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WSP seeks victims of sales scam suspect

Fri., Dec. 19, 2008

A Spokane man accused of stealing from elderly people may have more victims, and the Washington State Patrol is asking for help finding them.

James William Schmidt, 50, is charged with first-degree theft in Yakima County in connection with what WSP detectives describe as a door-to-door sales scam.

Schmidt sells vacuum cleaners and air filters door to door and solicits loans from the elderly, telling them they’re investing in future franchises.

Schmidt has a third-degree theft conviction in King County in connection with a similar scam and is prohibited from door-to-door sales in Oregon by the state attorney general, according to the WSP.

Schmidt is 6-foot-6 with blond hair and blue eyes. He wears eyeglasses and frequents hotels and casinos, according to the WSP.

Anyone who might have been been targeted by Schmidt or knows his whereabouts is asked to call the WSP at (800) 283-7803.

Meghann M. Cuniff

Bonner County

Idaho Club building destroyed by fire

Fire destroyed the clubhouse and lodge at an upscale golf and luxury home community near Sandpoint on Thursday.

Someone called the Northside Fire Department about 3:30 p.m. and reported a fire at the Idaho Club, 151 Clubhouse Way.

Three hours later, a Bonner County dispatcher said flames were still engulfing the building, which housed a restaurant, bar and lounge and a deck overlooking the Pack River.

No one was injured and the building was insured, according to a news release from the Idaho Club.

“We are greatly saddened as this was a building that held many memories for so many people,” club President Chuck Reeves said in a news release. “The only thing we can do at a time like this is to look to the future and think about how we can quickly rebuild the Lodge and make it even better than it was before.”

The Idaho Club is in the Pack River delta between Sandpoint and Hope, Idaho. It opened in August with a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus.

Meghann M. Cuniff


Minnick’s office will be in district

U.S. Rep.-elect Walt Minnick, D-Idaho, will open a congressional office at Meridian City Hall.

Minnick’s choice of 1,812 square feet on the new building’s second floor, at a monthly cost of $2,718, is a sign he’s looking to bolster his presence in this conservative bastion west of Boise.

“We are going to be where the action is, in downtown Meridian,” said John Foster, Minnick’s spokesman.

Minnick’s predecessors in the 1st Congressional District, Republicans Bill Sali and Butch Otter, opted for offices in Boise, outside the district covering western and North Idaho.

Over the summer, U.S. House administration committee officials said that violated its rules and told Sali he’d have to move – if re-elected.

Associated Press

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