Facts that surprise and Sting

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It’s a tough one.

Sometimes a columnist gets overwhelmed with buckets of items that seem worthy of print, but are so straightforward that you can’t spend a full article writing about them.

That’s where I am now, sitting on several things I need to share — each of which can be summed up rather quickly.

So let’s take today and throw them out into the universe, eh?

FIRST OFF, an apology.

For anyone who follows this column on Twitter, or retweets items, or chats about them with other tweeters, etc...

I mentioned that today’s column would be about women — and specifically Idaho women — running for office this year.

Obviously, I’m cleaning off my desk instead. The column on women politicians will be printed on Saturday.

NEXT UP, ignoring Google and its four or five sources, what exactly is the population of Kootenai County, and how are we doing financially?

Here are some startling numbers from the Idaho Department of Labor and its regional economist for this area, Sam Wolkenhauer ...

Through 2016 (the latest figures available), the population was 154,311 and the median household income was $51,765.

Keep that number in mind, because Sam also forwarded what he considers a fairly accurate chart of living expenses compiled by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According to the MIT study, annual living expenses for a family with two children and one working parent in Kootenai County total up to $52,628.

See why both parents have jobs in so many families?

MORE EMAILS have poured in concerning last week’s column about my friend Haylie Thompson than anything I’ve received when writing about well-known public figures.

Just a guess, but I think it has to do with readers identifying more with a “normal” person pondering life’s everyday challenges than they do with politicians or other folks you see in the paper all the time.

Or maybe they love Haylie’s tattoos.

Most common question we got regarding Haylie: Is she a single mom?

Um, no, I actually wrote that she was married — her husband’s name is Fred, and the next time we run a family picture, I promise he’ll be included.

THIS ISN’T a particularly pleasant item, but the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office has not yet released any information on that incident involving a man driving into Hayden Lake.

It isn’t just the public waiting for answers, either.

Steve Griffitts, mayor of Hayden (which is responsible for the area around Honeysuckle Boat Launch), is also biting his nails.

Figuratively speaking.

“We spent quite a bit of money to make that launch area safe,” Griffitts said, “and right now there’s a lot of pressure from the community to be sure it was enough.”

FINALLY, reader Pat Collins brought up an interesting question.

Pat asked about the title of this column, and whether it might be named after the song (and album) “Brand New Day” by British legend Sting.

Much as I enjoy and admire Sting, the answer is no.

Sting’s album was released on Sept. 24, 1999, and I was already writing a column called “A Brand New Day” for the Daily Herald newspaper in Provo, Utah, at that time.

Hey, maybe Sting was reading my column when he decided ...

Oh, never mind.

• • •

Steve Cameron is a columnist for The Press.

Email: scameron@cdapress.com.

Facebook: BrandNewDayCDAPress.

Twitter: @BrandNewDayCDA

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