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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Day-care center bill to have hearing

Compiled from staff reports The Spokesman-Review

Boise Legislation developed over the past year and a half by the North Idaho Child Care Summit is up for a hearing on Tuesday, and backers are urging parents to contact lawmakers to give their opinions about the bill.

“There are a few legislators down south who think that parents don’t care about child care,” said Cathy Kowalski, owner of Loving Care Children’s Center in Coeur d’Alene and a member of the summit. “Boy, Idaho doesn’t work if child care doesn’t work. It’s important economically to our state, and it’s important to parents that their children are safe.”

The bill, HB 250, is sponsored by Rep. George Sayler, R-Coeur d’Alene, and will have a public hearing Tuesday in the House Health and Welfare Committee. The measure requires basic safety standards for all day-care centers in Idaho, including criminal history checks for the people who take care of the kids, basic fire-safety standards like providing smoke alarms, and some limits on how many children one adult can oversee at once.

Kowalski urged parents to contact members of the House Health and Welfare Committee to give their opinions on the bill. Committee members can be reached with phone messages at (800) 626-0471, or by e-mail through the Legislature’s Web site, Click on “How to contact legislators” on the left, and then “Contact by committee.” Select the House Health and Welfare Committee, and then click on “E-mail all legislators on this committee.”

“Parents should voice their opinions,” Kowalski said.

CdA Casino powwow scheduled for today

The Coeur d’Alene Casino is holding a powwow today to mark its 12th anniversary.

Admission to the event is free. The drum call is at noon, with grand entry at 1 and 7 p.m. Between 300 and 400 dancers are expected for the powwow, along with 30 drums.

“Warmth, hospitality and sharing are at the center of all tribal cultures,” said David Matheson, the casino’s chief operating officer. “They are also at the center of how we do business here. This anniversary event is another way for us to be thankful for the successes we’ve achieved and to always remember the cultural depth we enjoy, and keep it strong.”

The casino and its resort hotel have an estimated $100 million annual impact on the region’s economy, according to tribal estimates.

David Brown Eagle, a member of the Spokane Tribe, will serve as master of ceremonies. The head male dancer is Joe Mellon of the Colville Confederated Tribes, and the head female dancer is Dolly Heemsah of the Yakama Tribe. The host drum is Lightning Spirit of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe.

The Coeur d’Alene Casino is about 30 minutes south of Coeur d’Alene on U.S. Highway 95. For more information, call (800) 523-2464.

Reservations for lookout nights start Monday

The Lunch Peak Lookout is still shuttered for the season, but potential lookout renters can start making reservations Monday, the Sandpoint Ranger District has announced.

The lookout will be available for rent for up to three nights at a time beginning July 1, assuming that a late-season snowstorm doesn’t prevent access by that date. The lookout is deep in the West Cabinet Mountains near Hope, Idaho. The Forest Service restored it and opened it to the public two summers ago. The lookout is accessible by vehicle and has a panoptic view of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

A long flight of stairs leads to a deck that surrounds the cabin, which is a bare-bones affair, requiring renters to bring everything they would need for a camping trip, except the tent. It has no heat or cooking facilities. The lookout does have a picnic table. A new restroom was built in the fall of 2003 and is about 500 feet from the lookout.

The cost to rent the lookout is $25 per night. To make a reservation, call the Sandpoint Ranger District at (208) 263-5111, or visit the office at 1500 Highway 2 in Sandpoint during regular office hours.

The Panhandle National Forest has several other old fire lookouts available for rent, three of which are in the Bonners Ferry Ranger District. To learn more about other lookouts in the Panhandle, log onto and click on “Find Your Place.”

New look for sheriff’s department Web site

The Latah County Sheriff’s Department has updated its Web site and is inviting the public to check it out.

The Web address is One of the latest features on the site is a customer service survey. People who have had contact with deputies are encouraged to fill out the survey and submit suggestions and comments. The Web site also includes weekly “hot sheets” and public service announcements.

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