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Briefs April 20, 2010

| April 20, 2010 9:00 PM

Forest service to host meeting on Fern Hardy project

COEUR d'ALENE - The Forest Service will host an open house tonight to discuss management options for wildland fire mitigation in an area of the Coeur d'Alene River Ranger District identified as the Fern Hardy Resource Area.

The proposed management includes activities to reduce high fuel loading adjacent to private land, homes and developed recreation areas.

The project area is on National Forest System lands, bounded by Wall Ridge to the north, Cataldo Mountain to the east, Fourth of July Pass to the west, and Interstate 90 to the south.

The open house will be 5-7:30 tonight at Canyon Elementary School, 27405 East School House Loop, near Cataldo.

Information: Project Leader Lauren Goschke, 769-3046 or lgoschke@fs.fed.us

Meeting to discuss aquatic invaders

Mark's Marine will be hosting its final seminar of the spring seminar series from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at 14355 N Government Way.

Kate Wilson, coordinator for the Pend Oreille Basin Commission based in Sandpoint, will give a presentation on the threats posed by aquatic invasive species, what invaders are currently in the area, and what everyone can do to help keep invaders out of Idaho's waterways.

She'll also speak on the Idaho AIS sticker fund and the boat inspection prevention program.

One threat facing Idaho's freshwater resources right now is quagga and zebra mussels.

The seminar is free and there are refreshments.

LEADMAN race planned Saturday

KELLOGG - The 6th Annual LEADMAN at Silver Mountain Resort is Saturday.

The first leg is a 1.2-mile decent by ski or snowboard on the last of this season's snow. The second leg is a 7-10 mile intermediate to advanced mountain bike ride, most often slush and mud. Finally, there is a 4-6 mile run to the finish line at Silver Mountain's Gondola Village.

A post-race celebration includes barbecue and live music.

"There are triathlons that test the limits of strength and endurance and then there are extreme competitions that work with Mother Nature to really try to break you down," according to a press release. "The Leadman is this type of event."

Information: www.leadmantriathlon.com or call Karey Scholey at (208) 783-1507.

Bike ride to benefit pancreatic group

The Pancreatic Action Network North Idaho Affiliate is planning a bike ride and community picnic on Aug. 28.

The ride will be from Spokane to Coeur d'Alene and is called the Purple Ride - Spoke d'Alene.

A planning meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Monday, April 26 at Kootenai Medical Center in the training room.

Sponsors, riders and volunteers are needed.

The Pancreatic Action Network advances research and supports patients with pancreatic cancer.

Information: khlebichuk@pancanvolunteer.org

Poet will speak Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

COEUR d'ALENE - Poet Lisa Conger will speak on "The Creative Life" at 10:30 a.m. Sunday during North Idaho Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship service at Harding Family Center, 15th & Wallace Avenue.

"The creative life can be messy, uncertain, and a struggle, but it can also be rich, surprising and unexpected," according to a press release. Conger has been teaching poetry and writing classes through Spokane Falls Community College's Institute for Extended Learning Senior Program since the summer of 2000. She is a poet and exhibiting papier-mache artist.

Pedestrians use flags to cross street

SANDPOINT - Pedestrians are using flags to stop cars at a Sandpoint crosswalk.

After more than a year of investigating crosswalk safety, the Sandpoint Transition Initiative launched the crossing flags project at the Fifth Street and Poplar Avenue crosswalk. The project uses orange, reflective flags stored in containers at both sides of Fifth Avenue that pedestrians, who are waiting to cross, will grab and wave at motorists in an effort to stop traffic.

Once a pedestrian crosses the street, the flag is dropped into the container on the other side of the crosswalk and traffic flow resumes. It is not a new idea.

"Sandpoint has tried it before and we did not have great success with it," Kody Van Dyk, public works director, said. "The flags disappeared quickly and it just died out."

Otter in hospital with flu-like illness

BOISE (AP) - Idaho Gov. Butch Otter is in a Boise hospital undergoing treatment for flu-like symptoms.

Spokesman Mark Warbis says the 67-year-old governor was taken to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center Monday for flu symptoms including dehydration and is undergoing tests.

Officials say Otter did not report to his office in the Capitol Monday morning, opting instead to stay at his ranch in Star.

"They determined he was dehydrated," spokesman Jon Hanian told The Associated Press. "They decided to run some tests, it's really more precautionary than anything else."

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said he spent Saturday with Otter, attending a Lincoln Day banquet in Ontario, Ore. Ysursa said Otter looked "extremely tired" and was coming off a week of traveling in North Idaho.

Late last week, Otter, a Republican seeking a second term, mixed state and campaign business during a swing through North Idaho.

He met Thursday with state lawmakers and business officials in Coeur d'Alene and crossed the border to speak at a tea party rally in Spokane, then on Friday visited Lewiston.

Boise teen pleads guilty to arson

BOISE (AP) - A 16-year-old Boise boy has pleaded guilty to felony arson for setting the family home on fire while his parents slept.

Matthew Abramowski pleaded guilty Monday just before jury selection was to begin in his trial, The Idaho Statesman reported. Under the plea agreement, Ada County prosecutors will recommend a 10-year probationary sentence.

Abramowski is diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism, but was declared mentally competent to go to trial in December. He has been held in a juvenile detention facility since his arrest in April 2009.

Police say he confessed to setting fire to a guest bedroom below his parents' room.

Records show Abramowski was upset because he was grounded. He said he set the fire because he overslept, foiling his plans to stab his mother in her sleep and shoot his father when he came home from work that morning. His parents were awakened by smoke alarms.

Child abuse awareness event set for Thursday

Tickets are on sale for Thursday's Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month awards ceremony at Red Lion Templin's Hotel, 414 E. First Ave., Post Falls, from 3-5 p.m.

Tickets, which are $8, are available at Children's Village, 1350 W. Hanley Ave., Coeur d'Alene. Reservations are required and must be made by today.

Those interested can also call Children's Village at 667-1189 to RSVP and their tickets will be at the door.

The Morgan Richardson Individual Advocate of the Year and the Our Kids Our Business award for a business will be presented.

The event also includes desert, a beverage and a program called "Stewards of Children."

Attendees will learn about a local initiative in which adults and businesses are working together to prevent child sexual abuse and how to get involved.

Aglow plans Wednesday event

COEUR d'ALENE - The Aglow International Coeur d'Alene Day Lighthouse will meet 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday for a potluck brunch at the Silverlake Motel Convention Center.

Marilyn Pearson from Monroe, Wash., will be the guest speaker.

Pearson, an ordained minister, has been involved with Aglow for more than 25 years.

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