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In brief: Mary Lou Shepherd, former North Idaho representative, dies at 80

Sat., Nov. 30, 2013

Former state Idaho Rep. Mary Lou Shepherd, D-Prichard, has died. She was 80.

Shepherd represented North Idaho’s Silver Valley, and during her final years in office was the only Democrat among North Idaho’s legislative delegation. Shepherd served in the House from 2000 to 2010.

A retired restaurant/tavern owner, Shepherd was known for departing from her fellow party members in the House to cast votes she said reflected the views of her district – often polling and keeping track of her constituents’ input via their calls and emails.

“Mary Lou invented constituent service,” said former House Minority Leader Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum. “I remember her as always on the phone with some agency working on a solution for a constituent. She was hard-working, cared deeply about Idaho and her district. … She had a large number of legislators on both sides of the aisle who were very fond of her.”

When Shepherd lost her bid for a seventh term in 2010, she said she’d “enjoyed just about every moment” of her legislative service, and offered her successor this advice: “To listen well, don’t make assumptions … and at all times remember who you’re representing and how they want to be represented.”

Felons nabbed after high-speed chase

Spokane County sheriff’s deputies arrested three suspects with 24 felony convictions among them after a high-speed chase through Spokane Valley on Friday morning.

At 4:30 a.m., deputies responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle at Cataldo Avenue and Pines Road. The driver of the vehicle, 43-year-old Steven Devitt, and two female passengers, 30-year-old Heather Dalke and 28-year-old Sheena Stark, fled in their vehicle when they saw deputies approaching.

Deputies sped after the three, eventually stopping in Painted Hills near Apache Road and Lochsa Drive. Devitt drove into a dead-end, and all three occupants were taken into custody on felony warrants.

Devitt has 19 previous felony convictions, Dalke has three and Stark has two. Devitt was also arrested on a charge of eluding police.

Basement fire spreads quickly

The Spokane Fire Department doused a basement fire that broke out after 1 a.m. Friday in north Spokane and displaced a single family, according to a news release.

No injuries were reported in the blaze that caused smoke damage throughout the single-story, wood-frame home at 208 E. Empire Ave. When firefighters arrived, the occupants had already cleared the building, according to the fire department.

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire, which took about a half hour to extinguish. Though the fire began in the basement, it quickly spread through the fireplace to the first floor and attic of the dwelling.

The Red Cross is assisting the residents.

U.S. Forest Service holding job fairs

The U.S. Forest Service has scheduled several job fairs Monday in North Idaho.

Forest Service representatives will be available to answer questions and discuss opportunities for jobs in fire management, recreation, engineering, wildlife, range management and fisheries. Most of the jobs are seasonal, but can be steppingstones to permanent employment.

The job fairs will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Idaho Department of Labor offices:

Post Falls, 600 N. Thornton St.

Sandpoint, 2101 Pine St.

Bonners Ferry, 6541 S. Main St.

Kellogg, 35 Wildcat Way.

St. Maries, 105 N. Eighth St.

Information on how to apply online for jobs with the Forest Service is available at


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