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Rathdrum man hit, killed by log that slips

A 36-year-old Rathdrum man was killed Monday after being struck in the head by a log on a job site, according to Kootenai County Sheriff’s officials.

Gregory T. Stensland was working on a logging operation above Bull Run, about eight miles from the Coeur d’Alene River in the eastern part of Kootenai County, when a 60-foot log slipped out of the grip of the loader and struck him in the head, said Sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger in a press release.

Initial investigation indicates that Stensland, who apparently had his back to the loader, was wearing a hard hat, which was knocked off when the log slipped and fell.

Workers at the site attempted CPR and transported him down the mountain, but he was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical personnel who met them there, Wolfinger said.

– Sam Taylor

Two injured in accident on Blue Lake

Boaters should remain cautious during this holiday week after a driver ramped up and over another boat on Blue Lake, northwest of Harrison on the Coeur d’Alene River, Kootenai County Sheriff’s officials said.

Harrison resident Derek Connors, 28, was apparently turning a 17-foot boat to pick up a person who had fallen off a tube when he collided with another watercraft, according to Sheriff’s Sgt. Matt Street.

The operator of the other boat, Kyle Ham, 23, suffered lacerations to his scalp and a passenger on Connors’ boat suffered a cut to his forearm, the report stated.

Connors registered a blood alcohol level of .02, which is under the legal limit of .08 to operate a vehicle, Street stated in a press release.

“This type of vessel collision typically results in severe injuries … or fatalities,” Street stated.

– Sam Taylor

Habitat for Humanity names new director

Jim Brannon has been named executive director of Habitat for Humanity of North Idaho, the organization that helps families in need build simple and affordable housing.

Brannon is an 18-year resident of Idaho and has been employed as a trust marketing officer and an investment representative. He is a member of the Coeur d’Alene Rotary Club and is former president of the Coeur d’Alene Estate Planning Council.

“I was immensely impressed with all of Jim’s fine qualifications and what his leadership and contacts in the community will do to help us house more families in Kootenai County,” said Mariann Bethke, president of the local Habitat affiliate.

The public can meet Brannon at the Habitat booth at the Kootenai County Fair Aug. 23-26.

From staff reports

Inland Northwest

Fireworks displays on tap in region

When the sun sets tonight, the sky will light up with Fourth of July fireworks.

One of the largest displays will be at Neighbor Day in Spokane’s Riverfront Park. Live music starts at noon with fireworks at 10 p.m.

In Liberty Lake, a parade starts at noon, and fireworks at dusk.

In Coeur d’Alene, a parade is at 11 a.m., with fireworks at dusk.

For a list of other area holiday events, log on to

– From staff reports