Week in review
Compiled by Dan Hansen
Candidates visit Washington
As Democratic voters in seven other states were helping pick their party’s presidential nominee on Tuesday, the man of the day was visiting Spokane. But Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, who won five of the seven races, wasn’t alone in the Lilac City last week. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who placed no better than third in any of Tuesday’s contests, also was here that day. Thursday brought Democratic hopeful Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, who told a Spokane crowd of party faithful that “I’m electable if Washington says I’m electable.”
The Department of Fish and Game has nixed plans for commercially netting trout from Lake Pend Oreille. Underwater traps set for a trial run turned up far fewer lake trout than expected. Biologists were surprised, however, to find big populations of whitefish. Lake trout and whitefish are not native to Pend Oreille; neither are kokanee, the popular species biologists had hoped to enhance by netting the trout.
A Coeur d’Alene pizza delivery driver has pleaded guilty to stealing a loaded assault rifle and shotgun from an unmarked Blazer driven by an FBI agent. Edward Bristow, 30, also took camera gear and a raid vest emblazoned with the FBI logo after smashing two windows on the SUV. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and must pay $5,425 in restitution.
McCall Aviation will offer commuter service from Sandpoint to Seattle and Boise starting in May. The service will be offered four days a week, with each plane carrying up to nine passengers. They’ll pay $97.50 apiece for one-way trips. A consultant’s survey shows that people from the Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry areas, and far Western Montana, make 40,000 trips a year out of Spokane International Airport.
Residents of a rural area south of Coeur d’Alene drove 20 miles to town for a hearing about a proposed boarding school for troubled teens. A group of psychologists and educators wants to put the school on 60 acres near Fighting Creek. Neighbors oppose it, saying they fear increased crime and traffic, among other problems. “I don’t feel like being robbed. I don’t feel like being raped. I would have to protect myself and I certainly don’t want to kill a child,” said one of about 100 people who packed the hearing room.
State voters in November may be asked to approve an amendment to the Idaho Constitution banning same-sex marriage. The measure passed the House Judiciary Committee today, and needs two-thirds support by the full House and Senate to make the ballot. State law already prohibits same-sex marriage, but proponents of the law said they fear it will be overturned by courts. Opponents called the constitutional amendment divisive and mean-spirited.
A joint legislative committee called for giving state workers a 2 percent raise next year and a one-time bonus of 1 percent. The employees haven’t had raises in two years. The proposal would cost $15 million next year; Gov. Dirk Kempthorne has proposed 2 percent merit-based raises, at an estimated cost of $10 million.
As a candidate in November, Rathdrum Mayor Brian Steele promised to open up government to the scrutiny of citizens. Learn what he’s done to uphold that pledge, in Monday’s edition of The Idaho Spokesman-Review.
Copyright 2004 Cowles Publishing Company
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