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Updated: 38 min 6 sec ago

Wasden: We can handle major suits

February 9, 2016 - 8:18am

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden told legislative budget writers this morning that when Idaho’s case over Medicaid reimbursement amounts went to the U.S. Supreme Court, he was immediately contacted by an array of “high-powered, high-priced Washington, D.C. law firms” asking to represent the state before the nation’s highest court. “I rejected those solicitations, because I believe in the talent, skill and commitment of the deputies in my office, who every day practice law at the highest level,” Wasden said. “I rejected those offers because I knew we could handle this matter in a manner that was cost-effective and efficient.” Two deputies from Wasden’s office argued the case and won/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Jet boat racers eye 4 area rivers

February 9, 2016 - 8:14am

Jet boats could race up the Coeur d’Alene River in May as part of a four-river jet boat championship. The St. Maries Chamber of Commerce has applied for a Kootenai County marine permit to include 30 miles of the Coeur d’Alene River between Harrison and Cataldo, Idaho, in the 2016 USA World Champion Jet Boat Race. Other race venues include portions of the St. Joe, Grand Ronde and Snake rivers. The high-speed races are crowd pleasers, attracting thousands of spectators, said Shirley Ackerman, the chamber’s race coordinator. Competitors come from as far away as New Zealand. Some bring boats capable of reaching speeds of 150 mph/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: Do you have any problems with jet boats racing on these four area rivers?

Deeply Disturbing

February 9, 2016 - 8:06am

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Monday -- 2.8.16

February 8, 2016 - 5:00pm

During the weekend, I took time to watch a debate on each side of the political divide -- one a re-run of the Democratic debate earlier last week. The Democratic debate between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton was passionate and informative. The Republican debate Saturday night was a food fight that actually made Donald Trump look somewhat mature. I suspect -- and hope -- that the quality of the Republican debate will improve when the field shrinks to 3 or 4. I'll probably vote in the Idaho Republican Party presidential beauty contest next month because there are 2 or 3 of the also-rans that I can vote for. And I won't let the Idaho GOTP take away my vote (as it has done to too many). I wished there was someone whom I could be excited voting for. Here's your Monday Wild Card ...

Parting Shot -- 2.8.16

February 8, 2016 - 4:54pm

Waving a Denver Broncos flag, the team's airplane pilot leans out the window of the cockpit as players step off the plane after returning as victors over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, Monday in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Indicted Lake City doc sanctioned year ago

February 8, 2016 - 4:40pm

A Coeur d’Alene doctor indicted as part of an alleged multistate drug trafficking ring surrendered his passport Monday and was released from federal custody. Dr. Stanley Alvin Toelle, 61, a gastroenterologist for Kootenai Health, is charged in U.S. District Court with conspiracy to launder money in a case allegedly involving at least $1.3 million in drug proceeds since 2009. Toelle’s arrest Thursday came one year after he was reprimanded by the Idaho State Board of Medicine over allegations he prescribed excessive amounts of controlled substances to patients, including those addicted to narcotics or hallucinogenic drugs/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

PM Scanner Traffic -- 2.8.16

February 8, 2016 - 4:35pm
  • 3:59 p.m. Stomach Pain -- 35YO female @ 10100 block of  W. Prairie Ave/Greensferry, Post Falls.
  • 3:52 p.m. Threatening -- Coeur d'Alene man is threatening to kill his mother-in-law.
  • 3:40 p.m. Physical Fight -- 2000 block of N13th St/CdA.
  • 3:34 p.m.. Burglar Alarm -- Front door @ 15500 block of Perimeter/Athol.
  • 3:10 p.m. Disabled Vehicle -- Vehicle w/flashers on is in turn lane @ s/b H95/Dalton Ave, CdA.
  • 3:09 p.m. Officer Assist -- PFPD officer tells another one: "grab cookies and meet me at Famous Willie's."
  • 2:17 p.m. Breathing Problem -- 76YO female @ W Hanley Ave/Mineral Drive, CdA.
  • 1:51 p.m. Unconscious Person -- Apartment building @ 702 W Walnut Ave/CdA.
  • 1:35 p.m. Patient Transfer -- Kootenai Health to Hospice House.
  • 1:11 p.m. Blocking Crash -- Commercial vehicle blocking n/b Pleasant View/5th Ave, Post Falls.
  • 1:03 p.m. Welfare Check -- CPD officer stopping for unattended 5YO boy @ NW Blvd/Hubbard Ave, CdA.
  • 12:50 p.m. Disturbance -- 15700 block of N Westwood Drive/Rathdrum.
  • AM Scanner Traffic with 19 more items

Cutline Contest -- Time2Vote

February 8, 2016 - 4:31pm

Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton, left, talks to Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning (18) after the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday in Santa Clara, Calif. The Broncos won 24-10. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Weekend Winner -- Cindy, with 13 likes: Embracing diversity, the Democratic Party offers up two candidates: Old White Man or Old White Woman. You can see Weekend Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.

1/4 of Idaho back public lands control

February 8, 2016 - 4:23pm

A quarter of Idahoans support the armed protesters who took over a federal wildlife area in Eastern Oregon, a new Idaho Politics Weekly finds. But 61 percent oppose those actions, which since the poll was conducted has seen one protester shot dead by law enforcement, the leaders under arrest, at four others still hold up in the Burns, Oregon, facility. Pollster Dan Jones & Associates finds that 25 percent “strongly” or “somewhat” support the actions of the protesters, who say they want federal lands returned to local control/Bob Bernick, Idaho Politics Weekly. More here.

Democrats to feature Pelosi daughter

February 8, 2016 - 3:42pm

The Kootenai County Democrats have selected their guest speaker, Christine Pelosi, for their annual North Idaho Democracy Dinner on Feb. 20. The dinner will be held 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Best Western Plus Coeur d’Alene Inn following a daylong campaign boot camp event with Pelosi. Pelosi, the daughter of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has been a volunteer in politics since the stroller. She is a California attorney, author and activist, and has traveled to 41 states over the past 10 years working with dozens of successful candidates and thousands of volunteers at leadership boot camps based on her books: "Campaign Boot Camp: Basic Training for Future Leaders" and "Campaign Boot Camp 2.0"/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Heroin epidemic hits North Idaho

February 8, 2016 - 3:04pm

Crushing news came shortly after Cindy Schaffner heard sirens just a few blocks from her Post Falls home. The sirens, Schaffner learned, were for her 19-year-old daughter, Cathryn Mason. Cathryn, who loved the outdoors and was majoring in recreation management at North Idaho College, was in critical condition. She’d overdosed on heroin and alcohol. Cathryn died two days later after she was taken off of life support. That was in May 2014. "She was a very driven and focused person," Schaffner said, fighting back tears. "She loved to go on hikes and was full of life. She was celebrating getting good grades for the semester." Schaffner said it was the first time she was aware of that her daughter had used drugs/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Has heroin affected your family or friends?

A death a day

February 8, 2016 - 2:52pm

The story of how and why Jenny Steinke died last summer might be the kind of story that would goad a legislature into action. That’s because, had the legislature voted differently at any point over the last few sessions, she might be alive today. Jenny Steinke, 36, of Idaho Falls, had for some years endured asthma, but generally managed it with the use of inhalers. In late August, her condition got worse, but she and her husband Jason put off medical treatment until insurance at Jason’s new job started on September 1. For a long time up to then they had been uninsured, since their employers hadn’t provided health insurance as part of the employment package. A serious brush with the medical profession, not to mention an actual useful health insurance policy, was financially either out of reach or a disastrous proposition. The Steinkes were not a rare fluke case in their lack of health insurance/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.


Icons rebuke feminists for Sanders

February 8, 2016 - 2:35pm

MANCHESTER, N.H. — As Democrats consider Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for the second time, women are wrestling with a difficult question: whether they have an obligation to get behind someone who is closer than anyone has ever been to becoming the first female president. And with her opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, outdrawing her in support among young women, Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy has turned into a generational clash, one that erupted this weekend when two feminist icons, Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem, called on young women who supported Mr. Sanders to essentially grow up and get with the program/New York Times. More here.

Question: Should the older feminists be lecturing the younger ones in this race?

Blogos: Another Super Bore?

February 8, 2016 - 2:12pm

Denver Broncos’ Von Miller (58) strips the ball from Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton (1) during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday in Santa Clara, Calif. Vince Grippi/A Grip on Sports summarizes that Super Bowl 50 was a game only a Denver Broncos' fan could love. Do you agree/disagree. Grippi's post here. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

HucksOnline numbers (for week of Jan 31-Feb 6): 57,142 page-views/36,788 unique views

3 players w/Idaho ties in SB50

February 8, 2016 - 1:32pm

Three players from Idaho colleges saw action in Super Bowl 50 between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers on Sunday night in Santa Clara, Calif.

  • Denver center Matt Paradis (No. 61, Council High/Boise State) started his 19th straight game and paced a Broncos line that gained 194 yards of offense. Denver allowed five sacks.
  • Denver safety Shiloh Keo (No. 33, Idaho, Eagle resident) saw action as a substitute after sealing the Broncos’ Super Bowl berth by recovering an onside kick in the AFC championship.
  •  Carolina defensive end Jared Allen (No. 69, Idaho State) started on the right side of the Carolina defensive line in his first Super Bowl appearance in 12 NFL seasons. He made a tackle and had one of the Panthers’ five hits on Peyton Manning.
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Ex-Lakeland super ready for challenge

February 8, 2016 - 1:08pm

Mary Ann Ranells has traversed the state during a 43-year career in education. Her resume includes stops at six Idaho school districts and a three-year stint as a deputy to former state superintendent Marilyn Howard. Her latest move has taken her out of retirement — and into the top spot in Idaho’s largest district. As West Ada’s new superintendent, she inherits challenges that include enrollment growth, an emotional debate over school boundaries and a recall campaign that targets four of the district’s five trustees. If Ranells is worried, she doesn’t show it. She describes teacher retention, a perennial issue in underfunded West Ada, as a “great luscious challenge.” She is equally positive about everything on her checklist. “I think I’m the luckiest kid on the block right now,” said Ranells, 64, in a recent interview with Idaho Education News and KIVI/KNIN TV/Kevin Richert, Idaho Education News. More here.

Scott decries STEM tax credit bill

February 8, 2016 - 1:05pm

Legislation to add Idaho’s new STEM Action Center to the list of educational entities to which donations qualify for a state tax credit has cleared the House on a 66-4 vote, after Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, led the opposition. “It’s not that I hate children or do not want to donate to these agencies,” Scott told the House. “The money that’s coming out of that is coming from our general fund, and our general fund is going down by that amount. … There is no oversight to many of these tax credits. When the money is refunded, it’s not tracked through the schools how it’s actually being spent. Shortfalls are made up by raising taxes for everyone else, kind of like last year with the gas tax ..."/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.


UI alumna promotes positive body image

February 8, 2016 - 11:41am

The University of Idaho will welcome alumna and body-positive activist Amy Pence-Brown to campus on Wednesday, February 17 as part of the university's inaugural Body Positive Week. Pence-Brown became an Internet sensation last summer with her video of a demonstration to promote positive body image. In the video Pence-Brown, a mother of three, stood in the Boise Public Market in a bikini, encouraging passerby to draw hearts on her body and recognize that "all bodies are good bodies"/KXLY. More here.

Question: Are you satisfied with the body you have?

AM Scanner Traffic -- 2.8.15

February 8, 2016 - 11:34am
  • 11:46 a.m. Injury Accident -- 19YO female complaining of head injury after 2-car crash @ Hubbard/NW Blvd, CdA.
  • 11:44 a.m. Breathing Problem -- 80YO female having trouble breathing @ Life Care, Aqua Circle/CdA.
  • 11:29 a.m. Suicide Threat -- Staff is with North Idaho College student threatening suicide @ Siebert Building.
  • 11:10 a.m. Helping Hand -- CPD officer tells fellow officer she forgot to turn overhead lights off.
  • 11:04 a.m. General Illness -- 95YO female lethargic @ 1820 W Legends Parkway Assisted Living.
  • 10:35 a.m. General Illness -- 200 block of W Ironwood Drive/CdA.
  • 10:10 a.m. Weapons Offense -- Someone may be shooting turkeys illegally in field  near 5436 E15th Ave/Post Falls.
  • 9:56 a.m. Patient Transfer -- Kootenai Health to Hospice House.
  • 9:38 a.m. Chest Pain -- Ivy Court Assisted Living, 2200 Ironwood Place/CdA.
  • 9:37 a.m. Injury Fall -- 600 block of Meadow Brook Circle/Rathdrum.
  • 9:35 a.m. Cardiac Problem -- CPR being performed on 86YO male @ 8500 block of Brighton Court/Hayden.
  • 9:33 a.m. Non-injury rash -- Silver Honda involved in 2-vehicle crash @ H41/Mullan Ave, Post Falls.
  • 9:24 a.m. Unattended Death -- 8500 block of Government Way/Hayden.
  • 9:16 a.m. Traffic Hazard -- 2 semis, one possibly overloaded, traveling slowly @ H53/Greensferry, Rathdrum.
  • 9:10 a.m. Fire Alarm -- Post Falls Specialty Dentistry, 602 Calgary Court/Post Falls.
  • 9:01 a.m. Chest Pain -- 86YO male @ 100 block of W13th Ave/Post Falls.
  • 9 a.m. Injury Fall -- 12000 block of W Hidden Valley Road/Rathdrum.
  • 8:46 a.m. Breathing Problem -- 72YO male @ 900 block of E. Polston Ave/Post Falls.
  • 8:44 a.m. Fire Alarm -- 1244 E Center Green Loop/CdA.

AM Headlines -- 2.8.16

February 8, 2016 - 11:02am

Dallas Low, owner of Golden Rule Brakes, composes one inspirational message to be put up on the reader boards at his three shops, every Monday. He finds them in the paper, online or composes something from what he hears on the radio. Reader boards forced people to write short, pithy messages before Twitter was invented. Pia Hallenberg/SR focused on Inland Northwest readerboards here.