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Wednesday, August 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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MONDAY, DEC. 21, 2015

Wild Card/Monday -- 12.21.15 

My extended North Idaho family grew by two more members over the weekend -- to 16 -- as niece Hannah McFall and her husband, John, both military veterans who have served tours of duty in the Middle East, moved from Colorado to Sandpoint.

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Parting Shot -- 12.21.15 

Robert Ray, right, of Granite Falls, Wash., puts up a "Festivus Pole" supporting gay rights as his family looks on Monday at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. The pole, based on a fictional holiday depicted in the popular 1990s television sitcom "Seinfeld," displayed in Olympia near a biblical nativity scene and a winter solstice display.

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Avista raising Idaho rates 11 

Avista Utilities’ Idaho customers will pay more for natural gas and electricity, effective Jan. 1. Under the rate increase, a typical household will pay an extra $3.20 per month for natural gas, for a revised monthly bill of $54.48. The 6.2 percent rate hike includes...

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PM Scanner Traffic -- 12.21.15

Scanner Traffic for Monday PM (18 items & counting + link to AM Scanner Traffic with 18 more items) includes several slideoffs and crashes as afternoon turns into evening. A semi is jackknifed @ w/b I-90/MP 30, blocking all lanes of 4th of July Pass.

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Sandpoint quakes point to old fault

A swarm of earthquakes near Sandpoint last April indicates that an ancient fault is active again, a University of Idaho researcher says. The quakes, widely felt in Bonner County, struck April 23 and 24 with magnitudes in the 4.1 to 4.2 range. They were larger than other recent quakes, which allowed scientists to study them in greater detail.

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Cutline Contest -- Time2Vote 20 

The Cutline Contest today features reactions from Miss Universe contestants after the announcer mistakenly identified Miss Colombia as the winner when Miss Philippines actually won. Weekend Winner -- HFHayden.

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HucksOnline Blogos -- 12.21.15 

The daily roundup of post from Huckleberries Online blog roll includes: Commanded/David Bond, Weather whether/Bay Views, Feel good movies/Faithful Geek, Campaign finance de-form/Fort Boise, Christmas is hard this year/Simple Mind, Playoffs loom for once-dead Seahawks/Grip & Friday's openings: Beware the witches/7 Blog + more ...

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Medicaid gap squeezes students, too 

Amir Piranfar is among the next generation of health care providers — a third-year doctoral pharmacy student at the Meridian campus of Idaho State University. But as he planned for his spring semester, the future of his career hinged on taking out student loans to pay for health insurance that is required to attend a public university.

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NYTimes questions Labrador claims 

In the New York Times First Draft newsletter, Jennifer Steinhauer shines a spotlight on claims that Congressman Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, has made in a fund-raising letter: "It seems Representative Raúl R. Labrador has a considerable view of his singular ability to oust a speaker, tame federal spending and decapitate special interests."

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Idaho state Rep. Luke Malek speaks to a group of nearly 50 about the current issues in the House during a pre-legislative session send-off at Coeur d’Alene Fire Department Station 3 on Wednesday evening. (Shawn Gust / Coeur d'Alene Press)

Carlson: Malek does it correctly 19 

Chris Carlson of the Carlson Chronicle writes that a recent townhall meeting in Coeur d'Alene, conducted by state Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d'Alene, restored his faith in democracy: "Malek has many admirable traits but in particular his candor stands out," said Carlson.

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Bob Colonna, Silver Valley activist, RIP 

Bob Colonna, 79, who left his native San Francisco to advocate for affected children and families of the Bunker Hill Superfund site, has died in Watsonville, Calif., according to Barbara White of the Silver Valley Community Resource Center.

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Warming center open through Xmas 

The St Vincent de Paul North Idaho Warming Center is going to reopen this evening through Christmas evening on Friday. Future nights will be extended as extreme cold persists. The Post Falls Shelter is located at 202 W. 7th St. in Post Falls, behind the Post Falls St Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, in the Kamps Apartment basement.

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Waterfront wonderland

On North Idaho Life, photographer Keith Boe, of Post Falls, posted this photo showing Mudgy & Millie at their Independence Point hangout with the Coeur d'Alene Resort and lake in the background.

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Poll: Syrian refugees divide Idaho 32 

Here is an oddity for you – Idaho Christians don’t want to accept Syrian refugees while Idahoans with no religion wish to take the Christian route of welcoming refugees, many of whom are fleeing for their lives, a new Idaho Politics Weekly poll finds.

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Neighbors glad Morris' display over 

Nick Beber of KREM 2 reports: "Sunday was the last day for the controversial Christmas Light display in Hayden, Idaho. Some neighbors said they are thankful it is over. 'I wish Jeremy a lot of luck, but please do this in another area,' said neighbor Dolly Musante."

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AM Headlines -- 12.21.15

The daily roundup of of AM Headlines making the news includes a winter storm warning being in effect to 4 a.m. Tuesday. Weather forecasters are predicting up to 8 inches of snow. Also: Lakeland High principal to retire/Press, Three North Idaho road projects make cut/SR, Education shapes up as top Legislature issue/Press + more ...

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Poll: Most have seen all 6 'Star Wars' 

In the Weekend Poll, a significant minority of Hucks Nation said it has seen all six "Star Wars" movies prior to "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." 87 of 226 respondents to the Weekend Poll (38.5%) said they have seen all six "Star Wars" movies. Today's Poll:

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Resorts gear for good ski season

Last winter was one for the record books on Northwest ski slopes. It was as bad as it gets, with little snow and a short operating season. But as in roulette, the result of the last spin has no bearing on the next. Ski area managers aren’t dwelling on last year, and they don’t want customers to worry about a repeat performance this winter.

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Trib: Labrador prefers obstructing 

Idaho has two conservative Republican congressmen -- one that governs effectively through the prism of his conservative politics and the other who simply prefers to obstruct. So says Opinion Editor Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune. It isn't hard to guess which Idaho representative does which.

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GOP PAC forms to attack Otter PAC 11 

Bonneville County’s Republican Central Committee has voted to “denounce” Idaho Gov. Butch Otter for forming a PAC to raise funds and donate to Idaho campaigns, the Idaho Falls Post Register reports. The effort is being led by county GOP Chairman Doyle Beck. (Question: Trouble in GOP paradise.)

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Bob Conrad adjusts his Santa Claus hat and beard in the bathroom mirror, Dec. 9, 2015, at his Spokane Valley home. Conrad played Santa at the Crescent Building in the 1990s. (Dan Pelle/SR)

83YO still believes in Santa Claus

Bob Conrad, 83, has never stopped believing in Santa Claus. As a little boy, he first glimpsed the jolly old elf in the Crescent department store window. “We used to go downtown to see the Crescent window display,” he said. “And there was Santa! Right in the window!” Now, Conrad owns collection of Santas fills his Spokane Valley home.

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Hagadone suspends tower plan 75 

A planned 12-story addition to The Coeur d’Alene Resort has been indefinitely suspended. City officials and companies that worked on the project were notified Friday. According to Hagadone Hospitality officials, negative feedback from the city’s Design Review Commission on Thursday encouraged the company to hold off on the project.

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Sims tilts wrong windmills again 

DFO's Sunday Huckleberries column launches with state Rep. Kathy Sims agreeing with the statement of another legislator on the urban renewal task force that libraries aren't economic development tools. Sims and her sidekick question whether urban renewal money should be used to build libraries because, she says, anyone w/a computer has a library.

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.