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Kootenai Electric takes the ALS Ice Bucket plunge

Kootenai Electric takes the ALS Ice Bucket plunge

Water and electricity aren't supposed to mix, but that didn't stop 20 employees of Kootenai Electric Cooperative from participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge this morning.

All KEC employees made their own donations, which are being matched by KEC.

The company also nominated Avista Utilities, Clearwater Power, Northern Lights Electric Cooperative and Vera Water and Power to follow in their footsteps.

Avista hosting fall energy fairs

Avista hosting fall energy fairs

Avista is hosting a free energy fair to help homeowners manage their home energy bills, including demonstrations and free energy-saving materials to help keep homes comfortable and safe for the winter ahead.

It will be held Tuesday, August 26 from 3 pm until 6 pm at the Avista Pavilion in Coeur d'Alene's McEuen Park. People who attend the Avista Energy Fair will find the following benefits:

Demonstrations of how to install energy efficiency materials like rope caulk, window plastic and v-seal. Then receive free samples of these and other materials to install at home.

Complimentary food and beverages, door prizes and activities for the kids.

Speak with Avista staff and learn about low-cost and no-cost energy effiency tips.

Iraq native shares personal story of persecution

Iraq native shares personal story of persecution

An Iraqi native, who escaped persecution and now lives in Coeur d'Alene, is working to bring attention to the dire humanitarian situation in his home country.

When Michael Paul found out about recently slain journalist Jim Foley, he cried.

"I really cried today to God. I mean what a hero he is. He was arrested in Libya and he went to Syria again and he didn't care," says Paul.

Paul grew up a Muslim in Iraq before converting to Christianity at the age of 18. He assisted the U.S. military as a cultural adviser and interpreter and was kidnapped multiple times by different groups for his beliefs.

"People in Iraq today, they don't have social justice," says Paul.

Now he is on a mission: to convert Arabs from Islam to Christianity.

"The real source of extremism in the world and the unrest situation is the teaching of the Koran," says Paul.

After escaping Iraq, he moved to Coeur d'Alene and stayed with a host family before opening his own barber shop, J.C. Style. Paul says he is grateful for the freedoms America offers.

Hayden woman's encounter with lightning caught on camera

A Hayden woman says she was struck by lightning, and the whole thing caught on camera by her daughter.

As severe weather moved in Tuesday night, CC Weske and Stephanie Rey grabbed their cameras and headed outside.

Just after 6:30 pm, Weske began taking a SnapChat of the sky, her mom steps into the frame and a bolt of lighting followed by a loud bang lights up sky.

"I was like, 'Oh something is about to happen,' that's why I was filming it," Weske said. "Then just all of the sudden, it just literally everything lit up and it sounded like a gun went off."

"I screamed my phone flew out of my hand and I really wasn't sure what happened," Rey said. "I was like expletive, I think I just got hit by lightning and so we just took off running."

The pair are thankful that no one was hurt. Rey says she felt a bit of a tingle several hours after and is glad nothing worse happened.

"Very, very thankful," Rey said . "Even though we are joking about it and funny or what ever but very creepy."

Priest River teacher receives grant for class library

Priest River teacher receives grant for class library

A Priest River teacher is excited to fill her classroom bookshelves this fall with the help of a $2500 grant from Farmer's Insurance.

First-grade teacher Jessica Randolph was one of just 30 teachers to be honored in this round of Farmer's “Thank A Million Teachers”initiative, inviting America to offer heartfelt thank to teachers for their positive impact on students and communities across the United States.

Jessica says it was her Farmer's agent who nominated her for Thanks a Million, then asked clients to vote for her proposal and even garnered support in the local newspaper.

“My proposal was for books for my classroom library,” Jessica said. “It was really tough last year and I had to borrow books. My students loved to read, and by the end of the year they even wanted to take books with them out onto the playground.”

While this grant is being used exclusively for her class library, Jessica says her ultimate goal is to put more technology into her students hands.

Meridian woman pleads guilty in bank robbery

A 19-year-old Meridian woman has pleaded guilty to driving the getaway car in a bank robbery in western Idaho.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Jennifer Lillian Balfe pleaded guilty to bank robbery Tuesday. She is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge on Nov. 12.

Prosecutors allege Bale and 35-year-old Ricky Allen Fisher of Nampa robbed a U.S. Bank branch in Cottonwood on May 15. They were arrested two days later at a motel in Lewiston. Police say they raised suspicion by spending a lot of cash at a casino.

Fisher's trial is scheduled for October.

K9 Pecco joins the Coeur d'Alene Police Department

K9 Pecco joins the Coeur d'Alene Police Department

The Coeur d'Alene Police Department is proud to announce the newest member of their force – K9 Pecco!

Pecco is a three-year-old Belgium Malinois from the Netherlands. He was purchased from a breeder in Riverside, California and partnered with Officer Amy Winstead.

Previously Officer Winstead was partnered with K9 Kane who had difficulty obtaining his certification.

On August 13 Officer Winstead and Pecco graduated a 360 hour basic training school and passed the Idaho K9 Certification evaluation for tracking, evidence and patrol work. Eventually Pecco will be certified as a narcotics detection dog.