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Sandpoint Idaho News

Get Sandpoint and northern Idaho news and information from our town’s leading sources. Featuring news links from the Sandpoint Reader, other media and the Sandpoint Online Newsroom. Check the archives of Sandpoint Magazine, read features from local columnists, and more.

Sandpoint News Headlines
Current news from local and regional media, including the Sandpoint Reader, Spokesman-Review and the Sandpoint Online Newsroom


March 27
Bonners Ferry found on ISIS 'hit list' 
 Border town only terror target in Idaho

Hecla to buy Revett Mining in stock deal 
 Plans to pursue Rock Creek mine permits

Lawmakers vote against instant racing 
 Otter's signature would make it law July 1

Gonzaga women bring Sweet 16 home 
 Will meet No. 2 Tennessee in Spokane


March 26
This week's Reader, digital flip-page edition:

  • Summer camps: Where to send your kids
  • Sandpoint trails: Community hikes to remember
  • Marshall McLean Band to rock the Panida
Schweitzer season to end Sunday 
 Resort struggled with lack of snow

BCSO hit with $6 million tort claim 
 McAuliffe alleges he was unjustly fired

Idaho bill introduces big tax changes 
 Would affect groceries, gas, more

4-day-a-week school schedule on rise 
 But do Idaho districts save money?

Idaho incomes increase in 2014 
 Average wage rises to $19.12/hour


March 25
County backs wilderness designation 
 Kelly: Scotchman is 'exception to rule'

Government ethics report: D- for Idaho 
 One of 8 states without oversight agency

Report confirms disastrous Schoolnet 
 $61 million spent on system is gone

Creationist museum at home in Idaho 
 Board envisions building full-sized ark


March 24
Court: Revisit Caribou habitat 
 Action in response to coalition's lawsuit

Idaho schools report on new contracts 
 Broadband costs likely to be lower

Prison ordered in felony assault case 
 Gillock nearly shot by sheriff's deputies

Police: Idaho family behind brawl 
 One dead in Arizona Walmart attack


March 23
Food For Our Children tackles hunger 
 Pence helps found new non-profit

Sales tax eyed for Memorial Field fix 
 Funds would replace aging grandstands

Avista explains need for rate hike 
 Higher costs, static customer base


March 19
This week's Reader, digital flip-page edition:

  • Public art in Sandpoint
  • Cab Column: The Culinary Underbelly of Sandpoint
  • Sandpoint Waldorf School
Hikers find jawbone on lake bed 
 Bones appear to be decades old

Report: Idaho middle class withering 
 Median income has dropped by $5k

House to hear salamander bill 
 Proposed by Idaho eighth-grader

Is region facing a bug-filled summer? 
 Bees, mosquitos, ticks - get ready!


March 18
Proposed mine targeted in petition 
 Seeks new look at Rock Creek impacts

Sandpoint contacts group about statue 
 10 Commandments display still in park

Thorne receives manufacturing award 
 Certification verifies facility practices

Idaho official to resign amid scandal 
 Broadband contract raised questions


March 17
Search for bank robber continues 
 Ponderay Police sifting through leads

Bayview human remains identified 
 Belonged to Coeur d'Alene man

2,000 geese found dead in Idaho 
 Symptoms indicate avian cholera

Rains put end to regional burn ban 
 Grass, wildland fires during dry spell


March 16
Sandpoint officer earns CIT honors 
 Aerni responded to local bridge call

Participants set for regional Bee 
 Spelling event to take place at NIC

Grant preserves wildlife habitat 
 750 acres along Kootenai River


March 13
Troy mine bond concerns alliance 
 Further negotiations are pending

IEN vendors threaten lawsuits 
 File tort claims against Idaho

Idaho employment hits 20-year high 
 Unemployment at 4.1% in January


March 12
This week's Reader, digital flip-page edition:

  • Living hungry in Bonner County
  • A nuclear India?
  • Single in Sandpoint is back!
P&Z approves Blanchard waste site 
 Will be ready for use this summer

Group aims for local YMCA facility 
 SPARC becomes official extension

New teacher pay bill in the works 
 Likely to lengthen legislative session

Snowpack suffering from warm temps 
 About 47 percent of normal in N. Idaho

Suspects sought in 'heinous' crime 
 Triple homicide inside Boise-area home


March 11
LPOSD voters approve levy 
 70 percent in favor of funding

Garfield Bay breakwater removed 
 Replacement could cost $500k

Lawmakers renew wolf-kill funds 
 Idaho will spend another $400k


March 10
Careywood post office faces closure 
 Petition drive launched to keep it open

Broadband prices fall for schools 
 Paying less without IEN contract

Lawmakers propose civics test 
 Targets high school students


March 9
LPOSD talks dollars, taxes, schools 
 Woodward: Cuts coming despite levy

Legislators eye 'career ladder' bill 
 Would phase in teacher pay increases

Northwest residents among top pollutors 
 Wood burning is popular in our region


March 6
Businesses hit in 'Avista scam' 
 Receiving threats to disconnect power

Religious leaders call for apology 
 Senator's comments on Hinduism raise ire

Andrus, Batt fight nuclear waste plan 
 Threaten lawsuit over deal to store rods

NIC student says director paid her 
 Claims Bekken gave financial aid for photos


March 5
This week's Reader, digital flip-page edition:

  • When the (school) levy breaks
  • Taxi Time Travel
  • 'Greenability' of older homes
F&G suspends Wolf People's license 
 State alleges agreement was violated

Home sales steady in Sandpoint 
 Large jump noted in 'average price'

City chastised over parking fines 
 Businessman: 'What is going on here?'

Why Idaho kids don't go to college 
 And what that means for Gem State


March 4
Ponderay moves toward impact fees 
 Adopts study calling for assessment

Driver to serve 210 days for fatal crash 
 Woman killed in Highway 2 collision

RR to close Eastgate mall access 
 Study: Highway traffic to improve

Idaho ends shutoff notification rule 
 Utilities no longer required to pay visit


March 3
Sandpoint nabs retirement kudos 
 Website ranks town best in Idaho

Senators leave during Hindu prayer 
 7 remain outside Idaho chamber

Idaho gas prices 2nd lowest in U.S. 
 Average price per gallon is $1.95


March 2
Wheeler backs Constitutional Carry law 
 Allows concealed weapons without permit

Outdoor Gourmet rides growth trend 
 Local company now employs 42

Plan to boost teacher pay revealed 
 Comes with $30 million price tag

Flowering rush treatment tested 
 Dry-ground herbicide shows promise

Avista's CEO paid $5.5 million in '14 
 Made 90 percent more than prior year


February 26
LPOSD levy draws questions, support 
 Is levy amount 7th highest in state?

New Inspector General post considered 
 Lawmakers agree to study proposal

Bulldogs lose in championship game 
 SHS boys fall 38-29 to Lakeland


February 25
F&G easing up on lake trout netting 
 Scaling back season by 5 weeks

Sandpoint's Lignetics announces merger 
 Creates largest pellet fuel producer in U.S.

Avista sees 73% increase in earnings 
 Largely due to sale of energy subsidiary

Elk herds rebound in North Idaho 
 Improvement in St. Joe River area


February 24
Sandpoint boys to play for title 
 Heading for championship game

Rural retreat hearing to resume 
 Plan would add 25 cabins, lodge

Water cooldown studied for trout 
 IF&G: Priest River too warm

The big question ... is winter over? 
 Snow may return after mild February


February 23
Claim alleges gender bias at BCSO 
 Ex-records clerk seeks damages

Idaho's federal road funding drops 
 Lawmakers mull gas tax increase

SHS girls basketball nab third 
 First state trophy since 2003

Plan would protect grouse habitat 
 Aim to avoid endangered listing


February20
Funding of railroad quiet zones explored
Zones would require warning devices

Scholarship scheme getting full review
NIC administrator fired, charge with felonies

Rep. Scott kicks up ruckus in Boise
Would end tax credit for education groups


February 19
LPOSD scrambling to secure services 
 Internet providers threaten shutdown

County rejects Sagle asphalt plant 
 Interstate requested zoning change

Human remains belong to adult man 
 Discovered by hiker near Bayview

Idaho-made films screen at festival 
 Documentary filmed at Priest Lake


February 18
Quest: Acquisition was 'next step' 
 Headquarters to remain in Sandpoint

Author recalls Sandpoint childhood 
 Robinson: 'Privilege' to live here

Idaho pulls broadband network 
 Emergency funds OK'd for schools


February 17
Japanese company buys Quest 
 Will continue to build in Sandpoint

Schweitzer fires up snowmaking 
 Cold temps improve conditions

Panhandle lags in snowpack totals 
 Area has 50-60 percent of median

Sandpoint's Kochava keeps growing 
 Tech company tracks smartphone ads

Slopes & cinema: Local returns to Idaho 
 Sorenson carves out niche in ski movies


February 16
Disaster declared on Gypsy Bay Road 
 County: Culvert failure led to erosion

ITD: Idaho relying more on feds 
 Ness talks budget with legislators

Developer loses eminent domain fight 
 Sought money for land near Athol


February 14
Alternatives sought for school meals 
 Hot food program dropped in Clark Fork

DEQ monitors Cd'A Lake's water quality 
 Dropping oxygen levels raise concerns

Idaho bill would repeal law regarding duels 
 Outdated law goes back to 1864

Idaho Senate panel studies guns bill 
 Would expand concealed weapons rights


February 13
Cold lunch sympton of broader challenges 
 Program deficit leaves Clark Fork in the cold

Idaho Supreme Court rules in favor of state 
 Orders developer to pay attorney's fees

Rare warm streak puts waters near crest 
 Sheriff's office warns backcountry travelers

Bill would ease way for food court 
 Keough introduces wine/beer measure


February 12
Change coming to downtown streets 
 Measure paves way for two-way traffic

Deer are still a problem at airport 
 Variety of methods aren't working

Oil cars found leaking along route 
 Train traversed Idaho, Washington


February 11
Levy voting moved out of schools 
 County opts for neutral locations

Hot lunches cut in Clark Fork 
 LPOSD says cost was too high

Sludgy slopes reported in region 
 Schweitzer on limited operations


February 10
City, ITD to discuss street plan 
 Targets highway reconfiguration

Mid-winter thaw exposes messes 
 Dog poop a concern on POB Trail

Report: AG office underutilized 
 Idaho could save $10m annually


February 9
Idaho on track for record liquor sales 
 Sees increase in cross-border buyers

SHS club sponsors water project 
 Helping construct well in Ecuador

Idaho mumps outbreak spreads 
 State has 21 confirmed cases


February 6
This week's Reader, digital flip-page edition:

  • Solar freakin' roadways
  • Destination: Nelson, B.C.
  • Is Idaho falling behind?
Milky rain falls across region
Creates mystery as temps hit record high
Bill to cap 'instant racing' proposed
Would limit venues to three locations
Council mulls hiring city manager
Grimm's departure prompts discussion


Link up to local bloggers:

Alternative Horsemanship. Philosophies, training theories and humor with Samantha Harvey.
A Real Estate Guide by Lauren Adair. Agent covers the art of staging, renting vs. owning, real estate trends, more.
As The Lake Churns. About Priest Lake, the land, people and happenings.
Brian's Bike Buzz. He rides bikes, dreams about bikes, and blogs about biking in Sandpoint and afield.
Chamber Chatter. Sandpoint chamber keeps readers in the know on Chamber and business happenings.
Eye on Boise. Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
From a Simple Mind. Local great-grandma tosses loose thoughts.
Hike North Idaho. Love to read about, and share, stories of hiking in North Idaho? Then this adventure blog's for you!
Huckleberries. Spokesman-Review's David Oliveria puts his finger on pulse of current regional news and happenings.
Hyperbole and a Half. With 550k Facebook likes and 140k Twitter followers (at last count), Sandpoint homegirl Allie Brosh has gone viral.
I Love. I Live. I Ride. Sandpoint's Danielle lives on a 5th generation family ranch, but still has time to blog!
Keokee Blog. Marketing group offer a window into the company’s work, trends, tips and more.
Lake Pend Oreille School District. What's happening in our local schools? Follow LPOSD Superintendent Shawn Woodward's weekly blog.
Lublyou. Katie and Ben post snapshots from Sandpoint and the area, as well as mouthwatering food photos.
Mountain Architect. John Hendricks blogs on projects, trends and more.
North Idaho Dog Fun. A resource for "all things dog" in North Idaho.
Sandpoint Wellness Council. Alternative practitioners blog on natural health care.
Schweitzer Originals. Blog editor Marianne Love's first-hand accounts from folks who know and love the mountain.
Skookum Photography. Ralph Bartholdt's award-winning writing and snapshots of eclectic personalities.
Slight Detour. Sandpoint native and former SHS English teacher Marianne Love writes daily about life around here.
Sparkling Vintage Life. Jennifer Lamont Leo on preserving the past, and “grace notes” for 21st century life.
Writing North Idaho. A web retreat for writers in the North Idaho Panhandle.




Get an eyeful of Sandpoint at this photo diary, updated a few times weekly. If you're a shutterbug, enter your own shots for fame and prizes. Click to see the digital album.



If you like Sandpoint, you’ll love Sandpoint Magazine. This color glossy magazine has been published twice a year since 1990. Read the current issue and check the Sandpoint Magazine archive – more than 100 stories online.



Ben Stein: The American Spectator
Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist and lawyer who lives in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Sandpoint. He writes "Ben Stein's Diary" for every issue of The American Spectator - and often writes about Sandpoint! Check out his webpage for links to his essays.

Ben Stein: The American Spectator

Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist and lawyer who lives in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Sandpoint. He writes "Ben Stein's Diary" for every issue of The American Spectator - and often writes about Sandpoint. View his webpage for links to his essays at Spectator.org; here's a sample of Sandpoint mentions in his essays:
- Sandpoint When It Shimmers, 7.8.14
- Goodbye to Sandpoint, 9.18.12
- Far Away From the Panic, 8.10.11

Schweitzer big on powder, light on parties
Seattle Times writer reviews Schweitzer Mountain Resort in a story picked up by the Idaho Statesman Nov. 24, 2014: "On a midweek, balmy spring day with no lift lines and still decent snow, I swooped down the empty slopes and paused to revel in the views. It was a taste of skier heaven." See the full story, "Schweitzer ski resort: Big on powder, light on parties."

Setting is 'second to none'
Writer extols the many virtues of our region in Travel Destination: Scenic Sandpoint in The Columbus Dispatch on June 22, 2014. "The forte of the town, whose oldest buildings date only to the early 20th century, lies not in its architecture but in its natural beauty."

Picture-Perfect Mountain Town
Sandpoint was rated as one of "10 Picture-Perfect Mountain Towns" by USA Today on Nov. 28, 2013. "... This little township is a vibrant, happening haven in the wilds of northern Idaho."

Idaho's Hippest Mountain Town
Sandpoint's a ski town that's also "urbane and cultured" says a November 2013 story, "Idaho's HippestMountain Town" in Men's Journal. "As tempted as you'll be to linger in town, the majestic Selkirk Mountains ... exert a gravitational pull."

Sandpoint's an American eCity
Seems there are both brains and beauty around here: Sandpoint was named the 2013 Idaho eCity, an award by Google to recognize the strongest online business community in each state.

We've got 'famed tree skiing'
Sandpoint ranks as one of the "Top 10 Emerging Ski Towns" according to National Geographic Adventure ... "for those seeking the famed tree skiing of the Selkirks without the trip to Canada."

Schweitzer one of '10 Best Mountains You've Never Skied'
Ski Magazine touts Schweitzer as one of the '10 Best Mountains You've Never Skied' in its November 2012 issue. Tons of snow, awesome terrain, no crowds and cold beer rate northern Idaho ski resort on enviable list.

Sandpoint a lakeside destination
The Missoulian highlights Sandpoint as a lakeside destination in light of Rand McNally's 'Best of the Road' Most Beautiful Small Town award bestowed on our little mountain-and-lake berg, in a July 24, 2012, feature story.

Schweitzer is 'Sandpoint's secret'
Bellingham Herald says Schweitzer Mountain Resort is a 'Sandpoint secret,' and has something for everybody in a March 11, 2012, article.

Sandpoint a 'prettiest winter town'
Travel & Leisure magazine ranks Sandpoint among the nation's dozen "prettiest winter towns" in a March 2, 2012, feature.

Schweitzer an 'underrated' resort
CNN/Travel in a Feb. 24, 2012, feature lists Schweitzer Mountain Resort as one of 7 Underrated Ski Resorts, noting that it's unlikely you'll wait more than five minutes in the lift line.

A 'Best Old House Town'
Our town's many vintage residential homes caught the eye of This Old House, which in February 2012 named Sandpoint a "Best Old House Neighborhood 2012." Read about it at This Old House.

'No. 1 Ski Town in USA'
That's what Rand McNally called Sandpoint when it named the country's "Top Seven Ski Towns" in a January 17, 2012, roundup of the best mountain towns. Sandpoint won the top rating over the likes of Lake Tahoe, Park City, Mammoth and Jackson. Go read the Rand McNally story.

'Most Beautiful Town in USA'
So say USA Today and Rand McNally, which sent traveling teams to towns around the nation to determine the five best small towns in America. Sandpoint grabbed "Most Beautiful Town" honors from among an initial 600+ nominees. Read the Best of the Road page.

A memorable travel destination
Canadian lifestyle website SweetMama.com ranks Sandpoint as one of its 15 Destinations for Memorable Family Travel in a June 13, 2011, posting.

Under the radar ski town
Sandpoint's small-town charm and great skiing win it accolades as "most under the radar ski town" in Sunset Magazine's "Top 10 Best Ski Destinations in the West."

We're a railroading attraction
Sandpoint's famous as "The Funnel" for railroads in the northern tier states, as USA Today writes in its Aug. 4, 2010, story "Idaho town draws railfans from around world."

Who says you can't have it all?
Sandpoint's a good destination for second home buyers, says USA Today in its April 16, 2010, story, "Having it all in Sandpoint."

Add to your winter bucket list
"Sandpoint, Idaho, may not be on your winter bucket list -- but it should be," says Big Sky Journal in its December 2009 article "Sandpoint Winter Carnival provides perfect haven."

Leading the transition movement
New York Times writes in-depth article on the Sandpoint Transition Initiative in its story "The End is Near! (Yay!)" (registration required) published in April 2009.

An abundance of trout
Fly Rod + Reel named Sandpoint a Top 10 Trout Town in March 2009.

A 'Top 10 Dream Town'
Sunset Magazine calls Sandpoint a "four-season outdoorsy resort that's also a real town with a strong community spirit." Click to see the September 2008 Top 10 Dream Towns list.

We're a 'market to watch'
Mountain Living Magazine says Sandpoint is one of 5 "mountain markets to watch." Click to see its September 2008 market appraisal, What Market Slump? (pdf format)

An 'idyllic adventure haven'
National Geographic Adventure Magazine touts the local character of "quietSandpoint," while newcomers rave about the town's strong sense of community. Click to read theAugust 2008story Idaho's Last Stand.

Now we're top 10 for retirement
U.S. News & World Report names Sandpoint one of the nation's top 10 retirement spots "that offer delightful surroundings and amenities but still are easy on the wallet." Click to read the June 3, 2007, cover story, or check the Sandpoint profile titled "Lakeside living that's far from the crowds."

A top-15 travel destination
"I was smitten with this lakefront town from the moment I saw it," says USA Today travel writer Laura Bly in naming Sandpoint a top U.S. destination. Read the entire May 25, 2007, story: Summer Vacations: 15 unforgettable trips.

We've got the goods in fall
The New York Times features Sandpoint and Lake Pend Oreille in a guide for "leaf lovers" published Oct. 6, 2006.Click to readthe full story: Fall Foliage; Bright Leaves, Big Country.

Click for more National Press



Be an informed voter. The Election Central page provides a voter’s handbook for upcoming elections, with links to information about the candidates and issues voters will see on the ballot come election day.



Sand Creek Byway

Despite years of controversy and legal action against the proposed Highway 95 bypass around Sandpoint, the Sand Creek Byway construction commenced in 2008 and was finished and opened to the public July 27, 2012. 
Resource links:
ITD Sand Creek Bypass Weekly updates
Aerial Photos Photographer Jerry Luther captures monthly snapshots of progress on the Sand Creek Bypass; photos are posted on CallJerry.biz/SandCreek 

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