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Lawyer Wants Confession Stricken

September 10, 2014 - 8:30am

The attorney defending a Coeur d’Alene teenager accused of killing his father and brother has asked a judge to suppress all statements the boy made to police after his arrest, including his alleged confession. The request to throw out the confession is among several recent motions Kootenai County Public Defender John Adams has filed questioning state law and the handling of the case by police and prosecutors. Adams is asking the court for a jury pool from outside the county, arguing that Eldon Gale Samuel III cannot receive a fair trial with local jurors because of media coverage of the case. He also is challenging Idaho’s ban on the insanity defense and the state law that requires defendants 14 and older who are charged with murder to be tried as adults and face adult sentences. Both practices violate Samuel’s constitutional rights, he said in recent motions filed in 1st District Court/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Could Eldon Gale Samuel III get a fair trial in Kootenai County?

Officer Kelley Still On Payroll

September 10, 2014 - 8:21am

City officials confirmed last week that Coeur d'Alene Police Officer Dave Kelley still works for the department. What they won't confirm is whether or not Kelley - who was named Friday as the officer who shot and killed a pet dog outside Java on Sherman in July - is back on patrol. "I can't really comment on that," Coeur d'Alene City Attorney Mike Gridley said. "That would be a personnel matter." Gridley added that the city does not plan to disclose where Kelley is working within the department, citing Idaho State Statute 9-340C, which states: "The following records are exempt from disclosure: Except as provided in this subsection, all personnel records of a current or former public official other than the public official's public service or employment history, classification, pay grade and step, longevity, gross salary and salary history, status, workplace and employing agency"/Keith Cousin, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.



September 10, 2014 - 8:14am

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Tuesday -- 9.9.14

September 9, 2014 - 5:39pm

Thirty years ago today, I walked into the newsroom of the Spokesman-Review for the first time as an employee. Doug Clark was the regional editor out here at the time. The SR had hired Greg Lee as a prep sports writer two weeks before. I had swapped by cap as news editor of the Lewiston Tribune for full-time reporting again. I would report on local government for the next 9 years (covering the late mayor Ray Stone and many county commissioners, including Frank Henderson). In 1993, I joined the editorial board of the SR for 13 years. And, of course, I started the Huckleberries Online blog on Feb. 16, 2004. I'm now the only full-time newspaper blogger in Idaho. It's been a long, interesting, enjoyable ride. And, my friends -- God willing -- it's far from over. Here's today's Wild Card ...

Parting Shot -- 9.9.14

September 9, 2014 - 5:36pm

A woman takes a picture of a perigee moon, also known as a supermoon, rising in the sky in Madrid Spain, today. The phenomenon, which scientists call a "perigee moon," occurs when the moon is near the horizon and appears larger and brighter than other full moons. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Question: Name a favorite song of yours that has "moon" in the title?

Most Commented Post(s) -- 9.9.14

September 9, 2014 - 5:14pm

The posts that attracted the most comments today are: McEuen Park entry underwhelms (62 comments), and: Battered wife blames media (16 comments), and: Court unmoved by gay marriage for (11 comments).

Jamie: Don't Take It Out On Java

September 9, 2014 - 5:04pm

Jamie Lynn Morgan (RE: Patrick: Many unanswered questions): Soap Box Moment: To all those that are "Boycotting Java", especially other business owners, let's hope that an incident doesn't happen in or around your business that is out of your control that puts you in their shoes. Easy to say what you would or should do in a situation, when it isn't actually happening to you.

Question: I agree with Jamie. Anyone who'd hold Java on Sherman responsible for the police shooting of Arfee is clueless. Thoughts?

Sam: Arts Panel Gets R-E-S-P-E-C-T

September 9, 2014 - 5:01pm

Sam (RE: McEuen Park entry underwhelms): It's crazy how ornery people get about art, and how forgetful folks on this comment thread are about the other, numerous amazing artworks that dot the landscape of Coeur d'Alene. Trust me, what you have there for the arts for a city of that size is very rare. In fact, Cd'A's Arts Commission is extremely well-respected throughout the Northwest, and even here our Ferndale (Wash.) Arts Commission very much looks to their example on how to enhance a community through public art. It's the work of dedicated volunteers like the Arts Commission board that make me miss my hometown. A huge thanks for your dedication, despite the anonymous naysayers.

Question: Is this the case of a prophet is without honor in his own town? In other words, we're so close to the people involved in the Arts Commission that we don't realize that there work has garnered respect throughout the Pacific Northwest. Sam, a Coeur d'Alene native, is an official with the city of Ferndale, Wash. (near Bellingham).

Otter Unveils #TopicTuesday Series

September 9, 2014 - 4:56pm

The Otter for Idaho campaign has launched a new voter education video series called #TopicTuesday on the campaign’s YouTube page. Every Tuesday until the election, the campaign will post a short video with the Governor that outlines a topic important to Idaho voters. This will give voters an opportunity to learn about the Governor’s views and plans for the future, directly from him, each week leading up to Election Day. Today, announces an Otter for Idaho news release, discusses what it will take "to make the future for Idaho's next generation even brighter."

PM Scanner Traffic -- 9.9.14

September 9, 2014 - 4:45pm
  • 5:18 p.m. Car hits bicyclist near Bank of America exit near Target, 315 W. Canfield/CdA.
  • 5:11 p.m. Crash b/n Ford Bronco & passenger car is blocking Seltice Way/Idaho Street, Post Falls.
  • 5:05 p.m. Someone is having trouble breathing @ Post Falls Library/Spokane Street.
  • 4:54 p.m. Driver of black Honda passed 2nd vehicle on shoulder of I-90 before turning @ H41/Post Falls.
  • 4:45 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Monday, Sept. 8, here.
  • 4:32 p.m. Motorist w/extinguisher puts out small grass fire along I-90, near Huetter rest stop.
  • 4:21 p.m. Dog is locked in vehicle @ 1300 block of E. Mullan St/Post Falls.
  • 4:09 p.m. Noninjury accident reported @ 2700 block of W. Seltice Way/Post Falls.
  • 3:59 p.m. Ambulance needed to transfer patient from Davis Lane/Athol to Hospice House.
  • 3:32 p.m. Diabetic suffering medical problem @ 3500 block of N. Cedarblom St/CdA.
  • 3:14 p.m. 2 females & baby leave site of possible citizen dispute @ C Street/Virginia, CdA.
  • 3:13 p.m. Female on O'Gara Road/Harrison complains re: racial problems.
  • 3:11 p.m. Person on front lawn of house @ C Street/Virginia has gun that was taken away from another person.
  • 2:50 p.m. Disabled vehicle is blocking turn lane at H41/Main Street, Rathdrum.
  • 2:44 p.m. PFPD officer tells dispatcher to contact student for parking illegally at high school.
  • 1:45 p.m. 17YO female suffering seizure for 20 minutes on Ironwood Drive/CdA.
  • 1:38 a.m. Someone is suffering chest pain @ 200 block of W. LaCrosse/CdA.
  • 1:33 a.m. Panic/holdup alarm sounding from Ramsey Road/Chilco, may be recurrent problem.
  • 1:18 a.m. Individual en route to get medicine from Medicine Man/Super 1, Post Falls, may be suicidal.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

Cutline Contest -- 9.9.14

September 9, 2014 - 4:36pm

Time 2 Vote ...

The woman is Rebecca Redwine. She's carrying nearly 100 towels. She's competing in 10th annual Iron Range Housekeeping Olympics held Monday in Virginia, Minn. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Mesabi Daily News, Mark Sauer)

Cutline Contest: Scootermom, with 13 likes: "As part of the NFL head injury settlement, all players are now required to wear protective gear." Original AP Cutline: "Players encased in bouncy, blue orbs push downfield during Seattle's first 'Bubble Futbol' tournament. The sport originated in Europe and is quickly sweeping the U.S., with a recent spotlight on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” You can see Monday Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.

Why Have I Stayed 30 Years At SR?

September 9, 2014 - 4:26pm

Editor Gary Graham called this afternoon to graciously congratulate me on 30 years at the Spokesman-Review. I checked into the Coeur d'Alene bureau of The Spokesman-Review on Sept. 9, 1984, and never checked back out. Gary asked a question that I've thought about a lot. "Did you ever expect to be in one place for 30 years." The short, two-letter answer? No. I figured when I moved from the Lewiston Tribune 30 years ago that I would stay awhile. But certainly not 30 years. This newspaper offered opportunities that my first five papers didn't -- size, a variety of jobs and a decent pay check. I began my newspaper career in Chico, Calif., working as a cub reporter in the final year of the newspaper's hot-metal days. I never could have imagined back then that I'd be blogging, Twittering & Facebooking for a living 4 1/2 decades later. Why have I stayed? Initially, I enjoyed the return to reporting and column writing, after 5 years as a managing editor (Kalispell Daily Inter Lake) and 2 years as a News editor (Lewiston Tribune). I've been writing Huckleberries (originally called Kootenai Grapevine) since January 1985. I was bored with local government reporting in 1993 when former Editor Chris Peck picked me for the Editorial Board. He wanted a voice from Idaho on the board. That was fun for the first decade. However, I was ready for something new when former Editor Steve Smith gave me his blessing in 2004 to launch Huckleberries Online (which was originally called No Holds Barred and then Hot Potatoes). This has been my passion since -- almost 10 1/2 years and counting. With the magic age of 65 looming in November, I've asked myself several times if it's time to retire. And been told by individuals older than I am that I shouldn't do so, if I still enjoy what I do. Which I do. I also believe that Huckleberries Online provides a service to the community that can't be found elsewhere. I labor for pay. I labor because the community looks here for news and opinion that it can't find elsewhere. I can't take that away unless I'm absolutely sure that I can't go another cyber step. When will I retire? When I feel like it. The calendar won't dictate that decision/DFO.

North Idaho Preps For Rail Disaster

September 9, 2014 - 4:13pm

Northern Idaho officials concerned about the increasing number of oil trains passing through the region are seeking a grant to create a regional response plan should a railroad catastrophe occur. The plan would include Boundary, Bonner and Kootenai counties, the Bonner County Daily Bee reported. Bonner County Emergency Management Director Bob Howard said the effort is prompted by a rise in oil trains heading west from the Bakken fields of North Dakota. "The Bakken oil issue is what brought this to the surface," he said. "Because we have so much of that going through our communities, we want to be as prepared as we can to respond to a spill"/Associated Press. More here. (AP File Photo)

Question: Do you expect an oil train catastrophe to happen in North Idaho in the next 10 years?

And Now A Word From Tom Sherry

September 9, 2014 - 4:09pm
The full harvest moon was beautiful last night. It will be out again tonight for your viewing pleasure!!! -- Tom Sherry/KREM2 tweet.

Question: I suspect that I use 5 to 10 exclamation points in a year. Maybe less. Tom Sherry used up 3/10ths of my yearly maximum in one tweet RE: the Supermoon. Do you regularly use exclamation points in your writing?

Ybarra, Jones Question Bonuses

September 9, 2014 - 3:55pm

Both candidates for state superintendent are questioning Tom Luna’s decision to award $151,000 in “retention bonuses” to senior managers — including four managers who have since left the state’s payroll. Nearly one-fifth of Luna’s bonuses went to former staffers, to the chagrin of both Sherri Ybarra, a fellow Republican, and Democrat Jana Jones. Ybarra and Jones are vying to succeed Luna in the Nov. 4 election. As a statewide elected official, the winner would have wide latitude to award bonuses to her staff. Using this latitude, Luna (pictured in AP File Photo) awarded bonuses of up to $9,998.40 to 22 managers — payments that exceed what an appointed state agency head could award/Kevin Richert, IdahoED NEWS. More here.

DFO: Every time Superintendent Luna does something goofy like this, I'm reminded how much I'm not going to miss him when he returns to the private sector. Seems fiscal responsibility only counts for Luna when he's running for re-election. Thoughts?

House GOP Condemns Bergdahl Swap

September 9, 2014 - 3:51pm

The Republican-controlled U.S. House voted today to condemn President Barack Obama for failing to give 30 days notice to Congress about the exchange in May of American prisoner Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the AP reports. Idaho Congressmen Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador both joined with the majority in the 249-163 vote, though Bergdahl, who was held prisoner by the Taliban for five years, is from Hailey, Idaho. No Republicans voted no, according to congressional voting records, though five missed the vote; Democrats split with 22 in favor and 163 against, with 14 not voting/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the House GOP vote, which included Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador, that condemns President Obama for failing to give Congress a heads up on Bergdahl prisoner exchange?

Fernan Lake Health Advisory Issued

September 9, 2014 - 3:26pm

This water lily was in full bloom on Fernan Lake near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho as cooler temperatures arrived on Sept. 16, 2013. (SR File Photo: Kathy Plonka)

A health advisory was issued today for Fernan Lake by the Panhandle Health District and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Water samples confirmed the presence of the blue-green algae species of Microsystis, Anabaena, and Aphanizomenon - all species can produce potentially dangerous toxins. Precaution is advised. These algae species may produce potentially dangerous toxins. Children and pets are particularly susceptible. In animals, a toxin that may be produced by Anabaena and Aphanizomenon can cause a rapid progression of neurological symptoms such as muscle spasm, decreased movement, labored breathing, convulsions and death.  Symptoms have not been documented in people. However, the public is advised to avoid any activity that could lead to ingesting the lake water considering the effect these algal species have on animals/Panhandle Health District. More here.


HBO Blogosphere -- 9.9.14

September 9, 2014 - 2:48pm

Here's another of the outdoor scenics snapped by Marianne Love/Slight Detour during a geocaching trip, east of Clark Ford. Blog post here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, Sept. 8): 6665 page-views/4218 unique views

Shoshone Co: Idaho's Punching Bag

September 9, 2014 - 2:32pm

"All the Way with Vernon K:" That was a campaign slogan for Democrat Vernon K. Smith in the 1962 governor’s race and the rallying cry that I heard a few times that year in my hometown of Osburn. My dad, especially, thought Gov. Robert Smylie had been in office long enough and it was time for a change. Smith’s pro-gambling platform was an attraction to the Silver Valley, where backroom betting was a way of life in the mining community. Things were a little gloomy in our house when we found out that Smylie had won election to a third term. My dad explained that politics is controlled by those in the southern part of the state and it didn’t matter what people in Shoshone County wanted. During my professional career, I lived in Idaho Falls for six years and I have been living in Boise for the past 15 – long enough to know that Idahoans in the south are good people who do not carry pitchforks and have horns growing out of their heads. But in politics, they generally get what they want. And at the moment, there seems to be a conspiracy to prevent Silver Valley people from getting the kind of legislators they want in the Statehouse/Chuck Malloy, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Do you remember when a Republican couldn't win an election in Shoshone County?

Taking A Break

September 9, 2014 - 2:20pm

On her tour up Lightning Creek, near Clark Fork, Marianne Love/Slight Detour also snapped this outdoor shot, of a small bird taking a break from flight on an old wooden fence. More photos here.