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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Kevin Taylor

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News >  Idaho

Gloves long off in race for sheriff

SANDPOINT – Harvey Thompson, a longtime Bonner County cop who is currently on suspension, took the left turn off U.S. Highway 95 and chugged his pickup truck up the hill toward the sheriff's office north of Sandpoint early in the morning of Oct. 12. When he got there, Thompson nosed his truck, festooned with campaign signs for someone else, right into Sheriff Phil Jarvis' personal parking slot and – voila! – several issues about the 2004 race for Bonner County sheriff seemed to click into focus: The campaigning has often been bare-knuckle and angry. Its essence comes down to a referendum on Jarvis. The behavior of officers is a hot topic.
News >  Idaho

Soldier sues over ‘stop-loss’ policy

A second National Guard soldier – scheduled to be in Iraq in a month – has challenged the military's "stop-loss" policy that bars soldiers from leaving the military at the end of their enlistment, according to the law firm representing the soldier. His challenge comes on the heels of the Pentagon finding a way to have the first case dismissed. The California soldier, known in court documents as John Doe 2, followed another California Guard soldier, John Doe 1, in questioning the army's authority to extend his term. Stop-loss has been called a "back-door draft" by the Military Officers Association of America and by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and Republican Sen. John McCain, both veterans of the Vietnam War.
News >  Idaho

Apparent hunting accident kills man

A Ponderay, Idaho, man was found dead Saturday afternoon up the St. Joe River, the victim of an apparent hunting accident, the Shoshone County Sheriff's Office reported. Steven Wayne Seppala, 43, was the third hunter to die in as many days in North Idaho and the fourth hunter to die this season – only two weeks into it. Two other hunters and a woodcutter were reported missing in the woods last weekend, but were found unharmed after brief searches.

News >  Idaho

Charges await autopsy results

A college freshman who allegedly admitted supplying a dose of the hallucinogen LSD to a young woman last week will not face manslaughter charges until the dead woman's autopsy results have been studied, Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas said Monday. "We just can't file involuntary manslaughter charges without the forensic autopsy results," Douglas said. "We don't want any surprises. We need the forensic autopsy to determine the exact cause of death and the degree of toxicity in the victim."
News >  Idaho

More charges awaiting autopsy results

A college freshman who allegedly admitted supplying a dose of the hallucinogen LSD to a young woman last week will not face manslaughter charges until the woman's autopsy results have been studied, Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas said Monday. "We just can't file involuntary manslaughter charges without the forensic autopsy results," Douglas said. "We don't want any surprises. We need the forensic autopsy to determine the exact cause of death and the degree of toxicity in the victim."
News >  Idaho

CdA man dies after truck crash

A 43-year-old Coeur d'Alene man died late Thursday of injuries suffered when a pickup he was driving went over a steep embankment on a Forest Service road east of Lake Pend Oreille that afternoon, the Idaho State Police reported. An ISP report said two Coeur d'Alene men were in the truck when, for causes not yet determined, it went off the road – a narrow gravel road near the remote village of Lakeview in the Kaniksu National Forest.
News >  Idaho

Teen in coma taken off life support

An 18-year-old college freshman who has been in a coma since a drug overdose Tuesday was taken off life support Friday at her family's request and died without regaining consciousness, police said. Coeur d'Alene police say the North Idaho College student who gave her the drug will be charged with manslaughter.
News >  Idaho

Homeland security training

SANDPOINT – The sign on the door of room 32 at the Lakeside Inn was clear and direct: This is a nonsmoking room. The admonition was cheerfully ignored Wednesday by firefighters from across Idaho who clumped through the vacant motel in downtown Sandpoint setting fires in room 32 and several others as part of a Homeland Security training exercise.
News >  Idaho

Candidates span the globe

Boundary County, Idaho, would hardly be considered the beaten path to anywhere, but one candidate for sheriff here used to chase drug smugglers around New York, another worked major crimes from Phoenix to Anchorage and the third – the local guy no less – helped put together an international police force in Kosovo. Just say the global village comes to North Idaho.
News >  Idaho

Former hospital CFO sentenced

The former chief financial officer for two community hospitals in North Idaho was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for embezzlement and was ordered to repay more than $38,000 on two counts of grand theft. First District Court Judge Fred Gibler allowed Richard Lee Mikkelson to begin his prison term with a six-month "rider" at a state prison boot camp to determine if Mikkelson is a candidate to serve his sentence on probation. Mikkelson was told to report to the Shoshone County Jail by Friday for transportation to a state prison.
News >  Idaho

Candidate culled from voter rolls

John Weick, on the November ballot as an Independent candidate for Kootenai County Sheriff, is almost certainly a long shot to win, especially since he can't even cast a symbolic vote for himself. He was removed from the rolls of registered voters recently after his opponent, incumbent Sheriff Rocky Watson, challenged Weick's status as a county resident.
News >  Idaho

Police locate jail escapee in Spokane

The first man to escape from the Kootenai County Jail since its expansion 18 years ago was arrested by Spokane police officers responding to a burglary in progress at 2:30 a.m. Friday and was back in the Coeur d'Alene jail by the afternoon. Sgt. Dan Mattos, a detective with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department, said Spokane police officers encountered Neal G. McCrea, 40, in the 1400 block of West Second Avenue, an area where they were on their way to answer a burglary call.
News >  Idaho

Police say reported rape was a hoax

For the second time this week and the fifth time since May, a North Idaho woman who initially said she had been sexually attacked has recanted to police. Coeur d'Alene police detectives have determined a report of an attempted rape Wednesday night to be false, and are preparing to seek payment from the alleged victim to cover the cost of investigating.
News >  Idaho

High court scrutinizes 1999 riot

The Idaho Supreme Court assembled in a Coeur d'Alene courtroom Wednesday morning to consider whether police officers are protected from being sued for civil damages even if their actions cause injury during the course of an arrest. The justices – on the road hearing appeals in North Idaho this week – were asked to consider whether the actions of two local police officers are shielded by qualified immunity in light of recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings on the issue. This is the first time the Idaho Supreme Court is revisiting qualified immunity for law enforcement under what is known as the Saucier test. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Saucier in 2001.
News >  Idaho

Young man’s flight into river causes concern

A young North Idaho man who slapped a deputy and then dove into the Spokane River to get away early Wednesday morning has not been seen since. The Kootenai County Sheriff's Department, after searching the area with divers for several hours, is hoping to hear from Joseph Allan Peterson, 20, of Hauser Lake. "We want to get the word out to his friends: 'Look, it's a misdemeanor warrant, for crying out loud.' We just want to know if he's alive," Capt. Ben Wolfinger, information officer for the Sheriff's Department, said.
News >  Idaho

Apple truck flips, spilling load, closing I-90

There were plenty of bruises – to apples – but only minor injuries when a semi-truck loaded with the fruit flipped over and spilled its load while descending Fourth of July Pass on Interstate 90 on Monday night, the Idaho State Police reported. Cleanup was continuing Tuesday afternoon. According to an ISP report, speed was at the core of the accident: A 2002 Freightliner driven by 24-year-old Zoran Pavic, of Ontario, Canada, took a curve too fast about a mile down from the summit in the eastbound lanes.
News >  Idaho

Drug court’s 100th graduate starts new life

Jane Wear was in court Tuesday evening, and her judgment was delivered with flowers and words of love and praise. A little more than a year ago, a night like this seemed beyond imagining for the 34-year-old Coeur d'Alene woman, who began using methamphetamine and marijuana when she dropped out of school at 13.
News >  Idaho

Police say student, 19, filed false rape report

A 19-year-old college student's report that she was raped in Coeur d'Alene on Monday was unfounded, Coeur d'Alene Police said Tuesday. Police were called to an apartment complex near the city golf course at 12:15 p.m. Monday after the woman said she had been accosted in a stairwell, forced into her apartment and then raped. She described her attacker as black, stocky and about 6-foot-2. The area was sealed off as police and detectives canvassed the neighborhood.
News >  Idaho

Inmate exploited security flaws to escape county jail

Detectives from the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department still were searching Monday for an inmate who made a gymnastic escape from the county jail in Coeur d'Alene – the first escape since the jail was expanded and modernized in 1986. Police believe Neal G. McCrea – a 5-foot-5, 140-pound man – scaled 16 feet of chain-link wall at 8:30 p.m. Friday and hung there like a spider long enough to unravel a small square of chain-link ceiling.
News >  Idaho

Brigade ready to take the next step

It was such a civilian thing to say. "You guys are pretty much done here, huh?" a visitor to Fort Bliss, Texas, asked a group of Idaho National Guard soldiers a couple of weeks ago.
News >  Idaho

Casino suspects embezzlement

Three technicians at the Coeur d'Alene Casino have lost their jobs and may have left the area as Kootenai County Sheriff's Department investigators look into suspected embezzlement of nearly $3,000 from slot machines. "The case is still under investigation. No one has been charged yet," Jerry Kreig, chief operations officer at the casino, said Thursday. The technicians suspected of pocketing improper payouts, "are no longer employed here" Kreig said.
News >  Idaho

Tribe seeking data on effects of dam

Showing up for a meeting with three attorneys in power suits is one way to stand out from the crowd, and it's an approach that worked Tuesday for the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's Robert Matt during a meeting of stakeholders involved in the convoluted relicensing of the Post Falls Dam. Matt, director of the tribe's lake management program, told the stakeholders group that the tribe has been asking for two years for information about how the lake and the Spokane River would appear if the Post Falls Dam didn't exist. The three-lawyer backup was a signal that the tribe is serious about seeing the data and doesn't want Avista to submit its fast-approaching license application without addressing a free-flowing river.
News >  Idaho

Bail reduced for voyeurism suspect

A physician accused of being a voyeur made his first appearance in Kootenai County 1st District Court on Monday afternoon – by video link from the county jail – on four charges of violating a new Idaho law against video peeping and a fifth charge of sexual battery against a minor. William Fouche, 58, answered "Yes sir" as 1st District Court Magistrate Judge Robert Burton read out the charges one by one and asked if Fouche understood them.
News >  Idaho

Who stole Mrs. P’s magic wand?

An ogre or two tried to take away the charm of Kinder-Magic over the weekend. A thief or thieves looking for something to steal broke into the private preschool and kindergarten near downtown Coeur d'Alene and rummaged through rooms crowded with happy memories and colorful things.
News >  Idaho

Who stole magic wand?

An ogre or two tried to take away the charm of Kinder-Magic over the weekend. A thief or thieves looking for something to steal broke into the private preschool and kindergarten near downtown Coeur d'Alene and rummaged through rooms crowded with happy memories and colorful things.