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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Kevin Taylor

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News >  Idaho

Dozen soldiers taking the scenic route in Iraq

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.
News >  Idaho

Quick thinking in crash saves lives of two women

"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.
News >  Idaho

Wounded CdA officer remains in serious condition

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.

News >  Idaho

U.S. 95 accidents killed 29 in 2004

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.
News >  Idaho

CdA police chief plans visit to injured officer in Seattle

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.
News >  Idaho

Impulse theft of beer crime led to fatal shooting of Hayden man

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.
News >  Idaho

Fake officer calls, asks Idaho teen to disrobe

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.
News >  Idaho

Fallout from Fallujah fight greets Idaho Guardsmen

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.
News >  Idaho

Search for missing software engineer ends

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.
News >  Idaho

Wallace contamination lawsuit settled

When Tina and Harve Paddock purchased a house in Wallace in 1997, they were captivated by the rugged scenery, the quirky charms of the residents, and thought it cute that a local business was selling chunks of lead-silver ore in baskets. "That first Christmas we bought the kids lead. We didn't know it was poisonous," Tina Paddock said Tuesday in the aftermath of a seven-year fight that sought to address health concerns raised by industrial pollution.
News >  Idaho

Dental records could ID body

Detectives are still waiting for dental records to identify a badly decomposed body found Saturday in the Pend Oreille River near Sandpoint. An autopsy in Spokane on Monday showed no signs of trauma to the body, which was found by a duck hunter near a mill site in Dover, just downstream from Sandpoint, said Lt. John Valdez, of the Bonner County Sheriff's Office.
News >  Idaho

Detectives work to identify body

Detectives are still waiting for dental records in order to identify a badly decomposed body found in the Pend Oreille River near Sandpoint Saturday. An autopsy in Spokane Monday showed no signs of trauma to the body, which was found by a duck hunter near a mill site in Dover, just downstream from Sandpoint, Lt. John Valdez of the Bonner County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.
News >  Idaho

Train kills woman crossing tracks

A 19-year-old woman was killed late Sunday when the car she was driving was struck by a train at a downtown Rathdrum railroad crossing that is scheduled for safety improvements. Amy Nadine Little drove across a street-level railroad crossing where the signal lights for an approaching train had been activated, according to the Idaho State Police. The 1999 Dodge Neon she was driving was struck on its driver's side by an eastbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad locomotive just after 11 p.m. Sunday.
News >  Idaho

His life was meant to be lived flying

He was a young man of the sky, Eric Dvoracek. The 28-year-old with roots in Spokane as well as Coeur d'Alene was clear and firm about his love of flying; he resisted inducements to lower his gaze and steer away from the infinite blue.
News >  Idaho

Jury says woman did prove mistreatment

"Get a lawyer and prove it," was the challenge an 86-year-old Coeur d'Alene woman faced from corporate heads 18 months ago when her family became alarmed that she may have been robbed and overmedicated at a Coeur d'Alene retirement home. On Thursday, an almost quixotic quest for justice ended when a jury – after a nine-week trial – awarded Lucille Huber more than $3 million in punitive damages to be paid by a former manager of Fairwinds Retirement Community and from Leisure Care, the parent company, based in Bellevue, Wash., that owns retirement homes throughout the West.
News >  Idaho

Recount confirms sheriff election

Democratic challenger Tony Lamanna lost his gamble that a recount would change the outcome of last month's election for sheriff in Bonner County. After the recount Friday at the Bonner County courthouse in Sandpoint, Lamanna lost by nearly the same margin as in the Nov. 2 general election – trailing Republican Elaine Savage by 37 votes instead of 36. His tally of 6,635 votes was unchanged, but the recount found one more vote for Savage, who now finishes with 6,672.
News >  Idaho

CdA pilot killed in Arizona plane crash

A Coeur d'Alene man who had become a popular pilot offering tours of the Grand Canyon died Wednesday when his single-engine plane apparently crashed into the side of a mountain in rugged northwestern Arizona canyon country. Eric Carl Dvoracek, 28, had gone aloft on a routine weather run, officials with King Airelines, a tour company based in Henderson, Nev., near Las Vegas, said Thursday. He appears to have died instantly when his plane struck the side of a mountain and dropped into a canyon, officials with the Mohave County (Ariz.) Sheriff's Office said after reaching the site Thursday.
News >  Idaho

Parties set for Guard kin, friends

Two celebrations have been scheduled Thursday for families and friends of local National Guard soldiers who are just beginning their year of duty in Iraq. Coeur d'Alene community and veterans groups have scheduled "the best holiday party ever" for 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday in Coeur d'Alene at the Lake City Senior Center, 1916 Lakewood Drive. In Moscow, a University of Idaho student group is planning a reception at 5 p.m. Thursday for both campus and city residents to talk about loved ones who have been deployed with the Idaho National Guard's 116th Brigade Combat Team.
News >  Idaho

Guard in gear for Iraq

Soldiers in the Idaho National Guard's 116th Brigade Combat Team have assembled in a crowded base camp near Kuwait City and have spent their first few days overseas collecting vehicles and gear hauled by Navy cargo ships from the Gulf of Mexico to the Persian Gulf. The soldiers also were drilled in techniques to spot roadside bombs and spent time zeroing in their weapons, according to a news release sent by e-mail from Kuwait Saturday.
News >  Idaho

KMC wins mental health tab appeal

The Idaho Supreme Court on Friday said a local judge was wrong to limit how much money Bonner County must pay to cover mental health care for an indigent woman who checked herself into a hospital. A unanimous state Supreme Court decision written by Chief Justice Roger Burdick appeared to put the Bonner County commissioners on the hook for $26,000 in health care costs presented to the county by Kootenai Medical Center of Coeur d'Alene, which treated an indigent Bonner County woman twice for psychiatric issues.
News >  Idaho

Missing man’s second shoe found

Police have located a second shoe believed to have been worn by a Sandpoint computer programmer when he disappeared after closing out a bar one month ago. Detective Steve Feldhausen, of the Sandpoint Police Department, said Friday that a beachcomber found the second shoe a couple of weeks ago and was prompted to speak out by news accounts in the past few days about the discovery of the first shoe – which police believe they have linked to 29-year-old Dan Clune.
News >  Idaho

No leads in case of missing man

Sandpoint police say a shoe that washed up on the north end of the Long Bridge belongs to computer programmer Dan Clune, who was last seen at a bar at the south end of the bridge, nearly one month ago. In addition, the reward for information leading to Clune's whereabouts has grown to $10,000.
News >  Idaho

Flight cancellation delays soldiers’ departure

ALEXANDRIA, La. – Soldiers from North Idaho headed for a year in northern Iraq flew away in a DC-10 jetliner from the airport here on a mellow Saturday afternoon, 24 hours after their scheduled departure. The soldiers, including 97 from Delta Company drawn from National Guard armories in Post Falls and Bonners Ferry, were in formation Friday evening ready to board buses to meet their plane when the flight was scratched.
News >  Spokane

Meet the troops

Katy Studer ALEXANDRIA, La. – Katy Studer, a bright 23-year-old from Bonners Ferry, joined the National Guard to pay for college.