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Updated: 7 min 42 sec ago

TGIF Wild Card -- 2.5.16

February 5, 2016 - 5:12pm

I find myself eyeing my garden spot in the back yard every morning when I first wake up. I have plans for some changes there. But I did much of the heavy lifting last year when I replace the wood chips around my growing boxes with rock. Six yards of rock, wheelbarreled by yours truly from the driveway to the garden. I noticed this morning that it hadn't faded one iota, like wood chips do. It was my wife's idea to put in the rock. Now that it's in and looks so good, she likes to point that out. Here's your Friday Wild Card ...

Parting Shot -- 2.5.16

February 5, 2016 - 5:06pm

Security personnel watch as Denver Broncos players perform a drill on the field during an NFL football practice in Stanford, Calif., Friday. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Constitutional Convention? Maybe

February 5, 2016 - 4:50pm

Idaho may soon join the states that are petitioning for a convention to consider adding a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution. Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa is sponsoring the concurrent resolution. The balanced budget amendment would require Congress to stay within projected revenues when appropriating money each fiscal year, except during a national emergency. House Majority Caucus Chairman John Vander Woude, R-Nampa, supports the idea of an amendment to get federal spending under control. “It doesn’t make any difference who’s in control, Republicans or Democrats. They all know that money gets votes,” Vander Woude said. “Nobody seems to want to balance the budget. So we’re thinking, maybe if we had a constitutional convention and an amendment, that would force the federal government to actually run on a balanced budget”/Melissa Davlin & Seth Ogilvie, Idaho Reports. More here.

Question: Would you like to see Congress forced to balance its budget?

'Average' snow year welcome after drought

February 5, 2016 - 4:45pm

Dave Kreft spent the last week of January on snowmobiles and snowshoes, visiting remote mountain sites in northeast Washington to measure snow depth and water content. The surveys revealed a midwinter snowpack that’s near normal. “It’s shaping up to be an average year, and average is good, particularly compared to last year,” said Kreft, a snow surveyor for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Spokane. Last year’s “snow drought” led to havoc around the region, setting the stage for an incendiary wildfire season, water shortages and poor survival rates for migrating sockeye salmon. But if mountain snows continue to accumulate through April 1, the region should experience a return to normal water conditions this summer, Kreft said/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: Would you like to see more snow in the area this winter?

Cutline Contest -- Time2Vote

February 5, 2016 - 4:30pm

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, and Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spar during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by MSNBC at the University of New Hampshire Thursday in Durham, N.H. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Thursday Winner -- Sibulsky with 8 likes: One of these things is not like the other. You can see the Thursday Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic -- 2.5.16

February 5, 2016 - 4:17pm
  • 4:15 p.m. Police Log -- Coeur d'Alene PD activities report for Feb 4-5 here.
  • 4:01 p.m. Injury Fall -- 88YO female has fallen @ River City Lanes, 965 W Seltice Way/Post Falls.
  • 3:33 p.m. Non-injury Crash -- Rear-ended crash in which a Scott's Taxi was hit @ H95/Bosanko Ave, CdA.
  • 3:30 p.m. Welfare Check -- PFPD officer stopping for two juveniles @ Poleline Ave/Syringa St, Post Falls.
  • 3:29 p.m. Traffic Hazard -- Occupied Nissan w/4-way flashers on is in median @ s/b H95/Orchard Ave/Hayden.
  • 3:22 p.m. Possible DUI -- Driver of yellow pickup has gone off highway 4 times @ e/b I-90/MP 1 (Beck Road)
  • 3:03 p.m. Patient Transfer -- Kootenai Health to Hospice House.
  • 2:50 p.m. Hitchhiker -- At e/b I-90 onramp @ Sherman Ave/CdA.
  • 2:45 p.m. Unconscious Male -- 56YO male fell from wheelchair ramp @ 8600 block of Meadowbrook Loop/CdA.
  • 2:45 p.m. Chest Pain -- Ivy Court Assisted Living, 2200 Ironwood Place/CdA.
  • 2:42 p.m. Cardiac Arrest-- CPR in progress @ 8500 block of Brice Canyon St/Rathdrum.
  • 2:32 p.m. Unattended Death -- Government Way/Neider Ave.
  • 2:22 p.m. Stomach Pain -- 49YO female needs ambulance transport from Kootenai Urgent Care, 566 W Prairie Ave.
  • 2:17 p.m. Fire Alarm -- Post Falls Specialty Dentist, 313 N Spokane St/Post Falls.
  • 2:11 p.m. Breathing Problem -- 86YO male @ 13th Ave/Catherine St, Post Falls.
  • 1:58 p.m. Breathing Problem -- 72YO male @ 900 block of Polston Ave/Post Falls.
  • 1:47 p.m. Reckless Driver -- Driver of blue Ford pickup w/"Dixie" sticker speeding, making direction signals with hand.
  • 1:18 p.m. Unruly Male -- Unruly male & female friend chasing off customers @ Bennett Bay Inn.
  • 12:49 p.m. Patient Transfer -- Kootenai Health to Hospice House.
  • 12:32 p.m. Accidental Poisoning -- 900 block of W Woodland Drive/CdA.
  • 12:02 p.m. Burglar Alarm -- 17100 block of Circle Star Trail/Garwood.
  • AM Scanner Traffic with 18 items

Stallings rips Statesman edit page

February 5, 2016 - 3:34pm

In a response to an Idaho Statesman editorial taking Democrats to task for not fielding congressional candidates, former Democratic congressman Richard Stallings returns fire in an op-ed by saying the Statesman editorial page has turned jellyfish:

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read this recent editorial headline in the Idaho Statesman: “Wanted: Candidates for Congress in Idaho.” So I decided to offer my opinion. From a candidate’s perspective, a more appropriate headline would be: “Wanted: A Capital City Newspaper That Gives a Damn About Politics.” Or, as it applies to the Statesman: “Wanted: An Editorial Board with Backbone.” The Idaho Statesman, the state’s largest and potentially most influential newspaper, has turned itself into an arm of the political establishment. On the opinion page, it sees, hears and speaks no evil – to incumbents, that is. In the last election, this jellyfish of an editorial board endorsed every incumbent running in a contested race, except one. The Statesman did not have the courage to take a stand on the state treasurer’s race, where the incumbent was neck-deep in allegations of mismanagement. More here.

Question: Do you read editorials in the Idaho Statesman?

Blogos: On a snowy walk

February 5, 2016 - 2:53pm

This old wagon wheel with snow on it was one of the sights that Marianne Love/Slight Detour saw on a snowy walk. You can see others here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, Feb 4): 10,510 page-views/6,613 unique views

The Codification of a slur

February 5, 2016 - 2:20pm

Tara A. Rowe of The Political Game blog offers a thoughtful post re: codifying slurs, like the attempt by a north-central Idaho legislator to gain approval for a vanity plate for the mascot of Orofino High: Maniacs:

Words matter. What we call one another reflects on both ourselves and on those around us. If I were to use a slur against you right now, how would it be read? First, it would speak to who I am--my values, principles, worldview--and then it would inevitably say something about you--your race, religion, culture. This has always been how we process information that underlies a slur. Now think about the slurs that we don't allow in our culture, at least to the degree that we do not condone their use and often shame their users. Did the n-word come to mind? Of course it did. There are slurs that most of us think of as so heinous that even uttering them in an explanatory way may cause a visceral reaction. More here.


Mrs. Abedini faces abandonment

February 5, 2016 - 1:47pm

Naghmeh Abedini, who rose to religious freedom superstardom in Christian circles in recent years, may now be abandoned by many who once chapioned her cause. Abedini is a Boise resident who toured the country relentlessly, advocating for release of her husband, Saeed Abedini, an Iranian American pastor imprisoned in an Iranian jail cell. now, she has filed for separation for her husband, claiming she has suffered years of abuse at his hands. Idaho Statesman story here.

Read more here:

CdA doc faces drug trafficking charge

February 5, 2016 - 1:38pm

Kootenai Health statement: Kootenai Health has been made aware through local news media and a release from the U.S. Department of Justice that gastroenterologist Stanley Toelle, MD, has been incarcerated. Until more information is known on this situation, Dr. Toelle has been placed on precautionary leave. We have no additional information at this time.

Seven people, including a 61-year-old Coeur d'Alene man, were arrested on Thursday for conspiracy to distribute substances, distribution of controlled substances, and conspiracy to engage in money laundering, and law enforcement officials say a 27-year-old Liberty Lake woman is still wanted. Dr. Stanley Toelle, of Coeur d'Alene, was one of seven people arrested in connection to a multi-state drug trafficking and money laundering ring. The six other defendants were Loren Toelle, 51, Steven Wayne Jackson, 30, Sean Lee Jackson, 27, Robert Lamar Hill, 54, Kristin Rene Wilson, 28, all of Las Vegas, Nevada. Stanley Toelle and Sherlann Simon of North Las Vegas was arrested for money laundering. Stanley Toelle is a gastroenterologist in Coeur d'Alene/KHQ 6. More here.

So long, mini-van, hello, life

February 5, 2016 - 1:09pm

Last weekend I hit a monumental milestone in my life as a mom. A book closed. An era ended. I sold my minivan. Maybe I was supposed to use this epic event as an opportunity to look back with wistful nostalgia, to reminisce and sigh over how quickly the years pass. But I didn’t. Instead I grinned and threw my hands in the air to cheer/Jill Barville, SR. More here.

Question: Have you passed one of life's milestones recently?

Free skiing for Toyota drivers

February 5, 2016 - 11:51am

This may be the only day of the year when Toyotas outnumber Dave Smith Motor GMs, according to Huckleberries Online commenter JohnA. Anyone who drives a Toyota to Silver Mountain today gets to ski free. Dunno what kind of vehicle JohnA was driving to Kellogg today. But I suspect he's skiing as I'm typing this.

Question: Do you own a foreign vehicle?

AM Scanner Traffic -- 2.5.16

February 5, 2016 - 11:45am
  • 11:54 a.m. Smoke Check -- Smoke seen in Falls Park area, near Spokane St/Post Falls off ramp.
  • 11:24 a.m. Wanted Teen -- 17YO male wanted for possible probation violation ran from Post Falls Library/Spokane St area after spotting probation officer approaching. Teen jumped several fences & was headed for Post Falls Middle School.
  • 11:18 a.m. Possible Stroke -- LaCrosse Health & Rehabilitation, 210 W. LaCrosse Ave/CdA.
  • 11:17 a.m. Breathing Problem -- Life Care, 460 N Garden Plaza Court/Post Falls.
  • 10:56 a.m. Lights Malfunction -- Traffic lights blinking red in all directions @ Govt Way/Kathleen Ave, CdA.
  • 10:53 a.m. Unknown Medical -- 2000 block of W James Crowe Drive/Hayden.
  • 10:21 a.m. Hit-and-Run -- Officer stops run vehicle @ H53/Hauser Lake Road (10:13 item).
  • 10:14 a.m. Injury Fall -- 3700 block of N4th St/CdA.
  • 10:13 a.m. Hit-and-Run -- Driver of gray pickup following silver Silverado that hit him @ H41/H53, Rathdrum, and left.
  • 10:06 a.m. Alarm Test -- Fire official testing fire alarm @ Stancraft Boats, 4739 E Seltice Way/Post Falls.
  • 9:59 a.m. General Illness -- Sick 11YO boy is in Holy Family Catholic School office, 3005 Kathleen Ave/CdA.
  • 9:58 a.m. Unconscious Person -- Lake Haven Assisted Living, 1027 E Honeysuckle Ave/Hayden.
  • 9:58 a.m. Vehicle Burglary -- Deputy returns stolen items in car burglary to 2800 block of Ferry Landing Ave/Post Falls.
  • 9:53 a.m. Unconscious Person -- Heavenly Star Court/Radiant Star, Post Falls.
  • 9:34 a.m. Panhandler -- Officer stops to prevent male from panhandling @ I-90/H41 onramp/Post Falls.
  • 9:13 a.m. Traffic Hazard -- Tire in middle of the highway @ I-90/MP 12 (H95/CdA).
  • 9:14 a.m. Motorist Assist -- ISP officer helping disabled motorist @ H53/MP 12 (Atlas Road/Hayden).
  • 8:12 a.m. Unknown Medical -- H41/Roberts Road, Athol.

IFF proposes Ottercare alternative

February 5, 2016 - 11:31am

Wayne Hoffman of IFF proposes alternative plan to Obamacare & Ottercare:

This legislative session, lawmakers have a choice. They can approve Gov. Butch Otter’s government-run health-care expansion idea for low-income people; the price tag includes hiring more government employees and interference with the doctor-patient relationship. Alternatively -- without the costly expansion and interference -- legislators can truly help low-income people get needed health-care services, as well as break their cycle of poverty. Here’s how the alternative to Ottercare would work: Low-income Idahoans with chronic health-care problems would be allowed to deposit money in a special savings account, with all of the money restricted for preventative health services. Each dollar deposited would be matched by a local non-profit, sometimes as much as 10-to-1. The state of Idaho would also contribute to the savings account, perhaps up to $300 a year. By the end of a year, a participant could amass a significant amount in his or her account, from which money could be drawn for medical services and prescription drugs. More here.

DFO: I wonder how long a poor person, with no surplus income, would have to save to afford to pay even one night in a hospital? Thoughts?

ThomG: Gotta protect 'ugly speech' too

February 5, 2016 - 11:13am

ThomG (RE: No place for Confederate flag on county property): "Yeah, but do something about this and the next time I park my Subaru with a Barack Obama bumper sticker, or a NARAL Pro-choice sticker and you have someone complaining about that. Free speech sometimes mean ugly speech."

Washington boozers line Idaho coffers

February 5, 2016 - 11:06am

Idaho’s state Liquor Division reports that its sales continue to see a big boost thanks to Washington having privatized liquor in 2012, driving up prices there and prompting more near-border customers to buy their booze across the state line in Idaho. Idaho Liquor Division sales were $143.9 million in fiscal year 2011; they hit $169 million in 2014, $179 million in 2015 and are projected to hit $185.7 million in the current year, fiscal year 2016. Next year, sales are forecast at $193.3 million, up 4.1 percent from this year/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

DFO: Will you please join me in thanking the booze hounds from Washington for contributing to the Idaho economy by buying their alcohol in the Gem State.

AM Headlines -- 2.5.16

February 5, 2016 - 10:06am

The sun sets Tuesday at the Cedar Motel and RV Park in Coeur d’Alene. Residents there will have to move out by May 1. Hagadone Hospitality Co. bought the 2.3-acre property in November and plans to clear the site, located near the entrance to the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course, and clean up failing septic systems serving the RV park and motel. SR story here. (Kathy Plonka/SR)

Poll: Base bathroom use on biology

February 5, 2016 - 9:56am
  • Thursday Poll: A near supermajority of Hucks Nation disagree with a Washington Human Right Commission regulation that bases use of public restroom on gender identity rather than biology (genitalia). 148 of 230 respondents (64.35%) opposed the change. 62 of 230 respondents (26.96%) supported it. 20 (8.7%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you support Medicaid expansion in Idaho?

Memo to Seahawks Fans

February 5, 2016 - 9:30am

A little reminder
we hope will be heeded:
your 12th Man regalia
for this game's not needed.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue