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Huckleberries Online

Archive for August 2011

Hump Day Wild Card — 8.31.11

How did we get to Aug. 31 without experiencing summer? Well, maybe we did during the two weeks that I was in California earlier this month. I shouldn't complain, I guess. The weather has been OK to brilliant since July 4. Before that … not so much. I'm a ha-huge Inland Northwest fall weather fan. Unfortunately, you know what's next on our seasonal list beyond fall. I won't think about that today. Or tomorrow. Or until Halloween. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 8.31.11

Charlie Taranto, of Valentino's in Coeur d'Alene, Id., prepares his chocolate-dipped, raspberry-topped chees cake today on the first day of the 32nd annual Pig Out in the Park in Riverfront Park. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Question: Do you attend Pig Out In the Park? Which booth offers your favorite food treat?

What I Did On Vacay Blah, Blah, Blah

When you ask someone about his or her summer vacation, you are … A) Not really listening to the answer. B) Sincerely hoping to hear that the person had a happy, restorative time away from work. C) Ready to compete by jumping in and explaining why YOUR vacation was so utterly superior in every way. D) Just making small talk. E) Not really sure how you will handle it if the individual gets miffed and says “Didn't you follow my tweets?” F) Good for about two minutes of listening but after that you sort of drift off and start wondering whatever happened to that one woman who used to be on Q6/Paul Turner, SR Slice. More choices here.

Question: Which choice best describes you when someone begins to talk about his/her vacation?

PM Scanner Traffic — 8.31.11

  • 4:37 p.m. Driver reports seeing a woman in a red Chevy Lumina yelling & cussing at her kids at a gas station at H95 & Hayden. Woman cussed him out when he objected.
  • 4:25 p.m. 34YO Post Falls woman left her mother at midnight this morning, stating: “It will be over soon. Tell my girls that I love them.”
  • 4:18 p.m. Teller alarm at Post Falls Global Credit proves to be a false one.
  • 4:10 p.m. Global Credit Union, 320 E. Neider/CdA, reports someone acting suspiciously.
  • 16 more items & AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headline — 8.31.11

North Idaho College will honor the memory of former student Brian Williams with a memorial bike ride fundraiser at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at O’Shays Irish Pub and Eatery, located at 313 Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive. Williams was 28 years old when he was killed in a plane crash in 2010 while flying over Glacier National Park. More here. (Photo of Williams provided by NIC Press Room)

APhoto Of The Day — 8.31.11

A cadet checks a fellow classmate's cover before the First Formation of the Organization of the Corps of Cadets ceremony on Tuesday at Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Va. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Daily News Leader, Pat Jarrett)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. This is UNSAT, cadet Idaho! Your head’s too big for the drone cover! Report to HQ for cranial reduction through online education, STAT! — DCR.
  • 2. Participants prepare for a “gas station attendants of the 50’s” reenactment — Gary D. Rhodes.
  • 3. As a taxpayer blows his ‘cover’, other citizens remained handcuffed as they seek to reign in federal spending — JohnA.
  • HM: Eyes & Ears

Idaho 21st Worst On Gawker List

In a way, we're lucky that Gawker has rated Idaho only the 21st worst state in the country, far behind the Top 5 (1. Arizona, 2. Alabama, 3. Utah, 4. New Jersey, and 5. Mississippi). Of the Spud State's positives, Gawker sez: “Americans probably know the least about Idaho, maybe more than any other state, and you get the impression when you’re there that that’s how they like it. The state is also a beautiful one, rugged and big-skyed, full of great skiing and other outdoorsing. As small Western cities go, you could certainly do a lot worse than Boise. Which, if nothing else, is really pleasing name to say. And, of course, where would any of us carb-chompers be without potatoes? We’ve Idaho (partly) to thank for those.” More here.

DFO: In the minus column, Gawker mentions “Wide Stance McGee” (Larry Craig), annoying celebrities in Sun Valley, no good north-south road, & Napoleon Dynamite. But sez nothing about supremacists. Have we finally shed that image?

Question: Which state would you rate as worst in the nation?

NI Blogs: Lake Coeur d’Alene Sunset

Linda Lantzy of Idaho Scenic Images provides this view of a Lake Coeur d'Alene Sunset from the eastern end of the North Idaho Centennial Trail.

Hucks Online numbers (for Monday): 8637/5153, and (for Tuesday): 7978/4897

Review: Red Bowl Feats Black Bowls

It's perhaps a smidge on the perplexing side that an eatery advertising itself under the moniker Red Bowl serves all their items in plastic black bowls. The situation conjures up several ponderous questions. Does the plastic bowl wholesaler charge an extra .02 per for the red ones? Was the name “Black Bowl” somehow too morbid and un-cheery or was it already trademarked by a bowling alley with a African-American History theme? Did they at one point consider the name “Green Bowl” but thought better after realizing they might be mistaken for a medical marijuana dispensary? We may never know the reason, but after a couple of trips to Coeur d'Alene's Red Bowl Fresh Grilled, located deep inside Goodie's Conoco gas station/c-store, I've concluded that it wouldn't really matter if their food was served in Pistachio Puke or Burnt Hair Ochre colored bowls, it would still be pretty darn okay/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Have you tried the black bowls and Red Bowl?

Denver Swimmer Conquers Lake CdA

Bruce Gordon, 49, of Denver, Colo., is a long-distance swimmer looking to do what has been done just 19 times before: cross the 26-mile Kaiwi Channel connecting the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Molokai. To prepare for his historic crossing, he swam 18.5 miles in Lake Coeur d’Alene, Id., starting at Harrison and landing at Coeur d’Alene Beach. The swim began Friday at 8:20 a.m. and ended at 8:49 p.m. on Friday night. A handful of supporters and surprised beach goers were there to greet him as he stepped out of the water and onto the beach. “It was a big relief to get out of the water,” Gordon said. “I didn’t really know what was going to happen since I’d never gone that far. I finished without being too tired and I was very lucid, and that surprised me. I’m already anxious to be swimming again”/21Ten. More here. (SR file photo of swimmer on Lake Coeur d'Alene, for illustrive purposes)

Question: How far can you swim?

Gold Medalist Leads Caldwell Ride

Four-year-olds Venice MacDonald, left, and Jayden Frans, both of Caldwell, stand together as a staff member with the YMCA demonstrates bicycle maintenance following a ceremonial bike ride across the city Tuesday in Caldwell. Olympic Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong, community leaders, and youth took part in the event that was aimed at raising awareness of the new bike path that connects many area schools, the library and the YMCA. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Charlie Litchfield)

Question: How old were you when you first rode a bike?

Bobcats: End ‘Money Games’?

An associate athletic director at Montana State says the school's newly remodeled football stadium could mean the end of so-called “money games.” The Bobcats have played opponents from the Football Bowl Subdivision in each of the past 12 years and the team will receive a $375,000 guarantee for its game against Utah on Thursday night. But senior associate athletic director Dan Davies tells the Great Falls Tribune ( that because MSU's stadium now has a capacity of more than 17,000, the school should be able to make enough money to play another home game they can win rather than risking a road loss for the payout. The Bobcats have beaten only one FBS team since 2000, a 19-10 upset at Colorado in 2005/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Should smaller colleges like Montana, Montana State, Eastern Washington, & Idaho end “money games,” in which they receive a big payday to serve as practice fodder for major college teams?

Sad Students Bid Adieu To Summer

“I haven't been to school for three months and I'm excited to see my friends again,” says Riley, a Chief Joseph Elementary fourth grade student. The building was all abuzz on the first day of school. Students meeting old friends, parents saying goodbye, and kindergarten students crying for their mothers, were all a part of the show. Rebecca Yeager is sad to see her third grader out of the house all day. “To see the summer end is a little hard, but it's also kind of nice to see him grow up and start a new fresh year and learn some new things this year,” says Yeager/Adam Behrman, KBOI. More here.

Question: Are you sorry to see summer go and school begin?

Review: Canton Upgrades Food, Venue

In the comments section of a Yelp review that lists the Canton Restaurant as Coeur d'Alene's best Chinese eatery, OrangeTV writes: “The cosmetic improvements alone make the Canton that I reviewed back then seem like a dusty old dive stuck in the ruins of some old Chinatown. Changes have been gradual, but Alex and staff have managed to clear up the dinginess that once lingered with simply fresh paint, a bit of modern feeling décor and most likely a lot of elbow grease. The seemingly low turnover level of servers has created a sense of familiarity and friendliness, and I never have to worry about returning late from my break after stopping in for lunch. There's almost always enough time left over to relax and ponder the deep, hidden meaning of my fortune cookie. But really, the most impressive difference at Canton in the last few years has been the noticeable upgrade of the food itself.” More here (3 comment).

DFO: I'm glad to hear the Canton has upgraded. It's a special place for my family, once owned by a neighbor on my street. It was the place where my son told us about the young woman who's now his wife of 8 years, lovely Stephanie.

Question: Which INW eatery holds a special memory for you?

INW Headlines — 8.31.11

How bad are the Seattle Mariners this year? Their most popular player, “Larry Bernandez,” isn't a real person. Above, Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez, in his role as “Larry Bernandez,” surprises fans by handing out bobblehead likenesses of his character before a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Saturday in Seattle. Story here. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) H/T: Orbusmax.

Question: Do you have any Seattle Mariner bobblehead dolls? Which one(s)?

Paper Rips Corps Levee Tree Policy

When it comes to trees and levees, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needs to revise its one-chainsaw-fits-all policy. A new study by the Corps reveals why. The study, conducted by an Army Corps research unit in Mississippi, examined how trees affect flood-control levees in California, the Pacific Northwest, New Mexico and Mississippi. It found that trees actually strengthen levees in some situations. It also urged that engineers conduct site-specific evaluations to determine if trees on levees are harmful or beneficial, according to a report Saturday by The Bee's Matt Weiser. The Corps didn't need to commission a study to inject some common sense into this debate. But we are glad it did/Sacramento Bee Editorial Board. More here. (SR file photo/Kathy Plonka: Roger Smith, a retired civil engineer from Coeur d'Alene, said the Ponderosa pines in question are an “aesthetic heritage feature” for the city)

Question: Do I sense that momentum is changing in this debate (which includes the Corps of Engineers goofy demand to clear-cut Coeur d'Alene Dike Road trees)?

Some Pumpkin

Dale Marshall is dwarfed by an Atlantic Giant Pumpkin that he estimates to be around 1,780-pounds inside a greenhouse in Anchorage on Monday. The giant pumkin was started by seed on April 1 and has a 202-inch circumference. He plans to enter the pumpkin in the Alaska State Fair during the weigh-off on Wednesday in Palmer. Marshall holds the state record with a 1,101 pound pumpkin that he entered in the state fair last year. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Bill Roth)

AM Scanner Traffic — 8.31.11

  • 11:57 a.m. CPD Blue tells dispatcher: “Sometimes we have to turn the leprechauns loose.”
  • 11:41 a.m. A bale of hay is lying in the passing lane of H95 & M/P 450.5 (Bonner County line).
  • 11:18 a.m. Some sort of theft is reported by resident in 600 block of E. Annie/CdA.
  • 11:09 a.m. A man is slumped at the wheel of his stopped vehicle @ H95 & Dalton/CdA.
  • 11:01 a.m. Second report this morning of vehicles parked in Fortgrounds w/o proper permits.
  • 10:50 a.m. Del Taco, 450 W. Prairie/CdA, reported unwanted person on premises.
  • 10:32 a.m. Black Toyota 4Runner is parked in no-parking zone @ 7th & Front/CdA.
  • 10:31 p.m. Someone is suffering bad chest pain @ Ground Force, 5650 E. Seltice Way/PF.
  • 10:27 p.m. Jeremy reports his mother is out of control, throwing stuff in the house.
  • 9:51 a.m. A 12YO girl is reunited with her missing pink bike that had been turned in to KCSD.
  • 9:37 a.m. First Baptist Church, 424 E. Wallace/CdA, reports vandalism to property.
  • 9:35 a.m. Someone has been injured in fall @ apartments @ 702 W. Walnut/CdA.
  • 9:33 a.m. Unknown medical emergency reported @ 1027 E. Sherman/CdA.
  • 9:03 a.m. Fortgrounds resident reports several vehicles w/o permits parking @ Military & Garden.
  • 8:57 a.m. Unknown medical emergency reported at Boy Scout Camp Easton on Lake Coeur d'Alene.
  • 8:32 a.m. Lori at a county day care reports cat enmeshed in net at rear of yard.

Poll: Willing To Pay $110 To Play

  • Tuesday Poll: 87 of 120 respondents (72.5%) said they'd be willing to pay $110, as Meridian High parents are forced to do this year, to enable their child(ren) to play sports. 25 of 120 (20.83%) said they weren't willing to pay-to-play. 8 (6.67%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll (from Lewiston Tribune): How many online courses should an Idaho high school student be required to take to graduate?

Docs: Bustamante Menaced Another

Ernesto Bustamante once threatened to kill a woman other than Katy Benoit, and had sexual relations with at least one other University of Idaho student while he was a professor there, according to court documents. Bustamante and Benoit, a UI graduate student, had a sexual relationship that deteriorated earlier this year, leading to Bustamante’s Aug. 19 resignation from the university. Bustamante killed himself last week after murdering Benoit on her front porch.  According to a statement from Moscow police detective Rodney Wolverton contained in a search warrant application, Bustamante made the previous threat while in his “psychopathic killer” personality/Joel Mills, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Sheriff IDs Man Missing In Lake CdA

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office has identified a man who is missing and presumed drowned in Lake Coeur d'Alene as Riley Odwire, 24, who recently moved from Fernwood to Coeur d'Alene. Odwire reportedly was urinating at the back of a pontoon boat at 8:40 p.m. Tuesday when he fell into the water that ranges in depth from 115 feet to 180 feet deep. Alcohol was believed to be a factor. Sheriff's office rescuers resumed their search today after suspending it at 11 o'clock last night. Deputies from the Recreation Safety Section of the Sheriff’s Department will be checking shorelines in the search area and preparing for the sonar search that will begin tomorrow, weather permitting. Earlier story here.

Reagan Repubs Target City Elections

In his Kootenai Weekly Conservative newsletter, Reagan Republicans president Jeff Ward announces that his group plans to raise $10,000 to help Republicans win nonpartisan mayoral, City Council, and fire district seats Nov. 8. Writes Ward: “As you may know the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans were very active in the School Board and Highway District elections in May.  Our Reagan Republican Victory Fund was highly effective in turning out Republicans voters through our mail ballot and voter targeting campaigns and we had great victories when our KCRR endorsed candidates won on Election Day.  We called May 17 a “200 Million Dollar Day” because the officials elected that day control about 200 million tax dollars a year in Kootenai County. With the Mayoral, City Council and Fire District elections on November 8, we will have another “200 Million Dollar Day” in Kootenai County.  This election the Reagan Republican Victory Fund hopes to raise twice as much (ten thousand dollars) as we did for the May elections. More here.


9/11 Event Set At Fallen Heroes Plaza

The Fallen Heroes Plaza will be the site of a 10th anniversary observation of the 9/11 attacks, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Cherry Hill location, followed by an open house at the nearby fire station. The event is sponsored by the Coeur d'Alene police and fire departments as “a tribute to all who perish on 9/11 and those who have paid the ultimate price for serving and protecting out freedom.”

Question: Have you ever visited the Fallen Heroes Plaza?

Quotable Quote — Mike Kennedy

On his Twitter account, Councilman MikeK tweets re: fund-raising efforts by Gov. Butch Otter on behalf of the Idaho Freedom Foundation: “Governor raises money for lobbyists who run partisan 'news' blogs. What's next — replace teachers with online corporate donor computers?”

Idaho Woman Targets Abortion Law

An Idaho woman prosecuted for terminating her own pregnancy with an abortion pill ordered over the Internet has filed suit challenging a decades-old law under which she was charged, as well as a new state ban on abortions after 20 weeks of gestation. The lawsuit is believed to be the first federal court case against any of several late-term abortion bans enacted in Idaho and four other states during the past year, based on controversial medical research suggesting a fetus feels pain starting at 20 weeks of development/Laura Zuckerman, Reuters. More here.

Question: Do you think she'll prevail?

Kerri: Slimmer Hamilton Keeps Pledge

Back in January I recounted some of my journey to become fit and lose weight, which prompted a reader to communicate his own struggles. He shared a touching story of how last summer he'd taken his daughter to Silverwood but was unable to accompany her on the roller coaster due to his size. He promised her that day that he could do something about his weight and would. And that this summer they'd take that roller coaster ride together. A promise made is a debt unpaid, he said. … I mentioned the story to my friend, Nancy DiGiammarco, who happens to be the marketing director for Silverwood. She mentioned it to owner Gary Norton. They were both as moved as I was with the story and long before the park opened for the summer, gifted the father with passes to the park. I was thrilled to hear that Tom Hamilton kept his promise to his soon-to-be sixth grade daughter, Lizzie this past Sunday/Kerri Thoreson, Main Street, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Tom Hamilton Facebook photo: Tom & daughter, Lizzie)

Question: Have you ever lost a considerable amount of weight — and kept it off?

Attack Of The Non-Killer Tomatoes

A reveler lays in tomato pulp during the annual “Tomatina” tomato fight fiesta in the village of Bunol, near Valencia, Spain, earlier today. Bunol's town hall estimated more than 40,000 people, some from as far away as Japan and Australia, took up arms Wednesday and pelted each other with 120 tons of ripe tomatoes in the yearly food fight known as the 'Tomatina' now in its 66th year. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

Question: Ah, how are your tomatoes growing and ripening this year?

Trillhaase: Murder Strikes Home

From the time Benoit contacted the UI on June 10 with her concerns, the university appeared fully engaged. It investigated. It contacted police. It prodded Benoit to take precautions. It severed ties with Bustamante six weeks after Benoit made her complaint - virtually the speed of sound in a government bureaucracy. Moscow police should have been brought in sooner and more aggressively. Focusing the investigation more firmly upon Bustamante - such as bringing him in for an interview and checking his background - might have yielded results. Nonetheless, would an irrational person respond to rational appeals? It suggests cops have more discretion than they otherwise might when no restraining order was sought or issued/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Can society deal with a mentally ill person bent on violence?

IFF: Feds Overreach On Griz Killing

The case of the north Idaho man who faces prison and a stiff fine after shooting a grizzly bear in his yard is another chilling example of a federal government that is out of control, overzealous, overreaching, overbearing and now, threatening the freedom of a father who was merely doing what any parent would do n responding to a mortal danger to his family. Indeed, Hill shot the bear because it wandered into his yard. Out of fear for his children’s safety, Hill shot the bear, and afterwards, contacted Idaho wildlife officials to let them know what happened. And yet, 33-year-old Jeremy Hill is charged by the feds with unlawfully killing the bear, which is protected by under the Endangered Species Act. Hill pleaded not guilty in the case days ago, and Gov. Butch Otter weighed in, sending a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar regarding the incident/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Hoffman that the government reaction to the shooting of a grizzly in Boundary County is “overzealous, overreaching, overbearing”?

CdA Average Wage At Idaho Bottom

Item: Local average wage drops: Coeur d'Alene is lowest among Idaho's metro areas at $17.22/Brian Walker, Press

More Info: Coeur d'Alene had the lowest average wage among the state's five metropolitan areas in 2010 and was the only one that saw a wage decline from the previous year, according to a study released on Tuesday by the Idaho Department of Labor. The Coeur d'Alene metro area's average wage in 2010 was $17.22 per hour, a dime less than in 2009. The area's median wage, the point where half the workers are paid more and half are paid less, declined to $13.52 from $13.89 the previous year.

Question: What is Coeur d'Alene doing wrong?

AM Headlines — 8.31.11

A cello and flowers frame an image of Katy Benoit at her memorial service Tuesday at Boise High School. Benoit was the University of Idaho graduate student who was gunned down in a murder-suicide by assistant psychology professor Ernesto Bustamante. Story here. (AP/Statesman photo: Chris Butler)

District 2 Is North Idaho Flashpoint

After GOP commissioners attempted again to suggest doing a congressional plan first - an idea Democratic commissioners already have rejected, the two side began talking about a flashpoint issue: The treatment of District 2 in North Idaho in the Democratic plan. That district takes in southern Bonner County, then stretches all the way south through Shoshone County down to Riggins. … Commissioner Lorna Finman of Rathdrum said, “District 2 is a worse version of what was done 10 years ago, which up north was an outrage to everybody, an abomination was the word. And to leave a legacy of a District 2 that's worse than 10 years ago, at least to me, was a nonstarter.”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: How would you avoid the messy boundaries that District 2 has been stuck with for the last decade?

Priscilla Bell: Get Your Mammograms

Ladies, too many of you aren't listening to the doctor. That's doctor as in physician; it's also Dr. as in Dr. Priscilla Bell, president of North Idaho College.  A new study reveals that in the last two years, more than one of every three Idaho women over the age of 40 did not receive cancer-screening mammograms. That puts Idaho dead last in the nation for screening. These vital tests for breast cancer can be life-savers. Ask Dr. Bell. She really wants you to. Almost one year ago, as word of Dr. Bell's illness quickly spread across campus, the college's leader urged the community to focus not on her health, but on theirs. “Get your mammogram,” she said. “That can't be overstressed”/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question (for Ladies of Hucks Online): Do you get cancer-screening mammograms regularly?

Vestal: Idaho Ignores Its Teachers

If you want to “fix schools,” apparently, there’s one group of people you should ignore. Teachers. And when, in the course of fixing schools, you ignore this group of people, you should make it clear that you are not really ignoring “the people.” They’re just teachers. If you want to fix schools and put students first – well, first after taxpayers and “customers” and federal standards and ideological opponents of unions – what you should do about this group of people is remove them from the equation altogether. Make ’em leave the room while kids learn on computers. Teachers. If only we could have schools – very cheap, very effective schools – without them/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here. (AP file photo of Superintendent Tom Luna)

Question: Why do Idaho political leaders have such disdain for teachers?

Benson: Jobs Knocking

Lisa Benson/Washington Post Writers Group

KCSD Searches For Man Missing Off Boat

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office searched until 11 p.m. Tuesday for a person who reportedly fell off of a boat in Coeur d’Alene Lake between Carlin Bay and Crescent Bay. Deputies were notified about 8:40 p.m. by a male who told them that his friend, an adult male, had fallen off of his boat.  The reporting party first reported that he thought he was near Gotham Bay, but first responders eventually found the reporting party near the center of the lake between the Carlin and Crescent bays. Deputies from the sheriff's recreational safety section and Dive Team members searched the area from about 9:25 to 11 p.m. The search will resume in the morning.

Wild Card/Tuesday — 8.30.11

The Reagan Republicans helped veep Steve Adams kick off his campaign to unseat Councilman John Bruning at Bluegrass Park Monday, as the candidate filing period began in earnest. I'll need to get up to speed today with Post Falls & Hayden filings, as this falls local political scene could be one of the more interesting ones in my 27 years of newspapering in Coeur d'Alene. RR Tea Partiers appear to have the momentum. It'll be interesting to see who challenges their challengers. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 8.30.11

Slain Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson's dog Hawkeye lays next to his casket during funeral services in Rockford, Iowa. Tumilson, a 35-year-old from tiny Rockford in northern Iowa, was one of 30 American soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 6 when their helicopter was shot down during a mission to help fellow troops who had come under fire. The University of Iowa athletic department announced today that it will honor Tumilson at one of two home games in November as part of a commemoration of Veteran's Day. (AP Photo/KIMT New 3, Shane Delaney)

Spoof: Mama Griz Subpoenaed

Mike Weland published the following spoof in his online News Bonners Ferry: “In a move that surprised even the most wizened court watchers, it has been learned that prosecutors in the U.S. vs. Jeremy Hill case have, with great difficulty, had a subpoena served on the grizzly sow whose two year old silvertip male offspring was shot and killed in Boundary County on Mother's Day. Professor Henry Brubaker, doctor of jurisprudence at the Institute for Studies and an expert consultant for Tru TV, called the move unprecedented, but brilliant. “She's the only per … er … witness who can testify with any sort of credibility as to her family's motive in going to the Hill property that fateful day,” Brubaker said. “She's the only one who can say whether those kids playing basketball were ever in imminent danger.” More here.

Question: Is the case involving Jeremy Hill shooting a 2-year-old grizzly cub on his Bonners Ferry property fodder for a spoof column?

PM Scanner Traffic — 8.30.11

  • 4:44 p.m. Possible DUI stop is driver suffering diabetic episode @ Govt Way & Borah/CdA.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Aug. 29-30 here.
  • 4:01 p.m. A disabled, red Coup de Ville is blocking traffic @ H95 & Prairie/Hayden.
  • 4 p.m. 6-8 sheep are grazing on west side of H41 @ Prairie/Rathdrum.
  • 3:49 p.m. Woman has entered property of 70YO neighbor to throw rocks at her (address unknown).
  • 18 more items & AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 8.30.11

Bulldog Tavern co-owner and manager, Trish Mullarkey, removes a neon beer sign from the window Monday as Mullarkey and other workers vacate the building near the Gonzaga University campus in Spokane. A contractual dispute between the Bulldog's owners and the property owner, Willard Quinn III, has resulted in the neighborhood institution closing it doors after 65 years. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

TJP: Court Following Clarence Thomas

In a completely fascinating piece in the current New Yorker, Supreme Court watcher Jeffrey Toobin has what many will consider a surprising take on Justice Clarence Thomas: “In several of the most important areas of constitutional law,” Toobin writes, “Thomas has emerged as an intellectual leader of the Supreme Court. Since the arrival of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., in 2005, and Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., in 2006, the Court has moved to the right when it comes to the free-speech rights of corporations, the rights of gun owners, and, potentially, the powers of the federal government; in each of these areas, the majority has followed where Thomas has been leading for a decade or more. Rarely has a Supreme Court Justice enjoyed such broad or significant vindication”/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Post. More here.

Question: Has the country underestimated Justice Clarence Thomas?

Something In His Eye

A CT scan shows a pair of pruning shears embedded in the head of an 86-year-old Green Valley, Ariz., man before it was removed by Medical Center surgeons in Tucson recently. Leroy Luetscher was accidentally impaled through his eye socket after falling on the shears while working in his yard, the handle penetrating his eye socket and reaching down into his neck. He is expected to make a full recovery. (AP Photo/University Medical Center,Tucson, Arizona)

Question: What's the biggest thing you've ever been poked in the eye with?

Study: Breastfeeding Vs. Formula

Among the myriad decisions expectant mothers have to make, one has to do with the way they will feed their newborn infant. Many women wonder whether it would be best to use formula, and if so, what brand? Or are there more benefits to breast feeding? Those are the questions researchers are attempting to answer through the Washington State University Lactation Nutrition Project. For the past six months, WSU graduate student Mara Riley has worked with researchers Shelley and Mark McGuire to determine the effects of breastfeeding compared to a formula diet. The research is unique according to Riley, who said a study of this kind has not been attempted in the past/Katie Roenigk, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here. (Daily News photo/Geoff Crimmins: Stacey Camp holds her son, Tyson, in Moscow on Monday)

Question: Which method of baby feeding do you prefer for your family?

Henry: Megaload Protests ‘Asinine’

In my June 7 column I predicted Moscow's hippies would dig out their “leather vests, put on their Birkenstocks and re-adjust their graying ponytails” in response to the movement of ExxonMobil's megaloads up U.S. Highway 95. Now, imagine the belly laugh I enjoyed when I woke up Friday morning and saw on a photo, taken by Daily News photographer Dean Hare, of my exact prophecy. Well, my friends, it's official - I am a modern day Nostradamus. Now I didn't attend the protest in person, but did review the YouTube footage provided by local politico Tom Hansen. Most of the reporting on the incident is spot-on, so I need not rehash the details here. But I will say that I was surprised Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney didn't stand in the crosswalk all by herself, recreating the showdown in Tiananmen Square/Henry Johnston, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Do you consider the megaload protests to be an “asinine exercise in pure stupidity,” as Henry does?

3 Post Falls Councilors To Run Again

Three Post Falls City Council incumbents have filed their candidacy petitions to seek re-election: Kerri Thoreson (Seat 1), Scott Grant (Seat 3), and Skip Hissong (Seat 5). Also filing papers to run for the City Council are challengers Joe Malloy, who will be seeking Grant's spot, and Jim Edgington (who will seek Thoreson's position). Other individuals who have picked up election packets include: Barry Rubin, former councilman Joe Doellefeld (who is eyeing Hissong's spot), former councilman Joe Bodman (who had considered running for sheriff until Coeur d'Alene Tribal Police Chief Keith Hutcheson tossed his hat in that ring), and Bob Flowers. Filing deadline is Friday, Sept. 9.

Idaho Ready To Face Bowling Green

The Idaho Vandals host Bowling Green at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Kibbie Dome to kick of their 2011 college football season. After nearly four weeks of fall practices, Coach Robb Akey reports that the Vandals are showing signs of marked improvement on the offensive and defensive fronts as well as stability in the backfields and among the receiving corps. You can read Akey's preseason State of the Idaho Vandals here. (Courtesy photo: Idaho Athletic Media Relations)

Question: Any predictions re: how the Vandals will do without Boise State on their schedule this year?

End Notes: August Crazies Arrive

My sister Janice and I have been tracking for years how crazy people, and things, seem to get the last week of August. Part of it might be a weird grief process as we bid farewell to summer, the season of light, in many ways. Grief of all kinds produces anxiety. it is always a dynamic process. So even those of us who love autumn best of all might feel some of this anxiety. And people seem to act out in weird ways, too/Becky Nappi, End Notes. More here.

Question: Do you act any crazier during this, the last week of August, as a result of summer giving way to autumn?

KEA: Uninformed Dis Plan Rewrite

On the KEA Blog, executive Terry Harris writes: “Just as Kootenai County gets on with the long-overdue business of re-writing the dysfunctional land use codes, the chronic malcontents have indeed crawled out from under their rocks to wail about their property rights and to attempt to derail an important process. Unfortunately, their lack of concern for everyone else’s property rights illustrates how misguided they actually are. In a hysterical email that was widely circulated, several local residents are stirring up opposition to the County code revision process. The email circulated by Coeur d'Alene resident Leah Southwell opens with “If you care about Freedom & Property Rights and you live in Kootenai County, wake up!” And in the Coeur d’Alene Press article about the controversy, local representative Kathy Sims (pictured) is quoted as saying 'We’ve got to be very, very careful we don’t lose our private property rights.'” More here.

Question: Do you support a rewrite of the Kootenai County comprehensive plan?

Account Starts For Fam Who Lost Boy

Fresh Shart Director Howard Martinson is raising funds for the homeless Deshazer family, which lost a 5YO son and has a second child, a 1YO daughter, in critical condition after a crash into Fernan Lake Sunday afternoon. Evan Deshazer, 5, died, and his sister, River Deshazer, 1, remains in critical condition at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. Sarah Deshazer, 25, and her husband, Michael, 28, were able to escape the vehicle. “The Deshazers were a homeless family and have been Fresh Start clients for a while now,” said Howard Martinson (pictured), director of the homeless drop-in center on East Sherman Avenue, in a news release. “There’s a huge hole in our collective hearts. We are so sorry for their loss.” Martinson said an account has been opened at Idaho Independent Bank to benefit the family/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.


ISP Doesn’t Want To Arrest Protesters

Partial statement from Lonnie Richards of ISP re: megaload protests: “The Idaho State Police fully recognizes, acknowledges and is sworn to uphold the constitution including an individuals 1st Amendment rights, and the Idaho State Police will not interfere with the rights of an individual to peacefully assemble and protest until it becomes a matter of public safety. Allowing the temporary sit down protest during the inaugural Mega Load transport on US-95, has afforded the opportunity for those interested to voice their protests in that manner.  The Idaho State Police now asks those that choose to protest during future movements of Mega Loads on US-95, to do so from the safety of a sidewalk or roadside outside the right-of-way. The Idaho State Police has no desire to arrest anyone for exercising their rights.” Full news release here.

Question: I'm impressed that the ISP seems to be going out of its way not to arrest megaload protesters. How about you?

High Noon: Reading Long Books

On his Facebook wall, SR colleague Jim Kershner writes: “I just finished my summer reading project: “Les Miserables,” all 1,463 pages of it. Yes, it was well worth it. I was actually sorry for it to end. But next time I'll tackle something easier, like reading the encyclopedia backwards.” I've also read “Les Miserables.” It's probably the longest book I've ever read. How about you?

Question: Which book is the longest you ever read?

INW Headlines — 8.30.11

A Montana Highway Patrol officer surveys the damage Sunday evening, after a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway train derailed just east of Havre, Mont. Two crew members were treated for injuries suffered in the derailment and released from the hospital. (AP Photo/Havre Daily News, Pam Burke)

Anyone Have A Pepto Bismo?

A coyote finds a buffet of meadow voles in a field of freshly cut, swathed hay near the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge in Northeastern Washington. Outdoors editor Rich Landers watched the song dog cruise rows and effortlessly reach in with its snout to grab “field mice.” The morsels were tenderized with a few chomps and swallowed whole. In five minutes the coyote easily caught and ate 10 helpings, no running or pouncing necessary. It was still hunting and feasting when Landers drove away.

AM Scanner Traffic — 8.30.11

  • 11:46 a.m. Someone is having trouble breathing at Grocery Outlet on Neider/CdA.
  • 11:35 a.m. Someone has ruptured a gas line @ 2400 Silver Beach Road/CdA.
  • 11:31 a.m. Distress alarm sounds from Idaho Independent Bank, 8882 Govt Way/Hayden.
  • 11:24 a.m. Resident finds 2 pieces of mail on the ground @ Church & Winch/Rathdrum.
  • 11:13 a.m. Caller is concerned that man is bungee-cording child seat to motorcycle on Idaho/PF.
    13 more items below

Yellowstone Rangers Search For Bear

An Associated Press story reports that rangers are still searching for a grizzly bear that killed 59-year-old hiker John Wallace, of Chassell, Mich., last week along a trail about five miles from the nearest trailhead. Story here. A colleague recently returned from the Lake Louise area, where hikers are required to travel in groups of four in areas with high grizzly concentrations. Rangers do spot checks at the trailheads. Hikers who don't comply are subject to fines of $2,000. On certain trails in Jasper National Park, backcountry hikers are required to carry bear spray.

Question: Should hikers in this country be required to travel in groups of four and/or to carry bear spray when recreating in bear country?

Hucks Poll: God Isn’t In Quake, ‘Cane

  • Monday Poll: 112 of 148 respondents (75.68%) said that God doesn't send earthquakes, hurricanes, & other natural disasters to chastize politicians & countries for improper behavior. Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann had joked that God sent an earthquake and Hurricane Irene to East Coast to wake up the country's politicians. 32 of 148 respondents (21.62%) said God does use natural disaster to wak people up. 4 (2.7%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Would you be willing to pay $110 for your student athlete to help pay for his/her high school's sports programs?

Fewer Idahoans Out Hunting Wolves

Wolf season started without the hoopla surrounding the 2009 in Idaho. There are fewer people out hunting this year. As of Tuesday 7,774 resident tags and 571 non-resident tags have been sold. That compares to 25,744 resident tag in 2009 and 684 non resident tags. Idaho Department of Fish and Game big game manager Jon Rachael expects license sales to pick up as hunters get ready for deer and elk seasons this fall. Hunters can shoot two wolves this year. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game did not set an overall limit but it’s Director Virgil Moore said they will shut down hunting once biological limits are met in specific areas. The agency offers wolf hunting information on its website/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Would you shoot a wolf if you had the chance to do so?

Post Falls Landing Trustee Sale Set

Parcels within Post Falls Landing, a project billed for years as a downtown-style community, are being sold at a trustee’s sale this December. The development, which includes a 142-slip marina and dozens of condos, is still largely unfinished. It sits on 33 acres just upstream from Post Falls Dam on the old 33-acre Louisiana Pacific sawmill site. Legal notices published over the weekend outline the trustee’s sale. Attorney Jonathon Hallin, acting as trustee, said Monday afternoon that the sale is scheduled for Dec. 19 at the Kootenai County Courthouse. Project developer Harry Green paid $1.7 million 10 years ago for the property and envisioned building a town center that Post Falls could consider its downtown core with retail shops, recreation and housing/John Stucke, SR. More here.

Question: Anyone else there attend Harry Green's dog-and-pony shows back when in which he announced all the glorious features he was bringing to the old mill site on the Spokane River?

Judge Excuses Risch From Jury Duty

U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, spent Monday morning in the jury pool at the Ada County Courthouse. But when he explained his schedule to 4th District Judge Darla Williamson she excused him from serving. The Senate reconvenes next week and Risch said he told Williamson, “I have to cast a vote and if I'm not there, there's a chance a U.S. marshal will be looking for you or me.” “I think I will excuse you,” Risch said the judge replied. Risch said the criminal trial was scheduled for three weeks. As a former prosecutor — Risch was a deputy for two years and then elected to two-year terms in Ada County in 1970 and 1972 — Risch said he guessed the defense attorney would likely have used a peremptory challenge to remove him from the jury/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Should Sen. Risch have been excused from jury duty?

‘Dancing’ Unveils Celebrity Cast

“Dancing with the Stars” reveals celebrity cast for its upcoming dance competition series: (back row from left) NBA player Ron Artest, actor David Arquette, actor and Iraq War veteran J.R. Martinez, TV personality Rob Kardashian, activist Chaz Bono; (seated from left) TV personalities Ricki Lake, Kristin Cavallari, singer Chynna Phillips, TV host Nancy Grace, Soccer player Hope Solo and Italian personality Elisabetta Canalis. The series will premiere on Monday, Sept. 19, on ABC. (AP Photo/ABC, Adam Taylor)

Question: Is this cast of characters of enough interest to get you to tune in to “Dancing with the Start”?

Godless Buses Roll Into Spokane

“Are you good without God? Millions are.” These words, superimposed over an image of blue sky and white clouds, appear on king-sized ads placed on the outsides of 11 Spokane Transit Authority buses. The ads will continue through September 25, which includes the run of the Spokane County Interstate Fair. They were placed by the Spokane Coalition of Reason with $4,516.00 in funding from the United Coalition of Reason. This ad campaign also marks the public launch of the Spokane Coalition of Reason, an alliance of three nontheistic groups in the Spokane area, with activities ranging from support to education to activism. As part of its launch, during the run of the bus ads, the Coalition will have an exhibit booth at the Spokane County Interstate Fair, Sept. 9-18. … Moreover, the Spokane bus ad campaign is part of a larger effort/Spokane Coalition for Reason news release. More here.

Question: Are you bothered by this public relations campaign by Inland Northwest atheists?

Griz Kill Exposes Anti-Rural Bigotry?

Rural solidarity is clearly up against anti-rural bigotry in the continuing debate over federal prosecution of a north Idaho man who fatally shot one of three grizzly bears that wandered onto his property and allegedly posed an immediate threat to his children. The case remains a hot topic among Northwest hunters and gun rights activists at the Hunting-Washington, Northwest Firearms, WaGuns and HuntFishNW forums. Over the weekend, the debate got nasty in the wake of the release of a letter written by Boundary County Prosecutor Jack Douglas in support of Jeremy Hill, who killed a male grizzly back in May, immediately reported it to state wildlife agents, and now finds himself charged with a federal crime. Portions of the letter were quoted by the Spokane Spokesman-Review/Dave Workman, Seattle Gun Rights Examiner. More here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree with columnist Workman that the killing of a grizzly by Jeremy Hill of Bonners Ferry has attracted anti-rural bigotry?

Meridian Athletes Face Pay To Play

Jeremy Bergquist knew there was going to be a noticeable decline in the number of student-athletes at Meridian High School this year. As the school’s athletic director, Bergquist began projecting a lower turnout for sports after the Meridian School District announced it was implementing a $110 pay-for-play fee at all high schools this year and a $90 fee at middle schools, one of a series of steps the district took to bridge a $22 million budget gap. The fees, designed to cover half of the $1.6 million the district pays out annually in coaching salaries, are charged for the first two sports a student plays. … Football, which had 120 players last year, is down to 90. Boys soccer has dropped from 35 to 16, girls volleyball from 50 to 41 and cross-country from 40 to 27/Joe Estrella, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Would you pay $110 to the school district for a child to play sports?

Adams Targets McEuen, City Pay

(Coeur d'Alene City Council candidate Steve) Adams said he would look into reducing city department head wages by 10 percent each, giving 5 percent back to city coffers and 5 percent to the “rank and file” employees. He said he would implement this first for the police and fire departments, but consider it for all employees. He said he would also be interested in exploring ways to do away with the city's collective bargaining groups. “I would not have voted to accept those increases, but it's deeper than that because of the contracts,” he said about the proposal to give 3 percent cost of living raises for city employees. “I think I would support going the way of Wisconsin and getting rid of any union representation for government employees”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you think department heads in the city of Coeur d'Alene are paid too much?

AM Headlines — 8.30.11

Nathan Black, 22, of Post Falls, Idaho takes advantage of the beautiful weather while sailing his Dad's Sunfish at Q'emiln Park in Post Falls recently. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

APhoto Of The Day — 8.30.11

A worker tries to trap a squirrel on the field during the WPS championship soccer game between the Western New York Flash and the Philadelphia Independence in Rochester, N.Y., Saturday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Dan Cappellazzo)

Teachers Seek Better Pay In Wyoming

Gary Dustin liked being a teacher in Jefferson Joint School District 251 and being a part of the community of Rigby in eastern Idaho. But he says he wanted to provide for his family, so the Rigby Junior High School teacher made the move to Star Valley High School in Afton, Wyo., where his pay jumped by $25,000 to $57,000 a year. The Idaho Falls Post Register reported Sunday that Dustin has several colleagues in eastern Idaho who have done the same, lured by bigger paychecks. Marjean McConnell, human resources director for Bonneville Joint School District 93 in eastern Idaho, says she tries to focus on the recreation and lifestyle opportunities of the region when recruiting new teachers. But competing with Wyoming is a challenge, she says/Idaho Falls Post Register. More here.

Question: Do you know a teacher who left Idaho for better pay or a better education climate in another state?

Otter Seeks Funds For Hoffman’s IFF?

The Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell recounts a “database glitch” that landed a letter addressed to Secretary of State Ben Ysursa at her Boise home over the weekend, with Otter's contribution pitch for the advocacy group headed by lobbyist Wayne Hoffman, former spokesman for ex-GOP Rep. Bill Sali. Hoffman told Russell, “It's a very normal practice,” for a sitting governor to solicit funds for a private group and have contributors send money to him in care of the organization. Otter approved the letter, according to his spokesman. Hoffman founded the group after Sali's defeat in 2008, but has never disclosed the source of its funding. Otter is among many GOP elected officials who have supported the free-market think tank that operates an online news outlet/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Should Gov. Butch Otter be involved in raising money for the Idaho Freedom Foundation?

Hate Crime Suspect Faces Up To Life

Item: Incident could lead to life sentence: Man issued $50K bond, no contact order for alleged hate crime/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: A Coeur d'Alene man faces up to life in prison stemming from an alleged hate crime incident on Saturday. Joel T. Diekhoff, 29, faces five years in jail and up to $5,000 on one count of felony malicious harassment - or hate crime. With two convicted felonies on his record, Diekhoff qualifies as a persistent offender, upping the possible incarceration term to life.

Question: Do you agree that hate crimes should carry a stiffer penalty?

Bennett: The Calling

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Wild Card/Monday — 8.29.11

Green flag is out for candidates to begin filing for mayor & City Council positions throughout Idaho. We already know three people who will run for Coeur d'Alene City Council: Dan Gookin (for open seat), Steve Adams (for incumbent John Bruning's seat), and Councilman Ron Edinger (for re-election). All three, therefore, are running for different seats. Bruning told me earlier this year that he's going to seek re-election. It'll be interesting to see who else runs for re-election. I'll post this Wild Card and keep my eye on the filings …

Parting Shot — 8.29.11

Swiss tightrope artist Freddy Nock walks on a cable high above the Thunersee, the lake of Thun, near Leissigen in the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland on Saturday. Due to winds and rain Nock later had to abort his attempt to cross the lake on the cable. Nock is attempting to set a new world record by achieving seven tightrope records in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in seven days. (AP Photo/Keystone/Alessandro della Valle)

Obama Uncle Faces DUI Charge

President Barack Obama's uncle was stopped on suspicion of drunken driving in Massachusetts, told police he planned to arrange bail through the White House and is being held without bail by federal immigration officials, authorities said Monday. Onyango Obama, 67, was arrested last week in Framingham, about 20 miles west of Boston, after police said he made a rolling stop through a stop sign and nearly caused a cruiser to strike his sport utility vehicle. Police said that after being booked at the police station, Obama was asked whether he wanted to make a telephone call to arrange for bail. “I think I will call the White House,” he stated, according to a police report filed in Framingham District Court/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Do you have an embarrassing relative? Do you want to tell us about him/her w/o naming names?

PM Scanner Traffic — 8.29.11

  • 5:10 p.m. A large rock is lying on the fog line near Alpine RV camp @ H95 & H53/Garwood.
  • 5:09 p.m. A T-bone crash is blocking intersection of 12th & Syringa/CdA.
  • 5:04 p.m. A wash-down of anti-freeze is needed after crash @ H53 & Mill/Rathdrum.
  • 5:02 p.m. Sheep & pidgeons are loose & bothering resident @ entrance to Corbin Park/PF.
  • 4:58 p.m. A fancy inner tube is caught in weeds at Cataldo Mission boat launch.
  • 4:50 p.m. Some sort of utility problem is reported at Independence Point/CdA.
  • 4:41 p.m. County resident believes salesman selling asphalt shingles involved in scam.
  • 4:21 p.m. PFPD Blue has spotted purple van on Centennial Trail near Greensferry.
  • 4:09 p.m. A herd of sheep are on Prairie, near H41/Rathdrum, creating traffic hazard.
  • 4:01 p.m. Distraught female, across from CdA tribal HQ/Plummer, almost ran into H95 traffic.
  • 12 more items & AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 8.29.11

Here's one final look at the damage to Kootenai Electric Cooperative poles & equipment caused by a microburst in the Setters area around 10 p.m. Sunday. You can see more photos and read the KEC report here and here.

APhoto Of the Day — 8.29.11

Wearing a dunce cap, Don Bahl attends the Tea Party Express tour kick-off in Napa, Calif. on Saturday. Bahl said he voted for President Barack Obama in the last election but didn't get the change he wanted. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Top Cutlilnes:

  • 1. Newly crowned Tea Party leader Don Bahl makes a surprising admission in the native TP4U language, moments before rotten fruit rained down on him — Fort Boise.
  • 2. “and I saved over $300 on my car insurance” — Eyes & Ears.
  • 3. After attending the Napa Community Theater casting call for “Snow White” and being rejected as “too dumb for Dopey” since he could only memorize “Hannity Morning Minute” quips, Bahl was welcomed by fellow mental dwarfs and given a sign for their rally — DCR.
  • HM: Gary D. Rhodes

NI Blogs: Herb Finally Makes It Home

After twelve days of travel, frustration as some of the folks at Harborview needed help pulling their collective heads out of their asses, I am home. I managed to spring Yvonne Wallis at least four and probably six days later than was necessary. It turns out Harborview wasn't talking to Idaho Health and Welfare until she was ready for release. I finally put in a call for the neurosurgeon and charged him with abandoning his patient. Suddenly things started to happen.I got through to people that were able to cut through the lethargy that permeated the staff. It would seem that their routine was more important than the patient or family. In this case I was temporary family and the designated representative. I made sure that was set up so they would have to talk to me/Herb Huseland, Bay Views. More here.

Hucks Online numbers (for week of Aug. 21-27): 40,253 page-views/24,999 unique views

IFF Using Otter As Fund-raising Ploy?

Of all the odd things to find in my mailbox over the weekend, there was a letter from Gov. Butch Otter, addressed to Ben Ysursa, who happens to be Idaho's secretary of state, but at my address. Since it's a federal crime to open someone else's mail, I took the letter to Ysursa's office so he could open it, and he said he got one at his home as well. It was a membership pitch from the Idaho Freedom Foundation, asking people to send from $50 to $5,000 to become “charter members” of the group - and to send the money to Gov. Butch Otter, care of the Idaho Freedom Foundation. Ysursa said, “As you get into it, it's pretty clear it's not the state of Idaho that's doing this, it's the Freedom Foundation/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: What the heck?

Inmate: I Want Kootenai County Job

I’m an inmate at the Kootenai County Jail, and I have been for the past eight months. I try to read The Spokesman or the Press every day. In fact, I was even in The Spokesman just the other day. I was listed under sentencing for accessory to a felony, and was sentenced to two years in prison. But enough about me. What is going on in Kootenai County? First, we have the nurse (Cynthia Lynn van Holland) for the jail allegedly robbing banks all over the western U.S., who apparently likes wearing ridiculously bad wigs. And then we have a former Kootenai County clerk (Sandra Martinson), who had worked for the county for three decades, embezzling over $100,000. Wow! Now, obviously I’m not saying I’m better than these people. Ha! Far from it! But I do want to ask a few questions if I can: What’s happening to this county? Who is it that hires these people? And, finally, where do I send my resume?/Christopher B. Urbat, SR letters to the editor.

Question: Are you qualified for a Kootenai County job?

Pilot Survives Fiery Idaho Crash

At 8:07 this morning, the Idaho County Sheriff's Dispatch Center was advised of an airplane crash at a private airstrip near Hungry Ridge.  Deputy Mike Brewster and Fish & Game Officer Roy Kinner responded to the scene and found that a Cessna 180 single prop airplane had hit the trees after experiencing mechanical difficulties while taking off.  The plane burnt following the impact and is a total loss. The pilot and sole occupant, 75 year old John Bokk of Winthrop, WA. suffered only minor injuries and did not require medical assistance. (Photo courtesy of Idaho County Sheriff's Office)

Question: Have you ever survived a crash that you shouldn't have?

CdA Schools Study Suicide Prevention

Before they dove into discussions about technology updates and special education, administrators and principals in the Coeur d’Alene School District began a Wednesday morning management retreat with training in suicide-prevention techniques. The session was a grim reminder of four suicides by district students within the past 15 months. Two were by juniors at Lake City High School who died within about three weeks of each other. Another, last June, was by a middle school student. The fourth, this past June, was by a student who had recently withdrawn from a district middle school. But the practice session also was an indicator of the district’s resolve to prevent more deaths and ensure the mental health of its students/Alison Boggs, SR. More here. (SR photo/Jesse Tinsley: Deanne Clifford, left, principal of Lake City High School, goes through a role-playing exercise with Assistant Principal Tom Mollgaard)

Question: Is preventing suicides a proper part of the Idaho education mandate?

Hedberg: Dictators Have Bad Hair, Too

Of all the humiliations embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has suffered over the past several months, surely the most painful is this: “It's over, frizz-head,” chanted hundreds of jubilant men and women, mocking the curly headed dictator as rebels took control of most of Tripoli last week. OK, so the guy has been a brutal despot for decades, executing his enemies and not even being so nice to some of his friends. It's clear he has issues - probably could benefit from some anger-management therapy - and it's time for him to go. But really, isn't making fun of somebody's hair hitting below the belt? In this day and age must we be so juvenile as to ridicule the other person's physical appearance, just because they strip us of our liberties and threaten our lives and safety? There must be better ways to get even/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (AP file photo: Gadhafi effigy)

Question: Do you ever make fun of someone's appearance?

Foot Massage Among Latest Trends

A woman receives a foot massage from Jason Burns in the Suite Spa booth at the International Spa Association expo in New York. Hyperlocal ingredients, a blend of high tech and tradition, and treatments focusing not just on skin, nails and hair but also on remedying stress and pain are some of the latest trends turning up at spas. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Question: Have you ever received a foot massage? What's it like?

Incumbent Bruning Will Face Adams

Councilman John Bruning confirmed for Hucks Online moments ago that he'll run for re-election in November. Bruning, a first-term councilman and former long-time city planning commissioner, said he'll make his formal announcement soon. Filing for city offices begins today through Friday, Sept. 9. Earlier today, challenger Steve Adams announced his candidacy for the seat now held by Bruning. Adams was an unsuccessful candidate for council in the 2009 election.

Question: Can Bruning hold off the challenge from Steve Adams and the Reagan Republicans?

Bell: Ed Corridor Well Under Way

The Lake City Development Corp. provided the funding for the construction of roadways that will include roundabouts, sidewalks, curbs and a signal at Hubbard and Northwest Boulevard. The contract for this work, at just under $3.7 million, was awarded to MDM Construction of Hayden and work began immediately following a groundbreaking ceremony on June 10. River Avenue work is near completion and includes widening and the installation of two roundabouts, one at Hubbard and the other at College Avenue. By the latter part of October, Hubbard will be extended out to Northwest Boulevard and a new signalized entrance to the college and the Harbor Center will be open. You can see all the plans, routing and get construction updates from There is also a webcam there to provide visuals of the construction progress/Priscilla Bell, North Idaho College president. More here.

Question: Do you consider yourself to be a supporter/detractor of the Education Corridor?

Prosecutor Details Grizzly Shooting

A grizzly shot by a Boundary County man had approached within 40 yards of his children, who were outside playing basketball, and when wounded, charged at the man, according to a statement by the Boundary County prosecutor’s office. The statement provides more details about the May 8 shooting. Jeremy M. Hill, 33, of Porthill, Idaho, pleaded not guilty last week to a federal charge of illegally killing a threatened species. A jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 4. The case has attracted regional attention, with local and state officials saying that Hill acted responsibly to protect his family. Idaho Gov. Butch Otter sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asking him to look into the matter. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game, which investigated the shooting, has not released its report. But Boundary County Prosecutor Jack Douglas issued a statement over the weekend/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: A caller to Hucks Online raised an interesting question re: Prosecutor Douglas' statement. Will there be repercussions for the prosecutor for revealing this information before the investigation is complete?

INW Headlines — 8.29.11

A participant in The Dirty Dash 10K goes head over heals as he rolls across the finishline after wading through a mud puddle Saturday at Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area outside Boise. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune: Charlie Litchfield)

More Wind Damage To KEC Property

Here's another photo taken by Melissa Newcomer, marketing and business development rep for Kootenai Electric Coop, of damage caused by high winds to KEC poles and equipment in the Setters area, south of Coeur d'Alene.

Microburst Levels KEC Poles

 This photo, provided by Kootenai Electric Cooperative, shows damage to KEC poles, looking west from Setters Road to the Setters substation, south of Coeur d'Alene. (KEC photo: Melissa Newcomer)

On Sunday night at approximately 10 P.M. Kootenai Electric Cooperative (KEC) was hit by a localized microburst or tornado between the Setter's Substation and US Hwy 95. Every pole in a double circuit overhead line for approximately 1.3 miles was shattered and on the ground. Crews were already in the area working in preparation of a planned outage scheduled for 1 A.M. on August 29th. No crews were injured during the microburst and the crews were quickly able to assess the damage and create a work plan to rebuild the approximately 20 poles affected. More below.

Question: Are you a Kootenai Electric Cooperative customer?

Idahoans Likely To Stay Married

New numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows Idaho residents are more likely to get married and more likely to stay that way than their counterparts across the country. The research published Thursday used data from 2009 to show that Idaho has one of the highest marriage rates in the nation. The marriage rate for men was more than 25 per 1,000, compared to the national average of about 19 per 1,000. The rate for women in Idaho was just over 25 per 1,000, compared to the national average of more than 17/Idaho Falls Post Register. More here.

Question: How long have you been married? How would you portray your marriage — Sunshine & lollipops? Or war & peace? Or something else?

Down & Out

New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin falls as the pack runs to the finish line in a heat of the Women's 1500m at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea on Sunday. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Question: When do you last fall down? How badly were you hurt?

AM Scanner Traffic — 8.29.11

  • Noon: Man wants deputies to stop his “rebellious” wife & daughters en route to KMC in white Geo. But warns deputies must be careful b/c they “fly off the handle” and will try to pray for them.
  • 11:48 a.m. Elderly female found dead at Bennett Bay Inn, 7904 Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive/CdA.
  • 11:46 a.m. Grass fire reported at 8584 W. Prairie/PF.
  • 11:20 a.m. Motorcyclist w/o helmet driving recklessly on H95 before turning e/b on Garwood. Motorist is concerned about safety of biker plus other drivers.
  • 11:01 a.m. White Chevy pickup w/trailer regularly parks partway on pavement along Gozzer Road, halfway through the golf course, creating traffic hazard.
  • 12 other items below

Poll: UI Knew About Bustamante

  • Weekend Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation said that University of Idaho officials were lying when they said they didn't know mental problems and tendency toward violence of assistant prof Ernesto Bustamante. Shortly after the poll was published, UI released a time line that showed it has been dealing with the situation that led to the murder of grad student Katy Benoit by Bustamante. 118 of 162 respondents (72.84%) didn't believe UI knew nothing (prior to the release of the info). 29 of 162 respondents (17.9%) said UI officials were telling truth. 15 (9.26%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Does God send earthquakes, hurricanes, & other natural disasters to chastize politicians & countries improper behavior?

KCSD: 2nd Child In Fatal Crash A Girl

In a news release, Kootenai County Sheriff's Department has corrected information provided in fatal Fernan Lake accident, to reveal that child in critical condition is a 1-year-old girl not a boy: “The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation of the traffic crash that occurred on Sunday afternoon on Fernan Lake Road that left a five year old boy dead and a one year old girl in critical condition at Sacred Heart Medical Center. The children involved in the collision have been identified as 5 year old Evan Deshazer and 1year old River Deshazer. Evan was pronounced dead at Kootenai Medical Center on Sunday; River was air-lifted to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane where she remains in critical condition. The Spokane County Medical Examiner will be conducting an autopsy of the deceased boy today. ”

Trish: Just Don’t Pay Your Bills

As we moved into August, frantically trying to soak up as much summer as possible, Congress was just as frantically trying to make political gold out of some pretty moldy hay—raising the debt ceiling. This debate didn’t just occur in the halls of Congress, of course, but exploded throughout social media and the blogosphere, despite the fact that, until recently,  most of us had no idea there was a debt ceiling or any idea what it was all about. That didn’t stop any of us from becoming instant experts, opining at large either for or against raising it.
Yet the question was really a very simple one: do we or do we not pay the bills we have incurred? Quite honestly, I didn’t think we had a choice in this/Trish Gannon, River Journal's Politically Incorrect. More here.

Question: Trish goes on to opine that she'd rather have a company run by government rather than business. Do you agree with her?

Surfing Hurricane Irene

Surfer Tayler Brothers, of Osprey, Fla., catches a wave as a pelican rides the updraft of the surf in Ponce Inlet, Fla., Saturday. Surfers flocked to the beach to catch the remnant waves of Hurricane Irene. (AP Photo/Daytona Beach News-Journal, Nigel Cook)

Question: Do you think Hurricane Irene has been as destructive as predicted?

Officials: Grizzly Killed Park Hiker

A grizzly bear killed a Michigan man whose body was found by hikers last week in Yellowstone National Park, officials said Monday. The victim was identified Monday as John Wallace of Chassell, Mich. Wallace's body was discovered along a trail about five miles from the nearest trailhead. Results of an autopsy concluded that he died as a result of traumatic injuries from a bear attack. It is the second time a visitor to the park has been killed by a bear this year. Authorities say Wallace likely died Wednesday or Thursday. He was traveling alone and had pitched a tent in a campground on Wednesday, park officials said/Matthew Brown, Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo of Yellowstone Park grizzly, for illustrative purposes)

Question: So grizzly bears are dangerous?  ;-)

Adams To Announce For Council

Coeur d’Alene small businessman and community activist Steve Adams will announce today his candidacy for Coeur d’Alene City Council (for seat now held by John Bruning).  Adams, who came close to winning a council seat two years ago, will make the announcement at a gathering of supporters in Bluegrass City Park today at 6 p.m. Adams, 45, is an Allstate insurance agent and a native of Coeur d’Alene, where he lives with his wife, Candace, and three sons, ages 16, 7 and 4.  He is a 1984 graduate of Coeur d’Alene High School and attended North Idaho College and the University of Idaho.  He now serves on the Coeur d’Alene Parking Commission and is Kootenai County Reagan Republicans official. Adams describes his top issues as support for a public vote on McEuen Field changes, opposition to proposed city pay hikes in the midst of the “Obama recession,” and support of public safety in Coeur d’Alene. Full announcement here. (Facebook photo: Steve Adams' wall)

Question: Adams joins Dan Gookin, who announced last week, as a candidate calling for a public vote on approved McEuen Field changes. Is the 2011 election an unofficial referendum on McEuen Field?

Bachmann: God Sent Quake, Hurricane

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) joked in Florida this weekend that last week's earthquake and hurricane affecting the East Coast were signs from God, meant to grab lawmakers' attention. The Tea Party congresswoman, who took her campaign for president to the Sunshine State this weekend, joked about the case of those natural disasters during a stop in Sarasota. “I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?'” she told the audience, per the St. Petersburg Times/Michael O'Brien, The Hill's Blog Briefing Room. More here.

Question: Does God use natural disasters to gain people's attention?

AM Headlines — 8.29.11

freshmen climb down from the sculpture of the Washington State University mascot, Butch, during a walking-tour of the campus in Pullman, Wash., which is for all freshmen and transfer students. The group had a photo taken in front of the sculpture. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Alan Berner)

Blog: CdA Most Dog Friendly? C’mon

Blogger Ohmidog was surprised when Dog Fancy named Coeur d’Alene America’s most dog-friendly town recently. So was your Huckleberry Hound. After all, the dog park at Lake City isn’t that old, and there doesn’t seem to be much else that distinguishes it from other Dog Towns – other than leash laws being ignored on Tubbs Hill. Previously, Ohmidog had criticized another organization,, for dubbing Dallas second most dog-friendly after it had bestowed the key to the city on Michael Vick, the NFL QB who went to prison for dog abuse. In this instance, Ohmidog notes that Santa Cruz, Calif., which is in the Dog Fancy Top 5, lifted a 33-year ban on dogs downtown only recently. Also, Ohmidog questioned why Dog Fancy Editor Ernie Stone quoted Barbara Walters in his announcement that Coeur d’Alene is “a little slice of heaven/DFO, SR Huckleberries. More here.

Question: Do you think Coeur d'Alene deserves to be honored as the nation's most dog friendly town?

Otter To Keep Low-Balling Budgets

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter is promising more of the same from his administration: tight budgeting that may underestimate state revenues, forcing budget cuts that later prove unnecessary, to avoid mid-year holdbacks. That approach attracted criticism this year after Otter and state lawmakers discounted economic forecasts and set the state budget tens of millions of dollars lower than estimated revenues, then ended the fiscal year June 30 with a fat surplus, most of which was doled back out to make up budget cuts to schools. “You can expect the same thing the remainder of my time in office,” Otter declared last week in a talk at a luncheon sponsored by the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: What do you think of Gov. Butch Otter's approach to writing the state budget?

Reed: No CdA Flood In My 58 Years

After years of receiving a passing grade for safety from the Army Corps, our local dike was examined by an independent contractor who found over 100 flaws in the dikes’s structure and then recommended the city should remove all the trees. It’s another Alice in Wonderland moment. First the verdict, and then the trial. The trees must go, but the Army Corps admits there is no scientific evidence to suggest our trees are destabilizing the dike. That’s yet to be determined. Let me be clear. The real, everyday issue is not flood prevention but the prevention of high flood insurance rates. A major flood has not come in the 58 years that my husband, Scott, and I have lived in Coeur d’Alene, and it may not come within our lifetimes/Mary Lou Reed, Inlander. More here. H/T: Terry Harris, KEA Blog

Question: Are you willing to sacrifice the trees along the Dike Road (NIC's Rosenberry Drive) to protect the home insurance rates of Fortgrounds residents?

‘Little Linda’ Dazzles, Disgusts At Fair

“Little Linda” is big talk at this year's North Idaho Fair. Billed the “world's smallest woman” at 29 inches, Linda, a 35-year-old Haitian woman, is one of two new side attractions at the carnival that has drawn a steady stream of curious lookers. Depending on who you ask, reactions to seeing her range from dazzling to disgust. Most who pass by wonder first if she's real, only to get affirmation from those who pay a dollar or 75 cents (10 and younger) to enter. Some who come out feel sorry for her; others are amazed at her tiny stature/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Did you see “Little Linda” at the North Idaho Fair? Were you dazzled? Or disgusted?

Signe: No Broken Spirit

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

5YO Dies In Fernan Crash, 1YO Critical

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a traffic crash on Fernan Lake Road this afternoon that killed a 5-year-old boy and left a 1-year-old boy in critical condition at Sacred Heart Medical Center. Emergency personnel were dispatched to the crash about 1:45 p.m. today to a report of a vehicle that had gone over an embankment and was submerged in Fernan Lake about 3/8 of a mile east of Lakeshore Drive.  Idaho State Police and Coeur d’Alene Fire Personnel were the first on scene.  Fire Department personnel were able to recover both children from the submerged vehicle and start CPR. Initial investigation shows that a Dodge Durango driven by Sarah Deshazer, 25 of Coeur d’Alene, was turning around on Fernan Lake Road when one wheel went off the roadway causing the vehicle to slide down the embankment. More below.

CdA Man Charged w/Racial Slurs, Threats

Coeur d’Alene man who allegedly yelled racial slurs at a black man was arrested and charged with a felony Saturday. Joel T. Diekhoff was charged with felony malicious harassment and taken to the Kootenai County jail, according to police. Police responded to the area of South 19th Street and Mullen Avenue after Demetrius K. Lee, 39, said a white man with several Aryan tattoos yelled slurs and threatened him for walking in front of his house. Lee said he was on his morning walk to Sanders Beach and has lived in the area for six years. Lee said the man, who police identified as Diekhoff after interviewing witnesses, came out of the house with three other men to “beat him up”/Spokesman-Review. More here.

Weekend Wild Card — 8.26-27.11

For some reason, I thought this weekend was the three-day Labor Day weekend. But Mrs. O informed me that I'm getting ahead of myself. Which is OK. I enjoyed being back among you guys Wednesday through Friday after the two-week vacay. (For Cindy & others keeping score at home, I'm down to 4-5 days of vacay this year — and don't plan to take them until the holidays.) Meanwhile, the political scene is beginning to heat up. Which is always good for discussion here on Huckleberries. I'll post this Wild Card and prepare to do all the yard work that's been piling up …

Rescued From Irene

One of two people rescued from a sailboat, right, uses a line to make their way onto the beach on Willoughby Spit in Norfolk Saturday morning after they and another person were rescued from the boat that foundered in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay during Hurricane Irene. A rescuer, left, waits for s second person to exit the boat.  (AP Photo/TheVirginian-Pilot, Bill Tiernan)

3 Megaload Protesters Arrested In CdA

Three more protesters were arrested early Saturday in Coeur d’Alene as a megaload shipment of oil excavation equipment passed through the Lake City. Law enforcement officers confirmed that the arrests were made by Idaho State Police, but the names were not released. One woman taken into custody had refused to identify herself, officials said. The Coeur d’Alene arrests bring to nine the number of persons taken into custody in North Idaho since the 208-foot-long megaload left the Port of Lewiston on Wednesday night/Mike Prager, SR. More here.

Gookin Runs To Push McEuen Vote

Item: Gookin seeks council seat: Sees election as public vote on McEuen Field/Tom Hasslinger, Press

More Info: “I think this is the public vote on McEuen Field,” Gookin said. “People have wanted a public vote; on Nov. 8, you get your public vote. You can vote for McEuen - you can vote against McEuen - based on who you vote for on city council.” Gookin, who opposed the planning process on the downtown park overhaul and favors putting the conceptual plan up to a public advisory vote, said the controversial, multi-million dollar project has put the city under too much scrutiny not to sway the ballot box one way or another.

Question: Do you agree with Dan Gookin that the 2011 Coeur d'Alene municipal election is an unofficial referendum on McEuen Field reconstruction?

Cleaning Up At North Idaho Fair

Alexis Soderbeck, 15, cleans up her steer, Tex, outside the beef and swine barn at the North Idaho Fair Wednesday. The fair continues through Sunday. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Question: Which North Idaho Fair attraction is your favorite?

Prosecutor: Jeremy Hill Acted Properly

“In my mind, there’s no question that the Hill family was likely in danger or that Jeremy, by his actions, did what he did in defense of his family and his property. I believe that our local IDFG officers did a thorough investigation and came to the proper conclusion that Jeremy Hill acted reasonably in light of the circumstances” — Boundary County Prosecutor Jack Douglas (pictured) re: the shooting of a 2-year-old endangered grizzly cub near Bonners Ferry. Complete news release from Douglas as provided by News Bonners Ferry here.

Question: Have you changed your mind about this case, after reading the details provided by Prosecutor Douglas of Jeremy Hill shooting the grizzly?

UI Pledges Complete Review After Slaying

University of Idaho President M. Duane Nellis responded Friday to demands from the public and the family of slain graduate student Katy Benoit for an explanation about how the university handled her complaint against the professor who killed her Monday. The school’s account said it met with Benoit and counseled her numerous times beginning June 10, including the day she died. University officials referred her to Moscow police for assistance and contacted the police department themselves on June 10. “I am committed to ensuring the continuing safety and welfare of members of the university community,” Nellis told reporters Friday. He said he had commissioned an independent review of university safety policies, the details of which would be released later. “I don’t have any reason to think our policies and procedures are not all they should be,” he said, “but I want to be absolutely certain”/Patrick Orr, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you now feel as though the University of Idaho is on top of this tragic situation?

Trib: Hagedorn’s 15 Minutes Of Shame

In an editorial today, Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune lambastes state Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, (pictured) for his insensitive remark that a gun safety class might have prevented the murder-suicide at the University of Idaho that claimed the life of grad student Katy Benoit: “That transcends oafishness. It's beyond ugly. It exceeds insensitivity. Inhumane doesn't begin to describe it. Such talk from anyone is irresponsible. From an elected official charged with writing our laws and embracing our standards of decency, it is nothing short of depraved. Complete editorial here.

Question: Do you think Rep. Hagedorn has learned a lesson in using this tragic matter to push his political agenda?

Defending Champ Viks Dump Rocky

The day started at 5 a.m. for the Coeur d’Alene football team, as sleepy players boarded a charter bus bound for Meridian. Eight hours later, the Vikings arrived in the Treasure Valley, stopped for lunch in Nampa and then made their way over to Rocky Mountain High. Kickoff was more than four hours away, so players spent their time goofing around while trying to avoid the heat. Their long wait was rewarded Friday night, as the defending 5A state champions opened the 2011 season with a 37-24 victory over Rocky Mountain at Brighton Stadium/Rachel Roberts, Idaho Statesman. More here.


  • Lake City 46, Lakeland 21 (Game story here)
  • Post Falls 29, Lewiston 14
  • Lakeside 50, Clark Fork 0
  • Wallace 54, Kootenai 14
  • Grangeville 47, Bonners Ferry 0

Signe: Steve Jobs Quits

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

TGIF Wild Card — 8.26.11

As I mentioned in the comments section, Hucks Online Twitter/Facebook just picked up its combined 1100th follower — UI ASB president Samantha Perez. Who's dealing with some harsh realities on campus this week as a result of the tragic murder-suicide involving a grad student from Boise. Altogether, Hucks Online has about 10,000 followers (8500 to 9000 from the blog). It's been a nice, long run from Feb. 16, 2003, when I backed into this blog (originally called No Holds Barred & later Hot Potatoes). Thanks for your continued support, ideas, comments, and fodder. Now to repost this Wild Card and get outtahere …

Parting Shot — 8.26.11

Children stroll along the boardwalk at Coney Island beach while Hurricane Irene bears down on the eastern seaboard further south Friday in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The low number of visitors at the typically crowded beach reflects the wind, rain, and flooding dangers the storm poses to the already saturated New York state. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Nic: Loud & Offkey She Was To Me

On his Facebook wall, Nic posts re: a close encounter with a terrible singer at a stoplight this week. Writes Nic: “Girl in car at stoplight next to me is singing Katy Perry's 'Firework.” Loudly. Off key. So very off key. I might have laughed at her.” I used to sing while driving tractor because the engine drowned out my voice. However, my mother believes I have a good voice. If so, I got it from my father. Who once sang country western on the radio. How about you?

Question: When did you last encounter someone singing loudly and off key?

PM Scanner Traffic — 8.26.11

  • 5:55 p.m. 5 males who were fighting @ NW Blvd & Lakewood/CdA now are leaving in a pickup.
  • 5:37 p.m. Protection Tire reports pickup driver n/b on Govt Way from Kathleen smells of alcohol.
  • 5:29 p.m. Malfunctioning lights @ Govt Way & Honeysuckle causing traffic to back up to LDS church.
  • 5:27 p.m. Pickup w/rebel flags running over rocks & trees in lower lot of Coeur d'Alene City Hall.
  • 5:18 p.m. 2 deadheads reported on Lake Coeur d'Alene, including one of about 30 feet long b/n Carlin Bay & Loffs Bay and another out from the point at Casco Bay.
  • 5:12 p.m. Someone suffered a trauma when kicked in back at Greyhound Park/PF.
  • 4 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Aug. 25-26 here.
  • 4:40 p.m. 2 females, one adult & one juvenile, w/o ID caught shoplifting @ Post Falls WalMart.
  • 4:29 p.m. I-90 BOSS system detects white Washington Chevy w/possible missing and endangered person inside.
  • 4:14 p.m. CPD Blues catch uncooperative boy after 4 others run from vehicle that crashes into Coeur d'Alene Place light pole on Courcelles.
  • 3:56 p.m. Older Ford being driven e/b in w/b lanes of Seltice Way @ NW Blvd/CdA.
  • 18 more items & AM Scanner Traffic link below

Hassell Won’t Seek Re-Election

Al Hassell, the long-time Coeur d'Alene council member and former mayor, told Huckleberries moments ago that he won't seek another term. Hassell said he needs time off to focus on his financial consultant/insurance business as a result of the 2010 death of his partner, Judy Anderson. Hassell has served the city of Coeur d'Alene 41 years beginning as a Parks & Recreation member. He lost his first race for the council in 1972.  Hassell has served on the Coeur d'Alene council for 20 years, including 4 years as mayor from 1994-97. “I need to do something lower key,” he told Huckleberries. On Thursday, community activist Dan Gookin announced his candidacy for Hassell's seat.

Ex-Deputy Prosecutor Going To Prison

A Coeur d'Alene defense lawyer and former deputy prosecutor is going back to prison after a judge ruled he'd violated his probation on OxyContin charges. Shawn C. Nunley, 40, was ordered to prison late last week after his probation officer said he smelled faintly of alcohol when he reported to his office May 9, and that his blood alcohol level registered at .017. Nunley admitted to consuming alcohol that day and the day before and said “he didn't think it was a big deal,” according to court documents. He also refused to provide a urine sample as requested. His probation officer said Nunley agreed not to travel to Orange County as previously allowed but that he left the probation office without asking and boarded a plane at the Spokane airport the next day, court documents say/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

ASB Prez Perez: UI Campus Safe

As the University of Idaho student body president, a senior and a woman, I have always felt safe on our campus and in the Moscow community. This semester marks my fourth year at the University of Idaho; I have never questioned the dedication of our administration, the Moscow Police Department or the community in providing a safe environment for me to live, study and work in. Last year, the University of Idaho was ranked the 36th safest campus in the United States by Newsweek magazine. We received this high ranking because of the concerted work of organizations and departments on campus/Samantha Perez, University of Idaho ASB president. More here.

Question: Do you consider the UI campus to be safe … now?

I’ll See Your 5 & Raise You 1

Yoandri Hernandez Garrido, 37, known as “Twenty-Four” shows his 12 fingers in Baracoa, Guantanamo province, Cuba. Hernandez is proud of his extra digits and calls them a blessing, saying they set him apart and enable him to make a living by scrambling up palm trees to cut coconuts and posing for photographs in this eastern Cuban city popular with tourists. Known as polydactyly, Hernandez's condition is relatively common, but it's rare for the extra digits to be so perfect. (AP Photo/Javier Galeano)

Edinger Plans To Run Again

Long-time Coeur d'Alene Councilman Ron Edinger told Huckleberries moments ago that he planned to seek re-election this fall. Edinger said he was gathering signatures for his candidacy petition and will submit them to the city clerk's office next week. Edinger has been on the City Council since the 1960s, serving as mayor in the late 1970s. He told Huckleberries that he's in good health after a scare earlier this year. His doctor confirmed that during an examination last week. He said he's still looking for a second to his motion to put proposed changes to McEuen Field to a public vote. Otherwise, he said he's eager to seek another term, commenting: “It's hard to put us old guys down.” Edinger becomes the second candidate to indicate his candidacy for council. Dan Gookin announced Thursday that he'll seek the seat currently held by former mayor Al Hassell. Hassell has been leaning all year toward not running again.

Wolf Lovers To Protest In North Idaho

Looks like an environmental organization named Howl Across America is planning a protest rally in Coeur d'Alene Sunday afternoon, staging from 11 to noon at  Ramsey Park. A Berry Picker sent a link to Hucks Online, containing an exchange between Howl Across America and its followers. First, the announcement: “The Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance is planning to hold two protest rallies in August to protest the wolf hunt planned to start on Sept. 3rd in Idaho, and to protest the removal of the Gray Wolf of the Northern Rockies from the Endangered Species list, by way of the Budget Bill last April. One of our protests will take place in Sandpoint, Idaho and the other in Coeur d' Alene.” The Sandpoint rally had been scheduled for yesterday afternoon. You can read the entire exchange here.


Look, Ma, No Bumperstickers

A Berry Picker sends this photo of the Kootenai County Reagan Republican booth at the North Idaho Fair this afternoon, with the note: “No bumperstickers.” I'm not surprised. But “Corrupt d'Alene” bumperstickers were there opening day b/n 4-5:30, according to a reliable Berry Picker and her mother who passed by the booth on several occasions to check them out. Although KCRR poohbah Jeff Ward denies that the stickers were there at all, he does describe to the notion that Coeur d'Alene is corrupt.

News BF: Jeremy Hill Did Right Thing

On Mother’s Day, May 8, 2011, 33 year old Jeremy Hill was enjoying this special occasion with his family. He had no idea that his life was about to change; and all because he did the right thing. After his guests had left, four of his six children were outside playing and shooting baskets in front of the house. His 5 year old daughter Aspen, the 8 year old twin girls Mercedes and Sierra, and his 11 year old son Cameron were engrossed in their play not realizing that three grizzly bears had come onto their property from the trees through the yard at the back of their home, not 40 yards away from where they were playing. Luckily for the children, the bears went after their four pigs in a pen on the side of their log home. Two of the pigs were for the kid’s 4H project and the other two were being raised for food. Jeremy was just getting out of the shower when his wife Rachel saw the bears out of their bedroom window/Mike Weland, News Bonners Ferry. More here. (News Bonners Ferry photo/Mike Weland, of Jasmine Hill's pig, Regena, which sold 15 times for $19,558 at county fair to raise money for father's defense fund.)


New Details In UI Murder-Suicide

University of Idaho President M. Duane Nellis said Friday that university officials worked closely with student Katy Benoit and the Moscow Police over the summer to investigate a complaint she made against assistant professor Ernesto Bustamante. Nellis, who issued a public statement Friday saying the University was committed to full public disclosure regarding the shooting death of Benoit, released a detailed timeline of how university officials dealt with Benoit’s complaint against Bustamante this summer. That timeline indicates university officials urged Benoit to contact Moscow police about Bustamante June 10, the day she first filed the complaint/Patrick Orr, Idaho Statesman. More here. H/T: Kevin Richert

DOTC: Weight Loss Has Up Side

Dan of the Camp: I know my weight loss stuff is old news now but in addition to all the health related benefits of losing about 58% of my former self I found a real practical upside to it yesterday. I accidently locked my keys in my pickup at Lowe’s recently but luckily had put some long boards through the little slider window on my extended cab Mazda pickup so it was open. I tried reaching through it to get to the keys or door lock but no go. So then I took a hard but quick look at the window and thought “I think I can just make it through there.” It was a bit tough getting the first shoulder through but then it went easier right up to where the waist and belt on my jeans got pretty stuck. More below.

Question: How much more/less do you weigh now than when you graduated from high school?

High Noon: Xmas In August

On her way through the Costco aisles at a Spokane Costco, Cindy spotted this unwelcome site when the temperatures were in the 90s outside Wednesday.

Question: Do early displays of Christmas, Halloween, & other holidays bother you? Or do you merely shrug?

AM Scanner Traffic — 8.26.11

  • Noonish: Someone is experiencing intense back pain at Verizon, 540 W. Prairie, CdA.
  • 11:57 a.m. 40-50YO male is bleeding from head & nose after fall @ State Line WalMart.
  • 11:39 a.m. Possible hazmat issue involved in 3-vehicle crash @ H95 & Cherry/CdA.
  • 11:23 a.m. Someone is suffering a seizure at TJ Maxx, 430 W. Wilbur/Hayden.
  • 11:09 a.m. Arthur reports a tree has fallen and taken down power lines and a pole, completely blocking road @ 3394 E. Thomas Lane/CdA. (Update: Officer on site reports other large trees may topple, too, including ones near a house. He reports cause as “a rotted base.”)
  • 10:54 a.m. Blue semi is weaving & appears to be having brake problems @ H95 & Hanley/CdA.
  • 12 more items below

Hucks Poll: Don’t Sell Camp Easton

  • Thursday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation voted that the local Boy Scouts shouldn't sell Camp Easton on Lake Coeur d'Alene to Gozzer Ranch developer, Discovery Land Co. 109 of 134 respondents (81.34%) oppose the sale. 15 of 134 (11.19%) support it. And 10 (7.46%) are undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you believe the UI's claim that it had no knowledge of Ernesto Bustamante's mental condition and violent tendencies?

Popkey: Otter’s DUI Double Standard

When South Boise Women's Correctional Center Warden Terressa Baldridge was arrested for DUI earlier this month, she was immediately put on administrative leave and subsequently demoted and suffered a $10,000 pay cut — even though she's pleaded not guilty. But when Tony Faraca, deputy director and chief financial officer at the Idaho State Liquor Division, pleaded guilty to DUI in May he remained in his $85,114 post/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you think a double standard is at work in the Otter administration re: these two DUI cases?

Richert: UI Owes Parents Explanation

I got my first clue, as many parents do, on Facebook. My oldest son, a senior at the University of Idaho, had written a post asking if anyone else had taken a class from Ernesto Bustamante, the former assistant professor who is believed to have murdered a U of I graduate student before taking his own life. Anyone else? After swapping text messages, I learned that, indeed, my son had taken a psychology class from Bustamante. It was one of those chilling moments for a father, and one of those difficult moments for a journalist. It's where the passions of parenting collide with a profession that demands detachment. It's an awkward place, but here we are. Standing at this intersection, I better understand just how much of a crisis this is for the U of I/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Are you a Vandal parent with concerns re: how UI handled Ernesto Bustamante?

Obama OKs Controversial Oil Pipeline

Environmental activists gather outside the White House in Washington earlier this week, as they continue a civil disobedience campaign against a proposed oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast, in Washington. The Obama administration outraged environmentalists today by giving a green light to the project. New York Times story here. (AP file photo)

Question: How do you read the decision by the Obama administration to OK the pipeline project?

Crapo Remarks On Grizzly Shooting

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo's statement about the grizzly shooting case involving Jeremy Hill of Bonners Ferry: “I have deep concerns about this incident and the decision of the government to prosecute Mr. Hill, who did what any parent would do in this situation.  Clearly, Mr. Hill thought that his family was in danger and was protecting them from harm.  I understand that the Endangered Species Act is intended to protect threatened and endangered species, but Congress never intended to do so at the expense of basic public safety and the ability to protect oneself or their loved ones in the face of danger.  The American people need to know that they can protect themselves, their families and property when threatened by federally protected wildlife, and that the government will support their right to do so.” More below.

Question: Are you glad/mad that Gov. Butch Otter and the Idaho delegation have gotten involved in this case?

Carlson: Mathesons Back In Power

Former Coeur d’Alene Tribal Chairman and Casino Executive (1994-2006) David Matheson, is back in a seat of prominence, his old job as Casino executive, after five years of acrimonious litigation full of charges and counter-charges the press shouldn’t repeat because there were no verdicts and no real conclusions. Any observer of Native Americans, or anyone who has business or political dealings with tribes as an entity quickly learns the internal politics of any tribe are as Byzantine and as complex as any politics anywhere. If one has not been raised in that culture one cannot begin to understand the machinations. … Suffice it to say to outward appearances the Matheson family is back in the saddle of real power. Whether that is at the expense of some other powerful family, which is now out, who outside can say?/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Chronicles. More here. (SR file photo/Kathy Plonka: David Matheson in previous stint running casino)

Question: How much involvement have you had with the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe?

CGX Has Wolves In His Cross-Hairs

CoeurGenX offered this story to Huckleberries Online: “I purchased my $11.50 Wolf tag the other day. So I call up Fins and Feathers to inquire about it. I am NOT a hunter and haven’t purchased a hunting license in about 10 years. So I ask if they sell wolf tags, and the guy says yeah. So I say, “I’m not much of a hunter, so do I need a hunting license to buy a wolf tag?” his response was, “that’s why they call it hunting!”

Question: Are you much of a hunter?

4 Jailed In Moscow Megaload Protest

A half-height Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil megaload sits on a trailer near the main gate to the Port of Lewiston Thursday evening. (Moscow-Pullman Daily News photo: Dean Hare)

At least four people were arrested early Friday morning in downtown Moscow as protesters sat cross-legged in front of the 413,600-poundmegaload making its way north on Washington Street. Several of the protesters passively resisted arrest, and law enforcement officers crammed limp bodies into a Latah County Sheriff’s Office van. Some who weren’t arrested yelled and made lewd gestures at police and the megaload convoy, while counterprotesters called for law enforcement to make arrests and get people out of the crosswalk/Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Story here.

Question: Have you ever been involved in a protest in which police arrested demonstrators?

Ed Corridor Work To Affect NW Blvd

Now that the road and sidewalk infrastructure project is complete along River Avenue, the Education Corridor construction will move north. Beginning Monday, a portion of Northwest Boulevard will be restricted to one lane as work begins on the installation of a new traffic signal at Northwest Boulevard and Hubbard Street. Motorists should expect delays when traveling in this vicinity/Stacy Hudson, Education Corridor. More here.

Statesman: Hagedorn Misses Mark

There is no waiting period on political opportunism. Hence Rep. Marv Hagedorn’s insensitive and ill-timed reaction to the Moscow shootings. On Tuesday, the day the news broke, Hagedorn urged University of Idaho President Duane Nellis to teach gun safety on campus and chided the school for “running away” from the Second Amendment. There’s a backstory here. Hagedorn (pictured), R-Meridian, co-sponsored a bill in 2011 to allow concealed weapons on campuses. Opposed by university administrators and law enforcement officials alike, this misguided bill was defeated in a Senate committee. It’s bad enough that Hagedorn callously reopened the campus gun rights debate. He doesn’t even have the facts on his side/Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Has the tragic murder-suicide at UI prompted you to rethink your position on Hagedorn's 2011 legislation that would permit guns on the state's college campuses?

Statesman: UI Leaves Unanswered Qs

Over the past two days, the story of Katy Benoit’s slaying has unfolded — in slow and unsettling detail. According to a police affidavit, the Boise High School graduate and University of Idaho psychology student had been threatened several times over a period of months. Benoit’s assailant, U of I assistant psychology professor Ernesto Bustamante, once put a gun in her mouth. According to family members, Benoit was “deeply alarmed” by Bustamante’s behavior after their breakup. “Our family had grave concerns when we heard that the university may have received complaints from other students about Bustamante, and that Katy was the only one willing to sign her name to a complaint.” The one entity that can address many questions about Benoit’s death — and, indeed, the entity with the most to answer to — is largely silent/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here. (SR photo/Christopher Anderson: Students, staff and friends gathered in downtown Moscow to honor slain U/I grad student Katy Benoit)

Question: What should the University of Idaho have done when it received complaints about the behavior of Ernesto Bustamante?

AM Headlines — 8.26.11

Hundreds of students, staff and friends gathered in Friendship Square in downtown Moscow Idaho to honor slain U/I grad student Katy Benoit Thursday. Story below. (SR photo: Christopher Anderson)

Preparing For Hurricane Irene

Home Depot remained open late into the night as residents prepare for the worst as Hurricane Irene makes it's way up the east coast, Thursday in Manahawkin, N.J. Tens of thousands of visitors to the New Jersey shore and many residents have begun an orderly exodus after a series of requests to evacuate because of Hurricane Irene. Story here. (AP Photo/Joe Epstein)

Question: Do you have family or friends in the predicted path of Hurricane Irene?

Mary: DFO’s A ‘Gossip Monger’

Looks like Mary Souza is calling Huckleberries Online on that “Huckleberries hears …” note of Wednesday reporting that the Reagan Republicans were selling “Corrupt d'Alene” bumperstickers at their North Idaho Fair booth. Mary and her followers — both of them — are delighting in using the term “gossip monger” to refer to your Huckleberry Hound, offering this statement by Reagan Republican jumbo Jeff Ward denying the sale of the bumperstickers: “In no case were these bumper stickers ever sold from the KCRR Booth. I was told Larry Spencer was giving them away around the fair but they were not distributed or sold from our booth.” (I'll get back to that statement in a moment. But I find this follow-up statement by Ward to be amusing given the subject of this post: “Although the method of pointing out corruption in CDA may be in dispute, there is no doubt the CDA city government is rife with corruption.” So Ward claims the bumperstickers weren't sold or given away at his booth — even though I have a source who saw Spencer at the Kootenai County Republican booth at the same time three stickers were lying on the upper right corner of a table in the Reagan Republican booth (from 4-5:30 p.m.). Then, Ward swallows the Kool-aid re: Coeur d'Alene being corrupt. Unbelievable. Here's Mary's latest diatribe.

Question: Do you think Coeur d'Alene's corrupt?

Hill Family Spends Birthday In Court

Rachel Hill and she and Jeremy's six children, including Jasmine, holding the baby at left, who celebrated her 14th birthday by attending her dad's arraignment on a federal felony charge for killing a grizzly bear. Story by Mike Weland/News Bonners Ferry here. (H/T: Duane Rasmussen)

Question: Have you ever lived in bear country?

Fishing, Logging Jobs Most Dangerous

Item: Fishing, logging, aircraft, & farming top USA most dangerous jobs/AP

More Info:  Fatal work injuries involving farming, fishing, and forestry workers increased by 9 percent in 2010. Fatalities involving agricultural workers, including farmworkers and laborers, rose from 127 in 2009 to 156 in 2010. Fatalities among logging workers also increased in 2010 from 36 in 2009 to 59 in 2010, but fatalities among fishers and related fishing workers declined. The number of fatal workplace injuries among police officers increased by 40 percent, from 96 in 2009 to 134 in 2010.

Question: Have you ever worked at a dangerous job?

NIC Prez To Get 3% Raise

Item: NIC president Bell to receive 3 percent pay raise/Maureen Dolan, CdA Press

More Info: North Idaho College trustees voted unanimously Wednesday to increase college President Priscilla Bell's salary of $152,250 by 3 percent. They also decided to increase the amount the college contributes to Bell's supplemental retirement account by $3,500.

Question: How much of a pay raise are you getting next year?

Anderson: Answered Prayer

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Thursday — 8.25.11

I'm headed to Riverstone Pond for the final free concert of the season offered by Riverstone & the Coeur d'Alene Arts Council at the amphitheatre. I've missed the various evening & Sunday afternoon music venues around Kootenai County while on vacay. A big hat tip to Chris Guggemos/Handshake Productions, Riverstone, and the Arts Council for offering such fare to the public. See you there in a few minutes? Now to replay the Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 8.25.11

New York Yankees right fielder Anruw Jones looks at the scoreboard during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics this afternoon at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Yankees set a Major League Baseball record by hitting three grand slams as the defeated the Athletics 22-9. Story here. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Scammer Misses Mark w/DFO

I was in Redding, Calif., on vacay when I received a cellphone message that my Wells Fargo debit card had been blocked. The message urged me to Dial 1 and then answer some questions. I immediately dialed the 800 number on the back of my debit card — and discovered that the card had been blocked because I was rolling up debits at strange places along my vacay route. I didn't think much about the original message afterward. Today, my wife got the same message, urging her to Dial 1 and answer questions. She called the 800 number on the back and learned that the card wasn't blocked. A scammer was trying to get personal information to gain access to my debit card. Lousy jerk.

Question: Have you been the target of a scam attempt this year?

PM Scanner Traffic — 8.25.11

  • 5:54 p.m. Hayden man wants to report possible lewd & lacivious activity.
  • 5:33 p.m. Katrina reports she's lost her goat.
  • 5:32 p.m. Bank of America employees report suspicious package at 501 Appleway bank.
  • 5:17 p.m. Manager reports suspicious redhead man walking around trailer park @ Starr Loop & Hayden Pines.
  • 5:16 p.m. Power line has fallen, igniting several trees on Ogara & Russell/Harrison.
  • 5:12 p.m. Steven in 600 block of W. Cloverleaf/Hayden reports an auto burglary.
  • 5:01 p.m. Pickup driver has turned on flashing lights & has followed red passenger vehicle w/handicap placard for miles as other driver swerves & goes 18-20 mph in fast lane of I-90, east of CdA.
  • 4:42 p.m. Rider on black motorcycle riding down center of I-90 before turning on Spokane/PF.
  • 4:41 p.m. Officer stops teen driver with learner's permit at Thornton & Mullan/PF and wants aunt to take boy to Del Taco because he can't drive without an adult in vehicle.
  • 4:20 p.m. Overweight woman w/2 shirtless kids allegedly shoplifted and stuffed candy from Coeur d'Alene Resort Mall store into baby's stroller and now is sitting at Sherman Square Park.
  • 4 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Aug. 24-25 here.
  • 16 items + AM Scanner Traffic below

PM Headlines — 8.25.11

Last week, Live, Love, Laugh, Hope wrote: “A couple nights ago, I loaded up my dog and my camera and set out in search of a sunset.  I ended up at a wheat field, where I sat for a good half an hour.  Except for  a rare car driving by, it was quiet, really quiet.  I haven't had that type of quiet for awhile and it was nice to just sit in the silence and watch God's creation.” See more photos of wheat here.

APhoto Of The Day — 8.25.11

A demonstrator moons police during protests as part of a national strike in Santiago, Chile, Wednesday. Chilean students, opposition politicians and union workers are leading a two-day nationwide strike to fight for fundamental changes in government. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. I said I wanted the “Chilean Sea Bass”, not “See a Big Chilean Ass!” — Eddie Torreal.
  • 2. (tie) While a man protests, his dog suddenly notices he has a Chile behind — JohnA; and: This demonstrator soon regreted telling riot police what they could do with their batons — Phaedrus.
  • 3. I’m the number one Athol — Eyes & Ears.
  • HM: Cabbage Boy

Cindy: New Kitten Requires New ‘Tude

The conversation wasn’t going well. He averted his eyes, sighed, yawned and finally just tuned me out altogether. I could tell because he started snoring, softly. I jostled him and he opened one green eye. “Listen Milo,” I said. “Just because we have a new baby, it doesn’t mean we love you less. You will always be our first cat, no matter how many kittens we adopt.” Milo didn’t want to hear it. He hopped down from my lap and hid under the entertainment center/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here.

Question: Do you think pets can be jealous of a new baby in the house?

Brock: Death w/Dignity For Dogs, Too

“She's gone,” said the vet, lifting her stethoscope and raising her eyes. My wife and I were a mess - sobbing, and unable to hold back the emotion. The vet was choked up as well. Our faithful dog, Abby, supplier of ten thousand smiles, lay dead in her bed. And we had ordered her death. It was a death with dignity, which is more than some humans are allowed. That we had ordered Abby's death seems inconceivable because she was with us for every milestone in our family's history. My wife had her before she knew me, and as she liked to put it, “The dog was here first.” Sixteen years/William Brock, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: How many dogs have you owned? How many have you had to “put down”?

North Idaho Blogs — 8.25.11

On Pecky Cox's As The Lake Churns blog, photographer Bryan Correll offers this shot of youngsters enjoying time on Priest Lake, titled “Oh Summer Days.”

Hucks Numbers (for Wednesday, Aug. 24): 7603/4581

Tough Spot For A Marmot

Here's another view of that marmot that summer intern Tim Kincaid helped out of that Spokane Valley Stormwater Utility drywell last week. Kincaid, a student in the Spokane Community College Water Resources Program, discovered the critter had fallen into the drywall. So he fished it out & turned it loose. Berry Picker Otis G who provided 3 photographs of the rescue noted the large amount of garbage that had washed in from the street. Previous photo here.

Gookin Announces For City Council

  • DFO: I hear you are announcing your candidacy for City Council. Is that correct?
  • Dan Gookin: Yes. I have the paperwork done. But it's not due until next week. I'll turn it in then.

DFO: Didn't you say after your loss to Deanna Goodlander that you weren't going run again?

Dan Gookin: No, I said I'd rather cut off my own head. But I couldn't find anyone else to do it. Lots of people kept asking me whether I was going to run again. People told me that they still had my sign in their garage to put out when I ran again. I believe we can do better in the city. I'd like to see some balance. It's like the Idaho Legislature. You have all those Republicans down there. There is no debate. We need to hear both sides on the council.

  • DFO: Which position are you running for?
  • Dan Gookin: Seat 3 (Al Hassell's current seat). I've heard he's not going to run again.
  • DFO: Are you going to be part of a ticket?
  • Dan Gookin: No tickets. Last time, we weren't part of a ticket either. You had 3 incumbents and 3 challengers. People just lined up.
  • DFO: What issue(s) most inspires you this time?
  • Dan Gookin: No. 1 is McEuen Field. Ron Edinger needs a second on his motion for a public vote. LCDC. People are still frustrated by LCDC. My issues I had last time. We can do more for transparency, accountability. I'd like to see more done to bring the jobs in here.

Also: Coeur d'Alene Press Online announcement story here

Question: I'm hearing that Councilman Ron Edinger plans to run again. Who else do you think will run?

Stein Flubs North Idaho Lake Spelling

In lecturing Texas Gov. Rick Perry about economics, conservative commentator Ben Stein of CBS News bragged that he was going to leave Perry alone “for this month and just spend it on my boat up at Lake Pendoreille (sic) in North Idaho, a mountain lake where ospreys soar and where I feel at peace.” Huckleberries’d like to think that the misspelling of Lake Pend Oreille was an editor’s error rather than one made by Stein (boring economics instructor in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Stein, after all, has spent many vacations in the Sandpoint area. Story here. (AP file photo of Ben Stein)

Question: Which local place name causes you the most problems when you try to spell it?

Portland, Seattle Lead In ‘Casual Sex’

There are many theories forwarded that attempt to explain Spokane's youth diaspora. Kids leave town, people say, because of better job prospects in cities like Seattle and Portland, or for greater perceived culture. There is probably truth to these beliefs. There's more work in Seattle, for sure. Portland, too, assuming you want to work in a vintage boutique or as a server at a farm-sourced restaurant. … But a tantalizing new survey from the dating site OKCupid, suggests another reason Eastern Washingtonians and North Idahoans are drawn west, as if by an uncontrollable biological urge: There's an actual uncontrollable biological urge. The website went out in search of the most promiscuous cities in America. It found its top two in the Pacific Northwest. Portland was firstSeattle was second/Luke Baumgarten, Inlander. More here. (AP file photo, to illustrate big-city party scene)

Question: Are young adults drawn away from the Inland Northwest to Seattle, Portland, and other big towns as a result of better chances to indulge in “casual sex”?

Walking On Water

Earlier this month, Berry Picker RhodeTrip was using the Centennial Trail near WSU River Point when he spotted these two boys seemingly walking on the water of the Spokane River. Actually, the boys were walking on top of a sand bar in the river.

Nampa Expands Dress Code

In past years, some students would show up for the first day at Syringa Middle School in Caldwell sporting new clothes: a Justin Bieber T-shirt, maybe, or a shiny skirt from Forever 21. Others might wear faded sweatpants or ratty shorts, while a few might have red or blue shirts with gang insignias. But on Wednesday, the first day of classes this year, the students at Syringa were all wearing basically the same thing:  clean collared shirts and dark pants. Caldwell School District has extended its dress code to the middle schools this year, after the elementary schools successfully adopted it last year. Next year, the high school plans to follow suit/Nate Green, Idaho Press Tribune. More here. (Idaho Press Tribune photo: Charlie Litchfield: Syringa Middle School students line up before heading to their next class around noon Wednesday in Caldwell.)

Question: Should schools in your North Idaho community adopt a dress code?

TFTN: Get A Mammogram

That’s pathetic. More than a one-third of Idaho women over 40 didn’t receive a breast cancer screening in the past two years, making Idaho last out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in mammogram rates. The Cancer Data Registry of Idaho estimates that there are more than 122,000 Idaho women over the age of 40 — that’s equivalent to the population of Twin Falls, Jerome and Cassia counties combined — who haven’t had a mammogram in the past 24 months. … Idaho’s low mammogram rate is inexcusable/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. Full editorial here. (AP file photo of actress Sarah Chalke in movie, “Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy,” for illustrative purposes)

Question: Has shyness or embarrassment prevented you from undergoing a complete annual physical or partial checkup?

Crump Retiring From Twin Falls Paper

A writer who chronicled the Magic Valley’s triumphs, foibles and transformations for almost three decades will retire Aug. 31. Times-News Opinion Editor Steve Crump, 59, started at the newspaper as sports editor in 1983, later serving as city editor, features editor and features writer. He has penned most of the newspaper’s editorials and edited its Opinion pages since 2007. His “Don’t Ask Me” column has appeared in the Times-News since 1990, and its “You Don’t Say” counterpart since 2008. Why call it quits now? Crump was married six years ago to a woman whose joint-custody arrangement ties her to Boise, and the couple has commuted between Twin Falls and Boise since then. “We decided the time is right to actually move in together,” Crump said/Virginia Hutchins, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

  • DFO: I'm a huge fan of Steve Crump's columns. He is a fountain of info re: the history and historical people of the Magic Valley and Idaho. His retirement creates a huge hole in the institutional knowledge of Idaho newspapers.

Question: How many newspaper columnists have you followed for decades, if any?

INW Headlines — 8.25.11

Huntington Beach, Calif.'s Trevor Windisch, left, doesn't get the tag down in time as Billings, Mont.'s Patrick Zimmer (19) slides safely into second base with a sixth-inning double during a baseball game at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., Wednesday. Montana won 1-0 in seven innings to advance to U.S. finals. Story below (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

FHB: Grandkid Pukes Way Thru Rides

On her Facebook wall, Frum Helen Back writes: “Went to the Kootenai County fair yesterday with five grandkids. One got sick from the heat so Dave took her home. That left four but we finally decided we had to leave at 9 last night even though they would have stayed. The youngest was a trouper. They didn't tell me she had puked four times after some of the rides. When we got in the car to go home, I told them to open the windows because she was stinking up our space.”

Question: Do you suffer motion sickeness? And/or: Can you handle the rides at the fair carnival/Silverwood without getting sick? And/or: When did you last puke in a public place?

Posse Corners Its Man, Er, Toddler

Entertainers Bob McMeans, center, and Jason Rariden stop to talk to 2-year-old Payton Wilk at the North Idaho Fair on Wednesday. The two are part of a troupe called Fables of the West, based in California, that was featured in commercials for the fair. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

AM Scanner Traffic — 8.25.11

  • 11:56 a.m. 16YO juvenile named Austin ran away from Anchor House in 1600 block of Govt Way/CdA 20 minutes ago. He's described as 5-foot-6, 160 pounds.
  • 11:35 a.m. A Palomino horse is running loose @ Rimrock & Dodd/Garwood.
  • 11:30 a.m. Caller reports juvenile turned into Athol Community Center w/o using his signal.
  • 11: 23 a.m. A German shepherd that may have been hit by vehicle isn't letting anyone near on H95 & M/P 410 (Stringham Road, south of Cda).
  • 11:15 a.m. A medical emergency is reported in the poultry barn of North Idaho Fair.
  • 15 more items below

Poll: Man Right To Shoot Grizzly

  • Wednesday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation voted that Boundary County resident Jeremy Hill acted correctly when he shot a 2-year-old grizzly bear that wandered into his yard with two cubs, while his children were outside. 139 of 184 respondents (75.54%) said Hill, who faces federal charges as a result of his action, did the right thing. Only 18 of 184 respondents (9.78%) said he acted improperly. 27 (14.67%) were undecided.
  • Correction: Apparently, Boundary County Sheriff's Department is now saying that the grizzly killed by Hill was one of the two cubs, a 2-year-old silvertip, not the mother grizzly.
  • Today's Poll: Should the local Boy Scouts sell Camp Easton on Lake Coeur d'Alene to Gozzer Ranch developer Discovery Land Co.?

Grizzly Cub, Not Mama Shot

The Idaho Fish & Game Department has contacted the media to say that the grizzly killed by property owner Jeremy Hill was one of the two 2-year-old bear cubs and not the mother bear. The misinformation may have been the result of this line in a news release circulated by the Boundary County commissioners Monday: “The press has stated that the animal was just crossing his property. In fact, it was a female with two sub-adult cubs. Three Grizzly Bears in a yard with your children is at the very least a dangerous situation, and the children must be protected at all costs.” Corrected SR story here.

Question: Does it make a difference to you that the grizzly Jeremy Hill killed was one of the two cubs & not the mother bear?

Goedde Dismisses Online Ed Criticism

Apparently, Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde is dismissing the overwhelming testimony against online education at 7 hearings around the state. Reports Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise: “He dismissed the negative testimony at the public hearings, saying, 'I don't know the makeup of the people that testified. … I was there for the Coeur d'Alene testimony, and without exception, every person that testified was either an educator or a former educator. And I think that is just consistent with their insistence that education reform is a bad thing.'” Betsy goes on to report that Goedde's subcommittee of the state Board of Education voted today to approve a two-online-course requirement for high school graduation in Idaho, starting with next year's freshmen (the class of 2016). Story here.

Question: Do you feel that Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, represents your interests on the issue of online education that faces a refendum vote in fall 2012?

Saving Critters Part Of Summer Job

Otis G provides this feel-good photo & cutline information from the Spokane Valley: “Each year, the City of Spokane Valley Stormwater Utility hires some summer interns to do inventory on our storm drain systems. Last week, Tim Kincaid (who is a current student with the Spokane Community College Water Resources Program) looked in a drywell and found a marmot that had fallen in. It was still alive, so he fished it out and let it go in a field.”

Trillhaase: Rep. Hart Delays, Obstructs

Idaho's courts are obligated to tolerate Rep. Phil Hart's insistence that it respect every single one of his due process rights before he pays his taxes. But the Athol Republican's constituents are free to judge Hart's actions now. As his latest legal maneuver makes clear, Hart is — to borrow liberally from Idaho State Tax Commission lawyers - clearly engaged in a “pattern of delay and obstruction.” Hart's claim to fame is that he writes laws for the rest of us to obey while taking a decidedly cavalier approach to following those laws himself/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.


Clerk Reveals Registration Volunteers

re: MikeK queries county clerk about voter registration “volunteers”/Hucks Online

In an email to Coeur d'Alene Councilman Mike Kennedy that Huckleberries Online received moments ago,  Deputy County Clerk Pat Raffee revealed the names of volunteers who culled voter registration rolls looking for unqualified voters: “Hello again Councilman.  The volunteers were Collin Coles, Jodi Hissong, Chris Pappas and DeDe Tondee.  You may know these people; all but one are former appointed public servants.  Their unpaid work at County Elections was for a few hours on June 2.  Their process included examining addresses for voters registered on what are notable commercial streets, such as Ironwood Drive, Sherman Avenue, Government Way, Seltice Way, 4th Street, Mullan Drive, Aqua Drive, Railroad Avenue, Highway 41, etc.   The volunteers examined some County Assessor records to verify a residence through a homeowners’ exemption at that address, or County GIS Mapping information to determine via photographs that a residence was on site. Full email here. (Photos: Mike Kennedy, left, and County Clerk Cliff Hayes)

Question: Any problems with volunteers?

Landers: Let Trial Settle Griz Shooting

Correction: The Boundary County Sheriff's Department is now reporting that the grizzly shot by Jeremy Hill was one of the cubs, a 2-year-old silvertip, and not the mother grizzly.

A North Idaho man deserves our respect for calling wildlife authorities after he shot a grizzly bear in his yard on May. 8. That was the right thing to do. It was a stand-up lesson to the five children Jeremy M. Hill said he was defending in his Porthill-area home.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean shooting the bear was the right thing to do. It’s not clear the 2-year-old male silvertip was doing anything more than trying to survive unusually harsh spring conditions along with its mother and sibling, fresh out of their den. Hill, 33, pleaded not guilty in federal court Monday to charges of killing a grizzly, a threatened species protected under the Endangered Species Act/Rich Landers, SR. More here.

Question: Is it wrong to choose up sides before trial for the North Idaho man accused of killing a grizzly bear who'd wandered into his yard with two cubs?

AM Headlines — 8.25.11

A Berry Picker provided this photo from the North Idaho Fair at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds opening day, featuring Raul Labrador either discussing a child's age — or possibly term limits — in front of the Republican tent at the fairgrounds. (If you get a good photo at the fair, please send it to Huckleberries Online for possible publication)

Hard Times? City Workers Get Raises

Item: Without COLA, wages still went up: Cd'A employees got merit increases during tough economic times/Tom Hasslinger, CdA Press

More Info: A records request shows that 58 percent of all city of Coeur d'Alene benefited employees were eligible to receive 5 percent merit pay increases in fiscal year 2009-2010. That was the year the city agreed with its three employee bargaining unions not to give 3 percent Cost of Living increases to all of its employees — as the contracts between the entities outline - due to economic reasons. So the 0 percent increase actually amounted to roughly $283,000 spread over 173 employees, out of 300.


Deanna: ‘Corrupt d’Alene’ Over The Line

Deanna Goodlander: Since the Reagan Republicans in their infinite wisdom choose to call my City, and by inference myself, Mayor and other Council members and City Staff, corrupt, I thought that I would look up the meaning of the word. Corrupt - guilty of dishonest practice, as bribery…..lacking integrity, crooked, debased in charactor, depraved, wicked evil. How do you react to such name calling? The people I know and work with do not resemble those words in any way. We are simply trying to do our jobs the best way we know how. Others may disagree with our decisions, but does that give them the right to use such words against us? More below.

Question: In a later comment post Reagan Republicans board member Dan Gookin said he would insist that the RR's remove the stickers from its booth. Will one of you check today to see if they have?

Idaho Dad: Scout CEO Smitten By Gozzer

I attended the meeting tonight. It was basically a sales pitch for Gozzer by the Council CEO, Tim McCandless. Everything about a new camp at a new site was “Great!” while the current Easton was painted as a decrepit money pit. I don’t believe McCandless gets it. Camp Easton is not about the crowded dining hall or the rundown staff cabins. It’s about the physical geography of the place. The new site, at Sunup Bay, comes nowhere near matching the layout of the current camp. Gozzer could build a “premiere camp” (Tim’s words) at Sunup Bay and would still pale in comparison to Easton as it exists right now. He seems to think that kids love Easton because of the buildings, but it’s the land they love. The kids would be happy sleeping on the ground and eating freeze dried stew around a campfire/Idaho Dad. More below.

Question: Should the Boy Scouts concentrate on raising funds to improve Camp Easton rather than swap its prime site for what Idaho Dad considers a lesser one at Sunup Bay?

Ramirez: Triggering Washington Quake

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Hump Day Wild Card — 8.24.11

I've shaken most of the cobwebs off & am now planning to head to the North Idaho Fair this evening. Mebbe I'll see you out there. Please say hello. Meanwhile, I've shaken off some of my cobwebs from my recent two-week vacation. It's nice to be back with you Berry Pickers. California & Oregon are fine places. North Idaho is better. Now to repost the Wild Card & dream of the huckleberry ice cream that'll be waiting for me at the fair …

Parting Shot — 8.24.11

Brooks Owens, 3, of Gilbert, Ariz., keeps cool playing in the water at the Splash Playground at Tempe Beach Park in Tempe, Ariz. Tuesday. (AP Photo/East Valley Tribune, Tim Hacker)

Gozzer Developer Wants Camp Easton

The Spokane office of the Boy Scouts of America is awaiting a formal offer from a North Idaho developer before considering whether to sell Camp Easton, a 380-acre camp it has operated on Lake Coeur d’Alene since 1929. Tim McCandless, the CEO of the Inland Northwest Council of Boy Scouts, said Wednesday that Discovery Land Co. is offering to trade about 270 acres on the west shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene for about 380 acres at Camp Easton, on the lake’s east shore. Only after Discovery makes an offer will the council look over the deal, he said/Tom Sowa, SR. More here. (SR photo: Addy Hatch)

Question: Should the Boy Scouts sell Camp Easton to Gozzer Ranch developer Discovery Land Co.?

PM Scanner Traffic — 8.24.11

  • 5:40 p.m. 13YO boy is bleeding from head after being hit by vehicle @ Honeysuckle & Chalet/Hayden.
  • 5:27 p.m. Red pickup w/personalized plate almost caused several crashes before exiting I-90, n/b on Pleasantview (M/P 2)/Post Falls.
  • 5:25 p.m. A dispute is arising out of unknown injury accident @ Atlas & Kathleen/CdA.
  • 5:16 p.m. Stepmother reports distraught woman is trying to jump out of green Suburban driven by husband w/4 small children as it passes Silverwood on H95.
  • 5:12 p.m. County resident reports man in golf court is terrorizing undisclosed neighborhood.
  • 4:56 p.m. Hayden resident reports girls w/o helmets are racing 4-wheelers on Maple.
  • 4:51 p.m. California dump truck, e/b on I-90 @ state line, is going 45 mph, backing up traffic.
  • 4:38 p.m. CPR is being performed on unconscious person in 800 block of W. Wyoming/Hayden.
  • 4:27 p.m. 3 small dogs have been barking for several hours on Oak Street/Hayden.
  • 4 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activity report for Aug. 23-24 here.
  • 16 more items & AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 8.24.11

Kevin Hecket, right, holds the bridle of Dolly, one of three dromedary camels giving rides and chats with passersby at the North Idaho Fair Wednesday. The fair opened Wednesday and continues through Sunday. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Question: Which day will you go to the North Idaho Fair?

Photo Of The Day — 8.24.11

Neighbors contacted the SPCA when they noticed a cow with her head firmly stuck in a ladder in a farmer's field in South Ayrshire, Scotland. The farmer does not know how the cow worked herself into the ladder or why the ladder was in his field. The SPCA was able to extract the cow and she was unharmed in the incident. (Photo courtesy: SPCA)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Aaaarrgggh! I’m still not getting good reception for the Celtics match against Manchester United! — Kevin Taylor.
  • 2. In the bovine world, this is akin to little Johnny sticking his finger in a light socket — Dennis.
  • 3. No wonder climbing the ladder of success is so hard — Jen.
  • HM: JeanieSpokane

Huckleberries Hears …

… That Larry Spencer is manning the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee booth at the North Idaho Fair as I write this.  The Reagan Republicans have a booth directly across from the union folks. The Reagan Republicans are selling the Corrupt d'Alene bumperstickers.

Jobs Resigns As Apple CEO

In this Jan. 10, 2010, AP file photo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs shows off the new iPad during an event in San Francisco. Jobs announced his resignation as Apple CEO today. Story here. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Question: How has Steve Jobs impacted your life?

Last Call For Free Fair Tickets

I have 9 tickets, worth $8 each, for free entry into the North Idaho Fair today. 2 individuals who'd asked for 2 tickets apiece gave them up when they discovered that the tickets are good for only today. So anyone who wants at least 2 tickets for the fair this evening need to contact me and get to the office on NW Blvd within the hour.

Pig Sale Supports Man Who Shot Griz

Regina and the Hill family, surrounded by all the people who bid on and resold Regina before raising $19,588 and then giving Regina back to Jasmine Hill, who raised her. (News Bonners Ferry photo: Mike Weland)

In E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web,” Charlotte the spider extolled the virtues of Wilbur, calling him “some pig,” in an attempt to save him from the butcher's block. Had Charlotte been at the fair barn during the 4-H Market animal sale Friday evening, she’d have run out of both web space and words to extol the virtues of Jasmine Hill’s 4-H swine, Regina, who sold 15 times, raising a record $19,558, and who in the end was returned to Jasmine. Like many in attendance, Charlotte would have probably stopped even trying and, like so many who were there, have given in to tears. It was the way this community showed its support to the family of a man who stood up to defend his wife and six children by killing one of three grizzly bears that wandered into his yard May 8, and is now facing federal charges for doing so/Mike Weland, News Bonnes Ferry. More here.

Question: Some fund-raiser, hunh?

Medicaid Snafu Strands Herb, Yvonne

I'm way behind the curve re: Herb Huseland's vigil with Bayview hammer-attack victim Yvonne Wallis at Harborview Hospital in Seattle. Herb has been reporting in his Bay Views blog that a bureaucratic snafu involving Medicaid reimbursement has prevented Yvonne's release after surgery to fix metal plate inserted in her skull after the Dec. 19, 2010, attack. In an email to Huckleberries, he reports: “The procedure is finished, she has recovered and is ready to go home. I am still here to take her back, after 9 long days. Unfortunately, a regime of antibiotics have been prescribed that amount to $150 per day, which the state will not pay for unless she is in a nursing home or hospital. So here we sit, the hospital room costing Idaho over $400 per day because they can't get off their collective asses to authorize a nursing facility for when she returns. Catch 22 is alive and well. Why they couldn't anticipate the antibiotics prior to this whole situation is beyond me. Meanwhile, I'm running out of money and patience.”


Question: Can anyone make heads or tails of the bureaucrats' concerns?

INW Headlines — 8.24.11

A law-enforcement sniper aims at the window of a room Ernesto Bustamante rented at the University Inn-Best Western in Moscow on Tuesday. Bustamante was found dead in his motel room from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Bustamante is suspected of shooting and killing a 22-year-old woman in Moscow on Monday. Story below. (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Brandon Macz)

Moammar’s Having A Rough Day

Rebel fighters trample on a head of Moammar Gadhafi inside the main compound in Bab al-Aziziya in Tripoli, LIbya, today. Libyan rebels stormed Moammar Gadhafi's main military compound in Tripoli Tuesday after fierce fighting with forces loyal to his regime that rocked the capital as the longtime leader refused to surrender despite the stunning advances by opposition forces. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

KCSD Confirms More Human Bones

Investigators from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office along with volunteers from the Kootenai County Search and Rescue have spent the past couple of days scouring the area near the Coeur d’Alene River, south of Rose Lake where human bones were found over the weekend. Investigators report that additional bones were found and they are now preparing to send them to a forensic anthropologist in Seattle for dating and possible identification.  Investigators hope to be able to compare dental records of missing persons from the region with the remains that were found by campers on Saturday/KCSD news release. More here.

KCSD Seeks Tips In Hit-And-Run

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is requesting assistance from the public in its current investigation of the hit and run accident that occurred on August 16 about 8:45 p.m. on Garwood Road, north of the city of Hayden, Idaho.  The 20-year-old female victim was riding her horse in the area when the horse was struck from behind causing serious injuries to the rider.  The vehicle was described as a dark colored full size pickup with a contractor’s or similar rack. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Jason Austin at the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office at (208) 446-1300.

Meghann To Count Mullets @ NI Fair

On her Facebook wall, SR colleague Meghann Cuniff writes that she's going to the North Idaho Fair with a friend today — to count mullets. And she invited her Facebook Friends to join her mullet-count party. Quoth Meghann: “This fair is the best.” How about you?

Question: Have you ever worn a mullet?

Docs: UI Prof Had Threatened Victim

A psychology professor who shot and killed a graduate student at the University of Idaho had threatened the young woman in the past, according to court documents filed in the case.Police say Ernesto Bustamante shot and killed Katherine Benoit Monday night on the front porch of her off-campus apartment. Bustamante, an professor in the Psychology and Communications Department, killed himself at a hotel a few hours later. Court documents obtained by kxly reveal the two had a sexual relationship which deteriorated earlier this year, and that Benoit complained to the University of Idaho about Bustamante's behavior. Benoit's roommate told police, “Benoit complained Bustamante had pointed a handgun at her on multiple occasions and put the gun in her mouth at one point”/Executive Producer Melissa Luck, KXLY. More here.

Question: Am I the only one who's amazed that a person as troubled as Bustamante could work as a psychology department prof at the University of Idaho?

MikeK Queries Clerk re: ‘Volunteers’

In a second e-mail to Pat Raffee at the office of County Clerk Cliff Hayes (right), Coeur d'Alene Councilman Mike Kennedy (left) writes: “In a press release that you sent out in June, you indicated that the Clerk’s office was using “volunteers” to review voters and decide what voters’ registration and/or residency should be challenged.  Can you please detail the process, please list the volunteers used, and list what voters have been challenged in the process and the outcomes of those challenges?  I am hearing concerns from my constituents and other elected officials about whether the process being undertaken is open, transparent, and not ideologically motivated, considering that none of the “volunteers” have yet been publicly named and the process for these voter registration challenges is still unclear as an election cycle is upon us.”

Question: Should the county clerk reveal the names of volunteers scoring his voter registration lists?

GOP Redistricters Blame Dems

Idaho's citizens' redistricting commission is on hiatus this week — but in politics, there are no vacations. Today, it was the Republicans' turn to lobby charges at their three Democratic counterparts, accusing them of derailing the remapping by injecting “raw partisanship” into the process. The GOP's claim goes as follows: The Democrats reneged on supporting a plan to redraw the state's two congressional districts, and have since blocked efforts to redraw the state's 35 legislative districts/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Who do you blame for lack of concensus for the current redistricting attempt — Republicans, Democrats, the process?

Bar Report: Busted While Saving $$$

Huckleberries wonders if the officers who cited three females for open container and/or a minor in possession of alcohol had ever heard the excuse they used to explain why they were drinking in their vehicle. Seems the officers spotted them drinking in the vehicle at 11:35 Saturday, Aug. 13. They told officers, according to the Aug. 11-14 Downtown Coeur d'Alene Bar Report, that they were “trying to save money by not paying bar drink costs.” Now, it's time to catch up from my recent vacay by providing the last two Downtown Coeur d'Alene Bar Reports here and here.

M’s Dumps Cleveland 9-2

After retrieving a high pick off throw from Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana, Indians third baseman Jack Hannahan flips over Seattle Mariners baserunner Brendan Ryan as he steals third in the fifth inning of a baseball game in Cleveland today. The Mariners are leading Cleveland 9-2 in the top of the 9th, behind the pitching of Felix Hernandez. Boxscore here. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

AM Scanner Traffic — 8.24.11

  • 11:59 a.m. Possible structure fire 202 N17th/CdA.
  • 11:44 a.m. A man in orange tank top left a brief case in bushes near Social Security office and is now w/b on Wallace/CdA. He's now visiting w/female on bike @ 6th & Wallace. (Update: Owner tells officer she left brief case in bushes while she went for coffee. It contains only clothing.)
  • 11:38 a.m. Older man in red pickup is parked in h/c spot at Honeysuckle Beach, taking photos.
  • 10:52 a.m. A man in Post Falls WalMart lot, near Radio Shack, is telling 2 boys he just got out of jail.
  • 10:42 a.m. A man in a red baseball cap is jumping out of bushes & scaring Centennial Trail users, just east of e/b Huetter rest stop.
  • 10:05 a.m. Resident in 7000 block of Cougar Gulch/CdA reports a burglary.
  • 9:27 a.m. Animal control officer is en route to injured animal @ David & Schooner/Rathdrum.
  • 9:04 a.m. Man in red Ford Ranger stops at KMC ER after fist fight w/man @ NW & Seltice Way/CdA.
  • 8:48 a.m. Resident @ 3399 Sky Harbor/CdA reports vandalism to property.
  • 8:31 a.m. Possible suicide threat in 3500 block of Sherman Drive/CdA.
  • 8:30 a.m. Officers arrest female hitchhiker (8:03 a.m.) who continued trying to wave down traffic.
  • 8:16 a.m. Resident in 2800 block of Julia/CdA reports vandalism to property.
  • 8:03 a.m. Female w/long dark hair, dressed in an orange shirt & brown shorts appears confused as she walks back & forth across e/b I-90 @ port of entry/Huetter. (Update: Female is trying to hitchhike to Moscow. She's told not to do so.)
  • 7:59 a.m. Fortgrounds resident reports parking problem @ 407 Military/CdA.
  • 7:54 a.m. Possible wanted woman on California warrant in trailer @ Govt Way & Wyoming/Hayden.
  • 7:47 a.m. Sally @ Ranch View & McKenzie/Rathdrum reports neighbors cows on her property.

HBO Poll: Tea Party Losing Steam

  • Vacation Poll: 182 of 381 respondents to the vacation poll — 47.77 percent — believe that the Tea Party in North Idaho is losing steam. 154 of 381 (40.42%) said it isn't. 45 of 381 (11.81%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Did Jeremy M. Hill act responsibly by killing a female grizzly, which had 2 cubs, to protect his children in his front yard?

Clerk Action On Absentees Queried

Seems County Clerk Cliff Hayes (pictured) has been a busy elected official while I was on vacation, withdrawing extension offices at local City Halls that made it easier for his constituents to vote absentee during election years. Hayes claims that he made the move because, after all these years, the polling places aren't secure enough for his liking and he wants to save money. Cindy posted a story about this on Monday here. Today, Councilman Mike Kennedy e-mailed this message to Hayes' Girl Friday, Pat Raffee:Can you help us understand how much money was received by the County Clerk’s office for the new election changes from the state and a specific accounting of how that money is being used?  Considering that financial matters were cited by your office in reducing service to make voting more accessible for voters in cities in the county, and in the last election it appears that the cost of the satellite office in Coeur d’Alene was roughly a mere $750, it would be helpful for us to understand where the state tax windfall monies are going for the elections.”

Question: Is County Clerk Cliff Hayes looking out for your best interests by eliminating absentee voting at local City Halls?

Dustin: Lost Wallet Returns Home

Dustin Hurst tweets: “I lost my wallet in another state recently. Someone from the town in which I lost it just mailed it to me. Wow. Amazed at the generosity.” The Twitter message reminded me of the time decades ago when my wife left her purse at a restaurant in The Dalles during a trip back from the Oregon Coast. We didn't notice it until our VW Rabbit broke down at Arlington along the Columbia (which is a separate story). Long & short, the purse was turned in to the restaurant manager, who sent it to us in Kalispell. We were also amazed.

Question: Have you ever lost your wallet & purse? What was the outcome?

Nicole Features Workplace Spaces

On her Blush Response blog, Nicole Hensley offers the final installment of creative workplace spaces, including the one above which spotlighted my corner on Northwest Boulevard. Writes Nicole: “These are a selection of a few Twitter users that graciously agreed to let me in their space to show the world just how messy (or neat) their desk is. I picked a vast choice of individuals from stay-at-home fathers kicking off their photography business or the guy that’s been sending you those lightbulbs in the mail. You’ve seen them on Twitter. You may follow them. They may follow you.” Check out others she spotlighted and Nicole's past looks at workspaces of regional people here.

Question: Do you consider your workplace space unique?

Hagedorn: Gun Safety Needed @ UI

Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, (pictured) who co-sponsored a 2011 bill that would have allowed concealed weapons holders to take guns on campus, wrote University of Idaho President Duane Nellis late Tuesday. Teaching gun safety “could have possibly served as a deterrent to the shooter had he really understood what the mis-use of his gun really meant to her and her family as well as his,” Hagedorn wrote. Hagedorn began his email with a quotation from a statement issued by Nellis earlier Tuesday, after police said graduate student Kathryn Beniot was killed by an assistant professor who resigned Saturday. The professor, Ernesto Bustamante, later shot himself, police said. Wrote Nellis: “I am deeply committed to keeping our students safe and preparing them for a bright future. That is certainty”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Should Rep. Marv Hagedorn have commented on this murder-suicide?

Poll: GOP Insiders Don’t Want Palin

The Republican establishment inside the Washington Beltway may be pining for new candidates to enter the race for president, but two-thirds of influential local Republicans surveyed by The Huffington Post and Patch in the early primary and caucus states are satisfied with their choices. And while Sarah Palin is gearing up for a major speech in Iowa, just 8 percent want her to run. Sixty-three percent of the 169 influential Republicans surveyed in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in our second HuffPost-Patch Power Outsiders poll say they are satisfied with the candidates now running for president, while just 36 percent say they want to see more candidates get into the race/KHQ. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Are you surprised that so few of the GOP establishment want Sarah Palin to run for president?

Idaho Last In Breast Cancer Screening

More than a third of Idaho women over 40 did not receive important breast cancer screening in the last two years, reports the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. That places Idaho last out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in cancer screening mammogram rates. The Cancer Data Registry of Idaho estimates there are over 122,000 Idaho women over the age of 40 who have not had a mammogram in the previous two years/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Any idea why Idaho would rank last for breast cancer screening?

Post Falls Horse Focus Of TV Show

Item: Smokey's story Coming soon to a TV near you: Horse, Post Falls owner to appear on national reality TV series/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: After BB's Smokey Dun collided head on with another horse last year, owner Diane Robson said her decision to put him down was “immediate.” “There was no question in my mind that he had broken his shoulder,” Robson said of the accident during opening ceremonies of the Spokane Interstate Rodeo. But Smokey had other ideas.

Question: Have you ever had to make a tough decision to put down a pet that was injured or extremely sick?

AM Headlines — 8.24.11

A Moscow police officer uses a video camera in a room rented by Ernesto Bustamante at the University Inn-Best Western in Moscow on Tuesday. Bustamante is suspected of shooting and killing a 22-year-old woman in Moscow on Monday. Story here and here. AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Geoff Crimmins)

Coroner Wilkey Busts Budget

Item: Coroner busts budget: Wilkey: High number of autopsies is to blame/Alecia Warren, CdA Press

More Info: Due to a high number of autopsies, the Kootenai County commissioners have injected an extra $50,000 into the coroner's budget to make it to the end of the fiscal year next month. “She told us what she had for current payables and what was projected through September,” said Commissioner Jai Nelson. The budget for autopsies will also increase next fiscal year, from this year's $135,000 to $150,000. The commissioners want to take a closer look at the coroner's expenditures, Nelson added.

Question: Do you blame autopsies or inexperience for the budget busting in the coroner's office?

Man Pleads Innocent In Grizzly Case

Item: Not guilty plea entered in federal case of shot grizzly: Officials, many in community question prosecution of father/Becky Kramer, SR

More Info: “It seems unjust to me that someone would be charged when they were protecting their family,” state Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, said after the hearing. “I’m at a loss to understand why the U.S. government is pursuing this in the manner they are.”

Question: Did the U.S. government goof in filing this case?

Facebook Has New Security Controls

Facebook said Tuesday it would roll out new controls for sharing personal information on the social network later this week, giving its more than 750 million users new tools to manage who can see information about them. On Thursday, the company plans to move a number of privacy controls — which previously required navigating to a separate settings page — to users' homes pages and profile pages, next to where they view and post content. Facebook and other social networks have at times been criticized for designs that lead users to inadvertently share information with a wider audience than they intended/Fox News. More here. (AP photo: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg)

Question: What is your biggest problem with Facebook?

Washington Monument Damaged

After taking a closer look at the Washington monument Tuesday, National Park Service officials found some cracks at the very top of the world's tallest obelisk. Structural engineers plan to continue examining the monument Wednesday to decide how to best fix the 127-year old structure, which remains closed indefinitely after a 5.8 Earthquake struck Tuesday near Mineral, Virginia. The monument is the highest profile structure to suffer damage, perhaps because it is also the tallest: 555 feet. The landmark in downtown Washington near the White House is also the world's tallest stone structure/CBS News Political Hot Sheet. More here. (AP photo)

Question: Which monument in Washington, D.C., is your favorite?

Signe: Functioning Democracies?

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Tuesday Wild Card 8.23.11

It's Tuesday! Oh, happy day, DFO will be back tomorrow. Unless he didn't get enough of a blog break— you never know.

He sure does earn his vacation days. Riding herd on a blog like Huck's online can be exhausting. In fact, I won't be around much myself today. I still go out and interview people and report stories. Today, I'll talk to mother/daughter cheerleading coaches and check out a neighborhood running club. Hard hitting stuff to be sure!

In the meantime, here's your Wild Card. You know the drill.

Parting Shot: Krishna’s BD

Indian youth make a human pyramid to reach and break the Dahi Handi, an earthen pot filled with yoghurt, as they celebrate Janamashtami, the birth anniversary of Hindu God Krishna in Mumbai, India, Monday, Aug. 22, 2011.

Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy to launch

A new non-partisan fiscal policy center is being launched in Idaho, with Mike Ferguson, former longtime state chief economist, chosen to head it.

The Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy will be housed at the Mountain States Group, and is funded by a grant from the Northwest Area Foundation. “The whole idea behind the center is to provide an independent, nonpartisan, unbiased source of factual information and analysis relating to Idaho's fiscal policies,” Ferguson said, “in particular the revenue stream, but it'll also of necessity have to deal with issues on the spending side – basically that's why you raise revenue in the first place, the whole question of adequacy.” Betsy Russell, EOB More here.


Plane crashes near Priest Lake

This 152 Cessna plane crashed near Priest Lake today. The pilot, Dr. John Hershey of Chattaroy, was hospitalized.

A Chattaroy man is in the hospital after he crashed his small plane at Priest Lake today.

Dr. John Hershey was conscious when emergency crews found his wrecked Cessna plane at the Cavanagh Bay airstrip, on the south end of Priest Lake in Coolin, Idaho.

Witnesses said Hershey was trying to land when the plane veered off the runway about 11 a.m.

Hershey was taken by MedStar helicopter to Kootenai Medical Center, where he is listed in critical condition

Why Mama told me never to flip anybody off

TACOMA, Wash. – A woman caused an accident SR 512 on Monday when she lost control of her vehicle as she was giving another driver “the bird,” the Washington State Patrol said.

The 23-year-old woman, driving a 2004 Taurus, was traveling eastbound next to a Subaru Outback, the State Patrol said.

She wanted to get over to the right lane, but it was occupied so she flipped off the driver of the Outback. As she was doing so she lost control of her vehicle and hit the back end of the Outback, causing it to run off the road and roll over. She ended up in a ditch further down the roadway.

Three people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The woman faces charges up to reckless driving.


Do you make a habit of flipping people off?






Obama’s rationale for Libya

For President Obama, the NATO air war in Libya was driven by a humanitarian impulse: to prevent the slaughter of Libyan civilians. On March 28, in fact, Mr. Obama said the United States would not stand by and allow a massacre that would have “stained the conscience of the world.”

Now the war is ending with Muammar Qaddafi, who ordered attacks on civilians in the city of Benghazi, apparently on the run. Will that same humanitarian rationale now be needed in post-Qaddafi Libya?  Read more.


U.S. Food Stamp Nation?

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Genna Saucedo supervises cashiers at a Wal-Mart in Pico Rivera, California, but her wages aren't enough to feed herself and her 12-year-old son.

Saucedo, who earns $9.70 an hour for about 26 hours a week and lives with her mother, is one of the many Americans who survive because of government handouts in what has rapidly become a food stamp nation.

Altogether, there are now almost 46 million people in the United States on food stamps, roughly 15 percent of the population. That's an increase of 74 percent since 2007, just before the financial crisis and a deep recession led to mass job losses.  More here.

Does this statistic surprise or concern you?

Idaho breast cancer screening rate, lowest in U.S.

Breast cancer survivors pose for a group photograph behind the INB Preforming Arts Center on Sunday, April 17, 2011.

More than a third of Idaho women over 40 did not receive important breast cancer screening in the last two years, reports the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. That places Idaho last out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in cancer screening mammogram rates.

The Cancer Data Registry of Idaho estimates there are over 122,000 Idaho women over the age of 40 who have not had a mammogram in the previous two years. “Mammography screening is an important tool in making early diagnosis of breast cancer and saving lives,” says Patti Moran, who heads up the cancer program at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. “Idaho has consistently ranked at or near the bottom for breast cancer screening. We want Idaho women to take note, and if they are 40 or older and haven't had a mammogram this year, to make an appointment today to get screened. It could save their life.”

Have you or anyone you know been affected by breast cancer?

Quaking in DC

People stand in Foley Square in New York after being evacuated from the federal and state buildings that surround it Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011.

MINERAL, Va. — A 5.9-magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia forced evacuations of all the memorials and monuments on the National Mall in Washington and rattled nerves from South Carolina to Martha’s Vineyard, the Massachusetts island where President Barack Obama is vacationing.

A District of Columbia fire department spokesman said there were numerous injuries, no reports of serious injuries or deaths.

My brother and his wife are in DC as he wraps up his 30-year career with the State Department. No news is good news, right?

Duane R: No interest in the fate of Jeremy Hill?

DuaneRasmussen on Montanan tapped as Idaho lands director on August 23 at 1:01 p.m.

I am amazed. We hear about this but nothing about the grizzly bear case which drew so many people to federal court in Coeur d’Alene today. What is up with that?

Is no one on this blog interested in the fate of Jeremy Hill and his family? And if so why?

Here's the story Duane references. As I said earlier, I've been away from my desk most of the day. But I too, would like to know your thoughts about the Jeremy Hill case,

Irene heads this way

A man wades through a flooded street after Hurricane Irene hit the area of Naguabo, Puerto Rico, on Monday. Irene could reach the U.S. mainland by the end of the week.

NAGUA, Dominican Republic – A rapidly strengthening Hurricane Irene roared off the Dominican Republic’s resort-dotted northern coast on Monday, whipping up high waves and torrential downpours on a track that could see it reach the U.S. Southeast as a major storm by the end of the week.

Have you ever experienced a natural disaster?

Montanan tapped as Idaho lands director

The Idaho Land Board, from left, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Gov. Butch Otter and state Controller Donna Jones, meets Tuesday to hire a new state lands director.

BOISE - Idaho’s state Land Board has voted unanimously to hire Tom Schultz, current administrator of trust land management for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, as Idaho’s new state lands director.

Schultz replaces George Bacon, a longtime department employee and the director from 2007 until about a month ago, when he retired; Schultz was chosen from among four finalists, including two from within the department. Betsy Russell, SR

High Noon: Very Superstitious

Michael Jordan in 1998.

A lot goes into being a pro athlete—hard training, raw talent, the ability to perform under pressure. But for some stars, a little superstitious reasoning is the added edge they need to get into the zone.

Whether it's drinking urine or talking to goal posts, these 10 athletes have used weird rituals to help take their game to the next level. Full story.

Michael Jordan, Serena Williams and Wade Boggs made the list. How about you? Are you superstititious?

Get your head examined

Lia Whitmore has sustained several concussions in her career playing soccer so she now wears a head brace for protection.

School physical. Check. Immunization record. Check. Emergency contact. Check. Head examined. Huh?

Back to school means back to sports for many student athletes, but before they get their heads in the game, a greater number of them will be getting baseline concussion scans, which can improve treatment if they suffer a blow to the head.

Several recent high-profile sports-related head injuries, including the one sustained by former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow, have highlighted the importance of proper concussion management. As a result, more high schools, and now a leading sporting goods retailer, are stepping up to the plate to make sure athletes receive baseline testing in time for fall sports.

My son had this done when he started football and I think it's a great idea. Have you ever had a concussion?

Fair time

COEUR d'ALENE - This year's highlights: More beer, but not everywhere.

Plus a post-rodeo shindig, and discounted tickets online.

On Monday, vendors were already arranging their wares and workers installing towering carnival rides on the Kootenai County Fairgrounds, in preparation for the 2011 North Idaho Fair and Rodeo. The fair officially opens Wednesday. More here. Alecia Warren, Cda Press

Gave away a lot of fair tickets last week. Today's your last chance to pick them up by 5 PM at the SR Cda office.

Do you plan to attend the Fair? What's your favorite thing about it?

Don’t just sit there

Dr. James Levine, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., demonstrates how to operate the Walkstation at the Steelcase showroom in Manhattan in 2007.

In an 18-year career at the University of Michigan, where she’s a customer service center supervisor in the payroll department, Jackie Adams figures she’s done a whole lot of sitting.

And that scares her.

So when her department installed a treadmill desk, Adams started using it to fit a little bit more exercise into her day. More here.

How much sitting do you do during the day?

Kootenai Health Triathlon

Joey Bonacci displays his triathlon medal.

Joey Bonacci is only 5 years old, but he’s training for his second triathlon.

He asks his baby sitter to time him as he sprints across his Hayden lawn. He took swimming lessons this winter so he’d be more comfortable in the water. And he packs milk in his lunch because it’s better “fuel” than soda. Full story. Alison Boggs, SR

Have you ever competed in a triathlon?

Doug Clark: The Sting

Latest in a seemingly never-ending series on nature’s attempt to murder me.

As I write these words I am trying to ignore a red, itchy welt on my left wrist.

Itchy tells only part of the story. There is burning, too, as if some fiend were intermittently jabbing the center of the welt with the business end of a flame-heated needle.

This has been driving me crazy since the other night, when I was attacked while sitting on my deck by the al-Qaida of the insect world …

The yellow jacket. Doug Clark, SR.

Have yellow jackets or bees got you yet this season?

UI professor found dead

The University of Idaho assistant professor accused of shooting and killing a 22-year-old female at a residence on South Lilly Street in Moscow on Monday night is dead, according to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

Moscow Police said they served a search warrant at the University Inn-Best Western around 7:45 a.m. and found the body of Ernesto A. Bustamante, apparently dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the newspaper’s website says.

The University of Idaho issued a statement this morning saying that Bustamante is a “former faculty member who worked at the university from 2007 to 2011.” He was an assistant professor in the department of psychology and communication studies. More here.

Extension officials concerned about possible cuts

COEUR d'ALENE - They can manage for now.

But some providers of non-mandated services in Kootenai County worry that upcoming budget cuts are the beginning of a long fall.

More important for us is the long-term implications,” said Mike Howell, district director for the University of Idaho Extension Office. “I don't think we want to go through this every year.”

The commissioners announced last week that county funding for the Extension Office would drop about $20,000 to $140,000, in their proposed 2011-12 budget. Alecia Warren, Cda Press Read more.


APhoto of the day

A man walks in a star wars dress at the gamescom 2011 computer game fair in Cologne, Germany, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011.

You write the cutline.

Internet’s influence on the class of ‘15

MILWAUKEE – Mention Amazon to the incoming class of college freshmen and they are more likely to think of shopping than the South American river. PC doesn’t stand for political correctness and breaking up on Facebook is more common than any more personal encounter.

These are among the 75 references on this year’s Beloit College Mindset List, a compilation intended to remind teachers that college freshmen born mostly in 1993 see the world in a much different way:

How aware are you of cultural trends/changes?

New camp part of Easton offer

Before judging, hear the pitch.

The Inland Northwest Council of Boy Scouts of America is holding town meetings this week to explain Discovery Land Company's offer to purchase Camp Easton, and why the organization is considering accepting.

“We hope to fully inform folks of more details of the proposal being considered, answer questions and get their feedback,” said Tim McCandless, scout executive for the Inland Northwest Council.Alecia Warren, Cda Press Full story.

How concerned are you about the proposed sale?

7 myths about caffeine

For many of us, a morning without coffee or tea is a like the proverbial day without sunshine. For me, much of it is about the ritual.

OK, who am I kidding? It’s about the caffeine. Mmm, I love caffeine — that naturally occurring alkaloid found in the leaves, seeds, and fruits of more than 63 plant species worldwide. But at what risk do I indulge in my morning coffee and afternoon espresso?

Caffeine is most famous for its role as a stimulant and its ability to delay fatigue. I clearly get a boost of energy and clarity, as had been scientifically proven. But caffeine has also acquired a bad-boy reputation — an unfair one, perhaps? Read more.

How do you get your daily caffeine intake, coffee, tea, other?

King Memorial opens

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is seen Monday in Washington, D.C., ahead of its dedication Sunday, the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington.

WASHINGTON – Some were locals who’ve watched for years as the memorial to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. took shape on the National Mall. Some were tourists who happened to be in Washington the day it opened. All felt honored to be a part of history as they gazed at a towering granite sculpture of the civil rights leader.

What other leader/s do you think deserves a national momument?

Parting Shot: How things have changed

In this photo from the mid-1930s: A seaplane takes off from the Coeur d’Alene waterfront. In the center of the photo is the millworks where the Coeur d’Alene Resort now stands. Tubbs Hill is in the background.

Monday Wild Card/ 8.22.11

On Friday's wild card and on his facebook page Herb Huseland shared what he's been up to this weekend. He took his neighbor, Yvonne Wallis, to the UW Medical Center in Seattle for surgery.

Wallis, you may remember, was one of the victims of a brutal hammer attack in December, that left another woman dead.

Sez Herb, “I'm just a grumpy old man that didn't have anything better to do and wanted to help.”

He may be a grumpy old man but he's got a heart of gold, makes a killer potato salad and plays a mean banjo. I for one am happy that he's part of our Huckleberry family. You can read his latest update here.

Here's your Wild Card.

Phishing for Idahoans

Idahoans increasingly are being targeted in a “phishing” scam in which people receive calls that claim to come from their bank, suggest that their account has been compromised, and ask the victim to provide information to reactivate the card.

The Idaho Attorney General's office today issued a “Consumer Alert” about the scam, which often uses the name of Wells Fargo bank. More here.

Have you ever been the target of a phone phishing scam?

Pullman ponders pot planting

In this photo provided by the Oregon State Police, a marijuana growing operation is shown in in Northeast Oregon on Friday, June 17, 2011.

PULLMAN – The Pullman City Council will discuss medical marijuana and the possible regulation of newly approved “community gardens” at its regular meeting Tuesday.

The discussion is prompted by recent changes in state law, which took effect July 22. The law now allows up to 10 patients to join together and raise “community gardens” for the purpose of supplying themselves with medical marijuana. Each garden would be limited to a maximum of 45 marijuana plants. More here.

Community marijuana gardens: good idea or bad idea?

Missouri teacher sues over Facebook law

A Missouri teacher has sued the state over a new law that prevents teachers from contacting their students over the Internet, arguing that it will make it illegal for her to chat with her own child over Facebook.

 The law, which has been nicknamed the Facebook law, prohibits teachers from having exclusive communications with students over non-work Internet sites. Students are defined as anyone under 18 who attend or used to attend the school where the teacher works. Full story.

Do you think teachers should be allowed to contact students via facebook?

Silverwood honored for Corkscrew preservation

High school students scream on the Corkscrew roller coaster at Silverwood Theme Park in 2009.

 When Corkscrew first opened at Knott's Berry Farm in 1975, it achieved two things of historical significance. Corkscrew was not only the first modern inverting coaster in the world, but it also was the first roller coaster to take riders upside down twice. Silverwood owner Gary Norton purchased and relocated the ride in 1990 to the park where it continues to thrill guests today.

On this coming Friday and Saturday August 26th and 27th, ACE – American Coaster Enthusiasts, the world’s largest ride enthusiast organization – will bring a group to come play in the park as well as present owner, Gary Norton, with a 2 foot by 1 and a ½ foot metal plaque.  Inscribed on the plaque is a short history of the ride as well as a recognition of Silverwood’s efforts in preserving this historic coaster. Silverwood Press Release

Rode the Corkscrew at Knotts Berry Farm many years ago, after my husband assured me it only went upside down once. He was wrong. We are still married, but the only Corkscrew I'm a fan of is in my kitchen.

Do you enjoy rollercoasters?


Romney’s CA home to get bigger

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is planning to nearly quadruple the size of his $12 million California beachfront mansion.

 Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and the nominal front-runner for the GOP’s 2012 presidential nomination, is planning to bulldoze his 3,009-square-foot home facing the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, Calif., and replace it with an 11,062-square-foot home, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Union-Tribune reported late Saturday that Romney has filed an application with the city for a coastal development permit, but that no date has been set to consider the project.

A Romney campaign official confirmed the report, saying the Romneys want to “enlarge their two-bedroom home because with five married sons and 16 grandchildren it is inadequate for their needs.

Um… 11,062-square-feet seems like a lot of house, but your thoughts may differ.

Oversexed Oregon

Dating site OkCupid has tapped into their data to determine which cities across the U.S. have the most promiscuous residents. By analyzing how many people have profiles with “Casual Sex” marked as a type of relationship they're looking for and then tallying where those users live, OkCupid has found the cities with the highest percentage of bed hoppers.

 Portland topped the list, followed by Seattle, Pittsburg and Miami. No Idaho cities made the top ten. Conclusion?

Hydros, Harleys and Hot Rods, oh my!

Crowds fill the boardwalk at the Coeur d’Alene Resort on Saturday during the annual Coeur d’Alene Wooden Boat Show. Jesse Tinsley SR photo

On the water, the vintage hydroplanes move forward fast, but their existence is steeped in the past.

Inland Northwest residents caught a glimpse of history in Coeur d’Alene this weekend at Hydros, Hot Rods and Harleys, an event sponsored by the Diamond Cup Hydromaniacs featuring vintage piston-powered hydroplanes, vintage hot rods and custom cars, and a motorcycle show. It was held in conjunction with the annual Coeur d’Alene Wooden Boat Show. Chelsea Bannach, SR

Did you enjoy the festivities this weekend? How were the crowds?

Fill in the blank

One of these days I'm going to __________

Bowhunter: Lighted arrow nocks a no-brainer

Jim Sutton of Spokane displays arrows with lighted nocks, which he believes should be allowed for hunting in Washington.

A Spokane sportsman says the state should consider his bright idea for reducing the number of deer and elk wasted by archery hunters.

“Allowing lighted nocks is a no-brainer to me,” said Jim Sutton, referring to an LED light in the fletching end of an arrow that illuminates upon release by the bowstring’s thrust.

Washington hunting regulations prohibit the use of certain modern and electronic equipment such as lighted sights and nocks for use during the special primitive weapons seasons. Rich Landers, SR  Full story.

Seems to me lighted arrow nocks might be a good idea. What do you think?

High Noon: Hog Wild

Alison Cassem and her husband, Bruce, check out used bikes Friday at Lone Wolf Harley-Davidson in Spokane Valley.

The new Lone Wolf Harley-Davison megastore in Spokane Valley is more than a motorcycle dealership.

It’s a regional hub for Harley riders and fans, said Beth Ernst, dealer principal.

“People will actually just come here and meet and have a place to hang out,” Ernst said. “It’s an experience.”

The store, 19011 E. Cataldo Ave., is 70,000 square feet filled with bikes, apparel and other gear, a lounge with Wi-Fi, pool and foosball, and a large fireplace. Full story. Chelsea Bannach, SR

Are you a Harley fan?

Airport dropping some fees

Airline passengers annoyed by add-on fees will be pleased that Spokane International Airport is listening.

Passenger surveys in recent years have shown that people who fly, many of whom are business travelers, want free wireless access at the airport.

Starting today, laptop users will get 20 minutes of wireless Internet before fees kick in.MIke Prager, SR  Read more.

What other changes would you like to see at Spokane International Airport?

Obama: Recession Unlikely

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama insisted the U.S. is not in danger of falling into another recession, but acknowledged in a televised interview aired Sunday that his re-election will hinge on the economy.

In the interview with CBS News taped last week – after a new Gallup poll found just 26 percent approve of the way he is handling the economy – Obama said, “I’m the president of the United States and when people aren’t happy with what’s happening in Washington … I’m going to be impacted just like Congress is. And you know, I completely understand that and we expected that.”

Another recession unlikely— agree or disagree?

Floating protest

On Sunday, rafters, kayakers and canoeists protest the proposal to build docks along the Spokane River.

The mood was better than anticipated when more than two dozen kayakers, canoeists and rafters set out from Plantes Ferry Park to protest 30 private docks proposed for the Coyote Rock development along the Spokane River.

 On Friday, the environmental groups behind Sunday’s protest float were notified that the developer of Coyote Rock – Coeur d’Alene-based Neighborhood Inc. – is ready to negotiate, and a hearing before the state Pollution Control Hearings Board that was supposed to start today has been postponed. Pia Hallenberg, SR  Read more.

How do you feel about the possibility of private docks along the Spokane River?



2,500 Idaho insurance agents could be forced out of business

If Idaho went with a federal health insurance exchange, rather than starting its own, state Insurance Director Bill Deal said as many as 2,500 Idaho insurance agents who are licensed for health and life insurance only could go out of business.

“I think there would be no question that agents would probably not be needed in the exchange, using the federal concept,” Deal told lawmakers. “I think it would be a definite economic disaster from the standpoint of more unemployment,” he said. Betsy Russell, EOB

Betsy Russell is covering the discussion in Boise here re: a health insurance exchange. “Otter said Idaho is not “at a crossroads,” at which it must decide - by Sept. 30 - whether or not to apply for a $40 million federal grant to build a new Idaho state insurance exchange.”

What do you think would be best for Idaho?

The King is dead

Burger King CEO John W. Chidsey, background center, watches as “The King” – the mascot of Burger King Corp. – arrives at the New York Stock Exchange in New York in 2006.

PORTLAND – The King is dead, but the burger lives on.

Burger King Corp. on Friday said it is retiring “The King” mascot, a man with an oversized plastic head and creepy smile who in recent years has been shown in ads peeping into people’s windows and popping up next to them in bed.

The move is an effort by the struggling fast food chain to boost slumping sales by focusing its marketing on the freshness of its food rather than the funny-factor of its ads. Read more.

The King always creeped me out. But then again so does Ronald McDonald and Jack from Jack-in-the-Box.

What's your favorite fast food place? (And don't act like you NEVER eat fast food!)

What if redistricting fails?

BOISE – Idaho’s citizen redistricting commission appeared to move toward compromise last week, but after weeks of partisan impasse, it’s worth asking: What happens if the commission fails to agree by its September deadline?

“My personal opinion is the Supreme Court would recognize the constitutional duty of the commission to do reapportionment, and I personally believe would kick it back to them, and tell them to reconvene again,” Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said.

Ten years ago, when the commission reached a plan that was challenged in court, the Supreme Court reconvened the commission to redraw it. Betsy Russell, SR

Do you think the redistricting commission will reach a compromise?

Cda Press: Tribe gambling with credibility

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe believes it was unfairly stung by a Press report published last weekend, then circulated widely by other media. The story detailed how the tribe no longer makes public disclosure of its gifts to educational entities in and around the reservation. According to the story, five local school districts contacted by The Press all indicated they had not received any funding from the tribe since it had decided two years ago not to announce its donations publicly.

The tribe says it has made donations as set forth in its gaming compact with the state of Idaho; a voter-approved agreement that requires the tribe to donate 5 percent of its net income from gambling to educational entities “on or near the reservation.”

Exactly when those donations are made, and to whom, is completely up to tribal discretion, according to the tribe's spokesman, Helo Hancock. Hancock added that there was consternation among the tribe over what some felt was an unfair portrayal of the situation, and that insult was added to injury because The Press obviously was not taking tribal and Idaho Lottery officials' word at face value that the disbursements had been appropriately made. More here. Cda Press

Do you think it would be prudent of the tribe to disclose when/who received the required educational disbursements?

APhoto of the day

Padraig Harrington, of Ireland, uses one of his wood covers to aid with his arm position while practicing on the driving range during the Pro-Am of the Wyndham Championship, at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011.

Slow day for the cutline contest but Charlie and Santa Fe, there's free fair ticket for you at the Cda SR office. If you want them, pick them up before 5 on Tuesday!

JeanieS: Illness no excuse

JeanieSpokane on Sandra Martinson pleads guilty on August 21 at 4:24 p.m.

Sorry - it bugs me when people use an illness as “punishment enough” (e.g., “Sandy’s already been sentenced, by a Judge much higher than Fred Gibler, via confinement to a body ravaged by MS”). So, my disability and terminal illness - End Stage Renal Disease - means I can commit a pretty hefty crime - stealing from the public to benefit myself. Dang! Where do I sign up???

Jeanie was responding to a comment from JohnA who is a friend and former colleague of Sandra Martinson. Sez John: “Jail time in real terms would serve no earthly purpose except to placate the lynch mob mentality some in society possess.”

What say you?

Your vote stops here

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — The Kootenai County clerk says city halls in the county aren’t secure enough to house absentee ballots so anyone wanting to cast such a ballot early and in person in future elections will have to do so at the Kootenai County Elections Office in Coeur d’Alene.

Cliff Hayes also says it’s too expensive to provide staff to work at the absentee polling sites. The Coeur d’Alene Press reports in a story published Sunday that it will be the first time in decades that several Kootenai County municipalities won’t have their city halls open for early ballot voting.

Some Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene officials are unhappy with the change, noting it will make voting more difficult.

Good idea or bad idea?

Kootenai County offers 2012 budget


Kootenai County commissioners are proposing a 2012 budget almost $3 million higher than this year’s, but they say property taxes won’t increase because $4 million will be used from reserve funds.

Several county reserve funds have risen to levels well beyond what is needed, said Commissioner Dan Green, who took office in January. “We are going to draw them down to prudent levels,” Green said. “Right now we have extra money.” Full story. Alison Boggs, SR


Gadhafi defense collapses

People celebrate the capture in Tripoli of Moammar Gadhafi’s son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, at the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, early today.

BENGHAZI, Libya – The long, brutal reign of Col. Moammar Gadhafi appeared to collapse Sunday as rebels swept into Tripoli, captured two of his sons and set off wild street celebrations in a capital that he’d ruled by fear for more than four decades, Libyan and NATO officials said. Full story.

Care to speculate on the fate of Moammar Gadhafi?


Sandra Martinson pleads guilty

A former Kootenai County deputy clerk accused of embezzling $139,000 over 10 years pleaded guilty Friday to a single count of grand theft.

Sandra Martinson, 62, retired in November from her career with the county, which spanned more than three decades. The embezzlement is alleged to have occurred for 10 years, ending in October.

Because of Martinson’s long employment with Kootenai County, Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall is handling the case. Alison Boggs, SR  More.


Weekend Wild Card 8.20-8.21.11

I'm happy to say that I've already finished our back-to-school shopping. The thing about having all boys is no one wants to shop with me, which is cool, because I'm a strictly git-er-done shopper.

Took me about an hour last Saturday. Jeans, white sport socks, boxers, t-shirts and hoodies. Shoes are a bit trickier. I just have to remember sizes and keep up with what “brands” are acceptable for my one son who actually knows clothing brands.

Piece o' cake.

Which leaves my weekend free for things that are more fun, including box seats at the Spokane Indians game tonight!

Share your weekend plans or anything else on this Wild Card.

Parting Shot: Getting ready for hydroplanes

Don Sausser snapped this pic of a crane preparing for hydroplane weekend.

Are you going to check out the hydroplanes?

TGIF Wild Card 8.19.11

I get a lot of press releases as part of my job. This one landed in my inbox yesterday and it cracked me up!


“It is no secret that the United States' 2012 Presidential Campaign is under way and already Minn. Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney and, of course, the Tea Party Movement are making headlines. Bluewater Comics is returning to their political roots with bio comics on each of them as part of their “Political Power” line.

Beginning with “Political Power: Michele Bachmann” in November 2011 and “Political Power: Mitt Romney” along with “Political Power: The Tea Party Movement” due out in December 2011, each comic presents a middle-of-the-road approach chronicling the lives and history of the three.”

I think I'll hold out for the action figures.

Here's your Wild Card.

APhoto of the Day

Jessica Alba stars in “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World.”

#1 Jessica Albas stand in will not be upstaged. Charlie

#2  Born with a condition that prevents her legs from reaching the floor, scientists were able to clone a full-sized Jessica Alba onto the child’s back to provide her with hand gesture controlled locomotion. Phaedrus

#3 Coming this fall, the newest bestest superhero ever, Jessica Alba is… the Human Kangaroo! Pounder

Haboob engulfs Phoenix

A haboob hits the Phoenix area Monday.

PHOENIX – A giant wall of dust rolled through the Phoenix area on Thursday for the third time since early July – turning the sky brown, creating dangerous driving conditions and delaying some airline flights.

The dust storm, also known as a haboob in Arabic and around Arizona, swept through Pinal County and headed northeast, reaching Phoenix at about 6 p.m.

I'd never heard of a haboob before, have you?

Idaho auditors: Pharmacist’s deal excessive

BOISE — Every time the pharmacist at the Idaho State Veterans Home in Boise hands out aspirin to a resident, he’s due $11.

He gets the same fee for dispensing other over-the-counter and prescription medications, too.

Jan Poreba, the pharmacist, used this lucrative arrangement to take in an average $14,884 every month — on top of a separate $15,000 monthly fee that pushed Idaho’s payments to him to $358,619 in the 2010 fiscal year.

If Poreba’s compensation package sounds excessive, the state’s Legislative Services auditors say that’s because it is.

They’ve concluded Poreba’s deal with the Boise veterans home is unreasonably generous, especially when compared to less-costly agreements that administrators at Idaho’s other two homes for aging veterans in Pocatello and Lewiston have struck with their own contract pharmacy providers.

What I wish I was doing right now

This is my six-month old kitty, Thor. This is what he's doing right now. This is what he does for most of the afternoon.

 I'm working from home today, which is proving to be problematic because I'd really like to join Thor in his cat nap, but he's taking up a lot of space on my 16-year-old's twin bed.

Do you nap?

Sandpoint launches drug drop-off program

It's not every day that conservationists work elbow to elbow with folks in law enforcement and medicine.

But lately, we've worked with Sandpoint Police Chief Mark Lockwood and Bonner General Hospital Foundation board member Kathy Hubbard on a project designed to make our community and environment both safer and healthier.

This week, we launched the community Drug Drop-off Program to keep pharmaceuticals out of our waterways and off the streets. Susan Drumheller, Idaho Conservation League

How do you dispose of your unneeded or outdated pharmaceuticals?

H/t Arpie

WSU fined over campus rape reporting

SEATTLE — Federal education officials have fined Washington State University $82,500 for violations in 2007 of a campus crime reporting law, including not properly reporting two sexual assaults, the university said today.

WSU will appeal the fine, spokesman Darin Watkins told The Associated Press.

The U.S. Department of Education detailed the fine in a letter to WSU President Elson Floyd today, more than five months after federal education officials completed an investigation of WSU’s campus crime statistics.


Tasered North Idaho man died from heart attack

A man who died after being shocked with a Taser by a sheriff’s deputy in North Idaho in May suffered a heart attack, officials announced today.

Daniel L. Mittelstadt, 56, of Mount Shasta, Calif., had a preexisting heart condition and a long history of mental health issues when Boundary County sheriff’s Cpl. Clint Randall responded to a report of a naked man blocking a road with his car about 1 a.m. on May 16.

Mittelstadt was wearing on a jacket and was described by Randall as “uncooperative and irrational.” Full story. Meghann Cuniff, SR

Do you think the officer's use of a taser was reasonable?

Shorter lunch times, bigger consequences

School districts across the country are revamping their menus to serve healthier fare, but most schools give students so little time to eat that they could be contributing unwittingly to the childhood obesity problem.

Healthy food can take longer to eat, and research shows that wolfing down a meal in a hurry often means people eat more.

A new national survey by the School Nutrition Association shows elementary kids have about 25 minutes for lunch; middle school and high school students about 30 minutes. That includes the time students need to go to the restroom, wash their hands, walk to the cafeteria and stand in line for their meals.

Many students may have only about 10 to 15 minutes left to eat their meals, school nutrition directors say. Nancy Hellmich, USA Today

How much time do you spend eating lunch? How long should kids be given to eat their lunch?

Idaho troops to return this month

BOISE — Hundreds of troops assigned to an Idaho-based National Guard unit are slated to return home after spending a year in Iraq.

Military officials say about 2,700 members of the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team are expected to return later this month. The unit is made up of soldiers from Idaho, Oregon and Montana.

Idaho National Guard officials say soldiers will return from Iraq in groups of more than 200, with the first charter flights arriving at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington at the end of August.

Most will spend a week in processing before returning to Idaho in small groups.

Guard officials say about 600 of the returning troops will face a challenge of finding work when they get back home.


Online ed proposal panned

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Attendees of an Idaho Board of Education hearing in Nampa largely panned a plan to require students to take two online courses to graduate, starting with the class of 2016.

Thursday's meeting was the sixth of seven public hearings on the rule passed this year by the state Legislature. Teachers and others Thursday expressed doubts about the plan. Read more.

“Former state Rep. Branden Durst, who teaches at the College of Western Idaho, says requiring online classes would add stress to students who are already under a lot of pressure.”

Do you agree with Durst?

Food fight!

Anthony Bourdain, host of theTravel Channel's “No Reservations,” shown posing in a New York restaurant.

Every once in a while, a celebrity feud comes along that makes past celebrity feuds pale in comparison. The Paula Deen-Anthony Bourdain food fight (har har) is one instance of a famous-on-famous smackdown that is so nasty and unexpected and awesome, it will most certainly be a starred footnote within the enemies' respective Wikipedia pages until the end of time. Or something.

Bourdain, acerbic host of The Travel Channel's “No Reservations,” launched the first grenade at the delightful Deen, who is perhaps the best-liked chef on TV. Sniped Bourdain to TV Guide: “(She is) the worst, most dangerous person to America. She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations, and she's proud of the fact that her food is f–ing bad for you. I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it is OK to eat food that is killing us. Plus, her food sucks.” Read more.

Are you a food show fan? In a cage match between Deen and Bourdain, who would your money be on?

High Noon: Smell that movie

The latest “Spy Kids” movie features “Aroma-Scope,” in which viewers are given scratch-and-sniff cards with circles numbered 1 to 8. When a number appears on screen, they rub the corresponding circle on their cards, which give off a whiff matching what the characters are smelling.

Robert Rodriguez deliberately tried to make his latest “Spy Kids” adventure a bit of a stinker.

Rodriguez, who helped usher in the new age of 3-D movies with the franchise’s third installment in 2003, is billing “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World,” opening today, as 4-D – adding scent cards so audiences can follow along on the action with their noses.

Worst idea ever! It's bad enough sitting next to a teenage boy reeking of Axe body spray at the movies. But your opinion may differ. Would you like to see more scratch and sniff movies?

Keefe out

Rob Keefe, who helped the Spokane Shock win arena football titles as a player, assistant coach and head coach, is out as the team’s head coach.

The Shock announced Thursday that Keefe’s contract will not be renewed. Keefe guided Spokane to the 2010 ArenaBowl championship in the organization’s first season in the Arena Football League. Spokane had a rocky, injury riddled 2011 season, finishing 9-10 after a blowout loss to Arizona in the first round of the playoffs. Jim Meehan, SR

Have you ever been to an arena football game?

MDA telethon sans Jerry Lewis

PHOENIX – Comedian Jerry Lewis’ conspicuous absence will not be the only change at the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s telethon this year.

The Tucson, Ariz.-based association is making major changes to the telethon, slashing it down from a nearly 22-hour show to six hours of prime time television in an effort to boost audience numbers, raise more money, and make sponsors and celebrities happy.

The association announced many of the changes Thursday as it moves on from a 45-year partnership with Lewis.

Do you think telethons have served their purpose and are past their prime?

Candidate: Shoot illegal immigrants

KENNEWICK – A city council candidate in Kennewick has advanced to the general election on a platform that includes calling for illegal immigrants to be executed if they refuse to leave town.

Loren Nichols collected nearly 400 votes in his ward – that’s about 26 percent of Tuesday’s primary vote, enough to place second out of three candidates. He’ll face incumbent Steve Young, who also serves as mayor, in the citywide general election this fall.

Nichols, 56, has said in media interviews that if immigrants are seen entering the country illegally they should be shot on sight, and any who refuse an ultimatum to leave Kennewick should also face the death penalty. More here.

What does it say about this community of Nichols is elected?

Foreign students find Hershey not so sweet

An unidentified student protests in Palmyra, Pa., on Wednesday over the working conditions at a Hershey Co. warehouse operated by Exel.

HERSHEY, Pa. – Foreign students working at a candy warehouse protested conditions and pay Thursday, chanting on Chocolate Avenue under streetlights shaped like Hershey’s Kisses, arguing that they were employed under the guise of a cultural exchange but toil away in what amounts to a sweets sweatshop. The State Department said it was investigating.

More than 100 students gathered in touristy downtown Hershey, home to the nation’s second-largest candy maker, complaining of hard physical labor, steep pay deductions for rent that often left them with little spending money, and no cultural enrichment. They said their concerns were met with threats of deportation.

A case of students not reading the fine print or abuse by the factory that employed them? 

Chism cleared of all charges

COLVILLE – Embattled Spokane firefighter Todd Chism won his latest legal battle with the Washington State Patrol on Thursday when a jury cleared him of all charges stemming from a violent 2010 confrontation that injured him and two Washington State Patrol troopers.

A Stevens County jury exonerated the suspended Chism of four felony counts and a misdemeanor resisting arrest, stemming from an early-morning melee outside his Nine Mile Falls home on April 6, 2010.

But the jury not only found him not guilty, they ordered the state to pay for his attorneys’ fees. Thomas Clouse, SR  Full story.

Todd Chism has has quite an ordeal. Reaction?

NIC boathouse gets complicated

COEUR d'ALENE - Paul Chivvis figured it would be a breeze, getting Kootenai County approval to replace North Idaho College's boathouse on Lake Coeur d'Alene.

After all, it is needed.

The structure dating back to the '60s (actually, it's two structures pushed together) isn't secure from break-ins, and suffers from a collapsing roof.

And the 34-by-16-foot building on Rosenberry Drive is too small to accommodate all the school's boating equipment, which is rented out and used for classes.

“We have to keep a lot of stuff outside, canoes and kayaks,” said Chivvis, NIC instructor for Resort/Recreation Management. “If someone wanted to steal something out there, they can do it rather easily.”

But complications have come up. Alecia Warren, Cda Press

What do you think is the best solution to the boathouse problem?

U of I puts best foot forward

Tyler Batey of QC Electric works in the former press box that is now premium seating in the remodeled Kibbie Dome.

MOSCOW, Idaho – Taken altogether, the facelift is striking. Once perpetually dark, outdated and structurally unsafe, the Kibbie Dome looks, in the words of University of Idaho football coach Robb Akey, “much classier than what it was before.”

Natural light now filters through panels on the east and west walls during the day. A roomy press box has been built on the north side of the Dome, and a new club room – surrounded by eight suites, eight smaller loge boxes and 217 premium seats – is perched where the press box used to be on the south end. Full storyJosh Wright, SR

Any Vandal fans planning to take in a game at the remodeled Kibbie Dome?

State says Tribe in compliance

Helo Hancock, legislative director for the Coeur d'Alene Tribe

COEUR d'ALENE - The Coeur d'Alene Tribe is in compliance with its gaming compact with Idaho, reports Idaho Lottery Director Jeff Anderson.

“I consider them good stewards of their gaming activities and generous neighbors to the communities on or near the reservation as well as to other good causes,” wrote Anderson, in an email sent to The Press.

In response to a story published Saturday in The Press, Tribe Legislative Director Helo Hancock also said the Tribe is in compliance with its gaming compact. However, neither Hancock nor Anderson would provide proof of that compliance.

Saturday's story reported that the Tribe will not disclose the details of its contributions of 5 percent of its annual net gaming income to support education. Full Story. Maureen Donlan, Cda Press

Do you think the Tribe should disclose the details of their required contributions?



Idahoan shark victim

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A shark estimated at 6 feet long bit a U.S. tourist earlier this week while she swam in a popular bioluminescent bay at night, doctors said Thursday.

The woman, identified as 27-year-old Lydia Strunk, faces several months of physical therapy and will remain hospitalized until the weekend, Dr. Ernesto Torres said.

The victim is a law student at the University of San Diego in California and is from Wendell, Idaho, said her mother, Patty Strunk, who arrived in Puerto Rico on Thursday. Full story.

I think I've made my point about why I only swim in pools. Have you ever swam in the ocean?

300,000 illegals may stay

President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting Wednesday in Alpha, Ill., during his three-day economic bus tour.

The Obama administration said it will review the cases of 300,000 illegal immigrants currently in deportation proceedings to identify “low-priority” offenders – including the elderly, crime victims and people who have lived in the U.S. since childhood – with an eye toward allowing them to stay.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the review as the Obama administration has sought to counter criticism that it has been too harsh in its deportation policies. By launching the case-by-case review, officials said they are refocusing deportation efforts on convicted felons and other “public safety threats.” More here.

Good idea or bad idea?


LCDC director gets raise: Mary’s not happy


COEUR d’ALENE — Lake City Development Corp. agreed to increase compensation for its executive director by 3 percent on Wednesday.


The urban renewal board agreed to allow Tony Berns, director since 2001, to decide whether that increase will go toward his salary, the 401k payment program, or divided between the two. Full story. Tom Hasslinger, Cda Press


In the comments section, Mary Souza sez: “Tony gets a raise after bungling the 4th street renovation by not following through and checking the colored cement before the contractor’s warranty expired? Now the taxpayers are on the hook for repairs to the peeling paint, which was a terrible choice in the first place as everyone knows the color should be mixed into the cement, not applied to the top.

Just that one little fiasco will cost the public many thousands of dollars extra. All signs indicate that Tony did not manage the project well and should NOT get a raise!”


What do you think?


Window shopping

River Park Square personnel and others help move a Harley-Davidson motorcycle out of the window at the Pottery Barn store on Main Avenue on Thursday.

A motorcyclist took an unintended detour today and crashed through a storefront in downtown Spokane.

The man, who has not been identified, was transported to a hospital with what witnesses described as non-life-threatening injuries after crashing into the Pottery Barn at 717 W. Main Ave. about 2:45 p.m. More here. Chelsea Bannach SR

Have you ever been in an accident caused by mechanical failure as opposed to operator error?

Parting Shot: Recycle Man

Popular Spokane Indians superhero Recycle Man poses for pictures with a young recycler before a recent ballgame. “You, too, can be a hero if you recycle,” he says. (SR photo: J. Bart Rayniak)

Wild Card/Thursday 8.18.11

Happy Bad Poetry Day! Is there such a thing as bad poetry? Because if if makes you laugh or groan, that's something isn't it?

In my youth, I was prone to writing weepy, melancholy rhymes. I filled pages of those “empty books,” with odes to my high school boyfriend who was truly unworthy of my words. But I think everyone should write poetry or at least attempt it.

Feel free to practice poetry on this Wild Card. Or not.

Just a reminder for fair ticket winners. You can pick up your tickets at the Cda SR office. Please get them by 5 PM Friday.

APhoto of the Day

A puppy is held at the Gallup Humane Society in Gallup, N.M., after being quarantined with other healthy dogs for shipment to Colorado for adoption.

#1 Disregard the size of my paws, I won’t grow into them. Charlie

#2 “Yeah, well this here is MY ‘Gallup pole’, so quit askin’ who I like better, Romney or Perry. JohnA

#3 Don't fence me in. Rhodetrip

Idaho Charter school loses appeal

 BOISE — A federal appeals court has upheld the dismissal of an Idaho charter school’s lawsuit against state officials who barred use of the Bible and other religious texts as a teaching tool in the classroom. In a decision Monday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the previous ruling against the now-defunct Nampa Classical Academy.

The state closed the academy last year citing troubled finances. The founders of the charter school tangled with Idaho officials over the use of the Bible and other religious texts shortly after opening in August 2009 with more than 500 students in southwestern Idaho. The academy filed a federal lawsuit against Idaho officials in September 2009. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge dismissed that lawsuit, determining the ban did not violate the school’s rights.

Learning what the river has to offer

Spokane Valley kayaker Steve Bailey surfs Sullivan hole, a Spokane River low-water play spot for white-water enthusiasts on Aug. 1.

Steve Bailey grew up with a fear of the Spokane River and its deceptive mix of currents and eddies.

“I think most of the people I grew up with were raised to fear the river,” said Bailey, an EMT and a lieutenant in the Spokane County Fire Department. “The water is deceptively fast, and if you don’t understand it, you learn to fear it.”

That changed when Bailey took up kayaking. For the past seven years he’s been a certified instructor, teaching others how to respect and enjoy the river. Steve Christilaw, SR Read more.

Have you ever been kayaking? What water activities do you enjoy?

Bank tests debit card fee

NEW YORK – Wells Fargo plans to test a $3 monthly fee for its debit cards starting this fall.

The San Francisco-based bank said the fee will be applied to checking accounts opened in five states starting in October. The fee would be in addition to monthly service fees ranging from $5 to $30 that Wells Fargo already charges.

Although it’s unusual, Wells Fargo isn’t the first major bank to test whether customers will be willing to pay to use their debit cards. Chase last year also began testing a $3 monthly debit card fee in northern Wisconsin.

Yikes! How happy are you with your bank?

Stocks plunge again

High school students scream on the Corkscrew roller coaster at Silverwood Theme Park in 2009.

NEW YORK — Stocks plunged worldwide today as more signs of economic weakness revived investors’ fears of another recession. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 400 points in a return to the wild swings in the market last week.

The intense selling started as soon as trading began, and the Dow was down 528 points shortly after the opening bell. The drop ended four days of relative calm in the stock market. Market strategists said investors were increasingly pessimistic about the economy.

It wasn’t just the day’s economic reports — warnings like this one added to the gloom: More.

I'm not a fan of rollercoasters. How concerned are you about the ever fluctuating Dow Jones?

Bayview fire

Photo courtesy BayviewBob

An early morning fire today in Bayview destroyed a home and displaced the two homeowners.

Timberlake Fire Protection District was dispatched to the fire at the corner of Spruce Avenue and First Street around 3:30 a.m., said Capt. Jake Capaul. Firefighters found a two-story, single-family home on fire, along with a detached garage and a couple of tall trees nearby. More here.

Gazette: Tribe gives to $210,000 to school

By Dan Hammes, St. Maries Gazette Record

Two days after a report about the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s contributions to schools from casino profits the tribe made a donation to the Plummer/Worley school district.

“The tribe made a generous contribution to our school district,” Judi Sharrett, superintendent, said.

She said the tribe called Monday afternoon to request a meeting at which two checks, totaling $210,000, were given to the district. Ms. Sharrett said the tribe has been a great supporter of the Plummer/Worley district through the years.

“The Plummer Worley School District is grateful for the financial donation from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the priority they have given over many years to their local school district. We recognize they are not obligated to any one district or educational institution in their distribution.”

The checks were issued following reports by the Coeur d’Alene Press and the Gazette Record that local public schools had not received a payment from casino profits since July, 2009. The tribe is required to contribute 5 percent of the casino net profit to schools “on or near the reservation.”
Continue reading below.

Award-winning German Shepherd

Nick Lunga works with Uno, a 3-year-old German shepherd who recently earned a special performance award for protection and obedience at the prestigious 2011 USA Sieger Show in Dallas. (SR photo: J. Bart Rayniak)

Under sunny skies at Mirabeau Park in Spokane Valley, Nick Lunga is living his dream.

 He spun, twisted and shouted as he attempted to break the hold that a very determined German shepherd had on the chew toy in his hand. His efforts proved fruitless.

“Bad guy, don’t move or my dog will hurt you!” warned Lunga’s wife, Jacqueline.

Lunga fell to the ground and the dog stood over him, his ferocious barking echoing across the park. A few minutes later, that same shepherd was lavishing Lunga with love. Cindy Hval, SR

How well-trained is your dog?

High Noon: Raising altruistic kids

When Sarah and Emily Kladar visited a medical clinic in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, three years ago, they were stunned by dozens of photos plastered on a wall.

All were of children – many their own ages – who might die without heart surgery.

“It was sad,” said Emily, now 11.

“It was overwhelming,” said Sarah, 13. “That was our – this is real – push into the world.”

That visit was the inspiration for a charity the Hayden children created with their brother, Thomas, 9, to provide financial support to families of children who need heart surgery. Alison Boggs, SR  Full story.

How did/do you encourage altruism in your kids?

Tilting at windmills at 80

Hugh Grim, right, and Curt Henry, below left, check over the machinery of a 1933 windmill while mounting it on a new tower at Grim’s house.

In 2008, when we last visited Hugh Grim, two towering vintage windmills stood sentry in his yard at the southwestern edge of Spokane. The retired construction foreman had discovered a fascinating, labor-intensive hobby – restoring these relics of rural engineering.

When asked if there was another windmill in his future, Grim said, “We’ll have to see what happens.”

What happened was a 1907 Red Cross windmill and a 1924 Flint & Walling, both of which now grace his lawn on their respective towers. In addition, a 1910 Dempster on a small stud tower sits near Grim’s shop, ready for its Spokane County Interstate Fair debut. Cindy Hval, SR  Full story.

Do you collect antiques or vintage items?

No wine before its time

With the beginning of harvest a month away, Washington wine grape growers are receiving confirmation of what they have seen in their vineyards: The 2011 crop will be down significantly.

According to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop estimate, Washington wine grape harvest will be down about 16 percent, to about 135,000 tons – down from a record 160,000 tons last fall. If the estimates are close to what vintners see in September and October, the crop will be at its lowest since 2007, when 127,000 tons were harvested.

“By the time we got to April and May, our initial crop estimates reflected this,” said Co Dinn, director of winemaking for Hogue Cellars in Prosser, one of Washington’s largest wineries. “We were braced for a big decrease.”

Bad news for wine-lovers. Do you enjoy wine? Do you have a current favorite?

Dan: Wife was hit and run victim

danofthecommunity on Horseback rider hit and run victim on

We think this might have been the same one who did a hit and run on my wife two days ago when she was waiting to turn left off of Highway 95 onto Twin Lakes Road.

She saw a big black pick up coming in the opposite director, then it swerved over into the turn lane and for an instant she thought he was going to hit her head on but he swerved away at the last instant but still passed her so close that he demolished her drivers side mirror.

He kept going without stopping to see the damage and there were no other cars coming in any direction to witness it (you wonder if he looks for those situations). She just got a fleeting glimpse at a dark colored pickup that seemed to set up high.

Have you or your property ever been damaged in a hit and run incident? Was the perp caught?

1 in 5 malpractice claims succeed

ATLANTA — Only 1 in 5 malpractice claims against doctors leads to a settlement or other payout, according to the most comprehensive study of these claims in two decades.

But while doctors and their insurers may be winning most of these challenges, that’s still a lot of fighting. Each year about 1 in 14 doctors is the target of a claim, and most physicians and virtually every surgeon will face at least one in their careers, the study found. Full story.

 Great read with interesting stats. My brother-in-law is a doc and the amount he coughs up for malpractice insurance is ridiculous. Do you think Americans are sue-happy?

Libertarian islands

Pay Pal founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel has given $1.25 million to an initiative to create floating libertarian countries in international waters, according to a profile of the billionaire in Details magazine.

Thiel has been a big backer of the Seasteading Institute, which seeks to build sovereign nations on oil rig-like platforms to occupy waters beyond the reach of law-of-the-sea treaties. The idea is for these countries to start from scratch—free from the laws, regulations, and moral codes of any existing place. Read more.

Would you like to live on a Libertarian island or start your own country?

Bert & Ernie just friends

In case you missed it, the Sesame Street Workshop put an end to speculation about the sexual preferences of Bert and Ernie.

“Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves,” the public television program said in a statement.

“Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”

The move came in response to a Facebook campaign launched by gay rights activist Lair Scott of the northern US state of Illinois asking that Bert and Ernie get married on the program to teach acceptance of gays and lesbians. More here.

D'oh! I'm all for acceptance and teachable moments, but gosh, can't we just let our preschoolers just be kids for awhile?

Perry on manmade global warming

BEDFORD, N.H. – GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry told New Hampshire voters Wednesday that he does not believe in manmade global warming, calling it a scientific theory that has not been proven.

“I think we’re seeing almost weekly, or even daily, scientists that are coming forward and questioning the original idea that manmade global warming is what is causing the climate to change,” the Texas governor said on the first stop of a two-day trip to the first-in-the-nation primary state.

Do you think Perry's views on global warming reflect the views of many Americans?

Crews slow Silver Peak fire

Hot spots flare up above homes near Kellogg on Wednesday.

A fire that burned 20 to 25 acres south of Kellogg on Wednesday is suspicious in origin.

The fire, reported about 2 p.m. just south of town, burned south toward Wardner, and at times came close to homes and the gondola at Silver Mountain Resort. Silver Mountain crews kept the gondola running as part of its emergency protocol to prevent any one spot on the gondolas from getting too hot. No structures were damaged and no one was injured, officials said.

Bad Hair Bandit: local tie

 Van Holland’s booking mug

A series of bank robberies involving a woman wearing a variety of wigs may be the work of a nurse employed at the Kootenai County Jail until last week.

The FBI announced Wednesday that Cynthia Lynn Van Holland, 47, is believed to be the serial robber nicknamed the Bad Hair Ban