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Updated: 2 hours 13 min ago

Reflecting On Karen

October 3, 2014 - 11:16am

In her Slight Detour blog today, Marianne Love offers a poignant post about a classmate that was killed in a car accident in Sandpoint more than 50 years ago: "I'm almost certain that today would have been Karen Fredstrom's 67th birthday.  She lived only through her sophomore year in high school, but her memory has lived on in the minds of the rest of her classmates all these years later, especially those of us who attended Lincoln Elementary School. One summer Saturday night in June, 1963, Karen was tragically killed in a car accident near the old A & W Root Beer Stand, now Schweitzer Conoco. Her cousin also died in the accident. Karen's death was the first experience of losing someone so close for most of her classmates.  It was difficult, to say the least." Full post here.

Question: Did the loss of a classmate during your high school years still have an impact on you today?

Labrador Racks Up Awards

October 3, 2014 - 11:08am

Congressman Raul Labrador has been racking up honors in recent days. In a press release this morning, he enumerates them:

  • National Federation of Independent Business named him a “Guardian of Small Business” for a 100 percent record on 10 issues in 2013 and 2014. Among those was my support of delaying the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act by one year and approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline without a presidential permit.
  • The second honor was the “Taxpayers’ Friend Award” from the National Taxpayers Union for (his) votes in support of fiscal responsibility in 2013. Awards were presented to those scoring above 83 percent in the House; my score was 87 percent. Just 45 members of the House received the award, where the average score was 51 percent.
  • He received the “Champion of the Worker” award from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a non-profit group that advocates limited government, free enterprise, privacy and individual liberty. Complete news release here.


HucksOnline Blogos -- 10.3.14

October 3, 2014 - 10:48am

Ben Whipple, a student at North Idaho College, walks by the table where Republican candidates displayed their literature and signs.  Whipple said he was not a member of the College Republicans but plans to sign up soon. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, Oct. 2): 5622 page-views/3673 unique views

Yates Meets NIC Republicans

October 3, 2014 - 10:19am

North Idaho College Republicans gathered Thursday evening to meet the local Republican candidates for political office and new Idaho GOP Chairman Steve Yates (pictured talking).  Yates gave the only speech of the evening. He seemed to have the attention of politicians and students alike. Yates recently appointed former Senator Larry Craig to chair the State Republican Party Finance Committee which has caused lifted eyebrows in some circles. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Playwright Brings 'Boise' To Stage

October 3, 2014 - 10:07am

In the drab break room of a Boise Hobby Lobby store, father and son collide, brothers work to preserve family ties, lost souls pursue their dreams and one man waits for the rapture. That’s the setup in Samuel D. Hunter’s Obie Award-winning play, “A Bright New Boise,” which is having its Idaho premiere tonight in Moscow. The play, co-produced by Moscow Art Theatre (Too) and the University of Idaho’s Theater Arts department, centers on Will (Alex Wendel), a disgraced evangelical fleeing from his collapsed North Idaho congregation who goes looking for his estranged son Alex (Hunter Price). Alex and his adopted brother, Leroy (Jonathan Rau), work at the Hobby Lobby, with loudmouthed manager Pauline (Maggie Miller) and the daydreaming Anna (Park Williams). Will takes a job at the store not only to get closer to his son, but to await salvation/Carolyn Lamberson, SR. More here. (Courtesy photo: Emily Sky Carlson)

Question: Have you followed the works of award-winning Moscow native Samuel Hunter?

Author Walter Wows 'Em At Resort

October 3, 2014 - 9:39am

The first beer a young Jess Walter ever ordered was in a North Idaho bar, though he admits he might not exactly have been of drinking age yet. The first book the now best-selling Spokane-based author and journalist ever wrote was about the 1992 Ruby Ridge incident in North Idaho. So, he felt plenty at home Thursday night as the guest speaker at the 2014 Northern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner. A record 460 people attended the lecture and dinner at The Coeur d'Alene Resort, and Walter delivered with a speech that drew plenty of laughs and a standing ovation. But he had plenty of serious things to say, too. "I'm here to ask you to stand up for the stuff we call literature, which is under endless assault by TV and Internet, by Fifty Shades of Vampires, by a culture that values entertainment above all," he told the audience/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: Author Jess Walter is shown after writing "Beautiful Ruins")

DFO: One of the privileges I've had in my 30 years with the SR is working with top-notch individuals/writers like Jess Walter and his equally talented wife, Anne Windishar (on the editorial board). If you haven't read any of the books by Jess ... what are you waiting for?

Question: Which Jess Walter book is your favorite? Why?

AM Headlines -- 10.2.14

October 3, 2014 - 9:29am

Sgt. Bret Walton, with the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, uses a fire extinguisher on a grass fire as Coeur d’Alene Fire Department firefighter Jesse Freije stands by Thursday shortly after emergency crews responded to reports of smoke on Tubbs Hill. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Poll: Leave Plastic Bags Alone

October 3, 2014 - 9:22am
  • Thursday Poll: Hucks Nation isn't ready to Go Green when it comes to plastic grocery/shopping bags. 78 of 149 respondents (52.35%) said they don't want the state to ban the plastic bags. 66 of 149 respondents (44.3%) said they do. 5 (3.36%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Generally, do you think Avista provides good service/product at a reasonable rate?

In Praise Of Avista

October 3, 2014 - 8:41am

You know what? Avista runs a damn good ship with very few problems. And they give back to the community very heavily through their foundation. $3.76 a month for the reliable power grid offered by Avista is a small price to pay -- Digger (RE: Avista to raise Idaho rates)

Question: Actually, Digger is probably right. We gripe every time our power rates go up. But, I believe, our rates are low compared to other parts of the country. Thoughts?


October 3, 2014 - 8:39am

From Post Falls Police Department Night Shift log: "Female was taken into custody on a citizen arrest per loss prevention. She has been involved in two other incidents at this Walmart. Today she stole a blanket that she took the tags off and wrapped around her dog before she exited without paying." Full Night Shift report here.

Question: Have you ever busted a shoplifter?

Tubbs Hill Fire 'Suspicious'

October 3, 2014 - 8:33am

At about 11:50 a.m., Coeur d'Alene police responded to a report of a smoke coming from the Tubbs Hill area. Officers hiked to the top of Tubbs Hill, where they found a fire approximately 30 by 60 feet. Officers used their extinguishers to knock down the flames until firefighters arrive to douse the fire. The fire is deemed suspicious at this point, and an investigation continues. If anyone who may information or was on Tubbs Hill during the time of the incident, please contact 208-769-2320.

Jeers: Boss Denney & Fingerprinting

October 3, 2014 - 8:28am

In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Opinion Editor Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune offers jeers ... to Boss Denney: "Last month, the Idaho GOP nominee to become secretary of state, and therefore guardian of honest elections, published this in the Idaho Statesman: "One of my priorities is to work on measures to enhance the security of the election process, such as new technology that scans either signatures or fingerprints." Now he's playing the victim. "I've been in and seen a lot of political wars, and certainly I have received my share of cheap shots by the media," he wrote in a fundraising letter. "The most recent came from my own studpidity (sic) in a guest editorial. ... My bad. I was talking about the technology but by mentioning fingerprints, now the media says that I want to fingerprint all voters." Where would anyone get such an idea? Could it be from the fact that Idaho already scans signatures on voter registration cards? The only guy who mentioned fingerprints was Denney. Full Cheers & Jeers column here.

Question: Are you beginning to have misgivings about state Rep. Lawerence "Boss" Denney?

Hearn: Legislature Short-Changing Us

October 3, 2014 - 8:23am

Item: The Coeur d’Alene School District and its teachers have agreed to the terms of a new contract following a meeting with a federal mediator. The school board voted Thursday to ratify the agreement. The Coeur d’Alene Education Association, the union representing 565 teachers, voted for it Monday. More here.

On his Facebook wall, Coeur d'Alene Trustee Tom Hearn posts: "The Coeur d'Alene School Board on a 3-2 vote approved the contract with the teachers this evening. It has been a long process and I appreciate the professionalism and hard work of both the CEA's and school districts negotiating teams which I think lead to a settlement we can all live with. Hopefully the day will come when the Idaho legislature will get serious about adequately funding schools and we will be able to fully fund our educational programs and compensate our staff as well as they deserve. We have over 4 million dollars less in state funding than we had in 2008! I know people get tired of hearing it from me but I won't shut up about our lousy school funding in Idaho for as long as I am on the Board or until it dramatically improves."

Question: Do you think the Idaho Legislature adequately funds public schools?

Sandpoint Osprey Cam Gets Upgrade

October 3, 2014 - 8:18am

Westside Fire Chief Dale Hopkins and Sandpoint Online camera technician Land Otis prepare to dismount the old Osprey Cam, which is 100 feet off the ground. Story here. (Hagadone News Network photo: Keith Kinnaird)

Guv Debate In Lake City At Noon

October 3, 2014 - 8:08am

Four candidates for governor have confirmed that they’ll debate at noon today in Coeur d’Alene – GOP Gov. Butch Otter, Democratic challenger A.J. Balukoff, Libertarian candidate John Bujak and independent candidate “Pro-Life.” Jimmy McAndrew of the Coeur Group, which is organizing the noon Friday debate at the Coeur d’Alene Library’s downstairs community room, said the group invited all the candidates on the ballot; all but two, independent Jill Humble and Constitution Party candidate Steve Pankey, accepted/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

  • Here come your candidates/Coeur d'Alene Press
  • For those keeping score at home, state Rep. Matt Shea, the controversial Spokane Valley legislator, will speak to the Post Falls Pachyderm Club today at noon also, according to Duane Rasmussen. Is that a scheduling conflict?

Question: Do you plan to attend the governor's debate?

Mental Health Center No-Brainer

October 3, 2014 - 8:03am

On my Facebook page, Darrell Kerby, former Bonners Ferry mayor and vice chairman of the Idaho Health & Welfare Board, responds to the letter that state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, circulated at the Kootenai County Republican Women's lunch Thursday: "The 'mental health center' referred to in the article is the most practical cost effective use of tax dollars to deal with an absolute need for Idaho citizens. Currently, law enforcement, families and communities are at great risk without appropriate choices for these Idaho citizens in crisis. Unfortunately for Kathy, who by the way I admire for all she has done and continues to do, this solution is a no brainer, a multiplier of scarce tax payer funds and an important step for public safety."

Question: Do you think Sims and other area legislators who voted against the mental health center are capable of realizing that they made a mistake?

Who's Panicking?

October 3, 2014 - 8:00am

Lisa Benson/Washington Post Writers Group

Parting Shot -- 10.2.14

October 2, 2014 - 5:28pm

Britain's Prince George, right, plays during a visit to Plunket nurse and parents group at Government House in Wellington, New Zealand. Prince William and his wife Kate are threatening to take legal action against a photographer they say has been monitoring their toddler son Prince George. The palace said today that the couple had "taken legal steps to ask that an individual ceases harassing and following both Prince George and his nanny as they go about their ordinary daily lives." In a statement, the palace said the unnamed photographer was suspected of "placing Prince George under surveillance." William and Kate, who are expecting their second child, want to spare their children intense press coverage. (AP Photo/Marty Melville, Pool, file)

Wild Card/Thursday -- 10.2.14

October 2, 2014 - 5:26pm

Izzit just me, or are the nights getting chillier as we head for the first of the three markers -- Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas -- that I use to gauge winter's approach. I'm a bit unprepared this year. I don't have the wood in yet. Then, tomatoes are still ripening on the vine. Mebbe I'm being lured into a false sense of security. Who knows? Here's your Wild Card ...

Top Commented Stories -- 10.2.14

October 2, 2014 - 5:01pm
The posts that attracted the most comments today were: "Quotable Quote -- Dan Gookin" (12 comments), and: "Help wanted -- Idaho GOP hiring" (11 comments).