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PM Headlines -- 9.24.14

September 24, 2014 - 4:22pm

Here's a final photo of the 100-pound black bear that climbed a tree at Woodland Middle School this morning. Idaho Fish & Game tranquilized the bear near the bottom of the tree, as it climbed back down. The animal was transported from the schoolyard to the Idaho Fish and Game office for observation. It will be released back into the wilderness. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Sheriff Introduces BearCat Vehicle

September 24, 2014 - 3:38pm

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office officially introduced its new $319,739 BearCat vehicle to the media at the KCSO office this morning. (Photo: Kootenai County Sheriff's Office)

KCSO news release: On Aug. 25, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office took delivery of its newest piece of safety equipment; a Lenco BearCat multi-use vehicle. This vehicle is built on a Ford F550 4WD chassis powered by a 6.7 liter diesel engine. It is designed and constructed to provide its occupants and users with a high level of ballistic protection. It will be used to provide safety and cover for deputies and officers when responding to calls involving active shooters, barricaded suspects who are armed and dangerous and high risk warrant services. It can also be used to rescue victims and evacuate citizens from harm’s way. This vehicle is equipped with a digital and infrared camera which can be used by Search and Rescue to locate missing children and adults. More here.

Question: Are you warming up to the BearCat?

Pickled Eggs, Anyone?

September 24, 2014 - 3:28pm

On the Get Out! North Idaho Facebook wall, Patrick posts: "Purchased this curious product today and I'm bringing it to happy hour at Mik's for courageous eaters to experience. Also, let's do an end of season mini-blowout of Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy for $1.50/pint!"

Question: Are you (wo)man enough to eat spicy Willy's Pickled Eggs?

Balukoff Outspending Otter On TV Ads

September 24, 2014 - 3:18pm

A comparison of spending on statewide political TV commercials shows Idaho Democratic gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff has outspent Gov. Butch Otter, the AP reports today. An analysis released Wednesday by the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity found that Balukoff spent more than $500,000 to air nearly 2,800 state-level advertisements as of Sept. 8, writes AP reporter Kimberlee Kruesi. Otter, meanwhile, has spent nearly $121,000 on little more than 500 political television ads in the same time period. The analysis doesn’t include spending on cable TV advertising or production costs, so the candidates’ total spending could be much higher/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that Democrat Balukoff is outspending Otter on campaign ads?

Poll: We Back Expanded Air Strikes

September 24, 2014 - 2:31pm
  • Tuesday Poll: 127 of 152 respondents (83.55%) support the expansion of air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. Only 21 of 152 respondents (13.82%) opposed the latest Middle East military move by President Barack Obama. 4 (2.63%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Would you be more/less likely to frequent a business that posted a sign saying no guns allowed?

Sweet Dreams

September 24, 2014 - 2:25pm

Media and bystanders get a look at a black bear after it was tranquilized by Idaho Fish and Game at Woodland Middle School in Coeur d'Alene this morning. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Idaho Graduation Rate Tumbles

September 24, 2014 - 1:51pm

In 2012-13, Idaho’s high school graduation rate dropped to its lowest point in a decade. The numbers — the most recent available — largely reflect a bookkeeping change. The federal government wants schools to do a better job of tracking students who leave the education system, even if they just transfer to another school; any students who fall through the cracks will be listed as dropouts. The tougher reporting requirements present a long-term challenge to Idaho — a state that has long taken pride in its high graduation rates. It will be all the more difficult for Idaho to meet aggressive federal graduation benchmarks/Kevin Richert, IdahoED NEWS. More here.


SR News Quiz For 9.21-26.2014

September 24, 2014 - 1:44pm

You don't have to be an expert in current events to win our weekly quiz, but it can't hurt. All entrants in the weekly Spokesman-Review News Quiz are eligible to win two movie tickets, and our overall champ -- drawn from among the top scores -- will score a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel. You can take the News Quiz here.

  • Answer to Question No. 2: A building in the School of Communication.
  • Leaderboard: RayNTim & SFredrickson are the only 2 HucksOnline among the Top 25 in the running for the $50 Davenport Hotel gift certificate. All contestants qualify for drawing for 2 free movie tickets. Entry deadline is 5 p.m. Friday

A Cheesecake For Grandpa

September 24, 2014 - 1:17pm

Every year around this time, Grandpa would show up with a grocery bag filled with cream cheese and graham crackers and maybe some butter and eggs. He had a deal with Mom, the oldest of his four children and the one who lived closest: If he would supply the ingredients, she would make him a couple of cheesecakes for his birthday. I’m still struck by the sweet and simple request. I don’t remember Grandpa, a humble and quiet man, ever asking for anything else. I asked plenty of him – mostly for rides. From school. To practice. To and from work. When I was older and his eyesight worsened and reflexes slowed, I was able to return the favor by taking him to and from bingo some Sunday nights. But I never came close to chauffeuring him as many times as he chauffeured me/Adriana Janovich, SR. More here. (Photo courtesy of Adriana Janovich: One of Jozef Kochel’s favorite desserts was Grandpa’s Birthday Cheesecake)

Question: Did you have a good relationship with your grandfather(s)?

Initiation: A Rite of Passage

September 24, 2014 - 1:03pm

Ritual is these days pretty much ignored or even despised, unless you're a gangsta wannabe who has to shoot a school-aged child to get yourself into the inner circle. Ritual – the rite of initiation – used to be of great value to this country, at least to its male component. The rite of initiation used to humble us and make us human beings. I can't claim to surviving Marine Corps boot camp training, as my father can. Nor did I attend the Air Force Academy, as my great kid brother did. But between initiation into Phi Delta Theta and a summer camp doing officer's boot with the USAF, I learned the lesson. Trouble is, the lesson has to be beaten into you. One purpose of the rite of initiation is to grind you down and humiliate you beyond belief. In this age of artificially pumped up self-esteem, the “attaboy” for showing up for school once or twice a week even as you drool in a stoned stupor on your textbook, it's outright archaic/David Bond, Wallace Street Journal. More here.

Question: Did you ever endure an initiation ritual of any sort?

Werner Has Seen Post Falls Change

September 24, 2014 - 12:56pm

When Terry Werner listened to a forecaster 25 years ago say Post Falls would someday be larger than Coeur d'Alene, he thought the prediction was outlandish. "I thought, 'What is he talking about?'" Werner said. "But when he explained that Post Falls has more vacant land, it started to make sense." Watching Post Falls grow during his 23 years as a city employee and six as a city councilman has further substantiated that prediction for Werner. When he retires Oct. 3 as the city's public services director overseeing the planning, building, engineering, street, water, wastewater, fleet and facility maintenance departments, Post Falls won't be quite as large as Coeur d'Alene. Coeur d'Alene had 46,402 residents in 2013 (No. 7 in the state), according to the U.S. Census Bureau, while Post Falls had 29,357 (No. 10)/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: Terry Werner at Post Falls wastewater treatment plant)

Question: How long will it be before Post Falls is bigger than Coeur d'Alene?

Update: Bear Upstages BearCat

September 24, 2014 - 12:02pm

This black bear clings to a tree after being tranquilized by Idaho Fish and Game above the soccer field at Woodland Middle School in Coeur d'Alene this morning. The animal was then retrieved from the schoolyard and brought in to Idaho Fish and Game office for observation. It will be released back into the wilderness. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Update: F&G and school officials waited for the black bear to climb down the tree, which it did. When it was near the ground, the F&G officials shot the bear with a tranquilizer. They are transporting the bear to the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River.

SR photographer Kathy Plonka was en route to the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office to snap photos of the sheriff's new BearCat military vehicle, when the SR received word that there's a 100-pound black bear in a tree near the softball fields at Woodland Middle School, off Kathleen Avenue. School resource officer Tom Sparks saw the bear take to the trees this morning. The bear climbed about 60 to 70 feet up the tree. The resource officer has called Fish & Game. We should have photos this afternoon, of the bear. And maybe the BearCat.


Fox Under Fire For Rape 'Joke'

September 24, 2014 - 11:54am

Stewie Griffin, left, learns to skateboard from his new friend, Bart Simpson in a scene from “The Simpsons Guy,” the one-hour season premiere episode of "Family Guy," airing Sunday. The Fox network isn't responding to suggestions that it edit the upcoming crossover episode of "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" to remove a joke where the punch line is "your sister's being raped." (AP Photo/Fox)

(The rape reference) punctuates a scene in which the incorrigible Bart is instructing Stewie Griffin in the art of the prank phone call. Bart dials the owner of Moe's Tavern and asks whether there is anyone there with the last name Keybum, first name Lee. When Moe calls out to his patrons, asking for a "leaky bum," everyone gets a laugh. Stewie thinks that's cool, and asks to make his own prank call. "Hello, Moe?" he says. "Your sister's being raped"/CBS News. More here.

Question: Has "Simpsons"/"Family Guy" gone too far this time?

AM Scanner Traffic -- 8.24.14

September 24, 2014 - 11:45am
  • 11:20 a.m. EMTs say transient on Centennial Trail @ Post Falls appears OK. The male is going to mother-in-law's in CdA.
  • 10:48 a.m. 50-60ish trainsient (10:39 item) on Centennial Trail, off 4th Avenue/Post Falls, appears to be drunk. He tells PFPD officers that his body feels numb & he's experiencing chest pain.
  • 10:39 a.m. Homeless male appears to be staggering Centennial Trail, off 4th Avenue/Post Falls.
  • 10:34 a.m. Boxes, possibly empty, blowing out of bed of pickup that exited @ I-90/MP 2 (Pleasantview/Post Falls).
  • 10:14 a.m. A disabled, white vehicle is blocking s/b H95/Honeysuckle Avenue, Hayden.
  • 10:12 a.m. A blue Pontiac Sunfire is disabled @ e/b I-90/MP 11 (NW Blvd/CdA).
  • 9:37 a.m. Undisclosed animal problem reported @ Conkling Road/Worley.
  • 9:34 a.m. 90YO male is suffering undisclosed medical problem @ Sunrise Court/Chase, Rathdrum.
  • 8:56 a.m. Driver of car w/substantial front-end damage leaving scene of crash @ s/b Ramsey/Kathleen, CdA.

HBO Blogosphere -- 9.24.14

September 24, 2014 - 11:37am

Firefighter Tom Hiltenbrand of the Coeur d'Alene Fire Department collected money for Muscular Dystrophy in the 2013 Fill-the-Boot drive. Coeur d’Alene firefighters will be filling their boots this Saturday, from 9 to 5 to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Today photo)

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, Sept 23): 6955 page-views/4309 unique views

Buffalo Wild Wings? Meh

September 24, 2014 - 11:21am
I don't think chicken wings are edible, so it makes no difference to me -- BreatheInTheAir.

DFO: BITA brings up an interesting point: Are chicken wings edible? I've wondered about Buffalo wild wings. Dunno if I've ever eaten one. But I know that chicken wings provide little meat for the effort. Can anyone explain what's the big deal about Wild Wings?

KCSO Wants Your Unused Pills

September 24, 2014 - 9:58am

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public a chance to dispose of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs -- for the ninth time in four years. KCSO officials are asking the public to bring pills for disposal to the Hayden Albertson’s, 161 W. Prairie Ave.  (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.)  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. More here.

Question: What do you usually do with your expired/unwanted prescription drugs? Trashcan? Toilet? What?

All Birthday Caked Out

September 24, 2014 - 9:48am
Just realized that between four sons and one husband, I've baked well over 100 birthday cakes. We don't much go for store-bought cakes around here. I need to go lie down, now -- Cindy, via Facebook.

Question: Are the birthday cakes in your family baked at home or bought at a strore? And/or: What kind of birthday cake is your favorite?

AM Headlines -- 9.24.14

September 24, 2014 - 9:41am

Experts gather Friday at the U.S. Forest Service nursery in Coeur d’Alene, which has been working on a rust-resistant strain of whitebark pine. The high-elevation tree is critical to alpine ecosystems, providing food for grizzly bears and other animals. Becky Kramer's SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Walkout Targets History Ed Changes

September 24, 2014 - 9:38am

Hundreds of students walked out of classrooms around suburban Denver on Tuesday in protest over a conservative-led school board proposal to focus history education on topics that promote citizenship, patriotism and respect for authority, in a show of civil disobedience that the new standards would aim to downplay. The youth protest involving six high schools in the state’s second-largest school district follows a sick-out from teachers that shut down two high schools in the politically and economically diverse area that has become a key political battleground. Student participants said their demonstration was organized by word of mouth and social media. Many waved American flags and carried signs, including messages that read “There is nothing more patriotic than protest”/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: Students protest outside of Ralston Valley High School Tuesday in Arvada, Colo.)

Question: Do you think our public schools teach history properly?