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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Moped Man fails to elude Post Falls Police

UPDATED: Fri., Oct. 11, 2019

By D.F. Oliveria The Spokesman-Review

A thief stealing gas from a U-Haul in Post Falls made a series of bad choices when caught in the act by the gendarmes.

First, according to Post Falls police, he tried to escape on a 50cc moped, top speed 35 mph. His scooter did have one advantage, however: He drove around obstacles the pursuing officer couldn’t.

However, the thief then made a second mistake. He rode his putt-putt into the Chateau Mobile Park, around which officers formed a perimeter. It didn’t take Post Falls’ finest long to locate the moped and a male matching the thief’s description. The crook then made a final bad choice: He refused to identify himself, which added “obstructing justice” to the mounting list of crimes.

Later, the police learned that Moped Man was wanted on a felony warrant for burglary and six counts of grand theft. Strike three. Or: Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Go directly to jail.

McCuddin returns

Incredibly, a year had slipped by since Spokane artist Mel McCuddin and his quirky paintings of pod people in odd scenes visited the Art Spirit Gallery in downtown Coeur d’Alene. But Mel was back Friday evening, kicking off his annual show (which will run until Nov. 2). And he was joined by two of Huckleberries’ favorite people: Doug and Sherry Clark. In a previous life, Doug reigned for decades as the top columnist for this fish wrapper. In retirement, he and Sherry have produced a top-notch coffee book about McCuddin (192 pages, 300 images). They’ve sold more than half of a limited run of 500 books – at $125 a pop. Do yourself a favor and check out examples of “McCuddin: The Inner Eye” at


Poet’s Corner: Kombu?/No can do./Nori?/Same story – Tom Wobker, The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“On Eating Sea Vegetables”) … David Keyes of Sandpoint asks the $64,000 question: “If a person buys Halloween candy prior to Oct. 6, what are the odds it will survive until Halloween night?” … A Kellogg, Idaho, PD cop stopped a car in the middle school lot after observing it slow down, almost stop, then go again. Several times. Seems the driver was from Poland and hunting for cell service. Like E.T., he was trying to phone home … You know you’re in North Idaho, Toto, when the thirtysomething talking to the next teller at a Hayden credit union is openly packing a firearm. And no one cares.

Parting Shot

P’haps we don’t want others to know that there is a difference between Iowa and Idaho. Ken Burchell of Coeur d’Alene recalls trips back East long ago when Easterners mistook the Gem State for Iowa or even Ohio. When he insisted that Idaho was “almost to the West Coast, out in the Rockies, and near Canada,” a light would dawn. Inevitably, the response would come: “Ohhhh, where the Nazis live.” Now, there’s something you don’t want to be known for. Ever. Again.

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

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