It turns out a dozen North Idaho soldiers in Iraq never made it to their camp for Christmas. And they may not be there yet. Most of the 4,300 soldiers in the Idaho National Guard's 116th Brigade Combat Team have begun "ride-along" training with troops they are replacing for Operation Iraqi Freedom III. Others in the brigade attended the dedication of a clinic in a village, played music at Christmas religious services and watched college football bowl games on big-screen TV.
"Presence of mind and quick reflexes" helped two local women avoid impending death New Year's Day when their car slid under the trailer of a semitruck that swung across foggy U.S. Highway 95 like a gate being closed, an Idaho State Police officer said Monday. "Anybody sitting up in that car would have had their heads cut off," ISP Cpl. Jim Brouwer said Monday evening, calling from a pay phone in Cottonwood. The accident occurred just after 9 a.m. Saturday south of Grangeville.
A Coeur d'Alene Police officer seriously wounded in a sudden gunbattle that left another man dead and a garage in a suburban subdivision riddled with bullet holes, remained in serious condition Monday at a Seattle hospital. Officials at Harborview Medical Center said Monday morning that the condition of Officer Michael Kralicek, 35, has remained unchanged since late last week. Kralicek was flown from Coeur d'Alene to Harborview at about 7 a.m. Dec. 28 – several hours after he was hit in the jaw by a bullet from a .357-magnum revolver at close quarters. His condition was upgraded from critical to serious after surgery to help with his breathing and to shore up his carotid artery.
Twenty-nine people died during 2004 – more than two a month – on U.S. Highway 95, which remains among the most dangerous major highways in Idaho. The dead ranged in age from 7 to 88 years old, and the wrecks happened on a roughly 500-mile stretch from just south of Canada to just north of Boise.
Coeur d'Alene police Chief Wendy Carpenter plans to travel to Seattle this weekend to spend time with an officer who was shot and severely wounded in a gunbattle Tuesday morning. Officer Michael Kralicek, 35, was listed in serious condition Thursday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He was shot just after midnight Tuesday when a routine questioning turned into a four-way gunfight in a Hayden garage that left the homeowner dead.
A Coeur d'Alene police officer remained in critical but stable condition Wednesday, a day after a routine follow-up to a beer theft turned into a desperate gunbattle in a garage that left another man dead and two sheriff's deputies emotionally shaken. "Any time you walk in and see a bloody scene where someone has died and an officer is down, it's a sobering realization that what we do for a living is dangerous," said Capt. Clark Rollins, an investigator with the Idaho State Police. "It's sobering. And it's a tragic waste of life.
A man who calls women and asks them to stand naked at their windows to help police catch a Peeping Tom apparently struck in Post Falls just before Christmas. The calls are fake. Police believe the caller is the peeper.
Last September medics from the Idaho National Guard's 116th Brigade Combat Team trained in an exercise where a crowded mess hall was rocked by explosions. The medics, training at Dona Ana, N.M., rushed into a darkened room filled with smoke and screams; the dead, dying and wounded. There was an eerie prescience to the drill as the Idaho soldiers begin their yearlong deployment in northern Iraq just as a suicide bomber killed 22 and wounded 60 by setting off a bomb in a crowded mess hall in Mosul.
Dental records that arrived in Sandpoint Wednesday morning helped detectives identify a body found in the Pend Oreille River last week as that of Daniel Clune, a 29-year-old software programmer who was missing since the early morning hours of Nov. 6. Clune was last seen between 1:30 and 2 a.m. after he and a group of friends had spent the evening at the Long Bridge Grill, a popular bar at the south end of the mile-long bridge that spans the river from Sagle to Sandpoint.