Latest from The Spokesman-Review
As the Diamond Cup Hydroplane races near, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office would like to alert the public to waterways hazards and potential traffic congestion. For the past few days, event organizers have been setting the race course on Lake Coeur d’Alene, near the Silver Beach area. From now through the Labor Day weekend, numerous course buoys and log booms will be moved into the area for the races. Boaters are encouraged to use extreme caution when traversing the area around the course. Additionally, beginning Thursday morning August 29, Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive from Potlatch Hill Rd to just west of Sunnyside Rd will be reduced to one lane of travel with traffic flaggers at each end. Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive will remain one lane through the weekend. The Centennial Trail will also remain open, but will be diverted next to the single lane of vehicular traffic/Lt. Stu Miller, Kootenai County Sheriff's Office. More here.
Question: Do you expect the renewal of the Diamond Cup hydroplane races to go smoothly?
Is sodomy against the law in Idaho? More to the point: If a law in Idaho violates the Constitution – as determined by the constitutionally created Supreme Court – is it still a law? If you want the correct answer, don’t ask Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger. And the fact that Wolfinger seems not to know, or maybe care, about the answers should give pause to anyone who thinks it’s swell that Wolfinger wants to go all judge, jury and executioner on the Boy Scout troop his office sponsors. Wolfinger said last week that he’s not sure the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office can continue its charter with the Boy Scouts, due to the Scouts’ recent decision to stop discriminating against gay kids. Wolfinger based this qualm, in part, on Idaho’s 1972 anti-sodomy law/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here. (SR file photo: Kathy Plonka)
A little birdie in Independent Bob Foster's campaign for Kootenai County sheriff tells Huckleberries: “The Coeur d'Alene Police Officers Association voted unanimously to endorse Bob Foster for Kootenai County Sheriff. The vote has been in the process for the past couple of weeks via the association's website where members voted online. Voting ended June 30, at 17:00. If you recall, the Lake City Employee's Association voted earlier in the year to endorse Bob, so now he has 2 of the 3 city groups supporting him. All that remains is the Firefighters group and Bob has made a presentation to them.” Foster is the code enforcement officer for the city of Coeur d'Alene. (Sgt. Christie Wood of the Coeur d'Alene Police Department has confirmed that the police association has endorsed Bob Foster.)
Question: Can Independent Bob Foster beat Republican nominee Mayor Ben Wolfinger in the sheriff's race?
Both Keith Hutcheson and Ben Wolfinger have outraised Tea Party candidate John Green in the three-way GOPrimary race to replace Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson. Hutcheson (who is supported by Reagan Republicans & Reasonable Republicans) had a warchest of $21,652 including donations, in-kind contributions and a personal loan, exceeding the amount raised by Wolfinger and Green combined. Top contributors to Hutcheson's primary campaign are Sound Industries, $999; John Grimm, $750; Cliff Findlahy, Idaho Veneer and Kevin Rogers, $500 apiece. Hutcheson has spent a combined $10,443 with the Strategery Group (and received $587 in in-kind services from Strategery). You can read see his campaign finance report here.
- Ben Wolfinger (who is supported by Reasonable Republicans, too) started with a warchest of $10,896. Top contributors are: Doug Parker, $1000; and Donald Gross, $600; Empire Airlines, Ann Ragan, Michael Wolfinger and Ken Smith, $500 apiece. You can read Ben Wolfinger's campaign finance report here.
- John Green (who is supported by United Conservatives of North Idaho) had a warchest of $7,107. Top contributors are: Lorna Finman, $999; and Brent Regan and Mitch Wright, $500 apiece. You can read Green's campaign finance report here.
Question: What surprises you most about these campaign finance reports for sheriff?
Herb Huseland: Why anyone would want a hard right or hard left sheriff is beyond my comprehension. The ideal law enforcement officer is politically neutral, constitutionally correct and community oriented.An example of this in Ben Wolfinger is last year’s Athol Daze Parade. The community was so impressed with the handling of a abusive officer, replaced by a good one that they made the community cop the Grand Marshall of the parade. The first time ever. The radical politicizing of the Sheriff Department is a scary thought. Will Spencer send his minion to harass me if I write negative things about him? If we don’t shuck the radicals from out local government we will have hell to pay. (SR file photo: Ben Wolfinger acting as media contact during the Groene-McKenzie murder investigation)
Adam Johnson sent this Facebook message to HucksOnline: “After much consideration on whether to pursue official judicial clarification regarding the implications of how a withheld judgement differs from a straight conviction, I have made the decision to officially cease my pursuit of the office of Sheriff in the upcoming 2012 election cycle. Though disappointed that I will not be able to run this time around, the causes of such were the result of my own actions and lapse in judgement that led to the charges that now ultimately disqualify me from running for office. The experience up to this point has been exhilarating and the support I have received in this endeavor has been nothing short of amazing. I look forward to such time when there will be no barriers to my pursuit of public office and to restoring the public's faith in me that had been previously lost for reasons aforementioned. Here's to seeing you all again in 2016.
Question: Right call?
Kootenai County sheriff hopeful Adam Johnson is speaking out now after Prosecutor Barry McHugh said he was ineligible to run for office. Johnson, 27, plans on filing as a candidate for sheriff. In the last few years he's had several run-ins with the law. In 2009 he shot and wounded two people in Coeur d'Alene. Those charges were later dropped. Then in this last January he pled guilty to possessing heroin and is currently on probation.
As for what McHugh said about him not being able to run? Johnson says it's his opinion and he intends to try and file as a candidate for Kootenai County sheriff/Anusha Roy, KXLY. More here. (KXLY photo of Adam Johnson)
Question: Should Adam Johnson be allowed to run for Kootenai County sheriff?
Former Post Falls councilman Joe Bodman has filed to run for Kootenai County sheriff as an Independent. Bodman is a former three-term council member who lost to Betty Henderson in 2009. Bodman, a former Kootenai County deputy, unsuccessfully challenged Sheriff Rocky Watson in the 2008 Republican primary for sheriff. Three Republicans have already filed for the office — Ben Wolfinger, Keith Hutcheson and John Green. Two other Republicans attended a forum for sheriff's candidates last month — Bob Foster and Adam Johnson. On Thursday, Prosecutor Barry McHugh issued an opinion that Johnson isn't eligible to file for sheriff because he has pleaded guilty for felony heroin possession. County Clerk Cliff Hayes said Johnson will be told he's ineligible to run for sheriff if he tries to file his candidacy papers. (2005 Jesse Tinsley SR file photo of Joe Bodman waiting for results in 2005 Post Falls City Council election)
Question: Could this be the year an Independent has a chance to win the sheriff's race?
The criminal history of a declared candidate for Kootenai County sheriff might prevent him from entering the race. Adam M. Johnson, a former North Idaho businessman and Post Falls Chamber of Commerce board member who played a central role in a high-profile shooting in downtown Coeur d'Alene, announced in January he planned to run. It's not the shooting, however, but a guilty plea to a heroin possession charge, a felony, last year that might derail his shot at being the county's top cop. “I knew he was convicted of a felony,” said Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes. “I asked the prosecutor to review the law.” Barry McHugh, the county's prosecutor, submitted a written opinion on Wednesday/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Photo: Adam Johnson Facebook wall)
Question: Would Johnson's candidacy have made any difference in the final outcome of the GOPrimary involving the sheriff's race?
On his Facebook wall, Adam Johnson, one of five candidates for the Kootenai County GOP nod, posts: “
It was hard to tell whether John Green (show above making a point to his passionate fans in the audience last night) was running for sheriff of Kootenai County or against civility and the local blogosphere during a debate last night, sponsored by the Coeur d'Alene Police Officers Association and the Coeur Group. When asked by the Coeur Group moderators to pose a question to one other candidate, Green refused, stating that the exercise was “tacky and unprofessional.” But he saved his best for HucksOnline and the blogosphere. Green bristled when a questioner asked him about comment he'd read here involving prisoner housing in tents, saying he had nothing to do with anything here. This, despite the fact that he'd encouraged his readers on the John Green for Sheriff Web site earlier this week to vote on our poll for sheriff (in which he finished a distant third). In his closing statement (after refusing to answer a second question posed to him by the Coeur Group, Green said he didn't want the votes of the “cowardly people” who pass their time commenting on blogs — you know, the type who “hide in the dark and spread hate.” Green challenged the local media to clean up this kind of conduct and finished by saying that blog comments are “already reaching a fever pitch and we're not into May yet.” BTW, later he wrote this on his Web site from home: “
A former Texas deputy turned criminal justice lawyer is running for Kootenai County sheriff. John Green, 52, is seeking the office's top spot as a Republican, aiming his campaign on finding solutions to ease jail crowding other than building a new facility, increasing deputy financial compensation as well as street presence as a crime deterrent, and supporting legislation to allow deputies more leeway on public intoxication calls. … Green has 10 years of law enforcement experience in Texas, with 300 arrests, most for felony violations, that he would bring to the post, he said, as well as 20 years of practicing law. He would pursue other avenues for jail space rather than building a new facility, such as using existing county buildings, possibly even tents, to house inmates if it proved to be effective/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (John Green Facebook photo)
Question: Is the use of other county building and even tents a reasonable option for housing Kootenai County prisoners?
A former North Idaho businessman and Post Falls Chamber of Commerce board member who was involved in a high profile shooting in downtown Coeur d'Alene announced he is running for Kootenai County Sheriff. Adam M. Johnson, 27, will seek the elected post as a Republican. He said finding a solution to the jail capacity issue without asking taxpayers to a fund a new building is key for the county, as is trimming the sheriff's office budget while finding ways to financially incentivize deputies to remain here instead of leaving for other departments. Johnson said his recent legal troubles - which include a citation for consuming alcohol from the December 2009 shooting and a 2011 guilty plea for felony heroin possession - don't mean he isn't serious about the job/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: How will Adam Johnson's candidacy affect an increasingly crowded Republican race for Kootenai County sheriff?
Item: ReaganRepub2: Green wasn't easy to pin down/HucksOnline
HucksOnline received the following email from Republican sheriff's candidate John Green: “I am a candidate for in the 2012 Republican race for Sheriff of Kootenai County. A friend sent me copy of a post on your “blog” regarding the Reagan Republican Forum held in Coeur d'Alene a couple of days ago. I did not attend that function because I was not notified of the event until a couple of days before it was held and I had a previous speaking engagement with 40 people who were also part of an “important constituency.” My question is, are you the “I” who asked this question on the blog? 'Question: I still can't figure the strategy with Green and Spencer here. If Green truly had a busy schedule Thursday, he should have cleared out an hour to speak to an important constituency like the Reagan Republicans. Anyone?' If you are, I want to make it clear that there is no “strategy with Green and Spencer.” Larry Spencer does not speak for me and does not control my schedule or campaign.” (Photo from John Green Facebook page)
Following is the announcement made by Adam Johnson of Coeur d'Alene today that he will run for Kootenai County sheriff. Johnson is a Coeur d'Alene businessman who was involved in a December 2009 shooting that wounded two Mose Lake men. Johnson didn't say which party nomination he'll seek: : “Friends, Family, and citizens of Kootenai County, it is with great pleasure that I announce today, my intention to run for the office of Sheriff of Kootenai County in the upcoming 2012 election. A press release and press conference will be released and scheduled soon to formally announce these intentions with the public-at-large. In the meantime and throughout the season we will use the linked Facebook page, as well as a soon to be active website that will be used to provide updates, event notifications, how to contribute to the campaign/get involved, and other related items.” (Photo from Adam Johnson Facebook page) More below.
Let’s play a game. Huckleberries will tell you where candidate John Green stands on issues. And you guess which office he’s seeking. Ready? On his Facebook wall, Green lists his stands on several issues, including the Second Amendment: “The Federal Government has no authority to regulate firearms within the State of Idaho.” And states’ rights: The 17th Amendment (removing the Legislature’s power to appoint U.S. senators) “should be repealed.” And taxation: “The ‘Internal Revenue Code’ is an abomination and an absurdity.” Which office does Green want? Kootenai County sheriff, of course. Or maybe not. Under the topic of “Sound Money,” Green says, “As an Idaho senator, I will work to ensure that the State of Idaho protects its citizens from the fraud of ‘fiat’ money.” Green might consider updating his position stands and tailoring them more to the current office he targets/DFO, SR Huckleberries. More here.
- Smart Bombs: Docs weigh in on obesity/Gary Crooks
- Pint-size Bengals play hard for historic win/Doug Clark
- Sports: Zags fail in another change to impress/John Blanchette
- Slice: Follow unspoken rule, don't touch merchandise/Paul Turner
- Boise: 230 attend North Idaho open records/meeting forums/Betsy Russell
- Outdoors: Washington getting elk-friendly land near Grand Ronde/Rich Landers
Question: Will you vote for John Green for Kootenai County sheriff?
Republican Bob Foster, the former director of Hagadone Hospitality security and current code enforcement officer with the Coeur d'Alene police, has announced his candidacy for sheriff. Foster, of Post Falls, is a 37-year veteran of Law Enforcement having served 17 years as a chief of police (for Willits, Calif., and Humboldt State University/Eureka, Calif.). He holds a degree in public administration and is a FBI National Academy graduate. Foster has been recognized by citizens, youth and senior citizen groups, community organizations, school boards, administrators & educators, law enforcement professionals and government representatives for his commitment & contributions to the public’s safety, community values and professional standards in law enforcement. Foster is a fourth-generation Idahoan and served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. He is a member of the American Legion. Resume here.
Question: Who do you plan to support among Major Ben Wolfinger of the sheriff's department, John Green of UCNI, or Foster?
Richard Sciascia is a patriotic guy who knows how to treat an American Flag. So the 33-year-old Iraq War veteran, who was medically retired due to combat injuries, couldn't stand by and do nothing when he saw Old Glory hanging upside down in distress. Especially not along Government Way, at Hayden Avenue, in the city he adopted as his home in 2009 because of its patriotism and conservative values. “Hundreds of people saw the flag in that position all day long,” Sciascia said. “We've gotten to the point where some people just turn a blind eye to things and expect other people to act and fix things”/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes: Occupy Oakland protester holds an upside-down flag earlier this month)
Question: The story goes on to say thqat Sciascia was held by a deputy for 45 minutes, after someone called to report his attempt to properly fix the flag. Should he have been arrested or applauded?
Item: Sheriff battles budget: Watson: 'We're the lowest employed with the highest crime rate'/Alecia Warren, CdA Press
More Info: The Kootenai County Sheriff's Department budget has more than doubled over the past decade, but the department is still below the state average of officers and facing an uptick in crime. “Compare us to other metropolitan areas, and we're the lowest employed with the highest crime rate,” said Sheriff Rocky Watson. Much of the extra budget dollars have gone toward shipping out inmates from the overcrowded jail, Watson said.
Question: In terms of budget priorities, where would you place law enforcement?
The Idaho Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Allied Bail Bonds after the firm lost a lawsuit against Kootenai County, charging that the county sheriff was infringing on its business by steering jail inmates toward credit card bonds rather than its bail bonds. The company offered constitutional and other arguments, but the high court rejected all of them, many on procedural grounds/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
I'm always curious re: which bad guys and gals will make Major Ben Wolfinger's weekly honor roll for individuals wanted on felony warrants. At the top of the list this week is Mark David Carlson (left), 35, of Coeur d'Alene, who is wanted for failing to appear in court on a felony DUI charge. No bond is set for Carlson. Other wanted men that Major Ben would like to see behind bars at Kootenai County's cross-bar hotel include: Jon Roland “Ozzy” Pounds (middle), 25, of Coeur d'Alene, who is wanted for failure to appear on a lewd conduct charge (bail: $50,000). And Steve Michael Sedillo Jr., (right) 38, of Coeur d'Alene, who is wanted for failutre to appear on a charge of possession of stolen property. You can read all of this week's felony warrants here.
Question: Which one of these guys would you least want to meet in a dark alley?
The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an armed robbery that occurred at the Alpine Country Store, north of Hayden, late last night. Initial investigation indicates that a lone masked gunman entered the store at about 11 PM, held the clerk at gunpoint and had her empty the cash register of the currency. The suspect fled on foot. A subsequent track by a Sheriff’s Department K-9 followed the suspect to where he may have got into a vehicle a short distance away. Sheriff’s detectives are continuing the investigation/Kootenai County Sheriff's Department news release.
Question: I've often thought that clerks at fast stops are among the bravest employees around because the possibility exists every day that someone will try to rob them. I wouldn't do the job. Would you?
A Hayden man died after shooting himself in the face today around 1:45 p.m. during a traffic stop in Dalton Gardens, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department. Robert J. Kilborn, 48, was driving a red Chevrolet Blazer when a deputy tried to stop him near Government Way and Hanley Avenue for having a faulty exhaust system. According to the sheriff’s department, Kilborn failed to stop and continued driving at about 20 miles per hour. He went east on Hanley Avenue then south on Valley Street before he pulled into a friend’s driveway in Dalton Gardens at 6167 N. Valley Street. The deputy approached the vehicle and saw Kilborn, the only occupant in the vehicle, had a long gun in his hand. The deputy backed away from the vehicle and the driver shot himself in the face/Chelsea Bannach, SR. More here.
From KCSD sergeant’s log: “Deputy Nye and Deputy Geurin responded to the Hauser Lake Smoke Shop for a citizen assist with a female who was having a panic attack due to the snow on the roadway. Upon arrival they located a California native who had gotten lost and disoriented in the snow … They were able to locate a friend of the female in Rathdrum, who responded to the location to pickup her and the vehicle.”
Question: What causes you to panic?
A Hayden man told KCSD that he lost his .45 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol @ 15602 Rimrock Road Monday — and he’s afraid a school child picked it up. Michael Stallcup told deputies that he put his pistol and holster on top of his vehicle after snowmobiling with friends from the Rimrock Road address, between 3:30 and 4 p.m., and forgot about it until he arrived home, about 10 minutes away. When he saw that the pistol and holster no longer were on top of the truck, he returned to the Rimrock Road address and looked for it with his friends for a half hour. Earlier, he’d seen a school bus pull up to a nearby corner as he was leaving his friend’s place. A school kid may have picked it up. Stallcup said his name and phone number are engraved in the leather inside the holster. However, no one had reported finding a gun, as of last night.