Advertise Here

Huckleberries Online

Archive for November 2011

Gonzaga 73, Notre Dame 53

Notre Dame's Eric Atkins watches Gonzaga's David Stockton steal the ball from him, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game tonight in Spokane. Gonzaga easily defeating the Fighting Irish 73-53. ESPN/AP game story and boxscore here. (AP Photo/Jed Conklin)

Hump Day Wild Card — 11.30.11

Your Huckleberry Hound was owly earlier this year re: the long winter & lousy spring that we Inland Northwesterners slogged through. But I have no complaints re: the wonderful summer and fall that followed. To be enjoying above-freezing temperatures and sunshine in late November is suh-weet. I might have to break out my bike again. With that happy thought … I'll post today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 11.30.11

“On the last day of November I headed out to Higgins Point in late afternoon to see if the eagles were feeding,” writes Kerri Thoreson on her Facebook wall. “No sooner had I walked down the trail to the water than a lone eagle appeared overhead. Had to scramble to get my camera out and when he actually grabbed the salmon from the water, he was between me and the bright sun. But I did shoot a photo of him flying off with his catch. I love living where just a few minutes from my front door I can witness such a thing.”

AR: Beatle Harrison Gone 10 Years

Ten years ago (yesterday), George Harrison departed this world and that's been on my mind today. Ten Years. When Abe Lincoln died, it was said that “now he belongs to the ages”. To apply that to members of The Beatles startles me a bit. My first Beatles' album was “Yesterday and Today”, after which I got their subsequent later albums…Sgt. Pepper, White Album, Magical Mystery Tour, White Album, Abbey Road, Let it be, etc. Back in 1966, when I got  “Yesterday and Today”, I found out it contained a whole bunch of singles I'd heard on the radio, “Yesterday”, “Day Tripper”, “We Can Work It Out” and “Nowhere Man” plus the rest of the tunes were cool, too. George Harrison wrote one song on that album, “If I Needed Someone” which has a whole different flavor … t was jangly, the lyrics were fairly morose, and it went in a different direction; the song was strangely moody and haunting. With that tune, George began writing some major songs, every bit as good as Lennon-McCartney/Atmospheric Ruminations. More here. (AP Photo/Robert Freeman, Copyright Apple Corps Ltd.)

Question: Who was your favorite Beatle? Why?

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.30.11

  • 5:43 p.m. Jason from tree farm off Greensferry/PF reports outside business sign stolen.
  • 5:25 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Nov. 29-30 here.
  • 5:05 p.m. Woman @ 1466 Carpenter Loop/PF reports loose neighbor's cows shaking her vehicle.
  • 5:02 p.m. Man in apartments near Cecil Road/PF reportedly tried to strangle woman.
  • 4:54 p.m. Ongoing problems w/traffic signal that's malfunctioning @ H41 & Hayden.
  • 4:43 p.m. Woman needs to be told to pick up dog belonging to brother who'll be in jail for awhile.
  • 4:39 p.m. Caller reports Post Falls man usually drives home drunk from work in Spokane.
  • 4:06 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Super 1/Kathleen Avenue reports possible counterfeit money.
  • 13 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

IFF Introduces

Idaho Freedom Foundation has unveiled a new Web site,, which is designed to hold elected officials at all levels accountable for spending and budget decisions. IFF introduces the new site: “Welcome to Idaho's only website for monitoring, tracking and analyzing the spending habits of your schools, highway districts, state and other taxing districts. It's your money and it's your right to see and understand how every penny is spent. is designed to help you keep our elected officials accountable, identify possible waste and help our public agencies recognize the importance of close monitoring of every expenditure.” You can see the site here.

Question: What do you think of the site?

North Idaho Blogs — 11.30.11

Dunno why Kelsey Saintz apologized on her This Is Not A Fairy Tale blog for this interesting photo perspective of an alley in Wallace. She has a couple of other shots of her town today as well as a blog post, “Practice makes perfect” here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday): 9039/5557, and: (for Monday): 8330/5106

Snakes In An Office

A man uses a tablecloth to fend off snakes scattered in an office room in Basti, about 186 miles (300 kilometers) southeast of Lucknow, India. Two farmers fed up with alleged bribery demands emptied three bags filled with slithering snakes in a busy tax office in northern India, an official said Wednesday. The 40 or so snakes of different sizes and species, including at least four deadly cobras, sent clerks and villagers climbing atop tables and scurrying out the door to escape the office. (AP Photo)

Question: Should Rep. Phil Hart try this to get the revenuers off his back?

Chamness: Admiring Risk Takers

On his Facebook wall, Major John Chamness of the Salvation Army writes: “So each week in our local newspaper they profile a different person in our community. The paper asks several questions about the person like their favorite author and genre of music. One of the questions that is asked is what is the most important attribute you look for in a person. Almost 100% of the time a person will say, integrity or honesty. While I appreciate these attributes my response wou…ld be a Risk Taker. We have too many in our world today who play it safe. Don't rock the boat. Don't upset the apple cart. But I admire people who are willing to put it all out there and try something or do something that no one else is willing to do.”

Question: When did you last take a major risk?

Review: Greek Street Pizza Revisited

The lone employee on duty (at Greek Street Pizza) was visibly annoyed with me at first, and I don't really blame him. I asked for the lamb gyro lunch special basket with extra feta, and he came back at me a bit abruptly with the news that Greek Street was out of feta cheese. A Greek restaurant out of feta cheese? That's like a Subway out of bread (this actually happened to me once), or a strip club out of dollar bills. It just ain't right. Especially when there's an Albertson's deli case ripe with cartons of feta cheese around the corner in the same shopping center. So I was thinking, “uh…I dunno what I want now, maybe a pizzaloni after all. Maybe, but uh…what kind of pizzaloni do I want?” Or do I want a…uh?” There were other customers waiting on their food and I was holding up the show, and my man rightfully snapped at me that he would be back in a bit and would return was I was through with my fits of indecision/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: How important to you is customer service at a restaurant?

Sho-Con: Otter Is Semi-Retired

Columnist Chris Carlson: “Finally, there is no polite way to say this, Governor Otter knows and those close to him know he is engaging in what’s called “mailing it in.” He is not showing up for work very often, his schedule of public appointments has decreased dramatically, he spends only minimal time when he does make public appearances with the exception of the occasional capitol for a day.” More here.

Shoshone Conservative: Bingo. That’s what I’ve been saying for a long time. Otter is treating his office like a cushy “pre-retirement” post, given to him as a “reward” so he can finish out his political service “at the top.” Kind of like a long-time corporate executive being promoted to high-level position before retirement, where he has little to no actual work to do, other than to show up to a board meeting ever quarter, or pop in after his golf game to sign a couple of papers. This state is run by unelected bureaucrats, not an elected Governor.

Question: Do you think Gov. Butch Otter is “mailing it in” — semi-retired and no longer interested in running the state of Idaho?

Mike Leach Accepts WSU Offer

In this 2009 AP file photo, then Texas Tech coach Mike Leach talks with his team during an NCAA college football game against Texas A&M in Lubbock, Texas. Reportedly, Leach has been offered the head coaching job at Washington State.

Bill Moos has said all along he wants to make Washington State a destination for coaches, not a waystation. “This place deserves big-name people,” he said earlier this week during the press conference announcing Paul Wulff’s firing. Wednesday, Moos roped in one of the bigger names in the college football coaching ranks, former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach. Leach agreed in principle to a five-year contract that will pay him more than $10 million, according to athletic department sources. He’ll be introduced as WSU’s 32nd head football coach at a press conference Tuesday/Vince Grippi, SR. More here.

Question: Did WSU do the right thing by letting Paul Wulff go and hiring Mike Leach?

Idaho Legitimizes Raw-Milk Producers

Idaho, by contrast, has taken a very different raw-milk route. “Raw milk comes straight from the cow or goat. We don't do anything to it except filter it and flash cool it and bottle it,” said Debra Jantzi, owner of Treasured Sunrise Acres, a Grade A raw-milk dairy in Fruitland. Pasteurization, on the other hand, is a heating process that kills bacteria and other pathogens and has been a standard practice in the U.S. dairy industry since the mid-20th century. Many state and federal health agencies claim that raw milk is dangerous to drink—citing a 2010 outbreak of campylobacter from raw milk in Indiana—and, therefore, ban or greatly restrict its distribution. Raw-milk advocates, like Jantzi, counter that pasteurization kills flavor, as well as beneficial bacteria and the nutrients that make milk healthful/Guy Ford, Boise Weekly. More here. (AP file photo of raw-milk producer for illustrative purposes) H/T: SamC.

Question: Do you drink raw milk?

Mark Twain’s 176th Anniversary Today

Today is the 176th birthday of Mark Twain, or as his parents knew him, Samuel L. Clemens. Twain is best known for his American fiction, including “Tom Sawyer,” but he was also an intrepid traveler and travel-writer who paved the way for the Bill Brysons of our day. In “Innocents Abroad” he wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime”/Scott Baldauf, Christian Science Monitor. More here.

Question: Last book by Mark Twain that you read?

Restaurateurs Fear Online Reviews

For restaurant owners, the comments are hard to stomach. “The food was inedible.” “The staff was unfriendly bordering on rude.” “Oh god … stay away.” Customer reviews on websites like and can be frustrating for restaurant managers who don’t feel like they get a fair shake. But they also serve as a good way for restaurant workers to see shortcomings. Jesse Sutherland, co-owner of Tomato’s Italian Grill, bought the Twin Falls restaurant with his brother and took over operations early this month. Online comments from the past few years made him cringe. “Most of the comments I saw was customer service was one of the biggest complaints,” he said/Melissa Davlin, Twin Falls Times-News. More here. (SR file photo for illustrative purposes only)

Question: Have you ever written an online review of a restaurant that displeased you in some way?

INW Headlines — 11.30.11

In this 1998 AP file photo, Seattle Mariners' Edgar Martinez (11) congratulates Ken Griffey Jr. after Griffey hit his 40th home run of the season against Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Today, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is offering a then-and-now look at players from the terrific 1995 team are now. Click here to begin slideshow. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.30.11

  • 11:59 a.m. Caller reports following possible DUI in gray sedan from Hauser into Rathdrum on H53.
  • 11:45 a.m. Hayden Lake Road caller sez llamas loose again & wants “llama issue” dealt with.
  • 11:28 p.m. Drunk & disorderly man is in danger of falling into traffic @ 8200 Govt Way/Hayden.
  • 11:27 a.m. Good Samaritan found wallet along Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive & turned it into CPD HQ.
  • 13 more items below

Remembering Jonny On His Birthday

Elizabeth Yalian provided the photo of her son, Jonathan, in his Rathdrum Police Department uniform (above) and as a toddler (below).

Jonathan Franco, the Rathdrum police officer killed in a motorcycle crash earlier this fall, would have been 28 today. In memory of Jonny, HucksOnline is please to run an essay about him by his mother, Elizabeth Yalian. Who notes in the essay that Jonny loved guns and included a note he wrote as a young boy when he got his first gun: “The best thing I ever (heard) was the day Mom said I could have a B.B. gun.  I thaohgt I would faint when Mom said yes but I had to get this awfull haircut but I didn’t care. Mom had already gotton me B.B.s and later got me some pellets.  We went in to Shopco and thier it was the most buitiful thing I ever saw. After school I couldn’t wait to go shooting I was very angcious to knock some cans of the hey stak.  A few weeks later I got a scope and after Christmas I got a case for it.” You can read Elizabeth Yalian's entire essay here.

Question: Elizabeth Yalian has asked people who knew Jonny to drop her a note re: how he blessed their lives.

Betsy: Thanksgiving Leftovers, Yum

On her Twitter page, Betsy Russell/Eye on Boise tweets: “My fave TG leftover this year: Turkey, dressing and sweet potato enchiladas in green chile sauce. Even better than the awesome sandwiches.”

Question: What was your favorite Thanksgiving leftover?

Poll: Spending Less For Christmas

  • Tuesday Poll: Retailers might not like to hear this, but Hucks Nation plans to spend either less or the same as last year for Christmas. 50 of 108 respondents (50%) said they planned to spend less on Christmas shopping this year. 47 of 108 (43.52%) said they planned to spend about the same as last year. Only 7 of 108 (6.48%) said they planned to spend more.
  • Today's Question: Are you in favor of slaughtering horses for meat and human consumption in this country?

Idaho Food Stamp Rolls Nearly Triple

Two families from Nampa were featured in an NBC piece this week about the high demand for food assistance and the rush to purchase food on the first of the month, when money is deposited into recipients’ accounts.  What the piece doesn’t detail is the number of Idahoans enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), and how much that number has grown in recent years. According to this study from the Urban Institute, Idaho saw its SNAP enrollment go up by 123 percent between 2007 and 2010.  Idaho’s increase in SNAP rolls was second only to Nevada’s, where use of the program grew by 128 percent over the same period/Molly Messick, StateImpact. More here. (Photo: Rock Center/NBC)

Question: Do you know Idahoans who rely on food stamps to supplement poor-paying jobs to get by?

Horses May Be Slaughtered For Meat

Horses could soon be butchered in the U.S. for human consumption after Congress quietly lifted a 5-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections, and activists say slaughterhouses could be up and running in as little as a month. Slaughter opponents pushed a measure cutting off funding for horse meat inspections through Congress in 2006 after other efforts to pass outright bans on horse slaughter failed in previous years. Congress lifted the ban in a spending bill President Barack Obama signed into law Nov. 18 to keep the government afloat until mid-December. It did not, however, allocate any new money to pay for horse meat inspections, which opponents claim could cost taxpayers $3 million to $5 million a year/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you support the slaughter of horses for meat & human consumption in this country?

Developer Discusses Riverstone

In this 2007 SR file photo, developer John Stone stands in his burgeoning Riverstone development. Riverstone, the large multi-use development off Northwest Boulevard at Coeur d'Alene's western entrance, has been hit hard by the long recession.

John Stone has agreed, somewhat reluctantly, to be interviewed by North Idaho Business Journal at 11 a.m. on 11/11/11. He shows up at Starbucks, right on time, a Riverstone promotional packet in hand and a countenance on his serious face as gray as the November skies. It is the look of a man who devoted much of his time and more of his treasure to create and then shape this project over a dozen years, yet as he walks through the front door of the coffee shop he looks anything but triumphant/Mike Patrick, North Idaho Business Journal writer. More here.

Question: What are the most attractive facets of Riverstone for you?

Eagles Return To Lake Coeur d’Alene

 A week can make a big difference in the numbers of bald eagles gathering for their annual feast of spawning kokanee at Lake Coeur d’Alene. On Tuesday, the season's second weekly eagle count at Wolf Lodge Bay tallied a whopping 76 bald eagles, said BLM wildlife bioloigst Carrie Hugo. That compares with 64 eagles counted on the same date last year. That's exciting news for birdwatchers, considering that 2010 was a record year for the migration, with a peak of 254 eagles counted in the bay during the BLM survey on Dec. 21. Tuesday's count indicated a big swing in eagle movements. The first survey of the season on Nov. 22 found only 12 bald eagles compared with 42 counted on the same day in 2010/Rich Landers, SR. More here.

Question: Did you view the eagles last year?

Edit: Kids Shouldn’t Wait For State

Rather than just talking about pre-kindergarten — and hearing the predictable response from those naysayers at the Statehouse — Caldwell schools are doing it themselves. Sixty-six children are attending preschool this year under a program the Caldwell School District dubs P16. As in “preschool through grade 16,” the senior year of college. The goal is to prepare young children now for success later in their academic careers. Makes sense, and the new program has impressive community buy-in. The Treasure Valley YMCA is staffing the pre-K programs. The United Way and the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation are chipping in funding. And where’s the state? On the sidelines. As usual/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you consider kindergarten to be important for a youngster's early education?

Cook Thwarts Goodwill Robbery Try

Tim Patterson has no doubts he would have pulled the trigger. He's glad he didn't have to. But when a woman is being attacked by a man with a knife, Patterson says he'll do what must be done. “If he had not stopped what he was doing,” he says, his voice fading. “He came very close to dying. Really, really close.” Monday afternoon was another normal day of cooking burgers and fries and hot dogs and Philly cheesesteaks for Tim and Debbie Patterson. Then, about 2 p.m., they heard a scream/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Is this situation a good argument for carrying weapons?

AM Headlines — 11.30.11

Corrie Miller, of Ontario, Ore., left, and Richard Wise Bear, of Corvallis, Ore., right, hold signs as they hold a candlelight vigil for “all the fallen wolves” Tuesday, outside the Idaho Department of Fish and Game office on Powerline Road in Nampa. (Idaho Press-Tribune/AP photo: Greg Kreller)

Gonzaga Faces Notre Dame Tonight

Gonzaga is entering the marquee portion of its attractive nonconference men’s basketball schedule. First up: Notre Dame, a 27-win team last season – one of those ‘W’s’ came against Gonzaga – that is dealing with the loss of standout forward Tim Abromaitis to a torn ACL last week. The Fighting Irish (5-2) open GU’s arduous stretch of games that includes Illinois, Michigan State, Arizona, Butler and Xavier before the arrival of 2012. Tip-off is at 8:20 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. “That’s why everybody comes here, to play in those big games,” junior forward Elias Harris said/Jim Meehan, SR. More here. (AP file photo: Notre Dame coach Mike Brey)

Question: How will Gonzaga do against marquee teams in preseason?

APhoto Of The Day — 11.30.11

A pair of ducks go bottoms up in the pond on the Civic Center Campus on Tuesday in La Quinta, Calif. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Desert Sun, Crystal Chatham)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Bert and Ernie, a couple of precocious, juvenile delinquent wannabees, fart their way across the lake, laughing out loud! — JeanieSpokane.
  • 2. In preparation for the up coming CDA City Council meetings, DanG & Adams display their CAVE positions.
  • 3. How many ducks does it take to put the plug back in the pond? — KeithinCDA.
  • HM: Charlie

Blanchette: Can WSU Land Big Dog?

So if Mike Leach isn’t the next football coach at Washington State, where will the collective emotional crash fall on the Jeff-Tuel’s-shoulder/Connor-Halliday’s-liver scale? We got a taste of it Tuesday, when all the go-to media for preposterous rumor – Twitter, Facebook, iPhone and the backyard fence – had Paul Wulff’s firing augmented by arrival via private jet of Cougar fandom’s most wanted, the charismatic litigant late of Texas Tech. Yes! Bill Moos is going to announce the new coach – Leach – as he dismisses the old one! Raise the flag! Make those 2013 Rose Bowl reservations now! And a private plane from points east did indeed land at Pullman-Moscow Regional shortly after noon. Open swung the cabin door. Out came … well, a couple with more ties to the AARP than the NCAA. Good thing no one made banners and sent out the marching band/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (AP file photo of former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach)

Question: Do you think WSU can attract a big dog to take over football coaching duties?

Carlson: Otter Spreads Horse Manure

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter’s self-congratulatory Thanksgiving Day column (The New Normal) claiming a number of highly debatable “successes” for Idaho on his watch reminds one of a story his idol, former President Ronald Reagan, liked to tell. It’s the story about the guy digging madly through a huge pile of horse manure convinced that there has to be a pony in there someplace because there’s so much horse s___. With all due respect to the office he holds, Butch is just plain wrong in almost all he claims. It’s hard to believe he can look at his mismanagement of so much and claim success. This goes beyond rose-colored glasses, beyond the normal PR spin one has come to expect of so many of today’s officeholders. This is pure, unadulterated horse manure which anyone with an understanding of factual information can smell from far away/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Chronicles. More here.

  • Chris Carlson, author of “Cecil Andrus: Idaho's Greatest Governor,” will tell the noon Friday luncheon of the Kootenai County Democratic Club why he thinks Andrus was a great leader.

Question: Do you agree with Chris Carlson that Gov. Butch Otter is looking through rose-colored glasses when he touts successes of his administration?

Signe: First Noel?

Signe Wilkenson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Tuesday — 11.29.11

I posted the information re: the open records/meeting seminar that's headed to Sandpoint, Coeur d'Alene, Moscow, and Lewiston next week. Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Idahoans for Openness in Government, or IDOG, have been holding these educational forums periodically around the state since 2004. It's the first time since 2005 that they've brought their show to North Idaho. Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise will be there. And she's enlisted me as her sergeant at arms (read: mover of chairs and tables). You'll learn all you need to know about the state's open records/meeting laws. I'll remind you of the seminar later this week. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 11.29.11

Georgia Tech guard Mfon Udofia, center, is seen through the legs of teammate Glen Rice Jr. as he chases a loose ball against Northwestern guard Alex Marcotullio, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game today in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Something Strange On Tubbs Hill

On her Facebook page, Paula Marano posts: “Did it! Hiked Cherry Hill before dark this afternoon - 4:00. Crispy cold and a good workout/hill climb. Discovered a homemade teepee covered with pines and straw. Soon we heard hacking and coughing. Homeless shelter? Campers? Simple pleasures? Hippies? Aliens? Other?”

Question: When did you last hike Tubbs Hill? What is the strangest thing you encountered?

TWolf22: What Can Pullman Offer?

TWolf22: Is Wulff a great coach? Probably not. But Pullman is not exactly Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix or even Eugene. What does Pullman have to offer a Blue Chip recruit after visiting the glitz of the big time schools who are also courting him? It is the rare instance when a legitimate big time recruit decides to go to WSU over any other big time D-I school. Hey big guy, just look at all the wheat. Never mind the big city flash and all that go with it, come and hunker down in the winter and make snow angels. Let’s face it, WSU is going to continue to be where they have historically been in the PCC, Pac 8, Pac 10, and now the Pac 12. Unfortunately … at the bottom.

Question: Would Washington State and UIdaho be able to attract more top-level recruits if they were located at Spokane and Coeur d'Alene, respectively?

PM Headlines — 11.29.11

“I don't care if they'er hitting or not, it's just nice to be out here,” said Sam Mast of Coeur d'Alene as he fished at Fernan Lake earlier today. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.29.11

  • 5:42 p.m. Small child reportedly was left alone in blue VW Passaud for 15 minutes @ CdA Super 1.
  • 5:39 p.m. Driver reports a dead deer is lying in median @ H95 @ M/P 441 (Ohio Match Road).
  • 5:37 p.m. CPD Blue is holding someone @ gunpoint @ Fruitland & Neider, wants backup.
  • 5:39 p.m. Silver pickup on e/b H53/Hauser is driving 40 mph w/flashers on, impeding traffic.
  • 5:23 p.m. Caller from Lincoln Way reports juvenile missing from Winton Elementary.
  • 5:18 p.m. 13YO Coeur d'Alene girl is threatening to stab herself to death. She doesn't have a knife.
  • 5:03 p.m. Strange man is trying to sell carpet cleaner @ Tanager & Prairie/Hayden.
  • 5:05 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Nov. 28-29 here.
  • 4:56 p.m. Gray Dodge Ram has hit a moose on H54/Athol, east of Ramsey.
  • 4:25 p.m. Caller reports that flames are showing in 100 block of E9th Ave/PF.
  • 4:01 p.m. William reports stranger came to door looking for man named “Mike.” William is concerned about this as a result of recent burglaries in the county.
  • 3:58 p.m. Strange woman w/dreadlocks has been pacing along Honeysuckle & Roberts/Athol.
  • 15 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Bonner County Launches Perv Watch

Today Sheriff Daryl Wheeler and the Bonner County Sheriff’s Department launched a new sex offender registration and public notification website called OffenderWatch®. Bonner County will now be part of a nationwide network of over 5,000 law enforcement agencies, including 9 in Idaho. The new service is a citizen-friendly, easy to use website that enables citizens to search for potentially dangerous sex offenders and predators which may be in close proximity to their homes, places of work, schools, churches and day care centers.  The information is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and is updated in real time by the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office as offender information changes and is reported/Bonner County Sheriff's Department news release. More here.

Major Ben’s Weekly Warrant Roundup

Three North Idaho men and one from Liberty Lake, Wash., lead the list of individuals wanted by sheriff's Major Ben Wolfinger for outstanding felony warrants this week. Charles Francis Adams Jr., 33, of Bonners Ferry, is wanted for failure to appear for felony DUI and driving with a suspended license. Bond has been set at $60,000. Brian Daniel Limberg, 25, of Coeur d'Alene, is wanted on a charge of probation violation for devlivery of a controlled substance. (No bond set.) Darin Michael Pannell, 22, of Post Falls, is wanted on a charge of probation violation for robbery. (No bond set.) Donald Jack Seed III, 24, of Liberty Lake, is wanted on a charge of probation violation for possession of controlled substance. Complete list of felony & misdemeanor warrants here.

Wulff Unplugged (Via Twitter)

Paul Wulff speaks at a news conference after he was fired as football coach at Washington State, in Pullman, Wash., this afternoon. (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Geoff Crimmins)

  • Wulff: schools get into the boat of cycling through coaches every 4 years they never get over that hump and I don't want that for my school — KXLY.
  • He was fired as a coach. But he was not fired as a #Cougar — Patchin — 700 ESPN.
  • Would you take this challenge on again? “Hmmm, not unless I was guaranteed X amount of (years) coaching” — 700 ESPN.
  • Wulff: “I don't think there is a lot of things we could have done differently” — KREM.
  • It should be noted how professional Paul Wulff is conducting his Q&A right now. Focusing on the players' future — Daily Evergreen.
  • Wulff says he would like to be a head coach again. “I don't have to be, but I think I would want to” — SR.
  • Wulff: Cougs don't eat our own. Innocence of WSU has been lost here — SR.

ESPN Analyst James Ranks BSU 24th

ESPN analyst Craig James has drawn the ire of Boise State football fans again this week with his ballot in The Associated Press Top 25. James ranked the Broncos 24th — seven spots lower than any of the other 59 panelists. And those seven points were costly. If James had voted the Broncos 17th, they’d be tied for No. 6 instead of tied for No. 9. Earlier this year, James railed against the Broncos as national title contenders on ESPN’s “BCS Countdown” show. James had the Broncos ranked No. 8 before their loss to TCU, tied for the lowest among AP voters. He dropped them to No. 25 after that one-point loss/Dan Popkey, Statesman. More here. H/T: Orbusmax.

Question: Is it fair that one person with voting privileges can pull once-defeated Boise State down in the polls as a result of his ridiculous balloting?

Paper Switches Online Commenting

Starting Thursday, you will notice a change to our commenting system. We will be switching to using Facebook Comments on articles to create a more civil environment for conversation, and to give everyone an easier way to share with their friends. The new system requires a Facebook account to participate in comment threads. Find out more about Facebook Comments in our FAQ/Salem Statesman Journal. More here.

DFO: The comments section works at HucksOnline b/c I monitor it. Whenever I hear a newspaper complain about the nature of comments on their stories, I dismiss them as a media unwilling to pay for monitoring.

Question: What do you htink of the decision by the Statesman Journal of Salem, Ore., to move story comments to a Facebook wall that requires a Facebook account to participate?

Moos: Fan Apathy Prompted Ouster

Washington State athletic director Bill Moos shows an architect's rendering of the $80 million Martin Stadium remodeling project the WSU Board of Regents in Pullman, Wash., 10 days ago. Today, he's explaining why he fired football coach Paul Wulff this morning. (AP Photo/Dean Hare)

WSU AD Bill Moos said moments ago in presser that lack of excitement and lowest giving among potential donors were key to his decision to fire football coach Paul Wulff this morning. He pointed out that WSU is planning to spend $80 million on football stadium renovations and has another $80 million worth of needs in the football program. Therefore, he said, the football program needed “energy” and a “spark” to get fans excited. Now, he said, he will begin a search for a new coach immediately and hopes to have that person in place in two or three weeks in order to keep some of the high school players who have verbally committed to Washington State. In the question-and-answer period that's still going on, Moos said WSU should be vying for conference championships and not content to settle for mediocrity.

Question: Who would you like to see as WSU's next football coach?

US Shouldn’t Buy What Luna’s Selling

In a nutshell, Superintendent Luna is helping shape the future of public education nationwide and the way it will be graded.Those are pretty lofty responsibilities for a man who is more politician than educator. And if Idaho is a model for what the country can expect, there could be trouble ahead. Luna's only experiences with public education before becoming the state's public education leader were personal experiences as a student through high school, a couple of short stints at the old Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho in Rexburg) and Boise State, and time as a school board member in Nampa. Because he did not have at least a college undergraduate degree, he was at first denied his goal of becoming the state's education top dog/Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Are you as nervous as I am that Tom Luna is accruing national power and position for his untested, radical education agenda?

Labrador Joins Fight For Dike Trees

With the generous assistance of our local Congressman, the dike road tree petitions are on their way to Washington DC. This morning, Adrienne and I (pictured) delivered the stack of signatures to Rep. Raul Labrador’s Coeur d’Alene office. The Congerssman’s staff says they will take it from here. Our petition is directed at Hon. Jo-Ellen Darcy, the U.S. Army Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, whose office is in the Pentagon. We’re asking her to reconsider the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ policy that may require the City of Coeur d’Alene to remove all the trees from the earthen levee separating the beach from North Idaho College.  … Our final tally came in at just over 4400 signatures/Terry Harris, KEA Blog. More here.

Question: What do you make of Congressman Raul Labrador's decision to join Coeur d'Alene in saving trees along the Dike Road from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers clear-cut mandate?

Beleaguered Cain Reassessing Bid

Herman Cain told aides today he is assessing whether the latest allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior against him “create too much of a cloud” for his Republican presidential candidacy to go forward. Acknowledging the “firestorm” arising from an accusation of infidelity, Cain only committed to keeping his campaign schedule for the next several days, in a conference call with his senior staff. “If a decision is made, different than to plow ahead, you all will be the first to know,” he said, according to a transcript of the call made by the National Review, which listened to the conversation/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: Ginger White, posing for this photo near Dunwoody, Ga., said Monday she and Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain had a 13-year extramarital affair)

Question: Why would Ginger White come forward now to apparently blow the whistle on Cain?

INW Headlines — 11.29.11

University of Oregon president Richard Lariviere holds up the “O” sign for Oregon to the crowd at Autzen Stadium before their NCAA football game against Oregon State in Eugene, Ore., Saturday. Lariviere was informed last Monday that his one-year contract would not be renewed. Oregon won 49-21. Story here. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

High Noon: NY Boots Algonquin Cat

Eighty years ago, a sorry looking cat sauntered into the (Algonquin) hotel lobby from West 44th Street and stayed as stray cats who are fed and find a warm place to sleep are wont to do. Ever since the Algonquin lobby has had a cat – always named Matilda (photo here) — who has pretty much had the run of the place – until last week. The New York City Health Department says Matilda is in violation of the portion of the city’s health regulations that require animals be kept away from places where food is served. No, seriously. This is not news of the weird. It is the end, potentially, of a sweet and old tradition. This is also in the category of a solution in search of a problem/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.

Question: Occasionally, I've discovered a dog or a cat in a store, usually a small locally owned one, and haven't been too crazy about the idea. It's a cleanliness issue. What do you think? Do you mind seeing a pet dog or cat in a store?

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.29.11

  • 11:59 a.m. Caller reports males in red Subaru e/b on Appleway from I-90 may be smoking pot.
  • 11:53 a.m. Baby hurt, mother hysterical, after rear-ending logging truck @ H95 & Honeysuckle/Hayden. Truck keeps going. Trucker may be unaware that he was hit.
  • 11:50 a.m. A small boy who says he's hurt and lost is located @ 10th Place & Gilbert/CdA.
  • 11:31 a.m. Lake City High student reports possible lewd-and-lacivious activity.
  • 11:24 a.m. (via Kelsey Saintz/Shoshone News-Press twitter): Shoshone County Sheriff's Office has verified a 19-year-old Silverton man is missing. Devin Street was last seen at CDA Costco Friday.
  • 11:12 a.m. Howard reports to CPD HQ he saw a man that fits Goodwill robber's description.
  • 12 more items below

Paul Wulff Out As WSU Football Coach

WSU Head Coach Paul Wulff turns away from the Cougar huddle late in the Apple Cup game against Washington at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. WSu wound up on the losing end of the Apple Cup 38-21 Saturday. Wulff was meeting with WSU AD Bill Moos this morning to see whether he'll be back as Cougar coach to finish the final year of his 5-year contract.

  • Update (via SWX tweet): Paul Wulff to hold his own Q&A session at 3 p.m. in Pullman - one hour after #Moos presser

Paul Wulff has been relieved of his duties as head football coach at Washington State, The Spokesman-Review has learned. He was told in a meeting with Bill Moos this morning. Moos and Wulff met this morning, the final discussion in talks that began Sunday evening concerning Wulff’s status as head coach at his alma mater, a position he’s held for four years. During that time the Cougars posted a 9-40 record, including a 4-32 mark in Pac-12 Conference play. They were 4-8 this season/Vince Grippi, SR. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the decision to fire Paul Wulff? I don't.

Hucks Poll: Keep Teaching Cursive

  • Monday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation says public schools in Idaho should continue to teach cursive writing. 128 of 165 respondents (77.58%) took that position. 32 of 165 (19.39%) disagreed. 5 respondents (3.03%) were neutral.
  • Paul Wulff: A plurality of Hucks Nation wants to see Paul Wulff continue as head football coach of WSU. 62 of 129 respondents (48.06%) want Wulff back for the final year of his 5-year contract. 59 of 129 respondents (45.74%) want to see him fired. 8 respondents (6.2%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you plan to spend more or less than usual shopping for gifts this holiday season?

Michael Jackson Doctor Gets 4 Years

Dr. Conrad Murray is remanded into custody after the jury returns with a guilty verdict in his involuntary manslaughter trial earlier this month. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after a trial that painted him as a reckless caregiver who administered a lethal dose of a powerful anesthetic that killed the pop star. This morning, Murray was sentenced to maximum penalty of four years in prison by a judge who called him “a disgrace to the medical profession.” Story here. (AP Photo/Al Seib, Pool)


Newt: More Conservative Than Mitt

With his poll numbers rising and riding the buzz from his recent Manchester, N.H., Union Leader endorsement, Newt Gingrich set his sights on GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney on Monday, attacking him as a flip-flopper and pitching himself as the “conservative alternative.” “I don’t claim to be the perfect candidate, I just claim to be a lot more conservative than Mitt Romney,” Gingrich told WSC Radio in Charleston, S.C./Jonathan Easley, Blog Briefing Room, The Hill. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Could it be Newt?

Media Eye Idaho’s Educational Role

National publications are spotlighting Idaho's roll in the shift to online learning, according to Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman. In a blog post today, Popkey quotes Lee Fang of The Nation: “From Idaho to Indiana to Florida, recently passed laws will radically reshape the face of education in America, shifting the responsibility of teaching generations of Americans to online education businesses, many of which have poor or nonexistent track records. The rush to privatize education will also turn tens of thousands of students into guinea pigs in a national experiment in virtual learning — a relatively new idea that allows for-profit companies to administer public schools completely online, with no brick-and-mortar classrooms or traditional teachers.” More here. (SR file photo)

Question: In view of Idaho's pellmell rush to expose school children to Superintendent Tom Luna's radical online education plans, I wonder where all those concerned Idahoans went — you know, the ones who identified education as a top priority in survey after survey?

Edit: Libraries Face Filter Mandate

Idaho legislators believe in local control — except when they don’t. Don’t take it from us. Ask your local librarian. Under a new state law, libraries have to install filtering on their computers, so children will not be exposed to indecent or obscene material over the Internet. It is just the kind of one-size-fits-all policy and potential unfunded mandate that legislators enjoy railing against — when they believe the state is on the receiving end of overreaching federal policy. Such sentiments were lost on the 2011 Legislature, which passed an amended version of the Internet filter bill without a single dissenting vote. … As Coeur d’Alene Public Library director Bette Ammon told the Spokane Spokesman-Review: “It’s ridiculous to hold adult use of materials to the same standard as children”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you support the new filter law for Idaho libraries?

AM Headlines — 11.29.11

OR-11, a male pup from the Walla Walla pack, awakens from anesthesia after being fitted with a radio tracking collar in northeastern Oregon. Another wolf, OR-7, from the Imnaha pack, has become a celebrity by trekking 730 miles on a zigzag course from near the Idaho border to the southern Cascade Range. His GPS tracking collar has traced his trail across the state. (AP Photo/Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)

Open Records/Meeting Event Coming

Everyone in Idaho should know what is covered — and what's not — by the state's public records and open meetings laws. That's the premise behind a series of educational seminars that Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Idahoans for Openness in Government, or IDOG, have been holding periodically around the state since 2004. Now, the seminars are coming to North Idaho, for the first time since 2005.

  • Monday Dec. 5, Sandpoint - 5:30-8 p.m., Sandpoint Library public meeting room, 1407 Cedar Street
.  Co-sponsored by the Bonner Daily Bee
  • Tuesday Dec. 6, Coeur d'Alene - 6-8:30, Spokesman-Review Building 1st floor public meeting room, 608 Northwest Blvd. Co-sponsored by The Spokesman-Review and the Coeur d'Alene Press

The sessions are free to the public. More here.

Question: Interested in attending?

World AIDS Day Coming Thursday

Romanian youths hold hands during a flash mob held to raise awareness of the risk of being infected with the HIV virus, ahead of World AIDS Day on Thursday, Bucharest, Romania, earlier today. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Question: Do you know someone infected with full-blown AIDS or the HIV virus?

Poolman: Twitter OK For News, But …

Poolman: If you tweet in an empty forest does anyone read it? If you tweet in space does the vacuum cause it to collapse into single nano-particle? If the tweet is the speed of light does it go back in time? If you tweet straight down does it go to China? If you tweet something objectionable to an elected official should you have to apologize? I don’t think so, the whole thing is pretty moronic to begin with. I’m ok with the news feed element, but the random comments are a complete waste of time.

Question: Why do you follow Twitter?

Louisa May Alcott Anniversary Today

HucksOnline has learned that today is Louisa May Alcott's birthday (born in 1832), thanks to a tweet by Cindy. Wikipedia describes Alcott this way: “She is best known for the novel Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo's Boys. Little Women was set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, and published in 1868. This novel is loosely based on her childhood experiences with her three sisters.” And: “Alcott's early education included lessons from the naturalist Henry David Thoreau. She received the majority of her schooling from her father. She received some instruction also from writers and educators such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Fuller, who were all family friends.”

Question: Have you read “Little Women”? Thoughts?

Post Falls Theater Goes Discount

Item: PF Theater goes discount: Starting Friday, ticket prices drop to $2 for second-run movies/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press\

More Info: Post Falls Theater hopes cheap admission prices will bring families back to the movies and boost business. Starting Friday, the 17-year-old, locally-owned theater will convert to a discount cinema from a “first-run” format. Prices will drop from the $7-$9 range to $2 for everyone and $1 on Wednesdays. The movies will be those that have been shown for a few months at “first-run” theaters or older popular flicks.

Question: How often do you go to movie theaters? What kind of movie are you willing to pay $7-9 to see?

Benson: Wrecking Ball Retires

Lisa Benson/Washington Post Writers Group

Wild Card/Monday — 11.28.11

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the downtown Coeur d'Alene welcome to the holidays are behind us. Now, it's time for Christmas trees, shopping, and possibly winter. Any complaints out there for the relatively mild, late-fall weather we've been experiencing? I didn't think so. I'll post the Wild Card and search for items to keep you occupied today. Occupied, as in Occupy HucksOnline …

P.S. Governor Apologizes To Tweeter

High school senior Emma Sullivan displays the text of a tweet she sent after listening to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback speak to a group of students last week in Fairway, Kan. Since posting the tweet, Sullivan was called into the principal's office and ordered to write an apology to Brownback but instead Brownback offered an apology for his staff's reaction to the tweet today. Story here. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Question: Was Brownback right to apologize to Sullivan for his staff's reaction to her tweet?

Bonner Co Keeps Marching Rightward

Holidays are not slowing the rightward march of the Bonner County Property Rights Council. Monday night, the controversial Property Rights Council is sponsoring a “public seminar” on “The Theoretical Basis for a Property Rights Council.” The featured speaker is Sandpoint-based James L. Payne. Mr. Payne is a frequent contributor to the polluter-friendly and Koch-connected Independent Institute and the Foundation for Economic Education. It is unclear how this seminar got officially scheduled — the PRC meeting scheduled for last week was cancelled and prior meetings made no mention of the seminar. Mr. Payne’s anti-government views are not exactly mainstream.  For example, he is critical of government spending, sure. But he’s even opposed to FEMA and government-supported disaster aid/Terry J. Harris, KEA Blog. More here.

Question: Do you expect Kootenai County to follow the leader and adopt a conservative watchdog group like the Bonner County Property Rights Council?

PM Headlines — 11.28.11

Nine-year-old Kali Andrews of Blanchard adjusts her hat before modeling in the annual Kootenai Medical Center Foundation's Festival of Trees fashion show/fund raiser at the Coeur d'Alene Resort earliler today. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.21.11

  • 5:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Nov. 27-28 here.
  • 5:07 p.m. 2 vehicles have hit a deer on H95 @ M/P 425 (Presley Road, south of CdA).
  • 4:56 p.m. Wheatfield/CdA resident reports female in red Honda shot BBs at her house.
  • 4:49 p.m. A possible wanted man is reported @ 7th & Birch/CdA.
  • 4:45 p.m. Brenda reports drunk man unconscious @ Worley City Hall, 9936 E St.
  • 4:42 p.m. Driver reports left-turn signal of Hayden & H41 (Rathdrum) malfunctioning.
  • 4:12 p.m. Caller in 11000 block of Gairloch/Hayden trying to sell resident permanent health card.
  • 4:03 p.m. Timberline Trading Co. on Hanley/CdA has caught 3 shoplifters.
  • 18 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Woman’s Body Found Near Dam

The body of a woman who has been missing since Nov. 10 was found this morning in the Spokane River below the debris gate of the Avista Dam in Post Falls. The body of Cheryl A. Corbett, 61, of Post Falls, was recovered by the Kootenai County Sheriff's Dive Rescue Team after being discovered at about 10:30. The remains were positively identified by the Post Falls Police Department, and Corbett's family was notified.
According to police reports, there were no outward signs of trauma to the body. An autopsy is planned.

NIdaho Blogs: Handling A Moose

Don Gunter of Post Falls had all the tools for going out to fill the coveted Idaho moose tag he drew this year: Rifle, pickup, knives and saws, strong hunting partner … But he also was prepared for the bigger job of handling a moose. More from Rich Landers/Outdoors blog here.

HucksOnline numbers (for week of Nov. 20-26): 28166/18829

Robber Tries To Take Woman’s Purse

Coeur d'Alene police are looking for a man in a black hoodie who tried unsuccessfully to steal a purse belonging to a female employee of Goodwill Industries after holding a knife to her throat. The incident occurred at 2 p.m. today at the store at 1212 Fourth St., Coeur d'Alene. The victim reported to police that she was getting into her vehicle in the store lot when the robber grabbed her and held a knife to her throat, demanding her purse. She told police she struggled with the man and was thrown to the ground. The suspect ran off when a witness emerged from the store, saw the fight, and yelled at him. He is described as a white male, in his 30s, with black hair, 6-0 to 6-2, wearing a black hoodie with possible silver writing on it/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department. More here.

BP: Tina Jacobson Has A Conflict

A Berry Picker (re: Huckleberries Hears … that United Conservatives of North Idaho are organizing): “If Tina Jacobson, chairman of the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee, is involved, it's a serious conflict. She's helping to organize a new group because of flaws in the local Republican party when she's heading the local Republican Party? Just a guess that (Bob Pedersen of Rally Right) and his posse were none too happy that the Reagan Republicans put their boots to the ground for the Coeur d'Alene School Board and the recent municipal elections with some success and a headline or two. The purpose of the local central committees of both parties is to work towards electing and primarily supporting candidates of each respective party to county offices and the state legislature. It certainly isn't to create splinter groups.

Question: Does Chairwoman Tina Jacobson of the Kootenai County GOP CC, have a conflict of interest in speaking to a new conservative organization? Are local Republicans splintered?

Eman: Why Are Mug Shots So Bad?

Eman: Which brings me to the photo’s used for cats like wayne and honestly almost all the political mug shots. If that’s the best one of wayne then OK so be it but wow. Look at the one for Adams, scarry. Goodlander? yikes. The mayor’s looks pretty good but clearly takes pains to make it nice. Gookin’s ? yikes. (Former Kootenai County commissioner Rick) Currie, pictured, looked like a little rabbit in his. Who else? Question is, why? Why are those photos so bad?

Question: Do you agree with Eman that mug shots used by political figures are uniformly bad?

UCLA Wants Boise State’s Petersen

Boise State's Chris Petersen will be the first coach UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero will approach about the Bruins' football job, according to influential people with knowledge of the situation who are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Guerrero, who on Monday announced the firing of Rick Neuheisel, is expected to make a trip to Boise to meet with Petersen. UCLA is believed to be able to offer a contract worth more than $3 million annually that includes donations from boosters. Plans to refurbish the Bruins’ practice facility and a commitment of about $2 million for assistant coaches are expected to be part of the package, accord to one person close to the situation/Los Angeles Times. More here. (Charlie Litchfield's Idaho Press-Tribune photo: Boise State head coach Chris Petersen and Kellen Moore (11) talk with an official during the TCU game.)

Question: Can Boise State keep winning without Petersen?

CdA Man Climbs Glacier For Film

An ice climber ascends at Alaska's Mendenhall Glacier during filming of “Blue Obsession,” a 2011 Banff Mountain Film Festival finalist. (Courtesy photo: Alan Gordon)

People who produce adventure films featured in the Banff Mountain Film Festival shouldn’t be stereotyped as hard-core, muscle-powered adrenaline junkies with a death wish. “I’d never been ice climbing before I went to Alaska to help shoot ‘Blue Obsession,’ ” Jordan Halland of Coeur d’Alene said. Halland, 31, is the first Inland Northwest filmmaker to help produce one of about 50 films selected from more than 300 entries for screening at the fabled Alberta festival. He introduced the 8-minute movie to a full house at the Bing Crosby Theater last weekend. “Blue Obsession” was among 21 top films featured in the Banff Festival’s World Tour/Rich Landers, SR Outdoors. More here.

Question: Have you ever climbed a mountain?

Vik QB Chalich Commits To UIdaho

Coeur d’Alene High quarterback Chad Chalich gave Idaho head coach Robb Akey an oral commitment Sunday night to accept a scholarship offer to play for the Vandals, Vikings coach Shawn Amos said. Chalich, who led the Vikings to the 5A state championship, had a home visit with Akey on Sunday night and committed, Amos said. Chalich, the reigning 5A All-Idaho Player of the Year accounted for five of Coeur d’Alene’s seven touchdowns, passing for 410 yards and running for 57 more in the Vikings' 49-28 victory against Eagle at Bronco Stadium earlier this month. Amos also said that wide receiver Deon Watson also had a home visit with Akey and is taking an official visit to the Idaho campus next weekend/Idaho Statesman.

Question: Was Chad Chalich wise in picking a scholarship from Idaho over a walk-on invite from Boise State?

Hospital Gift Shops Expand Offerings

A shopper recently marched into the gift shop at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and asked: “Where are the clip-on ornaments?” She was shown to the decorated Christmas tree, where she picked out several ornaments. She clips a $50 bill onto each ornament for everyone on her Christmas list. The woman is not a hospital patient. She doesn’t visit anyone. She simply shops there, as if it were a “real” gift store. Which, indeed, it is. Many retail stores are ailing in these tough times. But the gift shops at Providence Sacred Heart and Deaconess Hospital enjoy healthy revenues, thanks to changing trends in retail and health care and the buy-local movement/Rebecca Nappi, SR. More here. (Colin Mulvany's SR photo: In Providence Sacred Heart’s gift shop, surgical technician Sharon Riddle checks out the designer clothing during her break last week.)

Question: Which regional hospital has the best gift shop?

Slice: A Kitten Walks Into A Barn …

The Slice had asked about friendships involving horses and barn cats. “Well, Maggie’s not exactly a horse,” wrote North Idaho’s Diane Newcomer. “She’s a 47-year-old mule.” Maggie has a feline friend, a 5-year-old orange mouser named Thunderfoot. “They have been buddies ever since Thunderfoot was a kitten,” said Newcomer, a retired librarian who lives with her surveyor husband on a ranch near Clark Fork. They have horses, cattle, and Maggie the white mule. And then there’s the sturdy cat that got her name from the sound she made scampering across a tin roof as a kitten. “She joins Maggie for breakfast every day, and most evenings for dinner,” said Newcomer/Paul Turner, SR Slice. More here.

Question: Have you had any pets who got along despite being different species?

INW Tops In Refusing Vaccinations

North Idaho and Eastern Washington share a grim distinction: Both have far higher rates of parents choosing not to immunize their children against childhood disease than either Idaho or Washington as a whole. As a result, health authorities say, youngsters in the region are at increased risk for illnesses like whooping cough and measles. In early November, nine North Idaho children were diagnosed with whooping cough, also called pertussis. “It’s a personal choice that does carry consequences, and heavy consequences for some,” said Cynthia Taggart, spokeswoman for the Panhandle Health District, which offers low-cost immunizations in all five North Idaho counties. She noted pertussis can be fatal for babies, which is part of the reason that adults who come in contact with babies are advised to get pertussis booster shots/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.


High Noon: Vive La Toast!

Vive la toast! - November 28 is National French Toast Day!You couldn't ask for a better jumpstart into Cyber Monday and the holiday shopping frenzy than chowing down on the carbohydrate and sugar dream team that is French toast! Whether you prefer it for breakfast, lunch or dinner — we don't judge — make sure you get your maple syrup fix today.We've been turning stale bread into the wonder that is French toast for quite some time. The earliest mention of the concoction was found in a collection of Latin recipes from the 4th century, and it's even given some face time in one of the Brothers Grimm tales.And contrary to popular belief, this dish gets its name from the chef, not the country/Ashley Strickland, special to CNN via KXLY. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you like French toast?

INW Headlines — 11.28.11

Chad and Jayme Hall are the owners of Alligator Diesel Performance in Coeur d'Alene. The company made Inc.Magazine's list of America's 500 fastest-growing companies after experiencing a three-year growth rate of 1,213 percent. Alison Boggs' SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.28.11

Beverly A. Mitton, 57, of Ponderay, was airlifted by MedStar to Kootenai Medical Center after she lost control of her pickup on ice, rolled over, and struck a tree at 12:48 this morning on Highway 95, five miles north of Five Mile Creek, in Boundary County. ISP report here.

  • 12:07 p.m. Female may be violating protection order in 1200 block of E. Coeur d'Alene/CdA.
  • 12:02 p.m. Driver reportedly spilled beer before exiting Exxon/Appleway & driving west on I-90.
  • 11:37 a.m. 2 suspicious males are sitting in a vehicle in 1100 block of N5th/CdA.
  • 11:23 a.m. Caller reports seeing 2 safes, one large & one small, 1 mile from Bunco trailhead/Athol.
  • 11:16 a.m. Jeffrey is at KCSD to report that his ex moved without informing him.
  • 11:12 a.m. Firefighters are en route to check a report of smoke sighted on Canfield Mountain.
  • 11:08 a.m. Dalton Elementary on Mt Carroll/Dalton Gardens is staging a fire drill.
  • 10 more items below

Capitol Xmas Tree Arrives In D.C.

The 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree arrives in Washington on Monday, following a 20-day cross-country tour that started in the Stanislaus National Forest in northern California. The 65-foot white fir tree will be illuminated during a ceremony scheduled for Dec. 6. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Question: When do you put up your Christmas tree? Real? Or fake?

Post Falls Allows High Tech Crime Tips

Crime fighting has gone high-tech and mobile in Post Falls. Citizens can now report criminal activity via text messages and email. Police say the system - being piloted in this area by PFPD — is not intended to replace 911. If residents need emergency assistance, 911 is still the preferred and fastest way to communicate. But texting or e-mailing crime has advantages, including for hearing impaired citizens who will not have to rely on a relay service or TDD (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf), if a person can't speak for whatever reason during a crime and the appeal to younger people. “Whether you like it or not, it's obvious that the future of communication is texting,” Chief Scot Haug said/Brian Walker, Press. More here.

Question: Should the Coeur d'Alene and Kootenai County Sheriff's Department also allow residents to provide  crime tips via email & text?

IFF: Nanny State Reaching Into Cars

Wearing seat belts saves lives, so therefore you should be forced to wear one, say defenders of this freedom-infringing statute.  You’re walking down the street and a police car races past, blue and red lights ablaze. Surprisingly, the police officer blocks your path, hops out and demands to see identification. “What seems to be the problem, officer?” you ask. “You were just at the McDonalds,” the officer responds. “Yes.” “You ordered a cheeseburger and fries?” “Yes.” “Sir, I’m afraid I’m going to have to take you in. According to our records, that was your third cheeseburger this week. Too many burgers are bad for you, and the government has laws against you engaging in behavior that might be harmful to yourself,” you’re told. Not possible?/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Do you think Americans will be taxed someday — for our own good, of course — for over-eating?

Huckleberries Hears …

… that a display ad in the classified section of the Coeur d'Alene Press today has some local Republicans up in arms. Entitled “Conservatives Unite,” under a mug shot of a smiling Ronald Reagan, the ad begins: “If you're frustrated with liberalism taking over in America and the Republican Party drifting away from its Conservative roots, let's do something about it.” The ad then goes on to invite individuals to the inaugaral meeting of United Conservatives of North Idaho at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5, at the Golden Spike Estates Clubhouse in Rathdrum. Some wonder if Bob Pedersen's Rally Right is reinventing itself as UCNI since the Rally Righters meet at Golden Spike. Also, some are upset that UCNI is trying to attach themselves to the Reagan Republicans by using Reagan's photo. Guest speakers include uberconservatives Phil Hart, Vito Barbieri, Dick Harwood, and Bonner County Commissioner Cornel Rasor.

Question: Is there room enough in Kootenai County for yet another Hard Right conservative group?

Hucks Poll: Black Friday? No!

  • Weekend Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation said it wouldn't get “up early, shop till I drop” on Black Friday past. 183 of 202 respondents (90.59%) said they wouldn't take part in the early-morning madness on Black Friday past. Only 3 of 202 (1.49%) said they planned to participate in the big sales offered to early shoppers. 16 of 202 respondents (7.92%) said they planned to shop Friday after the crowds had thinned out.
  • Today's Poll: Should cursive writing continue to be taught in Idaho schools?

Whither Goeth Wulff?

Washington State coach Paul Wulff, right, walks onto the field with players before an NCAA college football game against Washington in Seattle. Wulff canceled his regular Sunday evening conference call with reporters. Washington State finished 4-8 this season after losing to archrival Washington in the Apple Cup. Wulff could learn as early as today whether he will be allowed to return for his fifth year as head coach of the Cougars. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The president of the university, Elson Floyd, has long felt Paul Wulff isn't right as football coach. The athletic director, Bill Moos, believes Paul Wulff is the long-term answer, and has said as much many times. In the next 24 to 48 hours we may well discover whether the athletic director is setting the direction for the athletic department or the president is/Vince Grippi, SR. More here.

Question: Should Paul Wulff be retained as head coach of the Washington State Cougars after four losing seasons?

Cursive Becoming Rare In Idaho

Idaho educators say cursive writing among students is becoming increasingly rare as new technologies take over and schools reduce how long they expect cursive fluency. Idaho formerly tested students for cursive writing skills until about seventh grade, but now only through about fourth grade. Cursive is likely to see further declines as Idaho and 43 other states have started adopting national standards beginning in 2013-2014 that eliminate cursive writing as a required skill but mandate keyboarding. Melissa McGrath, spokeswoman for the Idaho Department of Education, said future requirements for cursive fluency will be made at the district level. Some districts might want to continue teaching cursive/Jason Ford, KOZE-AM. More here.

Question: Should cursive writing be mandatory in Idaho schools?

Edit: Discussion Spotlights Work Ethic

You hear this every day: “I'm working harder than ever, and earning less.” Or its cousin: “We're having to do more with less.” Why, then, do we also hear stories, all too frequently, about poor service rendered by lazy or unprofessional employees? About new workers being ill-equipped and immature? About job applicants showing up late for interviews, wearing inappropriate clothing, texting during an interview or being unable to speak in complete sentences, using “like” as subject, verb and object? If this recession has beat some humility and hunger and competitiveness into us, why do some mask it so cleverly?/Coeur d'Alene Press editorial. More here.

Question: Do Idahoans have a good work ethic?

Adams Targets LCDC From Get-Go

Item: Urban renewal options: Incoming city council members ponder what to do with Lake City Development Corp/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Steve Adams says he could explore one legal avenue to shut down the city’s urban renewal board. The city council-elect, set to take his seat in January, said in interviews he could make a motion to disband Lake City Development Corp., the city’s urban renewal agency, and have the council fill its shoes — a legally possible route. While urban renewal law allows cities to take over their urban renewal boards, Adams said he realizes the motion doesn’t have much of a chance of getting off the ground, at least not in the immediate future. … Yet Dan Gookin, the other council-elect who campaigned on urban renewal oversight, called disbanding the board a “doomsday” option.

Question: Do you think the state's urban renewal law is unconstitutional, as Adams does?

AM Headlines — 11.28.11

“I've been involved for 23 years,” said Joy Richards as she worked on the tree she is sponsoring for the years Festival of Trees at The Coeur d'Alene Resort last week. The festival is Kootenai Health Foundation's largest fundraiser began Friday and runs through today. Alison Boggs' SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Hucks: Palin Fairest Fem-Con Of All?

Who’s the fairest conservative woman of them all? That would be former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, as far as John Hawkins of RightWing News is concerned. But U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers does OK too among Hawkins’ list of the 20 most influential conservative women in this country. The Eastern Washington congresswoman ranks No. 5. Filling the gap between Palin and McMorris Rodgers are: No. 2, columnist/author Ann Coulter; No. 3, talk-show host Laura Ingraham; and No. 4, congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Idaho doesn’t have anyone in the Top 20, unless, of course, you take into account that Palin was born in Sandpoint and attended North Idaho College and the University of Idaho/DFO, SR, Huckleberries. More here.

Other SR weekend columns:

Question: Who would you say is the most influential conservative woman in this country?

Barney Frank Won’t Seek Re-Election

Rep. Barney Frank D-Mass., ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, participates in the committee's hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington in this March file photo. Frank's office says he won't seek re-election in 2012. Story here. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Thoughts on Barney Frank's congressional career?

Kershner: A Bah, Humbug Nation?

Have we become the Bah Humbug Nation? I’m convinced of it, having just reacquainted myself with the mean and selfish stylings of Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” (and its current stage adaptation at the Spokane Civic Theatre). Scrooge’s shriveled heart, in his pre-ghost, pre-conversion lifetime, reminded me, somehow, of a large swath of America/Jim Kershner, SR. More here.

Question: Have hard times made Americans more selfish?

County Mulls Boat, User Fees

Item: County mulls boat, user fees: Aucutt: 'People need to pay for what they're using'/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Some boaters might be hauling a different load next boating season, at least in their wallets. Kootenai County is reconsidering boating related fees, with the possibility of lowering charges for commercial users and creating a new fee for a popular free activity. “We're very much in favor of user fees,” said Jim Aucutt, chair of the county Waterways Advisory Board. “People need to pay for what they're using.” Like overnight mooring, he said.

Question: Should boaters be charged moorage fees for overnight use of Kootenai County docks?

Bennett: Current Events?

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Thanksgiving Wild Card — 4.24.11

The Coeur d'Alene Family Oliveria is planning a full day of feasting and enjoying one another's company in Coeur d'Alene today — 12 of the 15 of us who live in North Idaho including three in-laws on my wife's side. From my family to yours, I wish you a thoroughly enjoyable Thanksgiving and safe Black Friday. I'm taking Friday off. So I'm outtahere until Monday. Behave yourselves. And we'll get things going in earnest again Monday. Now here's your Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend Wild Card …

Lorraine’s Happy Hats

Lorraine White poses with some of the dozens of hats she has collected over the last few years.

Lorraine White loves hats.

Red, pink, purple, green and gold. Cowboy, fedora, boater, and cloche. Since 2006, White has collected 50 of them in all shapes, sizes and colors.

“I walked into Wal-Mart and they had all these fabulous hats,” said White, 54. So she bought a few, and then a few more. She buys them all new and never spends more than $15.

At a South Hill coffee shop, White arranged an artistic display of her colorful bonnets. “I look for bold and stunning,” she said. “My hats have personality.”

Do you wear hats? What kind?

Skaters go to Junior Nationals

Nicole Deitrick, 14, practices at Eagles Ice Arena on Nov. 8. She has qualified for the junior nationals in the intermediate division.

Nicole Deitrick, 14, and Kayleigh Elliott, 11, circled the ice, landing jumps and executing dizzying spins with ease. For spectators it was a brilliant figure skating performance. For the girls it was just another day of practice at Eagles Ice-A-Rena.

The two local figure skaters recently qualified for the U.S. Junior National Figure Skating Championships in Lansing, Mich., Dec. 10-14. Both are part of the Lilac City Figure Skating Club.  Cindy Hval, SR Full Story.

Do you enjoy watching figure skating?

Parting Shot — 11.23.11

The Kermit the Frog balloon seems to reach out towards balloon handlers with Macy's department store's 85th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as they work on another one of 15 giant helium balloons and 44 novelty and specialty balloons Wednesday that will be featured in Thursday's parade in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Question: Do you plan to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Thursday morning?

Hump Day Wild Card — 11.23.11

Today's Wild Card shouldn't be called “Hump Day” because many of you, like Your Huckleberry Hound, are going to be off for the rest of the week. Mrs. O & I will be entertaining Amy Dearest, her beau, Okie Doke, and her roommate, Maggie Mae, for the next four days, with Thanksgiving planned for the extended Coeur d'Alene Family Oliveria at Frito Ray's tomorrow afternoon. Here's hoping you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, too. Now for the inaccurately named Hump Day Wild Card …

End Notes: Mother’s Thanksgivings

My mother did our Thanksgivings, all my growing up years — with the six kids and later, their spouses and their children. It's my favorite holiday. Our family felt big back then, but now it has grown even bigger. Mom has 15 grandchildren and more than 30 great-granchildren. Five of her six kids live in the Inland Northwest, and my sister Lucia is moving back in January, after 40 years living in the East. Nearly half my grown nieces and nephews, and their children, also live here. We would have to rent out a hall to fit us all and none of us grown daughters, or our sisters-in-law, inherited the cultural and familial imperative that the matriarch must do the holidays, without much help and without complaint/Rebecca Nappi, End Notes. More here.

Question: How many will be at your Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow? Family? Friends?

PM Headlines — 11.23.11

Time is running out on a new group of Occupy Spokane protesters camped in Franklin Park whose permit runs out Thursday at midnight. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.23.11

  • 5:06 p.m. A wanted man is reportedly visiting home in 4700 block of Cherry/CdA.
  • 5:03 p.m. Patrol officer asks that father pick up daughter after he stops her @ Ramsey & Ohio Match Road/Rathdrum for unsafe driving in school parking lot & trying to elude him.
  • 4:52 p.m. 2 strange men ran from house @ Magic & Stratford/Hayden & drove off in pickup.
  • 4:45 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Nov. 22-23 here.
  • 4:39 p.m. Perry has information re: runaway juvenile from 1000 block of N16th/CdA.
  • 4:37 p.m. Caller wants to speak to an officer re: people riding in open bed of pickup.
  • 4:29 p.m. A woman is locked out of her vehicle @ Glasgow & Mullan/PF.
  • 4:01 p.m. An injured deer is trying to stand after being hit by vehicle @ H95 & Fairmont Loop/CdA.
  • 3:52 p.m. Hayden man returns home after week to 9600 block of Reed Avenue home to find door open, computer gone, place ransacked.
  • 18 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

North Idaho Blogs — 11.23.11

Snowmobilers pause to view the beautiful back-country in this scenic provided by Hill's Resort via Pecky Cox's As The Lake Churns blog.

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday): 7480/4795, and (for Monday): 7017/4456

Poll: Evangelicals Prefer Mitt To Prez

While white, evangelical Protestants are more likely than the general public to view Mormonism as a non-Christian faith — and less likely to support Mitt Romney — a majority of those voters are willing to back Romney in a general election run against President Obama, a new survey by the Pew Research Center finds. In Pew's survey, they find Romney trailing Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain among white, evangelical Protestants, over half of whom believe Mormonism is not a Christian faith. The former Massachusetts governor does lead the rest of the Republican field by double digits among mainline Protestants, and edges out Cain and Gingrich among white Catholics/Justin Sink, The Hill. More here. (AP photo)

Question: Do you expect Mitt Romney will face President Barack Obama in 2012 presidential election?

Fort Boise Breaks Down GOP Debate

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, poses with his grandchildren on stage after a Republican presidential debate in Washington on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

At Fort Boise, Tom Von Alten breaks down the latest GOP debate, including these “lowlights: I'm pretty sure the totality of Ron Paul's positions are anathema to me, although we agree on some things, and he does seem more sincerely principled than the rest of the bunch. There's just that crazy uncle down from the attic vibe that I can't get over. I think the sweet spot of his opportunity came and went a couple of cycles ago. And Rick Perry's still here, wha? Maybe he's hoping for another turn like Gingrich is getting. The strutting about “worn the uniform” and “been Commander in Chief” (of his state's National Guard don't you know) is ever so slightly over-the-top, oh-so-Texan. Big hat, small herd under there. Full analysis here.

DFO: OK, bat signal is intentionally lit for Gary D & Kootenai County GOP Central Committee Ron Paulers.

Question: Any thoughts on the latest GOP debate?

Eagles Slow In Return To Lake CdA

The annual gathering of bald eagles that feast on spawning kokanee at Lake Coeur d’Alene is getting off to a slow start. The eagle count at Wolf Lodge Bay is down about 70 percent from last year at this time, said Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist. Hugo made the first weekly survey of the season on Tuesday and counted only 12 bald eagles compared with 42 counted on the same day last year. “It could be the storm we just had,” she said. “We’ll be out on the lake Saturday for the special eagle boat cruise for veterans, so we’ll see if the changing weather makes a difference”/Rich Landers, SR. More here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Which spot is your favorite for watching eagles?

Dennis: What Sayeth Thou, McGee?

I love neighborhoods that subscribe to familiar “watch programs.” It's a case of neighbors helping neighbors. And it works. Often in politics, when citizens are busy living their lives, the only people looking at certain things are lobbyists, politicos, elected officials and (at times) bloggers, including me. So, I decided to look around and see how my “neighborhood” was doing. Were people OK? Anyone sick? I looked at current-State Senator Mike McGee of Idaho to do a follow-up on his illness. Illness? What illness? Well, back when he was arrested for the drunk driving and boorish behavior of grand theft of an auto, part of current-Senator McGee's defense was that he was ill, with a “likely” head problem/Dennis Mansfield. More here. (Illustration courtesy of Dennis Mansfield)

Question: Have the always accommodating Republican leadership of the Idaho Legislature officially swept McGee's misstep under the rug, hoping HucksOnline and loyal supporters, like Dennis Mansfield, won't notice and go away?

Mary Lou: Increasingly Partisan CdA

Partisan creep is moving in on non-partisan territory and threatens to wreak havoc on our good government. I am angry and very sad for Coeur d’Alene. In the just-concluded, by-law-nonpartisan city elections in Kootenai County, the Reagan Republicans won all the races they invested time and dollars in. Shamelessly, they pulled out all the stops on their party machine and played all the negative cards in their hands. Is there anything wrong with their game plan to insert partisan politics into local nonpartisan elections, practically, politically and/or ethically? I say a loud “yes” to all of the above. It’s not just a question of changing the rules in the middle of the game (although that rankles, too). There are longstanding reasons why some elected positions are historically and appropriately nonpartisan/Mary Lou Reed, Inlander. More here.

Dan Gookin Facebook statement:Sour grapes from one of the Democrat kingpins of Kootenai County. A woman who has mercilessly injected her own partisan politics into non-partisan elections for over a decade know. The left knows no shame.”

Question: Critics would say that Mary Lou and Kootenai County Democrats have unofficially injected partisan politics into nonpartisan local elections for years. Would you agree/disagree?

High Noon: Taking Friday Off?

Not to get all Jean Shepherd on you, but today is one of the best days on the kid calendar. Sure, there's still school. But in the sense that anticipation often trumps the actual event, the day before the four-day Thanksgiving holiday is tough to beat. Four days. Just think. That's practically 100 hours. The possibilities are endless. And then, even when children have to go back to school next week, they are armed with the knowledge that it won't be long before Christmas vacation/Paul Turner, The Slice Blog. More here.

Question: Are you taking Friday off this week and enjoying a four-day holiday? Any fun plans?

INW Headlines — 11.23.11

A joke sign is seen at one of several entrances to the Occupy Portland camp in Portland, Ore., Tuesday. Occupy protesters want shoppers to occupy something besides door-buster sales and crowded aisles of big-box stores on Black Friday. Story here. Meanwhile, Occupy Boise plan to send “consumer zombies” into Boise Town Square Mall here. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Question: Will you be more/less likely to support the Occupy movement if your shopping on Black Friday is interrupted by an Occupy “consumer zombie”?

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.23.11

  • Noonish: 40-50YO man in red robe is walking w/b along I-90 @ M/P 6 (Seltice Way)/PF.
  • Noonish: Two dogs, including a brown-and-black pitbull, are loose on Alice Court/Athol.
  • Noonish: Caller is concerned A1 Smoke Shop, 7200 Seltice Way/Stateline, isn't answering phone.
  • 11:54 a.m. CPD HQ has in posession undisclosed personal property found at Higgens Point.
  • 11:35 a.m. Possible drunken man w/knife threatening suicide in 1000 block of Lakeside/CdA.
  • 9 more items below

Muppets Gang Getting Together Again

In this CD cover image released by Walt Disney Records, the original soundtrack for “The Muppets,” is shown. Disney is bringing the Muppets back together, with Jason Segel and Amy Adams, for a movie sequel after a hiatus of about a decade. New York Times review here. (AP Photo/Walt Disney Records)

Question: Which Muppet is your favorite? Why?

Luke’s Diary: A Week On Ritalin

I am 30 years old and I have just been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It makes a lot of sense, actually. My whole life, I have been distractible, disorganized and impatient. I brainstorm a million projects and follow through on about 1 percent of them. I procrastinate like a bastard. It’s actually 3:41 am right now, the morning this story is due. I haven’t gone to bed yet. Why did it take 30 years to diagnose? I’m not sure. I did OK in school, considering what a disruptive little shit I was, and how little homework I did, and despite the way my brain would flit between a dozen trains of thought for hours without ever reaching the end of one. I always tested very well. In elementary and middle school, several teachers convinced my parents that I was bored with regular classes. They put me in accelerated ones. I still screwed off/Luke Baumgarten, Inlander. More here.

DFO: Luke goes on to provide his diary re: his first week on Ritalin.

Question: Have you or any member of your family taken Ritalin for attention deficit disorder? Would you mind sharing your experience?

White House Garlicmobile To Spokane

Northside garlic lovers have a new reason to rejoice this holiday season: They, too, now have their own garlic paradise. Last week, Raci Erdem, owner of Post Falls’ White House Grill and the Oval Office, and south Spokane’s West Wing, opened a stationary food truck — The Garlic Mobile — on a busy stretch of North Division. In case you’re not familiar with Erdem, he specializes in Mediterranean cuisine with a heavy dose of garlic. It’s hard to miss the Garlic Mobile. For one thing, the banner is visible from blocks away. And then there’s the smell. Step out of your car, and one whiff will tell you that you’re in the right place/Kristin Harrington, Inlander. More here. (Inlander photo: Mike McCall)

Question: How often do you eat at the White House/Oval Office? Do you recommend it to friends?

Poll: Butch Has No Room To Gloat

  • Tuesday Poll: Hucks Nation sez Gov. Butch Otter shouldn't be holding Idaho up to nation in Roll Call column as an example of good governance. 102 of 164 respondents (62.2%) said Otter has no right to brag that Idaho is governed well. 56 of 164 respondents (34.15%) believe Idaho is governed well. 6 of 164 respondents (3.66%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: How would you describe your approach to Black Friday shopping?

APhoto Of The Day — 11.23.11

Corinne Hufft, right, of Dallas, feeds a boiled mealworm to her daughter Ella Hufft, 3, as visitors sample Thanksgiving-inspired foods with insects at the Audubon Insectarium in New Orleans. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Delegation, Hart Sign Anti-Tax Pledge

As you’ve probably heard by now, negotiations failed this week with the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.  Dubbed the supercommittee, it was charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in debt savings over the next decade.  Now the political finger-pointing is well underway. One of the people being blamed for the supercommittee’s failure (often by Democrats, and on occasion by Republicans), is Grover Norquist (pictured).  He’s a longtime lobbyist who runs the group Americans for Tax Reform.  Norquist is known for getting hundreds of lawmakers from around the country to sign a pledge promising never to raise taxes/Emilie Ritter Saunders, StateImpact. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Are Idaho's congressional delegation, Phil Hart, and 5 other Idaho legislators being responsible by signing the anti-tax pledge circulated by Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform?

Cop Suspended In Road Rage Case

Portland Police Capt. Todd Wyatt was placed on paid leave today after Idaho officials informed the bureau that Wyatt is being charged with exhibition or use of a deadly weapon stemming from an alleged off-duty road rage case this summer. The Kootenai County District Attorney's office notified the bureau that prosecutors are charging Wyatt with the violation of Idaho Code 18-3303, exhibition or use of a deadly weapon, a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine. On Aug. 13, Wyatt is accused of pointing a pistol at another motorist while driving westbound on I-90, near milepost 6 in Post Falls, Idaho/Maxine Bernstein, Oregonian. More here.


Worst Computer Passwords Of 2011

In this digital era, computer users need passwords for everything. But how much effort have you put into choosing your password? SplashData, a password software management firm, looked at millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers and came out with its list of worst passwords. The worst password of 2011? The word “password.” Up next, was “123456” followed closely by “12345678.” Number six on the list was “monkey” and number eight, the ever original “let me in”/ via KREM. More here.

Question: How many different passwords to you have for various computers & sites? How do you remember them all?

Idaho County Joins Redistricting Suit

The Idaho County Commissioners Tuesday voted to join a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of a proposed plan that reconfigures the state's legislative districts. The county joins Bonner, Boundary, Benewah, Shoshone and Clearwater counties that have hired Boise lawyer Christ T. Troupis to represent them against the state in the action. … The proposed plan groups Idaho County with Clearwater, Shoshone and the southeast portion of Kootenai counties. Idaho County Commission Chairman Skip Brandt explained the main reason for objecting to the proposal is the difficulty of traveling from one end of the district to the other/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: With so many counties, including Twin Falls in southern Idaho, protesting against the current redistricting plan, do you think this one's going back to the drawing board?

AM Headlines — 11.23.11

Don Cianci rides a lift truck to the level of the new copper squirrel bridge being installed above the 1300 block of Kessler Blvd. in Longview, Wash., Friday. The shiny copper stood out against the fall colors around it as the Sandbaggers, a local service organization secured the wires for Longview's second squirrel bridge. (AP Photo/The Daily News, Bill Wagner)

President Obama Pardons Turkey

President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha and Malia, pardons Liberty, a 19-week old, 45-pound turkey, on the occasion of Thanksgiving, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011, on the North Portico of the White House in Washington. At left is National Turkey Federation Chairman Richard Huisinga. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Question: Describe your favorite dish in the Thanksgiving feast (besides the turkey)?

McGregor: Black Thursday?

Thanksgiving continued happily along until the 1960s, when retailers like Macy’s started big sales on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Now, of course, we know it as Black Friday, America’s high holy day of deals. It’s been crowding Thanksgiving ever since. To traditionalists, it’s a heretical invasion of one of the few moments of reflection we have left; to others it’s the perfect celebration of our land of plenty. Can Thanksgiving and Black Friday coexist as two sides of the American coin?/Ted S. McGregor, Inlander. More here.

Question: Is there something hypocritical re: celebrating reflective Thanksgiving on Thursday and then gourging ourselves on gift buying the following day, on Black Friday?

Edit: Nothing Super About Committee

Since the “supercommittee” superfailed to live up to its name, what should we call them now? How about the Do-Nothing Dozen? The sum of their work certainly adds up to zero. Twelve members of Congress — six House members and six senators, six Republicans and six Democrats — were appointed in August to try to find at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions. The group gave up Monday, agreeing only to do, well, nothing. Technically, the group’s three-month assignment ends today, the day before Turkey Day. Never let it be said that Congress lacks for a wicked sense of humor. But since it actually does take a couple days to write legislation, Monday was effectively the group’s deadline. To call the effort pitiful and disappointing borders on understatement. By playing to their bases, committee members reinforced the same partisan divide that they needed to transcend/Kevin Richert, Statesman. More here.

Question: Are hopes of a solution to our debt crisis gone now that the supercommittee has superfailed?

‘Crazy Love’ Leads To New Shelter

“Crazy Love.” That's the name of the book organizers say inspired a plan to start a new warming center for the homeless in Post Falls that opened Monday night. “No matter what you do to show you love people, you can never really do enough,” said Tom Hamilton, plant manager at Ground Force Manufacturing. The Post Falls company owned by Ron Nilson is donating use of a 4,000-square-foot warehouse at 6001 Seltice Way. It will have heat, lights, a kitchen, bathrooms, tables and chairs. It will be open daily 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. at least through February. Most important, it will provide a nightly shelter for the homeless from North Idaho's cold, wind, rain, snow and ice, said Patty McGruder, homeless outreach worker with the Dirne Community Health Center/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. H/T: JimmyMac.

DFO: Please join me in giving a hat tip to one of our own here at HucksOnline, Tom Hamilton, and his boss, Ron Nilson, for reaching out to the homeless in this terrific way.

Heller: De-Energize These Bunnies

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Tuesday — 11.22.11

Two days until it's time to stuff the turkey — and time to be stuffed. All the Coeur d'Alene Family Oliveria and in-law annexations will be together in one spot to enjoy Thanksgiving for three hours — and a chance to finally see our favorite NFL football team (San Francisco 49ers) on TV later. Should be a good time. I hope you're planning one, too. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 11.22.11

A pedestrian sips coffee under the protection of an umbrella in a steady rain and in view of the Pike Place Market earlier today in Seattle. Another strong storm will like bring more high winds on Thanksgiving Day to parts of Western Washington, the National Weather Service said. The coast and northwest interior could have 30 mph winds with gusts to 60 mph. The weather service also issued a special weather statement Tuesday saying that travel will be impacted Thanksgiving Day through Friday morning in the Cascade passes. Another shot of snow could leave eight to 12 inches by Friday morning. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Question: Where (TV, newspaper, radio, etc.) do you usually get your weather information?

Beaver, Wally Deliver Newspapers

I always enjoy depictions of newspapering in old movies and TV shows. That's why I was watching “Leave It to Beaver” the other day.  Wally and the Beav wanted a new bike. The one they had their eye on cost more than $50, which was a lot of dough back then. This led to Ward giving them a money-doesn't-grow-on-trees talk. So the boys went out and landed a job delivering newspapers after school. Naturally, antic confusion ensued. And after well-intentioned Ward and June unwittingly contributed to Wally and the Beaver getting fired by the Courier Sun, Ward went down to the paper to try to get their jobs back/Paul Turner, The Slice Blog. More here.

Question: Were you ever a newspaper boy or girl? Tell us about the experience.

Oregon Guv Won’t Allow Execution

Gov. John Kitzhaber (pictured) announced today he will not allow the execution of Gary Haugen — or any death row inmateto take place while he is in office. The death penalty is morally wrong and unjustly administered, Kitzhaber said. “In my mind it is a perversion of justice,” he said at an emotional news conference in Salem. The governor cited his constitutional authority to grant a temporary reprieve for Haugen, in effect canceling the planned Dec. 6 lethal injection of the twice-convicted murderer. Haugen waived his legal appeals and has been preparing for the execution, which would have been Oregon's first in 14 years/Helen Jung, Oregonian. More here. (AP photo)


PM Headlines — 11.22.11

Jason and Emily Gray, of Boise, hold their two-year-old twins Lacey and Ashley Gray, under the the holiday lights at the annual Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in Boise. Hundreds of people young and old gathered at the steps of the Idaho Statehouse event, sipping hot chocolate and listening to holiday music from children's choirs and military bands. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman: Darin Oswald)

Question: Will you attend the annual Downtown Coeur d'Alene winter parade & Hagadone Hospitality ttree lighting/KMC Festival of the Trees on Friday?

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.22.11

  • 5:33 p.m. A suspicious tan Taurus is parked in lot of Caribbean Tan, 5624 Govt Way/Hayden.
  • 5:32 p.m. Caller reports his distraught brother has broken car window @ Nora & Davidson/CdA.
  • 5:30 p.m. I-90 BOSS hit reported on Tennessee semi & Trailer e/b on I-90 @ Post Falls.
  • 5:15  p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Nov. 21-22 here.
  • 4:56 p.m. Caller from Howell Road/PF reports smell of smoke in his house.
  • 4:39 p.m. ISP patrols are watching for e/b blue van on I-90 involved in Spokane area robbery.
  • 4:36 p.m. Employees of Taco Bell, 217 E. Appleway/CdA, report disorderly man on premises.
  • 4:19 p.m. Resident of 6231 Ohio Match/Rathdrum reports 3 trespassing hunters have shot deer.
  • 4:18 p.m. Employees of Safeway on Neider/CdA reports 3 transients cussing loudly outside store.
  • 16 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Push For Higher Seatbelt Fines Ahead?

There is a chance that the 2012 Idaho Legislature may consider legislation altering the fine amount for seat belt violations, basically changing the law so anyone cited would pay a fine of $61.50. Currently, adults cited pay a $10 fine, while children under the age of 17 without a belt are subject to the $61.50 fine. Under consideration is designating seat belt violations as a primary offense in all cases, rather than a secondary violation. Seat belt laws are divided into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary seat belt laws allow law enforcement officers to ticket a driver for not wearing a seat belt, without any other traffic offense taking place. Secondary seat belt laws state that law enforcement officers may issue a ticket for not wearing a seat belt only when there is another citable traffic infractionMitch Coffman, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Do you want to see seatbelt violations raised to a primary offense (meaning cops can stop you if they see you not wearing one), with fines increased?

JFK Assassination Day + 48 Years

The seat where President John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was sitting when he was arrested is shown at the Texas Theater Tuesday in Dallas. Today marks the 48th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)

Adam’s Aboard Cain Train To Stay

I entered this cycle truly hoping that Mike Huckabee would run for President, but in May it became clear that wouldn’t happen. I’ve considered several candidates since then: Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry, and Michelle Bachmann. I’ve remained on the fence until now. I’m firmly on the Herman Cain train. I laid out what I was looking for in a Presidential candidate in this column and what I believed a Republican Candidate: political courage, character, the confidence of the base in his intentions, and the ability to inspire optomism in Americans. Herman Cain is the man who best represents this ideal. When I look at other main contenders, their courage to address tough issues is definitely in question.  Cain’s is not/Adam Graham, Adam's Blog. More here.((AP file photo)

Question (for Right Wing): If you had to choose a presidential candidate among GOP candidates right now, who would it be?

Actor Has Sun Valley Home For Sale

Actor Bruce Willis' home north of Hailey has been put on the market for $15 million. According to the Blaine County Assessor's Office, the “Die Hard” star bought the property north of Hailey in 2001. A listing by Sotheby's International Realty states that the 20-acre property includes a six-bedroom, 8,400-square-foot main house, a detached guesthouse and a gym. Willis' property in Flying Heart subdivision features ponds and streams, and a heated pool with water slides, waterfall features and a rope swing. According to the Wall Street Journal, listing agent Janine Bear said Willis is selling the home because he has not been able to spend as much time as he would like to in the area/Tony Evans, Idaho Mountain Express. More here. (2007 AP file photo)

Question: Which Bruce Willis movie is your favorite?

Edit: Supercommittee Flames Out

The 12-person Congressional “super committee” tasked with reducing our national debt has thrown in the towel. Out of the six Republicans and six Democrats, not one would break party lines to agree on a plan. Are we surprised? Not a bit. Disgusted? Absolutely. Predictably, our bull-headed representatives are already angrily pointing fingers across the aisle. Republicans call out Democrats who refuse to chop any entitlement programs; the Democrats say that Republicans refuse to quash any of the tax breaks benefiting the nation’s rich. We deserve better/Twin Falls Times-News. More here. (AP file photo of part of supercommittee)

Question: Does the failure to reach agreement by the supercommittee underscore the possibility that the U.S. Congress/American political system is broken?

UC Davis Students Ignore Chancellor

University of California- Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi raises her hand to try to address students gathered at the Occupy UC Davis encampment on the campus in Davis, Calif.,Tuesday. Katehi was trying to discuss student concerns but was told she had to wait her turn. She left to attend a meeting before she had a chance to speak. Student have been calling for Katehi's resignation after an incident Friday where students were peppered sprayed by campus police and 10 were taken into custody.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Question: Should UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi get boot for pepper-spray incident?

Morrison Recovers ♥ For BB In Serbia

Sam Amick/ caught up w/ex-Gonzaga Bulldog Adam Morrison playing basketball in Serbia and filed a report that reads in part: “The 27-year-old who went from cult hero in college to purported NBA bust describes the inauspicious start in Charlotte, from the pressure of being the No. 3 pick in 2006 to the devastating knee injury that cost him a season, and how the hopeful return went awry with his unproductive pairing with coach Larry Brown. He talks about the two lost years with the Lakers in Los Angeles, a professional hell of individual failure and collective success where he might have been the most mocked champion in the history of the game. He details the disappearing act thereafter, how his release from the Washington Wizards in October 2010 led to such a low that he fell out of love with the game that once inspired him.” Amick goes on to say that Morrison has recovered his love for the game and some success here. (SR file photo of Adam Morrison as a Zag w/Coach Mark Few)

Question: Would you like to see Morrison back in the NBA some day?

Influential Women: Sarah, Ann, Laura

John Hawkins/RightWing News provides a list of 20 most influential conservative women, including these top five:

  • 5. Cathy McMorris Rodgers: Republican Congresswoman, Vice-Chair of the House Republican Conference.
  • 4. Michele Bachmann: Minnesota Congresswoman, presidential candidate.
  • 3. Laura Ingraham: Talk host with 6 million plus listeners per week.
  • 2. Ann Coulter: Best selling author, extremely popular columnist.
  • 1. Sarah Palin: Former Governor of Alaska, former VP candidate.

Question: Who do you think is the most influential conservative woman in the country today?

Eman: Who Knows What Tebow Prays?

RE: Tebow's religious talk bugs Plummer

Does anyone really know what he prays silently when he does. Some here are assuming that he asking for speed or to win, or to complete a pass yet somehow I doubt that in this case, perhaps for strength, courage, to be humble in the spotlight, who knows. Quite presumptuous to judge a mans silent prayer. As for display of prayer, I’m uncomfortable with it as I believe God knows what you ask in silence and if it’s sincere while he also knows all the other little secrets we don’t display publicly. Anonymity in deed and prayer seem hold the greatest rewards as far as what I can tell from scripture, of course talking about it in a Christian light.

Question: Do you pray? Where? When?

JohnA: JFK Slaying Ended Innocence

JohnA: It’s hard to believe it has actually been 48 years since I was sitting at my desk at the old Sunnyside Elementary (now part of the Dave Smith empire) when my teacher announced the shooting of the President. I don’t remember grieving the next few days, but our nation certainly did. Unknown to us that day was what would follow: the Civil Rights movement and Vietnam, and in due time the murders of Martin and Bobby, and the shame of Watergate. Although I didn’t know it that day, the age of innocence was gone.

Question: Would JFK had gone down in history as a good/average/bad president if he'd lived?

High Noon: Painting Fire Hydrants

Coeur d'Alene may be getting ready to let property owners use their own artistic and decorating skills on fire hydrants.The Coeur d'Alene Press reports that city leaders are getting ready to relent on a rule that was never officially on the books in the first place.The city's unwritten rule is that all hydrants be painted yellow. But recently, two property owners ignored the rule, opting instead to paint hydrants dark green to better blend with the landscape.Assistant Water Superintendent Terry Pickel says the department has challenged the property owners, but he says the city fire department isn't bothered by the idea of multi-colored hydrants/AP, KXLY. More here. (AP file photo, of dog in Roseburg, Ore., checking out hydrant wrapped in warning tape)

Question: What color would you paint your nearby hydrant if given the chance to do so?

INW Headlines — 11.22.11

Pocatello Police officers investigate the scene where twin boys where found in an apartment Monday in Pocatello. The infant brothers were pronounced dead at Portneuf Medical Center, according to Bannock County Coroner Kim Quick. The deaths of the boys, Gabriel and Tryce Medrano, will be investigated by Pocatello police who said they do not yet have enough information to rule on whether the deaths were accidental. Story here. (AP Photo/Idaho State Journal, Doug Lindley)

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.22.11

  • Noonish: Caller reports trash & cables are lying on s/b H95 @ M/P 433 (Canfield/CdA).
  • Noonish: A semi w/flashers on is stalled & blocking traffic @ Mullan & Cecil/PF.
  • 11:36 a.m. Road rager in white Lincoln Town Car rammed a silver pickup, then pushed other driver when two stopped @ e/b offramp @ NW Blvd, & is now taking items from pickup.
  • 11:23 a.m. Caller wants to speak to officer re: a fraudulent ad on CraigsList.
  • 11:22 a.m. Holiday station on Cornerstone/Hayden reports driver leaving w/o paying for gas.
  • 11:19 a.m. Business @ 2113 Sherman Ave/CdA reports disorderly man in premises.
  • 11:06 a.m. Caller reports a wanted juvenile can be found in 200 block of N 4th/CdA.
  • 9 items below

DFO’s Critters: Living Roof Reindeer

Entomologist Dave Kavanaugh, rear, dressed as Santa Claus, poses for reporters as an unnamed female reindeer, foreground, and Miles, a male reindeer, are shown on the Living Roof at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Tuesday. The female will be named through a naming contest. The reindeer will be a part of the Academy's holiday program that will be exhibited until Jan. 16. The Living Roof Project is an ongoing citizen science program designed to give community members an opportunity to learn about the Academy’s unique roof ecosystem while contributing to important baseline data regarding the many plants, birds, and arthropods that inhabit and utilize the Living Roof’s 2.5 acres of green space. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Question: How old were you when you learned there was no Santa Claus?

Marc: No NBA? Who Cares?

On his Facebook wall, Marc Stewart points out something that I haven't been missing this year: “Gosh, the NBA owners and NBA players are too busy bickering to play basketball. I wish I could say I miss the games, but I don't.”

Question: How about you? Do you miss NBA basketball?

Occupy Main Street: Shop Locally

On her Facebook wall, Post Falls Councilwoman Kerri Thoreson advocates for shopping local: “Why shop local? Local businesses pay taxes, provide paychecks, donate and contribute to organizations and events throughout the year. If not for local businesses who would be donating to the auctions, raffles, scholarships, grad night parties, senior centers, charitable causes, youth sports sponsorships etc., etc.? This Christmas season make your gift giving pay it forward in our communities … SHOP LOCAL!”

Question: We discussed this a little Monday. What percentage of your gift shopping do you do locally? In Spokane? Online? What would cause you to shop more locally?

Linda Ball: I ♥ ‘Breaking Dawn’

Facebook Friend Linda Ball also give “Breaking Dawn” big time thumbs up: OMG! I saw “Breaking Dawn Part 1” today, (the latest in the “Twilight” series if you're not a twi-hard)! Seriously, I know you're laughing at me right now, but this one is really good! I've read all the books, so I know what's going to happen, but I was still surprised a few times, and the whole birthing scene was sort of creepy yet tense. The ending is great; I wasn't sure how they'd break up the last book. Be sure to wait through the credits, because there's a scene involving the Volturi (the bad vampires) that sets up Part II and is also quite creepy. I thought it was fun!”

Question: Do you like the whole vampire/werewolf/zombie/Frankenstein movie genre?

Hucks Poll: All-Weather Tires Best

  • Monday Poll: 100 of 159 respondents (62.89%) said they use all-weather tires to get around during North Idaho winters. 40 of 159 (25.16%) said they run studs. 9 of 159 (5.66%) apiece said they run stock tires or some undisclosed type of tire during the winter. Only one uses chains.
  • Today's Poll: Does Gov. Butch Otter have a right to brag that Idaho is an example of good governance?

Obama Makes New Hampshire Visit

President Barack Obama greets the audience after he spoke about jobs, Tuesday at Manchester High School Central in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Question: In the National Journal Monday, two former Democratic pollsters urged President Obama to abandon his run for re-election in favor of a clear alternative who can save the Democratic Party and win the seat. Do you think Obama has a fair chance of winning re-election?

Correction: Priest River JVs Sue

A HucksOnline headline on Monday listed the wrong high school JV team involved in a player suit against the West Bonner County School District. The high school JV team involved in the suit is Priest River. The headline was corrected soon afterward. But HucksOnline wants to make sure that readers know which high school and school district are involved. You can read the story again here.

Family Gatherings Trump Gas Prices

AAA Idaho predicts an increase in Thanksgiving travel, but credit that to a longing to be with family, not gas prices. The travel agency expects 14 percent of the state's population — a 4.1 percent increase from a year ago - will travel at least 50 miles from home during the holiday. The prediction is “not because of any major improvements in the overall economic market, and obviously not with the help of gasoline prices, but because there is a pent-up demand among Americans to spend time with family,” said Dave Carlson, AAA spokesman/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you plan to travel far this Thanksgiving? Or is someone traveling far to visit you?

Hoffman, IFF $30,000 Short

Not sure how this one landed in the email inbox this afternoon, but here's a fundraising pitch from Wayne Hoffman's Idaho Freedom Foundation. According to the email, the free-market group is about $30,000 short of its 2011 fundraising goal. We hope the work we’re doing is valuable to you,” writes Hoffman. “If so, every donation counts. Please consider a contribution this season to us so that we can keep up the cause of liberty”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Have you made your contribution to Idaho Freedom Foundation, yet?

Henry: Not Missing Paul Ezra Rhoades

For weeks, photos of Idaho's new execution chamber, along with sordid details of how lethal injection is carried out, have circulated on the Web. I've learned quite a bit about how last-minute appeals are filed, how the first of three injections renders the condemned unconscious so they don't feel the next two fatal shots that stop their breathing and heartbeat. The whole process is very clinical, very sterile and, providing nothing goes awry, painless for the condemned. The whole ordeal has also made me revisit my stance on capital punishment. I was raised in my faith that although God is the ultimate judge and will have the final ruling, society has a duty to carry out punishments for the good of greater society. As I've gotten older and explored my faith further, I realize there are basic tenets of human decency that one must adhere to. When you commit a crime contrary to the core of those tenets, you forfeit your place in society/Henry Johnston, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Did Idaho's execution of Paul Ezra Rhoades cause you to revisit your stance on capital punishment?

Idaho Mental Health Cuts In Top 10

StateImpact Idaho is beginning to look at the effects of the $34 million Medicaid cut that the Idaho Legislature passed last session.  Related to that, a new report from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) tallies the state-by-state changes in general fund appropriations for state mental health agencies since 2009.  According to the report, Idaho is among the ten states that have made the greatest cuts, by percentage, since that year. As advocates for people with mental illness will point out, Idaho hasn’t had a great track record of funding services for the state’s mentally ill. “I think the shocking part is we spend $44 per capita on mental health, and the national average is $122. So we’re about a third of the national average,” said Doug McKnight, president of the Idaho chapter of NAMI/Molly Messick, State Impact. More here.

Question: Do you suppose underfunding mental health services is one of the way's the Otter administration provides good governance?

AM Headlines — 11.22.11

Jean Selman, of Smelterville, Idaho, paints a winter scene on the front window of Tiffany Blue clothing store in Coeur d'Alene on Monday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Foggy Morning

Small birds rest on a dew covered fence Monday morning in Apple Valley, Calif. The typically dry and arid High Desert area was treated to an usually wet and foggy morning after rain doused the area Sunday afternoon and evening. (AP Photo/The Victor Valley Daily Press, James Quigg)

Question: Did you grow up in an area with much fog?

Otter: Idaho Shows How To Govern

How can a largely rural Western state of roughly 1.5 million people — a state whose Republican credentials are matched only by its almost contrarian sense of independence — possibly set an example of responsible governance for the rest of America? In Idaho, we did it by reassessing the proper role of government in people’s lives. We did it by identifying what our constitution and laws require government to do and eliminating much of what they don’t. We did it by instituting zero-based budgeting and bringing business principles to government. We did it by making tough choices and difficult adjustments early in the economic downturn. And we did it by being cautious, prudent, and yes, conservative with taxpayer dollars in order to live within the people’s means/Gov. Butch Otter, Roll Call. More here.

Question: Do you think Idaho has set an example for governance for the other 49 states?

Lucky Friday Mine Anything But Lucky

Hecla officials have voluntarily shut down the Lucky Friday Mine after the now fatal accident that took the life of miner Brandon Gray over the weekend.Last week's accident was the third time this year that a fire or a cave-in have forced the closure of the mine, including the tunnel collapse that killed Larry Marek on April 15.So far 14 people have died in non-coal US mining accidents spread out between Alaska and Florida this year, but only one — the Lucky Friday Mine — has suffered a pair of fatalities/Jeff Humphrey, KXLY. More here. (KXLY photo)

Question: What do you think? Is the Lucky Friday Mine particularly unlucky this year? Or is there something else going on under ground over there?

Dalton 5th-Graders Meet Br’er Wolf

Item: A different pack: Wolves pay a visit to fifth-graders at Dalton Elementary School/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Fifth grade students at Dalton Elementary had some special visitors Monday - a pair of 6-month-old wolf pups. The furry guests' appearance was part of an ongoing lesson that started with teacher Justin Taylor's students' reading of Jack London's “White Fang.” “We were exploring facts and creating opinions about the wolf hunting debate in Idaho,” Taylor said. “We also looked at propaganda and bias to determine the reliability of resources. We held a debate and argued for or against the hunting of gray wolves in Idaho.” The wolf pups were brought in by Nancy Taylor of Wolf People, an educational facility and retail store in Cocolalla.

Question: Let's play Conspiracy Theory to start the day. Should fifth-graders be learning anything about wolves other than that they're voracious predators?

Heller: Pepper Spray, Anyone?

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Monday — 11.21.11

We're going to have a short week together this work week b/c I'm taking off Friday to host Amy Dearest, Okie Doke, & a Portland friend of theirs for Thanksgiving. I'll try to keep this place buzzing for the next 3 days but the smell of turkey & all the trimmings might get distracting by late Wednesday. Now for your Monday Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 11.21.11

This artist rendering shows accused White House shooter Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, center, before Magistrate Judge Alan Kay, left, earlier today. From left are, U.S. Assistant Attorney George P. Varghese, a public defender David Bos, Ortega-Hernandez, and Judge Kay. Story here. (AP Photo/Dana Verkouteren)

Tebow’s Religious Talk Bugs Plummer

Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is a Christian, as he rarely misses an opportunity to say. Former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer says he’s heard it enough from Tebow that he doesn’t need to hear it any more. In an interview with 910-AM in Phoenix, Plummer said that he thinks highly of the way Tebow is winning games in Denver, but he wishes Tebow would cool it on turning post-game interviews into an opportunity to proselytize. “I wish he’d just shut up after a game and go hug his teammates,” Plummer said, via “I think that when he accepts the fact that we know that he loves Jesus Christ then I think I’ll like him a little better. I don’t hate him because of that, I just would rather not have to hear that every time he takes a good snap or makes a good handoff”/Michael David Smith, NBC Sports. More here.

Question: Does Tim Tebow's witness for Jesus Christ bug you?

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.21.11

  • 5:36 p.m. T-bone crash b/n white Ford car & truck pulling trailer @ 2785 E. Seltice Way/PF.
  • 5:28 p.m. Caller reports trailer being pulled by truck swerving @ I-90 & Spokane/PF.
  • 5:07 p.m. Woman returns home to find door open, retrieves gun, waiting for cop to clear house @ 17th & Hanley/Dalton Gardens.
  • 4:59 p.m. Caller asks for a prowler check in area near 15th & Hanley/Dalton Gardens.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Nov. 20-21 here.
  • 4:23 p.m. I-90 BOSS hit on stolen 2004 Hyundai w/Washington plates canceled. Car already recovered.
  • 4:01 p.m. Erratic female driver grabbing head & hitting dog in back seat of gray car @ Kathleen & Saint Michelle/Coeur d'Alene Place.
  • 16 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 11.21.11

Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman, foreground, is seen during a Big League Tour baseball game while his brother Jason Halman attends, background left, in Utrecht, Netherlands on Saturday, Nov. 5. Greg Halman was stabbed to death early Monday in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and his brother was arrested as a suspect, Dutch police said. Seattle Times story here. (AP Photo/Rob Jelsma)

APhoto Of The Day — 11.21.11

First lady Michelle Obama, top, gets some pointers as she watches the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., Sunday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Can you believe they only turn left,” asks the First Lady. “No “righties” here at all. I like that!” — Gary D. Rhoads.
  • 2. First lady Michelle Obama and Dr Jill Biden make it possible for a lot of Secret Service agents to see the last race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series — Jack.
  • 3. The First Lady knows Florida is important to her husband’s reelection but she told him she’d really rather be Homestead — JohnA.
  • HM: Dennis

NI Blogs Review: ‘Breaking Dawn’

Marianne Love/Slight Detour provides this Christmas-card shot of one of her dogs dashing through the snow on her Lovestead property. More photos & story here. Also, you can see why Marianne wants her daughter to eat her Swiss cheese here.

Best Post: I am slightly embarrassed to say that 1) I paid (matinee price) to see this movie and 2) I not only admitted it on the world-wide web, but spent more minutes of my life that I will never get back writing about it. But it made me happy. It gave me two hours of uninterrupted silliness in an otherwise mostly serious life. And, if you must know, I'll even buy it on dvd when it comes out so that I have the whole collection. You can come over and we'll have a Twilight marathon. Come on. You know you want to/A Butterfly Moment. Complete review here. (AP/Summit Entertainment/Andrew Cooper photo)

HucksOnline numbers (for week of Nov. 13-19): 51,200/30,890

Local Man Pours Gasoline On Wife

An unemployed Dalton Gardens man was arrested and charged with attempted murder Sunday, after he allegedly doused his wife of two years with gasoline and tried to ignite her with a lighter she had given him. Daniel Joe Zehm, 52, of 6103 15th St., was taken into custody by sheriff's deputies following an altercation that began Saturday night and culminated with the alleged try to incinerate Sondra  Zehm, 58. According to sheriff's reports, the argument began when Daniel Zehm told his wife how attractive a CNA at his mother's assisted living place is. At one point during the domestic fight, Daniel Zehm penned his wife down on their bed and allegedly threatened to kill her, her dog, and her whole family. Zehm allegedly drenched his wife with a bucket of gasoline while she had her back to him, making coffee the following morning. Sondra told deputies that her husband was flicking the red lighter she'd given him to light a fire in his shop as he moved toward her.

Debt Super Committee Falls Short

The congressional deficit-reduction committee on Monday said it had failed to reach an agreement on slashing the U.S. budget gap, a move that triggers mandatory cuts to military spending and some social programs starting in 2013. “After months of hard work and intense deliberations, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee's deadline,” Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas), the co-chairs of the the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, said in a statement/Siobhan Hughes and Kristina Peterson, Wall Street Journal. More here. (AP photo: co-chair Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks outside her office on Capitol Hill as the work of the debt reduction panel ends in failure, in Washington, Monday)

Question: Anyone to blame for this failure?

Medical Problem Causes 4-Car Crash

An undisclosed medical condition suffered by a 69YO Coeur d'Alene man led to a four-vehicle crash that tied up traffic at Highway 95 & Appleway this morning. Fred Rohn was northbound approaching the traffic lights on Appleway at 10:27 a.m. when he suffered a medical problem, causing his 1999 Dodge pickup to his a 2006 Kia driven by Cynthia Walker, 53, of Post Falls. Walker's vehicle hit a traffic light pole. Rohn's pickup contined forward hitting a 2006 Pontiac Grand Am driven by former Coeur d'Alene Councilman Chris Copstead. Copstead's vehicle was pushed into a 2003 Mercury Sable driven by Kevin Butigan, 33, of Post Falls. Injured in the accident Rohn and his wife, Vicki, 60, and Walker and her passenger, Jesi Kitchen, 4.

New Cops On The Walk

Eighteen graduates completed the Law Enforcement program Basic Patrol Academy at North Idaho College, including: Jacob Allen, Harvey Ballman, Ronald Broesch, William Duffy and Scott Hice from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department; Makayla Desjarlais from the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police Department; Joseph Hirst from the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office; Bradley Johnson from the Post Falls Police Department; Jacob Pleger from the Coeur d’Alene Police Department; Crystal Sudol from the Spirit Lake Police Department; and self-sponsored students Eric Bailey and Jason Jones of Coeur d’Alene, Bennie Dean and Daniel Koontz of Post Falls, Matthew Edwards of Hayden, Jeremy Inman of Cocolalla, Joel Lambert of Spokane and Spencer Smith of Sandpoint. (NIC Press Room photo)

DFO: Gotta give a shout-out to Jake Pleger (bottom row, far right), a new CPD Blue and Marine Corps veteran who's served a tour or two of duty in the Middle East and is the son of my good buddy, Earl Pleger. Read: I've known Jake since he was in diapers. At the academy, Jake earned the Outstanding Professional Award and Top Gun. Read: Don't mess with him.

Man Card A Risk For Viewing ‘Twilight’

On his Facebook wall, CoeurGenX posts: “Guys that are going to see the new Twilight movie will have to hand over a movie ticket and their man card to get in.”

Question (for guys): Are any of you going to see the new “Twilight” movie, “Breaking Dawn”?

Judge Judy Spotlights Spokane Case

Two Spokane County residents will appear on the TV reality show “Judge Judy” tomorrow as part of a landlord-tenant dispute. Shennen Blackburn of Liberty Lake is suing former tenant Samuel Doyle, of Spokane for allegedly damaging her rental property, according to a press release. Blackburn said Doyle, 25, lived at the home for a year and caused severe damage when he moved out. She said she added Doyle to lease with Tyler McKinley, but Doyle said he never had a lease and just lived there. Blackburn said MKcKinley never actually lived at the home. Judge Judy Sheindlin (pictured) calls Doyle “a hustler”/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: Are you a fan of the “Judge Judy” reality show?

Major Ben’s Weekly Warrant Roundup

Three local men and two from Washington head Major Ben Wolfinger's honor roll of men wanted on felony warrants by the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department. Douglas Arthur Andersen, 49, of Coeur d'Alene, is wanted on a charge of probation violation for felony DUI. No bond has been set for him. Others wanted on felony warrant are: Logen Justen Dawson, 18, of Hayden, on a possession of controlled substance charge ($25,000 bond). Jerry Lee Drake, 50, of Union Gap, Wash., for failure to appear for 4 counts of burglary, 2 counts grand theft, & possession of controlled subtance (no bond set). Andrew James Dunnagan, 24, of Post Falls, aggravated battery ($50,000 bond). Matthew James Evarts, 30, Otis Orchards, Wash., for grand theft ($25,000 bond). You can see the list of misdemeanor warrants here.

Occupy Spray

Student Sheena Campbell holds a sign during a rally on the University of California, Davis campus in Davis, Calif., Monday, after police pepper-sprayed peaceful demonstrators during a protest at the same spot on Friday. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Question: Should Occupy protestors be pepper-sprayed if they're being fairly peaceful?

Cis Offers News Quiz

Cis/From A Simple Mind emails a news quiz from the Pew Research Center to challenge you on this overcast Monday afternoon. Cis said she scored 11 of 13, missing Nos. 7 & 9. Go ahead, test drive the quiz, and report your score under this thread here.

Moscow Occupier Explains His Position

Protestor Eric Thompson explains why he Occupies Moscow: “I am one of the Occupy Moscow members. I stand in Friendship Square silently with a sign. I stand there because the people of this country are being nickeled and dimed until they have lost the chance to advance in life. I stand there because it is expensive to be poor. In these days, banks and other financial institutions charge more for loans, have higher interest rates and add fees to people who make less than $500,000 a year. The money they take then goes to pay for elected officials so they will make laws benefiting corporations to make even more money off of those with lower incomes. It is an incestuous, cyclical system that is not democratic and does not serve the vast majority of the people of this country. More here. (AP file photo, of police protecting Wall Street Bull in New York financial district)

Question: Are monied interests driving this country into the ground?

Cindy Sings Press Release Blues

Cindy's on the war path re: meaningless press releases swirling around newsrooms as the holiday nears. She was set off by one this morning from the International Parking Institute. Among its 10 recommendations:

  • Exercise Caution When Backing Out.
  • Obey the Law.
  • Keep Your Headlights On.
  • Get Your Exercise.
  • Follow Etiquette Basics.

And this one from a company pushing “SurvivalStraps”: “Even the manliest of men’s men can be caught unawares when an unusual situation arises. Whether it is unexpectedly damaged gear like a broken shoe lace, snapped computer bag strap, or a more life-threatening emergency like a serious cut that requires a tourniquet, a new wearable “emergency kit” called SurvivalStraps holds the solution.”

Question: Are you a manly man?

High Noon: Disgusting Dog Spoor

On his Facebook wall, OrangeTV writes: “Always interesting to wake up to a random bloody deer head lying in the snow in the middle your front yard. The only clue: dog prints all around — (no people prints). Purloined from a hunter neighbors trash? ICKY.” My niece married the son of a major dairy farmer in central California. They live on the ranch. Regularly, the dogs drag awful things onto her property: gophers, bovine after birth, etc. She didn't mind until one day when they dragged a carcass of a dead calf onto her line. Then, she demanded a fence.

Question: What is the worst thing that a dog — even your dog — has dragged onto your property?

INW Headlines — 11.21.11

WSU senior Jared Karstetter of Spokane and Ferris High School runs onto the turf of Martin Stadium in Pullman for his last home game as a Coug Saturday. The senior class players were introduced to the crowd prior to kickoff. Washington State, 4-7, missed its chance to land a bowl offer by falling 30-27 to Utah in overtime at Martin Stadium. (SR photo: Christopher Anderson)

Question: Has Coach Paul Wulff at 4-7 WSU and Robb Akey at 2-9 Idaho done enough this year to keep their jobs next year?

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.21.11

  • Noonish: CPD Blue is stopping at Skyway Elementary to check on possible missing child.
  • 11:41 a.m. A little boy & a dog is playing near street in 6400 block of 15th/Dalton Gardens.
  • 11:22 a.m. No one can be found at a 1-vehicle rollover off Carpenter Loop/PF.
  • 11:17 a.m. Traffic e/b on I-90 is near a standstill b/n CdA & Post Falls. Unknown reason.
  • 11:16 a.m. ISP officer reports a dead deer near the I-90 exchange @ Sherman/CdA.
  • 11:05 a.m. An unattended death is reported in Bonner County town of Clark Fork.
  • 12 more items below

Press: Bruning, Service Go Together

There's a groundswell of excitement over the election of Dan Gookin and Steve Adams to the Coeur d'Alene City Council, and there should be. Whether or not the existing council is actually guilty of routinely applying the rubber stamp to important decisions, the entry of Dan and Steve to future deliberations promises to be entertaining and engaging. But we admit to feeling a sense of loss in the defeat of John Bruning, and not just because newspapering is in his family's blood. John's father, Rollie, became editor of the Coeur d'Alene Press in 1956, when John and the rest of the family moved to Coeur d'Alene from Wallace. This quiet, thoughtful man who enjoyed a 40-year career with the U.S. Forest Service has sunk some of the deepest roots in his community. John holds volunteer leadership positions with St. Vincent de Paul and served on the St. Pius X Catholic Church parish council for six years. He has taken his civic duties even further/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

DFO: I couldn't agree with this editorial more.

Question: Do you expect the involvement of Dan Gookin and Steve Adams on the Coeur d'Alene City Council to be “entertaining and engaging”?

Sandpoint Stresses Buying Local

As the holiday season approaches, local business authorities are hoping to keep cash in the community with the Genuine Sandpoint campaign. A program that will develop several features and incentives over the next few months, Genuine Sandpoint aims to boost the local economy by encouraging residents to keep their shopping in the community. …  “Buying local is not some kind of plea for charity,” (Downtown Sandpoint Business Association manary Marcy Timblin) said. “Just in a straight-up comparison, we think our local merchants, restaurants and service providers offer competitive prices and selection with what you can find out of town — especially when you factor in the cost of driving to Coeur d’Alene or Spokane that can easily add $50-$80 to your expenses, not including the hours of white-knuckle driving”/Cameron Rasmusson, Bonner County Bee. More here.

Question: Do you try to shop local whenever possible? Or for the best deals?

Poll: Yes To Budget Amendment

  • Weekend Poll: 106 of 180 respondents (58.89%) support a balanced-budget amendment, which failed to get enough votes to pass in the U.S. House of Representatives Friday. 68 of 180 (37.78%) oppose a balanced-budget amendment. 6 (3.33%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: What kind of tires do you put on your vehicle for the winter?

What’s Your Thanksgiving TV Policy?


On his Slice blog, Paul Turner offers this question as Thanksgiving approaches: A) No TV on Thursday. B) No TV except for seven hours of football. C) It can be on until there is a fight over control of the remote. D) The TV is never off at our home. E) Other.

Hedberg: Battling Bulge At Christmas

This is the time of year people develop a heightened awareness of their daily intake of calories. Not to say people don't worry about that every other day of the year as well. We're like day traders on the New York Stock Exchange when it comes to keeping track of the calories we consume and burn. We count how many we take in and then we make deals to exchange them for equal amounts of exercise. We're obsessed. We eat, we weigh, we feel guilty, we purge and then we go have a steak and a bottle of wine to celebrate our liberated consciences. But around the holidays people are especially calorie conscious, partly because we easily could consume a month's worth of calories in one meal. And since we are trying to fit into a special outfit for the holiday parties, eating a month's worth of calories at one setting is not a really good idea/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: What's your secret for keeping weight off during the hoidays?

Bill Hall: Pleasure Of A Hot Tomato

Was it really only three weeks ago that I was standing coatless in the vegetable garden ingesting a substance so intoxicating that it probably should be declared a dangerous drug? I speak of tomatoes - hot tomatoes straight off the bush, so hot from the sun, so succulent and slobbery that devouring them verges on an erotic, almost biblical experience. The weather made a sharp turn this autumn from late warmth to sudden winter. Hot tomatoes one day, black tomatoes the next. We are still eating blushing green tomatoes from the kitchen counter, but the outside heat has gone into hibernation. Heat does wild things to tomatoes and to some other fruits that are normally eaten chilled/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Which vegetables or fruit do you enjoy eating off the vine in the garden?

Priest River JV Footballers Sue District

The West Bonner County School District is being hit with a pair of negligence lawsuits over injuries to junior varsity football players. One suit alleges a JV coach flung a partially full water bottle at a player’s face, causing a laceration and a concussion. The other alleges an improperly equipped player suffered permanent vision impairment after being struck in the eye with a football during practice. Both suits were filed in 1st District Court on Thursday. Each suit seeks damages in excess of $10,000. School district Superintendent Mike McGuire could not be reached on Friday. A message seeking comment was not returned. Sandpoint attorney Brent Featherston filed the suits on behalf of student athletes Michael Clayton Ludolph and Thomas Reynolds, who were injured in separate incidents in Priest River last year/Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Bee. More here.



Hayden Man Still Recalls Perfect Game

When people meet Don Larsen, there's usually one thing they want to talk about. The perfect game. That's fine by Mr. Larsen. “I think about it every day,” he said Saturday. “Nobody has to remind me.” The Hayden Lake man was at Tom Addis Auto Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. signing pictures, baseballs and other memorabilia to raise money for Teammates for Kids. The nonprofit was started in 1999 by co-founder country superstar Garth Brooks and Bo Mitchell, son of Dale Mitchell, who was the last batter to face Larsen in Game 5 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium on Oct. 8, 1956/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: Don Larsen with the ball, glove, shoes and cap that he wore on the day in 1956 when he threw a perfect game for the New York Yankees in the World Series that year)

Question: What's your all-time favorite Major League Baseball moment?

AM Headlines — 11.21.11

Ten-year-old Emma Wagner uses the Coeur d'Alene Library's computers to access the Internet on Wednesday. Computers in the children's section of the library are filtered. Idaho passed a law this year requiring all public libraries to filter children's Internet access by next October. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Hucks: Falling Below Huetter Line

Five of the 13 incorporated towns in Kootenai County fell below the electoral “Mendoza Line” on Election Day, Nov. 8 – with voter turnouts of less than 20 percent. The Mendoza Line, for those of you who don’t follow Major League Baseball, represents a dismal batting average of .200 – or about the career average of former Seattle Mariner Mario Mendoza. A .200 Mendoza Line average translates to 20 percent in terms of voter turnout. Tiny Huetter, squeezed between Garagetown and the upscale Mill River subdivision on the Spokane River, fell well below the Mendoza Line, with only four registered voters of 40 (10 percent) voting, including only two in the uncontested mayor’s race. Three towns fell below the “Huetter Line” – Spirit Lake, at 9.8 percent; Athol, at 9.4 percent; and Hauser at a woeful 6.9 percent/DFO, SR's Huckleberries. More here.

SR weekend columns:

Viks Complete 2011 Season Perfect

Chad Chalich will get his right foot fitted for a cast today and miss the first month of the basketball season. This after playing one final football game Friday when the Coeur d’Alene senior quarterback led the Vikings, top-ranked all season, to a repeat State 5A championship. Chalich, who is finally receiving some late interest from colleges, passed for 410 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 60 and two more scores as the Vikings handled the Eagle Mustangs 49-28 at Boise State University’s Bronco Stadium. A week after suffering a hairline fracture on the outside of his foot in the second quarter of a semifinal victory, Chalich made it a light week at practice so he would be ready to go in the title game. Just as important as all the yards and touchdowns were two big punts, both with his right foot, of 59 and 60 yards/Greg Lee, SR. More here. (SR photo: Carlos Martinez finds running room against the Eagle defense in Coeur d’Alene’s 49-28 5A championship win)

Question: Can you think of a more dominant high school football team?

Tire Shops Busy As Snow Flies

Item: Nothing like the last minute: North Idaho drivers wait as long as they can to put snow tires on/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Procrastinators, the lot of you. As soon as the snow flies, tire shops get busy. Winter tread season opened Oct. 1, but it takes the first flakes to remind people. “This is my 18th snow rush,” said Tom Dunn, Tire Rama manager, taking a quick break between studding up cars. “And this is the exact same as 17 before it.” That's to say as soon as it snows, people rush to get traction - and not a moment before. The shop expected to switch 100 cars Friday, or 400 tires, par for the course once the season blasts in.

Question: Do you play to run studs this year?

Brother Suspect In M’s Player’s Killing

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman was stabbed to death early today and his brother was arrested as a suspect, Dutch police said. Rotterdam Police spokeswoman Patricia Wessels said police were called to a home in the port city in the early hours of the morning and found the 24-year-old Dutch player bleeding from a stab wound. The officers and ambulance paramedics were unable to resuscitate Halman. Wessels said the officers arrested Halman’s 22-year-old brother. She declined to give his name, in line with Dutch privacy rules/Associated Press. More here.


Heller: Media’s Not Being Fair! Wah!

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Weekend Wild Card — 11.19-20.11

This really is a lousy time of the year to have a birthday. The weather generally is lousy. And everyone is looking past birthdays to Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping. Several years back, ice storm hit on the eve of my birthday. Now, it appears as though icy streets and a deep freeze will join me in greeting birthday No. 62 on Sunday. Oh well, Mayor Sandi Bloem and former coroner Bob West are in the same predicament since they share a birthday with me. On the other hand, the Coeur d'Alene Viks won their second straight 5A football championship Friday nights and the Zags play Hawaii on KHQ at 6 tonight. So I'm good. Here's your Wild Card …

No. 22 Gonzaga 73, Hawaii 54

Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors Trevor Wiseman, centre, tries to get past Gonzaga Bulldogs, Sam Dower, left, and Robert Sacre during second half of the 2011 BC Basketball Classic NCAA basketball action at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Saturday.  (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

Robert Sacre had a successful homecoming in Canada, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to lead No. 22 Gonzaga past Hawaii 73-54 on Saturday night.It was a rare appearance in Vancouver for Sacre, a former British Columbia high school star who is in his fourth and final year of collegiate eligibility. He is projected as a first- or second-round NBA draft choice and also figures prominently in Canada's rebuilding national team program.Gary Bell had 14 points for Gonzaga, and Kevin Pangos of Newmarket, Ontario, added 12/Associated Press. More + ESPN boxscore here.

Utah State 49, Idaho 42 (2 OT)

Idaho's Kama Bailey (8) jumps and misses the end zone in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Utah State on Saturday in Moscow. Utah State won 49-42 in double overtime. ESPN boxscore here. (AP Photo/Alicia Carlson)

Lucky Friday Accident Claims Miner, 26

For the second time this year, a miner has died after sustaining injuries while working at Hecla’s Lucky Friday mine. Brandon Lloyd Gray, 26, was critically injured Thursday while working at the Mullan, Idaho mine. He died early this morning. A second miner injured in the accident was treated at a hospital and released. Thursday’s accident comes seven months after Mullan mourned the loss of another Lucky Friday miner. In April, Larry “Pete” Marek was killed when his work area caved in and he was buried under a large rock pile/Spokesman-Review. More here.

Cain To Letterman: They’re All Lying

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain joins host David Letterman on the set of the “Late Show with David Letterman” Thursday in New York. The show aired Friday. Cain told Letterman that all the women who accuse him or sexual impropriety are lying. Story here. (AP Photo/CBS, John Paul Filo)

Question: Do you believe all the women who have come forward to accuse Cain of sexual impropriety are lying? And/or: Can Cain escape the accusations and win the GOP presidential nomination?

Coeur d’Alene Viks Repeat As Champs

Chad Chalich will get his right foot fitted for a cast today and miss the first month of the basketball season. This after playing one final football game Friday when the Coeur d’Alene senior quarterback led the Vikings, top-ranked all season, to a repeat 5A state championship. Chalich, who is finally receiving some late interest from colleges, passed for 410 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 60 and two more scores as the Vikings handled the Eagle Mustangs 49-28 at Boise State University’s Bronco Stadium. A week after suffering a hairline fracture on the outside of his foot in the second quarter of a semifinal victory, Chalich made it a light week at practice so he would be ready to go in the title game. Just as important as all the yards and touchdowns were two big punts, both with his right foot, of 59 and 60 yards. His coach, Shawn Amos, had one word to describe the 2010 5A player of the year – warrior/Greg Lee, SR. More here. (SR file photo of Vik QB Chad Chalich in the 2010 championship game)

Feel free to give a shoutout to the 2X defending 5A high school football champions on this thread.

How Do You Approach Xmas Shopping?

SR colleague Paul Turner asks his Slice print readers to identify their approach to the looming shopping frenzy: A) “I believe it is my task to personally revive our sluggish economy.” B) “I intend to look for bargains on all sorts of utterly unnecessary imported junk.” C) “There’s nothing like joyless crowds pushing and shoving in the discount electronics aisle to get me in the spirit of the season.” D) “Surgical strikes.” E) “I’m more in tune with the Advent calendar than with the whole concept of door-busting Black Friday blowouts.” F) “I’ll be looking for stores that open at 3 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.” G) “I need to start early because by Pearl Harbor Day tinny Christmas music playing in stores makes me want to harm myself and others.” H) “First, I’m going to try to establish the run.” I) Other. Full Slice column here. (AP file photo)

Question: Well, which of the above describes your approach to the “looming shopping frenzy”?

Area Ski Slopes Opening Early

Lines were 10 deep at the ticket window and every chair was full as Lookout Pass opened for skiing and snowboarding Friday morning, maintaining its tradition of being first among the Inland Northwest’s five resorts to launch the season. “I’m here to get my shred on,” said Tanner Puyleart, 22, a snowboarder who came up from Coeur d’Alene with three friends, all North Idaho College students. “This is one of the best first days I’ve seen in a long time and I’ve been snowboarding 16 years,” said his friend, Jeff Elder, 26. Saturday, two other Inland Northwest ski areas will join Lookout in opening part of their terrain – Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint and 49 Degrees North in Chewelah. Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park and Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg plan to open next Friday. That means all the resorts will be open to take in lucrative holiday-season revenue/Alison Boggs, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka's SR photo: Skiers and snowboarders pack the lift during opening day at Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation on the Idaho/Montana border Friday)

Question: Do you play in the snow much?

An Eyewitness To An Execution

Nate Green, a reporter for the Idaho Press Tribune of Nampa, was one of four media witnesses Friday morning to the execution of Paul Ezra Rhoades in the Idaho Penitentiary in Boise. He gives a detailed account of his Friday morning beginning at 3:30 a.m. You can read the detailed chronology here. He describes his first sight of Rhoades here:

8:46 a.m. Rhoades wears thick glasses and has a jutting chin. He blinks rapidly and twists his lips. He twists his head to the right and looks toward his mother, who sits in a private room separated from the witnesses, and appears to mouth the words, “I love you.” He looks upward at an overhead light and a video camera in the ceiling, then he twists his head and glances toward the witness room. His eyes alight on each person in the room, and he looks back to the ceiling.

Question: Do you expect more executions in Idaho within the next 2-3 years?

Anderson: Bon Appetit

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Coeur d’Alene 49, Eagle 28 (Final)

The Coeur d'Alene Viks behind QB Chad Chalich won their 2nd straight Idaho 5A high school football championship by defeating the Eagle Mustangs 49-28 in Bronco Stadium in Boise 49-28.

  • CdA 49, Eagle 28: 1-yard TD run by Eagle QB Tanner Mangar (3:01, 4th Qtr)
  • CdA 49, Eagle 21: 1-yard TD by QB Chad Chalich, after Bubba Duran returned an interception from Eagle 14 to the 3. (6:12, 4th Qtr)
  • CdA 42, Eagle 21: 3-yard QB draw by Chad Chalich (10:16, 4th Qtr)
  • CdA 35, Eagle 21: 78-yard TD on 3rd-&-8 from Chalich to Deon Watson (2:38, 3rd)
  • CdA 28, Eagle 21: 41-yard TD pass from Tanner Mangan (4:29, 3rd)
  • CdA 28, Eagle 14: 72-yard pass from Eagle QB Tanner Mangan to Jake Jackson (5:33, 3rd Qtr)
  • CdA 28, Eagle 7: 85-yard fumble recovery for TD by Reece Mahaffy (6:47, 3rd Qtr)
  • CdA 21, Eagle 7: 31-yard TD pass from Chad Chalich to Deon Watson (59 seconds, 2nd)
  • CdA 14, Eagle 7: Viks' Martinez scored on 5-yard run after an interception at Eagle 41. (8:15 2nd Qtr)
  • Eagle 7, CdA 7: Bubba Duran 80 yd td pass from Chad Chalich; defenders collided leaving Duran alone.
  • Eagle 7, CdA 0: Eagle converts 4th and inches for touchdown.
  • Folo Greg Lee's Twitter here

You can follow the high school 5A football title game on KVNI,, or Greg Lee's SRpreps Twitter. Greg said he'll provide HucksOnline with his game story as soon as it's available tonight. The game begins at 6 p.m at Boise State Broncos stadium.

PS: Mirror Image

Faoud Ahmed strikes a mirror image of the bronze statue of a man hailing a taxi in Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Ore., earlier today. Ahmed was posing as a friend took his picture. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

TGIF Wild Card — 11.18.11

First commuting snow of the year usually means slide-offs, rollovers, & sundry other crashes. Today is no different. Local drivers are playing a non-fatal version of bumper cars so far this morning. It'll take awhile for the locals to get their snow legs under them. So be careful on the streets out there. Now for your Wild Card …

AR: Time To Get A New Computer

You know you need a new computer when your hard drive makes a sound that resembles a Norelco razor …
And that's just what happened the very evening I wrote the previous post in this here Wunnerful blog. I was semi-hypnotized after a couple of hours on Ebay and I couldn't react right away. It didn't matter. Dies is as Dies does. And my computer didn't need a fork, for it was already Done. “ZZZZZZHHHHHHHHTTTTT” went the noise that my 'puter was making all of a sudden. Then, nothing but a black screen. I tried signing on, and got the cyberworld's equivalent of a nuclear blast/Atmospheric Ruminations. More here.

Question: How do you know when you need a new computer?

PM: Paradis, Rhoades ‘Best Friends’

In this 2001 AP file photo, an emotional Donald Manuel Paradis is led by his lawyer Bill Mauk, left, out of the Kootenai County courthouse where a judge accepted a guilty plea to a lesser charge and set Paradis free. Paradis, once condemned to die for the 1980 murder of Kimberly Palmer, said he was best friends with Paul Ezra Rhoades and lamented Rhoades' execution today. Story here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.18.11

  • 5:42 p.m. PFPD officer reports w/b traffic on Seltice Way is backed up to Huetter.
  • 5:40 p.m. PFPD officer reports entire length of Poleline is sheer ice & asks that streets crews sand the roundabout at Spokane.
  • 5:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Nov. 17-18 here.
  • 5:20 p.m. W/B Seltice Way, from Bay to 4th/PF, is blocked by 4 vehicles that are stuck on icy roads. PFPD officer reports that he has closed down this stretch of Seltice Way.
  • 5:17 p.m. Seltice Way overpass on I-90 down to 2 lanes w/vehicles stuck on icy roadway.
  • 5:13 p.m. Woman on Banning nervous b/c hasn't didn't show for work & she has found his gun missing and door to bathroom locked upon returning home. She hopes he hasn't harmed himself.
  • 5:08 p.m. 2 semis are spun out, one jackknifed, south of Mica Hill, H95 @ M/P 526.
  • 4:54 p.m. Wholesale Sporting Goods, 3534 Govt Way/CdA, reports 3 suspicious men in store.
  • 4:53 p.m. Vehicle may have slid into Auto Zone building, near Govt Way & Appleway.
  • 4:49 p.m. Someone is locked out of a running vehicle @ Mullan Trail Elementary.
  • 4:41 p.m. ITD employee reports he can't get loader out of Wolf Lodge garage b/c someone dropped the door on the bucket & equipment is stuck until the door is fixed.
  • 4:40 p.m. ISPer tells dispatcher to call Avista worker & say her boyfriend is stuck on 4th of July Pass.
  • 4:35 p.m. Resident in 300 block of Military Drive/Fortgrounds reports a house burglary.
  • 4:32 p.m. 3-vehicle crash is blocking w/b onramp @ I-90 & M/P 14 (15th St/CdA).
  • 4:21 p.m. E/B I-90 over 4th of July now open but extremely icy, reports snowplow operator.
  • 4:20 p.m. Coeur d'Alene streets worker reports sand or de-icer need at every intersection.
  • 4:12 p.m. 2 slide-off crashes reported on w/b I-90 @ M/P 3 (Pleasantview) & 5 (Spokane/PF).
  • 3:56 p.m. A red Jeep has gone down an embankment off a side road to Lancaster/Hayden.
  • 18 more items below (including I-90 crashes & blockage) + AM Scanner Traffic link

ISP Warns Of Dangerous I-90

The Idaho State Police is warning drivers that at this time travel on I-90 is extremely dangerous.  The Idaho State Police are investigating a number of crashes and slideoffs.  Currently, due to semi trucks that have slid off the road, the pass at 4th of July is completely blocked EB.  This blockage has caused traffic to back up to Sherman Avenue with no where for vehicles to go.  Traffic is currently being diverted off the interstate at Sherman Avenue.

North Idaho Blogs — 11.18.11

“Among the last yard-related chores I completed yesterday was one more round of raking — oak leaves, to be specific,” writes Marianne Love/Slight Detour. “I love oak trees but not in the late fall. These majestic hard woods are among the most stubborn of the leaf trees cuz oak leaves just will not leave in their entirety before the snow flies.” More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday): 10,055/5720, and (for Thursday): 8939/5466

Photo Of The Day — 11.18.11

Super Sub Cindy spotted this juxtaposition while out & about on Division in Spokane today. Sez she: “Really. Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving like a giant inflatable turkey next to Hollywood Erotic Boutique.” Feel free to suggest cutlines.

Batt Appointed For Takasugi’s Spot

Gov. Butch Otter announced Friday that he chose Gayle Batt of Wilder to fill the House seat vacated by the passing of former Rep. Pat Takasugi, also a Republican from Wilder. Takasugi passed away Nov. 6 after a prolonged battle with cancer. His term ends in December 2012. Batt will be no stranger to the job when the Legislature meets for business beginning in January. She filled in for Takasugi  for the duration of the 2011 legislative session while he battled appendix cancer. She was instrumental in the passage of a reform to Idaho’s open records law/Idaho Reporter. More here.

Vito Blesses The Pachyderms?

Although it looks as though state Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, is blessing members of the Panhandle Pachyderm Club at lunch today, he's actually proselytizing them re: his highly questionable nullification legislation — one day after taking his Pied Piper act to the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans on Thursday.

GOP Spent $63,000 On Spokane Race

Washington State Republican Party poured at least $63,000 into the campaign of victorious Spokane mayoral candidate David Condon in the closing days of the race, helping to defeat incumbent Mary Verner. Although the office is non-partisan, Condon has extensive ties to GOP politicians, while Verner has ties to Democrats. Verner is crying foul about the big contributions from the GOP, calling them a “turning point” for local politics in the state's second largest city/KXLY. More here.

Question: Can you blame Spokane Mayor Mary Verner from crying, “Foul”?

Marc Makes Thanksgiving Challenge

On his Facebook wall, Marc Stewart issued this challenge to his 547 friends: “I am challenging all my Facebook friends to go out and spend $20 at Wal-Mart or your favorite grocery story to buy a Thanksgiving dinner for a family less fortunate than you. The Coeur d'Alene-based food bank, called the Community Action Partnership Food Bank is short 3,000 turkeys. This is unacceptable. I took my 5-year-old son shopping and to the food bank to show him the importance of giving. He said, 'Daddy, how come people don't have the many foods.'”

Question: Up to the challenge?

Snow Lovers Pack Lookout

Skiers and snowboarders packed the lift during opening day at Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation today. Lookout reported 34 inches of snow at the summit and 18 inches at the base. Alison Boggs' SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: When & where do you plan to slap on the skis/snowboard for the first time this year?

2 Miners Hurt At Lucky Friday Mine

A miner is hospitalized in critical condition after an accident Thursday night at the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan. A second miner was taken to Shoshone Medical Center, but the condition of that worker has not been released. Mike Dexter, a community relations spokesman for Hecla Mining Co., the mine’s owner, said the workers were constructing a new shaft at 4,900 feet below ground. The miners are employees of Cementation USA/SR. More here.


Arliacne: Are Drivers Ready?

Arliacne: It never fails to amaze me the number of people who feel they can live in this region and don’t have snow tires. Now, that being said does anyone know the real statistics on the seasonal readiness of the vehicles involved in today’s slide offs and rollovers?

Question: It would be interesting to know what type of tires were on vehicles involved in accidents. The ISP reports on seatbelt use involving vehicles involved in accidents. How about nature of the tires on the vehicles. Of particular interest would be vehicles in crashes that were running studs. What do you think?

Deanna: Lake City Does Have A ♥

Deanna Goodlander: Just visiting with my neighbor who was shoveling my driveway and he commented that he had a never seen such a gving community. He moved here this summer from Las Vegas and he said you would never see this in Las Vegas. He certainly fits in as he was not only shoveling my driveway, but also shoveled several blocks of the neighborhood sidewalks. People here are willing to help in hard times.

Question: Do you agree with Deanna that Coeur d'Alene/Post Falls/North Idaho residents are big-hearted?

Idaho ‘Wacko’ Claims To Be Jesus

The bearded Idaho wacko accused of trying to kill President Obama with a long-range rifle round thinks he is the second coming of Jesus Christ. A bizarre video of Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, who was charged with attempted assassination on Thursday, shows the 21-year-old making a pitch to Oprah Winfrey to cast him on her show. “You see, Oprah, there is still so much more that God needs for me to express to the world. It’s not just a coincidence that I look like Jesus,” Ortega-Hernandez said, with his hair slicked and a crucifix around his neck, in the rambling, 20-minute video. “I am the modern day Jesus Christ that you all have been waiting for”/Aliyah Shahid, New York Daily News. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: What should be done with this guy?

High Noon: Last Words

In his last moments on earth, 24 years removed from acts of unspeakable murderous violence, Paul Ezra Rhoades seized upon his one last chance to inflict harm upon his victims’ loved ones. Rhoades accepted blame for his role in the killing of Susan Michelbacher, an Idaho Falls school teacher. His role, implying he did not act alone in her abduction, rape and shooting. He said police need to keep looking for the killer of Stacy Dawn Baldwin and Nolan Haddon. Rhoades managed to say he forgave the state workers who were about to inject him with a cocktail of lethal drugs. His mercy, still, never extended to the families of his victims. Even in his final, hurtful moments. Final moments that are given added weight, and added public attention, when we as a society choose to carry out the death penalty/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What would you want your last words to be?

INW Headlines — 11.18.11

Idaho Department of Corrections Director Brent Reinke, left, and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden answer questions at a news conference following the execution of Paul Ezra Rhoades at Idaho's Maximum Security Institution in Boise this morning. You can see video & a collection of stories re: the execution, from the Idaho Press Tribune, here. (AP Photo/Joe Jaszewski)

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.18.11

  • 11:43 a.m. PFPD Blue stopping for man wagging tongue in middle of Chase & Poleline.
  • 11:41 a.m. Post Falls woman reports her ex has changing deposit account information.
  • 11:32 a.m. Black SUV reportedly has slide off wide bend in H41 @ Bonner County line.
  • 11:28 a.m. Officer needs transport unit after arresting someone @ H53 & Meyer/Rathdrum.
  • 16 more items below

Marc: Edward/Bella Can’t Match Buffy

Marc Stewart: “It's too bad they can't have Buffy the Vampire Slayer show up in Breaking Dawn film that has much of the pre-teen and middle aged population in full freak out mode. Buffy would drive a big old stake in Edward and Bella's overacted hearts. Yeah, I'd pay to see that one.”

Question: Who's a better vampire slayer — Van Helsing or Buffy? Defend your answer.

Hucks Poll: Full Access To Executions

  • Thursday Poll: On a narrow vow, Hucks Nation supported giving the Idaho media full access to the execution process. 53 of 104 respondents (50.96%) said the media should have full access to executions, not just the final steps when the condemned is in the execution chamber. 50 of 104 respondents (48.08%) said the media shouldn't have full access. One person was undecided.
  • Weekend Poll: Do you support a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution?

Editor: Executions Not Easy To Cover

Executions are not easy task for the media. But it's our responsibility and we take it seriously. Our own reporter, Idaho Press-Tribune's Nate Green, was one of the witnesses. We'll have stories online a bit later. We also had photographer Charlie Litchfield and reporter John Funk at the site. I appreciate the difficult assignment they had today/Vickie Schaffeld Holbrook, Idaho Press Tribune editor, via Facebook.

Question: Would you accept an assignment to cover an execution if you were a news reporter?

IFF: Boot Gummint From Charity Biz

Entering a season of charitable giving, a story a few days ago on NBC News caught my eye. It was about a woman named Mary Donnelly, an 83-year-old  nurse who “cares for her neighbors the way people used to in this country,” said news anchor Brian Williams. On Block Island, Rhode Island, Mary established a charitable foundation in 1979, and has been answering calls for help from people ever since. She responds to appeals for assistance paying electricity bills and mortgages, money to build wheelchair ramps and buy food. Mary's August fundraiser is considered the island's “the social event of the season” and provides the revenue to send out the support checks she provides. But Williams' intro for the story perhaps unwittingly leaves an unanswered question: Why do people no longer care for their neighbors the way they used to? The answer is fairly simple, actually: The government has taken on the role of caregiver/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Hoffman that we're less charitable today because we expect government to take care of human needs & suffering?

Viks Meet Eagle For Title Tonight

Kerri Thoreson and talented Coeur d'Alene High QB Chad Chalich, who is wrapping up a successful career for the Viks met at KVNI HQ recently.

Standing in the way of Coeur d’Alene High and a second straight state 5A football championship tonight is a team with a talented quarterback, a high-powered offense and a strong, but underrated, defense. Sound familiar? “I think they’re similar to us,” Coeur d’Alene coach Shawn Amos said of Eagle. “They have a very good defense that has been overshadowed by their good offense.” Coeur d’Alene (11-0) and Eagle (10-1) collide tonight in the state title game at 6 p.m. PST at Bronco Stadium in Boise/Mark Nelke, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Feel free to predict the final score.

Idaho Executes Paul Ezra Rhoades

Idaho prison officials executed Paul Ezra Rhoades on Friday for his role in the 1987 murders of two women, marking the state's first execution in 17 years. Rhoades, 54, was declared dead at 9:15 a.m. at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution after being administered three separate drugs that make up the state's new lethal injection protocol. The execution had been scheduled for 8 a.m. but was delayed by over an hour because of a review of a motion filed late Thursday in 4th District Court. Idaho Department of Correction spokesman Jeff Ray declined to provide details of the late legal filing/Rebecca Boone, Idaho Statesman. More here.


Fairbanks Hits Record Cold 41 Below

Alaska’s second-largest city is used to cold weather, but few residents expected record-breaking cold this early in the season. Shawn Ross has lived in Fairbanks his entire life and says few people were prepared for this severe of a cold snap in mid-November. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that for the second time in three days, Fairbanks set a new low temperature record on Thursday. A temperature of 41 degrees below zero — the first 40 below temperature of the season — was recorded at Fairbanks International Airport at 6:29 a.m. The National Weather Service in Fairbanks says that broke the old record of 39 below set in 1969/AP. More here.

Question: I've experienced 29 below temperatures once, in Kalispell, Mont. Can you top that?

House To Vote On Budget Amendment

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is scheduled to vote (today) on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution — a key component of GOP leaders' plan to end the federal government's spiraling deficit spending. The vote on the amendment was agreed to by both parties over the summer as part of the agreement raising Washington's debt ceiling. Democratic leaders, however, are vehemently opposed to the idea, arguing that it would force the government into an economically destructive cycle of massive spending cuts. Sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, the measure would require three-fifths of both chambers of Congress to sign off on any future deficit spending. The amendment's requirements could be waved in the event of a declaration of war/Alan Silverleib, CNN Politics. More here. (SR file photo)

Question: Do you support a balanced budget amendment? (Extra Credit: Can you name the toe-tapping former U.S. senator from Idaho who spent his political career pushing a balanced budget amendment?)

AM Headlines — 11.18.11

Ian Thomson, of Boise, Idaho, protests against the execution of Paul Ezra Rhoades at Idaho's Maximum Security Institution in Boise this morning. Rhoades was executed at 9:15 a.m. for killing 21-year-old Stacy Dawn Baldwin and 34-year-old Susan Michelbacher nearly a quarter-century ago. See story below. (AP Photo/Joe Jaszewski)

In Vito We Trust?

State Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, speaks to the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans at noon Thursday at Fedora about nullification. He will present the same message today to the Panhandle Pachyderm Club in Post Falls. Nullification is an attempt to state-rightists like Barbieri to allow states to unilaterally void federal law with which they disagree, like President Barack Obama's federal health care law.

FishinJay: Challenging the Constituionality of a law in court is the correct and only legal way to challenge an act of Congress. A state simply choosing to “nullify” an act of Congress is flat out kooky and in no way, shape or form has any state ever been allowed to do so. Only the Supreme Court can settle a dispute between the state and federal governments. If he wants to make a 10th Amendment argument, the only legal way to do so is with the Supreme Court.

Question: Will the 2012 Legislature pass Barbieri's second attempt to pass nullification legislation?

Adams Ready To Join CdA Council

Steve Adams looks you in the eye when you're speaking, smiles often - even if you're disagreeing - and never seems to raise his voice. He's even apologetic when the phone rings inside the Allstate insurance agency he bought from his father in 2000. His dad, who taught Adams the insurance trade, and mother still live in the Pine Avenue home at the foot of Tubbs Hill where Adams and his three brothers were raised. “A block from the water,” Adams says. Adams has an unshakable list of priorities, and near the top is Coeur d'Alene, a city he says he loves above most everything else. He moved away once, as a college student, and didn't like it/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Photo: Steve Adams Facebook page)

Question: What do you expect from Steve Adams when he joins the Coeur d'Alene City Council?

Regis, 80, Signs Off After 28 Years

Regis Philbin is getting emotional. But then, so is his loyal, long-watching TV audience. Today marked Reeg's finale as the self-referential coffee-klatsch mainstay on Live With Regis and Kelly as he signed off at the undeniably amazing age of 80 after 28 years as the lead host. Fittingly retrospective, touching and funny, the hourlong swansong included not only Philbin's current cohost, Kelly Ripa, but a walk down memory lane with a veritable all-star audience/Gina Serpe, E! Online. More here.

Question: Who should replace Regis Philbin?

Benson: Send In Pooper Scoopers

Lisa Benson/Washington Post Writers Group

Highest Court: No Stay Of Execution

The U.S. Supreme Court is refusing to intervene in the case of an Idaho inmate who is scheduled to be executed Friday for killing two women nearly a quarter-century ago. Paul Ezra Rhoades is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Friday morning. His would be the first execution in Idaho in 17 years. Rhoades' lawyers asked for time to challenge the state's lethal injection policy. They argued that it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment that is barred by the Constitution. So far, lower courts have rejected their arguments, and late Thursday, the Supreme Court denied two requests for a stay. Rhoades was sentenced to death for killing newly married, 21-year-old Stacy Dawn Baldwin and 34-year-old Susan Michelbacher, a special education teacher. He received a term of life in prison for killing 20-year-old Nolan Haddon/Ty Brennan, KTVB. More here.

Wild Card/Thursday — 11.17.11

Dunno whether to applaud or roast Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh for officially launching the 2012 local election cycle Wednesday by announcing his intention to seek re-election. We've barely recovered from the City Council elections Nov. 8 (although I doubt Mayor Sandi Bloem will be fully recovered for some time). I suspect McHugh is trying to get out early and line up supporters in an effort to chase off prospective challengers for the GOP primaries in May. On the other hand, it's a dead time of the year for political junkies. So a little fodder from the county courthouse isn't all that bad. Now for your Wild Card …

PS: Astros Moving To AL West

New Houston Astros baseball team owner Jim Crane appears on a mobile phone as he answers a question after a news conference today in Houston. Baseball owners unanimously approved the sale of the team from Drayton McLane to a group headed by Crane on Thursday which will lead to the Astros moving from the NL Central to the AL West for the 2013 season. The decision will give each league 15 teams, baseball's first realignment since the Milwaukee Brewers switched from the AL to the NL after the 1997 season. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Dan, Steve, & Mike Do Lunch

On his Facebook wall, Councilman-elect Dan Gookin posts: “Went to councilman school today. Very interesting. I relish wielding my new-found elected power. Seriously: It was informative, though most of it was quite familiar. Ate lunch with Steve Adams and City Attorney Gridley.”

Question: Anyone want to make up dialogue re: what was said among Dan, Steve Adams, and City Attorney Mike Gridley at lunch today?

PM Scanner Traffic — 11.17.11

  • 5:43 p.m. Road surface on H54, from Athol to Twin Lakes is very slick.
  • 5:26 p.m. Palisades/PF resident reports male & female selling security systems door to door. (Update: PFPD Blue said pair have permit & are working for Nationwide Security Systems)
  • 5:11 p.m. Woman in blue Durango @ Ross Point/PF Chevron reports being hit by another blue Durango w/Kootenai plates that left scene e/b on SW.
  • 5:08 p.m. Caller reports vehicle on side in ditch @ 16th & Meyer/PF but didn't stop.
  • 5:06 p.m. Bret Avenue/CdA resident reports thief siphoning gasoline from vehicles.
  • 5 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Nov. 16-17 here.
  • 4:48 p.m. CityLink driver reports male in wheelchair seems to be unconscious @ 12th & Sherman. (Update: Police report man appears alert & waiting for bus to Hayden area)
  • 4:41 p.m. Caller from Cougar Gulch area reports males in row boat w/motor are hunting after dark on the Spokane River. The hunters may be returning to blue Chevy pickup.
  • 4:39 p.m. Post Falls woman reports to police that someone may be trying to impersonate her.
  • 4:37 p.m. A possible wildland fire is reported in the Hayden Creek area.
  • 4:29 p.m. Ground Force Manufacturing/PF reports drunk male on premises.
  • 4:23 p.m. PFPD is seeking possible suicidal woman who took rifle & headed toward Lookout Pass.
  • 4:14 p.m. Co-ed has questions for animal control re: a college project she's working on.
  • 4:01 p.m. Resident of Hudlow & Garwood reports man in vehicle shot from his vehicle & injured a deer across the street — and is now getting out of vehicle to “finish off” deer. (Update: F&G officers cite individuals caught with dead deer.)
  • 9 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 11.17.11

Kailey Edwards, 4, plays dress-up at North Star Child Development Center in Coeur d'Alene earlier today. North Star is hosting workshops at Harding Family Center in Coeur d'Alene on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  for Disability Advocacy Day, to help individuals understand how the Medicaid system and legislative process work. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Sims Upset w/LCDC Rent Income

According to records obtained by, the Lake City Development Corporation (LCDC), Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency, is bringing in more than $14,000 each month in rental income from residential and commercial properties it owns. One LCDC official says the practice is common, but an area state lawmaker (state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-CdA, of course) wants the agency to sell the properties immediately. Tony Berns, LCDC director, wrote in a letter to that his agency is holding onto the properties because it has strategic plans for the land on which the houses and businesses sit. “As practiced across the country, one of the key tenets of urban renewal/redevelopment is the acquisition of and assemblage of real estate located in key strategic areas identified for future public/private redevelopment purposes,” Berns wrote/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here. (Idaho Reporter photo: LCDC owns several rental properties along Park Drive, near NIC)

Question: Are you surprised that Rep. Sims is bedeviling LCDC re: earning rental income from residential & commercial properties it owns? Seems to me that the agency is acting responsibly.

DT: Unfriended By Junior

On his Facebook wall, David Townsend laments: “The shame of it! My own son has unfriended me. Says he is tired of my snarky remarks to his status updates. It's true a sage is never recognized by his own family.”

Question: Have you been unfriended on Facebook by a child? Did s/he give you a reason for the unfriending?

Barbieri Still Pushing ‘Nullification’

At Kootenai County Reagan Republicans luncheon today, Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, hangs out with RRs and their namesake at Fedora.

State Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, will be beating the drum for “nullification” when the Panhandle Pachyderm Club meets for its bi-weekly noon luncheon Friday at Templin's Red Lion at Post Falls. In an email, Pachyderm president Luke Sommer writes that the “nullification” issue is “timely & vital” and “of interest to Idaho and the entire nation. Idaho may very well lead the way. And, on the nullification issue, Vito is leading the way for us all!” Sommer said he expects “a very lively question-and-answer period.

Question: Do you support “nullification” movement?

Victims’ Families: Rhoades Should Die

Nolan Haddon's parents and brothers, left to right, Junior, Julie, Wes, and Clay, pose together in Blackfoot. In 1987 Nolan Haddon was killed by Paul Ezra Rhoades, who is scheduled to be executed on Friday morning. For 24 years, Julie Haddon has watched as her two oldest sons got married, had children. She’s wished her grandchildren could meet Nolan, the uncle that died before they were born. (AP Photo/Post Register, Ruth Brown)

Junior Haddon and his wife, Julie, gathered with their sons Wes and Clay at Wes Haddon’s Blackfoot home Wednesday to discuss the pending execution. Junior Haddon sat largely silent through most of the emotional, hourlong interview. But one question elicited a strong response: Will you be attending Mr. Rhoades’ execution? His answer: “Yes.” Clay Haddon, Nolan’s brother, said that if a death sentence is what the justice system declared fair, then that is what needs to be done. He does not believe a sentence of life in prison is just/Ruth Brown, Idaho Falls Post Register. More here.


JF: Death Watch Media Serve Role

John Foster: I have the honor of serving as the lobbyist for the Idaho Press Club, and wanted to make one clarification. The media serves a greater role in this process than just reporting for their individual outlets. Those members of the media selected (via a drawing) to view the execution have agreed to serve as the eyes and ears of the public and not just their respective outlets. Those journalists will exit the execution chamber and immediately proceed to a press conference where they themselves will report to others what they saw and heard. In other words, the journalists present at the execution have an obligation to not just be reporters, but to be witnesses for the public. And I know from my conversations with journalists involved that they take that higher obligation very seriously.


Occupiers Reach Wall Street

Police officers stand guard next to the Bull as protestors affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement march in the financial district earlier today. Two days after the encampment that sparked the global Occupy protest movement was cleared by authorities, demonstrators marched through New York's financial district and promised a national day of action with mass gatherings in other cities. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Question: Are you bullish or bearish on Occupy Wall Street movement's future?

Live At 5

On his Slice blog, colleague Paul Turner writes: “Broke my already erratic viewing boycott to check out how the local TV news would handle the weather.  Would they be in full 'Storm Team' mode? Wasn't disappointed. All three led with the news that it still might snow. It's good to know that there are some things you can count on in this world.”

DFO: If you enjoy Paul Turner's print Slice and/or nostalgia, you should check out his Slice blog.

Question: If you were emperor of the universe, what severity of storm or snow would have to be occurring before you'd allow Spokane weathercasters to go into full “Storm Tracker” mode?

CdA End Duran Has Break-Out Year

Bubba Duran wasn’t on the Coeur d’Alene football team’s radar a year ago. So to go from where he was to where he is today is nothing short of amazing. Duran thought his athletic ability alone would translate into time on the field last year. “It took Bubba a little while to learn how to work,” CdA coach Shawn Amos said. “If you’re going to play for us, you have to work hard.” Here’s the eye-popping statistic: Duran didn’t have one reception last year. Going into CdA’s 5A state championship game Friday against Eagle (10-1), he has 64 catches and is within six of matching a 1983 school record for most receptions in a season. “Not in my wildest imaginations,” Duran said of whether he thought he’d have a season like this fall. “Looking back at what the receivers did last year, I thought maybe I’d be around 50”/Greg Lee, SR. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Greg Lee that undefeated Coeur d'Alene will defend its high school football title by beating Eagle Friday night?

Poll: More Like Tea Party Than OWS

The Occupy Wall Street movement is not wearing well with voters across the country. Only 33% now say that they are supportive of its goals, compared to 45% who say they oppose them. That represents an 11 point shift in the wrong direction for the movement's support compared to a month ago when 35% of voters said they supported it and 36% were opposed. Most notably independents have gone from supporting Occupy Wall Street's goals 39/34, to opposing them 34/42. Voters don't care for the Tea Party either, with 42% saying they support its goals to 45% opposed.  But asked whether they have a higher opinion of the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street movement the Tea Party wins out 43-37, representing a flip from last month when Occupy Wall Street won out 40-37 on that question/Public Policy Polling. More here. (AP photo: Occupy Wall Street protester is arrested near The New York Stock Exchange in New York today)

Question: Are you surprised that Tea Party is now better liked than Occupy movement?

DM: Idahoan Held In Shooting? Alas

Item: Idaho man charged with attempted assassination/AP

Dennis Mansfield: Just as time was on Idaho's side regarding Nazis moving away, multiple marriages stopping and toe-tapping going silent in airport men's rooms, an apparently mentally ill guy from Idaho is arrested, The Blaze reports - for the firing of rounds at the White House. It's not just Idaho…it's Idaho Falls, Idaho … just so we get tagged doubly. More here.

Question: Will Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez join toe-tapping Larry Craig and the nearly departed Nazis as another kooky face of Idaho?

Is A Toilet A Legit Lawn Ornament?

In Burley, the new junk ordinance has snagged City Council members: “The issue started when Burley plumber Nathan Harris was issued a warning citation in September, after neighbors complained when he installed four toilets in a flower bed in his front yard. Harris tried to approach the council at an earlier meeting regarding the issue, but was not allowed to speak. (Councilman George) Hansen said the council can either tighten the new ordinance by adding the word “toilet” to the definition of junk, or send the issue to the city’s planning and zoning board, which can implement a more comprehensive landscaping ordinance. Councilman Steve McGill said he has personally seen toilets in flower beds that didn’t offend him. He said the council should discuss the issue thoroughly before adding the word “toilet” to the ordinance. More here. (SR file photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: Do your neighbors have any lawn ornaments that you'd rather not see in your neighborhood?

INW Headlines — 11.17.11

As The Lake Churns blogger Pecky Cox reports that “Priest Lake woke up white” this morning. On her Facebook wall, KXLY meterologist Kris Crocker predicts more snow on the way: “Winter Storm Watch late tonight and Friday for Spokane and Coeur d'Alene — 2-4” in general but the potential for up to 8” in spots. Lots more in the mountains.”

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.17.11

  • Noonish: 12YO male student has run away from Holy Family Catholic School, 3005 Kathleen/CdA, after fighting with staff. He's now in woods between Holy Family & Woodland Middle School.
  • 11:37 a.m. Kohls, 545 W. Aqua/CdA, reports a drunk & disorderly man in store.
  • 11:35 p.m. Owner if a slide-off vehicle on Upriver told to get it towed by end of the day.
  • 11:11 a.m. Resident in 3600 block of Alfalfa/PF reports man claiming to be with water district wanted to enter her house. But he had no identification or uniform. So she wouldn't let him.
  • 10 more items below

Edit: Media Should See Total Execution

On Friday morning, the state of Idaho is scheduled to take a life in the name of its people — but largely beyond the view of its people. By restricting the news media’s access to a crucial step in the execution of Paul Ezra Rhoades, the state Correction Department will restrict what Idahoans know about this most sobering service of justice. Idahoans will have to accept, on faith, the notion that the state’s first execution in 17 years was carried out without complications. That establishes a bad precedent for future executions — and there’s a good chance other Idaho inmates will be put to death in the next few years. Four reporters will be allowed to watch the execution, but the Correction Department has decided that they will not be able to watch as the execution team straps Rhoades into a gurney and inserts IVs into his veins/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Would you want to witness this execution?

Census: More People Reach Age 90

Americans are more likely than ever to reach age 90. First-ever census figures on the 90-plus population show it’s nearly tripled in size since 1980, to 1.9 million. One of the nation’s fastest growing groups, the 90-plus population is projected to reach 8 million by midcentury, representing 2 percent of the U.S. population. That’s a big change from over a century ago, when fewer than 100,000 people reached age 90. The numbers show the majority of those age 90 or older had one or more disabilities. They also were much more likely than those ages 65-89 to live in poverty. The report also noted the unique challenges created by people living longer, including added costs to the already-strained Medicare and Social Security programs/Associated Press. (Don Sausser photo, of Coeur d'Alene's Betty Owens on her 104th birthday on Veterans Day)

Question: Do you expect to live to age 90?

Cutting Ribbon On Ed Corridor

The Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce Commodores (blue jackets) help celebrate the completion of infrastructure work for the Education Corridor while (left to right in the center) NIC Board Chair Mic Armon, Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem, NIC President Priscilla Bell and Lake City Development Corporation Board Chair Denny Davis cut the ribbon at the new traffic signal at Northwest Boulevard and Hubbard. After decades of dreaming, years of planning and months of construction, officials celebrated the completion of Phase 1A of the Education Corridor with a ribbon cutting ceremony Nov. 15. (NIC photo: Stacy Hudson)

Question: How many Democrats can you find in this photo?

Charmin’ Andrus Leaves ‘Em Cheerin’

Out of deep respect for the good, great former governor of Idaho, I bit my tongue during Cecil Andrus’ disavowal of my book’s title (Cecil Andrus: Idaho's Greatest Governor”) during the opening of the Nov. 10 Boise City Club forum. His modesty is sincere. His sense of history though is flawed. The vast majority in the audience, as well as across this state, concur with the assessment expressed by the title as do most other serious students of Idaho history. Even at the age of 80 the zeal and skill with which Andrus skewered the Idaho Republican party for harboring scoff-laws like tax-dodging, state timber stealing Rep. Phil Hart of Coeur d’Alene, drunk-driving and car stealing Sen. John McGee of Caldwell, borrowing-his-association’s-funds party chairman Norm Semanko of Eagle, to ridiculing Tom Luna’s replace-teachers-with-a-computer phony educational reform was a thing of beauty to behold/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicles. More here.

Question: I can't help but think that Idaho's Republicans would be embarrassed into doing something about questionable antics of Phil Hart/John McGee/Norm Semanko, if Cecil Andrus was still governor. What do you think?

Hucks Poll: Don’t Televise Executions

  • Wednesday Poll: Three-quarters of Hucks Nation say executions in this country shouldn't be televised. 115 of 151 respondents (76.16%) don't want to see executions televised. 35 of 151 respondents (23.18%) said they should be televised. One respondent was undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Should the media have full access to the execution of Paul Ezra Rhoades Friday morning?

Perp Empty-Handed After Traffic Stop

In this undated photo provided by the Ohio State Highway Patrol shows a gift-wrapped package containing 25 individually wrapped packets of marijuana. Ohio troopers making a traffic stop say they found the pot present. The State Highway Patrol says the 28 pounds of pot discovered in the car's trunk is valued at more than $63,000. Robert Gomez has been charged with trafficking and possession of marijuana and possession of criminal tools, both felonies, and a misdemeanor count of driving under suspension. (AP Photo/Ohio State Highway Patrol)

Question: Do you suppose Gomez meant to use the packets as stocking stuffers or as under-the-tree gifts for family and friends?

Cindy: Seasons, Lives Change Quickly

A northerly blast rattles the windows and threatens the few leaves still stubbornly clinging to our apple tree. The russet and amber brilliance of autumn is fading fast. Seasons change.I can’t stop the days from growing darker any more than I can stop my children from growing up.Two weeks ago, my third born got his driver license. Zack flashed me a grin and two thumbs up as he walked into the waiting area at the Department of Licensing, after completing his drive. “Way to go!” I said, and gave him a high-five.I’ve learned the hard way not to jump up and give a new driver a hug and a kiss – in public, anyway/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here.

Question: Do you fight change or embrace it, or something in between? Or What life/season changes have been hardest for you to adjust to?

JohnA: CdA Realizing Its Dream

JohnA: I drove the corridor yesterday and it is really something. One can begin to realize the dream the city had in the mid-90s to create a dynamic college district on the lake. It could only be a dream then, some 15 years ago. Those were the days before the U of I or Lewis and Clark State College were on the scene and LCDC did not yet exist. The mill was in full operation, with log booms on the horizon from Harrison to the Spokane River. Nearby, a former restaurant and lounge had become city offices for the water and wastewater operations. The plant for the latter had been expanded to allow 2,500 new hookups, mandated by the State to remove the septic tanks all over town that posed a risk to the Rathdrum Aquifer. The road from NIC onto Northwest Boulevard had become an entrance-only access, following the tragic death of a young co-ed at the intersection, so the only way out was winding through the maze of roads by City Park. (2008 SR file photo of Mayor Sandi Bloem addressing NIC's plans to purchase the 17-acre DeArmond mill site for an Education Corridor) More below

Question: Have you driven or ridden the Education Corridor yet? Impression?

Vet Held For Fixing Upside-Down Flag

Richard Sciascia is a patriotic guy who knows how to treat an American Flag. So the 33-year-old Iraq War veteran, who was medically retired due to combat injuries, couldn't stand by and do nothing when he saw Old Glory hanging upside down in distress. Especially not along Government Way, at Hayden Avenue, in the city he adopted as his home in 2009 because of its patriotism and conservative values. “Hundreds of people saw the flag in that position all day long,” Sciascia said. “We've gotten to the point where some people just turn a blind eye to things and expect other people to act and fix things”/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes: Occupy Oakland protester holds an upside-down flag earlier this month)

Question: The story goes on to say thqat Sciascia was held by a deputy for 45 minutes, after someone called to report his attempt to properly fix the flag. Should he have been arrested or applauded?

Civil War Sites More Than Battlefields

It was 148 years ago, on three hot days in July, when the turning point in the Civil War came during the Battle of Gettysburg. That epic contest would surely be remembered regardless, but President Lincoln helped cement it in the national consciousness with his famous Gettysburg Address - delivered seven score and eight years ago this Saturday. I had my first encounter with that small Pennsylvania town two score years ago, when my parents dragged their unenthusiastic children through every Civil War battlefield in a six-state region. Later in life I lived about 20 miles west of Gettysburg, along the route Confederate forces followed on their march toward destiny. But it wasn't until I became interested in geology that I discovered the battle that preserved the Union was fought on rocks that tore a supercontinent apart/William L. Spence. More here.

Question: Have you visited a Civil War battlefield? Impression?

AM Headlines — 11.17.11

Ella Hummer, 2, with her mother Jessica Hummer, of Coeur d'Alene, punch-out snowflake shapes at the Kroc Center in Coeur d'Alene on Wednesday. The paper snoflakes will be used in an ornament as part of the 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Washington, D.C. Alison Boggs' SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

APhoto Of The Day — 11.17.11

Participants in their underwear break a world record for the most number of people, 57, to fit into an over-sized pair of underpants measuring 5 meters by 1.5 meters in the Canary Wharf district of London earlier today. Thursday marks Guinness World Records Day in which the organization estimates some 20,000 people around the world will attempt to break a wide range of records to showcase their country. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. #OccupyPanties — Phaedrus.
  • 2. When asked if he approves of the record underwear attempt, an elderly man replies ‘Depends’ — JohnA.
  • 3. Marmite’s friends get alittle ‘toasty’, when they pile into Churchills old knickers trying to put a spotlight on obesity — Kage Mann.
  • HM: Charlie.

Media Wants To View Entire Execution

The Idaho Department of Correction says it will not allow media witnesses to view the entire execution of Paul Ezra Rhoades, and two separate groups are protesting the policy. Rhoades is scheduled to die by lethal injection Friday, making him the first person to be executed under Idaho's new lethal injection guidelines. Prison officials say to maintain Rhoades' dignity, they won't allow witnesses to view him being restrained or having the IVs inserted. They also said changing the procedure now could be disruptive. But a group of Idaho news organizations say that policy conflicts with a 2002 federal court ruling that found the public, through the media, must be allowed to view executions in their entirety. The news organizations have asked the state to reconsider/Rebecca Boone, AP. More here. (AP file photo of Idaho execution chamber)

Question: Should the media be allowed to witness the entire execution of Paul Ezra Rhoades?

Otter In Hawaii As Execution Nears

As last-minute pleas for clemency continued to pour into Idaho’s state Capitol this week in advance of the state’s first execution since 1994, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter wasn’t there – he was at a posh resort in Maui to speak about presidential politics, leaving Lt. Gov. Brad Little in charge. Little was Idaho’s acting governor from Sunday, when Otter left for Hawaii, until today, when Otter is planning to return to Boise, leaving the California Independent Voter Project’s “Business and Leader Exchange” a day early to make it back for the Friday execution/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.

Question: Are you bothered that Gov. Otter was in Hawaii earlier this week while pleas for clemency for triple-murderer Paul Ezra Rhoades poured into the state — and attorneys tried to save the condemned man?

Signe: Danger Can Begin At Home

Signe Wilkenson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Hump Day Wild Card — 11.16.11

Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh will kick off the 2012 election season this afternoon by announcing his intention to seek re-election. McHugh will do so, while rumors persist that attorney Starr Kelso may throw his hat in the ring for prosecutor, too. Seems some True Believers of the Republican Hard Right are mad at McHugh for not following Kelso and Jim Brannon down the rabbit hole by supporting the challenge to Brannon's City Council loss in 2009. Stay tuned. Here's your daily Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 11.16.11

Portland State University students rally outside a Bank of America building while marching through downtown in support of the Occupy movement in Portland, Ore., Wednesday. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Kelly: Letter To Editor Interruptus

You'll be hard-pressed to find a stranger letter to the editor in a newspaper than the one from Cecil Kelly III of Coeur d'Alene in the Press today: “Many of us end up in odd situations. Thirty-three years ago I was on a motel floor in Bonners Ferry with a lesbian friend from church. Wearing only our birthday suits. In the missionary position. About to have carnal communications — when she said, “I can't stop you from doing this.” As a single, divorced male I responded, “Yes you can; you can just say no. It's your body, your mind, your choice.” She instantly cooled down, respected her right to change her mind and say no at the last possible moment. More here.


PM Scanner Traffic — 11.16.11

  • 5:26 p.m. ISP report: Montana trucker injured in collision with train near Moyie Springs mill here.
  • 5:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Nov. 15-16 here.
  • 5:03 p.m. Dave reports pickup driver hit his car @ Commerce & Honeysuckle/Hayden & drove off.
  • 4:59 p.m. Caller from 832 M St/Worley reports a loose dog chase his kids Tuesday.
  • 4:06 p.m. Driver is slumped over weehl of Toyota pickup @ Old Highway 95 & Little Rock/Athol.
  • 3:53 p.m. Female w/GabbyGrl vanity plates reportedly talking in code in Panhandle Health lot.
  • 12 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

APhoto Of The Day — 11.16.11

After his classmates had all departed, Lash Corbett, 8, leans in for a final good-bye to his friend and future dinner, Tom , at Liberty Christian School in Walla Walla, Wash. Tom has been raised by the Corbett family and was brought to school for show-and-tell by Lash's mom, Shawna Corbett. Shawna explained the various parts of a turkey before letting students know that the big white turkey was a farm animal and would be heading to the butcher in two days. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Jeff Horner)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. A young robust Dan Gookin pats fellow council member Goodlander on the head reassuring her, “It’ll be ok, not another election for two more years” — Eman.
  • 2. When Paul Ezra Roades requested that his last meal be Tom the turkey, the warden couldn’t escape the amusing thought that they’d both be executed the same day — JohnA.
  • 3. I told you it wasn’t a good idea when you say a kiss from Mary would turn me from a frog in to a prince, Dan — Dennis.
  • HM: Kage Mann

OTV Review: Side Street Place

To the credit of the sociable waitstaff and the mighty kitchen wizards at Side Street Place, the name is fortunately the only thing unremarkable about this new entry into the Post Falls diner scene. Housed in the shell of a former Wingers fail, new owner Betty Romps has kept the menu nearly identical as that of as the restaurant's most recent former incarnation, The Breakfast Nook. Nothing wrong with that, really - why get artsy fartsy and mess around with a line up of breakfast and lunch items that's perfectly classic and complete already? And there was no reason to take out the original Wingers interior decor situation of dark green and off-white checkered tile, a fifties style open kitchen and bar-stool lunch counter, and an eye-dazzling ceiling of faux-retro shiny silver hammered pattern squares. It still works/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: My favorite all-time breakfast place in Kootenai County was Rustler's Roost, when it was down on Sherman (don't get to the one in Hayden much), and Franklin's Hoagies, under Larry & Pauline Anderson. How about yours?

North Idaho Blogs — 11.16.11

Top Post: So I made it through 12 years of parenthood without any of my children having an injury worthy of stitches. 12 years of Josh running and riding and trying to jump to the 5th monkey bar that only resulted in a scraped chin and a broken baby tooth. 10 years of Adam chasing butterflies and throwing rocks and racing with his brother that only resulted in minor scrapes and scratches. And 3 years of Julianna climbing and sliding and running around the playground…which is what finally led to the stitches. Yep. My boys are not the first of my children to require stitches. My cute little girly girl is/A Butterfly Moment. More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday): 8606/5080, and (for Wednesday): 8823/5288

Question: Have you ever had an accident that required stitches?

McHugh To Seek Re-Election

Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh greeted former County Clerk Dan English after announcing this afternoon that he would seek re-election to his county office.

McHugh said his campaign “will focus on his accomplishments from his first term in the office, as well as his plans for the future.  In particular, McHugh focused on four areas in which he has and will remain committed to providing leadership: 1) A dedication to the safety of the citizens of Kootenai County, 2) Increasing accessibility for the public, 3) Increasing efficiencies in operations, and 4) Creating and environment of trust.” More here.

Question: How many votes will Prosecutor Barry McHugh lose by being seen in the presence of a known Democrat?

Ignore Signs At Your Own Risk

A car stuck in the mud at low tide Sunday night floats in Dungeness Bay near Cline Spit, Wash., on Monday. The owner of the 1994 Subaru station wagon, Chris Conrardy, who is in his 20s, told deputies that the car became mired after he drove it onto the beach at low tide Sunday night. He abandoned it, thinking he would tow it out Monday, said Detective Sgt. Lyman Moores. (AP Photo/Celene Wendt)

Question: Anyone feel sorry for the goofball who owns this vehicle?

Trish: Checking Off Winter To-Do List

On her Facebook wall, Trish Gannon, chief/cook/bottle washer of River Journal, posts: “Success! Lawnmower, yard furniture, garden tools, hoses all put away for the winter! Wow, I feel so accomplished, as long as I don't look at the rest of my to-do list!”

Question: Do you have anything left to do on your get-ready-for-winter list?

Nicole: No Story Ideas From Cat

On her Facebook wall, Nicole Hensley/KXLY posts: “Well, I missed the morning news meeting because Monroe Street Bridge closed just as I was about to cross. So, what's going on in Spokane? I know what happened here at the station. I missed all the excitement of a cat wandering its way into the morning news meeting. Our executive producer, Melissa tweeted: “Um, this cat just walked into our newsroom. Barged into the morning meeting — didn't bring any story ideas.”

Question: Have you ever adopted a stray cat that crossed your path?

Should Smoking In Cars Be Banned?

In the United Kingdom, A report released Wednesday from the British Medical Assn.’s Board of Science calls on governments in the U.K. to impose a ban on smoking in vehicles as part of its overall effort to “achieve a tobacco-free society by 2035.” The prospect prompted Karen Kaplan of the Los Angeles Times to write: “How would you feel if the government told you that you couldn’t smoke in your own car? Perhaps you’d endorse the idea that public health officials were trying to make it harder for people to maintain a habit that increases their risk of developing lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease and a host of other problems. Maybe you’d rejoice that you’d never again be forced to carpool to a meeting with a chain-smoking colleague. … And some of you – smokers or not – might be more than a tad annoyed at the prospect of Big Brother dictating what you can and cannot do in the privacy of your own vehicle. More here. (SR file photo)

Question: Should it be against the law to smoke in your own vehicle?

INW Headlines — 11.16.11

A pelican with an injured wing attempts to bite Mike Kasic as he rescues it in Fleshman Creek near its entrance to the Yellowstone River in Livingston, Mont., Tuesday morning. The pelican, which had been hanging around the Livingston area for months with an injured wing, was captured so it could be taken to a bird rescue group in Helena, Mont. (AP Photo/Livingston Enterprise, Aaric Bryan)

High Noon: Birthday No. 62 Ahead

I'm staring in the face of birthday No. 62 Sunday. Social Security wise, I think that makes me eligible for some bennies or other. Not sure exactly. Don't plan to retire for awhile yet. I'm more concerned re: the day itself. Mrs. O likes parties more than I do. I'd describe a good birthday as a lunch & movie out with Mrs. O. Mebbe a coupla hours reading by the fireplace. No fuss. No gifts required. No one inconvenienced. How about you?

Question: Do you celebrate your birthdays with a big party?

Defending Right To Be A ‘Redneck’

This March 2 file photo shows school bus driver Ken Webber, 28, at his home in Medford, Ore. A school bus company being sued by Webber, who was fired for refusing to take a Confederate battle flag emblazoned with the word “Redneck” off his pickup truck while parked on school property, has asked a judge to dismiss the case, arguing the flag does not amount to free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution. First Student Inc. filed the motion for summary judgment Monday in U.S. District Court in Medford. The company says Ken Webber, who drove a bus carrying students in the Phoenix-Talent School District, considered the flag an expression of his identity and lifestyle, not his feelings on politics, race or racism. (AP Photo/The Medford Mail Tribune, Bob Pennell, File)

Question: Do you know any bonafide rednecks?

Hayden Poacher Fined For Bighorn Kill

A 64-year-old Idaho North Idaho man has agreed to pay more than $13,000 in restitution and fines and will lose his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for life for illegally obtaining a Montana hunting license and killing a trophy bighorn sheep in north-central Montana, the Associated Press reports. Roger J. Woodworth of Hayden was sentenced Nov. 6 by District Judge Nels Swandal as part of a plea agreement with Fergus County prosecutors, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials/Rich Landers, SR Outdoors. More here.

Question: Just penalty?

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.16.11

  • 11:43 a.m. Rainbow Towing, 3370 N. Atlas/CdA, reports unwanted person at business.
  • 11:42 a.m. Some sort of trauma is reported at Great Floors, 923 Seltice Way/PF.
  • 11:37 a.m. Margaret reports someone impersonating her grandson called asking for money.
  • 11:32 a.m. A silver VW bug is speeding at 95 mph & tailgating on I-90 @ Huetter.
  • 11:22 a.m. Female reports being victim of a rape attempt at a Coeur d'Alene hotel/motel.
  • 11:21 a.m. Elizabeth says she's found stolen traffic control device of hers @ Govt & Hilgren/Hayden.
  • 11:09 a.m. Large rocks are lying in w/b lanes of I-90 in Higgens Point area, east of CdA.
  • 9 more items below

Idahoan Jailed In White House Attack

Federal law enforcement authorities on Tuesday arrested a 21-year-old Idaho man suspected of shooting with a semiautomatic rifle at the White House on Friday night, as the Secret Service reported finding that at least one bullet had indeed struck the presidential residence. The Secret Service said that Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez was arrested at a hotel near Indiana, Pa., at approximately 12:35 p.m. by the Pennsylvania State Police, acting on information from the Secret Service’s agents in Pittsburgh. “Ortega-Hernandez is currently in the custody of the Pennsylvania State Police,” the statement said/Charlie Savage, Brian Knowlton & Mark Landler, New York Times. More here.

Question: More bad publicity for Idaho ahead?

CdA To Suspend Stormwater Fees

On Tuesday, the Coeur d'Alene City Council voted to suspend the collection of stormwater fees until the city’s Stormwater Utility ordinance can be re-examined and revisions considered in light of a recent Idaho Supreme Court decision. On Nov. 7, the Supreme Court found that the monthly fee charged by Lewiston’s stormwater utility was an illegal “tax” and struck down the fee. Because the City of Coeur d’Alene’s fee structure/utility is very similar to Lewiston’s, the City Attorney’s office is reviewing the court’s decision to determine its impact on the city. Pending that review and possible revision of the city’s Stormwater Utility, the city will suspend the collection of stormwater fees beginning with the Nov. 22 utility billing/Victoria Bruno, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.

Question: Right move?

Hucks Poll: Gonzaga Will Win WCC

  • Tuesday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation believes the Gonzaga men's basketball team will win another West Coast Conference title in 2011-12. 48 of 90 respondents (53.33%) said the Zags would win. 27 of 90 (30%) didn't care one way or the other. Tied for distant third are the 6 respondents apiece (6.67%) who believe either Saint Mary's or BYU will win the WCC. 3 respondents (3.33%) said one of the other schools will win the conference.
  • Today's Poll: Should executions in the United States be televised?

Police Investigate Bold Burglaries

The Coeur d’Alene Police Department is working with area agencies to fully investigate a series of burglaries that have occurred in the City and County. These burglaries have a similar pattern of taking place in the day time hours with suspects brazenly kicking open doors to residences. … On Nov. 9 a resident reported he was home alone at 1000 block of W. Fallview Drive at approximately 2:15 pm.. The reporting party said two suspects, a male and a female, knocked and rang the doorbell multiple times. The reporting party was home alone and decided not to answer the door. The male suspect pulled some keys out of his pocket, and tried to open the front door. The victim heard this, and locked the dead bolt to the door. The male suspect looked through the half-moon shaped window on top of the front door and saw the victim. Both suspects then fled the scene/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department. More here.

Question: Have you seen suspicious people knocking on doors in your neighborhood?

UI Shooting Yet To Prompt Changes

The murder of a University of Idaho graduate student quickly spurred security reviews at other local and regional campuses this fall, but little change has been instituted. To date, only Boise State University has signaled a policy shift, emphasizing security and safety over the privacy of its employees and students.  “(The) tragic set of events at the University of Idaho provides many lessons for us and we are carefully reviewing our policies, procedures and communication methods to ensure our system is as effective as it can be,” a BSU official said in an email. “Safety and the proper assessment of concerning behavior are of the utmost importance and in the best interest of security for all”/Joel Mills, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (AP file photo of murder victim Katy Benoit)

Question: What are Idaho colleges & universities waiting for?

Trib: Executions Too Sanitized

Paul Ezra Rhoades' execution - now set for Friday - will be edited for content. By the time your eyes and ears at the event - the four reporters among 14 witnesses - are ushered into the room, they will see a condemned man strapped down on a gurney with hypodermic needles already inserted into his veins. They'll listen to Rhoades' death warrant being read. If Rhoades - convicted nearly a quarter-century ago of murdering three people in eastern Idaho - has any last words, they'll hear those as well. Then, they'll view Rhoades coming under the spell of sodium pentothal, which is supposed to render him senseless. From there, they'll wait as a second agent, pancuronium bromide, paralyzes him and halts his breathing. Finally, potassium chloride will stop his heart/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Should the U.S. televise executions?

Hammes: It Just Doesn’t Add Up

But while the newspaper coverage of (Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick's) resignation was thorough, there was one item that did not receive the attention it merits. Her age. The lady is 52. She decided it was time to retire at the ripe old age of 52. There was another telling report in the same newspaper a couple of weeks earlier that is also worth a mention. In this case it was a sports report about a very successful high school volleyball coach. The woman …  has coached for many years. Given that, the reporter asked how much longer she planned to coach. While she deflected the question, she did mention that she is eligible to retire anytime she chose. She is all of 53 years old. So the question begs. How many folks working outside of the government could even consider retirement at that age?/Dan Hammes, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here.

Question: At what age can you afford to retire?