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

Kevin Taylor

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News >  Idaho

Fight for a future

BONNERS FERRY, Idaho – Thirty years ago, Amy Trice – a 34-year-old mom with six kids, the wife of a Bonners Ferry millworker – declared war on the United States of America. She did it for her people, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho. Some wars are declared to chase some notion of glory. How many have been declared out of greed – for oil, land, treasure, trade routes? There is a war today that's been declared on terrorism. Others are fought invoking the name of a god.
News >  Idaho

Candidate selected as interim sheriff

The Boundary County commissioners, by a split vote, appointed Greg Sprungl on Wednesday to be acting sheriff for the rest of the year even though Sprungl is in a contested three-way general election for a four-year term as sheriff. The commissioners chose Sprungl from a list of three candidates the Boundary County Republican Central Committee presented to replace Sheriff George Voyles, who lost to Sprungl in the May GOP primary and abruptly left the country in late August. He resigned with four months left in his term to take a job in Kuwait.
News >  Idaho

Unit likely bound for Kirkuk

DONA ANA, N.M. – When Idaho's National Guard soldiers fly around the globe for a year's stay in Iraq, they will most likely be in the northern city of Kirkuk. "I was just in Iraq and I've actually seen the place where we will be living and I came back with a more positive attitude than I had before," Col. Steve Knutzen said Tuesday at the mess hall here in this remote high-desert corner of the sprawling Fort Bliss, where the Idaho National Guard 116th Brigade Combat Team has been training for potential combat patrols and convoy duties since July.

News >  Idaho

Wives drop in on ‘Bosslift’

DONA ANA, N.M. – Three North Idaho women found an unexpected way of visiting their husbands – who are in a dusty corner of Fort Bliss here preparing for a year's duty in Iraq – when they hitched a ride on Operation Bosslift. A national group that arranged for employers of Idaho National Guard and Reserve members to fly down to Fort Bliss on Monday picked up a little bit of intrigue with their C-130 transports.
News >  Idaho

Ringing of bell to mark attacks

People seeking a tangible way of marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are invited to enter the oldest church in Post Falls and take a turn ringing the church bell Saturday morning. The ceremony will begin at 8:45 a.m. at the Old Church, Fourth Avenue and Williams Street. The church, the oldest standing structure in Post Falls, is south of Interstate 90 and just east of Spokane Street.
News >  Spokane

So this is wedded Bliss

She had never flown. That was one of the factors Sgt. Jon Bucher was turning over and over in his head as the wife he had barely spent time with in Coeur d'Alene was preparing to fly down to visit him at Fort Bliss, Texas, a couple of weeks ago.
News >  Idaho

Guard crowd airs health fears

A crowd of about 50 people, many confused by the strange new world of military medical plans, gathered Thursday night at the National Guard armory in Post Falls to discuss health care issues for local Guard members called to active duty in Iraq. The consensus, when a sometimes-lively panel discussion ended after 2½ hours, seemed to be yes, it's complicated and yes, there have been problems specific to North Idaho. But the Tri-Care health plan is going to make sure everyone gets the treatment they need.
News >  Idaho

School gear gets big reception from kids of called-up soldiers

Say what you want about the military, but it is terrific at setting out folding chairs in laser-straight lines. Children don't often operate well within straight lines, but the 30 or so kids – ranging from toddlers to teenagers – among the crowd of 50 at the Post Falls National Guard armory Wednesday evening, did their best. They waited patiently through speeches and presentations and didn't break ranks until the backpacks were handed out.
News >  Idaho

Search ruling reversed

When a Coeur d'Alene police officer stuck out her foot to keep the front door of a house from closing nearly three years ago, it opened the door for the Idaho Supreme Court to clarify state law on Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable search and seizure. The state high court issued a unanimous decision Wednesday taking Kootenai County judges to task for upholding an illegal search that led to the arrest of Brian Maland, now 32, of Coeur d'Alene.
News >  Idaho

Retirement home worker faces trial

A second high-level employee of a Coeur d'Alene retirement home must answer criminal charges that she stole from an elderly resident, a judge ruled on Tuesday. First District Court Magistrate Judge Eugene Marano said, after a three-hour preliminary hearing, there was enough probable cause for Mary Ward to face trial on charges of grand theft and conspiracy to commit grand theft.
News >  Idaho

Sheriff’s resignation a surprise

Monday's resignation by Boundary County Sheriff George Voyles appeared to catch people around Bonners Ferry by surprise and, by Tuesday, nobody seemed to know for sure why Voyles ended his term just months before completion or where the former sheriff had gone. Voyles did not appear in person Monday to offer his resignation. Sheriff's Office administrator Rhonda Vogl delivered a letter to the county commissioners. Vogl did not return a message Tuesday.
News >  Idaho

Sparks fly in chase south of Sandpoint

A 38-year-old Oldtown, Idaho, man led police on a half-hour chase south of Sandpoint – covering the last 10 miles on three flat tires – before he and a female passenger were arrested by Bonner County sheriff's deputies Sunday night, authorities said. During the chase, the driver rammed one sheriff's patrol car, swerved at another and ran over three sets of spike strips.
News >  Idaho

Woman gives assailant a dip in lake

COEUR d'ALENE — Before the guy knew it, he went from trying to score some illegal "XOXO" to being scored on the losing end of a TKO. An intoxicated man who sprang out from hiding and fondled a woman's breast on the Coeur d'Alene Resort boardwalk just before midnight Friday soon found himself clocked in the jaw, elbowed in the head and knocked right into the lake.
News >  Idaho

Glitch may keep Idaho Guardsmen out of Iraq

Dozens of National Guard soldiers from North Idaho and Pennsylvania – in combat training together for the last two months in preparation for duty in Iraq – may never see the war because of an Army oversight. Instead, they may be coming home soon, as statutory limitations on full-time service for part-time soldiers catch up with them at Fort Bliss, Texas.
News >  Idaho

Families still apart after Amber Alert

North Idaho police have declared Kootenai County's first test of the Amber Alert system a success even though the two children who triggered the alert were apparently never missing, the man who apparently never kidnapped them remains in jail on other charges and two young mothers have to fight to get their kids back from foster care. "This is preposterous," Yvonne Seibert said Tuesday.
News >  Idaho

Missing woman still being sought

Bonner County Sheriff's Office investigators still are seeking help locating a woman who vanished in March after arguing with her husband. Police said they have exhausted tips in trying to find 33-year-old Christine Lott, a mother of three boys who last was seen getting into a pickup truck in front of a Priest River grocery store, Mitchell's IGA, on March 25. Police have said Steve Lott, Christine Lott's husband of nine years, waited two days before calling police.
News >  Idaho

Groups sue state to slow logging

Concerned about increased logging of old-growth timber – as well as a resulting rise in backcountry road use and the effect on endangered species in the Selkirk Mountains – two Idaho conservation groups filed suit against the Idaho Department of Lands on Thursday in federal court. The Selkirk Conservation Alliance and the Idaho Conservation League have sued the Idaho Department of Lands, as well as individual Land Board members, seeking to slow down logging on state endowment lands in the Selkirks around Priest Lake.
News >  Idaho

Guard reassures families on leave

As North Idaho National Guard soldiers prepare to spend a year in Iraq, here is what that means: Turning off the TV and playing Cinderella dress-up with a 4-year-old. Learning to kick open doors and conduct house-to-house searches without getting shot. Bucking 10 tons of hay bales for the first time.
News >  Idaho

No federal response to tribe’s challenge

A week after the Coeur d'Alene Tribe challenged other governments to come up with some money to monitor the health of Lake Coeur d'Alene, U.S. Rep. Butch Otter, R-Idaho, said he sees no federal funding on the horizon. A week ago, Coeur d'Alene Tribal Chairman Ernie Stensgar pledged $5 million in tribal money to get a cleanup and monitoring plan for Lake Coeur d'Alene off the ground. He challenged federal and state governments to pony up a matching amount. The tribe is worried, officials said, that any plan to keep an eye on toxic heavy metals lining the lakebed will wither for lack of funding.
News >  Idaho

A place to remember the fallen

WORLEY, Idaho – In a space about as long as a football field, more than 58,000 fallen soldiers from the Vietnam War were honored Monday evening when the black aluminum sections of the Traveling Wall Vietnam Memorial were erected alongside U.S. Highway 95 near here. The Traveling Wall, at the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's casino until Thursday, is a portable version of artist Maya Lin's stark homage to troops who were killed in Vietnam. At least two versions of the Traveling Wall have stopped in the Inland Northwest in recent years in Spokane, Chewelah and Sandpoint.
News >  Idaho

ITD admits project was cause of mud

Highway construction south of Coeur d'Alene did send mud and sediment into Mica Creek and Mica Bay, the Idaho Transportation Department admits, and people are being asked to comment this month on a proposed cleanup plan. Mica Bay homeowners and federal and state regulators have said the waters of the creek and the bay have been slammed with sediment from several failures of a 2-million-gallon settling pond – designed to catch muddy runoff – during the widening of U.S. Highway 95 during a highway safety project from 2001 to 2003.
News >  Idaho

Vietnam memorial arrives Monday

PLUMMER, Idaho – Frances White, who served in the U.S. Army in the decades between Vietnam and Desert Storm, is one of three women in the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's Warrior Society. On Friday afternoon, in pleasant sunshine, White shared a bench in front of Tribal Chairman Ernie Stensgar's office. She had to see the chairman about getting a proper Warrior uniform. It was a big thing for White, because she would be among tribal members and military veterans who will staff the Traveling Wall Vietnam Memorial around the clock when it arrives on the reservation Monday for a four-day stay.
News >  Idaho

Advocacy agency will survive recent woes, official says

A North Idaho agency that provides volunteer advocates for children involved in court cases will survive the scandal of missing or misspent funds, the abrupt resignation of its director and allegations of shredded documents and office break-ins, a board member said Thursday. Jim Elder, vice president on the board of directors for CASA, said a Coeur d'Alene accounting firm has been reviewing the books for the North Idaho chapter to determine how much money, described variously as $30,000 to $130,000, was spent by former director Rhonda Naylor without board approval.
News >  Idaho

Crapo agrees money, delisting tied

PLUMMER, Idaho – U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, after meeting with Coeur d'Alene tribal officials for nearly two hours Friday afternoon, agreed that any cleanup or water quality monitoring plans for Lake Coeur d'Alene must have funding in place before the lake is removed from Superfund oversight. The lake, a popular tourism and recreation playground, contains an estimated 77 million tons of toxic mining wastes that have washed down the Coeur d'Alene River for more than a century. The federal Environmental Protection Agency two years ago expanded its Superfund cleanup of Silver Valley mine wastes to include the entire Coeur d'Alene River Basin, essentially taking on a $360 million cleanup from Mullan to Spokane.