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Officer's recovery a triumph

| December 29, 2010 8:00 PM

It was six years ago yesterday that Coeur d'Alene police officer Mike Kralicek was shot in the line of duty. He was in a coma for two weeks, a quadriplegic when he awoke. Mike not only survived the catastrophic head injury but he and his wife, Carrie have triumphed over life-changing adversity.

Theirs is a love story for the ages. I recently interviewed both on the radio and at one point I asked Mike, who by the way walked in the door on his own steam, if there was anyone who wasn't amazed by how far he's come. He looked over at Carrie and said, "just one ... my wife." ***

Some favorite Facebook friends' Christmas gifts ... Press photog Jerome Pollos received a Cuisinart 7-quart stand up mixer and spent the holiday weekend creating treats for the family. Tom Torgerson found a helmet under the tree, no word on if it was a specially made ladder helmet. And Christa Hazel's Canon lens coffee mug looks authentic, complete with a "lens cap."***

Last night Chris Holloway, of North Idaho Fair and Rodeo fame, was hugely surprised with a 50th birthday party hosted at Ron and Shelley Rosenberger's ranch. How fitting that the real-deal cowgirl was serenaded by Kelly Hughes.***

Tonight will be the debut ... my own "celebrity" menu item. Tina-Marie Schultz is rolling out a special menu at Rosa's Italian Deli. I agreed on the condition that the "Main Street Mojo" be heart-healthy and higher in protein than carbs. She and I created an open-faced albacore sandwich with sun-dried tomatoes on multi-grain bread that's really quite tasty.***

I'm starting the new year 30-plus pounds lighter than I began it thanks to Dr. John Pennings and Dr. Tom Neal and their OptiFit program. By this time next year I plan to be half the woman I was in 2010. :)***

For the 16th year the giant wreath on the side of the Coeur d'Alene Resort was created by Connie O'Neal and her husband, Danny. The pine boughs are hand-cut in Hauser Lake for the four sections, totaling 25 feet in width. The sections are brought to the Resort on a flatbed truck and then lifted up to the roof of the parking garage for assembling. Enjoy your last look at 2010, literally and figuratively!***

The Artic Express should put the polar into Saturday's Polar Bear Plunge with temps in the low teens. I'll be the one standing near the bonfire, bundled up, on the beach in front of Robert and Susan Cliff's house.***

Happy Birthday today to the effervescent Jaime Johnson along with John Martin, Kathy Baker-Carothers, Molly Shaw, Sheila Wayman and Debbie Trimble. Thursday birthdays are being celebrated by Tamara Poelstra, Marsha Dornquist, Bryce Raynor and Dave Dutro, who's turning the big 4-0! New Year's Eve birthdays belong to Cheryl Freeman, Gloria Stuart, Sarah Hood Chase and Crystal Dean. On 1/01/11 aka New Year's Day, Ron Jacobson, Jan Leaf, Kathy Edinger Dingman, Linda Jordan, Edie Miller, Jessica Froehlich Hammond, David Attridge, Dianna Owens, Holly Childers, Declan Jones and sisters, Shaun Willams and Shana Crimp celebrate the first Main Street birthdays of 2011. Rick and Vicki Currie and John and Kay McGruder celebrate their wedding anniversaries on New Year's Eve while Frank and Jeannie Peugh mark 48 years of marriage on New Years Day. Kate Hardy will blow out the candles on Monday, and Tuesday's birthday boys are Darrell Whitesitt and Bert Storlie.

***Heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you for sharing your stories this past year. I'm truly blessed to have the opportunity to shine a light on our very special communities. See you all next year!

***For the end of the year column I peruse the previous 51 weeks' columns to get a sense of what the year was like. It's always bittersweet with so many happy, exciting and heartwarming tales told, there's also the sad goodbyes to people who enriched our lives. Just a few of the friends. loved ones and neighbors we toast as we say farewell to 2010 ... Jim Dickinson, Hilde Kellogg, Ace Walden, Roy Weaver, Jim and Margi Porter, Bill and Margie Giesa, Lois Seiter Eggart, Mike Halterman, Betty McLain, Brandon DeLuca, Mike Anderson, Shar Griffitts, Devon Austin and Ryan Reinhardt ...

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind.Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,we'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

***Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press. More Main Street blog is at http://moremainstreet.blogspot.com. Listen to Main Street Monday on KVNI AM1080. Kerri can be reached at mainstreet@cdapress.com

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