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AM Headlines -- 1.27.15

January 27, 2015 - 10:33am

The Army is denying a report from NBC News that Idaho native Beau Bergdahl will be charged with desertion for leaving his base in eastern Afghanistan before being captured and held by the Taliban for five years. Apparently, there's a tug of war going on behind the scenes with the White House, which doesn't want Bergdahl charged. Story here.

UI's Staben Offers To Freeze Tuition

January 27, 2015 - 9:03am

University of Idaho President Chuck Staben wants to freeze resident undergraduate tuition rates next year, if the Legislature commits to fully funding a 3 percent salary increase for faculty and staff. Staben, making his first presentation to the joint budget committee since being hired as UI's 18th president last March, noted the governor is already recommending a 3 percent "CEC," or change in employee compensation, for all state employees in fiscal 2016.However, state funding only covers a portion of the salaries for higher education employees/William L. Spence, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: What do you think of President Staben's idea?

Dunlap: CCs Being Left Behind

January 27, 2015 - 9:00am

As the Legislature’s joint budget committee continues a week of hearings on education budgets, North Idaho College President Joe Dunlap told lawmakers this morning that state funding for NIC is now about the same as it was 12 years ago. “When factoring in an inflation factor, we’re actually receiving 32 percent less than what we received in 2002,” he told the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee “The consequence is that the burden of funding has fallen on the backs of students and in-district taxpayers.” In the past two years, all new programs at NIC have been started with grant money or through reallocation of resources, he said/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Did you attend community college?

Edit: Standing Up To Otter Rhetoric

January 27, 2015 - 8:43am

You can almost imagine what went through Kent Stokes' mind while he attended Idaho Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter's latest Capital for a Day celebration at Kamiah last week. As Otter pitched his education reforms, his budget plan and his overall theory of accountability, the Mountain View School District superintendent might have been contemplating how Otter, former state schools Superintendent Tom Luna and the GOP-led Legislature had siphoned off dollars needed in the classroom into a growing Boise-based bureaucracy. Now Idaho distributes its school dollars dripping in strings, red tape and top-down mandates. Perhaps he was remembering that, under Otter, the state's political leadership spent much of its time engaged in open hostilities against educators/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Thoughts?

Poll: Fortgrounds Should Pay, Too

January 27, 2015 - 8:36am
  • Monday Poll: A majority of Hucks Nation says Fortgrounds residents should help city of Coeur d'Alene and North Idaho College pay for maintenance of the Dike Road (Rosenberry Drive) that protects them from flooding. 78 of 151 respondents (51.66%) took that position. 62 of 151 respondents (41.06%) said the residents shouldn't have to pay for repair and maintenance. 7 (4.64%) were undecided. 4 (2.65%) voted "other."
  • Today's Poll: Will the Idaho Legislature pass Add the Words legislation this year?

Nice Weather Won't Last

January 27, 2015 - 8:22am

Laura Johnson leads her children Abi, 7, center, and Liam, 3, on a walk through the Coeur d’Alene City Park as a heavy fog settles in the area Monday morning. (Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Jim Tompkins paused from taking a walk in Post Falls on Monday afternoon and gazed at the blue, nearly cloudless sky. "This is nuts, absolutely nuts," Tompkins said, wearing a T-shirt while reflecting on the unusually warm January weather. "I think I can get used to this." Tompkins said last week he had to take his walks in the street because ice remained on some sidewalks. But all that's left of the white stuff now is a scattering of dirt-covered hard snow piled by the plows. Monday's high reached 48 degrees in Coeur d'Alene - 2 degrees short of the record for the date in 1953, said climatologist Cliff Harris. "If you stood in the sun, it was quite pleasant," Harris said/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Have you taken advantage of the nice weather this winter to get out more than usual?

Commish Delays Action On Delavan

January 27, 2015 - 8:18am

About a dozen people came to support the expected reinstatement of former Coeur d'Alene Airport Manager Greg Delavan on Monday, but it didn't happen. Kootenai County Commissioners met to take "board action on an employee contract," but at the start of the meeting, Commissioner Marc Eberlein called for an emergency executive session to discuss "new information" he received in regard to Delavan's employment. After nearly an hour of discussion behind closed doors, Eberlein made a motion stating that no direction would be given to staff outside the executive session and continued the meeting to "a date uncertain." Commissioners would not comment further on the meeting because it is a personnel matter/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: What do you make of the delay by the commissioners in taking action on this matter?

Hall: Here Come Measles Again

January 27, 2015 - 8:09am

The medically helpless children of my generation lived in fear of an alarming disease called polio. And now, today's children are facing the return of measles and other already-curable diseases because so many of today's parents haven't done their homework. As a child, I got lucky and escaped polio, but measles smacked me around pretty rough and I didn't enjoy it. Measles behaved like a prolonged flu with nasty complications. My version settled in my inner ears, robbing me of my hearing for a couple of months. Several doctors over the years have told me there are scars inside my big floppy ears. But I'm not complaining. I can hear well now and I've never been concerned that strangers might look inside my ears and laugh at my blemishes/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Did you suffer measles as a child?

China Ties

January 27, 2015 - 8:04am

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Wild Card/Monday -- 1.26.15

January 26, 2015 - 5:41pm

Betsy Russell/Eye on Boise is live-blogging testimony from the first day of hearings for "Add the Words" legislation this morning. The hearing began at 8 a.m. (MDT) and will conclude in a few minutes. The hearing will resume again at 5 (MDT) this afternoon and run through 8 p.m. You can follow Betsy's posts here. Here's the first Wild Card of the work week.

Parting Shot -- 1.26.15

January 26, 2015 - 5:35pm

Seattle Seahawks' Doug Baldwin answers a question at a news conference for NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game today in Phoenix. The Seahawks play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday. (AP Photo/Matt York)

All 12 Cops Cleared In I-90 Shootout

January 26, 2015 - 5:22pm

All 12 police officers who fired their weapons in a freeway shootout with a heavily armed suspect in Post Falls last summer were justified in their actions, a North Idaho prosecutor has found. Six Coeur d’Alene police officers, three Post Falls police officers, two Kootenai County sheriff’s deputies and an Idaho State Police trooper exchanged gunfire with Marcus Rael (pictured) at an Interstate 90 overpass June 22. Rael, of Glendale, Arizona, shot at police first and exchanged fire with officers for about 75 seconds at the Spokane Street exit in Post Falls. The gun battle ended when Rael was wounded. No officers were injured. “All shots were fired at Rael to stop the threat he was posing by firing at officers,” Bonner County Prosecuting Attorney Louis Marshall said in a report released Monday through the Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney’s office/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Thoughts?

Add The Words Testimony Resumes

January 26, 2015 - 5:16pm

Bishop Brian Thom of the Episcopal Church of Idaho told the House State Affairs Committee, “People of faith disagree about the interpretation of the holy scriptures, both Christian and Hebrew.” He spoke out in favor of the bill. “The so-called references around homosexuality in scripture are ambiguous at best,” he said. “They take careful reading. They take contextual interpretation, as we’ve all done, all throughout history.” Thom said he’s concluded that homosexuality is “an innate, natural part of our humanity.” Americans will continue “having different opinions about faith in this democracy that we love,” he said. “People of faith are going to continue working this out”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. And: AM hearing coverage here.

Also:

Cutline Contest -- Time2Vote

January 26, 2015 - 4:58pm

A researcher demonstrates how to extract venom from a snake to vacationing school children during a special daily presentation that runs through summer break in Sao Paulo, Brazil. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Weekend Winner -- ThomG57, with 12 likes: "My wife told me that seeing Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader would be better than a sharp stick in the eye. She was wrong," and Runnerup, Sherlock, with 11 likes: "At the start of the new Congress, Harry Reid was asked what he wanted, and he replied, "I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!" You can see Weekend photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic -- 1.26.15

January 26, 2015 - 4:45pm

3 people were hurt, including a 3YO child when a GMC driven by Devin Bischoff, 25, of Rathdrum, veered off U.S. 95/MP 422.8 (near Kidd Island Road) and rolled, at 12:28 p.m. Bischoff and passenger Sheena Freeman, 27, of Rathdrum, were ejected from the vehicle. Raysyn Bischoff, 3, of Rathdrum, was restrained but not in a car seat. The crash closed the highway for 2 hours. ISP report here.

  • 5:47 p.m. Teen-age female suffering psychological problem @ Costco/CdA.
  • 5:38 p.m. Loose dogs running on road @ Honeysuckle Ave/Best Ave, CdA.
  • 5:37 p.m. Female driver in older red car possibly DUI, now pulled into Cenex station, 15th St/Best Ave, CdA.
  • 5:20 p.m. Someone injured in fall @ 500 block of E. Marina Court/Post Falls.
  • 5:07 p.m. Airport officials and search crews find no evidence of crashed plane & call off search.
  • 4:51 p.m. Resident on Steamboat Bend/Post Falls reports seeing jet go down near county airport & plume of smoke.
  • 4:49 p.m. A possible wanted person is reported @ 1800 block of 10th St/CdA.
  • 4:43 p.m. A dog is running loose @ 4600 block of W. Reeves St/CdA.
  • 4:40 p.m. Rollover reported @ Fernan Hill Road/Sleepy Lane, unknown injuries.
  • 4:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Jan 25-26 here.
  • 3:31 p.m. Undisclosed medicat emergency @ 100 Anton Ave/CdA.
  • 3:28 p.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ 9800 block of Reed Road/CdA.
  • 3:27 p.m. Dog running loose @ Wheatfield Drive/Harvest Moon Ave, CdA.
  • 3:26 p.m. Someone may have had stroke in 900 block of Appleway/CdA.
  • 3:07 p.m. Someone is unconscious & possibly not breathing on Egbers St/Rathdrum.
  • 2:59 p.m. Trauma reported from blocking crash @ 7th St/Lakeside Ave, CdA.
  • 2:49 p.m. Elderly female in wheelchair spilled hot coffee on lap & badly burned herself, unknown location.
  • 2:48 p.m. Battery reported at Post Falls Middle School.
  • 2:21 p.m. Ambulance needed to transport patient from Kootenai Health to Hospice House.
  • 2:05 p.m. Animal control captures loose dog @ Prairie Ave/Greensferry Road, Post Falls.
  • 2:01 p.m. CPD officer stopping to check out 2 males on Kathleen Ave, north of Player Drive, CdA.
  • 1:32 p.m. Dalton Elementary, Dalton Ave/Mount Carroll, is conducting a fire drill.
  • 1:26 p.m. A small child has been found wandering with a dog @ 12th St/Davis Ave, CdA.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

Voter: Redman Ran For Wrong Office

January 26, 2015 - 4:39pm

Reid Harlocker response to state Rep. Eric Redman's mailer: "This weekend I retrieved your latest message concerning your efforts in Boise from my mailbox and frankly I am appalled by the content.   Why are you advocating managing issues which are entirely beyond the scope of the State Legislature?  This state is struggling to attract decent employers when the states around us are booming.  This state has an utterly unrealistic view of what is required to maintain decent public education and our infrastructure in rural communities is falling apart.  With so many pressing issues, our state legislature has time to dabble in matters that do not concern them? If you are concerned about federal overreach, go to Washington.  Run for congress or become a citizen advocate.  State sovereignty with respect to the Constitution.  Are you advocating that Idaho succeed from the union?  If so please resign from your seat immediately, militant government is not needed and not what the residents of Idaho desperately need." More here.

Question: When are the uber-con radicals going to give up on this goofy public lands takeover? And when is the Hayden-Rathdrum-Spirit Lake-Athol area going to get decent legislators?

 

Add The Words Hearing Attracts 100s

January 26, 2015 - 3:51pm

Nearly 500 people flocked to Idaho’s state Capitol on Monday to give heartfelt testimony both for and against a proposed law to ban discrimination against gays and transgender people in housing, employment and public accommodations. The hearing ran from 8-11:30 in the morning, and was scheduled to resume from 5-8 p.m. and possibly for several days, until everyone can be heard. “If there was any doubt that people wanted the chance to talk on this, I guess it’s dispelled,” said Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston, the bill’s lead sponsor. Backers of the bill told emotional stories of being harassed on the job, beat up, and turned away. Opponents said the measure would violate their religious freedoms, and Idahoans could treat each other equitably without passing such a law/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Any predictions re: how this hearing will turn out?

HucksOnline Blogos -- 1.26.15

January 26, 2015 - 3:44pm

The sun burns the fog away from the Coeur d'Alene Resort this morning. (Photo: Don Sausser)

HucksOnline numbers (for week of Jan 18-24): 40,696 page-views/27,237 unique views

Nonini Wants PFPD Off Racing Case

January 26, 2015 - 3:26pm

A North Idaho state senator is questioning why the Post Falls Police Department is investigating the “instant racing” machines in use at the Greyhound Park and Event Center in Post Falls. Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, said today he thinks it’s fitting for the Idaho State Police to handle the investigation, even though the State Racing Commission, which regulates the machines, is an arm of the state police. “I would think it would be appropriate for the state police to investigate that first, not the city police,” Nonini said in an interview at the Idaho Capitol. “I’m not the one who’s going to determine if the machines are legal. I guess that’s up to the Racing Commission and the state police,” he said/Betsy Russell & Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Why would Nonini stick his nose in this matter?

Nonini Supports STEM Education

January 26, 2015 - 2:53pm

Idaho Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, and House Education Chairman Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, are forming a new “STEM Caucus” of state lawmakers who want to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in the state. “It’s a nonpartisan thing,” Nonini said. “Both Reed and I are big STEM supporters. We just think it goes hand in hand with economic development in the state. We’re trying to promote STEM”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.