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Man Pleads Not Guilty To 2 Slayings

Aug. 21, 2014 4:37 p.m. - Updated: 4:40 p.m.

A judge entered not guilty pleas today for a man charged with murder in the strangulation of his wife and her little girl in their Post Falls apartment July 8. Angel Albertico Morales-Larranaga, 24, chose to remain silent when 1st District Judge Fred Gibler asked for his plea. Gibler then entered a “not guilty” plea to both counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Facunda Velenzuelaleon, 24, and Dayana M. Valencia, 6. Morales-Larranaga, who is from Mexico, is being held in the Kootenai County Jail on $2 million bail. An interpreter translated Thursday’s court proceeding for him/SR. More here.

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Balukoff Rolls Out Another Ad

Aug. 21, 2014 4:26 p.m. - Updated: 4:28 p.m.

This is the latest ad for A.J. Balukoff, the Democrat challenging two-term GOP incumbent Butch Otter.

Question: Do you consider the ad to be effective/ineffective?

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PM Scanner Traffic — 8.21.14

Aug. 21, 2014 3:45 p.m. - Updated: 4:49 p.m.

  • 4:40 p.m. Driver still in cab in semi tractor & trailer rollover on Pleasantview @ I-90, blocking roadway. Driver was carrying load of hay. Officer says driver exited w/b ramp too fast & flipped truck. Injuries unknown.
  • 4:21 p.m. Female w/child in front seat, in gold Acura, may be DUI @ e/b I-90/MP 1 (Beck Road/Post Falls).
  • 4:14 p.m. Elderly female suffered cut on arm from door @ Shopko, 217 Ironwood Drive/CdA.
  • 4:10 p.m. Male needs lift assistance after fall @ 1000 block of N8th/CdA.
  • 4:01 p.m. Child custody workers are taking children away from fighting couple at CdA motel (3:24 item).
  • 3:42 p.m. Post Falls Police Department activities report for Aug. 20-21 here.
  • 3:24 p.m. A couple is fighting in presence of children @ Lake Drive Motel/316 Lake Coeur d'Alene Drive.
  • 3:17 p.m. A dog is running loose @ 400 block of Coeur d'Alene Avenue/CdA.
  • 2:43 p.m. 53YO male is suffering intense stomach pain @ Silverwood Theme Park/Athol.
  • 1:44 p.m. Business workers @ 308 Sherman Ave/CdA reports smell of burning in building.
  • 1:41 p.m. Trucker carrying containers has stopped along I-90, blocking undisclosed I-90 onramp.
  • 1:41 p.m. Someone is suffering chest pain @ 6600 block of E. Dalton Ave/CdA.
  • 1:38 p.m. Citizen dispute reported @ 3300 block of Pine Hill Drive/CdA.
  • 1:18 p.m. Female is waiting in Row 1 of Post Falls Walmart East after driver hit her gray Scion & drove off.
  • AM Scanner Traffic
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Popcorn, Anyone

Aug. 21, 2014 3:35 p.m. - Updated: 3:36 p.m.

A popcorn vendor waits for customers at the North Idaho Fair Wednesday. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

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Live-Blogging A Ride-Along?

Aug. 21, 2014 3:12 p.m. - Updated: 3:16 p.m.

Sgt. Christie Wood (RE: Arfee shooting still haunts Lake City): I would like to invite you to do a ride-along with our patrol division and ask you to “live blog” it. If DFO thinks it is something he would approve I would appreciate you considering it. I consider you to be a very caring individual toward our community so it pains me to read your distrust toward police. I am sincere in my offer and I hope you will take me up on it. If you want to have a conversation about it please contact me at the police department.

Question: Christie directed her note to Randy Myers. However, Randy or anyone else who is willing to live-blog a ride-along with a Coeur d'Alene police officer can apply. What do you think of this offer? Are you interested in trying a live-blog of a ride-along?

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Sandpoint — The Best Place In Idaho

Aug. 21, 2014 2:57 p.m. - Updated: 3:31 p.m.

I am back in my hometown of Sandpoint this week. I wasn't born here, but it's the place that most defines me. It's where I truly fell in love with my wife and where we got engaged. It's where I first went to work after college at a small weekly newspaper I started with a couple of friends. It's where I learned who I am and what I'm willing to fight for. Sandpoint is home. Sandpoint also happens to be the best place in Idaho. Trust me. My job over the last two and a half years since leaving my hometown has had me traveling to every corner of Idaho, and while this state is filled with beautiful places and amazing people, nothing beats that first drive across the Long Bridge, a local production at the historic Panida Theater or just watching sailboats race from City Beach/John T. Reuter, Inlander. More here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree that Sandpoint is the best place in Idaho?

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1964 CdA Murder Remains Unsolved

Aug. 21, 2014 2:41 p.m. - Updated: 3:31 p.m.

On the Saturday morning of Aug. 22, 1964, Coeur d'Alene's fire chief was walking with his family on Tubbs Hill when he spotted bloodstains on the ground. He followed the trail of blood about 60 yards through brush and rocks to the shore, to a scene he surely hoped it would not lead: the naked body of a teenage girl floating face down in the shallow water of Lake Coeur d'Alene. The summer she was 17, Susan Stewart came from Missouri with her mother and brother to spend a few months in the resort town on the lake. Her parents were from the area, and her father was an Army sergeant stationed in Okinawa. The family planned to join him overseas when the season ended. On the evening of Friday, Aug. 21, Coeur d'Alene was sunny and still summer-warm/Lisa Wanaanen Jones, Inlander. More here.

Question: Do you remember this case? I've never heard of it before.

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HBO Blogosphere — 8.21.14

Aug. 21, 2014 2:30 p.m. - Updated: 2:46 p.m.

Brad Harrison anxiously stares downward some 25 feet to the shallow water of Lake Coeur d'Alene below, catching his breath and gathering the courage and focus necessary to make his next jump a success. And even though he’s made this leap of faith many, many times, he never rushes it. He knows that one slip, one brief lapse in concentration, will lead to disaster – or worse yet, death. Watch a video montage of people jumping from the rocks at Tubbs Hill in Coeur d'Alene: http://www.spokesman.com/video/2014/aug/13/jumping-rocks/ Story & SR photos by Jesse Tinsley here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, Aug. 20): 7027 page-views/4366 unique views

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Poll: Target ISIS Killers w/Air Strikes

Aug. 21, 2014 2:11 p.m. - Updated: 2:16 p.m.

  • Wednesday Poll: Hucks Nation says President Obama should target the ISIS murderers responsible for the slaying of American journalist James Foley via air strikes and other means. But that he shouldn't seek to widen current military operations in Iraq. 69 of 160 respondents (43.13%) said air strikes targeting ISIS troops involved in Iraq fighting should be the first course of action for the USA in wake of the brutal murder. 66 of 160 (41.25%) said the USA should “run to ground” the responsible killers. 8 of 160 (5%) said the USA should do nothing in retaliation. 6 (3.75%) supported expanding our military operations in response. 11 (6.88%) opted for the category “other.”
  • Today's Poll: Would you support naming the dog park at McEuen — Arfee Memorial Dog Park?
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