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In brief: Alleged slurs lead to arrest in CdA

Sun., Aug. 28, 2011

A Coeur d’Alene man who allegedly yelled racial slurs at a black man was arrested and charged with a felony Saturday.

Joel T. Diekhoff was charged with felony malicious harassment and taken to the Kootenai County Jail, according to police.

Police responded to the vicinity of South 18th Street and East Mullan Avenue after Demetrius K. Lee, 39, said a white man with several Aryan tattoos yelled slurs and threatened him for walking in front of his house. Lee said he was on his morning walk to Sanders Beach and has lived in the area for six years.

Lee said the man, who police identified as Diekhoff after interviewing witnesses, came out of the house with three other men to “beat him up.”

Lee ran to his friend’s house and got a baseball bat, police said, then returned to the area and had a heated conversation with Diekhoff. He then left and called the police.

Canada waives second Amtrak fee

OLYMPIA – Canada will waive a proposed fee on the second daily Amtrak run between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., a charge that state officials said would have put the run at risk.

Canada had proposed, but never levied, a border clearance fee to cover the cost of customs officials to process passengers when the second train arrives at 10:50 p.m. Estimates of the fee ranged between $550,000 and $1.3 million, Laura Kingman of the state Department of Transportation said. Washington subsidizes that train and the state “doesn’t have the money to cover the fee,” she said.

The train has increased tourism for both countries and eased congestion at the border crossings, Gov. Chris Gregoire said. “The benefits of this train are clear, and imposing a fee would have put those benefits at risk.”

Developer seeks land deal with city

A developer and former firefighter is proposing to sell back a parking lot he bought from the city of Spokane in 2007.

The Spokane City Council on Monday will consider an agreement that would return the $150,000 downpayment Mick McDowell made to buy the lot from the city in 2008. The land is used for public parking at Fire Station No. 1 on Riverside Avenue.

In exchange, the city would give McDowell the first right to purchase that lot again, along with an adjacent parking lot used by on-duty firefighters. McDowell would build a commercial condo building on the site and provide the city with $2 million worth of office space and parking in exchange for the land.

If McDowell doesn’t move forward within seven years, his exclusive right to purchase the lots could be terminated.

Beware of recent credit card scam

Idaho’s attorney general is warning consumers not to fall for fraudulent phone and text messages from supposedly reputable banks and credit unions requesting credit card information.

The attorney general has received reports recently in which messages are left stating that recipients’ credit or debit cards have been compromised, instructing them to call a phone number to provide information and reactivate the card.

Callers claim to represent banks including Wells Fargo, Boise Federal Credit Union and Home Federal Bank, a news release from Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said.

“Your bank will never contact you to ask for your account number,” Wasden said.

Any consumers who gave their financial information should call their banks immediately.

Comments taken on lake levels

Comments will be accepted through Sept. 13 on a proposal to allow winter lake levels for Lake Pend Oreille to vary by up to five feet.

Current winter operations at the dam limit lake level fluctuations to one foot above the minimum winter elevation between December and March. The Bonneville Power Administration and the Army Corps of Engineers want to operate Albeni Falls Dam to allow for a five-foot operating range during the winter to provide more flexibility for power generation.

The comment period was lengthened at the public’s request. The preliminary study findings are described in a draft environmental assessment, which can be viewed at To comment or view other comments that have been submitted, visit

Filing for election opens Monday

The filing period opens Monday and lasts until Sept. 9 for city council and mayoral races in Kootenai County.

Candidates for fire district commissioner races also are welcome to file their paperwork, with the same deadline. Idaho code requires candidates file documents at their city hall or local fire district office, a news release from the county clerk said.

Candidates have to complete two documents: a declaration of candidacy and a nominating petition. The petition requires the signatures of five qualified registered voters, which are verified by county elections staff. Candidates for city offices have the option of paying $40 instead of gathering signatures, but candidates for fire district positions do not have that option, the release said.

Meeting will focus on High Drive Bluff

People interested in Spokane’s High Drive Bluff are invited to a discussion of forest health for the area from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Rocket Market, 726 E. 43rd Ave.  Last spring, community members identified reducing fire risk for the bluff and neighboring homes as a high priority. The workshop will include a description of the proposed forest health plan, along with a question-and-answer session.   

Those who want to attend are asked to pre-register by noon on Monday with Diana Roberts at WSU Spokane County Extension, (509) 477-2167 or email


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