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Updated: 1 hour 39 min ago

Weekend Wild Card 4.18-4.19

April 18, 2015 - 8:00am

Let us know about your weekend adventures here.

See you Monday.

Parting Shot: Poetry in Motion

April 17, 2015 - 5:00pm

Story here.

Unfriended (the movie)

April 17, 2015 - 4:29pm

Not since 1999’s “The Blair Witch Project” has a horror film taken such a creative approach to conjure scares as “Unfriended.” It’s a cautionary tale of a group of friends who become the target of an unseen cyberentity starving for revenge.

What makes this film so different is that it’s shot looking at a computer screen. The actors interact through Skype, with back-story elements handled through online searches. Even the soundtrack is created using the tunes stored on one of the computers. More here.

Balance North Idaho deadline approaching

April 17, 2015 - 4:01pm

Balance North Idaho announces that the response deadline to questionnaires and interviews for May 19th elections is set for Tuesday, April 21st.  Upon review of all interviews and/or questionnaire responses, Balance will share endorsements via news media by Friday, April 24th.

TGIF Wild Card 4.17.15

April 17, 2015 - 3:46pm

I survived the the Greensferry overpass construction mess yesterday afternoon and I'd like a t-shirt to prove it.
What a mess! We took the Spokane St. exit as Hucksters advised, but the worst bottleneck was right at the Outlet Mall. We could have stayed on I-90 and done okay. Anyone have a completion date for the project? I have a reading at the Well Read Moose next Friday and I'd like to know if I should leave on Thursday to make sure I'm on time  :-)

My sympathies to those of you who make this commute daily!

What's your cat reading?

April 17, 2015 - 3:30pm

So what are you or your cat reading currently?

Eye contact helps dogs, people bond

April 17, 2015 - 3:08pm

And owners can do a similar trick in return, researchers found.
This two-way street evidently began when dogs were domesticated long ago, because it helped the two species connect, the Japanese researchers say.

As canine psychology experts Evan MacLean and Brian Hare of Duke University wrote in a commentary on the work, “When your dog is staring at you, she may not just be after your sandwich.” Full article.

Recall Idaho?

April 17, 2015 - 2:46pm

Sounds like a recall DFO might back. What say you? Can you dream up a slogan for such a recall?

Teen use of e-cigarettes tripled in one year

April 17, 2015 - 2:15pm

The percentage of American high school students who smoked traditional cigarettes on a regular basis dropped from 15.8 percent in 2011 to 9.2 percent in 2014, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But that drop has been more than offset by increases in e-cigarette use, which increased from 1.5 percent of high school students in 2011 to 13.4 percent in 2014, the study says. More here.

 My brother-in-law switched from chew to e-cigs recently and my husband enjoys a nice cigar or pipe on occasion, but I never got the allure of tobacco products. How about you?

Meanwhile in Washington...

April 17, 2015 - 1:45pm

The 10-count indictment, handed down by a grand jury in Seattle, calls for Kelley to forfeit more than $1 million he allegedly collected between June 2008 and January 2012 from fraud schemes involving his work for title companies.

Kelley described his actions as “squarely in line with industry practices.” He vowed to fight the charges and said he would not resign but will take a temporary leave of absence beginning May 1 and resume work “after I put these legal matters to rest.”

Plucked from the brink

April 17, 2015 - 1:31pm

LEWISTON, Idaho - Police in Lewiston, Idaho, have identified the 'mystery man' pulled a driver from an SUV dangling over the lip of a canyon, then vanished.

Jason Warnock, 29, of Lewiston helped pull 23-year-old Mathew Sitko out a GMC Yukon while the vehicle's front end hung over the canyon edge after a crash Wednesday. KREM

Lawmakers' Freedom Index Scores

April 17, 2015 - 1:00pm

The dust is settling after an awful 2015 legislative session and we here at the Idaho Freedom Foundation invite you to check out your lawmakers’ Idaho Freedom Index scores.

Keep in mind these are not rankings of the lawmakers themselves, but rather a reflection only on how legislators voted on bills we rated. These rankings are non-partisan.

Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman cheered some progress by lawmakers moving toward a more conservative, liberty-oriented approach to governance, but suggested there’s more to do.

“More Idaho lawmakers are showing a preference toward free markets and limited government than ever before,” Hoffman said Thursday. “That’s the good news. The bad news conservative lawmakers are still a minority in the state Legislature. That explains why the Idaho lawmakers voted to raise taxes, create new regulatory boards, restrict parental rights and maintain support for Common Core. Maybe next year will be better.” Scores here.

Trujillo pens op-ed that's cut-and-pasted from Rep. Luker's...

April 17, 2015 - 12:44pm

Well, here’s the weirdest one of all. Like a number of other lawmakers on the House Judiciary & Rules Committee, Rep. Janet Trujillo, R-Idaho Falls, sent a guest opinion on the child support enforcement mess to her local newspaper this week; it was published on Wednesday in the Post Register under the heading, “Due process and privacy;” you can read it here. In it, Trujillo wrote, “Holding the bill was about protecting the due process and privacy rights of our citizens, and protecting the integrity of our state’s ability to study and analyze issues independent of the coercive threats of the federal government.”

One problem: That sounds familiar. It’s actually, word-for-word, what Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, wrote in his earlier guest opinion, which was distributed by Cindy Agidius under the auspices of the House Majority Caucus, though she later said it didn’t represent the views of the caucus, just Luker’s views. Read more. Betsy Russell, EOB

Housing activity boosts March hiring in Idaho

April 17, 2015 - 12:25pm

Overall, 5,400 Idaho workers found jobs last month, continuing an expansion in the labor market that has pushed state unemployment rates to seven years lows. Addition hiring was done in the trucking, trade, and the hospitality industry, including restaurants, bars and hotels.

The state’s unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in March 2014. The Conference Board, a Washington, D.C., business think tank, recently estimated that the state is near full employment, with only one unemployed Idaho worker for every online job listing.

Kootenai County, North Idaho’s most populous, also saw employment gains over the past year, with the unemployment rate dropping to 4.7 percent in March, down from 6.2 percent in March 2014.

In other counties, Boundary County had a 5.1 percent unemployment rate; Benewah, 5.6 percent; Bonner, 5.7 percent; and Shoshone, 7.5 percent, which was the state’s highest unemployment rate.

Free-range kids

April 17, 2015 - 12:00pm

The Maryland parents investigated by Child Protective Services earlier this year after letting their two young kids head to the neighborhood playground by themselves are back in the hot seat after repeating that offense — something Danielle and Alexander Meitiv publicly vowed to do in March, when CPS closed their case. But this time, following an incident in which police picked up their children from the playground and, along with CPS, subjected them to what Danielle has called a “terrifying detainment,” the family is pushing back with a plan to sue both authorities.

Were you allowed to play unsupervised as a child? Do you believe children today should be able to?

Rise in Idaho farm deaths concerns OSHA

April 17, 2015 - 11:15am

BOISE — The director of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Boise office said he’s focusing on agricultural workplace safety in Idaho following a rash of on-farm fatalities in Fiscal Year 2014.

In most years, Dave Kearns said Idaho experiences a couple of agricultural fatalities. In the fiscal year that ended last October, however, Kearns said seven of the state’s 14 workplace fatalities involved agricultural workers. “That kind of raised a red flag for us,” Kearns said. “We’ve always known that agriculture was a lot more of a high hazard industry, but we couldn’t really account for why this was occurring.” Capital Press

Have you ever worked in the agriculture industry?



April 17, 2015 - 10:45am

Crapo leads the list with 38 town meetings since January 2015—twelve more than the next leading representative. As a part of his effort to make a stop in nearly every town across the state, Crapo has held 70 town meetings during the last six months.

“Although technology has provided numerous new ways for representatives to keep in touch and stay connected to constituents, the invaluable input I receive at these in-person meetings cannot be replicated,” said Crapo. “The feedback and participation has been fantastic, and I look forward to continuing to travel the state to hear from Idahoans on the many issues confronting our country.” Read more. CdA Press

Vestal: Imaginary crisis averted, Idaho’s real kids suffer

April 17, 2015 - 10:25am

Idaho’s far-right legislators keep diving deeper in the ponds of stupidity. Last week, nine members of the House Judiciary Committee did something breathtakingly irresponsible: refused to comply with updates in a federal child-support enforcement programs, because of concerns over … foreign tribunals and Sharia law. Read more. Shawn Vestal, SR

Do you agree or disagree with Vestal's contention that extremists in the legislature are threatening Idaho's future?

Important Peanut Butter and Chocolate News

April 17, 2015 - 10:00am

If there's one thing that Reese's does well, it's knowing how to combine peanut butter and chocolate just right. It's the reason the company went from a basement operation to a billion dollar industry more than 50 years ago.

There was a time when only one Reese's product existed, and therefore there was only one peanut butter-to-chocolate ratio, but today with the Big Cups, Miniatures, Eggs and Hearts, the options are vast and varied. Read more. Huffington Post

Hooray for Reese's Easter Eggs. My favorite! What's your favorite candy?

Otter says no to CBD oil to treat sick Idaho kids

April 17, 2015 - 9:45am

The bill passed after lengthy and emotional hearings during this year's legislative session. "Of course I sympathize with the heartbreaking dilemma facing some families trying to cope with the debilitating impacts of disease," Otter wrote in his veto message; you can read it here. But he said there were too many questions about the bill, including from law enforcement and his administration's Office of Drug Policy, which raised concerns that the bill would open the door to legalizing medical marijuana. Betsy Russell, EOB