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Huckleberries: Shasta Groene rescuer waiting for husband, not money

Thu., July 20, 2006, midnight

Denny’s was proud of Amber Deahn and other employees after they helped rescue Shasta Groene from the clutches of sadistic Joseph Edward Duncan last July – so proud that it bought a USA Today ad to salute them. That was then. After the hoopla died down, Denny’s canned Amber while she was on maternity leave. Seems Amber was hired the day she became pregnant, stopped working in August, and went into labor on Labor Day. She delivered the bouncing baby boy 32 hours later. She was ready to go back to work during the Christmas holiday but figured something was up on Dec. 30 when she and hubby Nathan were treated badly when they dropped by the Coeur d’Alene Denny’s. She discovered only after she applied for her current job at Coeur d’Alene’s AutoZone that Denny’s had fired her. While the baby fussed in the background, Amber told Huckleberries during a phone interview that she’s worked for AutoZone for three weeks and that she’s now counting down the 545 days until Nathan returns from Iraq. He was among the 60 Army reservists from the region deployed Monday. The reward money’s gone. Amber joked that she wasted it on medical bills. But she remains in the spotlight. On July 27, she will appear on “The Montel Williams Show” along with other women involved in the rescue of others. And she’s often recognized by well-wishers who ask about the reward offer made by Steve Groene of his $17,000 motorcycle and $10,000 in cash. She’s tired of the question. She hasn’t received a dime from him.

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