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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Perfect Husband Rolls A Perfect Game After Call

What kind of guy is bowler Bub Lawson? Well, as he lined up his shot in the ninth frame Monday, he was paged. His wife, Michelle, wanted to know how to access their computer's e-mail. No big deal, huh? Well, the other bowlers went nuts. They feared the phone call would ruin Bub's concentration. You see, Bub had opened with eight straight strikes. Before he answered the call, he threw another strike. Afterward, he rolled three more in the 10th for his first 300 game. Significantly, Bub hadn't mentioned anything about his game to his wife. And if she'd thrown him off? She wouldn't have found out about it from him. May his kind increase. Oh, Dani girl Dani, 4, daughter of sportswriter Jim Meehan, was horrified after frolicking on the McDonalds playset recently. Seems someone took Dani's boots while she was at play, leaving an identical pair - several sizes smaller. They didn't fit, of course. Tearfully, Dani told her mother, Jodene: "We stayed too long. My feet grew."

How Do You Say ‘Coeur D’Alene’ In Spanish?

So, what do Internet users think about Commissioner Ron Rankin's goofy plan to designate English as the official language of Kootenai County? Let's hear from one of them: "Yo creo que seria un buen idea para designar espanol como la lengua oficial del departmento Kootenai. Creo que si alguien es demadiado estupido para aprenderlo, entonces no deberia hacer declaraciones sobre los otros deberia o no deberia hacer." In other words, "I think it would be a good idea to make Spanish the official language of Kootenai County. I think anyone who is too stupid to learn it ought not to be making pronouncements about what others should or shouldn't do." Heart of an Awl, Idaho Coeur d'Alene policewoman Michelle Gallegos might be an endangered species in Senor Rankin's English-only world. In writing out a report on a petty theft Thursday, she slipped when describing the color of two earrings stolen from Lord's Jewelry, typing agua rather than aqua. Be careful out there, Michelle. ... Then, if His Rankiness' paranoia becomes law, we certainly have to do something about the name of Kootenai County's seat. How in the world are we going to keep French Canadians away if we continue to embrace the word Coeur d'Alene? Any votes out there for using the English translation for the Lake City: "Heart of an Awl"? ... Finally, there's Rankin's worry that we will print driver's manuals in multiple languages unless we stop these fer'ners now. Well, Huckleberries hates to mention this, but Idaho already issues a "Manual Para Choferes Del Estado de Idaho." And Rankin has no authority at the county level to do much about it - unless he's planning a coup.

Daughter Howls At Mom’s Mistake In Candy Store

All that's chocolate isn't necessarily yummy. Ask Joan Jessup. Some time ago, Joan was waiting for her daughter to make a purchase at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Post Falls when she noticed a plate of samples. Or at least she thought the chocolate-covered dog biscuits were samples. So, Joan popped one of the alluring morsels into her mouth. She realized her mistake an instant before her daughter burst out laughing. In fact, the two still laugh about the incident. And Joan can't quite shake the urge to scratch at the front door whenever the neighborhood dogs bark. Friendly smoke?

Musician Nearly Got Handcuffs To Go With Leather, Chains

Coeur d'Alene police scoured the town last week looking for a suspect who tried to lure two young teenagers into his car. So, Coeur d'Alene Blue hit the ground running Friday morning when a police scanner reported "a bald guy in leather and chains sleeping in a van near the school." But not to worry. A patrolman called back a few moments later to say the guy was in a rock 'n' roll band that was preparing to do a show in town that night. Understated Blue: "Yeah, they're wearing a lot of leather and a lot of chains; they're going to stand out." Here? In Coeur d'Alene? C'mon. TGIT? The Coeur d'Alene Press published a Thursday issue that was enjoyed by all - particularly Coeur d'Alene Police Department denizens. Seems a photocopy of Brand X's front page was left at the records department counter, with the date highlighted in yellow: "Friday, Feb. 27, 1997." Attached to the copy was a yellow sticker with this note: "The ultimate in wishful thinking." ... Overheard Sunday night on the office scanner: "Worley unit responding to the bingo hall for possible childbirth." Talk about hitting the jackpot. ... Then, there was the call from a crime victim who reported goods stolen from a storage shed - sometime in the past year. He must have been quite attached to the "goods" not to miss them sooner. Onward.

It’s Not Always Lovelier Second Time A Round

The cheers turned to boos for 1992 Olympic silver medalist Miguel Jiminez Feb. 12 when he climbed into the ring a second time. Earlier that evening, Jiminez had won his boxing match at the Coeur d'Alene Bingo Casino. But the fans were shocked when he subbed for the ring-card girls during a women's bout, dressed (drum roll, please) only in his underwear. Yep. Jiminez preened around the ring in his skivvies after the first and second rounds of a bout between Helga Risoy and Andrea DeShong. The combatants were too beat up to appreciate the skin show, but the few females at ringside cheered. However, they were drowned out by the boos from male fans. It wasn't a pretty sight. Bad news, good news The bad news at Boundary County Junior High was that a snowstorm damaged the aged roof of the gym. The good news was that insurance money paid for refinishing the wooden floor. Now, the district is waiting to see if a state inspector who visited last week will condemn the entire building. Stay tuned. ... A cyberspace search under the keywords "Idaho" and "gambling" turned up "History of Insanity." Draw your own conclusions. ... I hope they find the guy who ripped up Gail Weaver's mail and scattered it all over the road in front of her Blanchard home. I could use him to go through my junk mail.

Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This

So, you go to bed Tuesday night, confident that a 5 o'clock wake-up call will give you plenty of time to catch a 7:10 a.m. flight from Boise. The two days at the Legislature have been productive. Then, you wake up at 6:25 a.m., disoriented and wondering what happened to the Hotel Idanha wake-up call. At that point, you don't have time to bawl anyone out. So, you grab your bags, rush off and hope you haven't left any underwear behind. Next, you throw your bags into the rental car and break off the rearview mirror. That's when you pray the lights are green and the check-in line is short. They are. You rush through the Boise airport a la O.J. Simpson (before he took up cutlery), set off the security beeper and reach your seat with five minutes to spare. Then, you notice your pants are unbuttoned. And the pilot says: "Ah, we're having mechanical difficulty. We will have to ask everyone to leave the plane." Thank God it's Monday. Wake-up call II

Thieves Steal Hoagie Meal Nine Years In The Making

Somewhere out there are a couple of hairballs who stole a five-gallon jar and a day of free eats at Franklin's Hoagies. Owners Larry and Pauline Anderson believe the jar contained about $3,000 - all customer donations. For the past nine years, Larry has promised to treat all his customers to a sumptuous hoagie the day the jar was full. The money was about an inch from the top when the thieves struck Tuesday night. Fortunately, they were as incompetent as Virgil Starkwell (Woody Allen) in "Take the Money and Run." They dropped and broke the jar, leaving behind a quarter of the money. Now, it's one thing to steal money from the public; it's quite another to steal Hoagies. Let's nab these bozos. Any leads out there?

Pierce Brosnan’s Word Is His Bond

Imagine Tom Torgerson's surprise when Hollyweird invited him to the Los Angeles premiere of "Dante's Peak." Torgerson, an agent for Beutler & Associates, helped actor Pierce Brosnan find a rental during filming in Wallace. Well, maybe "rental" isn't the right word. The Spokane River place cost 10,000 clams per month. Anyway, before Brosnan left, he asked Tom if there was anything he could do for him. So, Tom mentioned he'd like to go to the premiere - not thinking anything would come of it. Now, he and girlfriend Marcia Smith are off to Hollywood for Wednesday's show. Ask and ye shall receive. Going postal At the ZipStop catty-corner from the Coeur d'Alene post office, a customer was eyeing the last of the chicken fingers when the clerk spoke up. She informed him that postal employees would be disappointed if there were no chicken fingers left for lunch. The man decided not to risk it. Said he: "God knows I don't want to make someone that works at the post office mad. They know where I live."

Hey, Principal! Little Brother’s Watching You

Coeur d'Alene High Principal Steve Casey is proud of younger brother Greg, the first Idahoan to serve as U.S. Senate sergeant at arms. As such, Greg oversees a $90 million budget and has the power to arrest the president (and some of us wish he would). Still, each family has a pecking order, and Steve decided recently to remind Greg of theirs. Swaggered Steve: "I can still take you." Countered Greg, without missing a beat: "No you can't. You couldn't even get near me." Guards! Here come duh judge Attorney Mike Verbillis, representing a woman who claims chemicals in North Idaho College's Hedlund Building made her sick, has a strange way of impressing judges. During a recent proceeding, the Coeur d'Alene lawyer said to Judge Gary Haman: "You don't need to be really bright to read this statute and understand it, judge." ... Sports staffers appreciated NIC wrestling coach John Owen's personally signed letter inviting them to the big dual-meet match with powerhouse Ricks on Thursday. Even though they got it Friday. But, hey, it's the thought that counts. ... What would a day of Huckleberries be without mention of the zany Bonner County government? The Bonner County Underground has suggested a name for their new masters' gang: Citizens Against Virtually Everything. Or CAVE. Clever. ... The resistance also suggested a slogan for the next Bonner County department that gets the ax, the ax, the ax: "Last one out turn off the lights!"

Rankin Plans A Sleepover At Cheaper Digs

Commissioner Ron Rankin already has made an impact on the Kootenai County budget. In his first week in office, the tax activist decided the county wasn't going to pay $76 per day for him to stay several nights at the Red Lion Riverside during an Association of Counties meeting in Boise next month. So he made reservations at an economy motel that served him well before he became a political superstar - for $32.50 per day. His stand was infectious. County Clerk Dan English, who also had winced at the Red Lion room rate, followed by checking into an inexpensive motel across from the convention site. Now, Commissioner Dick Compton and English have made reservations at an econo-motel for a Boise trip later this month. And other county officials? I'm sure taxpayers would say: "Go, thou, and do likewise." Oh say can she sing

Broken-Down Visitor Taken In By Repairman

Oregonian Reagan Ririe, en route to British Columbia, was lucky her car was towed to Alton's here after it broke down. She didn't know that at first, however. By the time manager Steve Callaway finished explaining the mechanical problems, she was crying. She'd just spent $380 for repairs in Spokane. And her credit card was maxed out. In fact, Ms. Ririe didn't have enough money to pay for a motel room. Not to worry. Steve and his wife invited her to stay with them for the night and next day while the car was being repaired. Then, our Good Samaritan succeeded in getting his visitor a new credit card to cover the repairs. Later, he explained he would want someone to do the same for his wife. May his kind increase. New dog at Bob's

Teen Power Outage Creates Shoveling Woes

And I thought I didn't need a snow blower because I have a teenage son. Ahahaha. ... I spent the holidays on vacation shoveling the driveway, the sidewalks, the roof - and playing tag with snowplows. Some vacation. ... As I rounded a corner near home one evening, a plow chased me into a berm, where my Honda stuck fast. I'd just bragged that my timing had been perfect in moving Junior's failing '77 Malibu off the street hours earlier. Pride cometh before the plow. ... A few days earlier, a policeman had warned my wife to get "The Green Bomb" off the street within 12 hours - or else. I didn't view his warning as much of a threat, because my street is one of the last plowed. I knew it'd be impassable before he returned with his ticketbook. ... I applaud the weary plow drivers who finally came by at 1:30 New Year's Eve morning. But I wonder why the city doesn't plow streets, say, on odd number days and avenues on even ones. Then, I'd know when to move the Huckleberry Pup's car. And Mr. Snow Cop could be put to better use - like shoveling driveways. Snowbound I owe a jelly doughnut to the CPD Blue who stopped the Huckleberry Pup for defective headlights. The gendarme didn't ticket the frightened lad - and he called in backup to help push The Green Bomb out of a little berm. Now, that's the kind of service I want for my tax dollar. ... S-R colleague Steve Massey wasn't as lucky. The Snow Cop ticketed him for leaving his old Scout on the street too long - at 5 o'clock Christmas Eve. Doesn't that guy have a family? ... In Sandpoint, police towed cars parked on the street Christmas Eve for highway district plowers. On New Year's Eve, however, my bloodhounds tell me that SPD Blue dug a cruiser parked on the street out of a plow berm. Where's the Snow Cop when you need him? ... By the way, did you hear the one about a local trucking company that invited every employee to its Christmas party except the three shop guys who change tires? I'd be kicking the tires on my office rig if I were a company muckety-muck.

Flier Sends Callers Barking Up Wrong Tree

Recently, area tree huggers tried to drum up interest in a proposed land trade between the U.S. Forest Service and Plum Creek Timber Co. for acreage up the St. Joe. So, they circulated a press release urging people to call the St. Joe Ranger District. Only problem: They gave the wrong telephone number for the ranger district. The poor sap whose number was listed must have been inundated with calls. His answering machine told people calling about the Mosquito-Fly land trade they had the wrong number and then gave the right number. Tsk, tsk. And the greenies say the Forest Service makes mistakes.

Cheerleaders, Student Paper Show Signs Of Life

An interesting tiff between Lake City High cheerleaders and the school paper brings back memories. It all started when the paper editorialized that the pompon crowd should quit being so snooty to the rank-and-file. Cheerers and their friends responded by posting a big banner in the lunchroom signed by backers. Later, a small sign defending the First Amendment was tacked beneath, autographed by LCHS' junior journalists and their sympathizers. Principal John Brumley probably had a cow. But the fracas reminded me of the time I enraged my junior college's cheerleaders by opining that they were lazy, their routines lousy. Ah, sweet memories. Save me a space on the First Amendment sign. Up in smoke

Holiday Spirit Can Wear Thin For Santa’s Elves

Santa's helpers have bad days, too what with all the making of lists, double checking them and the push to fill St. Nick's bag. CdA's Mike Hutter encountered an irritable elf last week at the Coeur d'Alene Downtown Association's Thanksgiving parade. Seems the North Pole denizen wouldn't let Mike drive down Foster Avenue prior to the parade. Every time Mike tried to go around him, the pixie - all 6 feet and 170 pounds of him - stepped in his way, finally forcing him to back down the block. Later, Mike spotted the elf riding in the parade with Santa. Still later, as Mike prepared to leave his parking spot, the Elf From Hell reappeared, blocking his exit. The EFH then struck Mike's window, broke his side mirror and threw a chunk of ice at his van. Why? The EFH thought Mike had tried to run him over earlier. Luckily, there's only 16 shopping days until Christmas. Be careful out there. Sleepless in Post Falls

Radio Station Callers Don’t Ring True

It's KVNI. KVNI. Not KBNI. Seems listeners of the Coeur d'Alene AM station can't seem to get its call letters right - much to the dismay of Herb Helstrom's family. Occasionally, the Helstroms get a call from a KVNI listener who asks, "Am I caller number four?" or has the answer to a trivia question. You see, their phone number is the same as the station's on-air line except for one digit. Uh-huh. The Helstroms' last four digits spell out "KBNI." They didn't mind, however until the ice storm hit. On Black Tuesday, their darkened home was bombarded with 22 calls with people asking about school closures, shelter or offering advice. So, children, one last time, it's KVNI. "V" as in "Victor" - and "Vexation." Have tort, will travel II

Ok, So Our Freezer Advice Was Soft News

Did we say that? Apparently, Shoshone County Commissioner Sherry Krulitz took to heart the front-page advice in Wednesday's S-R. A list of 11 things to do and not to do "when the lights go out" included this one: "Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. If the door remains closed, a full freezer can keep frozen for two days." Ah, would you believe 24 hours? Two days after the Great Ice Storm From Hell, Sherry opened her freezer to find that the food inside was frozen in name only. Everything was going bad. She spent the rest of Thursday trying to make huckleberry jam out of squishy huckleberries. (And, if you want to see who else is going to get squishy huckleberries, keep reading.) CHERRIES JUBILEE: If the "Glass Menagerie" crowd was more appreciative than usual during the second night's performance, there was a reason. Seems the patrons didn't mind when the window clerk for the North Idaho College production went AWOL. According to the NIC Sentinel's Chokecherries column, the freeloaders simply helped themselves to seats. And really meant it when they yelled: "Encore!" ... In the Nov. 14 edition, the NIC Chokemeister also tells of an attempt by new-age flower children to organize a "Hippies Don't Suck Ralley." Obviously, the neo-hippies didn't inhale much book learning either. ... Then, there was the college hand who tried to vote for NIC trustees at his accustomed place, the student union. But he was turned away by a precinct worker. Wrong precinct? Yes. But that wasn't the reason he was gonged. "Oh," said the poll watcher, "that election has already been held." And college officials were worried the trustee election would be lost in the shuffle if they combined it with the general election.

Car Crash Cover-Up Just A Rural Rumor

Rumor Control: On Election Eve '96, rumors swirled in Democratic circles that state Rep. Jeff Alltus, R-Hayden Lake, had covered up a mid-October vehicle accident. But crashgate this was not. Indeed, Alltus and former CIA agent Dave Cope of Harrison had crashed into each other on a U.S. Forest Service road in the St. Joe area. Seems Cope was returning from a hunting trip when he rounded a curve going uphill. Alltus was headed downhill. Their cars collided, causing minor damage to each. Afterward, the two exchanged insurance information but said little else. Each thought the other had been going too fast for conditions. Now, Cope said he's considering filing a small-claims suit against Alltus to recover his $500 deductible. Stay tuned. Down but not out

Gop Celebrates In High-Rolling, High-Tech Style

So, what's the difference between Kootenai County Democrats and Republicans - besides basic philosophy? While the D's scrounged for a TV set to watch election results Tuesday at the Iron Horse, the R's gathered at Agency One and watched television and political Web sites projected on a wall. Also, they had wireless microphones - which allowed party leaders to point out significant results in stereo sound - plus a barbecue served by Rustler's Roost. The Democrats settled for a small buffet - and a giant whuppin'. Indeed, money is the mother's milk of politics. Election reflections On the other hand, Ada County Republicans weren't as well-prepared, reports Our Woman in Boise. Seems a convention forced them into a ballroom at the Red Lion Riverside hotel about half the size of 1994's gathering place. Horrified, GOP Chairman Ron McMurray ordered tables removed from the room. But the crush of bodies sent the room temperature soaring. Most of the faithful retreated to hotel hallways. ... Our Woman in Boise also reports that McMurray and head Democrat Bill Mauk were upset that network TV projected U.S. Republican Sen. Larry Craig's win before Idaho polls had closed. So was I. ... By the way, while other candidates greeted their fans, Craig played hard to get in a Boise hotel room until the late news. So what else is new? North Idaho hasn't seen him yet.