Local News

Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute Wins Local Award

The Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute has just announced that they received the 2011 Excellence in Civic Engagement Award (Community Partner) from the Washington State University Center for Civic Engagement. The award is based on the commitment of supporting students in service and civic engagement. 

Gov. Otter signs Idaho wolf disaster bill into law

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has signed a bill into law that will allow him to declare a wolf disaster emergency in Idaho.The governor signed the bill Tuesday, even though Congress already took action this month to strip federal protections from wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains. Otter says he also has concerns about undermining his own statutory authority to declare such disasters, with the new state law.The measure allows the governor to enlist local law enforcement agents to reduce Idaho's wolf population, which at 800 animals makes up about half of the wolves in the region.

Three North Idaho Towns Make The Cut

Three cities in North Idaho are ranked among the best in the country for those who love to hunt and fish.  "Outdoor Life Magazine" ranks Lewiston #6, Sandpoint #32, and Coeur d'Alene #79 on its list of Top Towns for Sportsmen for 2011.Lewiston was number 1 on this list back in 2009, when it got straight A's in categories like "Fishable Species," "Public Land-Access," and "Gun Laws."

Your Pollen Count

Spring allergies are kicking in.  Some people around here are battling the itchy eyes and runny nose.  I am struggling with my asthma, because of the "very high" grass pollen, and the "high" tree pollen count. You can sign up to get daily updates on the pollen count, year-round. 

Lewiston Lions Club 68th Annual Easter Egg Hunt

  The Lewiston Lions Club will hold their 68th Annual Easter Egg hunt at Sunset Park this Friday, 4/22 1p.m.-2p.m. There will be several age brackets from ages 2 through 9 and an egg hunt for special needs children.   Prizes will be given out in all age groups. Bring the family out for a wonderful afternoon in Sunset Park.      

WSU Student Suspected In Campus Off-Road Vandalism

A WSU student who was seriously injured in a collision Tuesday morning in Colfax has also been identified as the suspect in a major vandalism case at Washington State University.  The Washington State patrol reports that 21-year-old Patrick Lipsker was flown to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane after he rolled an SUV on Highway 195 at the south end of Colfax around 5 p.m. Tuesday. Colfax police believe a combination of alcohol, high speed and icy conditions were factors in the crash.

Late April Snows

It's been a long, hard winter in Stevens county, and it is apparently not over yet.  A quick half-inch to inch of snow blanketed the region Monday afternoon.  Most of it melted shortly after it fell.  Ann Elliott caught this deer enjoying the late-season snow west of Cusick.  It looks like there could be more snow Wednesday night and Thursday, with warmer, sunnier weather on the way for Friday and Saturday.

Central Valley Honors Teachers, Staff and Teams

The Central Valley School District Board of Directors announced and honored six district-wide 2011 Meritorious Service Award recipients earlier this week. Initiated in 1985, the annual awards honor exemplary contributions by employees, teams, community members and organizations in support of student achievement in Central Valley schools. The awards were presented in four categories: 

Is Your Refrigerator Running?

No, because it's missing! Burglaries in the Spokane Valley have been targeting vacant homes for sale and making out like a bandit with kitchen appliances. It was brought to the attention of the Sheriff's office by Spokane Valley real estate agents. The Sheriff's office says, "the suspect's method of operations is to steal the realtor's lock box from the front door of the vacant homes. The boxes are designed to be difficult to break open, so the thief does that elsewhere."

Moses Lake Death Called Suspicious

The Grant County Sheriff's Office says they are investigating a suspicious shooting death that happened on the outskirts of Moses Lake Sunday morning.

Ronda Jo Emerson Memorial Fundraiser

A fundraiser is being held tomorrow in memory of Ronda Jo Emerson at Otis Elementary.  The proprietor of the Otis Orchards Grill was killed in a snowmobile accident outside Libby, Montana leaving behind two teenage children.  The fundraiser seeks to raise money for their education.  Activities will include a spaghetti feed, a silent auction and a raffle.  Longtime friend Corin Morse said a fundraiser is a great way to remember Ronda Jo. "If she was in our shoes today she would do this and probably do it ten times better," Morse said.  "She absolutely had a natural knack and want to help others." The fundraiser begins at 1:00pm.

Record-Breaking Season At "49"

The chilly, wet spring many of us have been complaining about has been a blessing for folks who like to hit the slopes, and that's led to a record year at 49 Degrees North.  Marketing director Brad Northrup says 49 received more snow than it has in a decade, and hosted more skiers and snowboarders than ever.  Northrup won't disclose the actual number, but did say "the icing on the cake was the quality of snow we received in the last month of operation.  People kept commenting on how they could not believe it was March or April. You just have to love what a La Nina weather pattern can do."2011-2012 season passes are on sale , with adult prices at $249.

Last Call For $15 Bloomsday Entries!

If you're planning to run Bloomsday, but haven't registered, stop everything you're doing, and go here to sign up. Good.  You just saved yourself $15.  Registration fees will double from $15 to $30 after April 17th.  

Osprey Get A New Home

Here are some photos of Avista removing the beginnings of an osprey nest at the corner of Idaho Road and Wellesley near the Stateline.  They plan to replace the nest with a nesting platform which you can see with the additional images attached to this story.

Good News - Cattle Prices Hit New Highs

Statesman Examiner.com is reporting that increasing cattle prices should benefit local cattlemen and the local economy as well.  Cattle is the number one commodity in Stevens County, just ahead of hay and greenhouse/nursery products. As cattlemen see an increase in their profits, most are hoping those profits get invested back into the local community as ranchers upgrade equipment and other needs. for the full story.    

Healthy Kids Day

If you're like me, you're always looking for fun things to do with the family.  Here's a fun event going on this weekend in the Valley!     

Equine TLC

Established in 2003, the Equine TLC (Therapeutic Learning Center) connects riders with special needs to horses with special gifts.   Gail Pennestri founded the program and writes this of the therapy:

County Commissioner Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Woman

Nez Perce County Commissioner Michael Grow was arrested today on charges of battery and sexual assault.  Valley County Sheriff's Lt. Dan Smith said that Grow was vacationing with friends at the Tamarack Resort in Donnelly, Idaho at the beginning of April, when he allegedly assaulted a woman. The victim is an adult female who, according to Smith, knew Grow. After a two week investigation, Valley County deputies issued a warrant for Grow and drove to Nez Perce County to place him under arrest.  He is currently being held at the Nez Perce County jail on a $50,000 bond.

WSU Research Sheds New Light On Motherhood

You've heard about studies that show women who give birth after 40 are at greater risk of miscarriage and complications like Down syndrome.  But why?  Researchers from WSU will soon publish a report that sheds new light on the issue.  A news release from WSU explains:Washington State University researchers have confirmed a critical step in cell division that results in age-related miscarriages and birth defects, including Down syndrome. Writing in the upcoming issue of the journal "Current Biology," the researchers say they recreated the conditions in which an egg cell will continue to undergo cell division without properly arranging its chromosomes, creating offspring with aneuploidy, or an abnormal number of chromosomes. Sperm cells and those from elsewhere in the body will stop dividing until chromosomes are properly lined up.

Clarkston Man Arrested For Sexually Assaulting Disabled Children

A 60-year-old Clarkston man who has spent years working with disabled children in the Lewis-Clark Valley was taken into custody yesterday afternoon after allegedly admitting to the sexual abuse of two girls. Richard Thueson is being held on one count of 1st degree rape of a child, 5 counts of 2nd degree rape of a child, and 3 counts of indecent liberties.  The prosecution says the children allegedly involved were all under age 14, and disabled.   Thueson owns "Helping Hands and Hoofs", an equine therapy business in Clarkston, and was also a member of the Nez Perce County Mounted Sheriff Posse until resigned his position in March citing "personal reasons."  He remains in jail on $1 million bond.

Cheney Man's Body Found In Burned Car

Detectives are investigating the killing of a Cheney man after firefighters, responding to an overnight car fire on Forker Road near Bigelow Gulch, discovered a man's body in the trunk.

Suspect Arrested In Cheney Man's Murder

A 20-year-old Spokane Valley resident was arrested by Spokane County Sheriff's detectives late Wednesday night for the murder of a Cheney man, whose body was found in a burned out car early Wednesday morning.