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AM Headlines -- 4.10.14

April 10, 2014 - 9:46am

Emergency call operator for the Post Falls police department works at her station Wednesday. Post Falls police will be sending out live feeds over Facebook and Twitter Friday night during what they are calling a “Tweet Along” in order to give the public a glimpse into the typical night of an officer. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Gabe Green)

New Mexico Ruling Could Affect Idaho

April 10, 2014 - 9:04am

Prospects of resolving disputes over Add the Words and religious freedom in the marketplace may have gotten a little more difficult thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court's refusal Monday to consider the appeal of an Albuquerque, N.M., photographer who declined to shoot a same-sex couple's commitment ceremony met with opposite responses. Advocates of adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the Idaho Human Rights Act hailed the move. "This reaffirms the fact that if someone is going to operate in the public marketplace, everyone has to play by the same rules, and that peoples' religious liberties are already protected," said Monica Hopkins of the ACLU/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Should this decision have an impact on Idaho?

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Otter Needed Lanza Inside Tent

April 10, 2014 - 8:54am

Nobody described the idea of keeping your friends close but your enemies closer more colorfully than President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Asked about his decision to keep J. Edgar Hoover as FBI director, LBJ famously told the New York Times: "It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in." Which brings us to Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter. Last week, Otter's State Board of Education appointee Richard Westerberg yanked Idaho education activist Mike Lanza from the governor's education reform task force. Lanza had signed up as Democratic gubernatorial hopeful A.J. Balukoff's communications director and education adviser/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Did Gov. Otter compromise the integrity of his education task force by kicking Mike Lanza off?

Edit: Juvie Killers & Life Sans Parole

April 10, 2014 - 8:45am

Life sentences are usually reserved for -- and should be reserved for -- the worst of the worst, the serial rapists and murderers of the world. When a life sentence is handed down, few would argue the severity and finality of the penalty isn't appropriate given the heinous nature of the crimes committed. But what about when that offender, that murderer, is a 14-year-old boy? Is a life sentence just? A jury in Kootenai County will likely be facing that question soon in the case of Eldon Gale Samuel III, who is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and will be tried as an adult for the March 24 deaths of his father and 13-year-old brother. He could receive life in prison without parole, the same sentence given to four other Idaho youths previously convicted as adults for murder. Those youths ranged in ages 16-17 at the time of their crimes/Devin Rokyta, Moscow-Pullman Daily News Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Do you believe in the punishment of life without possibility of parole for juveniles who commit heinous crimes?

Balukoff: NRA Questionnaire Biased

April 10, 2014 - 8:42am

Democratic gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff announced today that he would not fill out a National Rifle Association candidate questionnaire, calling it "biased and loaded with leading questions that do not allow me to accurately state my position on gun laws." Instead, Balukoff wrote a letter stating his position on guns and sent it to the NRA, saying "Special interests gave us Idaho's Guns on Campus law. We don't need a governor and Legislature who are beholden to special interests. We need independent thinkers in government who answer to voters." “I own several firearms, and I am an avid hunter and fisherman who holds an Idaho Lifetime Combination Hunting/Fishing license. I also enjoy shooting trap and skeet. I have always supported the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution”/A.J. Balukoff for Governor news release. More here.

Question: How important is it to you that candidates answer questionnaires from organizations like the NRA?

Jennifer's Legislative Wish List

April 10, 2014 - 8:39am

Responding to a question by JimmyMAC to list 3-5 items that she'd like to see legislators "with a backbone" take on, JenniferL responds:

  • 1. Repeal of the State Exchange (exploring more free market solutions, like Dr. Lowell Fenwick presented last year).
  • 2. Doing what Governor Mike Pence did in Indiana in withdrawing from Common Core .
  • 3 Introducing legislation concerning medical records, where individuals could look at their records and comment on anything that could be off and that would allow one to also see who has been in their records. Also, more state laws concerning the protection of privacy and data of an individual. Full list here.


16YO Stabs 19, 4 Critical

April 10, 2014 - 8:31am

Alex Hribal, the suspect in the stabbings at the Franklin Regional High School near Pittsburgh, is taken from a district magistrate after he was arraigned on charges in the attack on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

The latest U.S. community to be traumatized by school violence -- this time a mass stabbing -- began the long journey back to normality Thursday as it sent its youngest children back to classes, authorities searched for a motive and injured students recovered from their wounds.Murrysville’s elementary and middle schools reopened just 24 hours after a stabbing and slashing rampage through the first-floor hallway of Franklin Regional Senior High School. Police have identified 16-year-old Alex Hribal as the suspected attacker."He just went down the hall swinging the two knives he had," Murrysville's police chief, Thomas Seefeld, said at a morning news briefing outside the school. At least 19 students were wounded, four critically/Los Angeles Times. More here.


Spokane Pit Bull Attacks 5

April 10, 2014 - 8:25am

Police shot and killed a pit bull Wednesday night after it attacked five people and tried to evade capture in north Spokane. It’s the third serious pit bull attack in Spokane in the past week. The attack Wednesday happened at an apartment complex in the 6800 block of North Atlantic Street, said Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service director Nancy Hill. When an animal protection officer arrived, the animal was still loose and the SCRAPS officer tried to catch it. “An apartment complex is not well-suited to cornering and capturing the dog,” Hill said. A Spokane police officer assisting with the call killed the dog with a shotgun when it could not be caught, said Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Mark Gregory/SR. More here.

Question: Is there a pit bull in your neighborhood?

Kerry Tells Risch To Face 'Reality'

April 10, 2014 - 8:19am

Secretary of State John Kerry reacted aggressively when Idaho GOP Sen. Jim Risch suggested the Obama administration’s tactics are letting the Russians “misbehave even worse” in the crisis in Ukraine. Kerry replied by telling Risch about “the realities of the world.” Video of Tuesday’s exchange in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which Kerry chaired before becoming secretary of state in 2013, was published online by NBC News and is embedded (in Dan Popkey story, follow link). On Tuesday, Risch sent the Statesman a news release with a different excerpt from the hearing, which features Risch urging Kerry to help free Boise pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned in Iran since 2012. The Statesman published that clip, but not until today did I see the parrying over Ukraine/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question (to those who watch video): What is your impression of the exchange between Kerry and Risch?

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Not So Progressive

April 10, 2014 - 8:15am

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Hump Day Wild Card -- 4.9.14

April 9, 2014 - 5:32pm

I've more or less worked my way through the head cold that sapped my strength somewhat over the weekend and the last two days. It's a lousy way to enjoy the nice days that have finally broken out this spring. I need to get some dirt under the fingernails to verify that spring really has arrived. The recent activity involving local politics reveals the fact that the spring campaigns certainly have arrived. Now for today's Wild Card ...

Parting Shot -- 4.9.14

April 9, 2014 - 5:25pm

Spc. Kristen Haley, left, the fiancee of Sgt. First Class Daniel Ferguson who was killed in the Fort Hood shooting, is consoled at the memorial ceremony for the victims of the Fort Hood shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner)

Zombie Show Set For Local Filming

April 9, 2014 - 5:13pm

This week SyFy announced it ordered a new zombie TV show called Z Nation — and it’s going to be filmed here in Spokane. Big Fish NW Talent is looking for hundreds of Spokane-area extras for the 13 episodes, and they’re casting for a “variety of sizes, shapes & colors.” Those who are interested should register with them here. Z Nation is from the same production company that introduced the world to Sharknado, so expect a different tone than, say, The Walking Dead. SyFy describes it as a “unique new journey into the long-established zombie genre” that offers hope instead of “existential despair”/Lisa Wanaanen, Bloglander. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Why would you make a good zombie for a TV series?

Top Post: Aaron Rips Anti-Obama R's

April 9, 2014 - 4:58pm

Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron compared Republicans that oppose President Barack Obama to the Ku Klux Klan. Speaking to USA Today Tuesday on the 40th anniversary of his then record-breaking 715th home run, the 80-year-old Aaron said that Republicans are hindering Obama’s job performance. “Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated,” Aaron told USA Today Sports. Aaron continued: “The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.” Aaron stated that there is still room for improvement for race relations in the U.S./Associated Press. More here. (AP photo)

Question: Do you think Hank Aaron's comparison of anti-Obama Republicans to KKK is fair?

Cutline Contest -- 4.9.14

April 9, 2014 - 4:52pm

Time 2 Vote ...

Takumi Tachikawa, of Japan, performs with his dough during the acrobatic pizza event, part of the Pizza World Championships, in Parma, northern Italy earlier today Wednesday. (AP Photo/Marco Vasini)

Tuesday Winner (tie, with 12 each) -- Luke Malek: Malek reacts to being told the debate will be decided by arm-wrestling. And DFO: Luke: Oh, don't tell me Toby's late because he thought North Idaho College was located near the fairgrounds. You can see Tuesday photo and read all Cutline Contest entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic -- 4.9.14

April 9, 2014 - 4:45pm
  • 5:34 p.m. 16 1/2YO Hayden boy throwing items in house, mother reports.
  • 5:12 p.m. Axle of rear trailer wobbly on out-of-state semi @ w/b I-90/MP 20 (Veterans Memorial Bridge)
  • 5:03 p.m. Driver of older yellow pickup ran stop @ H95/58 before entering CdA casino lot, possibly DUI.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for April 8-9 here.
  • 3:58 p.m. County employee reports disabled motorist parked next to center divider @ w/b I-90/MP 11 (NW Blvd).
  • 3:57 p.m. Kellogg School District worker reports Pasco, Wash., school bus disabled @ w/b I-90/Cataldo Mission.
  • 3:25 p.m. Caller reports a contained dog @ 13562 Greensferry Road/Rathdrum Prairie.
  • 3:19 p.m. PFPD officer wants extra patrol after school for 15th/Catherine, Post Falls.
  • 2:50 p.m. 4-5 males are sitting in vehicle leaking gas on Ross Point Road/Post Falls.
  • 2:42 p.m. Bus has pulled into WalMart parking lot b/c a special-needs child has become aggressive w/an aide.
  • 2:26 p.m. Coeur d'Alene City Hall reports disorderly male on premises. Male pulled off shirt & put it back on before punching a stop sign and running off on w/b Front Avenue.
  • 2:09 p.m. Erratic female driver in RAV4 is causing traffic to back up by not letting people pass @ n/b I-90/H95, CdA.
  • 1:43 p.m. ITD reports that traffic is using median, despite posted cones, to get through e/b I-90 construction zone.
  • 1:33 p.m. Motorist reports road rage involving out-of-state trucker in e/b I-90 construction zone near Post Falls.
  • 1:09 p.m. Drivers are trying to use H41 onramp to avoid e/b I-90 congestion due to construction.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

PM Headlines -- 4.9.14

April 9, 2014 - 4:33pm

The spring lambs were stretching their legs at Wendell Adams farm in Hayden on Monday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

McEuen Donor Wall Taking Shape

April 9, 2014 - 4:04pm

There are still spaces left to etch your name in history on the McEuen Park Donor Wall. For a donation of $500 per line you can have your family name, business or a loved one’s name engraved in one of six granite plaques. There are only 380 lines available and many have already been sold. The wall is currently under construction in the center of the park near the grand entrance at Fourth Street. The Panhandle Parks Foundation is sponsoring the project/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.

Question: Have you ordered your line on the donor wall yet?

Judicial Confirmation On Good Friday

April 9, 2014 - 3:44pm

The Kootenai County Board of Commissioners will consider a resolution to authorize the filing of petition for judicial confirmation for the rental of a jail facility. A meeting to consider the resolution is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, April 18 (Good Friday), at the 3rd floor board room of the Kootenai County Administration Building. The proposed petition would seek judicial confirmation for the county to enter into a lease with Rocky Mountain Corrections, "or such other company as may be selected, for the rental of a jail facility."

Question: Is this the best time to conduct a meeting for possible judicial confirmation on an issue of this magnitude?

Dunno Much About -- Rigby, Idaho

April 9, 2014 - 3:27pm

Doctor Watson (RE: Philo made us proud): Quick, somebody send this to Chico Shindlebeck and see if he can locate Rigby on a map! Also, see if he can articulate three things that make Rigby different than CdA!

Question: Forget about Schindelbeck. Can you tell me anything about Rigby, Idaho (without Googling it)?