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Bike MS Northwest kicks off Saturday

Bike MS Northwest kicks off Saturday

One of the premier cycling events in the Northwest is kicking off in north Idaho this Saturday.

Bike MS Inland Northwest features multiple route options for all levels of experience along with a festival atmosphere, great food, music, a beer garden and a Saturday evening rally.

Participants must be at least 12 years old and commit to raising a minimum of $200, not including the $65 registration fee.

This year's goal is to raise more than $151,000 to be used for research, programs and services provided by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Northwest Chapter for the nearly 15,000 people living with multiple sclerosis across Idaho, Washington, Montana and Alaska.

So far over 200 cyclists have have signed up to cruise courses ranging from 20 to 150 miles through the Idaho panhandle on a “Rails to Trails” path that's nearly all off roadways. Full meals, generous amenities, fully stocked rest stops and spirited festivities are all included.

Fire restrictions lifted in Colville Nat'l Forest

Fire restrictions lifted in Colville Nat'l Forest

Just in time for the holiday weekend, fire restrictions have been lifted for the Colville National Forest.

“With the wetting rains and cooler daytime temperatures we have been experiencing in the Colville National Forest, the anticipated fire danger is reduced enough to allow visitors to once again enjoy campfires in the forest,” said Fire Management Officer Tim Sampson. “Firewood cutters are also able to run chainsaws after 1 pm.”

Forest visitors must still use caution and exercise sound fire precautions, however, on National forest System Lands. Good fire building and extinguishing practices are advised such as:

  • Keeping campfires small
  • Using existing fire rings
  • Have a bucket, shovel, water and fire extinguisher readily available
  • Attend and fully extinguish all fires

Leave the firewood at home to keep forests safe

Leave the firewood at home to keep forests safe

The Idaho Department of Lands is reminding outdoor enthusiasts who are planning to camp this Labor Day weekend to leave the firewood at home!

As millions of Americans head into the wilderness for a weekend of fun, many bring their own firewood, not realizing that they put the nation's forests at risk by potentially spreading tree-killing pests. While most of these pests can't travel far on their own, many can hitchhike undetected on firewood, later emerging and starting infestations in new locations hundreds of miles away.

The Don't Move Firewood campaign began in 2007 as a response to the rapid spread of the emerald ash borer, an Asian beetle brought to the US in pre-packaged wood and responsible for killing 100 million ash trees since the early 1990's.

More than 450 other non-native forest insects and diseases are also established in the United States, many spread the same way.

ATV rolls down ravine, seriously injures teen driver

ATV rolls down ravine, seriously injures teen driver

A 16-year-old boy had to be airlifted after crashing his ATV in Coeur d'Alene National Forest Monday afternoon.

Around 3:00 pm the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office and Kootenai County Fire Rescue responded to the call on Forest Road 612 near Five Fingers Saddle where the teen had lost control. The ATV rolled over and went down a steep embankment, taking the teen with it.

Kootenai County Fire Rescue personnel conducted a technical rescue to retrieve the teen from the ravine. He was airlifted to Kootenai Health via Life Flight helicopter with serious but non-life threatening injuries. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

The Kootenai County Traffic Investigation Team is looking into the cause of the crash.

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office would like to remind individuals recreating in the back county to operate their vehicles within their ability and to wear proper protective equipment.

Local game designer looking for success with Kingdoms in Peril

If you're a board game enthusiast who's always on the lookout for a new addition, you may want to check out local Spokane designer Thomas Kaufman and his fast-paced, highly competitive card game Kingdoms in Peril.

I had the chance to sit down and learn Kingdoms recently, and picked it up almost immediately. Set in the ancient middle east (the cards themselves designed with historical carvings from 700 BC, featured in the British museum), each player builds their own kingdom of villages and towns with their capital as the crowning jewel.

Once set-up is complete, players then go to work building a hand of cards that houses their armies, equipment and defensive tactics before turning on each other in an ancient battle royal. To the victor go the spoils, and with a two-hour time limit the winner is declared by either a tally of points (each village, town and city has a numbered value when captured) or when one kingdom emerges victorious.

Large scale watershed restoration in Idaho panhandle

Large scale watershed restoration in Idaho panhandle

The Idaho Panhandle National Forest announced some big improvements to the Moose Drool Watershed Project this year. The project will improve 21 fish passages, 3 miles of in-stream fish habitat and supplement in-stream woody debris with more than 1,000 pieces.

This project is the largest of its kind ever to take place in north Idaho, improving water quality and fish habitat while providing jobs for the local economy.

Significant work on this project will begin this summer and is expected to continue through early October. Contractors will complete the project in summer 2015.

Ongoing work includes rail bed decommissioning and removal, decommissioning of impassable roads, road and trail reconstruction and in-stream improvements.

Forest visitors in the area should be away of several temporary road and trail closures as a result of the work:

Working 4 you: Just how good for you is running?

Working 4 you: Just how good for you is running?

Good news for runners.

A new study shows the benefits of running for your health, but this study says it doesn't matter if you're a 15-minute miler, or an elite marathoner. The benefits are still the same.

According to the study running, even for a few minutes a day, can reduce your risk of death from heart disease compared to those who don't run at all. That study was published this week in the journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers studied some 55,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 100 over a 15 year period. They noted their overall health, if they ran and how long they lived.

Compared to non-runners, investigators found those who ran had a 30% lower risk of death from all causes, and a 45% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

In fact, runners on average lived three years longer compared to those who did not hit the pavement.

When data was broken down by age, sex, body mass index, smoking and alcohol use, the benefits were still the same. And the speed at which runners ran made little difference.