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On The Waterfront -- House Scraping

August 25, 2014 - 2:01pm

I was nearing the end of my regular noon walk when I noticed demolition activity happening along Park Drive, just north of Memorial Field and the entrance to Coeur d'Alene Skate Park. Curious, I changed my route a bit and discovered that heavy equipment had reduced another Lake City Development Corp. rental house to rubble. That means the fourth of 8 (mebbe 9) LCDC properties along the stretch leading north to River Avenue have been scraped for the future Four Corners project. ... On the West Lakeshore Drive part of the walk, I noticed a Fred's Appliance truck in front of those four condos under construction at the Military Drive intersection. That should mean that the properties that stirred a controversy some months ago are getting ready for occupancy. On the Hagadone Hospitality front, a barge and a couple of workers are fixing some weather damage to the boardwalk, about midway around. I wasn't able to do a complete lap of the boardwalk as a result. ... I counted 177 individuals using McEuen Park at noon, including about 100 parents and children in or around the playground and splash pad. Maybe 300-plus were swimming and sunbathing at City Beach. But only a half dozen kids were in Fort Sherman Park. Viewtiful day for a walk.

Hobnobbing At The Fair

August 25, 2014 - 1:39pm

North Idaho Fair manager Dane Dugan and fair board vice chairman Zach Bane visit at the main entry to the fairgrounds after dedication ceremonies that commemorated Kootenai County's 150th anniversary last Wednesday. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

SR News Quiz -- 8.24-29.2014

August 25, 2014 - 1:18pm

How much do you know about repeated algae outbreaks in Fernan Lake, the most successful sports at WSU, regional storm cleanup and other news of note? Find out in our weekly quiz, where you could win movie tickets (everyone eligible) or a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel (top contestants eligible). You can take the News Quiz here. 

  • Answer to Question No. 1: Bridging the valley.
  • Last week's winners: Linda Stanescu of Sprague, Wash. (gift card) and Valarie Rongey of Spokane Valley (movie tickets).

Idaho Students To Take Core Tests

August 25, 2014 - 1:13pm

As students across the state head back to school, AP reporter Kimberlee Kruesi offers an overview of the new standardized testing students will face this year aligned to Idaho Core standards adopted in 2011. Idaho school districts began teaching under the new standards last school year, and students took a field-test version of the new exam, called the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), but the results didn't count. The Idaho State Department of Education is now referring to the new test as the ISAT 2.0; in the spring of 2015, students will take the test and results will count/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Do you consider this good news/bad news?

House Suit Vs Obama To Cost $350K

August 25, 2014 - 1:09pm

The House of Representatives will spend no more than $350,000 to sue President Barack Obama, according to a contract released Monday by a congressional committee. BakerHostetler’s David Rivkin will represent the House as it seeks to show that Obama has misused executive authority. The contract expires in January 2015 and the law firm’s rate is $500 per hour. The House voted along party lines to sue Obama, principally for delaying Obamacare’s mandate that companies provide health care for their employees. Republicans say Obama delayed the provision — and essentially changed the law — without consulting Congress/Politico.

Question: Do you approve/disapprove of this lawsuit?

GOP Ad Features Foley Murderer

August 25, 2014 - 1:01pm

The masked man appears briefly, for only a frame or two, but it’s startling nonetheless. The not-yet-identified killer of kidnapped American photographer James Foley is featured in an ominous and risky campaign ad released Monday by New Mexico’s Republican nominee for Senate, Allen Weh, the underdog challenger to first-term Democratic Senator Tom Udall. Weh, a Marine combat veteran and onetime New Mexico Republican Party Chairman, appears to be the first candidate this cycle to use Foley’s gruesome execution as campaign fodder, portraying the murder as one consequence of a rudderless American foreign policy mismanaged by President Obama and Udall/CNN Politics. More here.

Question: How would you react if an Idaho political candidate used this sort of campaign advertising?

Prosecutor Allegedly Aided Criminal

August 25, 2014 - 11:52am

A Spokane County criminal prosecutor is under investigation after allegedly aiding a wanted felon avoid police capture earlier this year. Marriya Wright, 34, has been on paid administrative leave from the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office since April 21. That’s the same day investigators filed a search warrant for the Spokane County Jail cell of Matthew Baumrucker, 31, who now faces a federal indictment for being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to court documents unsealed last week, Baumrucker texted a phone traced to Wright 1,280 times between Feb. 6 and March 5, when authorities were attempting to apprehend him on a warrant for drug charges. He was arrested eight days later at a motel in Spokane Valley, according to court records, and booked into jail after Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies found a pistol on an air conditioner outside the room he was sharing with another woman. Baumrucker is a six-time convicted felon, including charges of perjury, assault and money laundering, according to court records/SR. More here. (KXLY photos: Wright photo courtesy of Rx Muscle Contest / Baumrucker photo courtesy of Spokane County Jail)


Huckleberries Has A Winner

August 25, 2014 - 11:45am

Joan Harman (aka "Arch Druid of Hucklberries blog fame) shows off her handiwork to photographer Duane Rasmussen in the North Idaho Fair building reserved for quilts and crafts. Looks like Joan pulled down a second place for her work.

Question: Anyone out there when a ribbon at the fair this year? For what competition?

AM Scanner Traffic -- 8.25.14

August 25, 2014 - 11:30am
  • 11:53 a.m. Someone is suffering stomach pain @ 5800 block of Isabella/CdA.
  • 11:42 a.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ 12200 block of N. Forest Road/Hayden.
  • 10:18 p.m. Male drives off, leaving female behind, after fight @ 4300 Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive/CdA.
  • 10:15 a.m. Male is unconscious on sidewalk in front of Roger's Ice Cream, 1224 E. Sherman, CPR in progress.
  • 9:54 a.m. 74YO male needs lift help after falling from wheelchair @ Dalton/Ramsey roads.
  • 9:50 a.m. Disabled vehicle is blocking Greensferry/Black Forest Avenue, Post Falls.
  • 9:08 a.m. Rathdrum police stop motorhome that smelled of burning plastic @ H41/Nagel Road.
  • 9:05 a.m. CPD officer reports disabled vehicle @ Coeur d'Alene City Hall, 8th & Mullan/CdA.
  • 8:16 a.m. 48YO female broke her leg and can't move her foot after falling off her roof @ 1200 block of N. Monticello/Post Falls and landing on her feet on concrete. She also can't move right foot & may be going into shock.
  • 8:18 a.m. Resident of Lakeview Drive reports transients camped behind her place, one is taking down tent now.
  • 8:24 a.m. Driver of silver Ford Taurus possibly impaired @ H95/Brunner, Athol, now turning onto Clagstone.

Poll: ORVers Ignore Signs, Enviro

August 25, 2014 - 11:01am
  • Weekend Poll: A majority of Hucks Nation believes off-road-vehicle riders ignore no-trespassing signs and don't respect the environment. That's the position taken by 107 of 201 respondents (53.23%) to the weekend poll. 89 of 201 respondents (44.28%) said ATVers are respectful of the environment and posted private property. 5 (2.49%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: The Justice for Arfee group uses the word "murder" to describe the shooting of a 2YO black lab in CdA by a CPD officer. Is that the right word to use?

Justice For Arfee Sets Sept. 7 Rally

August 25, 2014 - 10:49am

On the Justice for Arfee Facebook page, 91 Friends have indicated they will participate in a rally at Java on Sherman, 819 Sherman Ave., Coeur d'Alene, at 11:45 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 7. This message was posted on the Facebook site: "We believe that fair Justice for ARFEE requires the Coeur D'Alene city PD officer who murdered Arfee to be terminated. It is not in any of our best interests to have such public servants armed within our community. The degree of dangerous and unnecessary action that was taken by the pubic servant who murdered Arfee is entirely unacceptable and frightening. We stand behind the belief that public servants such as this are a threat to the safety and security of the community at large. We are the ones who pay our public servants for a quality service. When that service is proven to be unworthy of our support, we are empowered to call for his/her dismissal." More here.

Question: Justice for Arfee uses the word "murder" to describe the shooting of the 2-year-old black lab by a Coeur d'Alene police officer. Is that the right word to use here?

Former Hobbit Speaks At UIdaho

August 25, 2014 - 10:34am

University of Idaho freshman Will Kennedy stands up after being introduced by his cousin, actor Sean Astin, during the university's convocation at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow on Friday. (Daily News photo: Geoff Crimmins)

Sean Astin challenged the University of Idaho's freshmen class to be brave like Samwise Gamgee, adventurous like the Goonies and determined like Rudy during Friday morning's convocation. As the keynote speaker for the ceremony, Astin was greeted with cheers and a standing ovation as he spoke to this year's incoming class of Vandals, their parents and university staff and faculty.His humorous speech began as Astin shared his connections to the university through his mother Patty Duke, who regularly works with the UI theatre department and his cousin Will Kennedy, an incoming freshmen at the UI. Astin poked fun at Kennedy. He had him stand up in the audience, making sure President Chuck Staben and the faculty knew exactly who he was/Samantha Mallot, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Which acting role, performed by Sean Astin, did you like best -- "Rudy," "Goonies" or Samwise Gamgee?

Balukoff Stumps To Votes At Fair

August 25, 2014 - 10:30am

The fair signals different things for different people, and for politicians it's no different: It's campaign season. A.J. Balukoff was on a campaign swing through North Idaho Friday and - like his opponent, incumbent Gov. Butch Otter, did earlier this week - he was headed to the fair. Balukoff, an accountant and longtime Boise-based businessman, is running primarily on a platform to increase school funding and create jobs. Education spending is an issue he is well aware of as the president of the Boise school board. "The reason I got into this race in the first place is centered around education," he said. "I've been on the Boise school board for 17 years and watched the defunding of our schools and also the erosion of local control"/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Did anyone meet Democrat Balukoff at the fair?

AM Headlines -- 8.25.14

August 25, 2014 - 10:02am

Business was slow at the Mechanical Bull site at the North Idaho Fair. So the operator showed some potential customers that the Mechanical Bull was easy enough for his dog to ride. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Why Do 'Things' Mean So Much To Us?

August 25, 2014 - 9:21am

"Last Saturday I drove to Farragut State Park near Sandpoint, Idaho." writes the Rev. Christine Prescott in the Saturday edition of the Missoulian. "I wanted to donate a pocketknife that my dad used during his service in the South Pacific in World War II to the Museum at the park. The state park is on the site of Farragut Naval Training Station where my dad (and almost 300,000 other Navy recruits) did his basic training. I have had this knife since I was 8 years old. I know its weight, its feel in my hand, its shape, color and smell. When the time came to hand it over I almost couldn’t do it. It seemed like giving away a finger or an ear. I wonder: why do we give so much value to objects? They are, after all, just things." More here.

Question: Do you have an item from your parents that means a lot to you?

Robber Hits Downtown Zip Trip

August 25, 2014 - 9:13am

A Zip Trip in downtown Coeur d’Alene (701 Sherman Ave.) was robbed late Sunday, the city police department reported. A man apparently entered the store just before 11 p.m. and demanded money, a news release said. The man did not display a weapon. He left with an undisclosed amount of money and ran away to the east. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Idaho State Police and Post Falls Police Department assisted in setting up a perimeter and trying to find the robber, but were unsuccessful. The police intend to release video of the robber obtained from the business. The man is described as: 6 feet or taller, dressed in dark clothing, lighter colored pants. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Coeur d’Alene Police Department at /SR.

The Name Butch Fears Isn't Balukoff

August 25, 2014 - 9:07am

The Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry is tying Democratic gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff to President Obama. Linking an Idaho Democrat to an unpopular White House is a tried and true tactic. It will work again. Unless the conversations at Idaho's barber shops, golf courses, fishing holes, farmers markets, church socials and pool tables go like this: "Who's your choice for governor?" "The other fellow." "What other fellow?" "You know. Buzenschitz. Baryshnikov." "Do you mean Balukoff?" "Yes. That one." Bill Hall, the editor emeritus of this page, heard the same kind of talk in 1966. Gov. Robert E. Smylie looked strong enough to scare off any credible opposition, at least within his own party. Smylie's one opponent was a backbencher from Sandpoint, state Sen. Don Samuelson, and no one took him seriously. But Hall started hearing talk of support for "the other fellow." Samuelson ended up defeating Smylie with 61 percent in the GOP primary/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you think the Tea-publicans might turn against Butch this fall?

Smoke On The Water Draws BBQers

August 25, 2014 - 8:48am

Visitors to downtown Coeur d'Alene may have seen smoke on the water through the weekend, but there was no fire in the sky. But plenty of smoke was in the air while the fires were contained in grills and smokers as nearly 30 teams competed for a chunk of the $5,000 prize purse at the Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association's Idaho State Championship, the 14th annual Smoke on the Water barbecue competition. The cook-off took place Saturday and Sunday in a new location this year, spreading canopies and cooking tents across the lawn of McEuen Park. "It was a great first-year event," said Jay Bremner of Post Falls, owner of Limp Brizkit BBQ. "I think it went great, it was awesome. I wanted to do it just because. It's the first year at McEuen." Teams from near and far competed to woo judges with their unique, bold, spicy, sweet and savory recipes in categories of pork butt, brisket, chicken and pork ribs/Devin Heilman, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Spirit Lake's Tim Franey, of Pit Tenders prepares samples)

Question: Did any of you visit the Idaho Smoke on the Water BBQ championship Saturday or Sunday?

More Boomers Getting Divorced

August 25, 2014 - 8:47am

Requests for divorce by older Spokanites have nearly tripled at Gonzaga Law School’s Elder Law Clinic during the first seven months of this year. Don’t blame it on the trifecta of supermoons or our recent whacky weather. It’s a trend throughout the country where divorce among baby boomers and older generations is soaring, nearly doubling in recent years. The trend has garnered its own nicknames: gray divorce or silver divorce. “All of a sudden (older) people are wanting divorce,” said Larry Weiser, director of the University Legal Assistance and the Elder Law Clinic. It’s the first time he’s seen such a rise during his 33 years overseeing the clinic that provides low-cost legal assistance to people who are at least 60/Erica Curless, SR. More here. (SR photo by Tyler Tjomsland: Larry Weiser, who oversees GU’s University Legal Assistance and the Elder Law Clinic, speaks to students

Question: Why do you suppose Boomers are getting divorced in increasing numbers?

A Work Of (Sand) Art

August 25, 2014 - 8:36am

Montanan Bill Dowe works on his sand castle at the North Idaho Fair, featuring a pine tree, a miner and a lumberjack. If you attended the fair, you saw Dowe's work. It was situated outside the main exhibit barn near the northern entrance to the fair. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

North Idaho Fair stories: