The Associated Press TWIN FALLS, Idaho — A south-central Idaho man has been convicted of shooting at a crop-duster. The Times-News reports that a jury on Thursday found 42-year-old Christopher V. Lewis, of Filer, guilty of felony discharging a firearm at an aircraft. Prosecutors say the pilot told police he saw someone wielding a shotgun below…More
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The Associated Press BOISE, Idaho — The head of Idaho’s liquor division says state liquor stores had about $10 million in additional sales from Washington customers last year. The Spokesman-Review newspaper reports Jeff Anderson told lawmakers that the bump was not so much because the stores sold more bottles statewide, but because northern Idaho stores saw an…More
Some unusual crimes making headlines around the Northwest this morning. In Fairbanks, Alaska, two men were captured on video breaking into a smoke shop sometime between late Monday night and early Tuesday morning and stealing $1,000 worth of chewing tobacco. Police say the burglars took 40 rolls of chewing tobacco and several class marijuana pipes. Talk about big dippers. Meanwhile, in…More
JOHN MILLER Associated Press BOISE, Idaho — A federal judge allowed a wolf derby to proceed on public land in Idaho, ruling its organizers aren’t required to get a special permit from the U.S. Forest Service. U.S. District Magistrate Judge Candy Wagahoff Dale issued the ruling Friday, hours after a morning hearing. WildEarth Guardians and other environmental groups had…More
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Humane Society is offering $5,000 in reward money, hoping somebody turns in the perpetrators behind animal cruelty cases in southwestern Idaho. In one, mallard ducks in Meridian were hit this month by darts from what was apparently a blowgun. Though the ducks didn’t die immediately, they may not survive if they’re…More
POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — A grievance panel has concluded that the former Pocatello High School girls’ basketball coach should get her job back after she was fired over a photograph posted on her Facebook page that showed another district employee touching her chest. The other employee is Laraine Cook’s fiance, who coaches the high school’s football…More
By Shawn Vestal
The Spokesman Review / MCT
MOSCOW, Idaho — Malcolm Renfrew didn’t invent Teflon.
But one of the fascinating developments of Renfrew’s fascinating life was that he frequently had to correct people who said he did. It was Renfrew — a son of Spokane who went on to a long, distinguished association with the University of Idaho — who introduced the stuff to the world and who oversaw the team that developed uses for the miracle plastic to which nothing would stick.
Over the past half-century, Teflon has found its way into everything from medical to military applications, but its most famous use — apart from its metaphorical perfection for describing slippery people — is the nonstick frying pan.
“We knew it would be an important chemical,” he once said of Teflon, “although it was not easy to fabricate. The frying pan thing. … I would never have imagined that.”
Renfrew died Saturday in his Moscow home. It was his 103rd birthday. His influence lingers all over the University of Idaho campus — from Renfrew Hall, to the Renfrew lecture series, to the Renfrew fellowship endowment. He helped create the university’s chemistry department and guided decades of scientists through their educations. He painted watercolors of Palouse scenes and played trombone in the Vandal Boosters Non-Marching Pep Band. Two years ago, his birthday was declared Malcolm Renfrew Day in Idaho.
Still, it was his role as a DuPont chemist developing Teflon in the 1930s and ’40s that became his obituary headline.
Renfrew presented the first paper on the substance — titled “Polytetrafluorethylene: heat-resistant, chemically inert plastic” — at a meeting of the American Chemistry Society in Atlantic City, N.J., in 1946; the story was picked up by wire services and ran in newspapers around the country.
“PLASTIC DEFIES HEAT AND ACIDS” read a small headline in The Spokesman-Review at the time. The article quoted Renfrew as saying, “No substance has been found which will dissolve or even swell” the plastic.
Renfrew gave a more colorful account of the speech and surrounding events, including some shenanigans with “barfly newsmen,” in an interview he gave in 1987 to the Chemical Heritage Foundation.More
NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — A microchip and a volunteer effort to neuter stray cats in Nampa helped reunite a Middleton woman with a cat that ran away during a storm in February 2011. Laura Foster had given Dalo up for dead after searching him for weeks. But on Sunday, her cat was home and Foster was crying…More
A 10-year-old south-central Idaho girl suffered a head wound during a weekend hunting accident. Cedar Glaesemann of the Jackson area was accidentally shot after she fell Sunday morning while carrying a .410 shotgun, The Times-News reports. The girl was dove hunting with her brother, father and grandfather, Cassia County officials said. The girl was taken to…More
BURLEY, Idaho (AP) — Officials in Cassia County say a 10-year-old Burley girl was accidentally shot Sunday during a family hunting trip in south-central Idaho. Details of the incident weren’t released, bu the Cassia County sheriff’s office said the family called 911 about 10 a.m. Sunday to report the shooting. The girl was taken by ambulance to…More