Huckleberries: Family ties run deep for patient sheriff’s deputy

SUNDAY, JULY 22, 2012

In the “Chip Off the Old Block” department, a Bayview man owes his life to a Kootenai County sheriff’s deputy who didn’t shoot first and ask questions later.

Deputy Brad Wolfinger found himself facing an armed domestic-abuse suspect when he answered a call in Bayview on Monday.

Eyewitness Herb Huseland tells Huckleberries that Wolfinger had every right to shoot the dangerous man. Herb said he asked the deputy of 3 1/2 years why he risked his life to disarm the man. Wolfinger explained to Herb that he had identified himself as an officer and asked the man several times to put the gun down. Which he finally did.

The deputy’s surname should be familiar to you. Brad’s father is sheriff’s spokesman Maj. Ben Wolfinger. As the Republican nominee, the elder Wolfinger is favored to replace retiring Rocky Watson as the next sheriff in January. Before then, he might gain a more important title: Grandpa. In December, young Wolfinger and his wife, Kelly, are expecting their first baby – a boy.

Remembering Grandma

You’ve lived a good life when a grandson rides his longboard across Alberta to tell Canadians about your courageous battle with cancer.

Erma Farmer lived a good life. Before the Coeur d’Alene grandma died on July 5, 2011, Canadian Bobby Jensen promised that he would make the “biggest tribute to her” that he possibly could.

That’s how Highway Surf for Cause Raising Cancer Awareness was born.

On the fifth of July, a year after Erma died, Bobby began his 300-mile ride on a longboard, from British Columbia to Saskatchewan, during a bad heat wave. It took him six days. Along the way, he told newspapers and other media about his grandmother and her long fight with cancer.

Bobby tells Huckleberries: “I was only able to be successful with this because of the love, support and prayers of the people that have reached out to me sharing how cancer has somehow affected them or their loved ones.”

What’s next for Bobby? He plans to repeat the longboard journey again and again. Mebbe until there’s a cure.


“A hot dog’s largely tripe and fat / With snouts and tails and such as that; / Because of this some folks eschew them, / Though I’m quite pleased to barbecue them” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Hot Dogs”) … Scanner Traffic: “Eagles Club in Hayden reports man entered the building Friday and stripped naked after saying he wanted to join the organization.” The guy must have thought he was at the Portland airport … Nic Casey was surprised when a co-worker dissed Hauser Lake around the water cooler, claiming that he hears banjo music whenever he’s close to the lake community. After all, Nic heard banjo music when the weather was good at his former home. That’s when a neighbor would play bluegrass on his banjo. In Hayden Lake. Which ain’t exactly “Deliverance.”

Parting shot

Coeur d’Alene area drivers were so accustomed to petition gatherers with signs on sidewalks during the failed City Council recall attempt this spring that they might not have noticed the Lyndon LaRouchers in town Thursday. Two Seattle LaRouchers who identified themselves as “Charles” and “Hadiye” collected signatures at post offices in Coeur d’Alene and Hayden. They want to impeach President Barack Obama, who was shown with an Adolf Hitler mustache in a poster. Which must have seemed odd for Hayden Lake residents. Who put up with the late Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler and real neo-Nazis for decades.

Read Dave Oliveria’s North Idaho blog, Huckleberries Online, at

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