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Updated: 37 min 45 sec ago

Growler Guys, drive through coming to CdA

November 19, 2015 - 2:47pm

Coeur d’Alene’s new Growler Guys gives a whole new meaning to beer to go. Opening tomorrow at 225 W. Appleway, just off Highway 95 behind the upcoming Chipotle Mexican Grill, it will have a drive-through window for fills. “If you don’t want to get out of the car in your pajamas, you can just drive through,” says Laura Nelson, who owns the Oregon-based franchise’s newest location along with her husband, Doug. Whatever they’re wearing, the first 1,500 customers for the grand opening Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. will receive a free glass growler along with their first fill/Rick Bonino, SR On Tap. More here.

Question: My son-in-law is a fan of growlers. Do you have experience drinking your beer from growlers?

24,000 without power in North Idaho

November 19, 2015 - 2:15pm

Almost 24,000 North Idaho homes and businesses remain without power from damage caused by Tuesday’s powerful windstorm, three utilities reported Thursday morning. Avista has over 10,800 customers still without service in the Idaho Panhandle. That includes 8,230 in Kootenai County, 1,015 in Bonner County, 1,005 in Shoshone County and 617 in Benewah County. Kootenai Electric Cooperative reported that just under 8,000 of its customers are without service. The outages extend from Spirit Lake and Bayview south to Plummer. The co-op called in additional crews, which are working in these areas: Spirit Lake East, Kidd Island, Lancaster, Garwood, Boekel/Ramsey, Cougar Gulch, Twin Lakes, Chilco, Strahorn/Hayden Lake Road, and Julia Street in Coeur d’Alene/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Kootenai Electric Co-op Facebook message:

KEC is optimistic about restoration efforts today. We’ve called in additional crews and are focused on rebuilding our distribution system. At this time we estimate that the majority of members north of Interstate 90 can expect to have their power restored within the next day or two. We have crews assessing the damage and preparing the areas for restoration south of Coeur d’Alene and hope to have a restoration estimate later today.

Specifically, we have crews focused on the following areas today: Spirit Lake East, Kidd Island, Lancaster, Garwood, Boekel/Ramsey, Cougar Gulch, Twin Lakes, Chilco, Strahorn/Hayden Lake Rd. and Julia St. in Coeur d’Alene. We also have vegetation management, engineering and assessment crews working in Plummer and Harrison. If you have a medical or shelter concern please contact the Kootenai County’s Citizen Hotline at 208-446-2292. They are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We will post another update at 1 p.m. today.

Did Dike Road cut compromise trees?

November 19, 2015 - 1:58pm

Terry Godbold of the historic Fort Grounds district fought the city of Coeur d'Alene to preserve trees along the Dike Road last winter. Almost two-thirds of the trees were removed. Now, Terry is saying that the large cut last winter played a role in losing 7 more large trees to Wind Storm 2015:

"Last winter a number of us tried to bring to light the fact that a certain City official was supervising the cutting of 70% of the mature trees on the Dike Road instead of the 30% that had been marked for removal by a professional Arborist. We tried to explain the potential impact of his actions and, in particular, the risk that the remaining trees, especially those on the NIC campus, had for blowdown after this tree removal operation. We stated that every tree cut increased the likelihood that the remaining trees would be even more subject to blowdown and that every time there was a blowdown, the risk of the remaining trees was increased even further.

Some of these trees have withstood wind events for 400 to 500 years. None of us expected that our projections would come true so quickly but Tuesday’s major wind event proved the validity of our concerns. I just counted nine major trees, seven of which were over 100’ tall, that blew down Tuesday night. These nine trees are just inside the Dike Road and south of the NIC childcare center. Luckily, no one was injured as the campus was virtually vacant at the time of the windstorm. And, luckily, there was no damage to any of the buildings on the campus as these trees were further away from structures than many of the remaining trees. Note the sandy soil exposed by the root ball  closest to the camera. This too means that, like Dominos, the fate of the remaining, mature trees is sealed due to their new exposure to wind forces and the lack of structural support these trees have in sandy soil.

Question: Do you think there was a connection to the large blow-down of trees in the same area near the mouth of the Spokane River?

Vestal: Let's not repeat history

November 19, 2015 - 1:21pm

In December 1941, Americans were understandably rattled. The Japanese military had bombed Pearl Harbor. The U.S. Forces were stunned – battleships sunk, aircraft destroyed, 2,400 lives lost. What the country did next was what people often do in times of crisis and fear: We identified a type of person as an enemy, and then treated all people of that type as an enemy, even though most of these people were not our enemies, even though most of these people were our fellow Americans. In so doing, we trampled on the finest principles of this nation – that we are all equal, that we are presumed innocent, that we cannot be unjustly imprisoned – while ironically sending troops to battle in defense of those very principles. More here.

Question: Do you know anyone who was forced into a Japanese internment camp during World War II?

Hart loses house again, misses re-buy deadline

November 19, 2015 - 1:09pm

Tax-protesting former Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart failed to pay on time in his bid to buy back his Athol home from the IRS at a public auction, so now the IRS is planning to put the log home up for sale again in a new public auction. David Tucker, IRS spokesman in Seattle, confirmed that Hart didn’t meet an extended deadline to pay up by Nov. 12; he had earlier missed an Oct. 22 deadline, but asked a federal court to give him more time. Under terms of the auction, that means Hart’s $23,260 deposit is forfeited. According to court documents, that money will be “paid to the United States for application to defendant Philip L. Hart’s tax liabilities”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: So does this mean that Hart can simply make another bid and keep this dance with the IRS going?

Spudbob gets by sans power

November 19, 2015 - 12:18pm

Spudbob: Day 3 and Casa de Spud (near CdA public golf course) is still without power. Gas water heater and fireplace in basement so we are getting by. We have candles and flashlights however I am getting pretty tired of stumbling around in the near darkness. This morning the house was as cold as a crypt. I left the house for work early this morning (mostly to warm up) and on the way noticed that in the areas that do have power many people had left outdoor lights on all night. I have never even considered doing that and it got me wondering how many of the merry hucksters do.

Question: Do you leave outdoor lights on all night?

That sinking feeling

November 19, 2015 - 11:55am

Walkabout spotted a boat sinking in the 11th Street Marina during her daily waterfront walkabout Wednesday. The powerful storm caused at least 2 boats to sink at nearby Silver Beach Marina, according to KHQ. Story here.

AM Scanner Traffic -- 11.19.15

November 19, 2015 - 11:32am
  • 11:55 a.m. Possible DUI -- Driver of silver Mazda @ n/b H95/Hanley Ave, CdA, weaving.
  • 11:51 a.m. Domestic Dispute -- Apartment in 100 block of N Lincoln Way/CdA.
  • 11:36 a.m. Welfare Check -- Doctor's office concerned that 9YO female on War Eagle not responding to calls.
  • 11:26 a.m. Noninjury Crash -- PFPD officer witnesses rear-end crash @ e/b Seltice Way/Spokane St.
  • 11:14 a.m. Trauma Injury -- 40YO female has suffered trauma injury to neck @ 2100 block of Columbine Court.
  • 11:06 a.m. Patient Transport -- North Idaho Advanced Care to LaCrosse Rehabilitation/CdA.
  • 10:56 a.m. Power On -- Lineman says everything north of Pole 9697 was "just energized."
  • 10:49 a.m. Aggressive Driver -- Log truck driver speeding, aggressive @ n/b H95/MP 446 (Bunco/Brunner).
  • 10:10 a.m. Out of Gas -- ISP asks 911 to contact Schafer's Tow to bring gas to motorist on H95. Fee: $65 + gas price.
  • 10:08 a.m. Impaired Driver -- Driver of blue Ford Explorer w/Illinois plates may be smoking joint @ I-90/H41.
  • 9:58 a.m. Malfunctioning Lights -- Left turn arrow burned out @ n/b Ramsey Road/Kathleen Ave, CdA.
  • 9:52 a.m. Psychological -- Female in 30s or 40s asked coffee stand near Hauser Smoke Shop/H53, asking for water and other things. Then, she began to harass customers. The female ultimately left the business and stood on the railroad tracks for awhile, stopping a train, before walking along H53 toward Beck Road.
  • 9:24 a.m. Fire Alarm -- Olive Garden/525 Canfield Ave, CdA, reports faulty heating unit causing smoke in restaurant.
  • 9:01 a.m. Noninjury Crash -- Drivers of Lexus and pickup pulled into Hayden Creek Plaza, 8110 Govt Way, after crash.

Bonner County sheriff urges Gov. Otter to oppose refugee program

November 19, 2015 - 11:16am

In a strongly worded letter to Gov. Butch Otter, Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler said resettlement of Syrian refugees was a threat to the safety of Idahoans -- and asked that Otter take a stand and refuse to allow the program to continue. Wheeler's letter began:

"As the Bonner County Sheriff, I took the oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, the Idaho State Constitution and the laws of Idaho. I am charged with the responsibility to keep this community safe. When I see a potential threat to this community, I am obligated to do everything in my power to expose that threat. The resettlement of Syrian refugees is a plausible threat and must be prevented."


Poll: Most had no damage

November 19, 2015 - 11:05am
  • Wednesday Poll: A plurality of Hucks Nation said they suffered no damage during Wind Storm 2015. 84 of 220 respondents (38.18%) said they suffered no damage from the huge storm. 71 of 220 respondents (22.27%) said they suffered minor damage. 49 (22.27%) said they lost power. 12 (5.45%) said they suffered major damage. 4 (1.82%) said they hadn't checked for possible damage yet.
  • Today's Poll: The Washington AG reports Planned Parenthood isn't selling fetal tissue or performing partial-birth abortions. How do you feel about this?

Who is still out of power?

November 19, 2015 - 10:21am

Who out there is still out of power? Can you tell Huckleberries Online where you're located and how soon power is expected to go back on. Also, can you tell Hucks Nation how you're coping?

Edit: Fears shouldn't diminish outreach

November 19, 2015 - 9:22am

In an editorial, the Idaho Statesman comments that legitimate fears about terrorist infiltration shouldn't diminish this country's outreach to Syrian refugees. The editorial says in part:

This week Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and the entire Idaho congressional delegation called for a pause in the federal process of resettling refugees until authorities can assure states that Syrian refugees have been properly vetted.

We don’t want to see this reasonable request morph into an unreasonable cry by anyone to block the flow of refugees to Idaho or any other state, because that flow carries the heartbeat of this nation. Refugees and many other parts produce the sum of who we are. Though we might need tweaks in the process, more local input and more scrutiny, we should be able to accomplish that without denying entry to an entire class of people.

We have an embarrassing history of singling out certain ethnic groups, religions and even members of our military at times — the shaming of Vietnam War veterans comes to mind — only to recognize later that our fear trumped our values. More here.

Read more here:

Paper explains reason for Yantis' story

November 19, 2015 - 9:16am

David Staats, Business Insider editor for the Idaho Statesman, explains why the Statesman decided to publish the family's account into the shooting death of Adams County rancher Jack Yantis at the hands of two Adams County deputies. The Statesman published the story before the internal investigation was complete. It's still not complete:

The death of lifelong Adams County rancher Jack Yantis in an encounter with two sheriff’s deputies is an extraordinary story, a tragedy that has divided Adams County and raised fresh worries about police shootings. Authorities have reported scant facts: A car struck one of Yantis’s bulls Nov. 1 on U.S. 95 near his ranch near Council, injuring the occupants. Emergency responders, including the deputies, went to the scene. So did Yantis and his wife, Donna. The deputies’ and Yantis’ guns went off. Yantis, 62, was killed. His wife, Donna, had a heart attack. Family members blame the deputies. “I saw them murder my husband,” Donna Yantis said. They and their lawyers approached Statesman reporter Cynthia Sewell to tell their story first, because of her watchdog reporting on problems within the Idaho State Police. They wanted to be heard, and they did not want to wait for months for results of an official investigation. More here.

Question: Has law enforcement lost the battle for public opinion re: this story by remaining mum?

Read more here:

AM Headlines -- 11.19.15

November 19, 2015 - 9:04am

In this Aug. 23, 2011, SR file photo, Lea Anne Scott works in her outdoor studio at her south hill home. Scott, also known as LeaAnne Scott Lake, lost her life late Tuesday afternoon when the windstorm was just beginning to accelerate. The top snapped off a tall pine in Scott’s backyard at 14th and Walnut Street and came crashing down, striking Scott and taking out power lines and a fence. SR story here. (Jesse Tinsley/SR file photo)

SR: Report clears Planned Parenthood

November 19, 2015 - 8:58am

Planned Parenthood affiliates in Washington do not sell fetal tissue and do not perform partial-birth abortions, according to an investigation by the Washington attorney general’s office. These findings should be repeated as often as the baseless allegations that the clinics in this state and around the country were breaking the law. Other states have conducted probes that also have failed to uncover illegal activity. Congress held a widely watched hearing and also came up empty. The allegations themselves, however, have done considerable damage/Spokesman-Review Editorial Page. More here.

Question: Have the Washington attorney general's investigation and report changed your views about Planned Parenthood?

The old Butch wouldn't act this way

November 19, 2015 - 8:53am

American life has its dark undercurrent. You see it whenever reason, compassion and "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind" yield to hysterics. Such was the case during World War I, when German-Americans were spied upon, harassed and even lynched in the name of fighting the Kaiser. Such was the case during World War II, when American citizens of Japanese ancestry were rounded up from their homes and interned in concentration camps. Such was the case during the early days of the Cold War when people were forced to take loyalty oaths - and those merely accused of being Communists saw their lives and careers wrecked. And such was the case in the days following the 9/11 attacks, when the people and politicians alike cared little about trampling on America's tradition of civil liberties if it interfered with restoring a sense of security/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Death Row inmates down to 9

November 19, 2015 - 8:45am

Idaho’s Death Row is down to nine offenders, one woman and eight men, now that Gene Francis Stuart has had his sentence reduced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Stuart pleaded guilty to murder by torture in the 1981 beating death of 3-year-old Robert Miller, the son of Stuart’s then girlfriend, and was sentenced to death, but after appeals, was granted a new sentencing hearing in 2013. The Lewiston Tribune reports he’s now agreed to a plea bargain in which he will never be released from prison and he gives up all rights to appeal/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Falling tree badly injures 2 friends

November 19, 2015 - 8:27am

Two young men were seriously injured Tuesday night when a large tree fell on the truck they were driving during the wind storm. Jordan Simon, 22, and his best friend, Sheldon Cole, 22, were driving on Twin Lakes Road Tuesday evening around 5 p.m. According to Sheldon's mother, Shelley Cole, the friends were going to look at a truck that was for sale. “They were just driving down the road and a tree fell from behind them and hit the cab of the truck,” she said. “They were five minutes from home and both of them were injured.” A Kootenai Electric employee, Cole said Sheldon was in the passenger seat and sustained a concussion, but Simon’s injuries were much worse/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Most Avista users 3-5 days from power

November 19, 2015 - 8:19am

Most customers who lost power in Tuesday night’s massive windstorm should be prepared for a three-to-five day wait before their electricity is restored, Avista Utilities said Wednesday. Scott Morris, Avista’s chairman and CEO, said crews are heading to Spokane County from the Bonneville Power Administration, and utilities in San Francisco and Reno, Nevada, to aid efforts, because other Northwest power companies are busy with their own post-storm work. “We’ve reached out, and crews are on their way,” Morris said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “Unfortunately, they’re coming from a far distance. The crews from San Francisco, it’s going to take them 18 hours to get here”/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.