North Idaho

Firefighters Battling Rockshore Drive Fire

Firefighters are battling a fire at a lake home at 4984 South Rockshore Drive on the west side of Lake Coeur d'Alene.When firefighters arrived on the scene flames were showing in the garage and living room areas.Fire boats are also helping in the firefight.

Sandpoint Named Most Beautiful Small Town in America

Rand McNally in collaboration with USA Today named Sandpoint, Idaho the most beautiful small town in America. Three weeks ago, a duo-team, The McNavigators, Daniel and JoAnne Schaub, stopped in six cities across the country including: Baker City, Ore., Coral Gables, Fla., Franklin, Tenn., Marco Island, Fla. and Pacifica, Calif. They didn't know much about Idaho at first. As far as they knew, there were a lot of potatoes. Their stop to Sandpoint won them over with Schweitzer Mountain, Lake Pend Oreille, downtown shopping and restaurants.

A Muddy Mess For A Good Cause

The Kootenai County Fairgrounds will host an unusual event this Saturday.  Muddy Miles 2011 is a fun run and obstacle course with a little mud thrown in as well.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the Dirne Community Health Center.

Graham Creek Area Closed to the Public

The Graham Creek area is closed to the public until further notice, Coeur d'Alene River Ranger District announced today. Due to frequent bear encounters in the area, the District is closing the popular area to protect public safety and monitor the bear situation. There have been numerous bear sightings on the Coeur d'Alene River Ranger District this spring and summer. Although Forest Service employees' have made efforts to educate visitors on recreating in bear country, the bear continues to make regular visits to various camps within the area."While most people are storing their food and trash properly, we have a situation that could potentially turn dangerous if the bear continues to return and becomes habituated to encounters with humans. By removing food and trash from the area, our goal is to protect both the visitors and the bears by discouraging the bears from returning," says Kimberly Johnson, Deputy District Ranger.To learn more about camping in bear country, Coeur d'Alene River Ranger District recommends the website: .

Priest River Timber Days

Priest River is gearing up for a whole lot of fun and it wants you to join in the celebration.The annual Timber Days begins Friday, July 29th with the Hot Neon Nights Car Cruise through downtown.The main events kick off early Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. with the Huckleberry Pancake Breakfast but you won't want to eat too much if you plan on participating in the Run For The Berries fun run.  The run starts at 8:00 a.m. and there is still time to register.If running just isn't your thing, all the booths open and 8:00 a.m. as well.The parade begins at 11:00 a.m.Following the parade there will be live music in the city park and the logging competition.Sunday features the Lawn Mower Street Drags.For more information, you can call the Priest River Chamber of Commerce at (208)448-2721

Spill Gates Closed, River Open For Fun

Good news for boaters who like to spend their summers on the Spokane River near Post Falls... there's now more space to play! Avista announced today the spill gates at the Post Falls Dam are now closed, which means river recreation is now open upstream from the dam. Until those gates are closed, the river is shut down between the Spokane Street Bridge and the Post Falls Dam. Typically, Avista closes the gates around the end of June, but cool spring temperatures and high water flows kept them open. The move by Avista allowed the City of Post Falls to open Q'emiln Park yesterday. Typically, that happens sometime between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

Once On This Island

A calypso flavored re-telling of the traditional "Little Mermaid" tale, the show revolves around a poor island peasant girl who falls in love with Daniel, an upper class boy whose life she saves after a car crash. The show focuses on the effects social class divisions have on love. Once On This Island opens Thursday at The Coeur d' Alene Summer Theater. Visit their website for ticket information. Showtimes and synopsis are featured below:Synopsis: There is a violent storm raging around the small Caribbean island. A frightened child is being comforted by the storytellers. The island is inhabited by light skinned people who are the rich landowners and the darks skinned people who are the poor peasants who have to scrape for a living. Ti Moune is an orphan girl chosen by the gods for a special fate and saved for a special destiny by Asaka, mother of the Earth.

Gallery: 116th Cavalry Brigade honors fallen comrades

Soldiers and leaders of the 116th Cavalry Brigade joined together with members of United States Forces – Iraq and United States Division – Center for a memorial service, July 13, at Camp Victory in Baghdad to honor the memories of their fallen comrades; Sgt. Nathan Ryan Beyers (posthumously promoted) and Spc. Nicholas Wayne Newby, both of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

116th Cavalry Brigade honors fallen comrades in memorial service

BAGHDAD — Soldiers and leaders of the 116th Cavalry Brigade joined together with members of United States Forces – Iraq and United States Division – Center for a memorial service, July 13, at Camp Victory in Baghdad to honor the memories of their fallen comrades; Sgt. Nathan Ryan Beyers (posthumously promoted) and Spc. Nicholas Wayne Newby, both of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.Beyers, 24, and Newby, 20, both with B Company, 145th Brigade Support Battalion, out of Post Falls, Idaho, died July 7 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked their convoy using an improvised explosive device.The commander of Task Force Dragon, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, XIII Airborne Corps, United States Forces – Iraq, Lt. Col. Peter Im, spoke to the crowd gathered at Hope Chapel, saying words are inadequate to describe the sense of loss."We've been privileged to serve with these men of character," he said. "The world is a better place because of the lives of Sgt. Beyers and Spc. Newby and the men and women of Bravo [Company] 145th."First Lt. Gordon Zimmer, a platoon leader with B Company, explained that the 116th Cavalry Brigade, the XIII Airborne Corps, and the 145th Brigade Support Battalion has lost two soldiers, but the members of Bravo Company have lost two brothers who will always be in their hearts and minds."These two men will forever be etched in my mind, and I will never forget them, and neither will the members of our company," he said.Beyers began his military service in Littleton, Colo., in 2006. He transferred to the Idaho Army National Guard in 2007, working as a mechanic and vehicle recovery specialist, operating a wrecker truck."He loved working on the wrecker. He took care of the wrecker so well, it was like his own personal vehicle," said Staff Sgt. Cory North, a friend of Beyers.North recalled fond memories of pranks played on Beyers as initiation when he first transferred to B Company and the nickname he was given."He would spend $4.00 on Fiji water and drink pink chai tea," said North. "From then on he was known as Fifi."North also described Beyers' selfless motivation throughout the deployment as a member of the Rhino platoon; transporting U.S. personnel in Baghdad from Victory Base Complex to the International Zone."He enjoyed being a member of his platoon," said North. "He stepped up to the plate anytime it was needed, for any job; to be the truck commander, gunner or drive."Beyers was known for his willingness to always help out and take on new challenges."He was usually one of the first ones to come and ask ‘What do you want me to do?' or offering to do something you didn't even know needed done yet," said Sgt. Mark Kleinbeck, a friend of Beyers who worked with him in the vehicle recovery section. "If you asked him to do something new, that was a challenge and he welcomed it. He'd do the job you asked of him, and he'd always come back and ask what was next."Kleinbeck studied diesel mechanic technology with Beyers at North Idaho College before the unit was deployed in September 2010. He said Beyers was always learning, trying to better himself and advance his military career."He would pick my brain about everything from the Army, mechanics, and even personal advice," said Kleinbeck.His fellow platoon members said Beyers was looking forward to his future. He dreamed of becoming a warrant officer to pursue a career as a helicopter pilot. He always talked about his family and was excited to be father to his 8-month old daughter."He talked highly of his life and always had a shiny glint in his eye when he talked about his daughter," said Zimmer."When we were at Camp Shelby, the first thing he did when his daughter was born is text me a picture of his special little girl," said Kleinbeck. "Since we arrived in Iraq, most of his conversations included his wife and daughter. He couldn't wait to be home and see his little girl and be the father and husband he always wanted to be."Newby enlisted into the Idaho Army National Guard in 2008 as a mechanic. His fellow platoon members said he was unassuming as the small, quiet ‘new guy,' but as he grew more comfortable in his unit, he became their notorious prankster."Spc. Newby was the guy who made us laugh," said Staff Sgt. Wayne Cridland, a gun truck commander for the platoon.Cridland described Newby running through the Logistical Support Area squirting people with water guns and informing them that they were now part of his mafia and must join him in initiating others into his mob.Newby built a ship out of water bottles so he could sail it across the swimming pool. He also stacked cases full of water in front doors and then knocked and ran away."It's not very easy to get that door open with 500 pounds of water bottles in front of it," said Cridland.Spc. Michael Longwill, Newby's friend and roommate, summed-up his character with four words; loud, opinionated, personality and mustache."Newby had more personality in his pinky than most people have in their entire body," said Longwill. "He was always looking to make people laugh and he did so by being loud."Longwill remembered Newby whistling 99 Red Balloons in the motor pool, making sure everyone could hear him so the song would stick in their minds."He took great pride in hearing twenty-seven voices whistling the same song and he knew it was all because of him," said Longwill.The most notorious memory of Newby that his fellow soldiers remembered was his mustache. He decided to grow a mustache during pre-deployment training at Camp Shelby, Miss., to distinguish himself apart from another soldier in the company that he was constantly being mistaken for."He grew his mustache over several months, keeping it just within regulation and making sure that everyone knew he, Spc. Newby, had a mustache, not Spc. Hansen," said Cridland. "After much ribbing and many jokes about the caterpillar under his nose, he decided to dye his mustache black so it would be even more noticeable. And it was. So was the overspray on his upper lip. But the mustache had its intended affect and everyone stopped confusing him for Spc. Hansen."When he grew out his mustache, he found out that his hair was light-brown, almost blond, and that wasn't good enough," said Longwill. "He went out and got himself a box of facial hair dye and dyed it jet black. Light-brown mustache and light-brown hair simply wasn't loud enough for Nick."Longwill said Newby gave his mustache its own name and personality; Conque Flugenhowgen, a retired lieutenant colonel in the German air force.Despite the funny business that Newby portrayed, Longwill said he had a strong set of morals and based his opinions on philosophy. He recalled discussing politics with Newby."He was set in his ways and he wouldn't budge for anyone," said Longwill. "I like that about him, but more often than not it would frustrate me to no end. I would try for hours to get him to see things my way, in my perspective, but he just wouldn't budge."Longwill said he will always remember Newby as a friend, brother, and someone who has forever changed the way he I lives his life."Nick was our funny bone and our prankster and he will be sorely missed by all of us," said Cridland. "Our lives will be diminished without him here."Chaplain, Lt. Col. David Tish, of the 116th Cavalry Brigade, ended the services by reminding soldiers in the audience that their actions in Iraq have a higher purpose and make a difference in the greater scheme of life."Life and death happen and we control neither one. What we do control is what we do with the life we are given," said Tish. "We owe it to Sgt. Beyers and Spc. Newby to finish the mission. They would want us to continue the mission that they have left us with. It is because of their sacrifice that we have one more reason to keep going." 

Shoshone County Designated as Primary Natural Disaster Area

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that they are designating twelve counties in Idaho as primary natural disaster areas to due to damage and losses cause by excessive rain, flash flooding, flooding, a freeze and high winds that began on January 1st of this and year and have been continuing. Qualified farm operators in Shoshone County are eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA). FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.More Information:  to see if you qualify for the loans or see what other programs are available to assist you.

Kootenai County Designated as Primary Natural Disaster Area

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that they are designating twelve counties in Idaho as primary natural disaster areas to due to damage and losses cause by excessive rain, flash flooding, flooding, a freeze and high winds that began on January 1st of this and year and have been continuing. Qualified farm operators in Kootenai County are eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA). FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.More Information: to see if you qualify for the loans or see what other programs are available to assist you.

Idaho Teachers Hit The Books

Hundreds of Idaho teachers are expected attend workshops across Idaho as part of statewide effort to boost training and education resources in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. The Idaho National Laboratory says more than 300 teachers will participate in four-day workshops this month in Coeur d'Alene, Twin Falls and Boise. The workshops are part of the Idaho STEM initiative, which partners teachers, state agencies and businesses. Anne Seifert with the Idaho National Laboratory is executive director of the Idaho STEM initiative and says the state needs to make sure teachers have the resources necessary to educate future highly skilled workers.

ATF Confirms Linear Flex Shaped Charges

Area law enforcement responded to an explosives call on a St. Maries property north of the town in Kootenai County on Thursday afternoon. Wood cases containing what was labeled as linear flex shaped charges, belonged to property renters, Eric and Lisa Kelly who also own demolition company called Advanced Explosives Demolition. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) confirmed that explosives were found on the St. Maries property. ATF Seattle division special agent, Cheryl Bishop called and confirmed the explosives as linear flex shaped charges. She described them as C4 cased in lead. She said they're used in demolitions in order to form a shape.

Explosives Found on St. Maries Property

Kootenai County Sheriff deputies responded to an explosives call near St. Maries on Thursday evening. 1,000 pounds of explosives were found on a property recently reclaimed by land owner, Verne McIlree. For the past year, McIlree says renters had been squatting on his land without any payment.The renters, Eric and Lisa Kelly are owners of the company, Advanced Explosives Demolition. They are behind the building demolitions such as the Spyglass Hotel, 1515 Tower in Florida, Qwest Tower in Arizona and the Lake Champlain Bridge between New York and Vermont.

A Ride-Along With Kootenai County Sheriff Department

It was a quiet evening in Kootenai County when Deputy E. Hedlund started the power shift. Most Kootenai County deputies were responding to an incident in St. Maries. For those who hadn't responded to that situation, they remained in other parts of the County. For almost three hours we explored the northern part of the County responding to civil disputes regarding neighbor's and their neighbor's dogs, cows blocking a free-range road and a residential motion alarm. The cows were never found.We received two calls from dispatch regarding suspicious or reckless vehicles in the area. In both situations a description of the vehicle was given to dispatch, but not the license plate number. Unless we stumbled upon the vehicle in passing, we would never know who they were.

Two-Day North Idaho Musician Benefit Begins Tomorrow

North Idaho musician, Dan Abram, nearly died a few weeks ago from a ruptured appendix that the doctor's didn't catch. A large part of the music community in north Idaho is coming together to put on a benefit concert tomorrow to help him pay his medical bills. It's a two-night benefit featuring ten local bands called Dan-Efit 2011. A suggested donation of $10 will be taken at the door at O'Shay's Irish Pub and Backyard Theater in Coeur d'Alene. The evening starts off with Kari Marguerite and the Seventy-Six at 6:15 p.m. followed up by the following bands: Jesi B. and the Alrights, Cris Lucas and Pals, Flying Mammals, The Jess Kunz Revolution, Goodnight Venus, The Sticky, Robby French, Daniel Abram and the X'd Out and Tabitha Coldiron.

Forest Insect & Disease Field Day Pre-Registration

The upcoming Forest Insect & Disease Field Day co-sponsored by the University of Idaho Extension and the Idaho Department of Lands is still taking registrations until July 22nd for the Coeur d'Alene event. The program is geared toward landowners with larger stance of forest in their acreage.The Field Day will give participants first hand exposure to a wide-range of organisms that impair the growth of trees and forests in North Idaho including the Douglas-fir Beetle, stem decays and Dwarf Mistletoes. On-hand experts will help participants identify insect and disease symptoms and discuss practical long and short term methods of dealing with the issues. Other focuses in the program will include molds and mildews that are thriving in seasonal weather.The program meets at 8 a.m. in the upper parking lot of the University of Idaho Coeur d'Alene Center and goes until 4 p.m. To pre-register, call (208) 263-8511. A $5 registration fee covers resource materials and refreshments. The program is eligible for 4 Idaho pesticide re certification credits and 8 Idaho Pro-Logger credits.

Idaho Schools Will Receive $60 Million in Additional Funds

Addition $60 million in state funding is going to Idaho public schools this year. Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter says that this will cover the $47 million shortfall school districts will be facing in the upcoming year. The additional funding will be distributed through discretionary funds."This is a great day for Idaho schools," Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said. "I thank the Legislature and Governor Otter for their fiscally responsible approach to budgeting and continued commitment that Idaho public schools will receive the first dollars available."The following schools in your area will receive the following amount of dollars:

Idaho Schools Will Receive $60 Million in Additional Funds

Addition $60 million in state funding is going to Idaho public schools this year. Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter says that this will cover the $47 million shortfall school districts will be facing in the upcoming year. The additional funding will be distributed through discretionary funds."This is a great day for Idaho schools," Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said. "I thank the Legislature and Governor Otter for their fiscally responsible approach to budgeting and continued commitment that Idaho public schools will receive the first dollars available."The following schools in your area will receive the following amount of dollars:

Idaho Schools Will Receive $60 Million in Additional Funds

Addition $60 million in state funding is going to Idaho public schools this year. Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter says that this will cover the $47 million shortfall school districts will be facing in the upcoming year. The additional funding will be distributed through discretionary funds."This is a great day for Idaho schools," Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said. "I thank the Legislature and Governor Otter for their fiscally responsible approach to budgeting and continued commitment that Idaho public schools will receive the first dollars available."The following schools in your area will receive the following amount of dollars:

Idaho Schools Will Receive $60 Million in Additional Funds

Addition $60 million in state funding is going to Idaho public schools this year. Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter says that this will cover the $47 million shortfall school districts will be facing in the upcoming year. The additional funding will be distributed through discretionary funds."This is a great day for Idaho schools," Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said. "I thank the Legislature and Governor Otter for their fiscally responsible approach to budgeting and continued commitment that Idaho public schools will receive the first dollars available."The following schools in your area will receive the following amount of dollars:

Get Your Motor Running!

Stateline, Idaho is getting ready for an estimated 10,000 motorcycles to roar into town for what's being called a "Mini-Sturgis." Cruiser's will be hosting its annual motorcycle event this year on July 28-30.  There will be all sorts of vendors selling just about anything related to motorcycles, plus plenty of entertainment including bands, Barry Lee White, Ms. Redwood, The Canadian National Bike Builder, Biker Games and Burn outs.