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May 31, 2006, midnight
The Kootenai Humane Society has hired its first-ever executive director, choosing a veteran animal shelter executive who lost his past two jobs and then sued a former employer for nearly $400,000. Phil Morgan, 44, was selected from among about 40 applicants for the position, said Andy Smith, president of the nonprofit agency's board of directors. Smith said organizers were satisfied with Morgan's explanation of problems he had as director of the Escondido Humane Society in Southern California and at the Second Chance Center for Animals in Flagstaff, Ariz.
May 31, 2006, midnight
The big gas grill roared to life under Chef Walt MacDuff's touch, yellow flames licking toward the slab of London broil in his tongs. With a wicked sizzle, it settled next to two equally generous portions of beef, sending the aroma of garlic and spices into the spring air. A burgundy demiglace was ready to drizzle the finished entrée, accompanied by oven-roasted potatoes and steamed fresh asparagus. For dessert? Ramekins of silky crème brulée waited for a final flame.
May 26, 2006, midnight
Members of the Idaho state Board of Medicine have agreed unanimously to revoke the medical license of a former Coeur d'Alene doctor, saying it was the only way to protect the public from Tarek L. Haw's "egregious abuse and exploitation of patients." Haw, 61, was accused of misusing prescription drugs, failing to properly diagnose or treat medical conditions and conducting examinations that bordered on sexual misconduct.
May 25, 2006, midnight
Nearly 40 percent of Idaho high school students have had sex or consumed alcohol, and almost a third have ridden recently with a driver who was drinking, according to a state survey released Wednesday. Statistics from the 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey may alarm parents, but state officials noted that Idaho young people engaged in these behaviors less frequently than kids across the country. One troubling figure stands out, however: Nearly 9 percent of Idaho students said they tried to commit suicide in the previous year, higher than the national average of 8.5 percent and up slightly from state figures in 2001.
May 19, 2006, midnight
The director of the North Idaho program that pairs trained advocates with kids in court can't really spare $3,000 from her stripped-down annual budget. But Hiedi Person said she'll happily pay that amount if it means she can make sure local volunteers who work with children have passed a background check in every state in the union.
May 18, 2006, midnight
A Benewah County jury awarded $18 million in punitive damages Wednesday to the family of an 86-year-old St. Maries man it agreed was abused and medicated to death at a North Idaho nursing home. Jurors deliberated for less than five hours in the case that pitted the family of Delbert Hayward against owners of the Valley Vista Care Center, the St. Maries nursing home where he died in February 1995. The verdict capped a three-week trial that was the culmination of more than a decade of lawsuits and appeals, including two hearings before the Idaho Supreme Court.
May 17, 2006, midnight
A dozen people, including four children, were forced from their homes early Tuesday morning when a fire swept through their Post Falls apartment building. No one was injured in the 2:30 a.m. blaze, but none of the families living in the four-plex dwelling at 407 E. Second Ave. was insured, said Jim Lyon, public information officer for Kootenai County Fire and Rescue.
May 16, 2006, midnight
For the first time anyone can recall, business leaders in Kootenai County will gather this week to discuss subjects they're not normally inclined to talk about. Poverty, homelessness, crime, hunger: Those topics and more will be on the agenda Wednesday as local social service agencies host what members say is a badly needed public conversation about unmet needs in the region.
May 13, 2006, midnight
Five patients who received human tissue transplants at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane face the possibility of disease because the material came from a New Jersey supplier charged with stealing parts from funeral home corpses. Patients were advised to seek medical testing for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C and syphilis after tissues provided by a Sacred Heart supplier were recalled, a hospital official said this week. The unidentified patients received transplants of human bone, skin or tendons between early 2004 and September 2005; they are among thousands affected by a widening body-snatching scandal involving hospitals nationwide.
May 9, 2006, midnight
Nearly a third of Inland Northwest residents eligible for the federal government's new prescription drug plan still haven't signed up, and Tom Moore knows why. Confusion, frustration and denial continue to plague seniors who must choose a Medicare Part D plan by next Monday – or face increased premiums in the future.
May 6, 2006, midnight
A Panhandle Health District program that tested 375 low-income women for breast and cervical cancer last year has received more than $73,000 from the Coeur d'Alene affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Seven of the women screened through the Women's Health Check Program were diagnosed with breast cancer, according to Gail Turley, family planning coordinator at Panhandle Health District.
May 5, 2006, midnight
Like almost everyone else in Bonner County, the two Republican candidates for the District 3 commissioner's position believe that growth is the region's most pressing issue. Incumbent Karl Dye and challenger Lewis Rich agree that the next county commissioner must have firm ideas about how to manage the needs of current residents – and those who'd like to move in. But the Sandpoint men, who face each other in the May 23 primary election, differ on how they'd do that. The winner will take on independent candidate Wayne Stotts for the seat.
May 5, 2006, midnight
Ask three different people the right way to run Bonner County and you'll get three different answers – especially in the race for the Republican post in the District 1 commissioner's contest. The contenders in the May 23 primary are vying for the chance to meet Democrat Todd J. Crossett in the general election for the two-year post.
May 4, 2006, midnight
It's not like residents whizzing north on Hayden's Atlas Road can miss it. The sleek new slate-and-concrete headquarters of the Panhandle Health District has risen in less than a year amid a sea of houses on Coeur d'Alene's north edge. For employees set to move into the two-story, 46,000-square-foot building next week, the end of construction will mean the start of a new era of comfort and collaboration. The $5.2 million building will bring together about 100 employees scattered in five sites from strip malls to rented offices, said District Director Jeanne Bock.
May 4, 2006, midnight
A Post Falls chiropractor has been indicted on 70 counts of insurance fraud in U.S. District Court. Timothy Grothman, owner of Health Within Chiropractic Center, pleaded not guilty last week to federal charges that he billed insurance companies in Tennessee and elsewhere for dozens of services he didn't perform.
May 3, 2006, midnight
The father of a 16-year-old girl killed in a head-on car crash near Rathdrum has died, Kootenai Medical Center officials said Tuesday. Jesse L. Wright, 35, succumbed Monday night to injuries sustained in the April 21 accident that killed his 16-year-old daughter, Keriann, and injured two of his sons.
May 2, 2006, midnight
Mothers wept, swimmers cheered and a roomful of community organizers finally exhaled as they learned Monday that Coeur d'Alene will get a $65 million Salvation Army Kroc Community Center after all. Salvation Army Lt. Col. Harold Brodin didn't even finish the first sentence of his announcement.
April 29, 2006, midnight
The Idaho Supreme Court has overturned a district court ruling that dismissed a quadriplegic's claim of medical negligence at Kootenai Medical Center because he didn't file the complaint in time. The action is expected to set a precedent that says alleged negligence, wrongful acts or omissions must be identified before the clock starts ticking on time limits for patient litigation.
April 28, 2006, midnight
No one's saying there's a gang problem in North Idaho, at least not the kind of crisis seen on TV crime shows – or even the streets of Spokane. But that's not stopping church and community leaders in Bonner County from tackling the issue.
April 27, 2006, midnight
A testy meeting Wednesday between Idaho's acting governor and representatives of the state's Native American tribes failed to yield anything but promises of progress on the fate of nearly $3.5 million in annual tribal gas tax revenues. Indian leaders agreed only to negotiate individually – and privately – with Lt. Gov. Jim Risch to determine whether they will voluntarily concede some share of fuel revenues previously guaranteed by courts.
April 26, 2006, midnight
North Idaho College nursing student Matt Dingman read all the textbooks, studied all the computer programs, and dissected all the dead cats he was assigned. But it wasn't until he reached inside the body of a human that the would-be medical professional truly understood anatomy and physiology.
April 25, 2006, midnight
A lawyer running for Kootenai County District Court judge is facing contempt of court charges for missing a scheduled hearing, but Rami Amaro said Monday the incident was a misunderstanding. At issue is an order by county Magistrate Judge Benjamin R. Simpson, who has called Amaro and her client, Cheryl Pannell, to appear next Monday to explain why they didn't show up for a March 23 hearing in Pannell's divorce and custody case. Amaro said Monday she had filed appropriate papers to postpone the hearing.
April 25, 2006, midnight
Two years after budget deficits forced its closure, the North Idaho office of the American Red Cross will reopen next month, officials said. Within weeks, the reconfigured disaster relief agency is expected to install a new director at a new site – the Harding Family Center, 411 N. 15th St., Coeur d'Alene.