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Charter Academy evacuates

November 20, 2015 - 8:11am

Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy is being evacuated following reports of smoke in the building. Police began evacuating students around 7:45 a.m. Friday as the Coeur d’Alene fire department searched the building. Coeur d’Alene police spokeswoman Sgt. Christie Wood said no flames had been seen in the building. The charter school, located at 4904 N. Duncan Drive, has students in grades 6-12/SR.

Coeur d'Alene Police Department news release: "On 11/20/2015 at approximately 0730 hours the Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy reported smoke inside Charter Academy facilities.  Staff and students were evacuated as a precaution.  No injuries are reported.  Coeur d'Alene Fire Department personnel were called to the scene.  No flames were detected.  The circumstances of the presence of the smoke are currently under investigation.  Currently there is no information regarding a decision to reconvene classes.  Additional information will be forthcoming. Kathleen Avenue, which was briefly shut down to allow fire department access, is now open.  Duncan Street, an arterial into the Charter Academy area, remains closed at this time.

Terrorism: At home & abroad

November 20, 2015 - 8:06am

Jim Morin/Miami Herald

Wild Card/Thursday -- 11.19.15

November 19, 2015 - 5:21pm

A motorist received a sticker shock moments ago when he ran out of gas on Highway 95 (exact location not given). The ISP asked a 911 dispatcher to find out how much a local towing company charged to bring gas to the driver's vehicle. Answer: $65 + cost of gas. I can't remember the last time I ran out of gas. How about you? You can answer that question or start your own thread by using this Wild Card ...

Parting Shot -- 11.19.15

November 19, 2015 - 5:19pm

In the alley between West Jackson and York Avenues in Spokane Thursday, an Avista Utilities crew reconnects a feeder trunk line to a new power pole that had been knocked down by a large tree in Tuesday’s windstorm. (Colin Mulvany/SR photo)

House OKs veto-proof refugee bill

November 19, 2015 - 4:53pm

On Thursday the House overwhelmingly passed H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015, which aims to stop resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the United States indefinitely. The Senate is expected to debate the bill after Thanksgiving. Its fate is uncertain there, and if it reaches President Obama’s desk, he has said he will veto it. But in a stunning rebuke to the White House, the legislation passed the House with a veto-proof majority/New York Times. More here.

PM Scanner Traffic -- 11.19.15

November 19, 2015 - 4:52pm
  • 5:10 p.m. Juvenile Problem -- Post Falls Library.
  • 5:03 p.m. Injury Fall -- 400 block of E1st Ave/Post Falls.
  • 4:43 p.m. Trespassed -- Transient male trespassed from Sherman Avenue liquor store.
  • 4:41 p.m. Welfare Check -- Male in wheelchair slumped forward @ front entrance to Hayden WalMart.
  • 4:40 p.m. Extra Patrol -- Home owner on Van Buren St/Spirit Lake wants extra police patrol tonight.
  • 4:35 p.m. Trespassed -- Male trespassed from home @ 2000 block of Front Ave/CdA.
  • 4:34 p.m. Found Bicycle -- Officer asks backup b/c she can't get bike on Lilac Court/Post Falls into car.
  • 4:21 p.m. Domestic Dispute -- 1100 block of Harrison Ave/CdA.
  • 4:08 p.m. Suicide Attempt -- Maranatha Drive/Post Falls.
  • 4:04 p.m. Outside Fire -- Homeowner will allow green matter to burn out & take to dump (3:53 item).
  • 4:02 p.m. Reckless Driver -- Driver of new Chevy Malibu @ e/b I-90/H95, CdA, aggressive, speeding.
  • 3:53 p.m. Outside Fire -- Possible illegal burn in back yard @ 400 block of W Haycraft Ave/CdA.
  • 3:33 p.m. Police Log -- Coeur d'Alene PD activities report for Nov 18-19 here.
  • 2:51 p.m. Vehicle Fire -- Back tires of semi @ e/b I-90/H41 smoking, according to following ISP officer.
  • 2:40 p.m. Chest Pain -- Blue Dog RV Park, 514 Seltice Way/Post Falls.
  • 2:26 p.m. Fire Alarm -- 207 W. Prairie Ave/Hayden.
  • 2:01 p.m. Unknown Medical -- 9200 block of Hart Lane/Hayden.
  • 1:43 p.m. Welfare Check -- CPD officer checking on male, unknown reason, @ Govt Way/Neider Ave, CdA.
  • 1:04 p.m. Smoke Check -- 18th St/Hanley Ave, Dalton Gardens.
  • 12:45 p.m. Domestic Dispute -- Female escaped abusive male, is stopped in car @ Clagstone Road/H54, Athol.
  • 12:37 p.m. Possible Stroke -- 2100 block of W. Bounty Loop/Hayden.
  • 12:36 p.m. Suspicious Male -- Male in black hoodie looking into BMW @ H95/Fairmont Loop park-and-ride.
  • 12:35 p.m. Non-injury Crash -- 3 vehicles involved @ n/b H95/Kathleen Ave, CdA.
  • AM Scanner Traffic with 14 more items

Cutline Contest -- Time2Vote

November 19, 2015 - 4:32pm

A male red panda cub, born in June, peeks over a water bowl while making its public debut along with a female cub at the Philadelphia Zoo, Wednesday, in Philadelphia. You write the cutline. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Tuesday Winner -- gitrdun, with 9 likes: "I sought refuge in Idaho, but a mean otter said I wasn't properly vetted." You can see Tuesday photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.

Tweetable: 4,000 get power back

November 19, 2015 - 4:30pm
North Idaho utilities have restored electric service to more than 4,000 customers today. About 20,800 left to go in the Panhandle -- SReporter Scott Maben.

Update: Twin Lakes man remains 'critical'

November 19, 2015 - 4:24pm

Family and friends are rallying to support the recovery of a North Idaho man crushed by a tree in Tuesday’s wind storm. Twin Lakes resident Jordan Simon, 22, remains in critical condition in the trauma center intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Simon suffered spinal injuries, five broken ribs and a punctured lung. Doctors told family members he may be partially paralyzed. “We’re still really hoping for a full recovery,” said his mother, Missy Simon, a registered nurse. “At this time he still cannot feel below his chest. That’s frightening. Our goal for him is to regain his strength and walk again.” Jordan and a friend left the Simon family house in Twin Lakes about 5 p.m. Tuesday, with Jordan driving his friend’s pickup truck/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Leafest: A ballet of large machines

November 19, 2015 - 4:05pm

So, they were cleaning the streets of leaves yesterday here in Coeur d'Alene while others were removing downed trees still in yards and inside some houses. I have to admit. The Leaf Team is amazing. It is like a dance of titans -- the big Iron going at full tilt and workers on the ground with big rakes setting it up before the loaders arrive. So impressive. Should have shot it and put it to music" -- Facebook Friend Dave Chamberlain.

Question: Are Dave & I the only ones who appreciate the fine work by Tim Martin's Leafest crew?

Kootenai County declares disaster

November 19, 2015 - 3:46pm

The Kootenai County Board of Commissioners has issued a declaration of disaster due to the damage caused by the wind storm Tuesday night and continued loss of power impacting nearly 8,300 residents in the county. Utility companies are anticipating countywide power restoration within the next 3-8 days. Avista Utilities and Kootenai Electric are working around the clock to restore services. According to Avista “Over 2,000 residents have regained power in Kootenai County since yesterday." The Kootenai County Emergency Operations Center’s information line will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (208) 446-2292. The American Red Cross opened a shelter at 10 a.m. for residents impacted by the power outages. The shelter is located at the Coeur d’Alene Bible Church, located at 5350 N. 4th Street/Kootenai County Sheriff's Office news release. More here.

Historic tree damages historic house

November 19, 2015 - 3:11pm

In this May 24, 2003, SR file photo, the late Karen Haskew, who was Coeur d'Alene's urban forester at the time, stands in front of a hybrid mountain ash tree that stands in front of the Jewett House in Coeur d'Alene. Haskew has spearheaded a project to find and recognize record-sized and unusual trees in the city. This mountain ash is probably the largest of its kind in the city.

The city of Coeur d’Alene lost part of its horticultural heritage when a historic tree fell on a historic house. A hybrid mountain ash listed in Idaho’s Big Tree registry was one of three trees that crashed into the Jewett House during Tuesday’s windstorm. “We lost the whole front porch, and there’s damage to the roof line,” said Steve Anthony, the city’s parks and recreation director. “We won’t know the extent of the damage until we can get the cleanup done.” The three-story house at Sanders Beach was built in 1917 by one of Idaho’s early timber families. The house was later donated to the city by Potlatch Corp/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: Mrs. O & I celebrated our 25th anniversary at the Jewett House. Great venue. Great view. I hope the city can fix it. Thoughts?

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.