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Posts tagged: Spokane County

Clark: Attack On LDS Sheriff Sleazy

Sure, I knew the deputy sheriffs union had it in for Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. The sheriff believes anyone worthy of wearing a badge should be able to hold off from doing the dance with no pants until after the shift ends. While the union’s attitude is more like … “Don’t come a-knockin’ if the squad car’s a-rockin’.” Differences this vast are bound to cause, um, friction. Sarcasm aside, never in my wildest imaginings did I think these union reptiles would crawl so low as to try to use the sheriff’s choice of churches against him. But read it and weep, my friends. The ugly truth is found on page 3 of an unfair labor practice complaint that the Spokane County Deputy Sheriffs Association filed recently against Knezovich. The action comes in response to the sheriff’s firing of Scott Kenoyer last summer for having sex on duty/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: I totally agree that an individual office holder's faith — and family, for that matter — are out of bounds? What say you?

Spokane County woman dies from flu

A Spokane County woman in her 40s has died from influenza.

She had underlying health conditions and had been hospitalized, according to public health officials.

She was the fourth Eastern Washington person killed by the flu. Her name and other specifics about her illness are being withheld, said Kim Papich, spokeswoman for the Spokane Regional Health District. The others who died of the flu include a Lincoln County man in his 40s; a Grant County man in is 40s; and a Tri-Cities woman in her 50s.

This year’s early arrival of the flu season has put 135 people in Spokane hospitals, exceeding the norm and far outpacing last year’s 31 flu hospitalizations at this time.

There have been 7 people with the flu admitted to Kootenai Medical Center.

This year’s flu strain is a type of the H1N1 virus - commonly called swine flu – that created a pandemic in 2009.

Um. No one in my household gets a flu shot. And uh, everyone has been sick for the past week…. Gulp!

Do you get flu shots?

Kootenai, Spokane Counties Similar

For all the perceived differences between the two, Spokane County and Kootenai County are close relatives, statistically speaking. Many similarities between the cross-border neighbors emerge in the 2011 American Community Survey, released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. Spokane County is a bit younger and better paid, is less settled down and more diverse racially. Kootenai County has a little less higher education, but the difference isn’t pronounced. Still, a few things stand out when comparing the two counties:

  • More than half of Spokane County residents were born in Washington, but fewer than a third of Kootenai County residents were born in Idaho.
  • Children in Kootenai County are twice as likely to have no health insurance coverage.
  • Rental housing is more expensive in Kootenai County.
  • More here.

Question: What do you think is the biggest difference between Spokane and Kootenai counties — other than they exist ae located in different states?

Mack Speech Goes Off Without Hitch

Richard Mack felt apprehensive about coming to Coeur d'Alene. Speaking moments before he was to take the stage as the controversial keynote speaker during the Republican party's primary fundraiser, Mack said he never felt as unwelcome as he did before coming to Coeur d'Alene. “This has never happened to me before,” the Republican candidate in Texas for the U.S. House of Representatives told The Press about the decision by the local party to bar him from speaking. But the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee re-invited Mack to speak at its Lincoln Day Dinner and Mack said he was glad to accept it - again. “After I saw the crowd and talked to the people I felt good,” he said. “I guess I didn't hurt attendance any”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: What will be the fallout of this event?

North Idaho GOP Rift Surprises Mack

A former Arizona sheriff whose speaking appearance today in North Idaho has created a rift among local Republicans called on Spokane County politicians Friday to make protecting the Constitution their No. 1 priority. Richard Mack disputed claims that he’s a darling of the militia movement in his speech at the Spokane County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner. Mack, who frequently speaks at national tea party events and is an outspoken critic of gun control, said he’s never advocated violence against federal officials. “My message across this country has been one of hope – that we can take our country back in a peaceful manner,” Mack told the packed crowd, which included many Spokane County GOP officials. “Where we take America back is county by county and sheriff by sheriff”/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR. More here.

Question: Put on your prognosticating hat and predict what will happen at the Kootenai County Lincoln Day Dinner tonight, featuring speaker Richard Mack.

Divisive Mack Coming To INorthwest

A former Arizona sheriff revered by the militia movement for his outspoken criticism of gun control and government tyranny is returning to the Inland Northwest for meetings with local GOP groups, triggering a rift among some Republicans. Richard Mack, who now lives in Texas and is running for U.S. Congress, is a self-described conservative constitutionalist with ties to various political parties and movements. He served as sheriff of rural Graham County, Arizona as a Democrat, ran unsuccessfully for governor of Utah as a Libertarian and now is trying to unseat a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives in the GOP’s upcoming Texas primary. He will be a featured speaker at fundraisers for the Republican parties of Spokane and Kootenai counties, though his North Idaho appearance was canceled at one point, then re-established after fraud allegations arose from the intra-GOP process used to disinvite him/Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here.

Question: What will be the long-term fallout from Libertarian-Constitutionalist wing of local GOP forcing Mack onto Reagan/Reasonable Republican wing?

What Does It Take To Can A Cop?

I’m hotter than a car hood baking under a July sun over the rehiring of Travis Smith, that disgrace of a deputy who was rightly canned last year by Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. Smith racked up three internal investigations in one year, which could be some sort of record. His many infractions, including the mishandling of seized painkillers, established what Knezovich dubbed a poor performance pattern. No, duh. But the real nugget came when Smith committed malicious mischief by stabbing the seat of a truck he was searching like Brutus skewering Caesar. Claimed he thought it was funny. Et, tu, Travis? The bottom line is that Ozzie did the right thing for humankind by firing this clown. But apparently we have gone through the looking glass/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Which is harder to do — can a cop in Spokane County or properly discipline a Republican lawmaker behaving badly in the Idaho Legislature?

Kootenai Co., Spokane Share Ideas

What if:

  •  Kootenai County’s free Citylink bus system connected with Spokane Transit Authority routes to allow commuters to travel back and forth across the state line?
  • Spokane County could ease its landfill needs by shipping some of its waste to Kootenai County’s Fighting Creek Landfill?
  • Law enforcement in the two counties established a regional pay structure so Kootenai County didn’t regularly lose officers to Spokane County’s higher salaries?

Realistic or not, those were some of the ideas tossed on the table Monday during the first joint meeting of Spokane and Kootenai counties’ boards of commissioners.

Question: I'd be willing to give up studded tires to drive to Spokane Airport if Spokane County would limit the amount of visitors it allows to pack our waterfront. Can you think of any other sweet deals the two counties could make?

Spokane Mulls Bike Helmet Law

Item: County considers bicycle helmet law: Panel to draft ordinance, plans public hearing/John Craig, SR

More Info: County commissioners agreed Tuesday to consider a bicycle helmet ordinance. Users of skateboards, roller skates and scooters also might be required to wear helmets in unincorporated portions of Spokane County. Commissioners plan to draft an ordinance and schedule a public hearing after receiving more information from the Spokane Regional Health District and the city of Spokane, which adopted a helmet law in 2004.

Question: Should bike helmets be required in Idaho, too?

Spokane Recovering, Kootenai Isn’t

Spokane’s economy is recovering, Coeur d’Alene’s remains in recession, according to a new analysis of June data released Monday by Moody’s Economy.com. But the Kootenai County city’s ranking for cost of doing business and cost of living are slightly better than those for Spokane, as is projected employment growth through 2011, the noted economic research firm concluded. Offseting Coeur d’Alene’s the positives are retreating home prices, which significantly exceeded national levels three years ago, says Moody’s, which looked at 392 urban markets. Spokane was ranked 149th for job growth, compared with 41st for Coeur d’Alene. Cost of business in Spokane was 81 percent of the national average, Coeur d’Alene’s was 76 percent/Bert Caldwell, SR Office Hours. More here.

Question: How will you know that the recession is over in the greater Coeur d’Alene area?

Expensive Snow

This Dec. 18, 2008, photo shows a snow-blown sidewalk covered in snow.

Local governments, schools and nonprofit agencies in Spokane County have been reimbursed $5.7 million for their costs in responding to record snows that began in mid-December 2008 and continued through early January 2009.

Under government guidelines, the Federal Emergency Management Agency paid the agencies for the cost of snow removal during a 48-hour event and for damages to public and nonprofit facilities as the result of a declared emergency. Read more. Mike Prager, Spokesman Review

Did you miss snow this year or do you wish every winter was like the one we just had?

Claim filed against Spokane County in juror’s death

When 84-year-old Kay Mita got a jury summons, he regarded it as a sign the government was acknowledging a six-decade-old injustice. His first day of jury service, however, turned out to be the last day of his life.

Now the widow and son of a juror who died of exposure overnight on the courthouse steps two years ago have filed a $5 million claim with Spokane County, a possible prelude to a federal lawsuit against the county and Guardsmark LLC, which provides courthouse security.

Steve Bartel, the county’s risk manager, said his office is reviewing the claim to determine whether the county has any liability in what he acknowledged is “a terrible event.” Full story.

Such a sad story. Do you think Spokane County should be held liable?

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About this blog

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

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