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Kootenai County Fairgrounds building new entryway

Kootenai County Fairgrounds building new entryway

The Kootenai County Fairgrounds broke ground on a new project this week. In honor of the County’s 150th Anniversary, the Fairgrounds is getting a new grand entryway.


So far, 10 public sponsors have raised over $100,000 for the upgrade. Donors include:

Community members pack Sandpoint council chambers over 10 Commandments memorial

Community members pack Sandpoint council chambers over 10 Commandments memorial

Almost every chair in Sandpoint's Council Chamber was filled Wednesday night for the discussion of the Ten Commandment Monument in Farmin Park.

"I just wanted to come out today and be able to say that the monument is a historical document and it represents a foundation for many people's beliefs here," Mike Clark said.

The four-decade-old gift from the Fraternal Order of Eagles is stirring controversy due to its placement on public property. In November, the City received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a non-profit based out of Wisconsin that advocates for separation between church and state. Their message: move the monument out of the park or face legal consequences. Now, the City is looking at what the majority wants, and so far it looks like they want it to stay.

"The community wants to see that kind of thing," Clark said. "It reminds right and wrong, things that are good. I feel it's more beneficial for us as a people just to have it where we can see it going by the public park there."

One of the few people in attendance who opposed the monument's location was Aiden Millheim.

Bumblebee Campground closed for 2014 season

Bumblebee Campground closed for 2014 season

A popular Idaho campground will be closed for the entirety of the 2014 camping season. Bumblebee Campground, located in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, will  be closed while crews work to remove diseased and damaged trees.


“It’s a very difficult decision to close such a popular campground,” said Coeur d’Alene River District Ranger Chad Hudson. “But with so many dangerous trees in the area we cannot allow the public to camp there until all of the hazards have been removed.”

Hazardous trees shut down Beaver Creek Campground

Hazardous trees shut down Beaver Creek Campground

After announcing Monday that crews would be checking all campgrounds for hazardous trees, the Idaho Panhandle National Forest has decided to immediately close and evacuate Beaver Creek Campground on the north end of Priest Lake. Crews found more than 40 hazardous trees that pose a threat to visitor safety at the site.

 

“Closing a popular campground before a holiday weekend is a terribly difficult decision, but in this case there are too many dangerous trees to remove before the weekend, so closure is our only option to ensure a safe environment,” said Idaho Panhandle National Forest Supervisor Mary Farnsworth.

 

A wind storm on Sunday knocked a 200 foot tree onto to the tent of Sandpoint man killing him. Following the the incident, crews have been assessing the condition of developed recreation sites throughout the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Many trees across various sites have been identified and removed, but Beaver Creek is the only campground they have decided to close.

Idaho Panhandle National Forest assessing trees following campsite death

Idaho Panhandle National Forest assessing trees following campsite death

A falling tree caused the death of a Sandpoint man who was camping at the Stagger Inn Campground in the Kanisku National Forest on Sunday night. A strong storm caused a 200 foot tree to fall onto the man's tent.

 

The 48-year-old man was found dead by the Pend Orville County Sheriff's Office around 11:30pm Sunday night. A 52-year-old woman was also injured by the falling tree and was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

 

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident at our campground and are making every effort to ensure that last's night storm damage has not left hazard trees in our developed recreation sites, “said Idaho Panhandle National Forest Supervisor Mary Farnsworth.

 

City of Priest River reports wastewater release into the Pend Oreille

 

The city of Priest River is looking into its wastewater treatment plant after an “unknown quantity of sludge” was released into the Pend Oreille River on Wednesday.

According to a news release from the city, the hour-and-a-half-long release was “observed” by a wastewater operator “before it was stopped.”

“The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency have been contacted about this potential violation of the city's federal NPDES permit for the discharge of treated wastewater into the Pend Oreille River,” the news release continued.

Citizens are not at risk from the wastewater release and Priest River is “taking further action to prevent this type of event from reoccurring.”