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Number of oil trains likely to increase

The number of oil trains moving through north Idaho is expected to increase in coming years, raising fears of a catastrophic accident.

BNSF Railway spokesman Gus Melonas says they move an average of 1.5 loaded oil trains through north Idaho each day. The trains roll through Sandpoint, Athol, Rathdrum and Hauser from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota and Montana to coastal refineries.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reported that an oil train typically has about 100 rail cars and each car holds about 29,000 gallons.

Union Pacific, the other railroad that transports commodities through the Idaho Panhandle, carries crude that is interspersed with other products. That's according to spokesman Aaron Hunt.

Melonas said the volume of oil trains coming through North Idaho is expected to increase.

N. Idaho sheriff's office drops Boy Scouts charter

N. Idaho sheriff's office drops Boy Scouts charter

A charter the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office in northern Idaho had with Boy Scout troop 911 has expired following the Boy Scouts of America opening its ranks to gay scouts.

Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger last spring said he would be compelled to drop the charter because the organization is promoting a lifestyle that's against Idaho law.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports the charter the sheriff's office had with the troop expired at the end of 2013.

Tim McCandless, CEO of Boy Scouts of America-Inland Northwest Council, says Northwest Backcountry Rescue is now chartering the troop.

He says the troop is as strong as it has ever been with 22 active scouts and 15 volunteer adults.

A dispatcher told The Associated Press on Sunday that Wolfinger was unavailable.









SWAT raids Coeur d'Alene apartment in Spokane kidnapping investigation

A kidnapping investigation in Spokane came to a head in Coeur d'Alene's Fernan neighborhood Thursday afternoon.

The investigation began at a house near the intersection of Maple and Knox in Spokane.

The SWAT team drove their vehicles right up into the driveway and used loud speakers to notify the people inside and ask them to come out.

Neighbor Travis Corneil says he heard the whole thing.

"'This is the Spokane SWAT team, we know you're in there, please come out with your hands up,' and they repeated it a few times," Corneil explained.

Afterwards police said they took several people into custody.

"Our Major Crimes investigators as well as our tactical operations detectives are doing some follow up on an alleged kidnapping," said Spokane Police Captain Brad Arleth. "That's the reason for the search warrant and, due to the nature of the allegations, that's why we used the SWAT team to make the entry on the warrant."

Right now police aren't saying when or why the kidnapping happened, or whether any weapons were involved.

N. Idaho man in custody after child injured

A northern Idaho man who police say injured his 4-month old child has been taken into custody and faces a charge of felony injury to a child.

The Spokesman-Review reports that 20-year-old Jeremiah D. Weaver of Post Falls is being held in the Kootneai County Jail on $100,000 bond.

Authorities say the child was airlifted Tuesday to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., for emergency surgery for a serious injury.

Police say they were called to a Post Falls home on Tuesday after a report of an infant having trouble breathing.

Paramedics say they discovered possible bruising on the back of the child's head.

Weaver told police he didn't harm the child.

Weaver also faces a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.











3 people sent to hospital after driving into Rimrock Road washout

3 people sent to hospital after driving into Rimrock Road washout

Three people were sent to the hospital early Thursday morning after two vehicles drove into a large washout on Rimrock Road.

Deputies with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office were called to the scene just after 3 a.m. on Rimrock Road at York Court, and found two vehicles had driven into the washout.

The sheriff's office determined a culvert under the road had failed due to heavy runoff and the road began to deteriorate. The main water line above it broke, washing out the entire width of the road. The gap is approximately ten feet across and eight feet deep.

Deputies found a Toyota Camry and Toyota Sienna had both driven into the hole. Clifton Mcmahon, 24, Melissa Ehrmantraut, 31, and Anthony Moreno, 47, were all transported to Kootenai Health for non-life threatening injuries.

Rimrock Road is closed between Lakeview Drive and Lancaster as crews repair the roadway.

The sheriff's office reports about 150 residents are currently without water. Other utilities may be affected.

Father arrested, baby airlifted to Sacred Heart with serious head trauma

Father arrested, baby airlifted to Sacred Heart with serious head trauma

A Post Falls man has been arrested and booked into the Kootenai County Jail under suspicion of injuring his four-month-old child.

On Tuesday, Post Falls police officers responded to a residence in the 1900 block of E. Coeur d'Alene Avenue for an unconscious baby that had stopped breathing. Police officers started first aid on the child. Paramedics arrived a short time later and discovered possible bruising on the back of the baby's head.

While inside the apartment, police saw drug paraphernalia and detected a strong odor of marijuana. Officers questioned the father regarding the circumstances surrounding his child being unconscious. The father denied any wrongdoing.

After an examination by physicians at Kootenai Medical Center it was determined the baby had suffered serious head trauma and was airlifted to Sacred Heart Medical Center for emergency surgery.

The father, identified by police as Jeremiah Weaver, 20, of Post Falls, was taken to the Post Falls Police Department for further questioning and was later charged with one felony count of injury to a child and another charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Prairie Road closed due to water over roadway

Prairie Road closed due to water over roadway

Authorities in Kootenai County have shut down Prairie Avenue between Atlas Road and Huetter Road due to flooding over the roadway.

According to the Post Falls Highway District, they are anticipating the road being closed until sometime Thursday.

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office is asking residents to avoid the area, use alternative routes and do not attempt to drive through standing water.