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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 23, 2015

Hump Day Wild Card -- 12.23.15 11 

This will be the last day we'll be together until Monday, Jan. 4. I'm taking my usual Christmas break to hang out with family and friends until after the New Year. Unlike previous years, the paper is shutting comments at and the blogs down at 8 a.m. Thursday, Christmas Eve Day, until 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 28, when Super Sub Cindy takes over.

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Parting Shot -- 12.23.15 

A snowshoer changes socks and shoes before starting out on a trek in freshly-fallen snow at Snoqualmie Pass, Wash., this week. A weather pattern that could be associated with El Nino has turned winter upside-down across the U.S. during a week of heavy holiday travel.

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Another year winds down 

I have a few thoughts to share with you in this post as I shut things down on another record year at HucksOnline. Below, you'll find out why I'm looking forward to another year on the blog. Meanwhile, I'll be off from tomorrow, Christmas Eve Day until Jan. 4. Cindy will sub next Monday through Wednesday. Brace yourself for cat photos.

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Poll: Let it snow 

A near supermajority of Hucks Nation prefers a white Christmas (28.96%) or is happy that it's snowing because "We need all the snow we can get" (34.39%) after the last two dry winters that led to summer fires across the panhandle.

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Kristen Ward prepares the batter for her crepes the night before her Christmas breakfast. (Adriana Janovich / Spokesman-Review)

A crepe to start Xmas right

Thin and versatile, crepes give the gift of a blank canvas for Christmas morning breakfast or brunch. They make for quite a hearty meal, especially if you treat yourself to two: one savory and one sweet. The SR's Adriana Janovich entices us with a report about crepes that she says make a good surprise gift on Christmas morning.

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A buck looks over the fence Friday at a half-acre in Dalton Gardens where a community-supported agriculture project is taking shape. The abundance of deer is a hazard of gardening in North Idaho. (Jesse Tinsley/SR file photo)

Dalton Gardens may sterilize deer 

They've tried trapping and removing the menacing deer. That didn't work. Neither did an effort to get everyone in the Coeur d'Alene-area bedroom community to stop luring the deer and adding to the problem. The next plan? Birth control for town-tamed whitetails.

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Vestal: Count blessings & be happier

Columnist Shawn Vestal of the SR admits that he was short on patience after Wind Storm 2015 knocked out his power for a few days. But the experience, he said, made him appreciate what he had -- and what many others don't. His advice? Count your blessings and be healthier and happier.

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Linda Lantzy, of Idaho Scenic Images, shot this Coeur d'Alene scene recently.

HucksOnline Blogos -- 12.23.15

The daily roundup of posts from Huckleberries Online blog roll includes: First Take: "Star Wars"/Randy Stapilus, Game Day for Gonzaga, Lions/SportsLink, Spend some money on 'The Big Short'/7 Blog, Dalton Gardens eyes birth control for deer/Outdoors, 2015 hunter report due in Washington, Idaho/Outdoors + more ...

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PSA: Beware of traffic light outages 

Coeur d'Alene police are warning motorists that power outages all over town are affecting traffic lights. Caution: " If you approach an intersection with lights that are not working normally, please treat it like an uncontrolled intersection, meaning that it becomes a 4-way stop." You've been warned.

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Whither goeth Zags in 2015-16? 

Gonzaga head coach Mark Few and staff, including Donny Daniels, Brian Michaelson and Tommy Lloyd, take the serious approach while the players celebrate a 3-point shot against Pepperdine, Monday, in Spokane. Gonzaga opened WCC play with an easy 99-73 win over Pepperdine. How do you think the Zags will fare this year?

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Snowfall to ease as holiday arrives

Snowfall amounts are expected to begin diminishing through the day Wednesday in the Spokane region, but moderate snow will continue in North Idaho and the Palouse region through Wednesday night. One more inch of snow is expected in Spokane from the current storm and up to another inch of snow could fall overnight.

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Chuck Norlin, 74, a retiree from Yuba City, Calif., sits on a borrowed beach chair while recounting his tale of moving woe to the Coeur d'Alene Press. (Shawn Gust / Coeur d'Alene Press)

Ex-Californians lose all in move, trolls mock them 20 

In today's edition, the Coeur d'Alene Press reported on a harrowing move by a retired California couple, who lost all their positions in a crash in an Oregon snow storm. Adding insult to injury, some trolls at the Coeur d'Alene Press Online site are giving them heck for being Golden Staters who moved to our lovely neck of the woods.

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ISP: Steer clear of 4th of July Pass 

The Idaho State Police is advising that travel is very dangerous on Interstate 90 and State Hwy 3 in the 4th of July area. With the heavy amount of snow accumulations and more snow falling, trees are overloaded and falling onto road ways.

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Colin's favorite 2015 photos

SR photog Colin Mulvany has selected a number of his favorite 2015 photos for a year-end review, including this one showing a group of friends from Davenport, Wash., who were planning to see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." You can see all of Colin's favorite photos from 2015 below.

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Christmas all about miracles 

In her SR Front Porch column this week, Cindy begins: "Christmas is all about miracles – about the unexpected showing up in the middle of the ordinary." The falling snow this Christmas reminds her of a December 16 years ago when she experience her own miracle.

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Miri Halliday of Post Falls, plays with her dog, Dozer at the SCRAPS Dog Park in Stateline on Monday. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

AM Headlines -- 12.23.15

The morning roundup of AM Headlines making the news includes: Local jobless rate drops slightly/Pres,Idaho suicide hotline gets $300K grant/EOB,Drones must be registered by Feb. 19/Press,Cataldo fire claims family's house, goods/Press,Good deed goes bad for Pinehurst brothers/KREM,Couple loses possessions in moving mishap/Press + more ...

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Windstorm 2015 disaster aid available 

News release from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Region X news desk: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Idaho to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in…

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Judge tosses elk poacher in slammer 11 

A north-central Idaho magistrate went beyond the sentencing recommendations of the prosecutor and defense when he tossed a 19YO Culdesac man in jail for poaching a 5-by-6 bull elk out of season. (DFO: Props for Magistrate Gregory K. Kalbfleisch for throwing the book at the low-life poacher. Thoughts?)

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Mosque kitchen fire rattles Pullman

The terrorists are a long way from winning their war on the West, editorializes Lee Rozen of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. But they have us spooked. As evidence, Rozen points to a small kitchen fire in the Pullman Islamic Center that resulted in a four-alarm response from the fire and police departments and even the newspaper.

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Trib: Otter's Jedi mind trick

In his editorial this morning in the Lewiston Tribune, Opinion Editor Marty Trillhaase comments: Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter just employed the best Jedi mind trick since Obi-wan Kenobi distracted a pair of stormtroopers in the 1977 film "Star Wars" by telling them "These are not the droids you're looking for." Marty's discussing Butch's new PAC.

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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.