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White House lauds Chelle's advocacy

November 18, 2015 - 4:02pm
The last several months have been a real struggle for my little family, more so than most. Money has been very tight.Things were so tight,I found myself having to work weekends and adding additional hours to my 12 hrs days just to keep our heads above water.  Add injury and illness to that already stressful situation and you have the perfect storm for a struggling, low-income family. It's an awful place to be. So, I sat down at my computer and wrote about my pain, fears, and frustration. That story was featured at Better Idaho and Huckleberries Online. The story was viewed more than 20,000 times! While I am proud to speak out against issue of poverty, it is still hard. I've received some hate email and some wickedly mean comments online. A few people have even demanded that I leave my Idaho home, calling me a traitor to my state/Chelle Gluch. More here (including copy of White House letter applauding Chelle's advocacy).

HucksOnline Blogos -- 11.18.15

November 18, 2015 - 2:59pm

Here's another photo by SReporter Scott Maben today. It shows work crews removing big trees that fell near federal courthouse on Mineral Drive during Wind Storm 2015.

HucksOnline numbers (for Nov. 17-18): 10,983 page-views/6,900 unique views

Avista facing largest company crisis

November 18, 2015 - 2:40pm

Most customers who lost power in Tuesday night’s massive windstorm should be ready to go three to five days before their electricity is restored, Avista Utilities said Wednesday. At Inland Power and Light, officials said they estimate having power restored to their customers by Saturday morning. “Everyone wants to know when their power will be back on,” said Mary Tyrie, an Avista spokeswoman. “They should be prepared for the possibility of a longer-duration outage.” Avista described the outages as the largest crisis in the company’s 126-year history/SR. More here.

Falling tree injures Twin Lakes men

November 18, 2015 - 2:32pm

Two men were driving in Twin Lakes when a tree fell on their car, injuring both passengers. Jordan Simon, 22, was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center for treatment for a spinal cord injury. He went into surgery for his spine Wednesday morning. Family members said doctors told him he may never walk again. The other passenger, Sheldon Cole, was treated for a concussion at a local hospital and subsequently released. Family members said Simon and Sheldon had just pulled out of their driveway, and made it less than a mile before they were hit/Taylor Viydo, KREM2. More here.

Sheriff Ben's emergency message

November 18, 2015 - 1:49pm

The Kootenai County Office of Emergency Management is working with all cities and communities across the county assessing the damage caused by last night’s severe storm. There are reports of downed trees and power lines across the county. Many roadways throughout the county remained blocked. Citizens are encouraged to limit their travel both for safety and to allow emergency crews to begin clean-up efforts. Power companies are working around the clock to restore power as quickly as possible. Avista is reporting 11,500 customers without power. Kootenai Electric is reporting 10,500 customers without power. We are asking the public to:

  • Stay away from downed power lines. Assume all downed power lines are live and dangerous. As lines are repaired, even power lines you “think” are dead may be live.
  • Limit your travel. There are still many downed trees and blocked streets. If you must travel, remember to treat intersections as 4-way stops if the traffic lights are not working.
  • Check on your neighbors and look out for one another.
  • Call 9-1-1- for life-threatening emergencies only.
  • Begin to prepare for extended power outages. Connect with friends and family to see who has power and where you could go to stay warm and safe.

To report downed power lines or to inquire about power outages, please contact your power company:

Avista: 1.800.227.9187
Kootenai Electric: 1.877.744.1055

For non emergency concerns call:

208.446.2292 citizen inquiry line from 8 am to 5 pm
208.446.1300 after 5 pm (Sheriff Office’s non-emergency line)

Landscape architect gets nat'l honor

November 18, 2015 - 1:36pm

As a boy growing up in Coeur d’Alene, Jon Mueller remembers walking to school under a canopy of grand, old street trees. Many of them are gone today, but Mueller has spent 30 years creating new landscapes with trees, boulders, paths, sloped grades and native plants enjoyed by people across the Inland Northwest. The landscape architect has left his mark on scores of schools, parks and other projects in Coeur d’Alene, Spokane and neighboring communities. One of Mueller’s signature projects is the Centennial Trail in Kootenai County. “Thirty years ago that was the introduction to multi-modal transportation,” said Mueller, 61, with Landmark Landscape Architects, a division of Architects West Inc. in Coeur d’Alene. “At the time it was very controversial and people didn’t understand it or embrace the concept of connectivity. We barely had a functional road system around here,” he said/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Along the Waterfront

November 18, 2015 - 1:22pm

Greg Lee, my walking partner, ditched me and our noon walk today, to meet with a contractor re: replacing some of his fence that blew away last night during Wind Storm 2015. So I went solo. My goal was to view the damage to the large pine trees along the way:

  • Harbor Center (UIdaho center): At least 4 large trees were down, including huge one that had been sawed into rounds after it had fallen a short distance from the entry way off Hubbard.
  • North Idaho College: 9 or 10 trees had fallen near the band shell and day care areas, between the college and Dike Road.
  • West Lakeshore -- 2 trees had fallen, barely missing that house next to Steve McCrea's home, with all the pane glass windows in front. The house would have been hit if any of the trees closer to the road had fallen. Some trees along the southern edge of NIC and along West Lakeshore Drive are leaning at bad angles today. I suspect more will fall as the winter progresses. If I attended NIC, I wouldn't park along the Dike Road until all the trees are assessed for damage.
  • City Park -- 4 or 5 trees are down -- 1 large spruce on the east side of the band shell and several smaller ones in the park's northwest corner.

Vet compares Wind Storm to WW2

November 18, 2015 - 1:19pm

A Coeur d’Alene man had the scare of his life during Tuesday’s wind storm. The 88-year-old veteran and his wife were inside their home when a tree came crashing through just a few feet from them. The two were practicing singing for a Christmas program at their church in Hayden when it all happened. Frank Bittick said he was just five feet away from where the roof caved in. He said the tree was about 40 feet tall. Their home was not the only one on the block that was damaged. The home next door to the Bittick’s had a tree go through their wall. The home belongs to Van Troxel, the head football coach a Lake City High School. He and his wife are okay. Both the wall and their back yard were badly damaged/Taylor Viydo, KREM2. More here.

AM Scanner Traffic -- 11.18.15

November 18, 2015 - 11:37am
  • 11:49 a.m. Light Pole -- Light pole @ Greensferry/Poleline, Post Falls, twisted by wind.
  • 11:39 a.m. Lines Down -- 11564 Saxon Drive/Hayden Lake.
  • 11:31 a.m. Smoke Check -- Leaves, pine needles smoldering @ 2755 Nettleton Gulch/CdA, where line fell.
  • 11:19 a.m. Smoke Check -- Sundown Drive/Grandview Road, CdA.
  • 11:18 a.m. Suspicious Circumstance -- Genesis Prep Academy @ Real Life Ministries, Cecil Road/Post Falls.
  • 11:10 a.m. Noninjury Crash -- @ n/b H95/Canfield Ave/CdA, blocking.
  • 11:01 a.m. Tree Down -- @ 1059 Garden Ave/CdA, blocking 2/3s of road.
  • 10:50 a.m. Lines Down -- 3993 Custer St/Athol.
  • 10:46 a.m. Injury Accident -- 2 vehicles @ H41/I-90 onramp, blocking, one still in car, possible 4 injuries.
  • 10:40 a.m. Lines Down -- Power lines lying on road @ Pine Ridge Drive/Kurt Road, Driftwood Bay.
  • 10:08 a.m. Tree Fire -- Downed power line has ignited fire in trees @ H54/Ramsey Road, Rathdrum.
  • 10:03 a.m. Injury Accident -- 55YO male fell 20 feet from ladder, possibly broken hip, unknown location.
  • 9:53 a.m. Tree Down -- Someone has removed tree from H97/Powderhorn Bay Road.
  • 9:51 a.m. Tree/Line Down -- Lancaster Road/Strahorn Road, Hayden Lake.
  • 9:47 a.m. Tree/Line Down -- 3864 Kidd Island Road.
  • 9:44 a.m.. Tree/Line Down -- Corbin Road, south of Riverbend/Post Falls.
  • 9:42 a.m. Dike Road Trees -- Caller reports 8 large trees down along NIC's Dike Road.
  • 9:41 a.m. Tree Down -- Large tree down over power lines @ Hanley Ave/Mt Carroll, Dalton Gardens.
  • 9:34 a.m. Oxygen Needed -- Neufeld Lane/Post Falls resident says he has no power, will be out of oxygen soon.
  • 9:30 a.m. Tree Down -- KEC crew removing tree down over power line @ 28000 block of Ramsey Road.
  • 9:29 a.m. Tree Down -- Tree down on power line @ English Point Road/Hayden Bluff.
  • 9:22 a.m. Trees Down -- A number of trees down over power lines on 16th St, no of Canfield Ave.
  • 9:19 a.m. Tree/Line Down -- Fallen tree totally blocking H97/Powderhorn Bay Road, Lake Coeur d'Alene.
  • 9:16 a.m. Tree/Line Down -- S17th St/CdA.
  • 9:14 a.m. Stop Sign Down -- Coolin/Talon, CdA.
  • 9:12 a.m. Possible DUI -- Male in black Pontiac Grand Am @ e/b I-90/MP 17 weaving since Montana state line.
  • 9:07 a.m. Parking Problem -- Unoccupied Land Cruiser left in middle of Garden Ave @ county courthouse.
  • 8:46 a.m. Pole Down -- Pole w/live power lying in residents yard @ 6467 Parque Drive/CdA.
  • 8:43 a.m. Power Line Down -- Lying across Rimrock Road, south of Ohio Match Road/Garwood.
  • 8:38 a.m. Tree Down -- Lying across Prairie Trail b/n Atlas Road/Industrial Park, CdA.
  • 8:37 a.m. Plowing -- Driver told to plow roads to remove limbs in Avondale area & "a lot of other places."
  • 8:35 a.m. Tree Down -- Tree piercing house @ 5100 block of Pine Grove/CdA.
  • 8:23 a.m. (Spudbob reports): Parts of Fairway Forest (near the CdA public golf course) are still out of power as of this morning! Some streets are still blocked by downed trees.
  • 8:15 a.m. Outreach Centers Shut: NIC outreach centers at Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry and Kellogg are CLOSED. That means all college classes, services, and activities at NIC outreach centers are canceled today. NIC's Coeur d'Alene campus is OPEN and operating according to its normal schedule.

KEC: May be in dark for days

November 18, 2015 - 11:33am

Officials with Kootenai Electric said Tuesday's windstorm did a staggering amount of damage to their system and customers could be without power for days. Officials with Kootenai Electric said the damage done was worse than the Ice Storm in 1996. They said there are countless broken poles and lines across the county. It may take days to assess the damage to the entire system and until that process is complete they will not have an area specific restoration details/KREM 2. More here.

Raul spars w/Breitbart reporter

November 18, 2015 - 11:28am

Idaho Rep. Raul  Labrador is in an escalating battle with a reporter for Breitbart News, Politico reports today, with the congressman calling the reporter “not truthful” and the news outlet calling the congressman a “liar.” At the monthly "Conversations with Conservatives” session that Labrador and other House conservatives hold with reporters in Washington, D.C., Breitbart reporter Julia Hahn asked the various members of congress assembled to raise their hands if they would be "willing to support a suspension or reduction in Muslim immigration." Some raised their hands, and as Hahn tried to ask a question of those who did not, Labrador interrupted, Politico reported. "I don't answer questions from you because you are not a truthful reporter and I will not answer any of your questions,” Labrador said. “So let's move on to somebody else"/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Well, I suspect that either Labrador or the Breitbart chairman is telling the truth re: the other side being a liar. Thoughts?

Poll: No to Syrian refugees

November 18, 2015 - 11:18am
  • Tuesday Poll: Exactly half of Hucks Nation agrees with Idaho Gov Butch Otter and the Idaho delegation that the state take no more Syrian refugees. Otter called for a stop to refugee relocation until the state can be guaranteed that refugees are properly vetted to prevent terrorist from slipping in among them. 142 of 284 respondents (50%) oppose relocation of more Syrian refugees to Idaho. 128 of 284 respondents (45.04%) say the state should continue to receive Syrian refugees. 14 (4.93%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Was your property damaged by Wind Storm 2015?

Idaho billionaire backs Rubio

November 18, 2015 - 11:09am

Idaho billionaire Frank VanderSloot today endorsed Republican Marco Rubio for president and said he plans to raise money for the Florida senator's presidential bid. VanderSloot told the Associated Press he believes Rubio is “the brightest of the bunch." VanderSloot was one of Mitt Romney’s national finance co-chairs in the 2012 presidential race, raising at least $2 million for the campaign and also donating $1.1 million to a pro-Romney super-PAC. VanderSloot said he and his wife gave $50,000 in June to the Conservative Solutions PAC, which is backing Rubio's campaign/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

4-day schools save little money

November 18, 2015 - 11:05am

This is the 3rd in a 4-part series on 4-day schools in Idaho by Kevin Richert/Idaho Education News. Some 9.1% of Idaho school children attends a school with a four-day week. Today, Kevin looks at cost savings -- or lack thereof -- involved in this experiment:

The four-day school schedule is a policy born of hard times. Not that it has made hard times much better. Nationally, school districts first adopted the schedule in the 1930s, during the Great Depression. The policy grew more popular in the 1970s, during the energy crisis. Then came the Great Recession. The number of Idaho four-day districts went from 10 in 2006-07 to 43 in 2015-16. In many cases, administrators jettisoned classroom days in hopes of stretching scarce dollars. For many districts, the savings turned out to be modest at best/Kevin Richert, Idaho Education News. More here.

Jewett House suffers major damage

November 18, 2015 - 10:53am

Crews from several city departments united forces Wednesday to clean-up after what officials are calling the worst windstorm to hit Coeur d’Alene in decades. “Other than Ice Storm (1996), I’ve never seen this much damage,” said Coeur d’Alene street superintendent Tim Martin. “The town is stretched pretty thin.” City crews worked late Tuesday evening in response to the widespread damage “until it got too dangerous to be out there,” Martin said. Police, fire, street, parks and wastewater departments were back on the streets before 4 a.m. clearing debris and opening roads. “We’re still clearing roads at this point,” said Martin mid-morning Wednesday, adding that the heaviest hit part of town was east of Fourth Street.

Meantime, the Jewett House on East Lakeshore Drive sustained significant damage when three large trees struck the deck. City parks and recreation director Steve Anthony said the Jewett house will be indefinitely closed until repairs can be made. Large trees were also reported down at parks across the city. “The number of trees down at city parks across the city is significant, said parks superintendent Bill Greenwood. “Normally, a storm will hit City Park and Forest Cemetery pretty hard, but this storm took down trees at parks across the city. The city will provide storm clean-up updates throughout the day as additional information is made available.

Warming centers to open Thurs/Fri

November 18, 2015 - 10:17am

Jeff Conroy of St. Vinny's reports:

With the extreme cold weather, St Vincent de Paul’s Warming Center will be open at least Thursday, November 19 and Friday Night, November 20. Future nights will be extended as extreme cold persists. As the sub-25 degree temperatures continue, St Vincent’s shelter will always be open from 7:00pm-7:00am. Transportation will be leaving from the St Vincent de Paul Community Dining Hall at 6:45pm on the nights we are open, and will transport back the next morning.

The Post Falls Shelter located at 202 W. 7th Street in Post Falls, behind the Post Falls St Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, in the Kamps Apartment basement. St Vincent de Paul is able to shelter 50 individuals and will have available sleeping bags, blankets, gloves, stocking caps, coats, a full bathroom, warm food and drinks.

A huge Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to donate sleeping bags, blankets, and food. Everything has been so appreciated by those we serve. Because of the need St Vincent de Paul is accepting donations of warm food at both locations. If you are able to help or donate please contact Warming Center Coordinator Ben 208-771-5396.

Coeur d'Alene schools shut today

November 18, 2015 - 9:43am

All Coeur d’Alene Public Schools are closed due to the storm’s damage, downed trees and power lines and many homes and several school buildings without power School is canceled for Wednesday, November 18th. Our SchoolPlus childcare program is open at the consolidated sites of Winton, Skyway and Dalton for those families signed up for no school day emergency care. Stay tuned to emails/ texts to parents, our FB page and local news for additional information/Laura Rumpler, Coeur d'Alene School District.

Wind damage

November 18, 2015 - 9:35am

Occasionally, a journalist becomes part of the story. Wind Storm 2015 didn't play favorites Tuesday. A large spruce fell on SReporter Scott Maben's house in the area south of Hanley Avenue between H95 & Ramsey Road. Any trees fall near you?

Quotable Quote -- Sam Hval

November 18, 2015 - 9:26am
"I can't read the news on my Kindle (no Internet) so I had to read the NEWSPAPER!" -- Sam Hval, 16, Son of Cindy.