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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

James Hagengruber

This individual is no longer an employee with The Spokesman-Review.

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News >  Idaho

Game gone wild

It's not only big city transplants who have discovered the charms of Coeur d'Alene living. A growing number of deer, turkeys, moose, geese and even elk are being spotted in residential neighborhoods. They nibble on tulips, snooze on velvety carpets of bluegrass and have become major annoyances to the region's equally booming people population.
News >  Idaho

Beetles creep across region’s forests

The drought seems to be over, but Inland Northwest forests continue to endure lingering insect and disease epidemics prompted by the dry years, according to recent surveys conducted by the U.S. Forest Service and state forest management agencies. In Montana and North Idaho, forests are experiencing the biggest mountain pine beetle infestation in 20 years, with nearly 1.1 million acres under attack in 2005, compared with 675,000 acres the year before, according to the latest aerial survey.
News >  Idaho

Craig against land sale

A Bush administration proposal to sell 300,000 acres of national forest appears to have hit a dead end. Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, whose Senate subcommittee would have to approve the idea, announced Tuesday that he opposes the sale, which includes 26,000 acres in Idaho and 7,500 acres of public land in Washington.

News >  Idaho

CdA takes a walk on the green side

Starting a parade from scratch is something of an act of faith. But organizers of Coeur d'Alene's first St. Patrick's Day Parade are counting on the luck of the you-know-who. "It's been a little nerve-racking, yes," admitted Ilene Moss, owner of the downtown shop All Things Irish and parade organizer. "We realize it's the first year, but people are very excited."
News >  Idaho

Snow to power electricity glut

There's power in them thar hills. With snowpack back to normal, a surplus of river-generated electricity is now being predicted for the region, according to estimates released Wednesday by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.
News >  Idaho

Wilderness proposal gets county support

Momentum appears to be building for North Idaho's first federally designated wilderness area in the Scotchman Peaks east of Sandpoint. Buried in a letter sent to the Idaho governor earlier this year was an unprecedented two-sentence statement from the Bonner County commission expressing support for the idea. "Its steep slopes, remote valleys, grizzly bear habitat and possession of the highest point in Bonner County all support its inclusion as wilderness," stated the letter signed by the county's three Republican commissioners.
News >  Spokane

Loon’s death felt beyond Ferry Lake

He was found in October, floating lifeless in a shallow Puget Sound cove near the Hood Canal Bridge. On his right leg was a metal band stamped with the numbers 93803474. Known as "Ferry Lake male," the loon and his mate were among the most prolific breeders of only a dozen remaining pairs in the state.
News >  Idaho

Nursing the whitebark

The picture is increasingly bleak for the Inland Northwest's last remaining stands of whitebark pine. The tree, a critical food source for everything from birds to grizzly bears, has quietly and dramatically disappeared from the high country thanks to an exotic fungus, hungry beetles and years of wildfire suppression. Now, budget cuts may slow restoration efforts.
News >  Idaho

Skiers vie at Schweitzer

SANDPOINT – Traveling mostly on their own dimes, kopecks and kroner, the best "free heel" ski racers in the world are converging at Schweitzer Mountain this weekend for the World Cup Telemark Finals. Thursday, the racers practiced their graceful, zigzagging turns down the race course, which had been covered the night before by nearly a foot of fresh powder. They focused on committing to memory the complex course terrain – at breakneck speeds they must navigate jumps, gates, treed sections and even a flat stretch – but many admitted to thinking four years ahead to the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
News >  Idaho

A career of occupational hazards

Jake Jakobosky wanted a job that reflected his love of nature, but he ended up spending most of his career in the ugliest and most abused landscapes of the Northwest. There were meth labs, a series of poisonous mines, a toxic landfill and even a stretch of burning highway.
News >  Idaho

Vehicles – but not stations – equipped for farm fuels

In September, Minnesota made history and made a lot of farmers happy when it became the first state to require 2 percent of all diesel fuel sold in the state to come from vegetable oil and waste grease. Three months later, the mandate was suspended after repeated complaints the fuel was clogging motors. The state recently reinstated the 2 percent requirement, saying quality-control problems with manufacturing the fuel have been fixed.
News >  Spokane

Oil seed carries growth potential

OAKESDALE, Wash. – Bruce Nave has a vision of fields of gold carpeting the Inland Northwest. Each fall, flowers in these fields would yield billions upon billions of seeds – each about the size of a BB and each holding a small drop of energy. Nave's business would crush the seeds and turn the oil into diesel fuel. He would make money, the farmers would make money, and the Middle East would have a little less control over the fate of the nation's energy supply.
News >  Idaho

Research aids fuel’s advance

Farms aren't the only place where fuel can be grown. Inland Northwest forests could play a huge role in supplying biodiesel, according to research under way at the University of Washington.
News >  Idaho

Fields of gain

MOSCOW, Idaho – With some seed, sun and soil, the Inland Northwest is looking to help grow the nation away from its messy addiction to petroleum. Wheat farmers are being wooed into growing thousands of acres of a yellow flowering plant with seeds capable of powering cars and heating homes. Plans also are well under way for at least two refineries in the region, which could be churning out millions of gallons of home-grown fuel by the end of the year.
News >  Spokane

Probe says tree on power line started School fire

The crime: 52,000 acres of torched forest in southeastern Washington, plus 215 buildings. The cause: a dead 52-foot-tall ponderosa pine that blew over onto a power line, causing sparks to shower down on dry grasses and brush.
News >  Idaho

Anglers question warning

Priest Lake is about as pristine as it gets. That's why the recent government warning against eating too much fish from the lake raised the eyebrows of Coeur d'Alene fishing guide Jeff Smith. "I was really surprised. It's the cleanest, best water we have," said Smith, an avid angler and owner of Fins and Feather Tackle Shop and Guide Service.
News >  Idaho

Counties fear worst if forest funds lost

Money's so tight in Ferry County that pothole filling and road crack sealing have become luxuries. Nowadays the rural county in Washington's northeastern corner is more likely to simply rip the asphalt from a road. "At least we can grade it and smooth it up," explained Mike Blankenship, who serves as chairman of the county's board of commissioners.
News >  Idaho

For sale: 26,000 Idaho acres

FSBO: 309,421 acres of prime undeveloped forest land. Includes trails, campgrounds and sacred sites. Pristine views. Massive debt forces fast sale. All satire aside, details on the largest sale of national forest in decades were announced Friday, including about 26,000 acres in Idaho and 7,500 acres in Washington. The Bush administration is proposing the sale to help reduce budget cuts for rural schools and roads.
News >  Idaho

Her spirit lives on

PLUMMER, Idaho – Ann Antelope was born in a log cabin along the south end of Lake Coeur d'Alene, the same place generations of her ancestors had fished for trout, dug water potatoes and hunted deer. But this daughter of a chief arrived in a time of huge change – a new religion and language were being forced on her tribe, dancing had been banned, settlers kept arriving and men were only two years away from joining birds in flight.
News >  Features

It’s ‘Brokeback’ country

Conservative pundits, including Bill O'Reilly, predicted "Brokeback Mountain" would flop in cowboy country. Not so, according to the film's distributor. Although this isn't exactly the wild West, "Brokeback Mountain" opened in first place at many area theaters, including sellout or near-sellout crowds in Spokane and small-town Idaho theaters in Sandpoint and Moscow.
News >  Idaho

Police believe 76-year-old raped

Authorities believe a 76-year-old St. Maries woman found dead inside her burned home Sunday – bound, savagely beaten and shot in the back of her head – was also raped. Investigators say Lawrence "Larry" Banderob went to Miriam Waltch's home three times in a 20-hour period: binding her hands and beating her, returning later to kill her and coming back the next day to torch her home and destroy evidence.
News >  Idaho

Slain woman a random victim

It didn't seem to be about money or settling an old score. Investigators believe 76-year-old Miriam "Micky" Waltch was shot and killed Sunday at her rural Benewah County home simply because her home was closest to the ditch where Lawrence E. Banderob's vehicle became stuck.
News >  Idaho

Benewah woman shot, house torched

A suspect was arrested Tuesday in the death of a 76-year-old Benewah County woman whose body was found in her burning home Sunday on Goosehaven Road.
News >  Idaho

Public land sales in budget

Thousands of acres of national forest could be sold to help offset federal budget cuts, according to a Bush administration proposal. The land sale would help ease the pain of even deeper cuts proposed for a federal program that has sent tens of millions of dollars to rural counties across the Inland Northwest.
News >  Idaho

Statewide vote sought on removing wolves

The Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition wants state voters to decide the fate of wolves. The group filed a petition earlier this week to launch a ballot initiative to remove all wolves from the state "by any means possible." The initiative, which echoes a non-binding vote by state lawmakers five years ago, would also close the state's office of species conservation.