Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Video: ISU Trespassing Suspect Leaves the U.S.

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 9:15 AM

Idaho State University officials notified students Monday that a man suspected of repeatedly breaking into residence halls and touching some students has left the U.S.

A series of incidents began in early March when Sulton Sameer Bamoallem, an ISU freshman, was taken into custody after being discovered in a residence hall. And after being released from custody, Pocatello Police reported that they had arrested the same man two hours later for trespassing at another university building.

And now, KIDK-TV is reporting that Bamoallem was released into the custody of his family and has returned to his native Saudi Arabia. Court records indicate that charges of battery had been dismissed on April 17 and Bamoallem received a suspended jail sentence for other charges.

An ISU student who told KIDK-TV that Bamoallem had entered her dorm room said, "He's gone; he's out of the country; he's not my problem anymore."

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Idaho Theme Park's Facebook Page Hacked

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 9:12 AM

Fans of Silverwood Theme Park knew something was up when they started seeing bizarre, and often inappropriate, posts on the northern Idaho amusement park's Facebook page.

"15 Horrible Methods of Capital Punishment," said one post. "Badass Exotic Animals You Wish You Owned," said another. "And "Best Boob Tatoos" read a third.

The odd Facebook posts continued through much of this past weekend; and in short order, Silverwood officials knew that their page had been hacked. That prompted them to create a new Facebook page to explain the situation to its visitors.

"We are so sorry for the confusion with the hacked account! All account admins had been deleted so we have no way of stopping the posts," wrote Silverwood officials on the second Facebook page.

And now, this morning's Coeur d'Alene Press reports that Silverwood has grabbed back control of its original Facebook page and deleted the hacked posts, but only after getting flooded with complaints, mostly from parents who were upset of what had been flowing into their children's news feeds.

"It is quite unfortunate as we have gained a significant amount of loyal followers based on worthwhile organic postings and engagement which took much effort," Mark Robitaille, Silverood director of marketing told the Press. "Silverwood is committed to being family-friendly and is in no way associated with these posts."
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Monday, April 20, 2015

Tribune's Blotter Fodder: 'Rambo Wannabe' Holds Puppy at Gunpoint

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 9:45 AM

One of the more entertaining columns for readers of the Lewiston Tribune to read each morning if reporter Ralph Bartholdt's rundown of that region's police blotters.

And this morning's edition has a real gem:

"Holding a neighbor's puppy with one hand, while threatening to kill the dog with the assault rifle he held in his other hand, a Lewiston man told his neighbor he had every right to protect his family."
The Tribune reports that the "Rambo wannabe" told the unsuspecting pet owner that he was justified "by using violent, unreasonable force against the neighbor's boxer puppy." At first the dog owner laughed, thinking the whole thing was a joke; that is, until he realized that the gunman meant business.

"Police cited the gun wielder for being unneighborly," reports the Tribune.

By the way, Monday's police blotter also included a report of drugs after midnight in Moscow, a man bitten by a horse in Nez Perce County and someone tampering with license plates at a ballgame.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Video: One Capsized Canoe, A Shot of Whiskey and a Lot of Damage to an Idaho Cabin

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 12:51 PM

Law enforcement in northern Idaho is still trying to piece together details of an incident which began with a canoe tipping over and ending in a bizarre crime spree.

KREM-TV reports that a fisherman and a friend were out on Feman Lake, near Coeur d'Alene, when their canoe capsized. The two men ended up breaking into a nearby cabin to warm up. They also called 911 from the hope. But before police arrived on the scene, one of the men took a shot of whiskey and the pair decided to hop back into their canoe and resume fishing. But the canoe capsized a second time and both men swam to shore and broke into the home a second time. The men apparently called 911 a second time and when a relative of the homeowner stopped by to check on the cabin, he found one of the men in the shower.

Police said the homeowners have decided not to press criminal charges and they're still hoping that the fisherman will chip in to repair some of the damage they caused, including a $2,000 bill to fix a solid metal door.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Former Minidoka Sheriff's Girlfriend Sentenced for Fraud

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 9:35 AM

The girlfriend of the former sheriff of Minidoka County told a Jerome County courtroom April 13 that she knew it was "wrong having this relationship," before being sentenced to 150 hours of community service and placed on probation for her conviction of falsifying time records.

In September 2013, former Minidoka Sheriff Kevin Halverson was sentenced to 90 days in jail after prosecutors said he was having a personal relationship with a county employee, Alicia Daniel and misusing public funds.

And now, this morning's Twin Falls Time-News reports that Daniel was sentenced for making fraudulent claims, but refused to acknowledge her guilt.

“I allowed Kevin to influence me with the promises that he made. My whole world revolved around that relationship. However my job was still my job,” Daniel told Jerome County District Judge John Butler April 13. 
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7-Year-Old Shot by Another Child in Eastern Idaho Incident

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 9:34 AM

Eastern Idaho law enforcement are investigating an early morning shooting of a 7-year-old. Bingham County Sheriff's deputies say the child was shot in the left arm by a 9-year-old. The sheriff's office was contacted early today by Harms Memorial Hospital in American Falls, which reported that the 7-year-old had been brought in to the hospital's emergency room.

KPVI-TV is reporting that officers determined that the 9-year-old was moving a blanket which was covering a .22 caliber firearm when it discharged. The parents had already transported the shooting victim to the hospital prior to the Sheriff's office being contacted.

While an investigation continues, the Bingham County Sheriff's Office says its treating the shooting as an accident.
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Friday, April 10, 2015

Video: Idaho Woman Said She Was Victim of Abuse, But Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

Posted By on Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 9:14 AM

An Idaho woman, convicted of killing her husband and leaving the body in a Shoshone County home for more than a year, has been ordered to 15 years behind bars, 7 of those years fixed.

52-year-old Jackie Reed was arrested in July 2013 when police in the Shoshone County town of Osburn recovered the body of 55-year-old Gregory Reed. Reed told police that she was a victim of abuse and it was later confirmed that the husband had been charged with battery in 2001. 

But when relatives contacted police about Gregory Reed's whereabouts—he had been missing for several months—police found his body in his Osburn home. It turns out that the wife had been living in a trailer just outside the home. It was also learned that Jackie Reed had been cashing her husband' social security checks after his death.

KREM-TV reports that Reed pleaded guilty to the crime and was sentenced to prison April 8, and ordered to pay nearly $40,000 in restitution to the State of Idaho and Social Security Administration.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Startling Headline in Tribune: Port of Lewiston Traffic 'On Hold Indefinitely'

Posted By on Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 9:45 AM

The Port of Lewiston is in near-crisis mode and port commissioners will huddle today to consider its fate.

In the wake of its largest overseas shipper—Hapag-Lloyd—pulling up anchor at the Port of Portland and thus halting its shipments up and down the Columbia River system, this morning's headline in the Lewiston Tribune was rather stunning: "Port Container Traffic On Hold Indefinitely."

And now, Port of Lewiston commissioners will meet today at noon with one major item on the agenda: "Suspension of container traffic will be discussed." As of today, the only remaining container carrier at the Port of Portland, according to the Tribune, is the Westwood company, "and it's unlikely it will be able to absorb Hapag-Lloyd's customers from Lewiston," said Lewiston Port Manager David Doeringsfeld. "At this point in time, the Port of Lewiston is not shipping any containers on water."

The Port of Lewiston employs seven people, but its budget is $1.9 million. According to the Tribune, the port "had expected about $450,000 each from rentals and property taxes as well as $260,000 from the Inland 465 company, which operates a huge warehouse at the port.
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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Video: Idaho Corn Maze, Scene of Fatality, Agrees to Shut Down

Posted By on Tue, Apr 7, 2015 at 9:19 AM

A northern Idaho corn maze has decided to shut down instead of paying a large fine in the wake of the October 2014 death of one of its employees.

Jeremy McSpadden, 18, was killed Oct. 10, 2014 when he fell in front of a bus while playing the role of a zombie at a corn maze in the Idaho community of Hauser near the Washington border. One week after the incident, it was learned that the owners of the maze were never required to get a special license to run the operation, but the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office said it found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. 

KREM-TV reports that the Idaho office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the operators of the Incredible Corn Maze a total of $14,000 for two safety violations, but the agency agreed to lower the fines to $6,000 after the owners decided to shut down the corn maze. If the owners want to reopen within the next five years, they would need to undergo a safety and health audit at the site. Meanwhile, the $6,000 will be paid in monthly installments.

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Jury Selection Begins This Week in Wrongful Termination Suit From Ex-McCall Police Chief

Posted By on Mon, Apr 6, 2015 at 9:38 AM

It has been two years since Jerry Summers was fired from his post as McCall Police Chief. Shortly after his 2013 dismissal, Summers sued the city, claiming he was illegally fired as "retaliation" by City Manager Gene Drabinski. Summers claimed that he discovered Drabinski was in possession of an Idaho's driver's license at the same time his Massachusetts license was under revocation. Former Valley County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Williams said Summers repeatedly warned Drabinski that he was in violation of the law.

"It's an ugly situation," MCall City Councilman Nic Swanson said in April 2013. "We're between a rock and a hard place."

Earlier this year, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Lodge tossed out most of Summers' claims, but kept alive two charges: that Drabinski was allegedly hostile toward Summers and that the distrust between the two dated back to when Drabinski was the city's interim city manager and a prime candidate to take over the job full-time. Lodge urged the two sides to work things out, but that hasn't happened and this week's McCall Star-News reports that Summers is now heading to a U.S. District courtroom in Boise where jury selection is scheduled to begin Tuesday, April 7. Summers is looking for his old job back, plus back pay and some unspecified damages.
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