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Updated: 31 min 25 sec ago

Slowing Niagara to a trickle?

January 25, 2016 - 11:47am

In this Associated Press file photo, people look at the American Falls in Niagara Falls, N.Y. New York officials are considering temporarily turning Niagara Falls into a trickle. State officials are holding a public hearing this week to discuss plans for replacing 115-year-old bridges linking the mainland to islands near the brink of Niagara Falls. To do so, they might reduce the flow on the American side of the falls by building a temporary structure to redirect Niagara River water to the Canadian side. (AP Photo/David Duprey, File)

Question: Have you been to Niagara Falls. When? Why?

Study: Financial insecurity snags Idaho

January 25, 2016 - 11:32am

According to a study released today from the Washington, D.C.-based Corporation for Enterprise Development, Idaho is locked in a "new normal" of low-wage jobs and financial insecurity. The CFED survey evaluates 69 policy measures to determine how well (or poorly) states are addressing their resident's financial challenges. According to the report, 45.5 percent of Idaho households are "unable to build the savings needed to last even three months in the event of an emergency." Idaho's overall performance ranked 21st in the nation (down from 12th in 2015)/George Prentice, Boise Weekly. More here.

AM Scanner Traffic -- 1.25.16

January 25, 2016 - 11:25am
  • 11:27 a.m. Loose Dogs -- H95/Mica Grade, south of CdA.
  • 11:12 a.m. Chest Pain -- Weather prevents air ambulance from launching for patient (10:11 item).
  • 10:56 a.m. Possible Stroke -- LaCrosse Rehabilitation, 210 W LaCrosse Ave/CdA.
  • 10:53 a.m. Traffic Offense -- Trucker runs red light & almost hits vehicle @ n/b H41/Hayden Ave.
  • 10:32 a.m. Welfare Check -- Possible drunk female walking in middle of Seltice Way/Post Falls.
  • 10:22 a.m. General Illness -- 500 block of E10th Ave/Post Falls.
  • 10:11 a.m. Chest Pain -- H3/MP 105 (Medimont Road).
  • 9:36 a.m. Non-injury Crash -- Animal control vehicle & sedan @ Lakeview Blvd/Marilyn Road, Twin Lakes.
  • 9:10 a.m. Seizure -- Larks Haven Assisted Living, 11950 Thames Court/Hayden.
  • 8:57 a.m. Suspicious Male -- Male @ unknown location holding anti-government sign & talking to puppet.
  • 8:52 a.m. Injury Accident -- 2-vehicle crash blocking 350 Cherry Lane/CdA, one motorist complains of headache.
  • 8:45 a.m. Tobacco Violation -- New Vision Alternative School, 210 W Mullan Ave/Post Falls.
  • 8:44 a.m. Injury Fall -- Renaissance at Coeur d'Alene, 2772 W Avante Loop/CdA.
  • 8:40 a.m. Undisclosed Medical -- 3000 block of Government Way/CdA.
  • 8:30 a.m. Reckless Driver -- Male driving blue Arizona SUV talking on phone, swerving @ I-90/NW Blvd, CdA.
  • 8:13 a.m. Injury Fall -- 2700 block of Thrush Drive/Post Falls.

Murderer gets life without parole

January 25, 2016 - 11:21am

A judge in Coeur d’Alene imposed a sentence Monday of life in prison for a Mexican man who admitted killing his wife and stepdaughter a year and a half ago. Angel Albertico Morales-Larranaga, 26, will serve two consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole for the strangling deaths of Facunda Velenzuelaleon, 24, and Dyanna M. Valencia, 6, inside a Post Falls apartment on July 8, 2014. Morales-Larranaga, an illegal immigrant, read a handwritten statement in Spanish saying he can’t explain why he committed the crimes. “For 10 minutes a demon took over me and had me finish off what I love most in life,” he said/SR. More here.

Virtual school has dismal grad rate

January 25, 2016 - 11:17am

The troubling news that Idaho’s high school graduation rates are lower than have long been thought has prompted the state Board of Education to do additional research, board President Don Soltman told JFAC this morning, to pinpoint where the problems are. “The bad news is that alternative schools and virtual schools have very low graduation rates, which drag down the overall state average,” he said. “The good news is that for students attending regular and charter schools, actually 88 percent and 91 percent” graduate/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Are you a supporter of school choice?

AM Headlines -- 1.25.16

January 25, 2016 - 10:03am

Artist Mel McCuddin stands in his art studio, Wednesday, Jan. 14, in Spokane Valley. McCuddin art has been called figurative expressionism. Doug Clark spotlights the artist in his column here. (Jesse Tinsley)

Under Construction ...

Poll: Up in the air re: permitless carry

January 25, 2016 - 9:54am
  • Weekend Poll: The weekend poll offered an anomaly. Through the first 196 votes, 152 respondents had voted against the concept of permitless carry (carry of concealed weapons without a permit). That's 77.55% opposed to permitless carry. Statistics for the Huckleberries Online poll rarely change more than a few percent after the first 100 votes. And the weekend poll rarely attracts more than 300 votes. However, from that point, another 645 people voted, overwhelmingly for permitless carry. I suspected that those votes had come from an individual who has figured out how to rig the system to vote over and over. It has happened before. But I talked to a man with ties to the Idaho gun community and the 2nd Amendment Alliance who said he'd encouraged his mailing list of 1,000 to vote. If this was a matter of individuals from around the state, even an organized group voting rather than a single individual gaming the system, then the final outcome was 575 votes for permitless carry (68.37)), 261 against (31.03%), and 5 undecided (0.59%). The first number likely represents regular Huckleberries Online voters. The second number could represent an organized effort to make a voice heard. I'll let you interpret the tea leaves on this one.
  • Today's Poll: Is Hillary Clinton's candidacy for president haunted by the "bimbo eruptions" of husband Bill's White House?

Jurors hear about slain brother

January 25, 2016 - 9:11am

Jurors in teenager Eldon Samuel III's double-murder trial learned just a little more Friday about Jonathan Samuel, the brother who was 11 months younger, had autism and was brutally shot and chopped with a machete on March 24, 2014. In brief periods on the witness stand in the 1st District Court trial, witnesses called by Eldon Samuel's defense team shared anecdotes about the younger boy. Samuel, who is 16 and being tried as an adult, is charged with murder for killing his 13-year-old brother and their father, Eldon Samuel Jr., in a Coeur d'Alene home/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Lack of black nominees haunts Oscars

January 25, 2016 - 9:02am

In the New Yorker, writer Richard Brody discusses the controversy swirling around the Academy Awards re: lack of black nominees for Oscars this year:

The Oscars almost never get it right. Alfred Hitchcock never won one; Elaine May has never won one. Barbara Stanwyck never won an Oscar; Robert Mitchum never got a Best Actor nomination. The intersection between the art of movies and the Oscars is coincidental at best. Many great black actors have won Academy Awards (most recently, Forest Whitaker was named Best Actor in 2007, Halle Berry won Best Actress in 2002, Lupita Nyong’o was Best Supporting Actress in 2014, and Morgan Freeman got the Best Supporting Actor award in 2005). Many more have been ignored (Alfre Woodard was nominated once, in 1984; Danny Glover, never). Yet the blinding whiteness of the Oscars this year meshes with another infuriating long-term pattern: the whiting-out of movies about black experience. More here.

Question: What do you make of the controversy swirling around the Oscars this year?

Bill's infidelity dogs Hillary's campaign

January 25, 2016 - 8:51am

A culture of victimhood serves as the bedrock upon which the Democratic Party raises its foundation. The Democrats' central purpose is to convince as many people as possible that they are victims and that only Democrats will serve as their champions.A New York Times story earlier this week described the misgivings of one of Hillary Clinton's most visible supporters, Lena Dunham. I know little of Dunham other than she made a false accusation of rape against a male student who attended Oberlin College with her. While Dunham remains a visible public advocate, in private she is uneasy about Hillary's role in smearing the reputations of a number of women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault and harassment/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree that the "bimbo eruptions" of Bill Clinton's presidency are an issue with some voters today, as Hillary Clinton attempts to win the Democratic nomination for president?

Pro-lifers mark Roe v Wade decision

January 25, 2016 - 8:31am

Anyone who traveled along U.S. 95 in Coeur d'Alene near Dalton Avenue on Saturday morning most likely witnessed the annual Right to Life Commemorative March and Rally. More than 100 people, children and elderly included, joined in and marched in the pouring rain from Skate Plaza Roller Rink to Kmart and back to Skate Plaza. Many carried picket signs and banners in support of a pro-life stance on abortion. "It's just a chance for people of all religions to stand up for life from conception until natural death," said Connie Frank, Right to Life Coeur d'Alene member/Mary Malone, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

SR: Poor Idahoans deserve lawyer

January 25, 2016 - 8:20am

Indigent and possibly innocent Idahoans will not find justice until the state fulfills its duty to provide them effective legal representation. Their search goes on. Thursday, a Boise judge dismissed an effort by four defendants, including one from Bonner County, to get the state to fully fund public defender offices. The Legislature slyly handed off to the counties responsibility for providing legal counsel to defendants, but provided no money to help them do so; a classic unfunded mandate/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Isn't it strange how our legislators and executive branch bristle when it comes to unfunded mandates handed down by the feds. But don't seem to mind when they push state responsibility from the state unto local governments? Thoughts?

Ex-mayor offers Malheur advice

January 25, 2016 - 8:13am

Darrell Kerby has advice for Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and others demanding federal action against the armed occupiers of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge: not so fast. Kerby? He’s a former mayor of Bonners Ferry. And a former member of Idaho’s Boundary County Executive Emergency Board that served during the Ruby Ridge standoff: “I had a front row seat to watch a total and complete tragedy unfold,” he wrote on Facebook. “What did I learn? I learned that time is your ally and use of force is the enemy. I do not know any of the parties involved in this latest standoff, but I do know absolutely nothing is being harmed by leaving the occupiers alone.” Sensible readers should agree with Kerby’s concluding thought: “Let’s hope those in authority are more concerned about life than (saving) face”/DFO, Sunday Huckleberries. More here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree that time is on the side of the federal agents keeping tabs on the Bundys & Co?

Incompetent Obama?

January 25, 2016 - 8:07am

Jim Morin/Miami Herald

Weekend Wild Card -- 1.22-23.16

January 23, 2016 - 12:26am

Another week is in the books. And all the North Idaho legislators, except Reps. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, and Sage Dixon, R-Sandpoint, seem to be behaving themselves. With a GOPrimary election looming in May, our wacky legislators seem to have enough sense to keep their heads down -- and not give prospective opponents bulletin board material. It'll be interesting if they can stay out of the limelight for three months. I'll post this Weekend Wild Card with plans simply to chill. See you back here Monday ...

Parting Shot -- 1.22.16

January 22, 2016 - 5:02pm

Gilardoni, of Switzerland, starts her first run during the skeleton World Cup in Whistler, British Columbia, Friday. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)

TGIF Wild Card -- 1.22.16

January 22, 2016 - 4:24pm

The political dance cards are beginning to take shape. At least 5 people are running for the Republican nomination for two seats on the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners. The extremists who gave us Reps. Heather Scott and Sage Dixon already are targeting respected state Sen. Shawn Keough with their distorted claims & conspiracy theories in Bonner and Boundary counties. It shouldn't be long before the conservative hardliners in Kootenai County trot out over-the-top candidate to try to win the Republican nominations for sheriff and prosecutor. In other words, it's just another typical day in viewtiful North Idaho. Here's your Wild Card ...

Cheney High yearbook rejects hot tub shot

January 22, 2016 - 4:15pm

When does individual expression cross the line? At Cheney High School, that line involves pink eyeglass frames, a hot tub and a v-neck shirt. Cheney High senior Michael Ferguson, 18, knew his preferred yearbook photo was different. In it, he’s sitting fully clothed, yet soaking wet, in a bubbling hot tub. But he was surprised when the school’s yearbook committee deemed it inappropriate and asked for another photo. “I’m a different kind of student and my photo reflects that,” Ferguson said. “It shows my humor. I feel like the photo represents me well.” Cheney High School Principal Troy Heuett said the school’s yearbook committee rejected a few photos this year, but Ferguson was the only student who fought the decision/Pia Hallenberg, SR. More here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree with yearbook decision?

PM Scanner Traffic -- 1.22.16

January 22, 2016 - 4:09pm
  • 5:11 p.m. Injury Crash -- Female complains of neck, back, chest pain after returning to room at Guest House Inn, following crash on Appleway 15 minutes earlier.
  • 5:10 p.m. Reckless Driver -- Driver of white Prius driving w/o light 20 mph under limit @ I-90/Huetter area.
  • 4:54 p.m. Non-injury Crash -- Several vehicles involved in crash @ H53/N Hauser Lake Road.
  • 4:40 p.m. Unconscious Person -- North Star Assisted Living, 2340 Seltice Way/CdA.
  • 4:36 p.m. Domestic Dispute -- 1200 block of Front Ave/CdA.
  • 4:15 p.m. Wanted Person -- 3400 block of W Echo Drive/N Huckleberry Road, Post Falls.
  • 3:42 p.m. Non-Injury Crash -- H41/Rhode Island St/Spirit Lake, 1 driver has suspended license.
  • 3:20 p.m. Police Log -- Coeur d'Alene PD activities for Jan 21-22 here.
  • 2:59 p.m. Suspicious Device -- Officer on scene says "generator" appears to be an old car part (2:51 item).
  • 2:51 p.m. Suspicious Device -- Federal security personnel are investigating a "sort of generator" with wires and coils coming from it, left in the parking lot of the CdA Tech Center (which includes the new Social Security office location).
  • 2:46 p.m. Gun Shots -- Caller heard gun fire, about 100 rounds, from Crystal Bay Road/Spokane River.
  • 2:37 p.m. Juvenile Problem -- About 10 juveniles throwing snowballs at cars @ 16th Ave/Spokane St, Post Falls.
  • 2:29 p.m. Suicidal Female -- Post Falls female reports mother making suicidal statements.
  • 2:12 p.m. Unknown Medical -- 1100 block of Willow Lake Loop, Medimont.
  • 2:04 p.m. Fire Alarm -- Avista, 1735 15th St/CdA.
  • 1:54 p.m. Breathing Problem -- Harmony House, 9841 Maple St/Hayden.
  • 1:53 p.m. Unconscious Person -- CPR in progress on individual @ 700 block of N4th St/CdA.
  • 1:51 p.m. Traffic Hazard -- Undisclosed hazard @ Ironwood Drive/Northwest Boulevard, CdA.
  • 1:10 p.m. Loose Dogs -- Dogs evade officer @ Prairie Ave/Carrington Lane/Rathdrum Prairie.
  • 1:03 p.m. Injury Fall -- Kiefer Elementary, 13898 Schooner St/Rathdrum.
  • AM Scanner Traffic with 20 items

Cutline Contest -- 1.22.16

January 22, 2016 - 4:01pm

Kristina Mladenovic of France bites the net in frustration after missing a shot against Daria Gavrilova of Australia during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Thursday Winner -- Fort Boise, with 16 likes: "This is how I imagine people in the military salute. Not that I would know. But you can teach your kids so they'll be ready when I send them off to the next war." You can see the Thursday Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.