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Don Verlin Tuesday notes and quotes, Dec. 16

Idaho encountered nothing but heartbreak on its road trip through the states of Illinois and South Dakota last week.

The Vandals blew a 17-point lead in the second half at Western Illinois, losing 78-75. Two days later at South Dakota State, senior point guard Mike Scott missed a game-winning 3-point attempt with three seconds remaining. The buzzer sounded with an 87-85 win for the Jackrabbits, and back-to-back road losses for the Vandals. 

The theme of both games was Idaho's inability to get stops.

Vandals finally triumph in hardwood Battle of the Palouse

The next time Idaho senior Connor Hill sees his Washington State men's basketball friends around the Palouse, he might just have some trash-talking words to say. 

In a friendly manner of course. 

Idaho and Washington State unofficially scrimmage each other over the summer up to three times a week. And for the last four summers Hill has had to heard the crowing of Cougars about their annual triumphs in the Battle of the Palouse. 

Hill, a senior from Post Falls, will now be doing the crowing. 

 

Vandals victorious over Jackrabbits: The Morning After

When the clock ticked to under a minute remaining in the game, Idaho point guards Mike Scott and Perrion Callandret each buried 3-point shots to propel the Vandals to a Monday night 82-77 win over the visiting South Dakota State Jackrabbits. 

Callandret's 3-point make was the bigger shot. Idaho trailed 75-74 with 56 seconds remaining when the sophomore from Bothell, Wash. let the shot fly. Scott's came with 10 seconds remaining at the shot clock buzzer, essentially clinching Idaho's victory. 

I touch on the play in my game story from last night. 

Idaho improved to 2-0 on the season. The Vandals defeated NAIA opponent Eastern Oregon in the season opener. 

Callandret, Scott and Idaho coach Don Verlin touched on the topic of confidence, something Callandret sorely lacked in his freshman campaign last season. 

Read what they had to say after the jump. 

Palouse Cities Among USA Smartest

Ithaca, N.Y. is a relatively small college town, but one thing that might make up for its size is its brain power. That’s because Ithaca tops a new list from Lumosity that ranks U.S. cities by their raw cognitive performance. … Many of the cities and towns on the list, not surprisingly, are prominent “college towns.” Ithaca, N.Y., the top of the list, is home to both Cornell University and Ithaca College. State College, Penn. number two, is home to Penn State. Lafeyette, Ind., number three, is home to Purdue University/Sean Ludwig, VB Offbeat. More here.

DFO: Interestingly, Pullman, Wash., ranks No. 10 and Moscow, Idaho, ranks No. 29 on the Lumosity list.

Question: How would you rate your North Idaho city for smarts (on a scale of 1 to 10)?

Protesters Face Music After Megaloads

The last megaloads have reportedly passed through downtown here, leaving behind 11 misdemeanor court cases against people who protested shipment of infrastructure equipment to Canadian oil fields. Last to plead innocent to two allegations was Helen Yost (pictured), 54, of Moscow. Yost, spokeswoman for Wild Idaho Rising Tide and an organizer of the months-long protests, appeared in Latah County Court here Wednesday morning. She is charged with two misdemeanors for allegedly throwing a sign at a megaload and attempted battery of a Moscow police officer. She and two other demonstrators, Cass Davis, 47, and James Prall, 67, both of Moscow, have pretrial conferences set for April 3, according to court records/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Lewiston Tribune photo)

Question: Would you call the megaloads protest successful or not?

Ron Paul To Visit Moscow, Sandpoint

Ron Paul has tentatively placed Moscow back on his campaign trail ahead of Super Tuesday, seeking a larger venue after his first visit was to a shut-out crowd. According to an email from a campaign staffer, the Texas congressman plans to visit three Idaho cities Monday — Sandpoint at 11 a.m., Moscow at 2 p.m., and Idaho Falls at 7 p.m. Paul's staff is currently fleshing out a contract with the University of Idaho to use the Kibbie Dome, said Karen Calisterio, north Idaho regional director for the campaign/AP.

Question: How important are the results of the Washington (Saturday) and Idaho (Tuesday) caucuses to Ron Paul GOP presidential hopes?

Ron Paul Decries ‘War On Drugs’

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is decrying the “war on drugs” in a speech to supporters in Washington state. The Texas congressman told more than 1,000 people at a rally Thursday night in Vancouver, Wash., that Americans should be able to make their own decisions on such matters. Voters in Washington are likely to decide this year whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Paul was spending Thursday campaigning in Idaho and Washington and has rallies planned Friday in Richland and Spokane. He is expected to hit most of Washington's media markets before the state's nonbinding caucuses on March 3/Fox News. More here. (AP photo: Ron Paul waves to Twin Falls crowd Thursday)

Also: Ron Paul will rally in Moscow at 4 pm,” but those of you who are closer to Moscow should know that Paul’s appearance is at 4 pm in the Student Union Building Ballroom on the University of Idaho campus.

Question: What do you think about our decades-old “War on Drugs”?

Ron Paul To Visit Spokane Friday

GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul is tentatively scheduled for a rally Friday evening at the Spokane convention center, and is picking up endorsements in and around Spokane. State Rep. Matt Shea, Spokane County Treasurer Rob Chase, and Republican Central Committeemembers John Christina of Spokane and Karen Skoog of Elk all endorsed Paul, the campaign announced today. Many of those endorsements come as  no surprise. Chase, like Paul, was once a Libertarian candidate; he became active in the Paul campaign in 2008 and was part of the Texas congressman's delegation that helped shape the Spokane County GOP platform/Jim Camden, SR Spin Control. More here.

Question: Will Ron Paul draw bigger crowds in Spokane/Moscow/Boise/Twin Falls than Rick Santorum?

Farmers Market Mulls Dog Ban

The issue of whether dogs should sit and stay out of the Moscow Farmers Market and arguments about the First Amendment got mixed reviews from an advisory board on Monday. No decisions were made. The Farmers Market Advisory Board held a special meeting following a decision last week during a Moscow Administrative Committee meeting where the board's input was sought regarding prohibiting dogs at the market. City attorney Rand Fife also proposed an amendment to market policy that would require organizations to apply for space in Friendship Square. Though not included in this year's policies revised by the board, the issue of removing dogs from the market was brought by Councilor Wayne Krauss, said Fife, because of comments he received from the public regarding safety concerns/Brandon Macz, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here. (Bart Rayniak SR file photo of a golden retriever in 2010 Coeur d'Alene 4th of July parade)

Question: Do you get miffed when you see owners with dogs at a public event?

Moscow Welcomes Back WalMart

If the nearly full parking lot was any indication, Moscow couldn't wait to get its Walmart back. Hundreds of eager shoppers flooded into the remodeled store for its grand reopening Wednesday, and were able to pluck discounted products from its expanded departments and all-new grocery offerings. “It's a really nice store,” said Ginger Clem of Troy, who was casually pushing a shopping cart through the widened aisles with her husband Dennis. “They put back our material and craft stuff all the older people wanted.” Clem said she was disappointed after the old Moscow Walmart closed in 2010, and a new Walmart in Pullman opened without large bolts of fabric she needs for her sewing projects/Joel Mills, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you shop at a WalMart?

Letter Charges Moscow With Nepotism

City Supervisor Gary Riedner said Thursday an accusatory anonymous letter has been researched, rendered unfounded and will be the subject of no further action. The letter, distributed to Mayor Nancy Chaney, members of the city council and area media, made allegations of corrupt hiring practices, threats of firing and nepotism in both the city fire and police departments. “As a former volunteer firefighter, citizen and taxpayer of the city of Moscow, I feel this is an injustice to the firefighters for their safety and to the public for their safety and not getting the best candidate for the job,” the letter reads. “I have also heard of hiring problems within the police department in the past.' Riedner said he, City Attorney Randy Fife and other city officials looked into the allegations and found no truth to them/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune.

Question: How big of a problem do you think nepotism is in Idaho cities and counties?

Edit: Moscow Right To Decide To Play

In a Moscow-Pullman Daily News editorial, Lee Rozen applauds Moscow High's decision to play Coeur d'Alene High in a football game Friday: “As a parent, it's impossible not to be sympathetic. The Bears don't have a lot of extra players. If they hope to do well in postseason play, they'll need to keep their players healthy. Why not just forfeit this meaningless game? We salute the Moscow officials who made the decision announced yesterday to play the game. This is not a decision about football. It's a decision about education. Every one of us has faced or will face insurmountable, unfair, even overwhelming obstacles in our lives. There was or will be no opportunity to call a forfeit if we intend to keep on living. We'll be required to play through whatever pain or embarrassment is involved. We may be left with scars. Our children need to learn some of these lessons.” Full editorial here.

Question: Is it possible that Moscow High will do way better than they think against the Viks? Anyone recall how the saga of David & Goliath turned out?

Moscow Concerned About CdA Game

There had been talk in the Moscow community about the possibility of canceling or forfeiting the school's October 7th game against Coeur d’Alene.  KREM 2’s Chris Nguyen spoke with Moscow Principal Bob Celebrezze today. Celebrezze was adamant that a forfeit had not been discussed, but he did acknowledge that the school had some concerns about the game. He chose not to elaborate on what exactly those issues were, but said “we have been talking with Coeur d’ Alene administration about our concerns about the game, and that's all I can tell you”/Chris Nguyen, KREM. More here. (SR file photo — of Coeur d'Alene High coach Shawn Amos)

DFO: HucksOnline heard through the grapevine Thursday morning that Moscow is expected to tell Coeur d'Alene late this afternoon whether it'll play the game or not.

Question: Should the 5A schools in North Idaho try to reinstitute football games with bigger schools in the Spokane area?

Moscow Reluctant To Play Viks

Huckleberries hears — and sports scribe Greg Lee has confirmed — that 4A Moscow is trying to back out of its game at 5A Coeur d'Alene a week from tomorrow Friday. It was going to be CdA's homecoming game. Greg Lee is on the phone now to a Coeur d'Alene High source who sez several Moscow High players told their coach that they'd refuse to get on the bus for the Coeur d'Alene game. Lee tells HucksOnline that the entire team numbers 26 players. The Moscow coach has said he wants to play the game if he can field 11 players. Moscow hasn't given Coeur d'Alene a final answer yet. CdA is scrambling to find game. According to a HucksOnline source: “Moscow has said that they do not want to play CHS in the homecoming game at CHS. … Through the grapevine, I have heard that it is the moscow parents that don't want the kids playing against CHS, they don't want them getting beat up for the rest of the season.” Seems Moscow is wary of the Viks after Coeur d'Alene's 88-12 victory over host Sandpoint Friday.

‘Jeopardy!’ Run Over For Moscowan

Let's play a little “Jeopardy.” The category: Best kept secrets. The clue: In excess of $153,800. The answer in the form of a question: How much money did University of Idaho student Mark Runsvold ultimately make on America's favorite television game show? Prior to his fifth taped appearance on “Jeopardy” Thursday evening, Runsvold was still keeping a tight lip. “I believe it would be a breach of contract,” the 25-year-old international studies student said of disclosing his final winnings before the 7 p.m. show finished airing. … Runsvold lost in his fifth Jeopardy contest broadcast Thursday night, finishing in third place/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Lewiston Tribune photo: David Johnson)

Question: What could you do with $154,000 right now?

Carrier Delivers Papers w/o Pants

A Moscow area man has been arrested for allegedly delivering newspapers without wearing pants. Moscow Police responded to a report early Thursday morning that a pantsless man was walking in a trailer park on Almon Street. Officers found the suspect nearby inside a vehicle pulling his pants up. 30-year old Carlos Colon then reportedly admitted to officers that he sometimes goes naked from the waist down while on his newspaper route/Nicole Hensley, KXLY. More here.

Question: Have you had any problems with your newspaper carrier?

Henry: Moscow Hippies & Megaloads

About a month ago the city of Moscow hosted a public forum to discuss the potential of moving ExxonMobil's megaloads through Moscow on U.S. Highway 95. The meeting was preceded by a good old-fashioned protest, demonstrating the true size of a megaload and decrying what it will do to Moscow's precious trees. It has been a long time since Moscow's hippies have dug out their leather vests, put on their Birkenstocks and readjusted their graying ponytails in an effort to rally “the movement” against “the man.” There's something about a protest to get the blood pumping and, as the Berkeley of north Idaho, Moscow really knows how to throw one. Quite frankly, I've missed it/Henry Johnston, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Do you consider Moscow to be the “Berkeley of North Idaho”?

Parks sentenced to 40 years for killing pregnant wife

Silas Parks, seen at right in this July 1, 2009, file photo

MOSCOW, Idaho — A Moscow man received the maximum prison sentence Tuesday for killing his pregnant wife and setting their apartment on fire to cover the evidence.

Silas Parks was sentenced Tuesday in Latah County Superior Court to 40 years in prison for two counts of Voluntary Manslaughter. He will be eligible for parole after 20 years served. Posted at KREM.com More here.

Justice served?

Weed Grows Among The Weeds

A man probably wishes that he started weeding in his yard sooner. That’s after he told police that he discovered a tray of some 28 marijuana seedlings in an overgrown portion of the backyard near his Moscow home. The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reported the seedlings were between 2- and 4-inches tall already. Assistant Police Chief David Duke said his department has confiscated the plants and aims to destroy them. Duke said the man who lives at the property isn’t being considered a suspect/Associated Press.

Question: If you saw a marijuana plant growing in your yard, would you know what it was?

Moscow Recalls 2007 Sniper Shootings

(Moscow) Mayor Nancy Chaney said Tuesday memories of the sniper shootings in 2007 won’t go away, but Moscow is still a safe place. “Has life returned to normal for most people? Yes. But have we forgotten? Absolutely not,” she said. “I think newcomers to the area will see Moscow as a safe, friendly community and that’s unchanged, but there are some wounds that are still there.” Today is the three-year anniversary of an “ambush-style” attack committed by Jason Hamilton. He killed his wife, a church caretaker, Officer Lee Newbill and himself, and seriously injured Sgt. Brannon Jordan and a University of Idaho student/Kelsey Samuels, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Lewiston Tribune photo: Flowers adorn the area near the First Presbyterian Church at Moscow after the shooting in Moscow three years ago that left three dead.)

Question: Is your North Idaho community as safe today as it was 3 years ago?

Moscow Mulls Law Change For WalMart

Moscow city leaders are considering reversing a zoning ordinance created in 2005 to halt the expansion of Walmart into a super center. The new motive? Keep Walmart in town. As it stands, no building 65,000 square feet or larger may expand more than 10 percent of its current size or more than 10,000 square feet. The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold its second hearing Wednesday to consider removing the square-foot expansion restriction and allow 65,000 square foot buildings to expand within 30 percent of their size/Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Would you be fighting to save WalMart, if you sat on the Moscow City Council or P&Z commission?

Moscow: Transgenders Protected Now

Item: Moscow won’t alter discrimination policy: Majority of council says city already gives adequate protection to the transgendered/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune

More Info: City councilors here shot down a resolution Monday night to amend the city’s nondiscrimination employment policy to specifically prohibit discrimination based on gender expression, identity or characteristics. By a 5-1 vote, the majority of councilors agreed the city’s current policy already protects people from such discrimination.

Question: Did the Moscow City Council make the right decision by not specifically including transgender people in the city’s nondiscrimination policy?

Moscow Mulls Transgender Protection

Item: Moscow to consider added protections for transgendered people: Human rights commission member asks city to change its employment nondescrimination policy/Mark Williams, Moscow-Pullman Daily News/Mark Williams, Moscow-Pullman Daily News

More Info: Tim Gresback wants the city to provide more legal protection for transgendered people. The lawyer and Moscow Human Rights Commission member has asked the city to consider adding transgendered people as a specifically protected group in its employment nondiscrimination policy. Speaking before the city’s administrative committee Monday, Gresback said that the city’s current nondiscrimination policy provides protections based on age, race, religion and sexual orientation.

Question: Should Moscow include transgendered people in its current nondiscrimination policy that provides protections based on age, race, religion and sexual orientation.

Moscow Residents Pleased w/Town

Survey: Most Moscow residents are pleased with their town: City government, job opportunities and housing prices identified as areas to improve/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune

More Info: The survey, the fourth of its kind conducted by the city since 2002, solicited answers to questions from 1,200 randomly selected households. A total of 356 surveys were returned, for a response rate of 32 percent. “The vast majority of all residents (94 percent) rated the overall quality of life in Moscow as good or excellent,” according to the survey report. The percentage was two points higher compared to surveys taken in 2002, 2004 and 2008.

Question: Would you rate the quality of life in your Inland Northwest town as “good” or “excellent”?

Moscow May Put Teeth In Dog Laws

“Any (dog) within the city limits needs to be on a leash anytime they’re on public property,” Weaver said. “On private property, you would not need to have a leash. But the minute the dog sets foot on the sidewalk, they would.” Fife clarified that dogs may go off leash only on their owner’s private property. “If it’s someone else’s private property, they need to be on a leash.” It’s also illegal, said Fife, for a person to tie their dog and leave, such as some people do when they tether dogs to bike racks downtown or in front of grocery stores while shopping. “There has to be a person on the other end of the leash from the dog,” Fife said/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Should the owner of a dog that barks be charged with a misdemeanor rather than an infraction?