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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: This bet was one that local human rights leader wanted to lose

In this August 2013 photo, Yvonne Wallis, of Bayview, wears a helmet to protect her brain from further injury, after being victimized by a hammer attack on Dec. 19, 2010. (Herb Huseland/Bay Views blog photo)
In this August 2013 photo, Yvonne Wallis, of Bayview, wears a helmet to protect her brain from further injury, after being victimized by a hammer attack on Dec. 19, 2010. (Herb Huseland/Bay Views blog photo)

Human rights activist Tony Stewart said repeatedly Friday night that he hoped to lose his bet to Jeanette Laster of the Human Rights Education Institute.

The bet? Stewart wagered that a ball autographed by the national runner-up Gonzaga men’s basketball team would bring in less than $2,500 at auction at the annual Human Rights Banquet.

Laster took the over. Stewart was in trouble from the get-go when Jeanne Buell opened with a $1,000 bid. The number was at $2,000 and then $2,500 before auctioneer Mike Kennedy could blink. The bidding finally stopped at $4,000, which will be used for projects of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations such as the annual MLK Jr. Fifth Grade Students Program.

Stewart joked to the large audience that he would take Laster to McDonald’s. But her taste runs a little more expensive than that. They’re going to Anthony’s at Riverstone. Stewart tells Huckleberries: “This is the first bet I have lost that I was so pleased to lose.”

Insult to injury

Life hasn’t gotten easier for Yvonne Wallis since a crazy man with a hammer attacked her family on Dec. 19, 2010.

Remember? Larry Cragun, a neighbor in her mobile home court in Bayview, burst into Yvonne’s trailer, cursed and attacked. Cragun busted Yvonne’s skull, killed her daughter-in-law and injured two others. He’s now serving a life sentence.

Meanwhile, Yvonne has had to cope with brain surgeries and IV infections that have affected her memory, speech and ability to walk.

Now, Ginger, Yvonne’s companion dog, is ailing, too, according to Herb Huseland of the Bay Views blog. Ginger needs a $700 operation. Quoth Herb: “To lose this dog would be akin to losing one’s child.”

Usually, Huckleberries doesn’t get involved in personal causes. But Yvonne’s case is different. She’s the victim of a senseless crime and has lost much. She doesn’t need one more burden. Herb suggests that any donations to defray the cost of Ginger’s operation can be sent to Yvonne Wallis at P.O. Box 144, Bayview, Idaho, 83803.


Poet’s Corner: Our legislators and their flunkies/ are more laughs than barrels of monkeys;/ but speaking frankly, heart to heart,/ I fear they may not be as smart – a poem titled “Congress” (from “The Bard of Sherman Avenue: Poems by Tom Wobker”) … Sign of the Times (on reader board near Rathdrum City Park, spotted by Evielynne Holbrook): “How do you feel when there’s no coffee? Depresso” … A recent item on the Kellogg Police Department Facebook page notes that a “tweaking” male had injected meth and then drank a bottle of “J.D.” and a six-pack of Steel Reserves. It continues: “Although that would be enough to kill a buffalo, this male was running naked being chased by the invisible people” … And another smile provided by the Kellogg PD Facebook ghost writer, who notes that the driver of a vehicle that hit a loader on Mullan Avenue didn’t have insurance. Then: “If you’re going to play chicken with a loader, maybe insurance would be a good thing. Just a thought.” A good thought.

Parting shot

Finally, Adam Mayer/KHQ points out the “McScrew-up” at McDonald’s of Kellogg that caused a cuss-tomer to throw his Big Mac at the front window. Seems the sandwich arrived with onions. And the cuss-tomer hates onions. The hot head didn’t make a clean getaway, though. The restaurant manager took down his license plate number. And it wasn’t long before a Kellogg cop arrived. The officer, according to the Kellogg PD Facebook chronicler, gave the angry man “a lesson in conflict resolution, and deductive reasoning skills.” Seems Shrek’s friend, Donkey, was right: “Not everybody like onions.”

D.F. “Dave” Oliveria can be reached at

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