Surprise! You owe tax money. What?!

Haven’t received your tax refund yet? There’s a chance it might not be coming. The Washington Post recently reported on several taxpayers who are being held responsible for some very old debts. Mary Grice of Maryland had her refund of nearly $3,000 taken – without notice — to pay for a supposed overpayment.

$174k congressional salary: not enough?

At $174,000 annually, our federal legislators – essentially functioning as the board of directors for the “largest economic entity in the world” — are woefully underpaid.

Election letters, yes; letter campaigns, no

While North Idaho residents fully utilize the Free Press’ editorial pages as a forum to discuss local—and national—issues and elections it is important for the editor of this page to maintain a sense of fairness and openness and to allow for as many different voices to be heard.

Local Option Tax? Let the discussion begin

Grangeville residents: Would you be in favor of adding a half-percent tax on sales within the city? What if that meant additional revenue to improve city services? Extend city pool hours? Or (just name your particular municipal project here)?

What tests don’t measure

As the season rolls around again for standardized testing in our schools, let us remember a few things. First of all, we all understand there has to be some standard of measurement so we as parents and a society can make sure our kids are indeed learning.

Easy to get a GRIP on this legislation

Yet more proposed federal legislation? Yep, and this time it’s on gun owner data collection. But there’s a couple reasons to get behind this, neither of which specifically deals with guns.

Fun with Bing maps: Find places you never knew about

... and that don’t exist in Grangeville

Have you been to Annie’s Saloon in Grangeville? Whatcha mean there’s no such place? It’s on Bing maps, and the Internet is not wrong; Wikipedia says so. If you have a little downtime for some Internet surfing, bring up the Bing map of your community. In a geeky sort of way, there’s some fun to be had, such as finding where you live. Or you can try to guess the time of year, even the month, the aerial shot was taken (hint: That looks like the fireworks stand in Asker’s Harvest Foods parking lot).

County government deserving of your time, talents

You like Idaho County, right? For the most part, that’s why you live here, work here, play here. So, do you think all that you enjoy about North Central Idaho happens for free? Well, apart from God’s nice touches on our mountains, rivers and prairie … nope. Someone (a whole lot of someones actually) has to work to make things happen or keep them from happening.

Tease photo

GHS lockdown: Reaction, aftermath appropriate

Two weeks ago, Grangeville High School underwent a lockdown due to a report of a person on campus with a firearm. In due course, this was determined unfounded, and life went on. In reflection: Was this an overreaction? Was it unnecessary? Even in pro-gun Idaho County, the reality today – as unfortunately demonstrated in past incidents nationwide — argues “not at all.” In fact, response by both the Mt. View School District 244 and local law enforcement showed a proper response that followed procedure and focused on quick response and safety.

Keep higher speeds limited to interstates

Many of us push the limit (and maybe a little past?) of regulated speeds on our roads and highways, but we may want to be questioning a little deeper a proposed Idaho Senate bill that would — in certain circumstances — allow for increased speeds.

Minimum wage increase: Mixed bag of emotions, questions

Although I have mixed feelings about increasing the Idaho minimum wage, the final thought process for me might come down to social justice issue of the heart rather than a fully logical one of the head.

‘Essential Benefits ’ will help state residents stay healthy, control costs

As a registered nurse and advocate for effective health policy, I’m excited that Idahoans have new resources available through the state insurance exchange to improve their health and control health care costs. Idahoans now have access to insurance benefits that they may not have had before.

State run a consuming job; Comm. Chmelik should resign

So the Idaho County Commission isn’t a big enough stage for Jim Chmelik? The District III commissioner’s decision to make a run for Idaho’s lieutenant governor shouldn’t be a surprise to those who voted the Cottonwood Republican into office, but they have all the right to be dismayed. His views have had generous access to this page, even allowing for the rhetoric to continue after his submissions went well beyond the well-being of Idaho County, an obvious attempt to build name recognition to Republicans statewide.

Tease photo

Remember the victims: Robert and Cheryl

Procedural error or not, the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole made the correct decision last week when it overturned an earlier decision to parole murderer Bryan Lankford in 2018.

Teens and texting while driving: not what you expect

It’s those teenagers and their gadgets, texting and talking on the phone while driving, that is the problem. Public perception on this hazard is such that there has been support to legislate prohibitions on this activity for novice drivers ages 18 and younger.