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Coeur d'Alene obstetrician Dr. William Tarnasky is joining the Democratic race for governor, promising more ideas and less fund raising. "If my ideas don't sell, money is not going to buy it," Tarnasky said Tuesday. "The public has to make a choice. Do they want leadership with ideas and a new way of doing things, or a politician who's been bought by special interest groups?"
Larry Watson announced he will seek a second term in the Idaho House of Representatives from District 4. The Wallace Democrat says his accomplishments include work on property tax relief, establishing the rights of float-home residents and restructuring the Idaho Board of Tax Appeals. During his term, Watson served on an interim committee that drafted legislation designed to increase income for schools from state lands and the state endowment fund. He said he hopes to work on an interim committee to review Idaho's liquor laws. Watson serves on the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, the Business and Local Government committees, and the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee. The House Democratic Caucus gave him the "Friend of Local Government" award. Watson is chief deputy assessor in Shoshone County.
Don Pischner will run for a third term in the Idaho House of Representatives. The District 4 Republican cites his efforts to restore state funding for children's health insurance and to keep the state paying local jails when they house state prisoners as important contributions to North Idaho's well-being during the last session. Pischner also is the only North Idaho legislator to serve on the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee. That's important because the committee "has supported the Silver Valley cleanup, restoration and rehabilitation," he said. Pischner's other committee posts include the House Transportation and Defense Committee. A lifelong resident of Coeur d'Alene, Pischner oversees construction and environmental enhancement projects for Idaho Forest Industries. He was first elected in 1994. Property tax relief, improving U.S. Highway 95 and state budget issues are among his priorities. "I've been tremendously honored to have served this area in the legislature and I'm asking the voters to send me back for the 1999 session," Pischner said.
More than 400 bills were passed, but legislators couldn't provide answers to some of the biggest problems facing the state. Instead, hours, days and tons of emotion were poured into debates on abortion that marked the three-month legislative session, which wound up last week with a full day of haggling over a final anti-abortion bill.
Prophetic posting? One of the first places in the Lake City to sport a Ron Rankin-for-County Commissioner campaign sign? None other than Coeur d'Alene Monument, that Government Way operation that normally dispenses headstones. No doubt Rankin opponents hope this political posting is a sign that the oft-rankling commissioner will be buried at the polls. Our forecasters predict Rankin will resurrect a victory.
Post Falls High School will be replaced after voters approved a $17.97 million bond Tuesday night. Photo by Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review
Dan Williams announces his candidacy Wednesday. Photo by Craig Buck/The Spokesman-Review
The Coeur d'Alene School Board approved a four-year, $19.81 million levy proposal Tuesday that will designate more than $10 million to renovate Coeur d'Alene High School. High school administrators and parents shouted "Yes!" and hugged one another after the board voted 4-1 to send the proposal to voters in a May 19 election. Board member Herb Cheeley abstained.
The Republican congressional primary in Idaho's 2nd District narrowed to three candidates with former state Sen. Dane Watkins' decision not to enter the race, citing his wife's illness. Watkins, a businessman who served from 1973 through 1986 in the Idaho Senate, said his wife of 34 years, Sherry, began radiation treatment Tuesday for breast cancer that was diagnosed last September.
Dee Ashley, left, and Wendy Gunderson sort through hundreds of ballots cast Tuesday at Prairie View Elementary. Photo by Craig Buck/The Spokesman-Review
Poll watcher Steve Gobin monitors voting at the Frederick Post Education Center. Photo by Liz Kishimoto/The Spokesman-Review
Teachers in Boundary County won't face layoffs and students no longer will pay $100 to play sports, thanks to a two-year levy voters approved Tuesday. The $980,000 maintenance and operations levy will pay the bills and keep district officials from having to slash programs, reduce staff or close an outlying school.
A parade of concerned citizens addressed the Coeur d'Alene School Board on Monday night with an unusual request: Charge us more taxes. Please. One after another, speakers called on the board to accept a four-year, $20 million levy proposal that would allocate more than $10 million to modernize Coeur d'Alene High School.
A bond issue to build a new high school is on the ballot in Post Falls today, and in Boundary County a maintenance and operations levy is up for voter approval. The first option of the Post Falls School District bond would raise $17.97 million to build a new high school. The second option, which cannot pass without the first, would raise $2.89 million to build an athletic complex and repair the heating system at the existing high school. The 20-year bond would raise the rate of taxes per $1,000 of assessed value by $1. The current rate for the Post Falls School District is $4.57 per $1,000 of assessed value.
State welfare fraud investigator Jerry Weeks has announced he is running for sheriff of Pend Oreille County. Incumbent Doug Malby is expected to seek re-election, but has not yet made a formal announcement.
Voters will decide in November whether the state should guarantee school bonds. On a 58-8 vote, the House overwhelmingly gave the plan its final approval Friday. All North Idaho representatives voted yes.
School district officials admit most Post Falls voters have made up their minds about the school bond, but that didn't stop them from having one last information session Thursday night. Most of the chairs were empty in the cafeteria at Seltice Elementary as a handful of parents and residents asked about a proposed $21 million bond to build a new high school in the overcrowded Post Falls district.
For some voters, the question of whether to support Tuesday's $20.86 million school bond issue comes down to a question of credibility. Contentious issues have haunted the school district over the years - questions ranging from building maintenance and planning for a new elementary school to a recent debate over science curriculum and double-shifting. When the specter of double-shifting at the middle school materialized in 1995, skeptics suggested the idea was only a political move to push a bond levy.