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Idaho Women Drinking More

June 5, 2015 - 9:52am

The share of Idaho women who had consumed more than four drinks at a time at least once within the previous 30 days rose by nearly one-fifth between 2005 and 2012, according to a new national study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. “We are seeing some very alarming trends in alcohol overconsumption, especially among women,” said Ali Mokdad, a University of Washington professor and lead author of the study. The study concluded that most binge drinkers and heavy drinkers are not alcoholics but are at risk for alcoholism. Men, who are considered binge drinkers if they consume more than five drinks, still drink considerably more alcohol than women. Binge drinking among Idaho men rose, too, but at a slower pace: 5 percent from 2005 to 2012/John Sowell, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Are you drinking more today than you did in 2005?

Read more here:

Cutline Contest -- 6.5.15

June 5, 2015 - 9:23am

In this AP file photo, FIFA President Sepp Blatter rubs his eye as he speaks at a press conference at the ICC in Durban, South Africa. Blatter said he will resign from soccer's governing body amid a widening corruption scandal and promised Tuesday to call for fresh elections to choose a successor. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File)

Thursday Winner -- RhodeTrip, with 5 likes: William Tell's great-great grandson takes a bite as he waits for his father to shoot the apple from his head. You can see Thursday Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.

IFF: Otter's Flipflop Hurt Idaho Kids

June 5, 2015 - 8:57am

Here’s a study in contrasts and contradictions: Nine years ago, Republican Butch Otter proclaimed his support for medical marijuana. Yet this year, he vetoed a bill that would have let parents give their sick kids a treatment using an oil derived from marijuana plants. Then there’s Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. Abbott vehemently opposes medical marijuana. But unlike Otter, just days ago Abbott signed a bill similar to the one Otter vetoed. The new Texas law will let parents of children with severe, life-threatening epilepsy treat their kids with cannabidiol oil, which, while extracted from marijuana plants, has only trace amounts of the euphoria-producing THC; in other words, cannabidiol oil stops seizures without a high. Abbott said the Texas bill will “provide healing and hope for children that are afflicted by unrelenting seizures caused by epilepsy.” Otter said the Idaho bill “asks us to legalize the limited use of cannabidiol oil, contrary to federal law. And it asks us to look past the potential for misuse and abuse with criminal intent”/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree with Hoffman that Gov. Otter made a bad call on the medical marijuana veto?

Jeers to Ken Ivory's Helper

June 5, 2015 - 8:46am

In another Cheers & Jeers item, Opinion Editor Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune gives jeers to Idaho County Commission Chairman Jim Chmelik of Cottonwood. Why should we care? Chmelik is the Tea Party darling who ran and lost to Lt. Gov. Brad Little last year and an outspoken advocate for the bogus idea of states controlling public lands:

"No one has been more of an acolyte to American Lands Council President and Utah state Rep. Ken Ivory. But it turns out Ivory is spending half of the money his nonprofit collects on himself. The Washington, D.C. watchdog group Campaign for Accountability documented how the lands council collected about $228,000 in dues in 2013 - of which Ivory claimed $95,000 as salary and another $19,715 went to his wife, Rebecca. Chmelik has championed the idea of drawing $5,000 annually from the county taxpayers and handing it over to Ivory's group." More here.

Question: Do you think those public lands takeover advocates among the North Idaho legislative delegation will wise up now?

NIC: The Tale Behind Tuition

June 5, 2015 - 8:38am

In a letter to the Coeur d'Alene Press editor, theater instructor Joe Jacoby of Coeur d'Alene responds to criticism of a recent tuition increase approved for North Idaho College students on a 3-2 trustee vote:

A valuable point was missed in discussions regarding North Idaho College’s budget. NIC didn’t ramp up when enrollment dramatically increased. Many employees took on extra work with little or no extra compensation, saving taxpayer dollars through their effort. Now that enrollment is expected to return to 2006 levels, the school has the same number of employees as there were in 2006. There’s nothing to ramp down. NIC administrators and trustees have received little credit for their astute planning. A statement made at the May 27 board meeting regarding student fee increases claimed that parents pay three times to send their children to NIC. That’s a false characterization. Property and state tax funding don’t cover the cost of educating a student. Tuition is not a third, extra payment — it completes the payment. Look at Gonzaga’s tuition rate of $17,282 per semester to see the cost of educating a student without taxpayer support. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press file photo)

Question: Tuition increase or not, I consider North Idaho College to be one of the best higher education bargains in the region. Agree/disagree?

Who Is Mary Jo Finney, Any Way?

June 5, 2015 - 8:27am

In his latest Cheers & Jeers column, Opinion Editor Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune gives jeers to Coeur d'Alene resident Mary Jo Finney, who was a vocal proponent of dumping Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" onto the Coeur d'Alene School District reading B List for ninth-graders:

Finney and her like-minded colleagues on a school district committee want the right to veto what public school students are taught. Finney's group sought to block English teachers from using John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men." She says it's vulgar and dark. Steinbeck depicted a brutally dismal period in American life - the Great Depression. How should young people now growing up eight decades later learn about that era? And what's next for the ban-the-books crowd? "To Kill a Mockingbird"? "The Catcher in the Rye"? "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"? When the Coeur d'Alene School Board voted 4-1 Monday to keep the Depression-era classic, Finney advised parents to "pull their children from (District) 271, or better yet never put them in." Who is Finney to impose her world views on the children of Coeur d'Alene? Who made her the minister of culture? Full Cheers & Jeers column.


Driver In Fatality Had Earlier Arrest

June 5, 2015 - 8:14am

Photo Set (2 photos): Gary Dixon, 42, right, is seen in this image taken from video as he confronts Jeremy West in the parking lot of Texas Roadhouse in August. West’s wife captured the video. (Courtesy photo via Coeur d'Alene Press)

Gary E. Dixon, 42, who allegedly ran a red light on Highway 95 Sunday and killed Jeff Kirk, 37, was arrested in August for battery. According to Coeur d'Alene city police reports, officers saw a video that had been posted on Facebook and YouTube depicting a shirtless man with a swastika tattoo, trying to provoke a fight with another man. After further investigation, police determined the shirtless man was Dixon and the man he was trying to fight was Jeremy West, of Coeur d'Alene. As of Thursday, Dixon had yet to be charged in the accident that took Kirk's life on Sunday. Idaho State Police spokeswoman Teresa Baker said police are still investigating the accident/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


New Jobs Plus Exec Lands 1st Firm

June 5, 2015 - 8:09am

Boeing isn't moving to Coeur d'Alene Airport, Microsoft is quite comfortable with its corporate headquarters in Redmond, and even on a much smaller scale, there's no indication that Coeur d'Alene Mines will ever come home. There's your glass half empty. Here's your glass half full: We're making progress. In its initial iteration under Jobs Plus President Gynii Gilliam, progress is called Transamerican Auto Parts. This week, Gilliam announced Transamerican's commitment to convert parts of the old Jacklin Seed Warehouse in Post Falls into a 75,000-square-foot warehouse expected to be operational by July 1. That aggressive plan, possible only because of Jacklin Land Company's commitment to the substantial remodel, will be followed by a 10,000-square-foot retail outlet in the same location that will serve as a Jeep and truck accessory superstore. It's expected to open by Sept. 1/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Rubio To Address Idaho GOP Tonight

June 5, 2015 - 8:06am

The Idaho Republican Party is holding its summer meeting today and tomorrow in Idaho Falls, with GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio the keynote speaker tonight. I’ll be posting updates here from Idaho Public TV reporter Melissa Davlin, who, along with producer Seth Ogilvie, is in Idaho Falls covering the meeting. The gathering, at the Shilo Inn in Idaho Falls, is an official meeting of the state central committee, so in addition to Rubio’s keynote address tonight, there will be a business meeting tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Sen. Mike Crapo will welcome the delegates at luncheon today from 11-1/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. Full agenda here.

NSA Domestic Spying 2.0

June 5, 2015 - 8:02am

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Thursday -- 6.4.15

June 4, 2015 - 5:16pm

It's another beautiful day in the Inland Northwest -- and my family is beginning to arrive in Coeur d'Alene for all the celebrations that we're having this month. We had dinner at the Iron Horse last evening to welcome a brother-in-law to town, and were well served by a delightful waitress named Stephanie. Two couples from my side of the family left the Tri-Cities this morning for a three-week stay here. I'm holding my breath -- not really -- that elected officials won't say something nasty about me today, that my relatives might read. Most of them think I'm a swell guy. And I'd to have my detractors persuade them otherwise. Here's your Thursday Wild Card ...

Parting Shot -- 6.4.15

June 4, 2015 - 5:14pm

A lipsticked-kissed broken window adorns the Palmistry Reading building on Sprague Avenue near Napa Street in Spokane. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Uber Comes To The Lake City

June 4, 2015 - 4:51pm

From Team Uber Idaho news release:

"We're excited to announce that Uber is launching in Coeur d'Alene and Idaho Falls today at 5 PM! We couldn't be more excited to launch in these cities, with the support of Senator Bob Nonini and Senator Bart Davis. Today both Senator Nonini and Senator Davis fired open their Uber apps in their respective cities and with two taps, requested an uberX ride. Within minutes, an Uber arrived, offering reliable and convenient 5-star rides to their destinations! Since relaunching in Idaho in April, Idahoans have taken tens of thousands of safe, reliable rides-- with hundreds of drivers using the Uber platform to take advantage of the flexibility and economic opportunities Uber provides. Whether you're going around town or just need a safe ride home or to the airport, Uber will be here to help northern and eastern Idaho residents get around at the touch of a button!"

SammyC: I think Uber will be especially welcome in CDA. Have you seen the condition of the cabs around town?  I'm going to the Beer Festival Saturday at Nate's New York Pizza in Post Falls.  Now I don't have to drive after having a beer.  This is a great idea.

Question: Are you excited that Uber's coming to Lake City?

PM Scanner Traffic -- 6.4.15

June 4, 2015 - 4:42pm
  • 5:15 p.m. Uncooperative male shoplifter is leaving Hayden Walmart in white van w/bag full of video games.
  • 5:10 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 3-4 here.
  • 5:05 p.m. Kootenai County Sheriff's Department property crimes report for June 3-4 here.
  • 5:01 p.m. Driver of tan GMC Sierra w/Washington plates speeding, ran red light @ H95/Lancaster Ave, Hayden.
  • 4:57 p.m. Driver left disabled box truck in front of home @ 38000 block of Clagstone Road/Athol.
  • 4:30 p.m. Brush fire from lightning strike reported @ Triangle 7/Rising Star Road (east of Hayden Lake).
  • 4:27 p.m. Driver of silver Chrysler speeding @ 80-90 mph @ w/b I-90/Huetter rest area.
  • 4:19 p.m. Driver of unloaded logging truck speeding through Spirit Lake @ s/b H41/MP18.
  • 4:03 p.m. Teen girl in tank top looking over railroad overpass over Seltice Way/Post Falls.
  • 3:48 p.m. Camp host reports 40ish male suffering seizure @ Bell Bay/Lake Coeur d'Alene.
  • 3:42 p.m. PFPD is seeking suicidal 6-0/160lb male in black shirt, jeans & cowboy boots carrying pellet gun.
  • 3:26 p.m. Fire alarm sounding @ North Idaho College's Boswell Hall, 880 Garden Ave/CdA.
  • 3:23 p.m. Seizure reported @ 400 block of East Point Road/Harrison.
  • 3:23 p.m. A blown tire may have caused 9 small fires along H95 @ Mica View Road; motorists have put them out.
  • 3:17 p.m. Large branches from trees are falling from trailer of semi @ w/b I-90/Huetter rest stop area.
  • 3:04 p.m. Drunk male walking bike @ e/b Appleway has gone into Exxon store @ Govt Way/CdA.
  • 2:31 p.m. Neighbor has encountered dementia patient who left home @ 3600 block of Hillcrest Circle/CdA.
  • 2:10 p.m. CPD setting up grid search for missing dementia victim (1:47 item).
  • 2:01 p.m. Shop burglar alarm sounding @ Apache Trail/Bonanza Trail, east of Coeur d'Alene.
  • 1:53 p.m. Van with male talking along side is partly blocking NW Blvd, north of Ironwood Drive/CdA.
  • 1:47 p.m. 74YO male suffering possible stroke at VA clinic, 915 W. Emma Ave/CdA.
  • 1:44 a.m. 80YO female w/dementia has been missing for 2 hours from 2400 block of Bolivar Ave/CdA.
  • 1:37 p.m. Smoke reported above H95/Beauty Bay Drive, in Mineral Ridge area/Lake Coeur d'Alene.
  • 12:30 p.m. Ambulance needed to transport patient from Cancer Center in Post Falls to Hospice House.
  • 12:13 p.m. Resident reports black & hot spots on ceiling in 3 rooms @ Lilly Drive/Hill Drive, CdA.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

Cutline Contest -- Time2Vote

June 4, 2015 - 4:41pm

Jefferson Lopez-Martinez, 5, of CentroNia Daycare Center, who participated in events with the "Let’s Move!" campaign, balances an apple in his mouth in the East Room at the White House in Washington Wednesday, after preparing and eating food harvested from the White House Kitchen Garden. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Wednesday Winner -- DFO, with 6 likes: "Larry Spencer continues his relentless quest to find dirt on government and government employees." You can see Wednesday photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.

Worst Idaho Towns To Live In

June 4, 2015 - 4:38pm

According to scientific data (and HomeSnacks Web site), and after analyzing the most populated cities, these are the worst 10 places that you could possibly live in Idaho:

  1. Middleton
  2. Caldwell
  3. Payette
  4. Mountain Home
  5. Nampa
  6. Emmett
  7. Weiser
  8. Pocatello
  9. Sandpoint
  10. Rathdrum

Full HomeSnacks report here.

Question: Do you generally agree with this list? Which cities shouldn't be on it? Which cities should be on it?

Hug Your Cat Day? Are. You. Kidding. Me?

June 4, 2015 - 4:37pm

Believe it or not, this is National Hug Your Cat Day (or Cindy is pulling my leg as she warms up in the bull pen for another stint at blog sub a few days from now. Here, she's seen with her cat, Thor, in its Yoda mode. Thor doesn't seem to be having as much fun as Cindy. I'll confess that I have 4 grand-cats, two owned by each offspring. Junior's cats are barn cats that catch mice and lizards. They keep Juniors place critter free, except for the giant bugs and baby frogs that are everywhere in Florida. They keep the alligators away, too. Now the cats owned by Amy Dearest have punctured my blow-up bed and scratched me. They're indoor cats. They don't catch mice or keep alligators away. Amy Dearest also owns a bunny. I haven't met the bunny yet. But I don't think it would scratch me.

Question: Have you hugged your cat today?

CPD Seeks 73YO Dementia Victim

June 4, 2015 - 4:05pm

From Sgt. Christie Wood, CPD: "Coeur d’Alene Police Officers are attempting to locate 73-year-old Shirley Perry Schmale and are asking for your help. Shirley was last seen in the area of the 2400 block of Bolivar Ave at 9:40am today. She is driving a 2011 4 door silver colored Toyota Camry with CA license 7JIA442. Shirley has on-set of dementia and recently had a change in her medication. She is possibly headed to the Salem Oregon area. Officers have reason to believe she is currently in the area of Tri-Cities WA. Shirley is described as 5’3, 160 lbs. with grey hair and blue eyes. She has a 1” surgical scar on the front of her neck. Anyone who has seen Shirley Schmale or knows of her location is asked to call the Coeur d’Alene Police Department at 208-769-2320."

HucksOnline Blogos -- 6.4.15

June 4, 2015 - 3:07pm

On his Facebook wall, SR photog Jesse Tinsley posts: "This robin popped up out of my garden this morning with a moth for breakfast."

HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, June 3): 12,985 page-views/7,738 unique views

IFF: Nilson, Banducci Huzzah

June 4, 2015 - 2:37pm

Kudos are in order for two elected officials: Todd Banducci and Ron Nilson, trustees at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene. The two voted against a community college budget that proposed increasing tuition by $5 per credit hour ($8 per credit hour for non-Kootenai County residents). This tuition increase of nearly 4 percent won the support of the NIC board on a 3-2 vote last week, with the aforementioned trustees objecting. The new $44.2 million budget also includes $550,000 more in salaries and benefits. The Coeur d’Alene Press reports that Banducci and Nilson wanted alternatives and a better understanding of countervailing issues: How will enrollment, already down 10 percent, be impacted? What other colleges doing for compensation? What’s happening with employee benefits? Banducci said the tuition increases were avoidable by halving the proposed two-step pay hike/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Why would Hoffman be interested in North Idaho College?