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Idaho rockslide halts passenger, freight trains

A rock slide that closed a main BNSF Railway connection between Washington state and Idaho has been cleared.
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BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas says dozers and loaders were able to clear the line and they reopened at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday. The slide 14 miles east of Bonners Ferry covered the tracks at about 12:30 p.m. Friday. Melonas says the slide was 20 feet deep, 50 feet wide and 200 feet long.
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Amtrak passenger trains running from Seattle and Portland to Chicago were halted for 48 hours. Freight traffic was also temporarily suspended.
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Melonas says the Amtrak trains will not be allowed through until 12:30 p.m. Sunday for safety reasons. Freight traffic has resumed.

Holiday DUI emphasis in North Idaho

Holiday DUI emphasis in North Idaho

North Idaho law enforcement will be stepping up patrols in an efforts to reduce alcohol and drug related crashes, and get impaired drivers off the road. These patrols will take be put in place by the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, Idaho State Police, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Post Falls Police Department, Rathdrum Police Department, and Spirit Lake Police Department.


Sandpoint eyes railroad quiet zone

Officials in the northern Idaho city of Sandpoint are considering a proposed railroad quiet zone.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports that residents are complaining about the constant sounding of train horns that result in a loss to quality of life in town.

Council members are scheduled to discuss the quiet zone on Wednesday.

The Federal Railroad Administration would have to approve any request for a quiet zone.

Should a quiet zone be created, six railway crossings would have to be outfitted with safety equipment.

� �The area has seen an increase in train traffic with trains carrying crude oil and coal.

N. Idaho man sentenced for lewd conduct with minor

A northern Idaho man convicted of lewd conduct with a minor has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that 48-year-old James LeMar Parton received the sentence Friday in 1st District Court.

Parton must serve 10 years before he's eligible for parole.

A jury convicted Parton in July.

Parton apologized in court on Friday.

Prosecutor: N. Idaho lethal force justified

Authorities have deemed as justified a deadly officer-involved shooting outside a Sandpoint hospital in northern Idaho.

The Sandpoint Police Department in a statement Thursday released the conclusions of Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that the police agency cited McHugh's remarks in a letter McHugh sent to the Bonner County Sheriff's Office, which investigated the July 8 shooting.

Authorities say officers Skylar Ziegler, Michael Valenzuela and Garrett Johnson were involved in the shooting near Bonner General Hospital that killed 35-year-old Jeanetta Marie Riley.

The officers say Riley approached them and refused their commands to drop a knife. Two officers opened fire.

McHugh's determination clears the officers of potential criminal charges.

The officers returned to work after authorities determined they followed department policy.

Schweitzer welcomes first snow of season

Schweitzer Mountain got its first measurable snowfall over the weekend, which means the clock is ticking to get the slopes ready for the winter sports season.

"We always love to see snow in October,? Sean Mirus, market director said. ?Everyone starts getting excited, it's cooling off. Even though it may be raining down town, it's definitely nice to look up from the valley and see the white stuff in the hills."

For staff, that white stuff means something else, work. Mirus said it's all hands on deck to get the mountain ready for their anticipated opening around Thanksgiving.

?A lot of it has to do with how much brush cutting we can do and really, what type of snow falls,? Mirus said. ?The actual wetter, heavier snow is really good early in the season, it helps the brush and the foliage on the ground really lay over and so we don't need as much snow.?

Shoshone Deputy shoots, kills dog

A Shoshone County Sheriff's Deputy shot and killed a dog after being bitten twice on Friday.�

Just after noon, the Shoshone County Sheriff's Office responded to an animal complaint in the Burke Canyon Area of Wallace, Idaho. An animal described as a "large dog" and a "pit bull" was running at large. The reporting party stated the dog at large was aggressive, keeping her from leaving her home.

Once the deputy arrived on scene and began to investigate the call, the dog that was reported as running at large advanced toward the deputy in an aggressive manner and bit him on the lower leg. As the deputy retreated from the dog, the dog advanced a second time, biting the deputy on the thigh.

The sheriff's office says that since retreating from the dog was an ineffective measure to neutralize the threat of danger the dog posed to the deputy, the deputy was forced to discharge his firearm, shooting the dog once. The dog died as a result of the gunshot wound.

The deputy went to Shoshone Medical Center, where he was treated for the bite wounds and released.