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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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MONDAY, APRIL 4, 2016

Herb Caen Wild Card -- 4.4.16 22 

No person in the media has influenced me more than a man I met only once, in 1993, at a National Newspaper Columnists convention in Portland, Ore. -- Herb Caen, the late star columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. I grew up reading his column and studying his style from old newpapers that my Aunt Beatrice collected for me.

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Parting Shot -- 4.4.16 

Major League Baseball launched Sunday. But the remainder of the games were scheduled today. Here, Cincinnati Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton catches a fly ball to center field by Philadelphia Phillies' Cedric Hunter in the ninth inning of their opening day game in Cincinnati today. Alas, Seattle lost its first opening day in 10 years today.

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Samuel gets 20 years for twin killings 

A 16-year-old Coeur d’Alene boy was sentenced to 20 years in adult prison on Monday for killing his 13-year-old autistic brother in a bloody attack inside a St. Vincent de Paul housing unit two years ago. Eldon Gale Samuel III was also sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing his father, an abusive alcoholic, which will be served concurrently.

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Pm Scanner Traffic -- 4.4.16

Scanner Traffic for Monday PM (18 items & counting + link to AM Scanner Traffic with 13 more items) includes possible evacuation of a school bus at I-90/9th Street overpass. Bus may have smoke coming from it.

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Blogos -- 4.4.16

The daily roundup of links from the HucksOnline blogosphere includes: The abortion swamp/Fort Boise, The bar gets lower/Simple Mind, Your weekly (pub) planner/On Tap, Here comes Boss Moyle/Better Idaho, State primary reflections/Randy Stapilus, Kickin' back and lovin' spring/Slight Detour, and Bottles of urine found behind wall/The Slice ...

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Malloy: IFF's silly 'freedom index' 

If you want to know how extreme Idaho Freedom Foundation has become, all you have to do is look at its annual "Freedom Index." 51 of 105 lawmakers in one of the most conservative legislatures in the country received grades of F. Chuck Malloy of Idaho Politics Weekly analyzes the "Freedom Index" in this week's column.

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Alaska Airlines planes wait for takeoff, Monday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. Alaska Airlines parent company announced Monday that it will pay $2.6 billion to buy the Richard Branson-inspired, California-based Virgin America. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Alaska Airlines buys competitor 

Alaska Air Group, parent company of Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, agreed Sunday to purchase San Francisco-based carrier Virgin America for approximately $2.6 billion. If the deal survives regulatory scrutiny, it will make Alaska Airlines a much bigger player, adding Virgin America’s 60 Airbus A320 jets to Alaska’s mainline fleet of 147 Boeing 737s

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Otter, GOPoohbahs go after Wasden 13 

Do you wonder why Idaho Republican legislators waste so much of our taxpayer dollars pursuing unconstitutional laws that they pass? They want Republican AG Lawrence Wasden to be a yes man for their efforts. And he refuses to be. Now, Gov. Butch Otter has joined his legislative counterparts in trying to reign Wasden in.

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Enviros fight Montana mine approval 

Environmentalists are challenging U.S. Forest Service approval of a $500 million copper and silver mine in northwest Montana, citing concerns from state officials that it could drain surrounding waterways and potentially harm a species of trout protected under federal law.

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Anti-refugee petitions falling short 

A measure to ban refugee centers in Twin Falls County may not have enough signatures to get on the ballot. Rick Martin, the head of the Committee to End the CSI Refugee Center and the main organizer of the initiative effort, spent the weekend gathering signature sheets and stopped at the county clerk’s office early Monday morning to drop them off.

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Workers rally outside the Ronald Reagan State Building in Los Angeles after California's Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill creating highest statewide minimum wage at $15 an hour by 2022 in Los Angeles, Monday, April 4, 2016. California and New York acted Monday to gradually push their statewide minimum wages to $15 an hour, the highest level in the nation. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

California minimum wage to reach $15 59 

California and New York are about to get a raise. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law a measure Monday that will hike the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2023 — making the Golden State the second in the nation to raise its wage floor that high.

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Poll: IFF losing influence

In the weekend poll, a plurality of Hucks Nation said Wayne Hoffman's uber-conservative Idaho Freedom Foundation is losing its influence. Only 12.75% considers IFF to be "very influential." Today's Poll: Today's Poll: California Gov. Brown has signed a minimum wage of $15/hour into law (by 2023). Is that too much?

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In this Jan. 6, 2016 file photo, Harney County Sheriff David Ward arrives at a community meeting at the Harney County fairgrounds in Burns, Oregon. Ward, whose jurisdiction includes the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, cooperated with federal and state police during the siege at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. In the next county to the north his counterpart, a member of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, questioned the FBI’s authority. (Rick Bowmer / AP)

Constitutional sheriff's group revealed 21 

Nicholas Geranios/AP reports that the Malheur Wildlife Refuge standoff shined a spotlight on the Constitutional Sheriff movement, founded by "Sheriff" Richard Mack. Why is it important to know about this movement. The 2 challengers to Sheriff Ben Wolfinger (Republican John Green & "Democrat" Tina Kunishige) are followers of the movement.

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US Bank robbery suspect caught

The Spokane Valley Police Department arrested Robert Earl Mackey Jr., 39, on a charge that he robbed the US Bank in downtown Coeur d'Alene Monday afternoon, March 28. Mackey was spotted by an off-duty officer from Coeur d'Alene, who contacted the Spokane Valley Police Department.

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Jennifer Drake (left), with husband, Ben, and Sara Meyer are shown protesting the launch of the unsuccesful 2012 recall effort against then mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members. The two women later would be instrumental in stopping the effort that divided the city of Coeur d'Alene.

Redux: Souza & Co launch recall try 

On this day in 2012, Mary Souza & Co. launched a recall effort against then mayor Sandi Bloem & councilors Woody McEvers, Deanna Goodlander & Mike Kennedy. Mary failed to get the signatures needed to put her wrong-headed effort that tore up the city on the ballot. Below, you'll see the mini-editorial I wrote on April 4, denouncing the recall try.

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District 3: Cheatham v Riggs 

Brent Regan's wing of the local GOP must be concerned with the candidacy of Peter Riggs. Regan, Kathy Sims & District 4 candidate Pat Macomber asked several questions from the Panhandle Pachyderm Club audience Friday. Seems Regan wasn't happy with the tightening of urban renewal laws this year & wanted to know what more the candidates will do.

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Republicans gather for Lincoln Day 35 

Hayden resident Jennifer Locke belted out a rendition of "God Bless the U.S.A." as more than 350 guests began their meal at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner on Saturday evening. The guests filled a conference room of The Coeur d'Alene Resort, where the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee hosted the dinner and fundraiser.

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Trib: Dr. Otter remains in denial 10 

In a Lewiston Tribune edit, Marty Trillhaase writes: "Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter must think he knows more about medicine than the people who actually went to medical school. Because the people who practice medicine in the Gem State fear he's just condemned 78,000 Idahoans who can't afford private health insurance to more misery and even death."

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Post Falls Police Officer Pat Eismann cited a woman for shoplifting at the Post Falls Wal-Mart the Friday before Easter. But the woman’s situation -- shoplifting food for her four young children, who were with her in the store -- made him want to do something for the children, he said. He bought Easter baskets for the three oldest children. (Dan Pelle/SR)

An officer's kindness resonates 

Post Falls police Officer Pat Eismann often deals with shoplifters in the course of his job, so when a call came in from Wal-Mart on Mullan Avenue the Friday before Easter, it seemed routine. It turned out the shoplifter sitting in the store’s office was unlike any he’d encountered before.

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Allison Tenold, a former Spokane resident now living in Hollywood, photographed Patty Duke's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame recently. She sent it to Huckleberries over the weekend.

Huckleberries & Patty through the years

Patty Duke’s name has appeared in this column many times since Sept. 26, 1994, when I mentioned that I’d bought her album (featuring 1965 hit single “Don’t Just Stand There”) at a garage sale. For 50 cents. She later autographed that copy. You'll find a smattering of the mentions of Patty Duke in Huckleberries below.

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Idaho targets texting while driving 

Idaho this month is joining Washington in organizing emphasis patrols to target people who text while driving, and other forms of distracted driving. Law enforcement officers in the Gem State started their emphasis patrol on Friday and will continue to be on the lookout for distracted drivers through April 11.

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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.