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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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He May Push Envelope But He Doesn’t Wet It

NASA astronaut Tom Jones' two shuttle flights and jetfighter experience didn't prepare him for Priest River Elementary School. Jones was fielding questions from his starstruck Priest River fans last week when a tyke raised her hand. Asked she: "The first time you went up in the shuttle, were you so scared that you peed your pants?" (Zounds! What are these kids learning nowadays?) While teachers shot the youngun' looks that could kill, Jones stammered, Well, ah, uhm ... no. After regaining his composure, Jones said he gets butterflies in his stomach (but they never leak out).

Pr Official Yearning For Her Idaho Home

Local-girl-makes-good Khris Bershers, daughter of Bob and Louise Bershers of Hayden, is missing the green, green grass of home. And the mountains. And the lakes. The 1990 University of Idaho grad has been in Washington, D.C., for a couple of years, the last few months as press secretary for U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth, R-Idaho. But already Khris is thinking about moving back to Kootenai County - in five years or so. North Idaho Fair manager Barb Renner gave Khris her first job, at age 14, shoveling manure. Which is good training for a public relations job. Over (bang!) and out: If you were eavesdropping on cellular phone conversations (which has become an illicit pastime in Bonner County), you might have heard this unusual sign-off between two Sandpoint teens: "I just shot myself in the foot; I'll have to call you back later." ... The Sandpoint City Council, which has tried and failed to annex half of North Idaho, cried tears of relief when a rural northern area set one condition on its forced annexation: "We don't want no stinkin' chickens." The crowing Sandpointers gladly banned the banties and welcomed the new city taxpayers aboard. ... By the way, Sandpoint chauvinists can breathe easier now. The Feb. 27 People magazine article about Los Angeles Police Department detective Mark Fuhrman says nothing about his trials and tribulations with S-R photog Dan McComb. Or vice versa. Nor (whew!) does it mention anything about North Idaho Aryans. But it does show a nice picture of the home Mrs. Sandpoint Mayor is trying to sell Fuhrman. Help! Help! Kootenai County Sheriff Pierce Clegg enjoyed forming a posse and leading it down into the sheriff's office basement to answer an SOS call recently. Seems Bill Schwartz, county disaster services coordinator, had locked himself in his office and needed help getting out. Bellowed Bill to anyone who would listen: The lock malfunctioned. Few of the howling rescuers would. ... When state Rep. Jeff Alltus, R-Coeur d'Alene, dumped a ream of computer paper outside the House chamber, Rep. Tom Dorr, R-Post Falls, worried aloud: "Is that a bill you're going to introduce?" Dorr reads most legislation thoroughly.

Persistent Boy Shows Wisdom Beyond His Years

After a Presidents Day play, instructor Terry Ludiker fielded questions from his Seltice Way Elementary School audience. Up shot the hand of a third-grader. Why do people kill presidents? he asked. Responded Terry: Presidents make unpopular decisions which make people angry. But, continued the persistent boy, doesn't the next president just make the same decisions? Which is a child's way of saying: Why do they all sound alike once they take office? The kid belongs on talk radio. Still wondering: Another tyke asked Terry the question that has haunted baby boomers for three decades: "Why didn't President Kennedy use bulletproof glass on his car?" ... Clarence "Cip" Paulsen, cocaine ringleader of Spokane's "Operation Doughboy," didn't squander all his drug money on high living. A little went to the Panida Theater in Sandpoint, which sells tiles and bricks to raise money. There's a tile with Paulsen's name on it hanging inside the Panida. ... An unhappy Hayden resident thinks he knows how his community spells snow removal: S-U-M-M-E-R.

Anne Fox Fired Her Main Man, Writer Claims

Idaho Superintendent of Schools Anne Fox may have found a new way to leave your honey: Can him. According to Twin Falls columnist Frank E. Lockwood, there were interesting emotional strings attached to Fox's firing of Chief Deputy Terry Haws. And I quote from a Lockwood column before the fall: "Fox was spotted holding hands with her No. 2 man at Batt inauguration activities. They have each other's pictures on their new cherry-wood furniture: Fox and Haws at a wedding, Haws and Fox at another festive social event, plus tiny professional portraits, mounted in the same frame. Fox for her part, maintains that theirs is simply a professional relationship." Hmmmmm. Maybe now the Education Department can get some work done.

Rankin Rolls Up His Sleeve For A Good Cause

Our Temporary Man In Boise tells of a discussion that took place Thursday between a state senator and a staffer in a Statehouse hallway. Staffer: "Hi, senator." Senator: "Hi. Everything under control?" Staffer: "No sir." Senator: "Anything under control?" Staffer: "No sir." Senator: "Good. Everything's normal then." Onward. Bleedin' 'em dry: Who says you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip? At a recent luncheon, the Inland Northwest Blood Center recognized tax activist extraordinaire Ron Rankin and others for donating 10 gallons of blood. At a minimum, that's more than 13 years worth of rolling up your sleeve. Attaboy, Ron. Kudos also to other North Idaho 10-galloners, including retired instructor Dick Raymond and Silver Valley broker Mary Hendrickson.

Winter Fest’s Wild Drivers On Road Again

A funny thing happened to me Wednesday morning en route to Spokane. As I approached Factory Outlets at Post Falls, I saw a red GMC Jimmy on the shoulder of I-90's westbound lane. Good thing I did, too. The car veered across two lanes of traffic in front of me and, using the median path reserved for emergency vehicles, completed the most illegal U-turn I've ever seen. Ere the GMC drove out of sight, I noticed a sign on the front door that explained all: "Sandpoint Winter Carnival." Yep. I survived a close encounter with another Sandpoint Chamber Driver From Hell. Chamber drivers II: Craig Harris, sales manager of Sandpoint's Alpine Motors, exploded last week when I wrote that another SCDFH was driving a Chevy Blazer rather than its twin, the Jimmy. His GMC dealership lends promotional cars to chamber members. Craig fired off a letter to me containing these Top Five insults: 5. "You have maintained the poor quality in factual reporting that most newspaper writers adhere to!!" 4. "The vehicles are not Chevys; they are GMCs (you most likely don't know the difference)." 3. "If by this time next year you have that rather large foot pulled out of your mouth, we could get you to come up to Sandpoint and conduct a driving school." 2. ("I'm sure you have the time since all you do is sit around and write garbage.") And (drum roll, please) 1. "I can only imagine what D.F. stands for!!"

Exec ‘Trashes’ Other Towns Wooing Micron

Bob Potter's North Idaho chauvinism has angered residents in Butte, Mont., and Waterloo, Iowa. They don't appreciate the Jobs Plus executive trash-talking their towns, which are vying with Kootenai County and 10 others for Micron's Mother of All Expansion Projects. Apparently, Bob's comment about Waterloo was printed in the Des Moines Register: "I can't imagine Micron in Waterloo. Who would want to live there?" And he stirred up Butte by dismissing it as the FBI equivalent of Siberia for unruly agents. Explains Bob: "Sometimes people just don't get my sense of humor." And sometimes the truth hurts. Fallen angel: Robert Stephen Levan's story of personal heroism gets stranger and stranger. Levan? He's the Spokane man who lied to his girlfriend and the Post Falls police that he valiantly had saved a woman from three rapists. Now, he has sent us a letter, purportedly from the female victim who, of course, is anonymous, thanking him for saving her life. Are you following this? Says the thankful "victim": "He was like a guardian angel coming from out of nowhere." And going nowhere - but jail.

Ski-Lift Operator Tells All About Silver Mountain

Ever been curious what skilift operators think as they work while crowds around them are having fun? Well, wonder no longer. Jon Luric tells all in the March issue of Transworld Snowboarding. And Silver Mountain ain't going to like it: "I couldn't stand working at Silver Mountain. To get there you had to take the world's longest gondola from a parking lot in town four miles upslope. If it didn't stop, the ride took 20 minutes each way, but management kept the time clock at the top. For the 40 minutes I donated each day they gave me 50 percent off on coffee and dollar taps in the bar after work. I had to smile at fat, rich Americans and pretend I was happy to see them. The ski instructors thought they were gods. ... But worst of all, I had to stand all day with one hand on emergency stop while snowboarders flew joyously past." Spy vs. Spy? Luric, copping an attitude throughout the article, added that Silver Mountain paid $20 each time someone reported a violation of the employees' handbook. Apparently, he quit after a friend named Milt was fired for skiing out of bounds: "Silver Mountain employees desperately needed a union. But I seemed to be the only one who thought so. The other employees were too busy spying on each other for management." ... The red ink's flowing at the Kootenai County Courthouse - at least it was during swearing-in ceremonies until Treasurer Jeannine Ashcraft noticed the color of ink in her pen. She asked for another. ... Well-wishers attending the ceremonies ran into a bottleneck outside the main courtroom of the courthouse. Seems the new metal detectors are in place. Be forewarned. They're sensitive enough to pick up the metal band on your charge cards. Freudian slip? Ex-Democratic legislator Lou Horvath is one of the Silver Valley residents supporting Mary Smith's fight to keep 38 American Eskimo dogs. When asked about his interest in the Cataldo woman's kennel, Lou's tongue slipped, "I got involved because at the time I was a state leper." Make that legislator. He and most other Democrats are lepers now. ... Anne Fox has shaken up the education department since being elected state schools superintendent. Heads have rolled. Former department flack Lindy High quit before she was fired and now is working for Gov. Phil Batt as his policy assistant on education matters. That's right. She will present Batt's education budget to Fox. Small world, isn't it?

Neighbors Have Chip On Shoulder

Resort owner Bob Templin shocked a packed house at Post Falls City Hall last week by placing neighborliness next to godliness. Neighborliness, that is, when it comes to welcoming Micron Technology to town with open arms. And he had a few strong words for the heathen who want the computer-chip giant to go elsewhere. Said Bob: "If you're not willing to share space with your neighbor, you'd better check your Christian attitude." Afterward, several speakers prefaced their remarks with the statement: "I'm a Christian, too, but ... " A good neighbor? At the same meeting, resident Gene Reed worried aloud that nearby Rathdrum, rather than Post Falls, would land Micron's $1.3 billion plant. Then, Post Falls would be stuck providing police, fire, roads, sewer and water for an influx of new residents without benefit of additional property tax revenues. But didn't Bob say neighbors are supposed to share? ... In the end, Post Falls councilors OK'd tax increment financing for Micron. Few Post Fallers know what TIF is or does but that doesn't stop most of them from having an opinion on it, including Tim Herzog. Testified Tim: "I don't understand tax increment financing, like a lot of us don't, but I don't see anything wrong with it." Huh? New Rear's resolution: Watch for Coeur d'Alene Catholics to flock en masse to local health clubs - at least the ones from St. Pius X Church, that is. Father Andy Schumacher apparently wants his congregation to get fit in '95. Why else would the good padre wish in the church bulletin that parishioners have a "Happy New Rear"? Onward.

Limo Driver, Piqued Prez Rate Among High Hucks

A Happy Huckleberry Hound new year to you this fine Monday. I'm off. You're off. So, let's both relax with a batch of the best Huckleberries from the second half of