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Updated: 31 min 1 sec ago

Whitecaps & A Sail

July 17, 2014 - 11:13am

A sailboarder works his way through 18 mph winds and whitecaps along the north shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene this morning (Photo: Don Sausser)

Lake City Teacher Wins Award

July 17, 2014 - 10:23am

Tracy Obermayer, an advanced learning teacher at Skyway Elementary School was honored as the 2014 American Legion Idaho Educator of the Year.  Obermayer received the award at the American Legion, Department of Idaho’s annual convention held this past week in Fort Hall, Idaho. Obermayer gave a speech at the American Legion convention outlining the role of educators teaching children the importance of respect and appreciation of the freedoms they have as Americans. Obermayer is a veteran of the United States Air National Guard and her father served in WWII.  Educators were nominated through an application process. Obermayer was chosen, in part, by her application that explained how she integrates American History, pride in her country and integrity into her school day/Laura Rumpler, Coeur d'Alene School District. (Courtesy photo: Coeur d'Alene School District)

Question: Do you enjoy reading about American history?

Official: Malaysian Plane Shot Down

July 17, 2014 - 10:06am

A Ukrainian official said a passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down Thursday over a town in the east of the country, and Malaysian Airlines tweeted that it lost contact with one of its flights over Ukrainian airspace. The “Armed Forces of Ukraine did not take action against any airborne targets,” Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko said Thursday. Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, said on his Facebook page the plane was flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters (33,000 feet) when it was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher. A similar launcher was seen by Associated Press journalists near the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne earlier Thursday. The Buk missile system can fire missiles up to an altitude of 22,000 meters (72,000 feet)/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo shows exact Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 that was shot down)


Huckleberry Fests Mark Fruit Ripening

July 17, 2014 - 10:04am

The huckleberry harvest season is underway at lower elevations and the pleasure is working its way up the region’s mountainsides as the berries ripen. People and communities have taken note:

The berries are ripening at higher elevations this week, but the peak rage of ripe berries occurs in August/Rich Landers, Outdoors. More here.

Question: Do you pick huckleberries every year?

AM: Missing Boy Found Safe

July 17, 2014 - 9:43am

Andrea Watson and her daughter Amanda, 8, hug 9-year-old Brian Watson after being reunited following a search for the boy Wednesday at the beach near North Idaho College. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Poll: No Leadership Crisis In CdA

July 17, 2014 - 9:37am
  • Wednesday Poll: A near supermajority of Hucks Nation doesn't think the city of Coeur d'Alene has a leadership crisis. 126 of 198 respondents (63.64%) said the Lake City doesn't have a leadership crisis. 59 of 198 respondents (29.8%) said it does. 13 (6.57%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Did responding police officers conduct themselves professionally in the June 22 shootout on I-90 at Post Falls?

Catalogue Uses Disabled Models

July 17, 2014 - 8:59am

This undated image provided by Nordstrom shows a model in a wheelchair advertising boots in the company’s annual July anniversary catalog, which is its biggest sale event of the year with preview discounts on new fashions for fall. Nordstrom has been using professional models with disabilities in ads and catalogs since 1997. A consulting firm called Global Disability Inclusion says only a few companies use models with disabilities -- though there are more now than in the past -- and calls Nordstrom “an industry leader” in that regard. Story here. (AP Photo/Nordstrom)

Question: Are you more/less/same likely to shop at a store that uses disabled models in its catalogues?

Edit: Trapping Animals Barbaric

July 17, 2014 - 8:52am

Trapping animals for “hunting” purposes is simply a disgusting, barbaric and cruel practice. There’s no other way to put it. As revolting as the practice is when it actually achieves its intended goal, it’s even more vile when domestic pets are added to the equation. In 2013 alone, more than 30 dogs — and 24 house cats — were caught in traps set for hunting in Idaho, according to Idaho Fish and Game data. While most of the dogs survived, some weren’t so lucky. Back in December and January, two dogs were caught in conibear traps, which are designed to snap on an animal’s neck, closing the trachea and the blood vessels to the brain. It often fractures the spinal column and the animal loses consciousness within a few minutes and dies soon after. The owners of the dogs, unable to free their beloved family members, could do little more than watch as their dogs suffered and died/Devin Rokyta, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.


Don't Sweat Summer's Hot Flashes

July 17, 2014 - 8:47am

In Spokane we have two seasons: Complaining About the Cold and Complaining About the Heat. We’re smack in the middle of “It’s too hot!” season, but for once I’m not whining about the soaring temperature. My family is shocked by this development. Usually, once the thermometer hits 80, I crank up the air conditioning, brew gallons of iced tea, and use the phrase “I’m melting!” repeatedly. I actually have a medical diagnosis to explain my aversion to the heat. My family moved to Guam when I was a year old. According to my mother, I promptly broke out in an awful rash. She took me to the doctor and he said, “She’s allergic to the sun.” Who knew you could be allergic to a star? I think I’m also allergic to James Franco, but that’s another column/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here.

Question: Have you complained about the heat in the last 24 hours?

IRS Phone Scam Hits INorthwest

July 17, 2014 - 8:44am

A scam in which an aggressive caller masquerades as an IRS agent demanding immediate payment has spread into Idaho and the Northwest. Officials want folks to just hang up. Police in Moses Lake intercepted a payment a victim sent in response to one of the calls three weeks ago at the post office and got the victim’s money back, according to the Associated Press. Two Idaho women who got the calls termed them “scary.” The scams particularly target seniors and immigrants. Brett DeLange, head of the Idaho Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, said, “The IRS is not going to call you and say you owe money. … That’s just not how they do business. You’re going to get a notice in the mail”/Betsy Russell, SR. More here. (SR photo: Jennifer Pedregon of Boise received one of the “IRS agent” scam phone calls; so did her parents)

Question: When did you last encounter a scammer?

Arcade To Benefit Burned Children

July 17, 2014 - 8:41am

Students, their families and staff at Sorensen Magnet School of the Arts & Humanities are pulling together to raise money to help the families of two local children who were seriously burned during a recent backyard accident in Coeur d'Alene. The Sorensen crowd will host a backyard "cardboard arcade" fundraiser Friday from 5-7 p.m. at 614 E. Foster Ave., Coeur d'Alene. "We are family. We stick together. This is a horrible situation, and we want to do what we can to help the family, our family," said Sorensen parent and staff member Lisa Thompson. The injured children - Brooklynne White, 4, and Joshua Emerson, 8 - were airlifted to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, after a man poured gasoline onto a backyard fire pit and the gas can exploded. Both children are expected to remain at Harborview for weeks for skin grafts and other medical treatment/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Courtesy photo via Coeur d'Alene Press)


Officers' Help Saved Shootout Suspect

July 17, 2014 - 8:35am

An FN 5.7 carbine rifle with a 50-round magazine, left and an AK-47 with a high-capacity drum magazine were found in Marcus A. Rael's possession after the Arizona man was injured during a gun battle with North Idaho police on Interstate 90 last month. Rael fired first with one of the two semi-automatic weapons in his possession. He is being held at the Kootenai County jail on $1 million bond. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

A North Idaho sheriff says a gunman who opened fire on police last month and was shot in return is probably alive thanks to the quick aid provided by officers on the scene. “Officers involved on that Sunday night showed great resolve and are a testament to their professionalism,” Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler said Wednesday. “An example of that professionalism was when officers immediately provided life-saving measures to the suspect who minutes earlier was trying to kill them.” Wheeler, whose office is leading the investigation of the June 22 shootout in Post Falls, revealed more details about the confrontation with Marcus Rael, who’s from Glendale, Arizona/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Anyone out there see any fault in the officers' conduct before/during/after the shoutout with suspect Rael?

Public Forum Set For Chief Finalists

July 17, 2014 - 8:31am

The public will have an opportunity next week to meet the two finalists for Coeur d’Alene police chief. The community forum is Tuesday, July 22, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave. Gary R. Jensen (left), chief of police in Logan, Utah, and Lee R. White, assistant police chief in Mesa, Arizona, will be in town for on-site interviews with the selection committee and to meet the City Council and personnel at the Coeur d’Alene Police Department. Coeur d’Alene Human Resources Director Melissa Tosi said the city hopes to have the chief’s position filled in September. During his 21-year police career, White has worked in or supervised nearly every area of police work, making his way through the ranks of the Mesa Police Department from patrol officer to assistant chief. Jensen began his career in law enforcement in 1987 as a deputy sheriff in Utah. As chief of police in Logan, he is responsible for budgets totaling over $10 million and oversees a department of 116 people/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today.

Question: What question would you want to ask the police chief finalists?

Sheriff IDs 'Nickelback' Flap Deputies

July 17, 2014 - 8:20am

An internal investigation of the Kootenai County Sheriff's deputies who detained two men in June over a potential misunderstanding between the words "nickel sack" and "Nickelback" is complete. Dylan Swinford, 23; and Riker Morrow, 22; both of Coeur d'Alene, were detained in the parking lot of Maverik gas station on June 20. A video of the incident, recorded by Morrow, shows the deputies confronting the duo, accusing them of discussing a drug deal involving a "nickel sack" of marijuana when the men say they were actually talking about a rock band. "That guy over there was blasting Nickelback," Swinford told the deputies at the scene. Discussion between the officers, who frequently use profanity, and the two suspects continues. At one point a deputy allegedly draws his weapon on the passenger/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Wikipedia photo: 2012 Nickelback in concert in Brisbane)

  • Also: In a response to a public records request from The Press, Miller released the names of the two deputies involved: Deputy Harvey Ballman and Deputy J. Hyle.


Ticker Tape Parade -- 2014

July 17, 2014 - 8:07am

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Hump Day Wild Card -- 7.16.14

July 16, 2014 - 5:12pm

Quite a day at Hucks Central today, launched by Coeur d'Alene City Council discussion and action last night re: the shooting of black labrador Arfee and the BNSF land purchase deal. The report by the Bonner County Sheriff's Department added to the news coverage in the later part of the morning. For a dead time of the summer, news continues to happen. I appreciate that you tune in here every day. Now, as I head out the door, I'll re-post the Wild Card ...

Parting Shot -- 7.16.14

July 16, 2014 - 5:04pm

In this July 24, 1969, file photo, President Richard Nixon, right, greets the Apollo 11 astronauts in the quarantine van on board the U.S.S. Hornet after splashdown and recovery. The Apollo 11 crew from left are Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. Armstrong and Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon after blastoff from Cape Kennedy, Fla., on July 16, 1969. (AP Photo, File)

2013-14 Idaho Surplus: $44.7M

July 16, 2014 - 4:44pm

Year-end state tax revenue figures announced yesterday showed that Idaho ended up with $7.2 million more than expected at the end of the fiscal year June 30, but the state actually has a significantly larger budget surplus than that. Here’s why: This year’s state budget didn’t call for spending all the tax revenue the state expected to collect. Instead, $36 million was transferred to various budget stabilization funds, and another $44.4 million was left unspent, creating a year-end balance or surplus/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Is it a good thing or a bad thing that Idaho collected $45M more than it spent?

GOP Blocks Anti-Hobby Lobby Bill

July 16, 2014 - 4:35pm

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a bill that would have reversed the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hobby Lobby and required companies to offer birth control coverage to employees. Democrats pushed the legislation in response to the high court ruling allowing employers to decline to offer birth control coverage in health plans if it conflicted with their religious beliefs. Three Republicans, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine) and Mark Kirk (Ill.), voted with Democrats, but the bill fell short of the 60-vote threshold, by 56-43. Democrats have jumped on the birth control issue, believing it will help turn out female voters in November’s midterms/The Hill. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Are Democrats right in believing that their opposition to the Hobby Lobby ruling by the Supreme Court will help them at the polls in November?

PM Headlines -- 7.16.14

July 16, 2014 - 4:11pm

Coeur d'Alene's interim Chief Ron Clark called the controversial police shooting of a dog inside a parked van last week "a regrettable tragedy" and said the matter is being fully investigated during the start of Tuesday night's City Council meeting in Coeur d'Alene. Story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)