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Hump Day Wild Card -- 7.30.14

July 30, 2014 - 5:25pm

When I was a teen-ager, I worked all day long in the alfalfa/hay fields for my Uncle Manuel, hauling hay in the California's Sacramento Valley on days when temperatures hit 100-110 degrees. As a 20-something, I played softball all weekend in double elimination tournaments in the Red Bluff, Calif., area, on days that temperatures reached well north of 100. On the day I interviewed for a sports editor job with the Red Bluff Daily News, in June 1972, the temperature reached 118 degrees. Triple digits in Coeur d'Alene. Pfffttt. Here's today's Wild Card ...

Parting Shot -- 7.30.14

July 30, 2014 - 5:23pm

Chincoteague Ponies make the 89th annual swim across Assateague Channel to Chincoteague, Va., on Wednesday. A portion of the wild pony herd will be auctioned on Thursday to benefit the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which owns and maintains the herd. Story here. (AP Photo/Eastern Shore News, Jay Diem)

Trailer On Spokane Zombies To Air

July 30, 2014 - 5:15pm

We've been wondering what this zombie show that's been filming in Spokane all summer is going to look like. And it sounds like tonight we might finally get a look. During the world premier of Sharknado 2 tonight on the Syfy channel, there's going to be a preview of Z Nation, which features real-life Spokanites as zombies. Z Nation is about a group of survivors of a plague that turned most of the world into zombies who are trying to get across the country to save the world (or something like that), is produced by the same company, The Asylum, that made the Sharknado movies/Bloglander. More here. (SR file photo: Special effects makeup artists spent hours transforming Phil Humphrey of Spokane into, a "Z Nation" zombie extra)

Question: Anyone willing to admit that they've been waiting for world premier of "Sharknado 2"?

Susan: J-School Skills Valuable

July 30, 2014 - 5:01pm

Comment of the Day:

Susan Cuff (RE: Popkey's financial future better -- DFO): There may be a declining number of jobs in traditional journalism, but the specific skills one learns in J-school - writing precision, critical thinking, research techniques - can be applied to a wide variety of careers. I've used everything I learned in J-school in every job I've had, in newspapers, public information, corporate communications/investor relations, technical writing and now alumni relations. Frankly, it's a skill that everyone should have - the ability to express oneself logically and precisely with the written word. I look for that in every employee I hire, regardless of job description.

Question: Susan makes a good point that journalism school teaches skills that can be used in a variety of other professions. Any of you study journalism but didn't have a career in the media? How did your schooling help.

Grandma Thanks Trooper After Ticket

July 30, 2014 - 4:42pm

Above, Copy of grandmother's letter sent to ISP. (Courtesy: ISP)

According to the KBOI staff, a grandmother who was visiting Idaho thanked an ISP trooper re: the way he handled himself while giving her a speeding ticket. You can see her letter above, which reads in full: "Dear Idaho State Police, Recently I was on vacation with my grandchildren and was pulled over for speeding. Officer Mike Nielson made it a good experience for my grandchildren by talking with them calmly and giving them stickers. He didn't leave me out and I got my very own STICKER SHOCK :) Thanks for a great attitude." Full KBOI story here.

Question: Would you have done this?

PM Scanner Traffic -- 7.30.14

July 30, 2014 - 4:35pm
  • 5:03 p.m. Unknown medical emergency @ 2800 block of Nettleton Gulch Road/CdA.
  • 5:01 p.m. Male sitting on female's CdA doorstep after yelling at her, spraying her & a child w/hose.
  • 4:44 p.m. Smoke on Canfield Mountain coming from smoldering tree that might have been hit by lightning.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 29-30 here.
  • 4:07 p.m. Male in white tank top, black shorts stole expensive head phones, perfume from Prairie Shopping Center/Hayden, and ran off toward Mineral, east of H95.
  • 3:49 p.m. Smoke reported on Canfield Mountain, above Lookout Drive/Hayden.
  • 3:40 p.m. A lot of loose gravel is lying on undisclosed Ramsey Road intersection.
  • 3:34 p.m. A male & a female are riding odd contraption b/n CdA library & McEuen Park playground.
  • 3:33 p.m. 2 dogs are running loose @ 27200 block of Lewellen Creek Road/Athol.
  • 3:29 p.m. Post Falls Police Department activities report July 29-30 here.
  • 3:19 p.m. Undisclosed parking problem @ 4414 Riverway Place/CdA.
  • 3:05 p.m. Several callers have reported reckless driving by white Chevy Impala @ e/b I-90/MP 11 (NW Blvd/CdA).
  • 2:28 p.m. Jason driving car w/o license plates on e/b Spiers Avenue/CdA.
  • 2:19 p.m. Young male is speeding & not using blinkers on s/b Greensferry/Seltice Way, Post Falls.
  • 2:02 p.m. 40is male suffering stomach pain around belly button @ 1600 block of W. Wilbur/CdA.
  • 1:26 p.m. Unknown medical emergency @ Dawn/Stephanie, Post Falls.
  • 1:23 p.m. PFPD officer reports that males were cleaning up graffiti (1:07 item), not vandalizing.
  • 1:19 p.m. Male has suffered 2-inch gash to the bone in leg @ 6792 Govt Way/Hayden.
  • 1:18 p.m. Drunk 52YO female may be suffering alcohol poisoning on 3rd Avenue/Post Falls.
  • 1:07 p.m. 2 males in gray Wrangler shorts spray-painting graffiti on Spokane Street bridge, near Qemiln Park/Post Falls.
  • 1:02 p.m. 71YO male may be suffering heart attack @ 1300 block of N. Spokane/Post Falls.
  • 12:59 p.m. PFPD Facebook: Cows in roadway at Poleline & Clark Fork (east of McGuire, south of Poleline). Animal Safety is on scene.

PM Headlines -- 7.30.14

July 30, 2014 - 4:15pm

After an explosion on board, a Tollycraft cabin cruiser boat rests, half-submerged in Lake Pend Oreille. A 70YO man and his 8YO grandson escaped w/2nd degree burns on their legs. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Mike Curry)

House GOP Votes To Sue Obama

July 30, 2014 - 4:14pm

Update: A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Obama and other Democrats derided the effort as a stunt aimed at tossing political red meat to conservative voters. Just a day before lawmakers were to begin a five-week summer recess, debate over the proposed lawsuit underscored the harshly partisan tone that has dominated the current Congress almost from its start in January 2013. The vote to sue Obama was 225 to 201/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Do you think Obama is correct -- that GOP opposition is hatin' all the time?

Coming Soon To A Sheriff Near You?

July 30, 2014 - 3:39pm

Here's the poster for a Republican Liberty Caucus gathering in St. Maries tomorrow evening, featuring Benewah County Sheriff Dave Resser. Questions of note on the poster: What is the purpose and duty of sheriff? What role does the sheriff play in security our county, state & nation? Resser ran for office as a Constitutionalist and won. Why am I telling you all this? It'll be interesting to see who emerges from the Tea Party right to run for Kootenai County sheriff two years from now in the GOPrimary.

Question: Who do you suppose the Liberty Caucus is securing Benewah County from?

Popkey Will Pull Down $84K/Year

July 30, 2014 - 3:27pm

Idaho Statesman veteran political reporter and columnist Dan Popkey will make about $7,000 per month — or $84,000 per year — when he begins his new position as U.S. Representative Raul Labrador's press secretary, Labrador's deputy chief of staff Doug Taylor confirmed Wednesday. That's a little less, Taylor said, than the last person to hold that position. “A lot of people have been saying, 'Oh, OK, so Dan Popkey decided to cash in finally, decided to go take that high-paying federal job,” Taylor said. “He probably would have made more had he stayed at the Statesman. This wasn't about the money”/Idaho Press Tribune. More here.

Question: Gannett was paying Popkey $84K per year? Seriously?

Rusche: Li'l Betsy Casts Long Shadow

July 30, 2014 - 3:23pm

JMRusche (RE: Popkey hire leaves Idaho journalism hole): Although there are several good young reporters, the experience and wisdom of Popkey and John Miller (formerly of AP) will indeed be missed. I think this is especially true for those living outside the Treasure Valley wanting to know what is going on in State Government. Melissa Davlin is good, but she is only on once a week during the legislative session and is not in a place where she can spend days or weeks digging. Kimberlee Kruesi and Rebecca Boone are good but lack time in grade. Audrey Dutton does well with the Business stuff for the Statesman, but the Statehouse? Betsy Russell may not be that big, but she has to carry an even heavier load now. If anyone knows where to look, it is Betsy. It puts a lot of burden on individuals if they want the facts and not just the political spin from Boise.

Question: Is there any question that my SR bud Betsy Russell is now the top political reporter in the state (if she wasn't before)?

HBO Blogosphere -- 7.30.14

July 30, 2014 - 2:29pm

The No. 1 song 50 years ago (as of yesterday)? "A Hard Day's Night" by the Beatles. Paul Turner/The Slice regularly provides these interesting factoids on his blog. (Illustration:

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, July 29): 8150 page-views/5007 unique views

Question: Favorite Beatle's song?

Mmm Mmm Good

July 30, 2014 - 2:11pm
You remember that old Campbell's soup line: "Campbell's soup is mmm mmm good"? Well, as I write this, I'm eating Dannon Oikos Greek nonfat yogurt with Walkabout's huckleberries from the Fernan Saddle mixed in. Mmm mmm good.

Question: What food/treat would you describe as "mmm mmm good"?

Joker: If DFO Sold Out To Political PR

July 30, 2014 - 1:54pm

Joker: We all know DFO would rather die than work in public relations. But I believe if somebody added enough zeroes to the check he would join Popkey in the blink of an eye. If money were not an issue, here are the politicians that he could work for. I’ve also added priority action steps for DFO to be successful.

  • Bob Nonini – Take away Cathyanne’s email account (easier said than done) and make Bob read, “How to win friends and influence people.”
  • Anne Nesse – Driving Mrs Nesse! Anne has trouble getting around Kootenai County to talk to voters. DFO has a map and he’s not afraid to use it.
  • Mike Kennedy – Get him to register as a Democrat.
  • Kathy Sims – Hire OTV for a fashion makeover. The 1957 hair do and outfit need updating.
  • Mary Souza – DFO is the official tape recorder confiscator. He can also connect the dots and schedule a PR coup by getting Mayor Bloem on her online radio show.
  • Steve Adams – Take away his pocket U.S. constitution. Then actually hire a civics professor to explain how the United States government works.
  • Cheryl Stransky – Get her on the back of a milk cartoon stat! People need to recognize her.
  • Mike Jorgenson -- Schedule Jorgenson on the senior MMA tour. Younger people just love brutal cage fights.
  • Vito Barbieri – Convince Vito that he needs to run against Raul Labrador. This will be a classic PR battle of wills between Popkey and DFO. Who will win this showdown? Everyone!

Popkey Hire Leaves Journalism Hole

July 30, 2014 - 1:38pm

Marc Johnson/The Johnson Post contends that Congressman Raul Labrador underscored his position as Idaho's most interesting man -- and possibly most important politician -- by hiring Statesman political reporter Dan Popkey (pictured). In this most-read column, Johnson also explained the blow suffered by Idaho journalism by this hire: "The other thing the Popkey hire illustrates, sadly, is the continuing and steady demise of real political journalism, and not just in Idaho. Dan’s reporting – along with the excellent work of the Spokesman-Review’s Betsy Russell – has long been required reading for anyone in the state who cares about politics and public policy. The kind of perspective, experience and knowledge of the political players that a reporter develops over 30 years can’t easily be replaced. Here’s hoping the effort continues to be made, but the trend lines are hardly encouraging." More here.

Question: The Statesman has now lost three important journalists in the last year -- Opinion Editor Kevin Richert, Outdoors writer Pete Zimowski and now political reporter Dan Popkey. What will the Statesman be like now?

Huckleberries Hears ...

July 30, 2014 - 1:27pm

... That the Coeur d'Alene teen scene is aflutter re: news that Harry Styles of One Direction has been hanging out at Gozzer Ranch on Lake Coeur d'Alene. Styles is the front man for the mega-popular teen band. Styles has posted several photos of him and other teen-agers playing soccer at Gozzer Ranch. You can view them here. (AP/Invision file photo: One Direction members, from left, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Zayn Malik perform on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Nov. 26, 2013, in New York)

Brothers Hit Each Other Avoiding Deer

July 30, 2014 - 1:21pm

Two brothers were injured in a collision near Princeton, Idaho, early this morning, the Idaho State Police said. Wesley Orr, 23, was traveling west on State Highway 6 just east of Princeton when he encountered some deer in the roadway around 5:45 a.m., according to a news release. Kiel Orr, 31, was driving east on the highway at the same time. The two collided, closing the highway for two-and-a-half hours, according to the ISP. Neither men was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, according to the news release. Both were driving Honda Accords. ISP spokeswoman Teresa Baker confirmed the Orrs were brothers/Kip Hill, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever been to Princeton, Idaho?

Marathoner Tries Pend Oreille Swim

July 30, 2014 - 1:15pm

While the rest of us sit inside at our air-conditioned desks or do whatever else we can to stay cool today, it's fair to say Elaine K. Howley has the most strenuous plan to beat the heat. The 45-year-old open-water swimmer is attempting a solo, non-stop swim of the length of Idaho's largest lake, Lake Pend Oreille — a total of 34 miles from the southern tip at Buttonhook Bay up to Sandpoint's City Beach in the northwest. If Howley is successful, she'll be the first person to do so. It's expected to take the Boston-based ultra-marathon swimmer between 17 and 20 hours to complete her journey if conditions are fair, but could take as many as 24 hours if the water is choppy. Follow Howley's progress throughout the day via the Sandpoint Online Facebook page/Bloglander, Inlander. More here.

Question: Is there any water in the region colder to swim in than Lake Pend Oreille?

Gene: Why I Jumped To PR

July 30, 2014 - 1:02pm

Gene Fadness (RE: Popkey's financial future better -- DFO): After 25 years as both an editor and a reporter in Nebraska and Idaho, I jumped ship back in 2001 to become the public information officer for a state agency. I was making decent pay near the end, but had no retirement plan to speak of. Newsrooms were already starting to lay off staff, work hours were increasing and, in my view, newspapers were moving away from in-depth reporting to becoming a print version of TV and radio. Hard-hitting, longer stories were being pushed aside to allow more room for large pictures and graphics in order to get younger readers who seemed to more interested in being entertained than informed. It used to be that newspapers couldn't compete with radio and TV for immediacy, so our niche was more detail and time to check more sources and provide in-depth coverage. With online reporting, the pressure is on to be quicker and be juicier. The result is shorter, quicker reporting and not as careful editing for both accuracy and balance. There are parts of journalism I really miss, but I don't think today's newspaper would take me even if I wanted to go back. I'm too old-school.


Balukoff's 1st Campaign Ad

July 30, 2014 - 11:42am

A.J. Balukoff's first campaign ad in his head-to-head race against Gov. Butch Otter. Eye on Boise story here.