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N. Idaho kidnapper gets life sentence

N. Idaho kidnapper gets life sentence

A 58-year-old homeless man who kidnapped a Rathdrum woman in northern Idaho has been sentenced to life in prison.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports that Mitchell Lee Walck received the sentence Tuesday in 1st District Court and must serve 20 years before being eligible for parole.

Walck in February pleaded guilty to robbery, second-degree kidnapping and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

In late 2012 Walck shot at Idaho police and eluded them during a car chase. He kidnapped a northern Idaho woman, using her vehicle, and traveled to Montana, where he released her unharmed.

He was taken into custody in North Dakota after pulling a gun on a trucker and being found hiding in a tractor-trailer.

He received a 10-year sentence for his crimes in North Dakota.

Suspicious item found in Spirit Lake

Suspicious item found in Spirit Lake

A suspicious item was discovered Wednesday morning in the Middle Avenue area of Spirit Lake.

The Spirit Lake Police Department and other agencies are investigating the incident. Police are asking all area residents to stay in their homes unless contacted by law enforcement and asked to evacuate.

A reverse 911 message was sent to all residents east of 12th Ave. between Blackwell and Delaware to notify them of the situation.

All outside traffic is advised to avoid that area of town.

N. Idaho council approves voluntary smoking ban

The Lewiston City Council has approved a voluntary ban on smoking in some public outdoor spaces.

The Lewiston Tribune reports the council voted 5-2 on Monday to approve the ordinance.

Lewiston Parks and Recreation Director Tim Barker says the city's health department will pay for signs asking people to use tobacco away from crowded areas.

Councilor Bob Blakey says there's a problem with people using tobacco in places where people gather.

Councilors who voted against the ordinance say a voluntary ban with no penalties for violators is pointless.

Idaho Meth Project seeks Teen Advisory applicants

Idaho Meth Project seeks Teen Advisory applicants

From The Idaho Meth Project:

Fruit and vegetable grants available for Idaho schools

Fruit and vegetable grants available for Idaho schools

From the Idaho Department of Education:

Idaho elementary schools can apply now to implement the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the 2014-2015 school year.

 

Beware the swarm!

Beware the swarm!

Warmer temperatures next week are likely to wake up the area's first wave of yellow jackets, so here's what you need to know to help cut back their numbers before they invade your barbecue later this summer.

Right now it's only the queens that are coming out of hibernation and they're looking for a place to nest and start laying their eggs. If you can catch a queen with a trap now you can really cut back on the number of hornets you'll be battling in the warm weather ahead.

Late last summer a lot of us were at war with yellow jackets.

"They got up over the 90's and that allowed the yellow jacket nests to increase in size and then of course they got aggressive going after meat and food at your picnics," Stephanie Cates with Rescue Pest Control Products said.

As it turns out we could have cut down the number of these pesty party crashers if we had gone after the queen.

"They've been hibernating all winter, they're ready to emerge right now and start finding a new nest location," Cates said.

Support dogs bring comfort to mudslide survivors

The dogs of HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response have received hours of training to provide emotional support to people who have experienced a disaster or crisis.

Member of the organization are spread all across the nation, including Spokane. Just days after the mudslide, eight Spokane dogs and their owners went to some of the mudslide's hardest hit areas.

"They just loved all the dogs coming in to help them," said Debbie Wing of HOPE AACR.

They will continue to go back and forth from Oso, Arlington and Darrington, over the course of the next few months to assist mudslide victims who need the most help.

"The child daycare center, they were extremely depressed. They were saying, 'Why go on?' They were so comforted by the dogs. Within 45 minutes, they were singing, playing and talking about all the happy things instead of everything they had been talking about," said Wing

Karen Hathaway, the vice president of HOPE AACR, said the dogs literally take the pain away from those who are suffering.