The novel H1N1 influenza virus, first called swine flu, seized the public’s attention in early May. Here in the Inland Northwest, a Kootenai County woman was Idaho’s first confirmed case, and residents immediately flocked to local stores for protective facemasks and hand sanitizer. Some people stocked up on food and water so they could stay home if the virus permeated the area. Spokane’s first cases were a father and child, and parents feared the virus would spread. They worried about their children and the possibility schools would close, as they had in many states to prevent spread of the virus. Families panic-planned what to do with their kids if schools closed for an extended time but their workplaces remained open.
It's no picnic traveling through life with malfunctioning ears. John Centa knows. For more than half a century, Centa has strained to hear his friends' jokes, theater productions, even his church pastor. But Centa, 88, is not a man to struggle needlessly. He found plenty of devices to help him hear, and for the past 25 years he's tried his best to spread the word about helpful technology to the hearing-impaired population. But, to his frustration, many people in that group aren't listening.
The ballpoint pens and lists of scribbled names that Tony Stewart collected over 35 years may seem like worthless mementos to some. But those items are part of a priceless collection that could serve as the foundation for human rights task forces everywhere. "I have an incredible amount of materials, and I'm the only one who has them," Stewart says. "Recording history is so important. So many things happen that are of significance that are totally lost."
Sarah Knott tried to ignore the security fencing surrounding Kootenai County's Juvenile Detention Center as she headed to her first meeting with Julie. Julie, 16, was a juvenile offender, a drug abuser. As a juvenile, her identity is protected by the judicial system. "It was a great place to begin our relationship," Knott says, thinking back to that first meeting about two years ago. "She was very vulnerable at the time, away from her family, broken, no access to the coping tools she'd normally use." Knott, then 25, was Julie's lifeline. Knott was a volunteer mentor with Juvenile Probation. It was her job to befriend Julie and serve as a role model and a trusted adult. Knott had no intention of grilling Julie about the crimes that had landed her in detention.
Emily Evans wants the man who hit her head-on with his car July 2 to know that he nearly left her two children orphans. "He took my entire summer away from me with my kids," said Evans, a 27-year-old single mother in Post Falls. "I couldn't walk, cook for myself. It upsets me that someone could be that stupid to drink and get behind the wheel of a car."
BONNERS FERRY, Idaho – So many patients flock to Boundary Community Health Center for medical care that the federally funded clinic is bursting at the seams. "We are tripping over each other at this point," Andrew Bolton, center executive director, said Wednesday. "We would serve more people now, but the physical facility is too limited."
Advocates of safer child care are doing some more groundwork before they return to the Legislature in 2006 with their second plea for statewide licensing of child-care businesses. The Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children has distributed an electronic survey statewide to learn what residents believe is important in child care.
Patients at Kootenai Medical Center are getting more specialized care since the hospital opened its Heart Center nearly two years ago. Job opportunities are the result. The hospital needs respiratory therapists and needs them soon, said Mike Blee, KMC's director of cardio-pulmonary services. He's seeking applicants now for four new respiratory therapist positions.