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Live fire training Saturday

Residents near Spokane County Fire District 8 Station 82 on the Palouse Highway in Valleyford shouldn't be alarmed if they see smoke rising into the air tomorrow. The district will be doing some live fire training at the station Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. Firefighters from the Department of Natural Resources and the Bureau of Land Management will also be participating.

Wildland fire training without the fire

Firefighter Tom Carleton of Spokane Valley’s Ladder 10 walks through a charred hillside during a wildland fire training session in June 2012 in Spokane Valley. SR file photo.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department will do wildland fire training this week at the same location where they trained last year, but this time they won't be practicing putting out a fire. Instead they'll be digging fire lines and practicing fire shelter deployment, hose lays and truck operations.

Residents near the hill that is north of Wellesley Ave. and east of Argonne Road should expect to see a lot of firefighters coming and going, but there won't be any smoke or flames to deal with. The training is expected to run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Don’t worry about the smoke

If you see smoke in the hills just northwest of the Hutton Settlement in Spokane Valley, don't worry about it. The Spokane Valley Fire Department is doing wildland fire training there through Friday. They are practicing lighting back fires, creating fire lines and putting fires out. The problem when I was up there this morning, however, is that everything was so damp from yesterday's rain that the back fires wouldn't stay lit. But things will dry out of the next couple of days, so there will be more smoke visible during the day.

King Co. sheriff will lead state training

SEATTLE (AP) — The King County sheriff says she has accepted a new job as director of the Washington state Criminal Justice Training Commission.

Sue Rahr said Wednesday she'll retire as sheriff March 31 and begin her new job April 1.

She has designated Chief Deputy Steve Strachan as interim sheriff. He'll hold that position until the King County Council either decides to confirm him as interim sheriff or names someone else to the job.

Rahr was more than halfway through her second term, which expires in 2013.

She called the commission job “a rare and unexpected opportunity” and says she has complete confidence in Strachan.

The Criminal Justice Training Commission oversees the state's police training center in the Seattle suburb of Burien, where all police officers except state troopers undergo basic training. It also sets statewide training standards for peace officers.

German police officer trains with SPD

A police cadet from Germany recently spent four weeks training with the Spokane Police Department.

Jens Muth spent time with various units, including the SWAT team, drug unit and gang unit. Muth rode with officers during each patrol shift and also trained with the K-9 unit.

Muth's relationship with the department began four years ago when he was visiting friends in Spokane. He rode along with Officer Rob Boothe and stayed in contact with him.

Muth began his law enforcement career as a government attendant (wachpolizei) in 2002, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, SPD spokeswoman. By 2008, Muth was studying to become a police public official (kriminal kommissar). He was required to undergo three training sessions.

After learning basic skills, he was invited to spend four weeks with a police department in another country, so he contacted Boothe.  Assistant Chief Jim Nicks approved the internship, which began Jan. 22 and saw Muth live with a Spokane police employee's family.

Muth returned to Hessian, Germany, on Sunday after a “fantastic experience” in Spokane, DeRuwe said.

Sheriff’s Office stands by training

Facing the muzzle of a gun, a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy said he had one immediate thought: death.

Ryan Walter squeezed off eight rounds at the gunman, Donald J. Lafavor. His partner, Deputy Rustin Olson, fired three.

Lafavor survived the gunshot wounds and faces two counts of second-degree assault for allegedly pointing the gun at the deputies, who had responded to a domestic violence report at Lafavor’s Broadway Avenue apartment last November.

Afterward, Walter summarized his relief in an interview with investigators: “I’m glad we have good training.”

That training now is under scrutiny after four officer-involved shootings in the past 2  1/2 months in Spokane County. In three, sheriff’s deputies pulled the trigger.

Read my Sunday story here.

North Idaho College receives federal funds to train new health workers

North Idaho College has landed a $625,000 grant to train 300 health information technology professionals statewide.

The funds are part of a $6.2 million grant awarded to eight community colleges in a 10-state region. The colleges will be responsible for training 2,400 students over a two-year period, a news release from NIC said.

This is “an unprecedented multistate effort to train students in an emerging high-growth employment sector,” said Jack Purdie, NIC grants coordinator.

Fair housing training offered in Coeur d’Alene, Sandpoint

Two free fair housing trainings will be offered in April in Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint.

The trainings, sponsored by the Disability Action Center-NW, Intermountain Fair Housing Council and the city of Coeur d’Alene, will cover fair housing basics, disability rights and responsibilities, reasonable accommodations and legal issues.

The Sandpoint training will be held April 8 from 9 a.m. to noon at the East Bonner County Library District, 1407 W. Cedar Street. The Coeur d’Alene training will be held April 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Coeur d’Alene Library’s community room, 702 E. Front Ave.

 

Road-smart Pigs

A farmer living in Taiwan stumbled across a dozen piglets several months ago, and has kept them and trained them.
The pigs, all less than a year old, fall into line whenever Lee Tung-cheng lets them out of his rural Pingtung county yard and starts up his scooter. They go out together almost every day and know the rules of the road, he told Reuters on Wednesday.
Supposedly they all behave rather well and are highly intelligent.

All I can say is… weird.

What’s the weirdest animal you’ve ever had as a pet? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever trained one of your pets to do?