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7 Miners Survive Rock Burst

Three miners remained in North Idaho hospitals this morning after a rock burst at the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan injured seven miners Wednesday night. It was the third accident at the mine this year. Two miners died in the other incidents. Seven miners Wednesday night were transported by air and ambulance to area hospitals, according to the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office. Six were taken to Shoshone Medical Center, where two were held overnight for observation, a nursing supervisor said. Injuries were mostly cuts and bruises. A seventh miner was taken to Kootenai Medical Center and was listed in fair condition there this morning/Spokesman-Review. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Izzit it just me … or does the Lucky Friday Mine seem like a dangerous place to work?

Traffic lights out south of I-90 on Argonne, Mullan

There's been a lot of chatter on the scanner in the last few minutes about traffic lights being out on Argonne and Mullan south of I-90. It looks lke the lights at the Argonne freeway on and off ramps are also out. I can't tell if there's a backup on the freeway or not because the DOT cameras are also out. Everyone be careful out there.

1:22 p.m. update: The DOT traffic cameras are back up, but I'm not sure about the stop lights. It doesn't look like traffic is backed up on the freeway, though.

Work Resumes At Lucky Friday Mine

The Lucky Friday Mine is back in operation, Hecla Mining Co. officials said today.  The underground silver mine near Mullan was closed for nearly two weeks following a fatal accident at the mine. Larry “Pete” Marek, 53, was killed in a roof fall at the mine. The accident is under investigation by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration/Becky Kramer, SR.

Question: Have you ever been in a mine? And/or: Could you go back underground after the tragedy at the Lucky Friday Mine earlier this month?

Otter Cancels Mullan ‘Capital For Day’

Mike Perry/KHQ tweet: Otter hasn't contacted miner's family yet, and doesn't plan on visiting mine. Doesn't want his presence to impose on the rescue effort.

Gov. Butch Otter has issued this statement: “In light of the recent accident and continuing rescue efforts under way at the Lucky Friday mine, out of respect for the community and in consultation with the City of Mullan and Hecla Mining Co., the Governor is postponing his scheduled April 27th Capital for a Day in Mullan. We hope to reschedule it in May at a date to be determined”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Question: Should Butch Otter visit mine to see the rescue effort firsthand?

Missing Lucky Friday Miner Identified

Lucky Friday miner, Brad Sala, of Mullan holds his 8 month-old-son Cael Sala during the press conference at Mullan City Hall today. One miner is still trapped in the mine after a cave in. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Community members and media accounts have confirmed the identity of the miner trapped more than a mile underground at the Lucky Friday Mine. Larry “Pete” Marek, a longtime Silver Valley miner, has been the subject of an intense rescue effort since a collapse at the mine Friday evening. Company officials continued to call their efforts a rescue operation nearly 24 hours after the roof of a tunnel where the miner was extracting silver-bearing ore collapsed.“We’re doing everything we can to reach the employee,” said Phillips Baker, Hecla’s chief executive officer. “Our current focus in 100 percent on the rescue of the employee and to ensure the safety of the rescue team”/Becky Kramer & John Stucke, SR. More here.

Update: Special digging machine arrives in Mullan to aid search for missing miner/Spokesman-Review

Snowmobile parking changes at Lookout Pass

WINTER SPORTS — A new additional parking area has been designated for snowmobilers heading out to ride areas near Lookout Pass and Mullan, Idaho, the Idaho Panhandle National Forests announced today.

 
The new parking area is along Mullan Road, behind the fish hatchery, approximately three miles east of Mullan.
 
The parking lot was made possible through the efforts of the Shoshone County Sportsman Association and was funded through a grant provided by the North Idaho Resource Advisory Committee.
 
The new location supplements parking that is available at Lookout Pass area and Shoshone Pavilions Park (Pottsville). It includes parking for large trailers, restrooms, picnic tables, a fire pit and a warming hut.
 
The new parking area is intended to provide better access to local trails, reduce congestion in the Lookout Pass area, and to provide a safer location for snowmobile riders hauling large trailers now that trailers longer than 16 feet are no longer permitted at the Lookout Pass Ski area.
 
Read on for detailed directions.