began the painstaking process of selecting which liars I’ll choose to represent me. All politicians lie, although most of them prefer to call it campaigning. Being able to elect your favorite fibber is the foundation of this great Republic we call America. But this is never an easy task. Especially considering that so many candidates are lawyers, which gives them a professional prevaricating edge. Which liar will lie most often to your advantage? This is the question every voter must answer/Doug Clark, Spokesman-Review. More here.

Question: As a rule, we Americans claim that all politicians are crooks and liars. However, do you really believe that? What is your real opinion of politicians? Is it the same for federal offices as it is for local ones?

AM Headlines — 8/18/08

Kyle Mills, Lewiston Tribune, AP
Robbi Schaecher of Tacoma, Wash., gives her hairless rat Nego a kiss during the ” Ratstock” festival on Saturday at the Latah County Fairgrounds in Moscow.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Did Duncan contact Steve Groene?/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise
*New businesses at Riverfront’s Village attracting customers/Rick Thomas, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Touring the Palouse: art, antiques, science/Pia Hallenberg, Christensen, SR
*Harrison man builds massive house by himself in 2 years/Amanda Winters, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Sex offender waives preliminary hearing/Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Daily Bee
*4th person arrested in double homicide/Ty Hampton, Shoshone News-Press

CindyH: Top 10 Things To Do When It’s Hot

*Apply antiperspirant to your forehead. Wait to see if sweat will form. Ponder the advisability of applying Lady Speedstick to other body parts.
*Add blog-surfing to your billable hours. Call it “research.”
*Think about filling the tub with cold water and realize you’d have to clean the tub before bathing because your eight-year-old left half of the beach from Diamond Lake in the bottom of the tub/CindyH. More here.

Question: What would you add to the list?

Wilkinson: No Longer In the Majority

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Sunday — 8/17/08

I’m going to be enjoying our small church’s annual baptist at North Idaho College beach around noon today. Yeah, it’s going to be hot. But at least we’ll be lake side. At 4 p.m. Saturday, I witnessed an outside wedding at Gonzaga on a shadeless lawn. And then served as the emcee for the young couple at the McCarthey Center, better known as The Kennel. I must have sweat a gallon. I’ll probably do the same again today. But it’s wonderful to share these experiences with young folks, church family, and friends. It’s a circle of life thing. I’ve known the bride Saturday since she was a babe in arms. I’m glad that I’ve lived in one place this long to have that kind of experience. Most journalists don’t. Now, I’ll play the Wild Card and hit the sack …

Candlelight Vigil Observes Elvis’ Anniversary

Item: Appreciation: A Low(er)-Key Elvis Anniversary/E! Online

More Info: As anniversary years go, the 31st doesn’t have the cachet of a 30th, even at Graceland, where the crowd gathering to commemorate Elvis Presley’s death was expected to be perhaps less than half of last year’s record turnout. “But it’s still an incredible event, having 30,000 people for a candlelight vigil,” says Kevin Kern of Elvis Presley Enterprises.
The candlelight vigil, long the emotional highlight of the Memphis, Tenn., tradition known as Elvis Week, was set for Friday night.

Question: Which Elvis’ song is your favorite?

Anti-Fluoride Foes Holding Off Health Change

Item: Filling the fluoride gap/John Stucke, SR

More Info: It seems to be getting worse: Too many people in Spokane and North Idaho have rotten teeth. The problem is replete with long-term health consequences and alive with a brisk game of blame. Kids drink too much soda. There aren’t enough dentists. Parents don’t take their children in for checkups. Dental visits are too expensive. People don’t brush their teeth. The medical establishment says there’s one change communities could make to begin turning around the dismal state of the region’s oral health – water fluoridation.

Question: Are you afraid of fluoridation? Or dentists?

Shock To Host Tennessee Valley For Arena Cup

Item: Next up for the Shock: ArenaCup/Jessica Brown, SR Sportslink

More Info: If the Spokane Shock can do once more what they’ve done 18 times already this season, they’ll be ArenaCup champions. They earned to right to host the arenafootball2 league’s ninth championship game with a 79-49 National Conference championship victory over the upset-minded Amarillo Dusters on Saturday night at the Arena. Spokane (18-1) will host the American Conference champion Tennessee Valley Vipers (13-6) after they defeated Manchester 45-35 on Saturday/Jessica Brown, SR Sportslink.

Question: Have you ever attended a Spokane Shock game?

Wild Card/Saturday — 8/16/08

I have posted a number of items below to get you started today. Obviously, it’ll be a good day to go for a boat ride or a swim. I’m going to watch a coupla young friends marry. And try not to get too much sun. Before all that, however, I’ll post the daily Wild Card …

Megastar Pastor To Host McCain, Obama

Item: Rev. Rick Warren puts Obama, McCain on the same stage: California pastor among the most significant evangelists of his generation/L.A. Times.

More Info: fourth-largest church and reaches thousands of ministers through the Internet and crusades against poverty and AIDS. That globe-trotting work and his successful book — “The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?” — puts him at the vanguard of a movement that inspires young, socially conscious Christians. But his willingness to soft-pedal political issues once central to U.S. evangelicals, such as opposition to abortion, has opened him to criticism that he has strayed from his calling to spread the Gospel.

Question: Do you welcome this new type of Evangelical leader who’s more socially conscious and less vitriolic than religious conservatives like the late Jerry Falwell?

Boise Celebrates Return Of Olympic Champion

Katherine Jones/Idaho Statesman, AP
Andrew Terrell reaches out to touch the gold medal of Kristin Armstrong at the Boise, Idaho Airport on Friday, as she returned home from Beijing where she won a gold medal in the individual time trial. Terrell, 10, was so excited to see the gold medalist that he rode his bike a couple of miles to the airport to greet her. Armstrong encouraged kids to touch - and heft - her medal.

OTV Review: Baja Bargarita

In hiring her bar staff, Jessi picked some of the most experienced mixologists around and basically stole them from other bars. Jason Blevins is most recently from the Torch Lounge and Chris Hagan formerly worked at both Mik-n-Mac’s and Parkside Bistro. Ask Chris to make you an Oatmeal Cookie shot, it’s one of the most incredible drinks I’ve tried, and she’s the only one I know who makes it taste like an actual cookie, complete with a cinnamon afterglow. With a full liquor bar, plus a massive selection of brews both bottled and on draught, you won’t be complaining about thirst/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Which drink of hard liquor do you usually order when you’re out on the town?

Smith: Twitter Experiment Done For Now

JoshR: So, why did you decide not to continue with the Twitter feed?

Thuy Nguyen/Daily Briefing: We’ll pick Twitter projects wisely said editor Steve Smith at the meeting this morning. He said the goal with Twittering the Duncan trial was to learn how to use the service for news needs, but with the expense of sending reporter Meghann M. Cuniff to Boise and getting fewer than 100 twits/followers, Twittering everything wouldn’t be worth it. Smith also put Twitter on his phone but had to disable the alerts function because his phone seemed to vibrate or beep constantly with every tweet. Here’s the Twitter page, and here’s the live blog. (Edited to add at 4:01 p.m. on Aug 15: Smith says “We’ve come to the end of our one-week experiment Tweeting. We will return as developments warrant and for closing arguments and the verdict.”)

Question: Did you follow Meghann’s Twitter coverage for the first 3 days of the Duncan sentencing hearing?

TGIF Wild Card — 8/15/08

I’m going to be leaving early today, to get to a wedding rehearsal at Gonzaga University. I’ll head out at 4 p.m. I’m leaving some stuff behind for your entertainment, however. And I’ll post some stuff later tonight for launch the Saturday morning threads. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to play your Wild Card …

4th Person Caught In Shoshone Murders

A fourth person has now been arrested in connection with last week’s double homicide on Dobson Pass. Wayne Barrett, 34, has been charged with two counts of accessory to murder, officials said today/SR. More here.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/15/08

Joshua Sudock/Orange County Register, AP
A protester dressed as Snow White is walked off by a police officer after being arrested during a demonstration protesting Disney’s treatment of hotel workers outside of Disney Land in Anaheim, Calif., on Thursday. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. I just called them “cute little Hobbits”; how do I know what is politically correct, dwarves, munchkins, elves, short people, height challenged, what!?!? — JeanieSpokane.
2. Ms. White being taken into custody for possession of a controlled substance - the latest craze among young party goers, the Poison Apple, leads to hallucinations, drug induced comas and the kissing of strangers — Aliasjax.
3. “No ma’am, I’m sorry. Just because you can fit all seven of your husbands under your skirt, doesn’t make it legal” — Toadman.

HM: Spazz, everyone else. Great stuff today.

Joseph Duncan Trial, Day 3 (Court Adjourns)

Latest: The prosecution is basically having these store employees verify that the items found in the Jeep were indeed purchased by Duncan More here.

Betsy Russell’s AM roundup: ‘A medium of violence in the world‘; A child’s bathing suit, video camera, hacksaw; Duncan quiet, sleepy in court today; and Duncan’s computer incryption confounds FBI.

Meghann Cuniff provides up-to-minute coverage here. Betsy Russell’s Inside The Courtroom coverage here. Complete SR coverage here.

The Feather

Liz Kishimoto/SR File Photo

In a million million years (or more)
When ‘creatures’ view our planet,
They’ll scratch their metal heads and say
‘That can’t be a feather! Can it?
We’ve found evidence of feathers
In pictures of small birds,
But this huge feathered object
Is too startling for words!’
They’ll recreate the creature
That they think that they have found,
And the little metal people
Will gawp and stand around,
Saying’Isn’t it gigantic!

EOB: Jurors See Videos Of Duncan, Kids

Videotapes of Shasta and Dylan Groene clowning around at a Montana campsite with their abductor were played for the jury this afternoon, including one in which Duncan slices up a big watermelon and he and the children eat slices. After Duncan walks over to the back of the red Jeep with a large knife, the two children join him. “Dylan, you’re kinda making me laugh,” Shasta says to her 9-year-old brother. “You were like, ‘No, please, don’t,’ and now you’re all smiling and stuff.” A shirtless Dylan then eats four slices of watermelon. At one point during the video, the little girl makes a reference to Duncan’s sexual abuse/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

PM Roundup: ‘That turned me off’; and: ‘People might think I’m a pervert.’

Scanner Traffic — 8/15/08

2:24 p.m. A man in his 30s has suffered a broken leg at Camp Mivoden on Hayden Lake. EMTs are asking that he be brought by boat to Honeysuckle Beach.
12:05 p.m. Plastic orange chair is in the roadway on Highway 95, north of Garwood.
11:44 a.m. Man reports his mother has been missing from her Harrison home for 2 days.

LaRocco, Rammell To Kick Off Debates In CDA

Demo Larry LaRocco and Independent Rex Rammell will kick off a series of debates in Idaho’s U.S. Senate race in Coeur d’Alene Monday. The debate is scheduled from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Riverstone Room, Hampton Inn & Suites, 1500 Riverstone Drive. The live debate will have a 21st Century twist: It will be streamed live over the internet at North Idaho College Political Science Professor Tony Stewart will moderate. Questions will come mostly from internet viewers. According to a press release from Larry LaRocco’s office, Republican candidate Lt. Gov. Jim Risch has also been formally invited to attend Monday’s debate. He has not responded.

Hampton: Covering Small Town Murder

Jon Allen Kienholz, AKA “Bubba,” is now on deck. The 20-year-old Silverton kid walked out with the deputies again down the hallway - a sea of calmness with a vacant look of despair all over his face. Again, the sunken-in raccoon eyes of the alleged killer seem to tell a story of their own. Had repeated drug use caused the look? Had he lost sleep all night during his first evening in prison as a reportedly confessed gunman or had it been every night since the murders were committed Aug. 4? Or had the scorned criminal - who appeared more as a young boy than a man - spent hours crying in remorse in the dawning reality of the horrible acts he had allegedly committed?/Ty Hampton, Shoshone News-Press. More here.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 8/15/08

Jerret Raffety/Rawlins Daily Times, AP
Cisco the miniature horse got a little silly inside the Carbon County Library while his handler 12-year-old Alison Brown looked on during the library’s Gear Up for School event on Wednesday, August, 13, 2008 in Rawlins, Wyo. The event was intended to give parents and children information about the upcoming school year while providing them with some entertainment — which Cisco and his antics easily seemed to provide.

*Duncan jurors shown murder weapon/SR
*Baby cut from womb leaves hospital/KREM2
*Man charged with aiding and abetting in double murder/Shoshone News-Press
*Boisean arrested after driving pickup into crowd/Idaho Statesman
*No pay increases for Statesman staff for one year/KTVB
*Idaho senator balks at Boise law school proposal/Twin Falls Times-News
*Nearly half of Idaho’s multistate auditors cry foul/Boise Weekly
*Hail pounds Palouse farms/KREM2

Huckleberries Hears …

… That someone has stolen the 3-foot statue at the Mexican Food Factory on 4th — a man in a sombrero, holding a burrito. And the Food Factory is offering a reward for its return. How low can you go?

Idaho Blogs — Gingrich’s Fund-Raising Fiction

The Jim Risch for Senate campaign is pulling out a big-name Republican rainmaker: former House speaker Newt Gingrich. Too bad the campaign did a shoddy job of briefing Gingrich about the Risch resume/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

*Electoral map shifts Sali’s way/Adam’s Blog
*The fundraising fiction of Newt Gingrich/Kevin Richert
*Is Wayne Hoffman a Sali campaign employee?/IdaBlue
*VPs/Political Game
*What is Nancy Pelosi afraid of?/Bill Sali Blog video
*Larry Craig energy plan/43rd State Blues
*So … what’s the difference?/From The Editors
*Where is Jim Risch?/F-Words

Letter: Minnick Is A Stealth Demo

I am curious as to whether others have noticed an oddity in congressional House candidate Walt Minnick’s TV and radio ads. Nowhere in them does Minnick confess to being a Democrat. While seeming to espouse traditional Idaho and Republican values, such as business, hunting and gun ownership, the irony that Democrats are the mortal enemies of such values may be lost by some who view or hear the ads for his candidacy/Terry Lamb, Sagle (letter to SR). More here.

More here.”>John Foster/Minnick campaign responds

Question: Is congressional candidate Walt Minnick trying to hide the fact that he’s a Democrat?

Sali Aide Strikes Back @ Nampa Paper

The Idaho Press-Tribune, formerly a decent newspaper, formerly a conservative newspaper, slipped to new depths last Sunday with an editorial that left out important facts in order to justify its point. Only after the Press-Tribune ran its opinion piece did anyone from the Press-Tribune bother to call me in a near frenzy in an effort to justify/confirm the so-called “facts” in its editorial. That’s far removed from the Press-Tribune of my day and the Vickie Holbrook I worked for/Wayne Hoffman, guest opinion, Idaho Press Tribune (Nampa). More here.

DFO: I’m beginning to wonder if aide Wayne Hoffman is becoming a bigger liability than asset to Congressman Sali. I’ve been at the receiving end of one of these diatribes, when Hoffman felt I was incorrect in my criticism of Sali’s vote against Craig-Wyden bill reauthorization. He also lectured me via e-mail re: how newspapermen collected facts in his day. Which was sometime way after I began my career. He’s also sent at least one blistering e-mail to Jill Kuraitis/New West Boise. So my question is: How effective are you if you have thin skin as a communications director and burn the ones you’re supposed to be communicating with? Reaction: Unequivocal Notion, Red State Rebels, Randy Stapilus.

EOB: Was Duncan Really Taking Shasta Home?

Joseph Duncan has claimed he was bringing his only surviving victim, then-8-year-old Shasta Groene, home to her father when he was arrested with her at a Coeur d’Alene Denney’s restaurant in 2005. In a tape-recorded statement to police played in court for jurors on Thursday, that’s what Shasta said, too. But hand-written letters introduced into evidence on Thursday from both children, while they were being held captive by Duncan, showed that both Shasta and Dylan thought they were about to be taken home to their father/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Heller: Ringtone Reverberations

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Parting Shot — 8/14/08

Steve Conner/Special to The Spokesman-Review
Evidence from the sentencing trial for Joseph Duncan.

Columnist: Sibling Bond Should Last Forever

Every time I see one of those “Dear Abby”-type columns about siblings who don’t get along, I shake my head in amazement. Some of the atrocities described there are beyond belief and, I am happy to say, beyond my ken. How can brothers and sisters treat each other with such malice, such cruelty, or even such indifference? I have two brothers and one sister, and we have all maintained close, affectionate family ties - none closer than the bond between my sister and me/Ginny McConnell, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Are you close with your siblings?

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/14/08

Kevin Frayer/AP Photo
Russia’s Vasily Filippov sits in the net after crashing into it during a men’s preliminary round handball against against Denmark at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing earlier today. Russia lost 25-24. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines

1. Georgians film their version of “The Deadliest Catch” — GaryC.
2. Cindy H. nets another Mormon fireman — Kevin Taylor.
3. “He did not get far once we employed our net guns,” the Olympic security officer said — Tn_Top_Hat

HM: JeanieSpokane

Scanner Traffic — 8/14/08

5:42 p.m. A man in a boat at Templin’s is complaining of back pain after injuring himself while wake-boarding on the Spokane River.
3:13 p.m. Boy, approximately 12 years old, hitchhiking with bike and backpack at I-90 & 4th Street.
2:47 p.m. PFPD news release: Explosive device found on porch on 300 block of Ford Street here.
1:14 p.m. Smoke sighted in Pleasant View area, south of the Spokane River. Update: one fire extinguished on Stack Road. Fire crews are looking for a second one.

We’re Headed For Triple Digits

Item: Temperatures headed to triple digits/KREM2

More Info: A big warm up will bring temperatures in the high 90’s with a possibility of hitting the triple digits. Thursday and Friday will reach high temperatures in the low to mid 90’s. The weekend will be much hotter, with highs in the high 90’s.

Question: What temperature and weather conditions do you consider ideal?

Joseph Duncan Trial, Day 2 (Court Adjourns)

Latest: Duncan’s laptop computer had a sticker saying “I’m on a mission from God” with a male depicting the characters from the Blues Brothers. More here.

Meghann Cuniff provides up-to-minute coverage here. Betsy Russell’s Inside The Courtroom coverage here. Complete SR coverage here.

Ex-CDA High Star Homers @ Olympics

USA’s Matt Brown, right, is congratulated by right fielder Nate Schuerholtz after hitting a second inninng solo home run against the Netherlands during their baseball preliminary game at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing today. The game won the rain-shortened game 7-0 here. Wenatchee World story about Brown here.

Judge Won’t Allow Groene-McKenzie Photos

When federal prosecutors tried to show jurors photos of the bloody bodies found in the Groene family home in court this morning, Judge Edward Lodge stopped the proceedings and sent the jury out of the room. “This is not the counts we’re dealing with, the death of D.G.,” the judge told the prosecutors. An appeals court likely would find the graphic photos “unduly prejudicial” if they’re shown to the jury, he said/Betsy Russell, Duncan: Inside The Courtroom. More here.

Related: Duncan studied Spokane school/AP
*Idaho killer’s jury sees tortured kids’ letters/AP

Question: Right call?

Golf Legend Nicklaus Launches Sandpoint Course

He envisioned it, designed it, helped sculpt it, tweaked it, and finally on Wednesday, the Golden Bear got to give it his stamp of approval by playing it. When the 68 year-old sports legend laced a surprisingly long drive off of the first tee box it marked the official christening of the Idaho Club — the first Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course ever built in Idaho. Arguably the greatest golfer of all time was in town to unveil his latest signature masterpiece, one of 20 courses he expects to open in 2008 alone/Eric Plummer, Bonner County Daily Bee. More here.

Question: Are you a good golfer?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 8/14/08

Mike Vogt/Idaho Press-Tribune, AP
Bull rider Tyler Johnston finds himself upside down during his ride on Mr. Zantrex Wednesday night at the Caldwell Night Rodeo in Caldwell.

*Cost of meth doubles in Lewiston area/Kerri Sandaine, Lewiston Tribune
*Skinny dipper ticketed for indecent exposure/Lewiston Tribune
*Suspect arrested in Alaska for Pullman rape/KREM2
*Steve Groene testifies, shares gut-wrenching details/Alyson Outen, KTVB
*ICL strikes deal with mining company/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman
*UI grad Armstrong wins gold, deals with media whirlwind/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman
*New Nicklaus golf course nears Sandpoint opening/KTVB
*Analysts paint grim economic forecast for Idaho/KHQ

More Arrested Expected In Double Murder

Shoshone County authorities are expecting two more arrests of people who knew of last week’s double homicide but were not directly involved. Sheriff Chuck Reynalds would not discuss any potential charges for those people. Three suspects already have been arrested in connection with the shooting deaths of Neil Howard, 20, and Cynthia Bewick, 18, who were found Friday at the top of Dobson Pass, north of Wallace, by a man picking huckleberries/SR. More here.

Idaho Blogs: ‘Binge Drinking’? PC Nonsense

Everyone’s heard of the term “binge drinking”, usually used in news articles about how this trend is “rapidly growing” in terms bordering on shock and amazement. I saw the term used in 3 separate articles yesterday, each acting as if it’s a brand new ill plaguing society. I’m sorry, but I went to college during the 80s, and I can certainly say that there was quite a high prevalence of “binge drinking” back then — except we didn’t call it “binging”, we called it “drinking to get drunk”, or just “drinking”/Joel Kennedy, The Stupid Shall Be Punished. More here.

*2 men, 2 playlists/Political Game
*An evangelical visits new Twin Falls temple/Dennis Mansfield
*Interesting health insurance strategy/Clayton Cramer
*YouTube: ‘The Drink’ energizes UI players/Collingwood Corner
*Sali: Punch line or ethically challenged?/MountainGoat Report

Question (from TSSBP): What “politically correct” euphemisms annoy you?

Sali’s Irascible Aide Hoffman Prompts New Blog

Can’t swing a dead cat around the blogosphere these days without hitting a site that’s going after Rep. Bill Sali and his staff. New to the fray are the editors over at the Idaho Press-Tribune, who unveiled their blog Wednesday. Among the first posts is one titled “Wayne Hoffman: The man behind today’s launch.” Hoffman is Rep. Bill Sali’s spokesman and a former Press-Tribune (and Statesman) reporter. Hoffman was so exercised by a Sunday Press-Tribune editorial criticizing Sali’s dysfunctional office operations that he said, a bit hyperbolically, that the piece bordered on libel (Click here for the quote)/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Idaho Press-Tribune begins blog

Question: Is a congressman’s PR flack doing his job he’s making as much negative news as Sali?

AM Headlines — 8/14/08

Reid Woolsey, 11, of Dalton Gardens decided to cool down on Hayden Lake with the use of the rope swing near Honeysuckle Beach recently.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Double murder suspect confesses/Ty Hampton, Hagadone News Network
*Temperatures headed to triple digits/KREM2
*Suspect St. Maries abuser wants charge dismissed/Ralph Bartholdt, St. Maries Gazette-Record
*Athol throws a party/Herb Huseland, SR Prairie Voice
*3Cs give $90K to charities/Maureen Dolan, CDA Press
*Higher heating bills on horizon/Rick Thomas, CDA Press

$181M: Total Cost Of Jail, Plus Interest

Item: Total jail cost: $181 million: Financing costs expected to add $36M to $145M figure/Tom Greene, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: The total cost for the jail expansion and facilities is $145 million in 10-year general obligation bonds — plus $36 million in financing costs for a $181 million total.

Question: No? Or hell no?

MamaJD: Simple Things Matter Re: Predators

MamaJD: What I learned from all my twittering today is important: I must be vigilant in protecting my home and my family. And it doesn’t take much. It may be as simple as locking my door at night. I believe that if I safeguard against the random predator, I will probably be more alert for the non-random predator as well. I would rather my children, if within the sights of a predator, were unpicked “flowers” and I appreciate knowing that maybe simple things like playing in the backyard behind a fence or locking my doors could make a difference.

Question: Are you learning anything about predators from the gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Joseph Duncan sentencing hearing?

Hump Day Wild Card — 8/13/08

Meghann Cuniff called to say that it’s fairly word to have a front row seat at the Boise hearing, watching Joseph Duncan from 20 feet away, through a glass window. She said she expects the sentencing hearing to become even more stomach turning Thursday when the deputy who first arrived at the Groene-McKenzie murder scene is called to testify. According to Meghann, one of the most eery things from today was the statement that Duncan planned to abort his murder mission if the back door fo the Groene-McKenzie home had been locked. Now, I’ll post the Hump Day Wild Card again …

3 Suspects In Custody In Double Murder

A total of three suspects are now in custody for a double murder in rural Shoshone County. 20-year-old Jon Keinholz Jr. is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Another suspect, Corey Reid, is accused of driving the victims’ car to Boise. Reid surrendered to authorities in Ada County. 17-year-old Hiram Wilson is charged with aiding and abetting a fugitive/KREM2. More here.

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 8/13/08

Ward Hooper/AP
In this artist’s rendering, Joseph Edward Duncan III listens to opening statements in the sentencing phase of his death penalty case in U.S. District Court in Boise on Wednesday. A jury that will decide whether Duncan, a convicted pedophile should be executed listened Wednesday as a prosecutor graphically described how the man killed members of an Idaho family, abducted two children and abused the youngsters at a campsite before murdering one of them.

*Sali opens campaign office outside district/SR
*Idahoan gets life for killing ex-girlfriend w/hammer/KTVB
*N-plant developers file zoning papers/KHQ
*3 fires in 3 days squelched at Pine Creek/Shoshone News-Press
*Bonner milfoil program gaining strength/Bonner County Daily Bee
*Mauled man’s caretaker had drug, assault convictions/Seattle Times

2 CDA Teens Caught Burglarizing Car

Felony suspects Cody Parmer (left) and Grant Fischer.

At 1 o’clock this morning, Post Falls police responded to a report of a prowler in the Auto Credit parking lot, 120 W. Seltice Way. A resident reported two males in the car lot prowling through vehicles. Reportedly, officers caught two men removing a stereo from a white pickup. The two admitted they were stealing the car stereo. The two suspects are Cody Parmer and Grant Fischer, both 18 and from Coeur d’Alene. They were charged with felony burglary/Post Falls Police Department news release.

DFO’s Animals — Flying Fox

Bradly J. Boner/Jackson Hole News & Guide/AP
A red fox makes a leap in hopes of catching dinner while prowling in a field Monday, near Wilson, Wyo.

Scanner Traffic — 8/13/08

3:45 p.m. A vehicle is fully engulfed by fire. (I didn’t catch the location)
3:10 p.m. Patrol officers from throughout the county are directing the funeral motorcade for ex-Hayden Lake police chief Jason Felton en route to Coeur d’Alene Memorial Gardens.
11:45 a.m. Update: Fire call canceled when homeowner discovered that a manageable electrical problem was the source of the smoke.

Duncan: Moss Opening ‘Fair And Accurate’

“I debated whether or not to do an opening statement, simply because I don’t want to get into an argument with the government about what happened.” But, (Duncan) said, the horrific tale of his crimes detailed by U.S. Attorney Tom Moss was “fair and accurate – up to the point of what occurred at the campground, which is really the only part that I haven’t been interviewed by the police about”/Betsy Russell, Duncan: Inside The Courtroom blog. More here.

DFO: Betsy Russell is also detailing the Duncan sentencing hearing on her Duncan: Inside The Courtroom” blog.

Local Blogs — Your Kids Raising Your Grandkids

Inland Empire Girl/Gathering Around The Table
Seven years ago, Inland Empire Girl took her nieces to the Grand Coulee Dam and snapped the shot above. Recently, she revisited the same place with her nieces to the same spot for another photo. You can see how the girls turned out here.

As I watch my children deal with theirs, especially as older teens, I am truly amazed how well they are doing. I hope (as only my children can tell if it is true or not) that I have not open my mouth and second guess them, verbally. I truly try to let them be in charge. I feel I had my shot, and now it is theirs/Simple Mind. More here.

*A parole request denied/Atmospheric Ruminations
*33 teeth/A Butterfly Moment
*Own up and be a dad/Toad @ A Family Runs Thru It
*Where it concerns Georgia/Arch Druid
*3BT: Living to enjoy retirement/Kellogg Bloggin’

Question: Are you happy with the way your kids are raising your grandkids?

Sheriff’s Instructions For Reporting Felton Funeral

The SR will cover the funeral, respecting the rules set down by Sheriff Rocky Watson below.

I have received some inquiries about media attendance at the funeral for Jason Felton (pictured), retired chief of police of Hayden Lake. The media is welcome to attend the funeral and graveside services. The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. (today) at Real Life Ministries, 1866 N. Cecil Road in Post Falls. The procession will travel to the grave site via the City of Hayden Lake. Interment will be at Coeur d’Alene Memorial Gardens at 7315 N. Government Way, Coeur d’Alene.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 8/13/08

Al Turtle/Al Turtle’s Relationship Wisdom
How easy is huckleberry picking in North Idaho this year? So easy that you can do it from the comfort of your own vehicle, according to Al Turtle’s photo above.

*Judge overturns Clinton administration roadless rule/KTVB
*Potlatch mill workers will strike/Lewiston Tribune
*15 Idahoans picked for Duncan jury/KTVB
*WAC squeezed by high travel costs/Idaho Statesman
*Meridian dream home winners to sell house/KTVB
*Cougar attacks small dog near Ketchum/KTVB
*Attorney gets 6 days in jail for pulling woman’s hair/Twin Falls Times-News
*Pink Floyd cancels Spokane, Seattle stops/SR

Question: Have you been huckleberry picking this year?

CindyH: No Mas Re: Joseph Duncan Trial

CindyH: I don’t want to read any more about the Duncan trial. Not a blog, not a Twitter. I just want it to be over and justice to be served. I’m dreading the day by day, blow by blow accounts of the torture and killing. A little boy is dead, a girl forever changed. I don’t want to read another word about Duncan, unless it’s his obituary.

Question: Do you agree or disagree with CindyH?

Roundup: Duncan Taking Active Role In Defense

It’s still an open question as to whether Joseph Duncan will deliver an opening statement in his sentencing trial today, but so far, Duncan has been taking an active role in his own defense. When the two sides exercised peremptory challenges to winnow down the pool of 61 prospective jurors, the judge advised Duncan that since the jurors weren’t in the room, he could have his standby lawyers sit at the table with him if he wanted, for convenience. Duncan declined, and handled all the peremptory challenges himself, confidently and quickly reading off the names of the jurors he chose to challenge/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

*Impossible to unring bell
*Alternates don’t know
*Opening statements will be after lunch
*Prospective juror with daughter named Shasta dismissed

Ex-Zag Dickau Becomes Latest NBA Defector

Los Angeles Clippers guard Dan Dickau became the ninth player who held a job in the NBA last campaign to defect to a foreign club this offseason when he agreed to join the Euroleague team Avellino on Tuesday/National Post. More here.

Richert: When Software Eats Your Homework

Rep. Bill Sali’s chronic problems with his campaign finance reports have drawn fire from a national open government group. The nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation isn’t buying the Sali company line, which lays the blame on glitches in the Federal Election Commission’s software. “Rep. Sali should take public disclosure more seriously and perhaps figure out a way to train his staff on computer use,” Paul Blumenthal wrote on the foundation’s blog Tuesday. (Hat tip: The MountainGoat Report.) He’s got a point. FEC reports are a pretty basic component of public disclosure/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Who’s to blame for Congressman Bill Sali’s problems with filing his campaign finance statements? Bill Sali? His campaign chairman? His staff?

AM Headlines — 8/13/08

Jerome A. Pollos/Coeur d’Alene Press
An osprey flies into a nest Tuesday with two small ospreys at Wolf Lodge on Lake Coeur d’Alene.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Up to 130,000 gallons of sewage spills in Post Falls/Carley Dryden, SR
*Highway districts report $6M shortfall/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Alleged CDA arsonist speaks from jail/KREM2
*Otter, LaRocco make stops in CDA/Thomas Clouse, SR
*Money moved from Lancaster Road to other projects/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

EOB: Shasta May Not Have To Testify

Shasta may not have to testify after all. Tuesday, on the eve of opening statements in Joseph Duncan’s death penalty sentencing trial in federal court, lawyers on both sides hinted in court that a deal is in the works. No details are available yet, but a federal prosecutor and a member of Duncan’s standby defense team both referred in court to an agreement reached with Duncan about Shasta’s testimony/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Coverage: Meghann Cuniff will provide live coverage of today’s opening arguments. Click here.

Heller: An Olympic Throwback

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Tuesday — 8/12/08

HBO Central has been busy again today, with the visit of Demo Larry and Chris LaRocco — and the usual Tuesday deadline pressure for the first of two Huckleberries print columns. I’m off to the weekly Tuesday entertainment at Sherman Square. Mebbe I’ll see you there. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to play the Wild Card …

Question: Are Mosquitoes Worse This Year?

Last year I suffered not a single mosquito bite. This year, I’m somewhere near two dozen bites. Is it just me, or this a bad year for mosquitoes?/Family Phil.

Question: Well?

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 8/12/08

Jesse Tinsley/SR
Priority number for state highway spending, says Idaho Governor Butch Otter, “is where are we killing people?” Otter was making an impassioned plea for funding highway repairs while speaking to the Concerned Businesses of North Idaho group at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Tuesday. Otter pointed out that money spent on U.S. 95 has reduced deaths on the highway.

*Will Duncan present any defense?/Eye On Boise
*WSU restaurant to serve beer, booze/KREM2
*County OKs feedlot near Japanese WWII monument/KTVB
*Idaho gas 26 cents above national average/Idaho Statesman
*Update: How Idaho Olympians are doing/Idaho Statesman
*ISP motorcycle officer hurt in pursuit of DUI/Idaho Statesman
*Father of Washington State Patrol dies/KHQ

Eagle-Eye PFPD Officer Nails Suspects

You can read how Lt. Pat Knight of the Post Falls Police Department solved an auto burglary at the Highlands Golf Course and arrested two Yakima Valley suspects with lengthy police records here.

Sister Of Murder Victim Contacts HBO

I am Cyndi’s older sister (in Connecticut) and I am hoping that next time you have an opportunity to submit a post about this terrible tragedy that you will consider including the fact that their 9 month old son, Richard Eugene Bewick-Howard is now an orphan and that family will be setting up a fund for baby Rick at a local bank. Also of note, I would like to say that I am glad I came across Huckleberries Online and have been checking it to keep up with what is being released to the general public/Michille Jackson.

DFO: A savings account at Wells Fargo Bank has been set up in the name of Richard Eugene Bewick, the young son of Cynthia Bewick, according to the Shoshone News-Press. Cynthia’s family is asking for donations in lieu or flowers or food.

Mansfield: Idaho GOP Should Grow Up

And Larry LaRocco paid dearly for his sin, his lies and his failure. He lost his congressional seat. Years later, when Helen’s own adulterous relationship was unveiled, I spoke out strongly against her actions. I still belive that had she run in 2000 she would have lost. Geese, ganders and all … Larry LaRocco should be judged on his record and on his political beliefs this time around. He’s not John Edwards-lite, nor is his situation. In years since, he has shown himself a faithful man who loves his wife, his family and his state. He’s presented himself twice now for the citizens to consider as an elected official. Judge him on that. To quote Alice Cooper: “School’s out forever….” Let’s grow up/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

DFO: Dennis Mansfield, a social conservative, ran for the late Helen Chenoweth-Hage’s congressional seat in 2002.

Question: In the long run, will the controversial press release issued by Idaho Republicans help/hurt/not affect Larry LaRocco’s chances.

Local Blogs — 8/12/08

Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho
It’s August in North Idaho with temperatures heading towards the 100 degree mark. Time to find a lake or a river and take the plunge like this woman seen splashing on the Spokane River.

HBO Numbers (for Monday, Aug. 11): 9530 page-views/5163 unique views

*Short supply/Tumblewords
*Getting all emotional about Olympics/PDX Pup
*Perfect protest/Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts
*Mother’s Montana birthday celebration/Slight Detour
*Daydreaming/Synaptic Disunion
*Should this administration be taken seriously?/Dogwalk Musings

Question: Have you been swimming this summer?

Bjorn: What’s A ‘Person Of Interest’?

Bjorn: Not that I sympathize with the perps, but what is a “person of interest”? Is that just a made up term? Do “persons of interest” have the same rights as an actual suspect? Is there an actual legal definition for “person of interest”, or is it like “enemy combatant”?

Raymond Pert: Here’s an article about the term “persons of interest”. Interestingly it addresses the Groene/McKenzie murders. The article addresses how “Journalists — confronted with high-profile cases and competitors hot on their heels — must decide how to handle the vague term to describe what could be the central figure in their stories.”

HBO @ Noon — Internet Speed

Item: Study shows Idaho lags behind the U.S. in Internet connection speed/Idaho Statesman

More Info: Idaho is one of the slowest states in the nation for Internet connection speed and the U.S. as a whole lags behind other advanced nations, according to a nationwide study.

Question: How fast is your Internet connection? Dial-up fast? So-so fast? Broadband fast? What’s the Internet?

LaRocco To Visit HBO @ 10:30

Democrat Larry LaRocco will visit HBO Central this morning at 10:30. I co-opted part of an interview when I heard he was in town for another of his “Working for the Senate” day jobs — at St. Vincent de Paul’s, from 1 to 5 p.m., sorting through donations. Originally, he was scheduled for a half hour interview with SReporter Tom Clouse. I’ll conduct an in-depth interview with LaRocco this fall. We’ll discuss the weekend dust-up launched by the news release from Idaho Republicans. However, if you have a short question, I’ll entertain asking that, too. BTW, this will not be a live blog.

43rd State Unleashes On GOP’s LaRocco Attack

Last Friday, Idaho Rethuglican Party chairmoron Norm Semanko and his guano-gargling lickspittle Sid Smith used former presidential candidate John Edwards’ admission of an affair in 2006 to attack U.S. Senate candidate Larry LaRocco. It’s almost certain that Jim “Angry Gnome” Risch is behind the ham-handed GOP attack on LaRocco. It appears that The Gnome and Scumanko — terrified that Risch’s flaccid poll numbers will only continue to deflate — went into panic mode and began wildly spraying sewage in the vain hope of knocking the LaRocco campaign down to the Idaho Rethug’s level/Serephin, 43rd State Blues. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that the Republicans dredged up this old issue so early in the campaign? Is it a legitimate issue? If matters were reversed, would the Demos have used it?

EOB: Each Juror Has Power To Save Duncan

Here’s how high the stakes are in the jury selection that’s now under way in the Joseph Duncan case: If just one juror objects in any of three different votes, Duncan would be spared the death penalty. That’s what happened in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called “20th hijacker” from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He’s serving a life sentence without possibility of release at the federal Supermax prison in Colorado, after a single juror opposed the death penalty on the final vote in his federal terrorism trial/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the system that allows any juror to oppose the death penalty and save a loathsome individual like Duncan?

Post Falls Urban Renewal Director Quits

Item: PF urban renewal director resigns: Luke Malek to pursue law degree at Gonzaga/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Luke Malek has resigned as the Post Falls Urban Renewal Agency executive director to pursue a law degree at Gonzaga. Malek, who has had the URA position since April 2007, will stay on board through Sept. 7. “This is entirely a personal choice,” Malek said. “Leaving the agency and other endeavors in the community is the heartbreaking aspect of this decision.”

Question: Have urban renewal efforts in Post Falls been successful?

Larry LaRocco Visits HBO Central, Q’s 1-5

Chris LaRocco is with her husband at the interview.
1. Why did you run for the U.S. Senate, knowing that Idaho Republicans were likely to dredge up the old issue of the office affair if they viewed you as a threat? Is it worth the personal stress?
Larry LaRocco: Idaho working families need a champion in Washington, D.C. And I want to represent working families and fight for their interests. If perhaps out of desperation politics anything could surface. This is 2008 and Idaho families need someone to represent them in Washington. Chris and I have looked forward. If others want to view the world in rear-view mirror that’s their choice.

LaRocco Interview — Questions 11-15

11. Are you impressed that Jim Risch plans to join Bill Sali as a blogger sometime around Labor Day?
LL: (laughter) I’m tempted to say better late than never. But every voter under 35 understands he doesn’t do e-mail. It’s another indication that he’s trying to catch up.

Wild Card/Monday — 8/11/08

I forgot to give a Hat Tip to the Coeur d’Alene Police Department and other law agencies involved in the peaceful resolution of the Nettleton Gulch standoff today. The situation could have ended much differently without the patience exhibited by the police negotiators — and the other officers who worked to keep a curious public out of harm’s way. Saaalute. Now, I’ll play the Wild Card and get out of here …

HBO To Interview LaRocco Tuesday AM

Demo U.S. Senate candidate Larry LaRocco will be at HBO Central for an online chat from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesday. SReporter Tom Clouse was scheduled to meet with the former congressman. But the LaRocco camp quickly made room for Huckleberries Online when I requested to be part of the interview. Dunno if there’s going to be time for outside questions. We’ll discuss the weekend flap, of course.

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 8/11/08

Ted S. Warren/AP Photo
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, right, and her husband Mike look on Friday as their daughter Courtney and her fiance Scott Lindsay take part in a walk-through of their wedding, at the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia. The wedding, which took place Saturday, was the first ever held at the century-old mansion.

*Montana schools fail No Child marks for yearly progress/Missoulian
*Wallace tourism numbers fall somewhat/Shoshone News Press
*Oklahoma City acquires ex-WSUer Weaver/KHQ
*Bonner County R’s climb aboard gold standard express/Bonner Daily Bee
*Farmer searches for missing heifer/KREM2
*Mock Iraqi village used for training near Boise/KTVB
*Court rules against Boy Scout molester/KTVB
*Spokane sheriff’s uncle killed in Wyoming plane crash/KXLY

Sheriff Seeks 3 In Apparent Double Murder

The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office reported today that they have three persons of interest that they are looking for in connection with the discovery of bodies involved in an apparent double homicide atop Dobson Pass Friday morning. Lt. Corey Thompson confirmed Monday morning that the sheriff’s office is looking for three local individuals from Shoshone County in the case, but no one had been taken into custody as of 10 a.m. Thompson said the names of the individuals would possibly be released later this afternoon or Tuesday morning/Ty Hampton, Shoshone News-Press. More here.

Nettleton Gulch Standoff Ends Peacefully

Colby D. Vodder, 18, of Coeur d’Alene has been identified as the individual involved in the approximate three-hour standoff with local authorities. Vodder was taken into custody peacefully at about 3:45 p.m. after pointing a .25-caliber handgun at his chest while negotiating with police officers, according to Sgt. Christie Wood of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department. He was taken into custody on a felony probation violation that stems from the time he was a juvenile. Last week, Vodder was charged with possession of a controlled substance (allegedly 5 ounces of marijuana). At the time, according to Sgt. Wood, he possessed a handgun with the serial number filed off. When authorities tried to arrest Vodder at about 1 p.m. today, he run from a house on the 1500 block of Gilbert for a block and a half, before turning around toward pursuing officers, and pointing the gun at himself. He never pointed the gun at anyone else.

Photo here

Scanner Traffic — 8/11/08

4:43 p.m. Youngsters creating a safety hazard on Hayden Avenue, near Highway 95, by jumping their bikes over dirt piles at Rustler’s Roost and into the street.
1:41 p.m. Christie Wood will provide Huckleberries with an update on Nettleton Gulch situation in a few minutes.
1:36 p.m. Officer asks that a group of “Looky Lou” citizens standing on 17th Street be removed because they’re in the line of fire “in case we have to take this guy down.”
1:11 p.m. 911 center told to notify residents along Nettleton Gulch to shelter themselves in basement and not come out of homes.
1:10 p.m. Cat stuck in window well at 1670 E. Hayden Ave.
12:59 p.m. Something’s going on along Nettleton Gulch (weapons situation). Subject is in middle of Nettleton Gulch Road about 100 yards east of 15th. Police are blocking off traffic at 15th and Best area, northward. (Update: Officer asks: “Find out where they want me to start sending media.”)
12:55 p.m. Domestic fight at Denney’s on 4th

KREM2: Kyra Wine Remains Hospitalized

Three-year-old abuse victim Kyra Wine is still in the hospital almost two months after her horrible wounds were first reported, according to a family member/KREM2. More here.

Local Blogs — Finding That First Home

Don Sausser Photo
Huckleberries Online regular Don Sausser snapped this shot of last week’s lightning storm.

What I didn’t realize through all those hours of sighing over HGTV and crushing on Bob Vila is that, no matter how eager the search or how exciting the possibilities, buying a home is a stressful process. We walk into every home eager to love it but afraid to settle for something we’re not crazy about. The likelihood that interest rates will go up before we have a chance to lock in our loan is a constant worry/Katrina, Notes On A Napkin. More here.

HBO Numbers (for Friday, Aug. 8): 10,631 page-views/5196 unique views

*Photos from Adams County/MamaJD
*My happy list: Things I enjoy/Kellogg Bloggin’
*We’ve lost our moral authority/Dogwalk Musing
*Now Broder wants a lovefest/Arch Druid
*Isaac Hayes & “Phoenix”/Atmospheric Ruminations
*Think before you speak/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope
*I’m surrounded by stuff/Nuts & Nonsense

Question: How would you describe your first home?

Happy Lists: 15 Ways To Connect w/Teens

Just because you read a newsletter, watched a news story, or heard people talking about myspace or facebook - does not make you informed enough to talk about it. Even if you use these applications, it’s kind of awkward to talk about them. Yes, teens may talk about them to one another, but talking with an adult about them is weird. So don’t. As a parent, if you are concerned about your teenager’s online safety, then obviously bringing up myspace and facebook is essential to your parenting plan. Also, if your teenager brings it up, then it’s an okay topic to discuss (this goes back to giving them control)/Happy Lists. More here.

Question: Do you communicate well with teen-agers?

Finish This Sentence …

I’d love to be a fly on the wall today at the headquarters of either major Idaho political party to hear …

Morning CDA Duplex Fire ‘Suspicious’

Update: 33 year-old Daniel R. Keyes, who lived in one of the duplexes was arrested and charged with 1st degree arson. He was recently released from jail/Dick Haugen, SRadio. Audio here.

Fire Investigators are looking into what caused a duplex to catch fire early Monday morning. Officials call the fire suspicious. An fire early Monday morning destroys a Coeur d’Alene duplex. The fire happened at a home located near Fairway and Appleway in Coeur d’Alene. When the fire began only one person was home/KREM2. More here.

Name That ‘Convict’

Taryn Hecker/For Bay Views
Can anyone name this “escaped convict” from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department chain gang? He was sighted at the Athol Daze parade Saturday. He also made an appearance at Bayview Daze earlier this summer. You can read all about Athol Daze and see more photos at Bay Views here and here.

Palousitics Seeks Q’s For McMorris, May Interview

Huckleberries Online readers in the Washington 5th Congressional District are invited to participate in a candidate Q&A being conducted at Palousitics. Both Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and her Democratic challenger Mark Mays have agreed to take part. You may post your question on the blog as a comment here or e-mail me here with your question. Please be respectful and give your first name and hometown. You need to submit your questions no later than Midnight, Monday, August 11/Tom Forbes, Palousitics.

Richert: Playing The Scandal Card

State Democratic Party chairman Keith Roark pulled a dubious twofer over the weekend. In calling out his GOP counterpart, Roark actually managed to tick off his own Senate candidate, Larry LaRocco. I don’t know if this indicates a larger communications problem for the Democrats. But after Republicans managed to clumsily play the sexual indiscretion card, Democrats managed to respond awkwardly. Advantage to neither party; advantage only to political bloggers looking for some easy material in the dog days of August/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More info.

*Scooting along to more pollution/Adam’s Blog
*The ‘7 sorry sisters’/Randy Stapilus
*Confessions of a ‘Mama Mia’ watcher/Dennis Mansfield
*Conservative Idaho paper calls Sali on carpet/43rd State Blues
*State of Idaho will pay for Rammell’s elk/IdaBlue

Question: Which side looks worse in the Idaho Political Party News Release War?

Isaac Hayes, 65, Singer, Actor, RIP

Kathy Willens/AP File Photo
In this March 18, 2002 file photo, Isaac Hayes gestures during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at New York’s Waldorf Astoria. Hayes, the pioneering singer, songwriter and musician whose relentless “Theme From Shaft” won Academy and Grammy awards died Sunday. He was 65. Story here.

ALS Claims Hayden Lake Officer

Original Post: 9:47 p.m. Sunday
Jason Felton lost his ability to speak several months ago. Lou Gehrig’s disease had left most of his body immobile and the former Hayden Lake police chief relied on his eyes to communicate. Family, friends and nurses who visited at the home Felton shared with his wife, Cynde, (shown together in June 2006 SR file photo) would hold up a series of alphabet letters and follow his eyes to the correct one, piecing together words and, ultimately, sentences. It was through that careful process that Felton, 54, told his family it was time for him to go. “His mind was 100 percent, trapped in a body that would not work,” said his brother, Richard Felton. Family and friends gathered around him Friday as his ventilator was unplugged/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR. More here.

Ramirez: No Longer Fair-Haired Kid

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

Idaho D’s Remind R’s Of Own Sex Missteps

“Less than two months into his job as Chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, Norm Semanko has proved that he prefers the political muck and slime approach of Karl Rove to the high-minded, principled leadership of his predecessor, Kirk Sullivan. Semanko writes in a recent press release that presidential candidate John Edwards’ admission to an extra-marital affair was “sparking widespread nostalgia among Idaho Republicans” about Larry LaRocco. Apparently, the Republican brand of nostalgia is very narrow in scope. Did the John Edwards affair not bring to the Republican mind the dalliances of Steve Symms, Helen Chenoweth and John McCain? Larry Craig’s search for sexual satisfaction in a public bathroom stall is also something that Republicans prefer not to remember – even though it occurred very recently. Larry LaRocco made his mistake, made his amends and moved on. Larry Craig continues to lie and mislead.

Bus Passenger Holds Teen @ Knifepoint Near Airport

Police arrested a 48-year-old man Saturday afternoon after they say he held a teenage boy hostage at knifepoint at Spokane International Airport. Soon after the STA bus pulled away from the terminal, police say the man pulled the knife on the teen.
It happened on a STA bus that had just pulled away from the terminal/KREM2. More here.

Truly: Sam Opened 1984 Olympics

Deja vu - it was 24 years ago during the opening ceremonies for the 1984 olympics that there was a horrendous lightening and thunder storm - just like (Friday night) — and wouldn’t ya know it but I went into labor with Sam. Walking into the hospital with thunder and lightening was like a creature feature and I was walking into the twilight zone or maybe Dracula’s castle — no offense to Sam but that’s how it came down that night :) But after the storm passed we had a beautiful son who peed in the docs face just to let her know he had arrived :)/Truly.

Question: Have your parents told you stories about anything memorable that was occurring at the time of your birth in the world around them?

Stapilus: Risch Q-and-A Noteworthy, Needed Folo-Up

There were noteworthy replies all over the place, though; we were especially drawn by the remark that Risch (or at least his campaign) may start blogging next month. (If he does, we’ll be watching.) Risch’s reputation as sharp, articulate and witty (which he’s long had among Statehouse types) would gain considerably if he were more visible and outspoken on the campaign. The questions and their replies are well worth a review/Randy Stapilus. More here.

Link to questions here

Clark: Codgers No Longer Act Their Age

These days it’s much more cool to be old. Just turn on the television if you don’t believe me. Every other commercial features slim-and-trim seniors who – aided by the pulse of a classic rock song – lustily extol the wonders of the latest fruity fiber-rich regularity drink or male enhancement pill. The real world offers plenty of evidence, too. Take the news item headlined “Two men arrested after handgun tussle” that appeared in Friday’s Northwest section of the newspaper. The story is about a 73-year-old Athol man who “bit” his 75-year-old gun-toting neighbor during a scuffle that was apparently over the older man’s four-wheeler. Besides avoiding Athol like the plague, this story sends an even bigger message: This is not the way septuagenarians used to behave/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: How have you slowed down as you’ve gotten older? Or have you?

Huckleberry Picker Finds 2 Bodies Near Dobson Pass

Wallace resident Virgil Tesky was walking over to the edge of an old logging truck road to look for the local berries when he came within 10 yards of the male’s body in what he described as “fairly thick vegetation.” “I got more of a look than I wanted to,” Tesky said. Tesky left the scene and drove back into town to report the body. With law enforcement tailing him, Tesky led authorities back to the scene — still shaken and not sure of what he had seen/Ty Hampton & Tom Greene,, Hagadone News Network. More here.

Video Journal: Opening Ceremony Of 2008 Olympics

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Once-reclusive China commandeered the world stage today, celebrating its first-time role as Olympic host with a stunning display of pyrotechnics and pageantry/Colin Mulvany, Video Journal.

APhoto of the Weekend — 8/9-10/08

Gerald Herbert/AP Photo
President Bush hugs Kerri Walsh as he visits the practice of the U.S. beach volleyball team at the 2008 Summer Olympic games in Beijing. You write the cutline. (Monster Hat Tip: Digger)

Sali, Minnick Cite Progress In Iraq War

Item: Sali, Minnick cite progress in Iraq War/Erika Bolstad, Idaho Statesman

More Info: Sali’s general election opponent, Democrat Walt Minnick, said he, too, thought that the surge has brought stability to Iraq. The leadership of the U.S. military commander, Gen. David Petraeus, has made it possible to consider reducing the U.S. presence, Minnick said. He also said he’s encouraged by how the country’s prime minister, Nouri al Maliki, wants to discuss a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops.

Question: Do you agree with Demo Walt Minnick that the surge has brought stability to Iraq?

Treasure Valley Leads In ‘Idaho Style’

Item: Fashion forward: Idaho style: From classic to comfortable, you’ll find it all in the Treasure Valley/Idaho Statesman

More Info: Graves sees the Treasure Valley style as multifaceted: It is influenced by bigger cities worldwide but at its core is family-oriented. More people are traveling on business to more fashion-conscious metropolitan settings, where they don’t want to look out of place. And as more people move to the Treasure Valley from urban areas, they are bringing a love of urban style with them.

Question: What “look” do you consider to be the North Idaho style?

WND Poll: John Edwards’ Cheatin’ Heart

Question: Do you believe Edwards is telling the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth about his affair?/WorldNetDaily

1. Yes, he has been very forthcoming about this painful, private matter
2. Yes, I have more admiration for Edwards now than ever before
3. Yes, what else could there be?
4. Yes, I’m glad he only cheated on his wife when her cancer was in remission
5. Yes, but I’m awfully glad he wasn’t the nominee or vice-presidential candidate
6. I want to believe him, but his story keeps changing
7. Not even close — the man doesn’t know the meaning of truth
8. No, he has less credibility than the National Enquirer
9. No, why should we believe a man whose story keeps changing?
10. No, a man who cheats on his terminally ill wife has no credibility with me
11. Other

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

TGIF Wild Card — 8/8/08

I need to compile the Q-and-A interview with Lt. Gov. Jim Risch into one place. And take a brief break. Grab a cup of coffee, too. Thanks for reading along …

Happy Lists: 17 Ways To Impress In-Laws

1. Stop trying.
2. Be yourself.
3. Offer to help.
4. Avoid the booze.
5. Leave or send a thank you note.
6. Censor yourself.
Much more here

DFO: I’m delighted that Happy Lists is back posting. A definite must-read blog. Hat Tip to JeanieSpokane for spotting Angela’s return.

Question: How have you tried to impress your in-laws?

Scanner Traffic — 8/8/08

5:10 p.m. Suicide attempt at CDA motel by female who cut herself. Update: EMTs report the woman cut her wrist several times, including gashes of 5 inches that would need suturing.
4:45 p.m. Minor 3-vehicle accident @ Dalton & Government Way, in front of sheriff’s office.
11:58 a.m. Ambulance en route to KMC with 53YO woman who intentionally took an overdose of 50 pills and is beginning to slur her words.
11:08 a.m. Motorcycle crash on Highway 95, near Kidd Island Road. Driver remains down. Female passenger walking around.
8:31 a.m. 49YO complaining of neck pain after tripping and falling near library.
8:20 a.m. Drunken man who has urinated in the street, walking S/B on 5th toward Locust.

Arizona Motorcyclist Hurt In Highway 95 Crash

Virginia Brough, 50, of Page, Arizona, suffered a possible broken leg at 11:03 this morning when she lost control of her motorcycle and crashed on Highway 95 near Kidd Island Bay Road. You can read the accident report below.

HBO & Jim Risch — Questions 16-20

15. How long should we remain in Iraq?

JR: I’m like every other American. I’m impatient and I want that matter resolved. We’ve been very generous to that country. And it’s important that the Iraqi people step up and do what they must to take control of their own country. I do not support a date-certain withdrawal. Nor do I support a withdrawal that will endanger our military troops or people in Iraq who have supported our military troops. Within those parameters, I want us out as soon as possible.

HBO & Jim Risch — Questions 6-10

6. Independent Rex Rammell decided to run after you ordered a number of his straying farmed elk to be shot. Do you still stand by that decision?

JR: That decision was not made lightly. When I took the oath of office, I took the oath seriously. One of the things I swore to do was to protect Idaho as best I could. Had any of those elk communicated a disease to our wild elk herd or compromised the genetic purity of our wild elk herd, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night. If the question is would I have done it again because of the political ramifications, the answer is — that would have had no effect on my decision.

Athol Codgers Charged In Gun Tussle

A dispute between two Athol, Idaho, neighbors erupted into a tussle over a handgun after one reportedly bit the other. Both men were arrested Wednesday. Burnell E. Willis, 73, told Kootenai County sheriff’s deputies he’d bitten Bob D. Husband, 75, during a dispute over Willis’ four-wheeler about 6 p.m. Two hours later, Husband showed up in Willis’ front yard at 9933 E. Highway 54, according to a Sheriff’s Department report. Willis told deputies he feared his neighbor was armed.

Could You Sit As A Duncan Sentence Juror?

Item: Duncan: Video could ‘victimize people’/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise

More Info: Killer Joseph Duncan, acting as his own attorney, successfully challenged a prospective juror in his death penalty sentencing trial this morning after the man said he could have trouble watching a graphic videotape of Duncan abusing a 9-year-old boy whom Duncan later murdered.

Question: Could you stomach seeing Duncan’s sadistic videotape, if you sat as a juror in this sentencing hearing?

Washingtonian Files Claim Against Spencer

A Washington man has filed two claims against Larry Spencer of Cocolalla for the remainder of payment for a 1987 double-wide trailer Spencer bought March 1 — and impound and disposal fees for that trailer that was left by the side of a Cheney road two weeks later. In the claim filed with the Kitsap County District Court, James Ringos of Port Orchard, Wash., alleges that Spencer paid him $1000 down on the $3500 purchase price and moved the trailer off the property March 17. Ringos claims he never received the rest of the money as promised two days later — and that he had to pay impound and disposal fees totaling $3416.07 later when the trailer was found by the side of the road at Hallett & Westbow in Cheney.

IVA: Swindell Returns To Boise In Minutes

The Chinese government sprang for $6,000 in airfare to stick them on an Air China flight which landed in L.A. last night. The Chinese, anxious to repress any criticism of its oppressive religious and political policies, held them incommunicado for hours, disabled their cell phones, and sent them back to the States without even letting them retrieve their luggage. They deplaned in L.A. carrying nothing more than little plastic shopping bags. Ms. Swindell’s plane touches down at the Boise Airport at 11:50 a.m. today/Bryan Fischer, IVA. More here.

Bonner Fair To Decorate … Widows

Courtesy: From A Simple Mind

In our Bonner County Fair book there is a gaff. In the area on page 7 of classes they are going to have … DECORATED WIDOWS … “One or more old energy inefficient widows may be used - single or multiple pane, wooden or aluminum frame, etc. There are no restrictions on the material you use to decorate your window(s) The rest goes on to tell of what material, fabric, earth-friendly materials and etc. I have scan a copy for you here.” Again, Cis: I wonder if Marianne is going to take her widow mother in and decorate her. But I know that Virginia will not be happy being called old energy inefficient widow… or her frame referred to as single or multiple pane or wooden or aluminum frame.

Question: Do you think Grandma would mind?

China Boots Swindell For Tiananmen Protest

Here’s a YouTube video to put you in the mood to read the latest re: Brandi Swindell’s exploits in China (Hat Tip: MountainGoat Report)

A Boise Christian activist and another American were detained by Chinese authorities again Thursday, a friend said. Boise conservative activist Bryan Fischer, who works closely with Swindell, said Thursday evening that Swindell was immediately deported and put on a plane bound for the U.S. It is assumed Mahoney was put on the plane as well/Heath Druzin, Idaho Statesman. More here.

CDA Press: Jail Bond, Sales Tax DOA

On Tuesday, commissioners Todd Tondee and Rich Piazza outvoted fellow commissioner Rick Currie, paving the way for a ballot question that will ask voters to support using a sales tax increase in Kootenai County to fuel the project — estimated to cost $145 million for expansion of the county’s jail and administrative facilities. We are far from alone in being stunned by the price tag, no matter how much incarceration muscle it can buy. And with the economy struggling so much without having hit rock bottom yet, we wonder what Joe T. Taxpayer is willing and able to support/Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the CDA Press that the proposed $145M jail bond and sales tax measure the fall is dead on arrival?

AM Headlines — 8/8/08

Shawn Gust/Coeur d’Alene Press
Tyler Bryant, 19, uses a leaf blower to clean the parking lot at Independence Point as Patrick Dicksen, 18, sweeps a pile of debris onto a shovel. Tyler is one of the individuals trying to clean up the image of youths on the waterfront. Story here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*KMC designing facility for women, children/Parker Howell, SR
*Loss of timber funds hurts rural counties/Tom Greene, CDA Press
*Dalton Gardens seeks citizen involvement/Tom Hasslinger, CDA Press
*Bizarre Moscow crash leaves bike hanging from chain/KREM2
*Cool planes set to thrill crowds at Skyfest/SR
*Emergency crews rescue driver from I90 rollover/Ty Hampton, Shoshone News-Press

Whippersnapper: At Least Brandi’s Trying

Guys like SK and others here seem to make great sport of bashing this Swindell women for some reason. She’s seeking attention, but it’s not for her, at least not that we can see. And she’s not putting anyone down like the rest of you people. I appreciate the political and cultural differences you have with her, but your only ammo now is that she’s attention-seeking. Look in the mirror and ask yourself what you did today to make the world a better place to live/Whippersnapper.

Signe: Pot & Kettle?

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Parting Shot — 8/7/08

Shari Vialpando/Las Cruces Sun-News, AP
Eric Carrasco, 9, of Fort Selden, N.M. closely watches as a White-Lined Sphinx caterpillar crawls on Thursday across a board in front of a home in the Soledad Canyon area where thousands of the creepy-crawlers have emerged. The caterpillars will soon burrow underground where they will transform into sphinx moths.

Scanner Traffic — 8/7/08

5:25 p.m. Update: Ambulance attendant says 14YO teen has a 2-inch gash on the back of his head from the diving incident but isn’t complaining of neck or back pains. His mother is with him.
5:09 p.m. A 14YO male is bleeding from the head on the trail at the western entrance to Tubbs Hill after diving into the lake and hitting his head on a rock.
4:35 p.m. Two “gentlemen” at the Independence Point parking lot are engaged in a verbal fight, after one kicked the other’s car. A number of others are trying to egg them into a real fight.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/7/08

Joni Peterson/AP
Paul Lunde, left, Al Floyd,second from left, Debbie Dixon, David Gorden, second from right, and Dean Peterson, right, model prototype kilt uniforms for postal workers at the National Association of Letter Carriers’ convention this summer in Boston, where Peterson introduced a resolution to add kilts to the U.S. Postal Service uniform choices. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

1. Although the Postal Service tried to skirt the issue of kilts, it just had to be addressed — TUBOB, and: Moments later, Paul went postal and everyone was kilt — John Austin.
2. Poolman
3. Now posted on You-Tube, the first up skirt photos — Charlie.

HM: Inland Empire Girl

Dirt: KMC Plans 3-Story Addition

A three-story addition to the Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene would provide a new area to care for mothers and babies, and free up space in the existing hospital to potentially expand surgical space. A $30 million project, the Kootenai Health Women’s and Children’s Center is still in the design phase, said Don Soltman, Kootenai Health’s vice president of support services. It would be located on the east side of the main hospital campus off Highway 95/Parker Howell, Here’s The Dirt. More here.

Richert: Swindell’s An Advocate For Hire

The cynical view is that Swindell went to Beijing to protest the shortage of TV cameras in Boise. Cynical, yes, but also naive. Yes, this protest was orchestrated for a time when the eyes of the world were turning to Beijing, and reporters, on the eve of the Games, were looking for a story. This was calculated for maximum effect, maximum exposure. As my 13-year-old would say, “Duh.” Folks, this is how the process of public activism is played. Timing matters almost as much as message — the pros pay attention to both. Am I supposed to be surprised?/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Related: Swindelled in China, and: IPT: ‘Are Swindell’s actions newsworthy?’/Unequivocal Notion

Local Blogs: Too Many Goodbyes

Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns
A little girl digs for coins at this year’s Huckleberry Festival in Priest Lake to benefit the Priest Lake Search & Rescue organization.

I know I’m not alone in experiencing the ever-increasing moments of sadness when local obituary columns are filled with faces and names I’ve known forever. This morning’s paper provides yet another example of the cruel reality that “good byes” here are becoming much too redundant. Today our community must say good bye to Tom DeMers, Harry Roberson and Dona Meehan. I know that it would take several sets of fingers and toes to add up the years I’ve known these three Sandpoint folks who passed away over the past few days/Marianne Love, Slight Detour. More here.

HBO Numbers (for Wednesday, Aug. 5): 10209 page-views/5315 unique views

*Lost stuff/Tumblewords
*Natural consequences/A Butterfly Moment
*Junkies of the St. Joe/The Skinny On North Idaho
*Phantoms of the melodrama/Silver Valley Girl
*Wake up struggle/Synaptic Disunion
*Pearls Before Swine wisdom/Wayward Episcopalian
*3BT: Juniper Pizza, coffee at Theo’s, juicy Huckleberry/Kellogg Bloggin’

Question: Are you a regular reader of newspaper obituaries?

OTV: Smokey Robinson @ Festival Tonight

“Everything’s good in the world tonight, when Smokey sings,” goes ABC’s catchy 1987 hit and so tonight should be positively perfect, at least in Sandpoint where Smokey Robinson himself will be appearing as part of The Festival at Sandpoint’s opening night festivities. I have to ask: Has SmoRo been dabbling in the botox? In recent publicity shots, he sure looks pert for a gentleman pushing 70. I hope they’re giving him best injections LA has to offer because the man deserves it. Without Smokey and his pal Barry Gordy, there never would have been a Motown Records, and if there never was a Motown Records, maybe there never would have been a Diana Ross and the Supremes or a Stevie Wonder or a Mary Jane Girls and that’s just too depressing to even think about/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: What’s your favorite MoTown group, singer or song?

HBO @ Noon: Bad Opening Lines

Item: Local writers win bad-prose prizes/Seattle Times

Bad Opening Line: “Nobody knew just who the steely-eyed stranger was, where he came from, where he was headed, or what his intentions were while he was in Dodge City,” wrote McKenzie, 54, an aerospace quality consultant. “He wasn’t an hombre you’d want to stick your tongue out at or flip off, and any man who tried to tickle him would be asking for a long stay in a pine box.”

Question: Can you write a bad opening line for a novel based on a Huckleberries Online theme, blog, or commenter?

Boxers? Or Briefs?

Ray Stubblebine/Hasbro, AP

I was going to save this photo for HBO @ Noon. With Editor Steve Smith arriving in a few minutes, however, I decided to post it now. Above, Cavity Sam, left, the patient in Hasbro’s “Operation” game, shows off his new boxer shorts to show host Lydia Hearst, center, and underwear model Jed Hill at an underwear fashion show during the 6th Annual National Underwear Day in New York Tuesday.

Question: Boxers? Or briefs?

JeanieSpokane SOS — Broken Fingernails

Am I the only female that is vain about my beautiful, long, fingernails? One just broke. I think I need comp time until it grows out/JeanieSpokane.

Boise Activist Protests For 2nd Day In Beijing

The Associated Press captures footage of Boise Christian activist Brandi Swindell protesting in Tiannanmen Square in China. Brandi Swindell blog re: events. (Hat Tip: Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman)

Question: What will be the net effect of Brandi Swindell’s protest?

Should Chickenpox Vaccinations Be Required?

Item: Washington pushes to require chicken pox vaccinations/KREM2

More Info: The push comes after 14 students at Jefferson Elementary became sick with chickenpox last year, and students who had not been vaccinated for the virus were advised to stay home from school. The state wants to avoid that situation this year, but officials are having trouble crafting a program that would be sensitive to the religious and personal preferences of parents.

Question: Should school children be required to have chickenpox vaccinations?

AM Headlines — 8/7/08

Jerome A. Pollos/Coeur d’Alene Press
Dick Phillips, 88, and his wife Maggie, 92, make their way to an appointment Wednesday on their electric scooters in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The couple use their scooters to maintain their independence while going to doctor appointments or lunch dates together. Story here.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Huetter dispute goes to state/Amy Cannata, SR Handle Extra
*Handle Extra columns: So, did she end up going, DFO, Huckleberries; Owner breathes life back into pet llama/Herb Huseland; and Rathdrum seeing boom in business/Mary Jane Honegger; and
*With teen lifeguards fired, pool closes/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR
*CDA school board taps ex-pastor for vacancy/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Farragut searches for funds/Alecia Warren

Sam: Whattabout Reynalds’ Claims?

RE: Defeated ShoshoneCo sheriff questions opponent’s honesty
So nobody appears to be concerned about the charge that Yergler lied about having a degree from NIC and also about his campaign contributions? Anyone independently verified those claims yet? I’d hope at least a reporter will/Sam.

Stantis: Dry Well

Scott Stantis/Birmingham News

Parting Shot — 8/6/08

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

OK, here’s the video that everyone is discussing, from Matt Drudge to some of you Idaho bloggers. Indeed, it’s funny. Story here.

Question: Does this YouTube video change your opinion of John McCain? Or Paris Hilton?

Hagadone’s Sun Desert Mega-House …

… still causing ripples here.

Headlines @ Closini’ Time — 8/6/08

Jerome A. Pollos/Coeur d’Alene Press
Stephen Arbic, 16, sands the rough edges off of his set of stilts he made Tuesday at Art on the Edge in Coeur d’Alene. Children were practicing using their new stilts in preparation for an upcoming art festival.

Duncan Case: Joseph Duncan’s standby attorneys told a federal judge Wednesday that the confessed killer is so crazy and irrational that they can’t ethically follow his wishes, and asked to withdraw from the case. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge angrily refused. “Motion denied,” he declared, then called a recess in the sentencing trial, which had just resumed Wednesday morning after a three-month delay. It’s scheduled to start again Thursday morning with jury selection/Betsy Russell, SR Eye On Boise. More here.

*90% gas service restored to Post Falls/SR
*Autopsies confirm Moses Lake men died from blasts/KXLY
*Minnick praises Otter, criticizes Sali/Eye On Boise
*Idaho Dems file complaint against Risch/Red State Rebels
*Gonzaga’s freshman enrollment eclipses 2007-08/KREM2
*Shoshone water bond passes on 3rd try/Shoshone News Press

Congressman Sali Meets General Petraeus

Courtesy: Bill Sali congressional office
Congressman Bill Sali and other members of Congress meet with General David Petraeus in Iraq on Tuesday. Sali’s spokesman, Wayne Hoffman, said, “He wanted to see first-hand the efforts on the ground. He also wanted to visit with our troops, see if they’re getting everything they need, and to examine the type of medical care they’re receiving.” Sali joined five other members of Congress and a Veterans Administration official on the trip/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

EOO: Rathdrum Man Offers Smoke Ban Solution

Got a call recently from Robert Bloom, a Rathdrum, Idaho man who is trying to wring business out of the strong smoking ban that Washington voters overwhelmingly approved in 2005. Bloom’s answer: the “Smōk Shaque.” The shaque, as pictured in Bloom’s brochure, looks a lot like a steel garden shed. He wants to lease these to bars and other previous bastions of smoking to put outside for smokers who need to light up/Rich Roesler, Eye On Olympia. More here.

Tribe To BenewahCo: Bickering Makes No Sense

Taxpayers should be livid and disappointed with their leaders. People should be demanding to know why Benewah County isn’t partnering with the Tribe on these issues. They should be furious that public safety is lowered because some in county government refuse to recognize the Tribe as a government entity or just choose not to get along with the Tribe. The people of Benewah County are paying the price for the county’s inability to find common ground with the Tribe/Coeur d’Alene Tribe (guest opinion in St. Maries Gazette-Record). More here.

Local Blogs — 8/6/08

Alan Berner/Seattle Times, AP
At Dogwalk Musings, the blogmistress sez she enjoys artist David Govedare’s wild horses just as they are — unfinished. She doesn’t want the artist to add a giant basket as he intended. Click here.

My Blog, My Opinion: I encourage those that consistently disagree with my opinions to seek other methods of entertainment, as I’m really not interested in having outsiders control my site. In most cases, I have tried to be somewhat democratic about allowing diverse opinions that may disagree with those that I have published online. I do however, draw the line at giving a person a soap box on MY blog site, the forum to tear me down/S&S Herb, Bay Views. More here.

HBO Numbers (for Wednesday, Aug. 5): 9530 page-views/5278 unique views

*Narrative of a not-quite-triathloner/Here In Idaho
*A blog is not journalism in its common form/Bay Views
*Reading/Simple Mind
*Rekindling the light/Gathering Around The Table
*Dear Tony Bourdain/JeanC’s Cat House
*3BT: Moving mountains, joshing Katrina, family joke/Kellogg Bloggin’
*Check out ‘MapMyRide’/KMPO
*Dad/Live, Love, Laugh, Hope

Question: Are you happy with David Govedare’s galloping horses on a ridge at Vantage, Wash.? Or do you want him to finish his work by adding a basket to show the horses spilling out of it?

Neighbors Want Protection From Abuse Suspect

A no-contact order prohibits Christina Haynes from seeing her children, but neighbors say they want orders keeping Ms. Haynes away from them as well. Ms. Haynes, who is charged with child abuse and aggravated battery on her 3-year-old daughter, was released from jail last week. Keith Mabbutt and his wife, Norma, said they will likely be called as witnesses if the case goes to trial. The Mabbutts were among neighbors and acquaintances of Ms. Haynes and Charles Smith who say they reported what they construed as child abuse by the couple to Health and Welfare officials. They want an order prohibiting Ms. Haynes from calling or talking to them/Ralph Bartholdt, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 8/6/08

Robin Loznak/Roseburg News-Review, AP
A hummingbird perches on a barbed- wire fence along a pasture near Elkton, Ore., Monday.

Guv’s Dog Gets Boot: Two years ago, Governor Brian Schweitzer’s border collie got busted for strolling off-leash in Missoula two years ago. Yesterday, he was kicked out of the Western Montana Fair. Schweitzer tried to get into the fair but the assistant police chief pointed to a sign at the main gate that read in large letters: “Please — no horses/bikes/skateboards/dogs”/AP. More here.

*Did exploding battery kill Moses Lake man/KREM2
*Punished BSU receiver apologizes but doesn’t say what for/Idaho Statesman
*Montana wants Stimson to pay $5M to remove PCBs/Missoulian
*Record number of Treasure Valley homes unsold/KTVB
*Idaho fuel tax revenue slips for first time in 6 years/KTVB
*Diploma mill co-conspirator gets 3-year term/SR
*Alaska Air, Horizon customers told of credit card misuse/KCBI
*24 calves stolen from Jerome dairy/Twin Falls Times-News
*Eastern Idaho town recalls mayor/Twin Falls Times-News
*No charges to be filed in Moscow hit-and-run death/Lewiston Tribune
*Lewiston Potlatch workers vote to strike/Lewiston Tribune

Orbusmax Special: Ex-Oregon AG loses 3 grandchildren when plane crashes into beach house here.

My 2 Cents — Political Labels

IdaBlue’s latest post suggesting a left-right pendulum for the Idaho blogosphere is fascinating. In response to being tagged an “ultra-left wing blogger” by Bryan Fischer/IVA, IdaBlue penned a graph indicating his view of the political leanings of the Idaho blogosphere. Binky Boy and 43rd State Blues are on the far left, in IdaBlue’s estimation, followed rightward toward the middle by Red State Rebels, MountainGoat Report and IdaBlue (moderate left). From the middle-right to the right, he lists The Stupid Shall Be Punished, Huckleberries (middle-right), Idaho Values Alliance and Adam’s Blog (both far right).

Bill Sali Goes Abloggin’

“Welcome to the official Sali for Congress blog. From now until the election we will be keeping this blog regularly updated with information about upcoming events, updates on the stances I have taken on the issues and fun tidbits about what it’s like on the campaign trail/Congressman Bill Sali’s new blog. Hat Tip: Unequivocal Notion, Bubblehead, Bill Sali Hates Idaho, Kevin Richert

Defeated Sheriff Questions Opponent’s Honesty

RE: Shoshone County Sheriff Chuck Reynalds letter to the News-Press today

During the primary election, I was defeated by Mr. Yergler whose platform included restoring honesty to the sheriff’s office. Most of his support letters to the public attacked my honesty and integrity. I am submitting the following information for your consideration. Mr. Yergler’s Campaign Brochure and in his presentations to the public in the forums clearly stated that he had graduated from North Idaho College with an Associated of Arts Degree in Education. Mr. Yergler did not receive a degree of any type from NIC/Chuck Reynalds, Shoshone County sheriff.

Question: Which city, county, legislative race in your area do you recall as being the nastiest?

Parking Fines Big Business In CDA

Item: Cd’A parking generates big bucks: Tickets, lot revenue helps fund Parks Department, other city operations/Ryan Shelton, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: The Coeur d’Alene Parks Department may be parking’s biggest beneficiary. Every year, the department receives 40 percent of the public parking lots’ revenue, which is put into the Parks Capital Improvement Fund and used to leverage federal grants. Parks Department Director Doug Eastwood said around half of the department’s projects are funded partially by federal grants.

Question: When and where did you last receive a parking ticket?

Judge Marano To Retire

Item: Judge Eugene Marano to retire: Served on First Judicial District bench for 23 years/Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: “I thank the community for their trust in me in the past and look forward to continued service as a senior judge,” Marano wrote in a press release. “I have been ever mindful that I came to this position as a replacement for my good friend John Ramstedt. I have endeavored to live up to the legacy he left before his untimely death in office in 1985.”

Question: How would you rate Judge Marano’s job on the District Court bench?

AM Headlines — 8/6/08

Shawn Gust/Coeur d’Alene Press
Fran Hughes, owner of Hughes Farm, a 100-acre farm of primarily hay and grain on the Rathdrum prairie in Post Falls, Idaho, checks on his cattle Tuesday in a pasture that is adjacent to the proposed 290-acre Foxtail housing development site, seen in the background. Hughes, who has been farming here for more than 30 years, shares over a mile of property lines with the proposed site. See story below.

*Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
*Rival Riley Creek buys Priest River mill/Carley Dryden & Becky Kramer, SR; and: Priest River’s future looks bleak with mill closure/Alecia Warren, Bonner County Bee
*Train derailment strands Amtrak passengers/Brad Fuqua, Hagadone News Network
*3rd time’s the charm for 283-acre Foxtail annexation/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press
*Commissioners OK $145M jail bond, sales tax election/Sara Leaming, SR
*Cougars have nowhere to go but up/John Blanchette, SR
*CDA parking generates big bucks/Ryan Shelton, Coeur d’Alene Press

OrangeTV: We Gays Have Routine ‘Lifestyle’

RE: JeanieSpokane: Wedding gift for gay ex?
The term “gay lifestyle” always annoys me because it implies that we live our lives in a somehow radically different fashion than anyone else. Certainly, there are a few wild party animals (as there are in the straight world), but for most it’s pretty much get up, go to work, eat some dinner, watch some tv and go to bed. Pretty boring, really. Sigh/OrangeTV.

Heller: John & Obama & Britney

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Parting Shot — 8/5/08

Christopher Anderson/SR
Washington State football players cool off in tubs of ice water after the first day of fall practice in Pullman today. Micah Hannam is at front while Vaughn Lesuma, rear, pours more ice water over his head.

Huckleberries Hears …

… that Larry Spencer and Tom Macy plan to offer public comment tonight at the PF council meeting to protest the school district giving land to the city who will give it to the Boys and Girls Club to build their facility next to the Post Falls Library (if the council approves that is). Tune in: 6 p.m. Channel 13

Peanut Gallery: No show for any public comment for or against the land being used by BGC.

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 8/5/08

Beth Wischmeyer/Dickinson Press, AP
U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, left, and North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven talk to reporters at Dickinson Airport outside Dickinson, N.D., on Tuesday. Kempthorne said that he supports using “the talent and skills of local citizenry” to help thin the elk population at North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

*Blogs gaining power in Idaho political campaigns/KBCI
*Accused WSU rapist still making porn/KREM2
*Mariners release Vidro, And: Option Morrow to Tacoma/Seattle PI
*Blue Angels mark Navy’s return to Spokane/SR
*Ed board to vote on 10th grade ISAT tests/Idaho Statesman
*UIdaho coach Akey promises young, improved team/Idaho Statesman
*TB notifications go out in Canyon County/KTVB

Anyone Remember Klxy the Klown?

We had an inquiry from a patron who would like to know if anybody remembers a TV show broadcast in the late ‘50s called Klxy the Klown. She says it was a half-hour program after school that aired on KXLY. She has asked at KXLY and no one there remembered. I can’t find anything on the web. Would it be possible for you to ask your readers? She says the other people in her retirement community think she is loopy/David Townsend, Coeur d’Alene Public Library.

Scanner Traffic — 8/5/08

4:05 p.m. Rear-end collision involving two female drivers on I-90 under the 9th Street bridge overpass.
3:06 p.m. 2-vehicle crash at 4th & Harrison, involving a Ford Explorer and a Jeep Cherokee. One vehicle ended up on sidewalk.
2:50 p.m. Unattended death reported at Shady Lane Mobile Home Park.
12:39 p.m. Two-vehicle, T-bone accident at Ramsey & Hanley, involving a 6-month pregnant woman who is shaken up.

Craig To Skip GOP Convention In St. Paul

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig is not returning to the scene of the crime. Craig, a Republican, is skipping the GOP national convention Sept. 1-4 in St. Paul, Minn. He was arrested last year in a sex sting at a restroom in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Craig’s spokeswoman, Susan Irby, said Tuesday that he will stay in Idaho during the convention/AP. More here.

Hat Tip: Sisyphus, 43rd State Blues

McCain Volunteers Wife for Topless Contest?

Indeed, McCain felt so comfortable at the event that he even volunteered his wife for the rally’s traditional beauty pageant, an infamously debauched event that’s been known to feature topless women. “I encouraged Cindy to compete,” McCain said to cheers. “I told her with a little luck she could be the only woman ever to serve as first lady and Miss Buffalo Chip”/CNN. More here.

Question: Would you be more or less likely to vote for a presidential candidate, if his wife participated in the Sturgis beauty contest?

Hat Tip: Joan Harman

Trish Introduces River Journal Mag

In this magazine, the first River Journal as a magazine format, there are stories from 30 different writers, seven of whom are new to the deadline game and 23 who should, of course, be old hats at it by now. (It should have been 32 writers but two people weren’t able to come within even a mile of deadline - maybe you’ll read what they have to say in a future issue.) Each of these writers have their own unique way of approaching a story, their own little quirks in the way they write, and their own way of meeting a deadline. If you’re a newcomer to the River Journal, let me introduce you to some of the people who make this publication “worth wading through”/Trish Gannon, River Journal. More here.

Question: Are you good at meeting deadlines?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 8/5/08

“This pair of loons did a big circle in the bay and ended up right in front of me,” posts Christ Peterson, Glacier Park Magazine blog. “I never moved. They also had a fledgling with them who wasn’t nearly as intrepid — he stayed in the middle of the lake.”

Moses Lake Blasts: Two explosions killed two people within 10 hours in Grant County, and authorities were investigating whether they were connected. One man, William Arleigh Walker, 69, was found dead of severe trauma to his neck and chest in his shop outside Moses Lake on Saturday, Undersheriff John Turley said. On Sunday, Javier Martinez Adame, 53, was found dead on the floor of his kitchen with wounds to his chest and stomach/AP. More here.

*Grizzly bear pounces on Yellowstone firefighter/Billings Gazette
*Everett Herald suspends columnist for lifting material/AP
*Teen’s ‘bucket list’ turns into piece of cake/Tri-City Herald
*Naked man arrested after chasing garbage truck/Tri-City Herald
*Craigmont widow donates book collection to UI/Lewiston Tribune
*Centennial High coach as difficulties recalling accident/KTVB
*Tough times cause cutbacks at Salvation Army/KREM2
*City of Boise cracks down on unneeded idling/KTVB
*Idaho bighorn sheep lottery raises $90K/KTVB

Orbusmax Special: Foot washed ashore in northwest Washington is human here.

Dogwalk Musings: Lions of their Professions

When news of Kennedy’s affliction became public there was a tremendous out pouring of support from everyone he has touched during his political career. There seems to be little of the same for Mr. Novak, who too has had a long and illustrious career. I’m supposing it is because, as one reporter described him, he is pugnacious. A man who revels in his “Prince of Darkness” image/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Do you believe in the theory of “what goes around comes around” as it pertains to the life you live?

SOS: Where’s A Good Used Book Store?

DFO, could you run a thread about good used books stores in the CdA area again or can any of you give me suggestions? I know a thread was done a while back, but I would rather not dig through the archives. thanks/Inland Empire Girl.

Question: Anyone?

SR: Deportation Of UI Scientist Wrong

“She’s a damn good scientist,” says Patricia Hartzell, professor of biology and biochemistry and former dean of Dziewanowska’s department. “She’s really good.” But none of that matters to an immigration bureaucracy more concerned with the letter – if not the spirit – of the law and the proper way to pose for a photograph. So the 64-year-old scientist could be rounded up any day and deported. Never mind that she has a husband and son here/SR Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Do you agree?

Priest River Mill To Close In September

Item: Priest River’s JD Lumber set to close: More than 200 employees were notified on Friday/Terri Ivie, Hagadone News Network

More Info: “Due to the continuing poor market for finished lumber, we have decided to accept an offer from Riley Creek Lumber to purchase our sawmill,” wrote JD Lumber officials Jeff Weimer and Dave Slaughter in an open letter to the community sent to the Hagadone News Network. “We will cease operation of the JD Lumber mill effective September 2008.”

Question: Have you or a family member been affected directly by the rapid decline of the timber industry?

TUBOB: Back-To-School Shopping

So I learned a very important lesson about peer pressure and youth culture that I’d somehow forgotten despite my horrid mid 70’s foray into silk flowered dress shirts and rockstar platform shoes, which made a skinny gangly six foot three me into a skinny gangly six five scarecrow boy, and the lesson is quite simply to never purchase much in the way of school clothes before school starts as you may miss the power of peer pressure and group conformity. It’s cool to buy only a couple of things so your kids don’t think you’re a cruel unfeeling bastard (or bitch) who is making them miss the heady and exciting world of back to school summer shopping and so they can wear at least something without mustard stains and torn pockets the first day back. But wait until they see what the cool kids are wearing and then take em out clothes shopping/TUBOB. More here.

Question: Do you have any hints to help parents who are about to go school shopping?

KXLY: CDA Schools Say No To Cell Phones

Students attending Coeur d’Alene schools this fall will be banned from using any personal communication devices including cell phones during school hours. The Coeur d’Alene School Board approved the cell phone ban late Monday afternoon. The ban restricts students from using their cell phones from the moment they enter the school to the time the last bell rings/KXLY. More here.

Question: Was this the right decision?

Heller: High Definition?

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Parting Shot — 8/4/08

Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman, AP
Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower talks to the media today in Boise after the conviction of Wesley Tuttle, 55, for the death of 14-year-old Lisa Chambers in 1982. Tuttle (who remained shackled throughout the proceeding, below) pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the 1982 rape and strangulation of 14-year-old Lisa Chambers, whose body was found frozen solid in a cornfield. As part of a plea agreement reached in the case, Tuttle was sentenced to life. Tuttle is also serving a life sentence in Utah on an unrelated 1983 murder conviction. Authorities say Tuttle will most likely be transferred to an Idaho prison to serve the sentence. Story here.

Tri-City Beauty Opts Out Of Swimsuit Contest

Item: What’s the real point in a bathing suit contest?/Tri-City Herald

More Info: Is a scholarship pageant really the right place for a swimwear competition? No. There, we said it. Dacia Ramirez brought that question to many breakfast tables and coffee shops in the Mid-Columbia when she opted out of the swimwear competition in this year’s Miss Tri-Cities pageant. Her decision has people talking.

Question: Do you still watch beauty, er, scholarship pageants? And how important to you is the swimsuit portion?

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 8/4/08

SR Photo File
It has been nearly 20 years since the first 1,200-pound, steel horse was bolted into place, and the project, “Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies,” is only half finished. State officials have had trouble finding the money to complete it. The 15 galloping horses are supposed to be running out of a 25,000-pound, 36-foot-diameter steel basket/Story here.

*More players could be suspended for BSU opener/Idaho Statesman
*Utah inmate gets life sentence for 1982 murder/Idaho Statesman
*Gregoire orders hiring freeze/SR
*Cat carcasses found in freezer/KREM2
*Permit hearing on Athol area quarry set Tuesday/Bonner County Bee
*Kootenai River section to be dyed red for sturgeon study/
*Idaho boxer donates title belt to state/KHQ

SR Blogs: Idaho Taxpayers Give More To D’s

Here’s a surprising development: The Idaho Election Campaign Fund, for which Idahoans have checked boxes on their state tax returns since 1975 if they want to donate a dollar to a political party of their choice or to a general political campaign fund, this year is giving more money to the Democrats than the Republicans. The checks, which will be handed over to the parties in a ceremony tomorrow, total $35,540 for the Democrats and $30,891 for the Republicans. The Libertarian Party will collect $2,854 and the Constitution Party $2,144/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

*Sali files another FEC correction/Eye On Boise
*New Gregoire ads focus on E. Washington/Eye On Olympia
*1st On The Record w/Rebecca Mack/On The Air
*Monday’s quickie political briefing/Spin Control 2.0
*No more hopeless/News Is A Conversation
*Training for Iraq/Video Journal

Fisher: Sali Sides With Cigarette Makers

Bill Sali has done it again. The congressman from Idaho’s 1st District joined the small minority of members who recently voted against giving the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco products. That means if Sali had his way, the agency with authority over the healthful fruit and vegetables you buy would have no authority over products for which there is no healthful, or even safe, use. … Every member of Washingon’s and Oregon’s delegations voted for the bill, as did Sali’s fellow Republican Rep. Mike Simpson from Idaho’s 2nd District.
/Jim Fisher, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Should cigarettes be banned altogether?

New LaRocco For Senate Commercial

Courtesy: LaRocco For Senate campaign
Above, you’ll see the LaRocco for Senate TV commercial that debuted today. What do you think of it?

DFO: If anyone has access to similar YouTube commercials for other U.S. Senate and House candidates, please send them to HBO Central.

Local Prison Practices Etiquette Behind Bars

Dan Pelle/SR
Glenn Anderson listens to other inmates discussing issues for the Right Living program at the Airway Heights Corrections Center. The program is basically instituting a community lifestyle within the cement walls by forcing inmates to abide by community structure including work ethics, education, honesty, accountability, manners, civility, respect and self-reliance. Story here.

Question: What do you think of this program?

Inside Huckleberries — 8/4/08

*The first edition of Trish Gannon’s new River Journal mag just landed in the mail. It looks like all the regular writers are there — Trish, Sandy compton, Marianne Love, Ernie Hawks, etc. — as well as some newbies. I like the new slogan, “Because there’s more to life than bad news.” You can read all about it online here.

*Overheard (at Hastings Sunday evening) 3 teen girls browsing a display section offering items with a “High School Musical” theme. 1st Girl: “If i was a cheerleader, i’d buy this.” 2nd girl (with blond streaks through dark brunet hair: “I wouldn’t want to be a cheerleader. they don’t have very good reputations.”

HBO @ Noon: Obama Turns 47

Much has been made about Obama’s youth, and I’ve joked about how much I love to hear that, being just nine days older than he is. In 1908, an American man could expect to live just 49.5 years. Had they lived a century ago, Barack Obama would likely have been nearing the end of his life and John McCain would’ve been dead for decades. It’s only now, as average life expectancy nears 80, that Obama is considered to be barely middle aged. But as he closes in on the half-century mark, Obama has had plenty of time to gain wisdom and perspective/Red State Rebels. More here.

Question: Considering your current age, have you accomplished what you wanted to accomplish so far in life?

Because You Asked …

Steve: Does anyone know when the 9th St Bridge will re-open?? Wasn’t it supposed to be the end of July??

DFO: Aug. 18, according to Barbara Babic of the Idaho Department of Transportation.

Extra! Morgan Freeman Seriously Hurt In Crash

Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman was injured in a car accident late Sunday night and is in a hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Kathy Stringer said Freeman, 71, is in serious condition. The hospital is about 90 miles north of the accident scene in rural Tallahatchie County in the Mississippi Delta/AP. More here.

Dogwalk Musings: Reparations

Now it seems there is a movement afoot to pay reparation to the descendants of slaves. Of course it is being politicized since Obama is opposed to it. According to an AP article he feels the best reparation that can be made is providing good education leading to good jobs. As one would expect, many in the black community are opposed to his way of thinking and suggest he is voicing his opposition merely because he’s running for President/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Should the U.S. pay reparations as an act of contrition to the descendants of slaves?

Bill Hall Details Craig-Obama Button Error

But for all the worldwide jokes about Craig, I never fully realized until recently how totally newsworthy Idaho’s senator had become. People had been coming up to me here and there around town asking if I knew where to find Obama buttons. So I was checking out political button Web sites when I stumbled across one featuring Obama and Craig together. However, the button identified Craig’s picture as that of Larry LaRocco. … Naturally, the Obama-Craig button was a hilarious mistake on the part of the button company, but it is one of those things like an incorrectly printed postage stamp that becomes more valuable because it is so wrong and so rare. So I immediately ordered 10 copies of the button. A couple days later, I checked the button company Web site and - Rats! - the button had been corrected. But not in time. The ones I ordered arrived three days later with the Craig error intact/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: What would you give to have one of those Obama-Craig buttons?

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, 89, Russian Writer, RIP

AP File Photo
In this 1970 file photo, author Alexander Solzhenitsyn speaks to reporters in Stockholm, Sweden, after collecting the 1970 Nobel Prize in literature. Russian news agencies report that Solzhenitsyn died late Sunday. Story here.

Question: Have you read any of Solzhenitsyn’s works?

Ex-UI Researcher No Match For US Bureaucracy

Originally posted 11:27 p.m. Friday
Item: Ex-UI researcher faces deportation/Shawn Vestal, SR.

More Info: Katarzyna Dziewanowska grew up in the “gray communist life” of Poland. But it was in America where she found a truly nightmarish experience with a bureaucracy. After nearly 14 years as a researcher at the University of Idaho, Dziewanowska has been denied permanent residency by U.S. immigration officials, who say she worked without authorization for eight months. She did that, she and her attorneys say, on the advice of the UI, and she quit working for a time when the university advised her to do so.

Question: Should the U.S. deport Katarzyna or the Immigration officials who have bungled this case?

Ramirez: Scare Tactics

Michael Ramirez/Investor’s Business Daily

KHQ: Road Rage Suspected In Stateline Crash

A two-car collision temproarily blocked eastbound traffic and slowed westbound traffic on I-90 near the Stateline Sunday evening. Idaho State Police say a westbound car crossed the median and was hit by a car heading eastbound. Officials say the collision may have been a result of road rage incident in the westbound lanes/KHQ.

Experts: Duncan More Likely To Die As Own Lawyer

I spoke with experts from around the country about what changes now that admitted killer Joseph Duncan will be representing himself in court, acting as his own attorney in his federal death penalty sentencing trial. The consensus: He’ll be more likely to get the death penalty. The defendant’s new role also will change the tenor of the proceedings, and turn the spotlight much more brightly on the defendant/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here..”

WSJ: Palin Pick Panics Media, Liberals

Original 12:01 p.m. 9/3/08; spambots
We are instructed that Mrs. Palin isn’t qualified, because she lacks Washington experience. But until recently that was said to be a virtue in Mr. Obama, who is at the top of his ticket. Meanwhile, there’s hardly a peep of media notice that the Obama campaign is preposterously trying to remake Joe Biden into a poor scrapper from Scranton when he’s been in the Senate for 36 years. They all know Joe. But when Mr. McCain picks an authentic middle-class mother who is also a Governor, we are told she’s not up to the job/Wall Street Journal. More here.

Finish This Sentence …

My sweetheart went to Art on the Green, and all s/he bought me was this …

North Idaho Fair Ad Spot No. 4: How To Speak Cow

North Idaho Fair spokeswoman Laura Umthum didn’t want me to publish this one yet b/c there’s “carnival” is misspelled in part of the print text. But it’s pretty good. And you now know that we know there’s a misspelling. So, enjoy.

Festival @ Sandpoint: Perfect Stay-cation

Item: Easy on the ears and the gas tank: Smokey Robinson heads star-packed lineup at nearby Festival at Sandpoint/Jim Kershner, SR

More Info: Everybody’s talking about “stay-cations” – well, the Festival at Sandpoint may be the classic Inland Northwest stay-cation. The festival, in its 26th year, is almost a complete mini-vacation all by itself, with nationally known musical acts, picnics on the lawn, osprey soaring overhead and meteors lighting the sky above the Big White Tent.

Question: Which show was the best you’ve seen at Festival At Sandpoint?

Meghann: In Interest Of Full Disclosure …

RE: Lawyers: Kootenai County prosecutors tampered w/jury
Meghann Cuniff: In the spirit of openness, I feel it best to share my family ties to the legal community in case any other questions arise. My father, who died about five years ago, was a defense lawyer with his own practice in the Corvallis and Philomath area for many years. His brother, my uncle, works as an asbestos lawyer in Annapolis, Maryland, essentially suing companies for asbestos violations. His son, my cousin, works as a lawyer for a D.C firm specializing in civil litigation, medical malpractice and products liability. My oldest brother has struggled with methamphetamine addiction for some time and began serving a two-year sentence at a minimum-security Oregon prison last week. It’s not something I like to offer up, but I am not ashamed. My family experiences touch a lot of areas, as most of my father’s friends were defense lawyers, prosecutors and judges and I grew around a lot of them. My aunt runs a center in the Corvallis area that deals with, among other issues, the affects of crime and drug addiction on children and families. More here.

Question: What would you like to know about the reporters and editors that provide your daily newspaper, radio, TV, or alternative media report?

DFO’s Animals: Bat Pup

Wildlife Conservation Society, AP
A young fruit bat is hand fed by a WCS staffer at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Health Center in New York, Thursday, July 31, 2008. The little female drinks a special milk replacement formula designed to duplicate the mother bat’s milk. She takes her “bottle” in an upside down position as she would if she were with her mom.

Question: Isn’t it cute?

North Idaho Fair Ad Spot No. 3: How To Speak Chicken

Here’s another one of the TV spots for the North Idaho Fair, provided by manager Chris Holloway and spokeswoman Laura Umthum.

*How to speak pig
*How to speak sheep

Question: Now that you’ve seen 3 North Idaho Fair You Tubes … do you like them?

Rosdahl: More Choices Available For Fitness

Acie Henley purchased the business that has been Oz Fitness at 208 Coeur d’Alene Ave. and is changing it to 360 Fitness and moving it to the former Tidyman’s building at 410 W. Neider Ave., just west of U.S. Highway 95. He is using 15,000 square feet of the space between the Grocery Outlet and the $1 Store. 360 Fitness opened Friday in the downtown location and plans to move to the remodeled building on Neider from Aug. 20-25 with 10 to 20 employees. It will include separate rooms for aerobics, cycling, steam rooms in both men’s and women’s locker rooms, cardio and free-weights options and a day care/Nils Rosdahl,, Spokesman-Review. More here.

Question: How do you stay fit?

OrangeTV Review: Paupau’s Kitchen

Fluorescent overhead lighting, personality-free gray carpet and black banquet chairs combine to give the Paupau’s Kitchen dining room an ambience that’s like a cross between trigonometry class and the urgent care waiting room. The wooden tables add a tiny spec of faux nature and the 1980’s travel-agent posters of Hong Kong provide fleeting moments of color on otherwise pristine white walls. It matters not. June would probably never lay claim to being an interior decorator, she just wanted a simple place where she could offer her unique take on Chinese cuisine, prepared in the style of her grandmother, a woman they called Paupau/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Any other fans of Paupau’s Kitchen out there?

Update: 2 Car Accidents Blocking I-90 @ Post Falls

Car accidents are blocking eastbound Intestate 90 in Post Falls. The accidents occurred between mile posts 5 and 6. Another accident is blocking parts of westbound Interstate 90 near mile post 11. No other information was available. Detail on one accident below

TGIF Wild Card — 8/1/08

You might want to check back in tonight to see a “talk point” story that Meghann Cuniff has produced re: the prosecutor’s office. Nah, it has nothing to do with e-mails. In other news, HBO registered another first Thursday when it registered 11,000 page-views on a non-election day. Cool, hunh? Now, I’m going to post this Wild Card and head home …

Scanner Traffic — 8/1/08

5 p.m. Car accidents are blocking eastbound Intestate 90 in Post Falls. The accidents occurred between mile posts 5 and 6, including one in the eastbound lanes in front of the Hot Rod Cafe. Another accident is blocking parts of westbound Interstate 90 near mile post 11.
4:44 p.m. A firefighter has fallen while battling a grass fire in the area of Highway 3 and Rainy Hill. An ambulance is en route. No further information.
4:31 p.m. A 13YO male is walking with 2 other boys in the area of Atlas and Appaloosa, carrying what appears to be an AK47. He’s dressed in black. R/P didn’t know if the weapon was real or not.

APhoto of the Day w/Top Cutlines — 8/1/08

Hidajet Delic/AP
Activists of international animal rights organisation PETA wearing mock fur hats, protest in front of the British embassy in Sarajevo earlier today, holding a banner reading ‘Bare Skin, Not Bear Skin’. PETA activists launched the campaign to protests over the British armed forces using fur of Canadian black bear to make their traditional fur ‘Busby’ hats. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

2 When drunks confront them, a lady sees that PETA peeves a pack of pickled peepers — JohnA.
3 It’s hard to see the fine print on the banner, it reads … hats made from 100% woman underarm hair, a product of France — Poolman.

HM: Smith-Kennedy & CindyH

LaRocco Has Fun w/Button Snafu

Courtesy: LaRocco for Senate campaign

Demo U.S. Senate candidate Larry LaRocco displays that Obama-Craig button that was causing all the commotion earlier this week. Shoulda been Obama-LaRocco. Story here.

EOB: SR, Others Seek Open Duncan Proceedings

Attorneys for The Spokesman-Review and an array of news media organizations in Idaho and eastern Washington filed arguments in federal court today in favor of keeping court proceedings in the Joseph Duncan case open. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge is considering closing the courtroom for the testimony of Duncan’s only surviving victim, 11-year-old Shasta Groene, and for the showing of a videotape Duncan made of his abuse of 9-year-old victim Dylan Groene, whom Duncan admits murdering/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

My 2 Cents: Newspapering In A New Way

In his must-read News Is A Conversation post below, Editor Steve Smith stated that, he is among the last of a dying breed: A newspaperman. Steve and I are the same age, 58. We both cut our teeth in the early ‘70s in newsrooms with typewriters and linotype machines — and waded through the switch to computers that would seize up several times on deadline. Also, we both understand the new media. In fact, this blog puts me square in the center of the new media movement. As much as I enjoyed my four decades in print journalism, I enjoy the new media and online journalism more.

Inlander: Wine Cellar ‘Different’

Coeur d’Alene’s Wine Cellar isn’t what it used to be. Neither bad, nor good, just different, even if it’s only barely perceptible and fleeting, like the taste-memory that lingers well after the meal is over. Maybe it’s nostalgia. In the ‘90s, it was one of the few “nice” places to impress out-of-town guests and clients. The marketing department where I worked would get together for Penn Cove mussels, wine and warm, fresh Focaccia bread. Open late nights with a fabulous reputation for live music, especially blues, it was (and still is) the place to pop in and listen to performers like Pat Coast or Sammy Eubanks/Carrie Scozzaro, Inlander. More here.

Question: Is the Wine Cellar on Sherman Avenue one of your usual stops when you have a night out?

HBO@ Noon: Things That Bite

Scott Threlkeld/Times-Picayune, AP
St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies and wildlife agents capture an 11-foot long alligator that bit the arm off an 11-year-old boy on Wednesday in a small lake south of Slidell, La. The boy, Devin Funck, and two girls were playing in a body of water around 3 p.m. at a subdivision about 20 miles northeast of New Orleans, when the alligator swam toward them and pulled the boy under, said Sheriff Jack Strain. The alligator pulled Devin under water and bit off most of an arm, but the boy poked it in the eye and got free, relatives said.

Question: Which animal with killing capability scares you most — grizzly, alligator, shark, rattlesnake, other?

UNotion: Sali’s Oil-From Trees Quote Not New

Unequivocal Notion has posted this old thread from Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise:

Sali said, “The answer clearly is that we’ve got to get the value off of the land if we’re going to have a sustainable system, and what that means, most people would say that means we’ve got to engage in logging. I don’t think it necessarily stops there.” Sali favors tapping into forest timber for biofuel. “Forty percent of the mass of every tree in the forest is crude oil,” he said. Going after that, he said, “could put Idaho in the oil business for the first time.” Full article here.

Related: Anatomy of a denial (sort of) here.

Smith: ‘I Am A Newspaperman’

I am a newspaperman. For some unexplainable reason, I am compelled to say that tonight. Something is coming, some turn in the media universe, a turn in the future of my newspaper. A turn that will mean the end of me, of us. There will be reporters. Editors. Something called online producers and multi-media coordinators. Mojos. Slojos and Nojos. Bloggers, froggers and twitters. But there won’t be newspapermen. At 58, I am among the last of a dying race. And what a race it was. An American archetype/Editor Steve Smith, News Is A Conversation. More here.

Question: How much do you rely on newspapers for your news?

NancyT: Alright, Already, I’ll Get A Colonoscopy

RE: Classified ad in the Rathdrum Star
All right! I give up! I’ll go get the *%#$ colonoscopy!! I am, of course, referring to the ad in the Rathdrum Star that you included in your blog today. I know they love me, but I tend to think my “friends in Iraq” are a little warped. Twisted even. The term “evil” comes to mind. It was a big enough surprise yesterday when the Rathdrum Star came out to see my name in print in such a unique way. Imagine my shock when Cindy Johnson from KMC called me to tell me about your blog. I sorta have to laugh, however, because there are more “Nancy Taylors” in this area than just me. Those poor women are much more well known than I. I’d love to know if they have had any calls!!/Nancy Taylor (Yeah, that one.)

Question: How about you? Time for a colonoscopy?

Fortier: Artfest Is For Those w/o Degrees

It’s fitting that the art festival is taking place on the grounds of a college as each booth offers a glimpse into your future, should you choose not to stay in school. Bored with traditional math that might land you a job as a teacher or engineer, yet still into numbers? Check out the guy who makes street address numerals out of various types of pasta. Not sure where his booth is? Just follow all the squirrels and birds. A career in medicine can be very rewarding. However, chemistry and anatomy are very hard subjects. Not to worry. You don’t need any fancy diplomas or professional degrees to help people. You can grow all kinds of special healing herbs in your attic. Add to that a bunch of old baby food jars and simple computer-generated labels and “Bingo!” you’re a summer festival favorite/Marty Fortier, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: What do you go to see at Art on the Green?

Online Poll: Exercise Pill

Scientists have discovered what could be the ultimate workout for couch potatoes: exercise in a pill. Would you take the pill?/Idaho Statesman

*Yes, and still exercise
*No, diet and exercise is the only way
*No, I don’t like pills
*No opinion

FLS: Where Have All The Grass Fields Gone …

RE: Field burning resumes this fall
A few years ago (maybe 3 or 4) the Spokesman did an article about field burning that quoted some EPA data. At that time the bulk of the air pollution in N. Idaho is from unpaved roads and automobile exhaust. The parts per million from grass field burning was minimal. And there were way more grass fields THEN. The solution…a Hagadone policy/campaign against grass growers to improve tourism…grass growers sell off their land for WAY more money than they can earn farming it… houses, houses every where with three car garages and fake lakes built over the aquifer … more people and long term more pollution/Fat Lady Sings.

Signe: Out Of Touch?

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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