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Sandpoint residents concerned about cougars

Sandpoint residents concerned about cougars

Part of the reason people live in our corner of the world is to be close to nature, steps away from the outdoors, but for families in Sandpoint nature - or rather a cougar - is getting a little too close for comfort.

The latest cougar sighting was on Lower Syringa Road, not the the most populated part of Sandpoint, but was near a bus stop where children frequent, so the sighting isn't sitting well with residents.

"Obviously they're predators, with little kids like this it's very intimidating and scares us to know they're in our yard," Darin Gruber said.

At the Gruber family home outside is play time but that's changed since they found out a cougar has been lurking around.

"I don't let them get more than a few feet away from me at all," Gruber said.

Gruber didn't report the cougar sighting on Saturday but did have an encounter of his own that very same night.

"I came out about 9:30 to close up the car and had a funny feeling I was being watched," he said.

A quick flick to turn on his flashlight to see what was up the hill and, "Low and behold there was a pair of yellow eyes staring me down," Gruber said.

Manhunt underway after fugitive fires shots at officers during pursuit

Officers from two law enforcement agencies are scouring an area along the Benewah/Kootenai County line after shots were fired during a traffic stop.

At approximately 11:20 this morning, tribal officers from the Coeur d'Alene Reservation attempted to stop a white Chevy pickup believed to be driven by John Crispin. Crispin is wanted by the U.S. Marshals and has a history of offenses, including firearms violations, multiple aggravated assault, battery and resisting a police officer.

Crispin failed to stop and after being pursued north on Highway 95, he exited his vehicle about two miles north of County Line Road, fired multiple shots at officers and ran on foot into the surrounding countryside. At least one Tribal Police officer returned fire, but it is unknown if Crispin was injured.�

Tribal police and officers from the Kootenai County Sheriff's Departments along with K-9 units are searching the area.

The sheriff's office asks that members of the public avoid the area and, if they see the suspect, call their office at (208) 245-5555. Crispin is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached.

Working 4 you: American spending shows positive signs for the economy

Working 4 you: American spending shows positive signs for the economy

Some good news for the economy. Americans are spending more!

Purchases of durable goods, such as furniture and cell phones are increasing. For the month of August, purchasing of such items increased 2% in America. That may not seem like a lot, but compare that to an increase of only 0.1% in July.

This is according to data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

But what drove the August rush in spending?

The biggest factor was auto sales, everything from cars to parts, which accounted for half the gains.

People typically don't make big purchases like cars unless they feel confident in the economy and their personal finances.

Overall, consumer spending increase a total of 0.5% in August.

Economists say the increase in spending is a good sign for the economy. Some say buyers are a critical indicator of the economy's health since they make up a majority of how much product gets produced in the United States.

After the financial crisis in 2008 and the recession, people cut back heavily on purchases. But, as more people are finding jobs, that should translate into more spending.

Working 4 you: Reducing your risk of breast cancer

Working 4 you: Reducing your risk of breast cancer

As most people know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, but do you know how to reduce your risk of the disease?

Doctors say there are steps you can take now to reduce your chances of getting the disease in the future.

Taking steps to be healthy may not prevent all breast cancers, but for most women these steps can reduce the risks.

First, doctors say to watch your weight. Being overweight or gaining weight as an adult increases the chances of developing the disease, especially after menopause. So, eat well to keep you weight in check throughout your life.

Also, get some exercise. Experts recommend about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. If possible, include at least two strength training sessions a week, as well.

Also, don't smoke. Just another reason to quit if you do smoke. And if you drink, limit yourself to no more than one drink per day. Experts say the more alcohol you consume, the greater your chance of developing breast cancer.

If you are able to breast feed when you have children, doctors say this can offer some protection against the disease as well.

Multiple firearms stolen during September burglaries

Multiple firearms stolen during September burglaries

During the month of September, the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office has responded to six different residential burglaries with numerous firearms stolen. All but one of the burglaries was a forced entry into the home, with the weapons being taken from a bedroom. Only half of the reported firearms listed on the crime reports were listed with their serial numbers.

Kootenai County Sheriff's Office is asking the public to please do the following:

Keep your homes locked and secured when not at home.

Place firearms in a secure and locked location if possible.

Make a list of your property (including firearms) listing all the serial numbers. For jewelry and other items, photograph the items and burn the photos to two CD's kept in separate locations.

Report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood to your local law enforcement agency.

Working 4 you: More hospitals ask for payment upfront

Working 4 you: More hospitals ask for payment upfront

If you're planning any future trips to the hospital, you may want to get your credit card ready before heading into the operating room. That's because hospitals are increasingly asking patients to pay for procedures either upfront, or before they're discharged.

Traditionally, neither patients nor providers knew the exact price of procedures until after the insurer processed the charges, but that's all changing.

New technology is now allowing hospitals to determine a patient's responsibility in advance of treatment.

Hospitals say it's important to discuss the cost as early as possible because patients are facing higher deductibles and larger payments for services. Administrators say many people don't even know what their deductible is.

Officials say Americans are shouldering a greater portion of their health care bills, and medical centers don't want to get stuck paying what their patients can't.

But for those who are worried about footing the bill early, hospitals are providing several options.

New residential waste collection site opens Wednesday

New residential waste collection site opens Wednesday

Kootenai County is proud to announce the opening of a new residential solid waste collection site on October 1. The Chilco Rural Collection site is located at 20835 N. Ramsey Road in Rathrdum and will be staffed seven days a week from 8 am to 5 pm. Chilco replaces both the Garwood and Twin Lakes sites, which will closer permanently at 5 pm on September 30.

The new site is on county-owned property and is designed to handle the capacity of the two former sites.

Prior to the opening of the Chilco site, there were 14 rural collection sites with only three on property owned by Kootenai County. In order to provide permanent collection sites, construct improvements and allow for the expansion of services, such as recycling, it was determined that property should be acquired and four sites should be consolidated. The next sites being considered for consolidation are located in the Rose Lake area.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the new Chilco site with the board of County Commissioners early this morning.