Huckleberries Blog

Syndicate content
Latest posts from the blog Huckleberries Online
Updated: 51 min 29 sec ago

SR News Quiz -- 3.15-19.2015

March 18, 2015 - 1:08pm

How much do you know about Gonzaga Prep basketball, "Seinfeld" episodes, solar system exploration and other items in the news? Find out in The Spokesman-Review's weekly News Quiz, where you could win movie tickets or a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel. Take the quiz here.

  • Answer to this week's Question No. 1: 50 consecutive games.
  • Leaderboard: 2 of the 28 finalists (so far) for this week's prizes are from Huck Nation: Sibulsky & SFredrickson. Entry deadline is 5 p.m. Thursday.

Fishing For Lake Monsters

March 18, 2015 - 11:52am

At Old School North Idaho, Keith Boe posts this postcard photo re: fishing for lake monsters in Post Falls, Idaho, in 1935.
 

Ex-Chief's Wife To Hold Auction

March 18, 2015 - 11:48am

When former Post Falls Chief of Police and County Clerk Cliff Hayes passed away unexpectedly in December 2013, it was a huge loss to the community. For some of us, it was the loss of a good friend. For Jeanne Hayes, it was the loss of a husband with whom she had shared decades of life and five children. Cliff and Jeanne were such a big part of our community and now Jeanne's new normal is taking her down a new road - a road to the west. She's moving to western Washington to be nearer to daughters and grandchildren. On Sunday, with much support from her children, Jeanne is holding an auction at their Post Falls home, the home where she and Cliff raised a family and made a life for more than three decades. While family friend Randy Wells will auction household furnishings, tools, camping gear and even many volumes of reference books and encyclopedias that her husband famously surrounded himself with, Jeanne said they're just things. The best and most important possessions she'll take with her are the wonderful memories of Cliff and their life in Post Falls/Kerri Thoreson, Main Street, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

DOTC: Don't Laugh At Diaper Needs

March 18, 2015 - 11:36am

Dan of the CASA (RE: House State Affairs Committee gives salamander big OK): I'm not sure where the diaper needs awareness bill came from, and I can appreciate it could be used for many punch lines. However, as someone who works on a daily basis helping victims of child abuse and neglect, our CASA program works to maintain a ready stock of diapers and other basic needs items for children who get placed into foster homes, often at unexpected times and before the "regular system of supports" can kick in.

When I first came here as Director and saw all those kinds of things down in a storage room my first reaction was, "hey, we don't need to be in the thrift store business" and thought we could clear out all those clothes and baby supplies. That thought lasted until I saw the first foster mom (and they are making them really young these days) hauling a little baby or little kids into our office because they had been placed with them them in the middle of the night and were so grateful for the help because the state support takes a little time and frankly doesn't cover all the needs.

So, I give three cheers to the diaper needs awareness legislation and would remind people you don't have to even wait for a special occasion or proclamation, just bring some diapers and baby supplies down to your local CASA Program (one in all 7 regions of the state) and they will be grateful to get them.

AM Scanner Traffic -- 3.18.15

March 18, 2015 - 11:30am
  • 11:28 a.m. Domestic dispute reported @ Benoit St/Lacey Ave, Hayden.
  • 11:18 a.m. 60YO male found under table @ 16th Ave/Spice Court, Post Falls, not breathing; CPR in progress.
  • 10:51 a.m. Driver of brown Mazda Tribute fixing flat tire @ n/b H95/MP 428 (Cougar Gulch)
  • 10:11 a.m. A male and a female are arguing @ Texaco Crossroads station, 6330 H54, Athol.
  • 10:09 a.m. Someone is suffering a seizure @ Ironwood Square Albertsons/CdA.
  • 10:03 a.m. Female reports mother locked her in garage as she was trying to get her belongings & leave home; she broke out of the garage by using an ax, unknown location.
  • 9:43 a.m. Passing motorist reports distraught female standing w/male along H95/Garwood Road.
  • 9:33 a.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ Walking R Road/Drover Drive, Hayden.
  • 9:31 a.m. CPD officer en route to check on vehicle parked too close to fire hydrant, 324 Garden Ave/CdA.
  • 9:24 a.m. Male in green Toyota pickup has returned to drive slowing around Flatwoods Loop/Atlas Road area.
  • 9:20 a.m. Someone is suffering chest pain @ Urgent Care, 566 Prairie Ave/Hayden.
  • 9:15 a.m. Caller is concerned that male is doing yard work for vacationing neighbor @ Greensferry/Ponderosa, Post Falls.
  • 9:08 a.m. Driver of gray GMC Sierra is swerving, possibly DUI, @ s/b H41/Spirit Lake Cut-Across Road.
  • 9:04 a.m. Someone has been injured in a fall @ 200 block of E. Cloverleaf Drive/Rude St, Hayden.
  • 8:42 a.m. Tree is down on a phone cable line @ Government Way/Boekel Road, Hayden.
  • 8:08 a.m. 40YO female dizzy after hitting head in fall @ Stateline Walmart pet department.

Needed: Good Trustee Candidates

March 18, 2015 - 11:07am

In checking around behind the scenes, it seems to me that there isn't a solid, middle-of-the-road candidate ready to run for the Zone 3 seat (boundary here) now held by Trustee Terry Seymour. One is needed to wrench control of the School Board further from the hands of the uber-cons who masterminded the overthrow of the Coeur d''Alene School Board four years ago. If you recall, Tom Hamilton and Seymour were elected four years ago -- Seymour by 7 votes -- to form a beach head for the Hard Right in the area. Together, they were able to block competent former board chairman Wanda Quinn from being appointed to the School Board. Then, they were able through appointment (including one by commissioners to break 2-2 tie) to load the School Board completely with trustees who shared their ideology. With Hamilton at chairman, the School Board stumbled into several controversies, including the dumping of baccalaureate (IB/PYP) curriculum from district schools including Hayden Meadows, where parents fought to keep it.

Why is it important to wrest these seats from Hamilton and Seymour? Consider. The School Board is only one appointment away from falling back into the hands of the Hard Right again. Let's say that one of the current majority of trustees (Christa Hazel, Tom Hearn & Dave Eubanks) moves or is incapable of continuing to serve the community. The vacancy would likely create a 2-2 among board members charged with appointing someone. That would throw the decision into the laps of the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners, which now lean Hard Right. Given the same situation two years ago, a more moderate board picked a Hard Right candidate.

So you've been warned. Serving on the Coeur d'Alene School Board is a thankless, tough job, especially in the current environment in this town and certainly in the surrounding county. However, each seat is precious in terms of serving our community and protecting the quality of education in the community/DFO.

Robber Hits Post Falls Check 'n Go

March 18, 2015 - 10:39am

Post Falls Police is investigating an armed robbery that was reported at the Check 'n Go at 740 North Cecil Road, No. 114, on Tuesday at 6:01 p.m. The suspect, caught on surveillance video, is described as a white male with blonde hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a black hooded jacket, blue jeans, black gloves and white tennis shoes. He was wearing a ski mask over the lower portion of his face. "He displayed a black semi-automatic pistol," said Post Falls police Capt. Greg McLean, adding that the weapon was pointed at an employee. After receiving an undisclosed amount of money, the suspect fled in a newer charcoal gray Dodge Charger with tinted windows, oversized rims and low-profile tires. The license plates, likely from another state, was reported by a witness to have contained "AH0." The direction of travel was unknown/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

AM Headlines -- 3.18.15

March 18, 2015 - 10:32am

This AP file photo shows snow geese and Canada geese preparing to land on marsh at the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge near Merrill, Ore. Wildlife officials say 2,000 migrating snow geese have died in eastern Idaho likely because of avian cholera. The Iaho Department of Fish and Game says staff and volunteers collected the dead birds over the last several days at the Mud Lake Wildlife Management Area near Terreton and the Market Lake Wildlife Management Area near Roberts. (AP Photo/Jeff Barnard, File)

Dix: Leave Arfee Shooter Alone

March 18, 2015 - 10:01am

Dix (RE: City settles with Arfee owner for $80,000): "I think the mayor did the right thing and lets move on. For all those who want to judge the officer I suggest you walk a mile in their shoes. We were not there, we do not know the emotions involved. It sure is easy to spout off when you have never worn the shield."

DFO: I agree with Dix on this one. The officer who shot Arfee last summer made a mistake. I doubt that he'll make the same one again. He's paid a heavy price in terms of public opinion and peer status. It's time to move on. Thoughts?

Panel Gives Salamander Big OK

March 18, 2015 - 9:56am

The House State Affairs Committee today abruptly reversed itself and overwhelmingly passed HB 1, the bill proposed by an Idaho 8th grader to make the Idaho Giant Salamander the official state amphibian. There were just two “no” votes on the committee; HB 1 now moves to the full House with a recommendation that it “do pass.” Rep. Gayle Batt, R-Wilder, and committee Chairman Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, both said they decided on the change yesterday when the House debated and passed a resolution marking “National Diaper Need Awareness Week.” “I turned to my seatmate and said, “If we have time for a diaper bill, we have time to hear the salamander,’” Batt said. She said earlier she’d wondered “if we should clutter up the system” will bills like that, but the diaper resolution put that concern to rest/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Huzzah!

Presbyterians OK Gay Marriage

March 18, 2015 - 9:12am

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved redefining marriage in the church constitution Tuesday to include a “commitment between two people,” becoming the largest Protestant group to formally recognize gay marriage as Christian and allow same-sex weddings in every congregation. The new definition was endorsed last year by the church General Assembly, or top legislative body, but required approval from a majority of the denomination’s 171 regional districts, or presbyteries. The critical 86th “yes” vote came Tuesday night from the Presbytery of the Palisades in New Jersey. The Presbytery of the Inland Northwest, which covers North Idaho and Eastern Washington, voted to reject the change, an outcome that did not surprise the Rev. Paul Rodkey, of Bethany Presbyterian Church in Spokane/Associated Press. More here.

Thoughts?

Poll: Knife Reg Ban Stinks

March 18, 2015 - 9:00am
  • Tuesday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation oppose an Idaho Senate-approved bill that would ban local governments, including schools, from regulating knives. 156 of 189 respondents (82.54%) oppose the legislation. Only 31 of 189 respondents (16.4%) support it. 2 (1.06%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you agree with the settlement amount that city will pay Arfee owner Craig Jones -- $80,000?

Sims Explains Health Center Vote

March 18, 2015 - 8:39am

Funding for a $1.7 million mental health crisis center for North Idaho passed the full House, with three Kootenai County legislators voting against it. The funding is part of the Department of Health and Welfare's $36.7 million budget. Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, said she has been voting against all appropriations bills that include pay increases and money to cover the increased cost of state employee health insurance. "Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for their health insurance increases," Sims said, explaining that all other Idahoans have to pay for their own health insurance increases. Sims joined Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens; and Rep. Ron Mendive, R-Post Falls, in voting against the bill, which passed 58-9 with three absent/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Sims' "principled" stand?

Sensible Gun Bill Shot Down

March 18, 2015 - 8:25am

They’ve got your number, gun grabbers. The gun lobby has again helped undermine a piece of common-sense public safety legislation. The proposal, Washington House Bill 1857, would have allowed judges to issue temporary “extreme risk” protective orders against people deemed dangerous to themselves and others, including requiring them to temporarily surrender their guns. The legislation was an attempt to put a tool in place for families and police when someone is exhibiting a variety of warning signs: worsening mental health, a pattern of threats of violence or suicide, drug or alcohol abuse, a domestic violence conviction and other factors. In case after case of high-profile shooters, there is a preceding pattern of problems known to family, friends and law enforcement – but short of a criminal conviction or an involuntary mental health commitment, their gun access is protected/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Do you support the gun lobby 100%?

Falcon Killing Brings Charges

March 18, 2015 - 8:22am

In this Jan. 16 photo, Hannibal, a two-year-old falcon owned by Scott Dinger, feasts on a sparrow in Hauser. Patti MacDonald, 60, of Hauser, faces charges after authorities say she beat to death another falcon owned by Dinger, an 8-year-old named Hornet, after seeing the bird of prey take down a duck. Coeur d'Alene Press story here. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Tess Freeman)

Anti-Bullying Bill Draws Support

March 18, 2015 - 8:18am

HB 246, the anti-bullying bill, is up for a hearing in the Lincoln Auditorium this morning. A bipartisan group of legislative co-sponsors – Reps. Patrick McDonald, R-Boise, and Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, and Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise - presented the bill to the committee. “It’s estimated 160,000 children do not attend school because of their fear of being mistreated,” McDonald told the committee. The bill requires training of school staff on how to intervene to prevent and stop bullying, and authorizes school staff to intervene. School districts also would be required to have policies including graduated consequences for dealing with bullying; the state Board of Education would issue guidelines for districts. School districts also would be required to track and report instances of bullying/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Is anyone out there opposed to anti-bullying legislation?

Arfee Owner Settles For $80,000

March 18, 2015 - 8:13am

Originally posted at 9 p.m. Tuesday

The city of Coeur d’Alene will pay $80,000 to the owner of a dog shot and killed last year by a police officer. The City Council voted unanimously tonight to approve the settlement with Craig Jones, whose 2-year-old Labrador Arfee died from a gunshot wound to the chest inside his parked van in July. Jones had sought $350,000 in damages for the shooting, which the city determined was not justified. The city and his attorney, Adam Karp of Bellingham, had been in settlement talks the past few months. “This was a regrettable event that the city has taken complete responsibility for,” Mayor Steve Widmyer said in a statement Tuesday. “I want to again extend our apologies to Mr. Jones.” Officer David Kelley shot Arfee through the window of the van, which Jones had parked outside a downtown coffee shop/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Was this a fair settlement?

City Settles With Arfee Owner For $80,000

March 18, 2015 - 8:13am

Eight months after a Coeur d’Alene police officer shot and killed a dog in a parked van, sparking criticism from across the nation, the city has agreed to pay the dog’s owner $80,000. The settlement was approved Tuesday night in a unanimous vote of the City Council. Craig Jones, whose 2-year-old Labrador Arfee died from a gunshot wound to the chest on July 9, had sought $350,000 in damages. The city and Jones’ attorney, Adam Karp of Bellingham, have been in settlement talks the past few months.

“By agreeing to this sum, the City, its police force, and the shooting officer recognized their tremendous exposure to protracted litigation followed by a sound defeat at trial,” Karp said in an email tonight. “This prefiling settlement represents the largest to date in the Pacific Northwest, if not the country, involving the wrongful death of a dog at the hands of law enforcement. May this deter future unnecessary tragedies.” “This was a regrettable event that the city has taken complete responsibility for,” Mayor Steve Widmyer said in a statement Tuesday. “I want to again extend our apologies to Mr. Jones”/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Do you agree with settlement amount?

And We Have A Winner?

March 18, 2015 - 8:08am

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Arfee Owner Settles For $80,000

March 17, 2015 - 9:00pm

The city of Coeur d’Alene will pay $80,000 to the owner of a dog shot and killed last year by a police officer. The City Council voted unanimously tonight to approve the settlement with Craig Jones, whose 2-year-old Labrador Arfee died from a gunshot wound to the chest inside his parked van in July. Jones had sought $350,000 in damages for the shooting, which the city determined was not justified. The city and his attorney, Adam Karp of Bellingham, had been in settlement talks the past few months. “This was a regrettable event that the city has taken complete responsibility for,” Mayor Steve Widmyer said in a statement Tuesday. “I want to again extend our apologies to Mr. Jones.” Officer David Kelley shot Arfee through the window of the van, which Jones had parked outside a downtown coffee shop/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Was this a fair settlement?