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Poll: Plurality Optimistic Re: Future

June 30, 2015 - 10:03am
  • Monday Poll: A plurality of Hucks Nation is "elated" or "cautiously optimistic" about the future as a result of 2 Supreme Court rulings last week -- in favor of Obamacare and gay marriage. 67 of 277 respondents (24.19%) said they were "elated, it paves the way for a brighter tomorrow," and 59 of 277 (21.3%) checked "Intrigued, it leaves me cautiously optimistic." OTOH, 86 of 277 (31.05%) voted "Ugh, the country is going straight to hell in a handbasket." Others voting were: 46 (16.61%), who voted "Incomplete, we still have a lot of other problems to solve," and: 8 (2.89%) voted: "Meh, it doesn't directly affect me." 11 (3.97%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Should local governments in Kootenai County ban fireworks, as a fire prevention measure this year?

Arrest Made In Suspicious Death

June 30, 2015 - 9:36am

A man was arrested last week in connection to the suspicious death of a Spokane woman whose body was found partially submerged in a slough in Hauser Lake. Spokane police arrested Patrick Neil McGhee, 47, in connection to the death of Kelly Lynne Sallee, 55, who was found June 11 in a slough off the west side of Hauser Lake Road. McGhee, of Hauser Lake, was extradited to the Kootenai County Jail, where he is being held on a felony charge of failing to notify law enforcement of a death. His bond is set at $250,000. He was extradited from Spokane after being taken into custody by Spokane Police Department. Spokane and Kootenai County detectives worked together on the case/Chad Sokol, SR. More here.

Sheriff: Extremists Breeding Danger

June 30, 2015 - 9:26am

The political rhetoric from the far right is breeding homegrown dangers, and local police agencies are no more militarized than they’ve ever been. Those were the two main points from a speech Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich gave Monday night, which was hosted by the Republicans of Spokane County at Central Valley High School in Spokane Valley. Before nearly 350 people, Knezovich said he wanted to speak bluntly on causes some of the audience members might sympathize with, such as gun control and individual rights, because he was concerned about the future of law enforcement. Though he listed extremist groups from the left and right, and both apolitical and international, he pointed his discussion at right-wing militia and patriot groups, and at ideas disseminated on conservative talk radio and websites/Nicholas Deshais, SR. More here.

Question: Are you concerned by the rhetoric of local Far Right groups?

Cruz Hopes To Ride Backlash To Top

June 30, 2015 - 8:59am

Sen. Ted Cruz is hoping to ride the conservative backlash on gay marriage to the front of the Republican presidential pack. The Texas Republican has hit the Supreme Court with repeated rhetorical barbs in the wake of its ruling Friday that allowed for same-sex marriage in all 50 states, calling the justices “lawless,” “elites” and “a threat to our democracy.”  “Today is some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history,” Cruz said Friday on “The Sean Hannity Show,” after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage and upheld insurance subsidies under ObamaCare/The Hill. More here.

Question: Is it possible that Sen. Ted Cruz can capitalize on a conservative backlash to the gay marriage ruling to win the GOPresidential nomination?

Obama Approval Rating Over 50%

June 30, 2015 - 8:44am

President Obama's approval rating has hit 50 percent for the first time in more than two years, according to a CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday morning. Approval for Obama has increased 5 points since last month. The last time Obama saw approval from at least half of Americans came in May, 2013, when 53 percent of Americans surveyed in the poll said they thought he was doing a good job. Forty seven percent of Americans currently disapprove of his job performance. The numbers come in the wake of a pair of favorable Supreme Court decisions upholding ObamaCare subsidies and legalizing same-sex marriage across the country/The Hill. More here.

Question: Have your views of President Obama changed in the last month or so?

Hall: Texting Among The Zombies

June 30, 2015 - 8:27am

That railroad engineer whose Philadelphia train derailed last month killing eight people may have been cleared of any texting or talking on a phone while in charge. I wish I could say the same about some automobile drivers. I stroll the streets for exercise and it's a jungle out there. Every morning, at least one sleepy driver goes past, using one hand on the wheel and the other hand holding a phone with the motorist dangerously driving dull-eyed and blatantly lost in thought. It's like pedestrians are invisible. I think it must have something to do with the zombie fad in the movies. Zombies stumble along, coming toward you looking for lunch. You're lunch. But at least zombies are paying attention to the walkers and joggers, which is more than some texters I have seen/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Which is a greater menace -- texting drivers or drunks?

Trib: Ruling Puts Idaho At Crossroads

June 30, 2015 - 8:21am

Friday the U.S. Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges ruling recognized the constitutional rights of same-sex couples to marry -- and placed Idaho at the crossroads. Representing one path was state Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, D-Boise, who welcomed the ruling as the latest expansion of America's circle of liberty, which began in a bold declaration in 1776, continued in 1865 with a promise of liberty and due process for all, then again in 1920 with voting rights for women and finally in 1964 and 1965 with the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts. "I could not be any prouder of my country right now," she wrote. Standing at the trailhead of the other was Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter, who used the moment neither to lead nor heal but to maintain his defense of the 2006 Idaho constitutional amendment relegating Idaho's same-sex couples to second-class citizenship/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Which path do you think Idaho should take?

Spokane NAACP Moves On Sans Dolezal

June 30, 2015 - 8:08am

Marilyn Euseary tells NAACP meeting attendees to forget about Rachel Dolezal as they gathered at the Holy Temple Church of Christ. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

There was a sense of hope, tinged with wariness, at the first Spokane NAACP community meeting since the national furor over former chapter president Rachel Dolezal’s lies about her race. “We recognize that relationships have been disrupted. We recognize that there has been hurt and distrust,” said Naima Quarles-Burnley, the chapter’s new president. “(But) the actions of one person cannot, and should not, derail a 95-year legacy that the Spokane NAACP has had.” The meeting drew about 100 people. For 2 1/2 hours attendees took turns speaking to the NAACP executive committee. Each had two minutes to ask questions or express their feelings. “This has been an important conversation,” said Quarles-Burnley. “Yes, the circumstances were not ideal, but I heard a lot of energy in the room”/Eli Francovich, SR. More here.


376 Ironman Dropouts 'Did Not Fry'

June 30, 2015 - 8:07am

Triple-digit temperatures and a swarm of angry bees did not deter 1,335 athletes from completing Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2015. There were 1,711 hopefuls who started the triathlon Sunday morning, and by the 11 p.m. cutoff, 376 had dropped out. A total of 2,012 athletes registered for this year's Ironman Coeur d'Alene, significantly fewer than in previous years. In 2014, 2,466 athletes registered. Ironman finishers must swim 2.4 miles, bicycle 112 miles and run another 26.2 miles. This year, they did most of it in 100-plus degree heat. "The number of DNFs was higher than normal but was not the highest we have had at a race," Ironman spokesman Dan Berglund told The Press Monday. DNF is an acronym for "did not finish." Pawel Kozlowksi, a triathlon enthusiast in New York, tweeted a different definition of DNF for this year's Ironman Coeur d'Alene: "DNF=Did Not Fry"/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Did you participate in Ironman Coeur d'Alene in any way, including as a spectator?

County Refuses To Ban Fireworks

June 30, 2015 - 8:04am

The Kootenai County commissioners on Monday decided against establishing a total ban on fireworks for the unincorporated areas of the county. The commissioners heard from some people in the public who requested the board ban fireworks completely for the Fourth of July holiday. Commissioner Dan Green, who started discussion of the issue, said he didn't support such action. A ban would be an "enforcement nightmare," Green said. "Common sense would tell you in a very dry season to be careful," Green said. "Just because there's a law doesn't mean people will abide by the thing," said Commissioner Marc Eberlein. "And when it comes to fireworks on the Fourth of July - it's always dry out there"/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Should fireworks be banned in Kootenai County, as a result of the very dry conditions this year?

Greece Stain

June 30, 2015 - 8:00am

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Wild Card/Monday -- 6.29.15

June 29, 2015 - 5:23pm

I haven't had air conditioning since moving to the Inland Northwest 38 years ago. During most summers, I haven't needed it, even the two years Mrs. O & I spent in hot, hot, hot Lewiston. But this weekend was different. We couldn't beat the heat. So we headed to Riverstone Cinemas to see "Jurassic World" (I think Mrs. O has a crush on Chris Pratt). And weren't real happy when our portion of the theater complex seemed just as warm as our house. Oh well. We survived. And I'm sitting in the cool HQ of Huckleberries Central, launching another week of news skewps and hilarity for you. Here's your first Wild Card of the weekend ...

Parting Shot -- 6.29.15

June 29, 2015 - 5:21pm

Micki Clugston holds a cinder chunk that landed in her and her husband Chuck's yard during the Sleepy Hollow fire on Monday in Wenatchee, Washington's Broadview neighborhood. Unlike many of their neighbors the Clugstons home emerged unscratched despite being peppered with hot cinders like this one. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland)

Wine, Beer Garden Set For Concerts

June 29, 2015 - 4:52pm

According to the Panhandle Parks Foundation Facebook page, a beer/wine garden will be available from noon to 5 p.m. during the free summer Sunday concert series at Coeur d'Alene's City Park. The foundation posted this report last week: "Panhandle Parks Foundation is looking for volunteers to help with the Beer/Wine Garden at the Summer Concert Series at Coeur d Alene City park on Sundays through August. The hours will be from 11AM to 5PM and you must be 21 years old to serve. If you are interested please send us an e-mail at" The concert series will start at City Park next Sunday, July 5.

Question: A slim majority approved of the Harbor House concession at McEuen Park offering beer and wine for sale. What do you think of a beer/wine garden at the free summer concerts at City Park this year?

CdA Semi Crash Kills 2M Bees

June 29, 2015 - 4:47pm

About 2 million honeybees perished in Sunday’s semitruck wreck on Interstate 90 in Coeur d’Alene, the Idaho State Police said. The truck, from Belleville Honey and Beekeeping Supply in Burlington, Washington, was hauling about 400 hives to Montana when the rear trailer swayed and overturned in the eastbound lanes near East Sherman Avenue interchange, ISP Sgt. Jonelle Greear said. The hives spilled onto the freeway, releasing swarms of agitated bees in 105-degree heat. State police and Spokane Fire Department responders were stung repeatedly, and firefighters sprayed water on the bees to try to calm the swarm, Greear said. Firefighters then sprayed the hives with foam to kill the remaining bees so the mess could be loaded for disposal, she said. “There’s some in the wind out there,” Greear said. “They’re still flying around today.” The wreck happed at 1:46 p.m. and blocked one eastbound lane until 9 p.m. The driver was not cited. Belleville lost an estimated 10 million bees in April when a semitruck overturned on Interstate 5 north of Seattle/Scott Maben, SR.

DFO: As a gardener, I ♥ bees. This is sad.

PM Scanner Traffic -- 6.29.15

June 29, 2015 - 4:45pm
  • 5:40 p.m. Small grass fire reported @ Sundown Drive/Lookout Drive, CdA.
  • 5:36 p.m. Small grass fire reported near 15th St/Woodland Drive, Dalton Gardens.
  • 5:35 p.m. CPD officer trespasses troublesome male from Kroc Center.
  • 5:28 p.m. 2 males in dark clothes spinning brodies at undisclosed business before entering store to use rest rooms.
  • 5:17 p.m. Resident @ N. Tudor/Hayden reports 2 males in dark clothes are carrying rifles in nearby field.
  • 4:59 p.m. 2-vehicle crash is blocking  both lanes of n/b H95/Lacey Ave, Hayden; one injury; fluids leaking.
  • 4:47 p.m. Dog locked in light-green Ford Escort near Spirit Lake boat launch.
  • 4:17 p.m. Someone is suffering chest pain @ 29700 block of Red Fish St/Athol.
  • 3:50 p.m. Possible intoxicated male injured in fall off sidewalk @ Govt Way/Walnut Ave, CdA, taken to hospital.
  • 3:49 p.m. Drunk male pushing undisclosed items along e/b Appleway sidewalk from Winco/CdA.
  • 3:46 p.m. Someone is having trouble breathing @ Silverwood Theme Park/Athol.
  • 3:41 p.m. Victim of hit-and-run crash is in KCSO lobby to see deputy.
  • 3:32 p.m. Responders are approaching possible Orvis Court/Hayden Lake overdose by boat; patient unconscious.
  • 3:25 p.m. Driver of Ford Taurus runs out of gas, partly blocking w/b I-90/H41 offramp.
  • 3:21 p.m. Mazda SUV is broken down & blocking turn lane @ H95/Prairie Ave, Hayden.
  • 3:19 p.m. Resident in Corbin Park area reports that neighbor is calling her children names.
  • 3:18 p.m. 86YO male having breathing problems @ 545 Garden Plaza Center/Post Falls.
  • 3:15 p.m. 20YO male reports his heart "feels weird" (2:32 item).
  • 2:52 p.m. Someone is suffering allergic reaction @ 5800 block of Vermont St/Rathdrum.
  • 2:46 p.m. CPD officer en route to welfare check on someone @ 200 block of E. Harrison Ave/CdA.
  • 2:32 p.m. KCSDeputy checking on shirtless, shoeless male @ Croofoot Park, 1500 W. Lancaster Ave/Hayden.
  • 1:53 p.m. Driver of white sedan reckless in E/R parking lot of Kootenai Health.
  • 1:48 p.m. Bicyclist @ undisclosed CdA location almost hit by female driver who ran stop sign.
  • 1:16 p.m. CPD officer stopping for eviction follow-up on E. Fairway Drive/CdA.
  • 12:08 p.m. Unwanted person reported @ on M/P 14 of Kootenai County Centennial Trail.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

Cutline Contest -- Time2Vote

June 29, 2015 - 4:30pm

Tanner Learmont of Cleburne, Texas, gets a head butt from bull Frankenstein after getting thrown off during the Xtreme Bulls event at the Reno Rodeo, in Nev. You write the cutline. (Reno Gazette-Journal/AP: Andy Barron)

Weekend Winner -- HFHayden, with 10 likes: "In a controversial hazing tradition, new recruits are forced to smell their commanding officers' breath and guess what they just had for lunch." You can see Weekend photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.

Ready For 7 Cents More At Pumps?

June 29, 2015 - 4:15pm

Six states are scheduled to increase their gas taxes on July 1 to help pay for transportation projects, according to the Citizens for Tax Justice and Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). The groups said Monday that drivers in Idaho, Maryland, Rhode Island, Nebraska and Vermont will be charged more at the pump beginning on Wednesday as a result of laws taking effect at the start states' new fiscal year. A seventh state, California, is decreasing its gas tax by 6 cents, according to the group/The Hill. More here.

Question: Now that you're about to pay more for gas, are you still in favor of this legislation?

Out Of Gas

June 29, 2015 - 3:58pm

Despite assurances from her husband, Cindy learned that you can't make it from Leavenworth, Wash., on half of a tank of gas. Over the weekend, Cindy was in Leavenworth conducting a book signing for her "War Bonds: Love Stories of the Greatest Generation, back to Spokane.

Question: Have you ever run out of gas? Where? When?

Ironman Nixes Boise Contract

June 29, 2015 - 3:45pm

According to a statement on, the organization has opted not to renew its contract with the city of Boise. “We appreciate the efforts and support of the city, volunteers, sponsors and everyone else involved in putting on this triathlon over the past eight years,” the statement said. “We would also like to thank all of the athletes who have raced with us in Boise.” The Ironman 70.3 Boise consisted of a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and a 13.1-mile run/Idaho Statesman.

Question: So Ironman decides not to re-up with the city of Boise for a half Ironman, but agrees with Coeur d'Alene to move full Ironman to August and stage a half-Ironman on the final Sunday in June. Do you suppose the two moves are connected?

Read more here: