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Updated: 59 min 13 sec ago

Idaho Would Survive Zombie Attack

March 26, 2014 - 4:12pm

In this July 2013 AP file photo, a zombie character in an exhibit inspired by the television series "The Walking Dead" screams at onlookers during the Preview Night event on Day 1 of the 2013 Comic-Con International Convention in San Diego, Calif.

If you're as tired as I am re: lists that show Idaho at the bottom or near the bottom of important categories, like education, minimum wages, etc., I have good news for you. Idaho ranks No. 4 in an increasingly important category -- the states that are most likely to survive a Zombie Apocalypse. While the entire south and the three West Coast states would be nothing but munchies for Zombies, Idaho has a lot of things going for it should the Zombies attack: survivability skills, martial arts skills, paintball enthusiasts, people with guns, triathletes, etc. You can see how Idaho stacks up with other states here.

Question: Doesn't this make you a teeny bit prouder of your home state?

Fulcher Lauds Indiana CCore Move

March 26, 2014 - 4:04pm

Monday’s decision by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to sign legislation making his state the first to abandon adopting Common Core standards for K-12 schools was hailed Wednesday by Sen. Russ Fulcher. “I applaud Indiana Governor Mike Pence and the Indiana State Legislature for their decision to opt out of the federal Common Core education standards,” Fulcher said in a news release. “I believe these national standards strip decisions away from parents and teachers and are setting every public school on a path to mediocrity. “As Governor of Idaho, I will push for legislation that allows Idaho to opt out of this top-down, one size fits all federal program. We need to bring control back to Idaho, and empower teachers and parents so they can establish an education system that truly enables our students to excel”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

DFO: I'm confused here. (Shaddup!) We just finished an entire Idaho legislative session with little activity involving Common Core. Now, Fulcher, who serves as a state senator, is yapping that Idaho should follow Indiana's example and drop Common Core. Why didn't he make more of a fuss during the session?


Read more here: http://blogs.idahostatesman.com/idahofulcher-follow-indianas-lead-and-drop-common-core/#storylink=cpy

Little Free Libraries Popping Up

March 26, 2014 - 3:17pm

Under hashtag #ThingsThatMakeMeHappy, Cindy Facebooks: Finding the first Little Free Library in our neighborhood."

Question: Do we have any of these "Little Free Libraries" in Kootenai County/North Idaho? And/or: What unexpected things make you happy?

Northwestern Footballers Unionize

March 26, 2014 - 3:04pm

In a potentially game-changing moment for college athletics, the Chicago district of the National Labor Relations Board ruled on Wednesday that Northwestern football players qualify as employees of the university and can unionize. NLRB regional director Peter Sung Ohr cited the players' time commitment to their sport and the fact that their scholarships were tied directly to their performance on the field as reasons for granting them union rights. Ohr wrote in his ruling that the players "fall squarely within the [National Labor Relations] Act's broad definition of 'employee' when one considers the common law definition of 'employee'"/ABC News. More here.

Question: What impact will this have on college football?

PM Headlines -- 3.26.14

March 26, 2014 - 2:45pm

On her Facebook wall, Cindy writes: The fowl fun never ends. Just got a package in the mail from columnist colleague Stefanie Pettit. The enclosed note read: "In light of your reticence to get live chickens, I thought I'd send you this rubber chicken instead, so you can contemplate the idea further with a replica in the house. Just squeeze in the middle and out comes the most disgusting egg you've ever seen." Seems like the rubber chicken came first.

HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, March 25): 8518 page-views/5023 unique views

Morrison Looks For New Chapter

March 26, 2014 - 2:29pm

Adam Morrison watches his two daughters chase each other as the sun dips below the horizon, casting an orange glow through the living room of his home on the outskirts of Spokane. "Be careful," he says to his 5-year-old, who romps around the room with her 3-year-old sister. In the sports world, the 29-year-old Morrison is a former NCAA scoring champion, an NBA lottery pick with two world championship rings. He's a guy who hoops fans argue is either one of the greatest college basketball players of all time or one of the biggest disappointments in NBA history. Then there's this other Adam Morrison, the one who's now wrapping up his bachelor's degree with his sights set on a coaching career. That's the Morrison — about an eighth as introverted as we've been led to believe — feeding his kids dinner on this Friday night/Mark Bookey, Inlander. More here. (AP file photo: In this 2006 photo, Charlotte Bobcats' Adam Morrison (35)  protects the ball from New Jersey Nets' Jason Kidd)

Question: Do you follow former Gonzaga players who are playing in the NBA?

Neighbor: Teen Suspect Vulgar, Mad

March 26, 2014 - 1:31pm

This is the scene at St.Vincent dePaul transitional housing on Tuesday, where a double homicide occurred on Monday night in Coeur d'Alene. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

James Knott said he had lived across the street from the home for around 10 years. "We heard one single gunshot, supposedly there was more, but we might have missed it before we got home,” Knott said. “This is 100 feet from where it happened. To know that someone was possibly butchering somebody to death. That's hard to sleep at night.” Knott said the family was fairly quiet and kept mostly to themselves. He said there were a couple times when the teenage suspect appeared to be very angry. "The one older kid, the couple of times I saw him, he seemed like maybe he was a troubled teen just in the sense that he had a vulgar vocabulary towards his dad or his brother like they had fought or something like that,” Knott said/Taylor Viydo, KREM. More here.

SR News Quiz -- 3.23-27.2014

March 26, 2014 - 1:26pm

How much do you know about  Idaho forestry, Gonzaga University women's basketball and other topics in the news? Take our weekly Spokesman-Review News Quiz and find out. You could win movie tickets or a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel. Take SR News Quiz here.

  • Answer to Question #2: cross-laminated timber
  • Leaderboard: SFredrickson, RaynTim & KT are among the 30 current contenders on the Leaderboard. Still time to enter contest. (BTW, I forgot to mention that I won the in-house office prize for last week's News Quiz)

Minimum Wage: 73 Hours To Pay Rent

March 26, 2014 - 1:19pm

An Idaho worker earning the minimum wage would need to work 73 hours per week in order to afford a modest two-bedroom rental according to a report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Idaho’s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour hasn’t changed since 2009, even as neighboring states in the West continue to raise their minimums. Data released this week from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show 7.1 percent, or 29,000 hourly workers, earned Idaho’s minimum wage or less in 2013. The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s study of what it takes to pay for housing puts into perspective how difficult it is for low wage earners to afford rent/Emilie Ritter Saunders, Boise State Public Radio. More here.

Question: Who will raise the minimum wage first -- state of Idaho or the federal government?

Shoshone, Benewah Among Unhealthy

March 26, 2014 - 1:12pm

According to the fifth annual “County Health Rankings” report, released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, the five healthiest counties in Idaho (starting with most healthy) are Madison, Latah, Valley, Blaine, and Franklin. The five counties in the poorest health (starting with least healthy) are Bear Lake, Shoshone, Benewah, Lemhi, and Boise. The “County Health Rankings” rank the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states. The Rankings allow counties to see how well they are doing on 29 factors that influence health including smoking, high school graduation rates, employment, physical inactivity, and access to healthy foods. Other factors include housing, transportation, and access to mental health providers/Fox 9. More here.

Question: Have you taken steps to improve your health in the last year? What are they?

Conservationists Join Ag-Gag Fight

March 26, 2014 - 1:08pm

Idaho’s sweeping new ag gag law, enacted in February, raises so many red flags that the Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed a lawsuit against it, only the second suit of its kind in the nation. But this time, in a new twist on ag gag litigation, the animal rights non-profit is joined by conservation groups, too. That’s because this new statute – designed to prevent people from documenting what goes on in factory farms, like all of the now seven total ag gag laws in the U.S. – is alarmingly broad, according to senior ALDF attorney Matthew Liebman, affecting “virtually any place where there’s any interaction between humans and animals and plants”/Christi Turner, High Country News. More here.

Question: What? Idaho has passed a constitutionally questionable law that is leading to a costly lawsuit? Is there anything new under the sun?

Mary Launches Radio Show At Noon

March 26, 2014 - 11:47am

For Those Keeping Score At Home ... Mary Souza will launch her radio Internet program at noon today. Remember? In her latest newsletter, Mary, now a candidate for John Goedde's state Senate seat, wrote: “The second piece of BIG NEWS is that I am going to have a radio program!  A new internet radio station, called Heads Up Radio, is starting and I will have a one hour call-in talk radio program.  We’ve been busy getting ready.  If all goes as planned, the station will start on Wednesday, March 26th.  My program is called 'The Common Sense Express,' and will be every Wednesday from Noon to 1:00."

Question: Are you ready to climb aboard 'The Common Sense Express'?

Mudslide Motto: 'Hold On To Hope'

March 26, 2014 - 11:45am

Jammi Parris, a waitress at the Blue Bird Cafe in downtown Arlington, Wash., paints a yellow ribbon and the words "Hold on to Hope" on the window of the cafe on Tuesday, in tribute to the victims and people missing after a massive mudslide struck Saturday, killing at least 16 people and leaving dozens missing from the communities of Oso, and Darrington, Wash. Story here. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Search and cadaver dogs and rescuers using small bulldozers and their bare hands on Wednesday looked for victims and survivors of a deadly mudslide as local officials said they did everything they could to keep the rural community safe in the years before the catastrophe. Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said that following a 2006 landslide in the area, authorities took steps to mitigate risks and tell local residents about potential hazards. But he said the sheer size of this slide — which destroyed a neighborhood, likely killing at least 24 and leaving dozens missing — was overwhelming. "It haunts me," a sometimes emotional Pennington said at news conference. "I think we did what we could do. Sometimes large slides happen"/Seattle Times. More here.

Thoughts?

Corps Backs Off Levy Tree Mandate

March 26, 2014 - 11:43am

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decided it will no longer force local levee agencies to choose between keeping trees on their levees and losing federal money for disaster assistance. On Monday, the Army Corps announced in a new “interim” policy that it will not disqualify levees that fail to meet its maintenance criteria from receiving disaster relief funding, essentially granting a reprieve to thousands of miles of California riverside habitat. The move appears to resolve, for now, a long-running policy dispute that pitted the state of California against the powerful federal flood-control agency/Sacramento Bee. More here. H/T: Kootenai Environmental Alliance

DFO: Sounds like good news for the Dike Road and the city of Coeur d'Alene. However, this whole controversy might have been a wake-up call for the city to trim a number of trees & bushes from the Dike Road, to improve tree health and even vista. What do you think?


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/24/6264712/army-corps-eases-up-on-its-stance.html#storylink=cpy

AM Scanner Traffic -- 3.26.14

March 26, 2014 - 11:37am

On Post Falls Police Department Facebook wall: "Treaty Rock Vandalism: On (Monday), "Post Falls officers responded to a report that the Treaty Rock Memorial at Treaty Rock Park had been vandalized sometime in the previous few days to being discovered. It appears that someone used a rock or other sharp object to break a piece of glass that protects and preserves the historical carvings embedded in the rock. There are no suspects at this time. If you have information, please contact Det. Moss at 208-773-2952."

  • 11:57 a.m. Driver of white Mazda reckles @ w/b I-90/MP 7 (H41/Post Falls).
  • 11:53 a.m. Undisclosed type of found property reported @ 6100 block of Albion (cross of H97/Lake Coeur d'Alene).
  • 11:45 a.m. 65ish male complaining of general overall weakness @ 3700 block of 2nd Avenue/Post Falls.
  • 11:41 a.m. Driver of gray pickup possibly DUI @ e/b Dalton Avenue from Government Way/CdA.
  • 11:25 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for March 25-26 here.
  • 11:14 a.m. A strap is broken & flopping 20 feet behind truck w/oversized load @ w/b I-90/MP 52 (west of Kellogg).
  • 10:43 a.m. Someone has been hurt in fall @ 12300 block of Kelly Rae/Hayden.
  • 10:16 a.m. PFPD officer stopping to check on male going through garbage at Corbin Park/Post Falls.
  • 10:11 a.m. Caller reports driver of red Toyota pickup reckless @ s/b H95/Kathleen Avenue, CdA.
  • 9:28 a.m. Industrial accident reported @ 2800 block of Seltice Way.
  • 9:22 a.m. Driver of dark-blue 2013 Jeep SUV has been tailgating 2nd driver on H41 to e/b I-90/MP 13 (4th Street/CdA).
  • 9:07 a.m. 63YO female suffering chest pain @ 1100 block of Idaho Street/Post Falls.
  • 9:01 a.m. Driver of vehicle @ w/b I-90/MP 2 (Pleasantview/Post Falls) possibly DUI.
  • 8:23 a.m. CPD is seeking stolen green 1995 Kawasaki, w/blue seat & missing kick start, last seen 10 days ago.
  • 8:22 a.m. ISP officer reports debris on freeway @ H95/MP 439 (H53/Garwood).
  • 8:17 a.m. Undisclosed medical emergency reported @ Sylvan House, 660 W. Honeysuckle.
  • 8:09 a.m. Coeur d'Alene streets worker is asking for water to be brought to Skate Park/Memorial Field.

Cindy's Pick: Not Feminine Enough?

March 26, 2014 - 11:21am

Last week came the story of a boy in Buncombe County, N.C., who got bullied when he showed up at school with a “My Little Pony” bag. His public school told him to lose the bag — which outraged the cybersphere until the school relented. Apparently, he wasn’t seen as masculine enough. Now comes the story of a girl apparently thought by her school as not feminine enough. It happened last month but is just now coming out – everywhere. The 8-year-old Lynchburg, Va., girl has an affinity for autographed baseballs, collector coins and hunting knives. She likes to wear T-shirts and sneakers. She plays sports. And she keeps her hair short. Her private Christian school sent a letter to her grandmother and guardian saying she should dress and act more like a girl/Washington Post. More here.

Question: What would you tell school officials at the girl's school in Lynchburg, Va.?

Marc: Hug Your Kids

March 26, 2014 - 11:12am

Marc Stewart (RE: Press: A horror story unfolds): Our community is hurting again. Not since the Groene murders has our small city been faced with senseless violence and the destruction of young lives. There’s a nagging feeling that something more could have been done. Maybe. Who knows. We want to know why a teenager would slaughter his father and brother. At first, we conjure reasons out of thin air. We blame society, movies, television, video games, and the system. Then we read transcripts of court documents, filling in the blanks as best we can. Our brains want to make sense of this nightmare. I can’t. All I know is that I hugged my kids a little tighter this morning and told them I loved them.

Question: Do you see parallels between homicides Monday night and the Groene murders?

Poll: Keep Parade/Festival Gun Ban

March 26, 2014 - 10:36am
  • Tuesday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation opposes an idea promoted by Councilman Steve Adams to allow guns at Coeur d'Alene parades and festivals. 192 of 246 respondents (78.05%) oppose Adams' idea. Only 50 of 246 respondents (20.33%) support it. 4 (1.63%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: How did news of the shocking double homicide Monday impact you?

OfCoffee: Telltale Rally Right Signs

March 26, 2014 - 10:13am

OfCoffee (RE: Ex-LAPD officer seeks House District 3 seat): I don't know anything about this guy other than what is listed in this article. But I think it is very relevant that he has only been here two years. How do you go about making decisions for Idaho when you don't know anything about it? What parts of the state has he traveled to? What are the state issues? History? And Phaedrus, usually "true conservative" means Rally Right here in Kootenai County. I don't know if he is, but that's usually their tag line.

Question: What are the telltale signs for you that a "true conservative" candidate is from the Rally Right wing of the local Republican Party?

AM Headlines -- 3.26.14

March 26, 2014 - 9:47am

Don Sausser, the Eye on Sherman Avenue, provides this panorama view of construction work taking place on the front lawn of the Coeur d'Alene Resort and the old public traffic circle near the clock tower. The project is part of installing a Centennial Trail Plaza between the resort and the resort mall to link the new McEuen Field with City Park and City Beach.