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News >  Idaho

Candle starts house on fire; none hurt

Compiled from staff and wire reports The Spokesman-Review

An unattended candle set a house on fire in Coeur d’Alene Monday morning, causing about $10,000 worth of damage, according to the Coeur d’Alene Fire Department.

A mother and her three children were alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm at 7 a.m., according to the fire department. They safely escaped the home, but had to go through heavy smoke to get out, said Chief Kenneth Gabriel.

No one was harmed, but the house on the 1600 block of Montana Avenue sustained extensive smoke and heat damage. The fire department did not release the occupants’ names Monday.

The fire started in a bathroom where a candle was left unattended and caught a nearby towel on fire, according to the fire department.

Fire officials used the fire as an opportunity to remind residents to blow out candles when leaving a room or before falling asleep, and to make sure they are clear of all combustible materials. They also discourage burning candles that are imbedded with combustible materials, such as leaves or flowers.

In 2001, Idaho had nearly 50 candle-related fires, resulting in one death and $641,000 in fire damage, according to the fire department.

Bonner land use on Thursday agenda

Sandpoint A multiyear process to develop a new comprehensive plan for Bonner County is entering its final phase and the county’s Planning and Zoning Commission will take up the issue of land uses at its Thursday meeting this week.

The land-use component of the plan, which addresses what kind of uses will be allowed in what areas of the county, will be on Thursday’s agenda.

The comprehensive plan, which guides all development and planning for the county, has not been updated in 25 years.

Thursday’s meeting with the planning commission is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Courtroom 4 of the Bonner County Courthouse on First Avenue in Sandpoint.

More information on the comprehensive plan can be found at the planning department’s Web site;

Fireworks ban to be enforced, police say

Coeur d’Alene Police plan to strictly enforce the city’s fireworks laws this Fourth of July holiday season, the police department announced Monday.

It is illegal for anyone to have fireworks, other than non-aerial common fireworks, for any purpose within the city limits. No fireworks of any kind, including “safe and sane” fireworks, are allowed on Tubbs Hill or in City Park.

Any violation of the municipal fireworks code is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $300. The most common complaint city police get during the Fourth of July celebration is fireworks aimed at and landing on the roof of a residence, and noise from fireworks, according to Sgt. Christie Wood.

Fireworks pose an extreme fire hazard, and dry summer conditions make Tubbs Hill and other parts of town vulnerable to fire during the Fourth of July. Personal injuries caused by fireworks are another problem during the holiday, according to Wood.

Stallings rakes Kempthorne about checks

Lewiston State Democratic Party Chairman Richard Stallings, once criticized for his own checkbook mistakes, says his party should have raised more questions about Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s bounced checks, revealed by an Idaho Statesman columnist last month.

Stallings made the comments Sunday during a visit to north-central Idaho with gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brady, who lost a challenge to Kempthorne in 2002 and is seeking the office again in 2006.

In a column on May 15, Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey revealed two bounced checks from Kempthorne’s personal checking account, one for $76 and one for $35, written to the Chic Rementeria, the governor’s hairdresser.

In the article, Kempthorne said it was his responsibility to make sure his finances were in order. However, he noted that his wife, Patricia, takes care of the couple’s day-to-day business.

Reward offered in grizzly killing case

Priest River, Idaho The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the illegal killing of a grizzly bear near this northern Idaho logging community. The bear’s remains were found by employees of the Idaho Department of Lands over the weekend while they were working near the middle fork of the East River just north of Priest River.

Grizzly bears are listed as threatened under provisions of the federal Endangered Species Act and are also protected by Idaho statutes.

Illegal killings of the bears account for 90 percent of their deaths in the Selkirk Mountains. State wildlife officials say that poaching is a major hurdle to the species’ recovery in the region. To report information about poaching, tipsters can call in anonymously to the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at (800) 632-5999

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