Crazy Kids in Idaho

Sagel,  ID         May 31 - June 5, 2001

Trucks lined up    -41K 1 da - view    -33k 2
chief of police   -40k 3 press conference  -39k 4
sat phones on the roof   -21k 5 phones inside the truck   -22k 6
waiting for action   -39k 7 c&r grocery store   -38K 8
tom on the phone   -35k 9 move to hospital   -28k 10

This is Sagel, Idaho about 60 miles north east of Spokane, Washington.  Picture 1 shows some of the trucks packed in to a wide spot in the road.  The official road block was about half a mile down a little dirt road that split off just behind all the trucks.  There is nothing up at the road block and no room for 6-10 satellite trucks so we all set up here.  If I turn around picture 2 shows Garfield Bay on Lake Pend Oreilla.  This view of the lake is also the view out of the doors of the truck.  Not bad for an office view for the week.  Picture 3 and 4 show the press conference with the chief of police for Sandpoint, Idaho.  This press conference was to announce that the kids had been talked out.  The story is that a week before we got here the father of this family of 6 died of diabetes or something like that.  Several days later the mother was taken into custody for child neglect.  The state officials then went to get the children ranging in age from 4 - 14 and were chased off by the kids.  Reportedly the kids did not want to leave their home and had several guns and a pack of family dogs ran off the officials.  There was then a standoff to get the kids out of the house, get them checked by a doctor, then to court to determine of the mother was able to care for them properly.  We are here for the standoff stage which lasted about 1 week.  The house is about 3 miles behind us up in very rugged forest.  Garfield Bay is a valley in the mountains and as we came over the ridge down into this side of the valley ALL cell phone service faded away.  There was enough signal to dial the phone and connect but you could not talk, even with our antenna amplifiers.  The pacsat truck was working for the NBC network and they sent in Satellite phones.  Like cell phones but these transmit directly to a satellite and work almost anywhere.  Picture 5 shows the DSS dish on the roof, 2 gray square antennas for sat phones, and the small round ball on the front of the truck is also a sat phone.  Picture 6 is the guts of the 2 sat phones and the white phone is the only hard line in the whole compound.  Being first to the scene, Tom was able to deal with the local market and secured their fax line for our use.  After the sat phones were installed we had 4 phone lines more than anyone else on site, I think.  Picture 7 is again the collection of trucks and in front of them are the live shot locations.  There were a few more trucks sprinkled about in the bay but most of us were here.  Picture 8 is the now famous C & R Grocery.  This is where we knabed the phone line from and purchased really good sandwiches for lunch.  Clyde and Rusty were very good harted about having all this excitement practically in their front yard.  Picture 9 is Tom the Seattle truck operator on the phone in his truck KU-8.  He and I were splitting up an 18-20 hour day.  After the kids were moved from the house in the woods they were taken to the Bonner County General Hospital picture 10.  The authorities would not let the press see the kids so there was not much to see here.  Our truck then ran around for a few days between the hospital, courthouse, and jail where mom was still staying.   After getting the kids out of the house the mom would not get out of jail.  She refused to sign the conditions of he bail which were mainly that she would stay in the county and not try to take the kids out of the county.  Basically she had to sign a paper that said she would not run away with the kids and she would not sign that paper so she stayed in jail.  About that time the networks tired of the story and we all left.


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