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Andrew Ottoson

Stories by Andrew

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Bulldogs finish strong

Grangeville once again leaves no doubt about where to find the best 2A football team

Last time the Bulldogs won a football championship, the title game proved a bit of an anticlimax. That championship established Grangeville’s place among the best teams in the classification — a status GHS has maintained with stout playoff performances in the years since. Only the certainty that comes with taking a title had escaped the Bulldogs. After whipping Aberdeen 42-12 last Saturday, Nov. 21, none of the 25 teams in the 2A classification can escape it: the Bulldogs are the best.

Pirates' win streak ends in Pocatello

For a few brief seconds, from the webcasters’ vantage, Prairie appeared to have struck first last Saturday, Nov. 21, at the 1AD1 state championship game. But from the officials’ vantage, Valley’s defensive line had somehow kept PHS standout Jake Bruner out of the end zone.

Pirates repeat travel plan, hope to repeat championship

Make it a double

The Pirates made it there and back again, and they’re getting ready to go there again. That turn of phrase could apply equally to two treks. One would be the yearlong trip from the 2014 state championship to this year’s title game, during which the athletes involved also won a 1AD1 basketball title. The other would be last week’s the multi-day journey from the Camas Prairie to Malta — which neighbors the Utah state line southeast of Burley — where the Pirates knocked out Raft River 44-30 last Saturday afternoon, Nov. 14.

Solid waste site sought, County Dumpsters are overloaded

Disposing of solid waste has long been one of the county’s biggest expenses, and one of its biggest headaches. For half a year, Idaho County Commissioner Mark Frei has been working on sorting out the problem, and he’s closing in on a way to reform how Grangeville-area residents get rid of recyclables, garbage, junk and debris.

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Savages find a way all the way back

A fumble return moments into the 1AD2 semifinal showdown between Lighthouse Christian and Salmon River put SRHS behind the eight-ball — but not quite literally. The Savages stuffed the conversion attempt, regrouped, and struck back — all the way back to the championship round, which they had last reached in 2013.

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Offense carries GHS to 2A title game

Last time Grangeville played for the state title, the 200-yard rusher was the name of the Bulldogs’ ground game, and the GHS passing attack played off the rhythm of Justin Robie’s bruising runs.

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Pirates hold off Oakley’s best shot

Prairie made a few mistakes against one of the 1AD1 level’s tougher squads out of southern Idaho, but before Oakley scored three return touchdowns last Friday afternoon, Nov. 6, PHS had a lead locked in on the way to a 42-22 quarterfinal victory.

Lochsa Land Exchange meeting slated Nov. 24 at GEMS

Gov. Butch Otter is set to attend a meeting about the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange later this month in Grangeville, Sen. Jim Risch's office noted among details released today. Details as to time and place weren't final when the senator announced the meeting last month, but today Risch's office confirmed it will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 24 at the GEMS gym. The meeting will include remarks by Risch, Otter, Idaho County Commissioners, and representatives from the U.S. Forest Service, Western Pacific Timber, the Nez Perce Tribe and others. Panels will include retired Forest Service chief Dale Bosworth, "Stop the Swap" organizer Ray Anderson, representatives of the Idaho Recreation Council and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and retired Palouse Ranger District ranger Blake Ballard. The agenda allows 60 minutes for comments from citizens, who will be afforded the chance to talk for two minutes apiece. Risch will accept written comments through Dec. 11.

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PHS girls net second v-ball title in a row

Best by test

The hustles and heavy hits — the signature plays Prairie’s players delivered throughout the season — continued throughout the playoffs, resulting in a second consecutive 1AD1 state title for a group Pirates fans won’t soon forget.

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Airtight defense seals Pirates’ league title repeat

Whitepine wrap-up

Concealed by a 42-26 final score, the twists and turns involved with the much-anticipated Whitepine League championship game saw Prairie overcome the toughest team the Pirates have seen so far.

Pirates paste Troy; Potlatch now stands in Prairie’s path

Whitepine League football

In light of their scores through six games — all blowouts by 30 to 60 points — it’s easy to call this Prairie team a juggernaut. Maybe too easy.

Bulldogs, Maniacs to meet at district tourney

Central Idaho League volleyball

Although the outcome of one league match remained unknown at press time, the district tournament seeds ripened last Saturday, Oct. 10, when St. Maries secured the top spot by beating both Grangeville and Orofino.

PHS locks up league title, top seed for tourney

Whitepine League volleyball

Prairie hadn’t lost to a Whitepine League foe since Troy tipped the Pirates on Sept. 23, 2014, and that streak survived the toughest week of this regular season.

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GHS hijacks CIL lead

Central Idaho League football

The big game last week was at St. Maries, and Grangeville’s Oct. 9 victory there only adds weight to this week’s homecoming game at GHS. Having struck down the Lumberjacks, the Bulldogs will host rival Orofino at 7 p.m. this Friday night, Oct. 16.

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Mustangs no match for Long Pin Conference-leading Savages

Salmon River coach Charlie Shepherd praised his offensive and defensive lines for their play against Horseshoe Bend on a night the host Savages were clearly amped up for homecoming, a night the visiting Mustangs were clearly overmatched in a 60-6 SRHS win last Friday night, Oct. 9.

Risch to hear Lochsa land swap views

In 2013, Idaho’s congressional delegation asked the Forest Service not to proceed. The Nov. 23 meeting reopens the possibility a trade could go forward through Congress, which WPT greeted as welcome news.

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Reversal on negligence ruling opens way for plaintiff claim against IFG

A 2010 helicopter crash killed two state employees and a private helicopter pilot, and a jury eventually “could conclude that the accident would not have happened” if not for negligence on the part of one of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game biologists who died in the Kamiah-area wreck five years ago.

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Genesee 60, Clearwater Valley 20: Kick coverage costs Clearwater Valley

Clearwater Valley’s strong start included an early touchdown run by Trey Pfefferkorn, which put the Rams ahead of visiting Genesee early in the first quarter last Friday night, Oct. 2.

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Parks, Kaschmitters power GHS win

2A Football

For the second week in a row, Grangeville played a non-league opponent that Central Idaho League rival Orofino had already beaten. For the second week in a row, GHS won in a blowout, with a recent 62-19 win over Asotin sending a signal to the CIL: the Bulldogs mean business.

Renovation plans by BLM for boat ramps

Oct. 11 deadline for public comments

Seven Salmon River boat ramps from Pine Bar to Shorts Bar will eventually be renovated, if a proposal the Bureau of Land Management published earlier this month goes off.

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Grangeville splits league opener, nets 10th win

CIL Volleyball

Grangeville played its busiest week of the season so far, with seven matches in as many nights. GHS split the crucial ones last Saturday, Sept. 26, at St. Maries. There, the Bulldogs opened Central Idaho League play with a win over Coeur d’Alene Charter and a loss to St. Maries.

McAdow tags cow elk, upholds promise

“Every McAdow boy, when he graduates hunters ed, gets a complete custom-built rifle to his specifications,” Tom McAdow said last week. “Mine’s a Mauser 25-06.”

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Harris erupts, Bulldogs rout Vandals

2A Football

Layton Harris had a strong performance throwing the football during Grangeville’s 48-8 win over McCall-Donnelly last Friday night, Sept. 18. With 300 yards on pass plays, which averaged 30 yards per attempt, Harris delivered four touchdown throws.

Bruner boosts Prairie over Salmon River

Jake Bruner scored every which way during Prairie’s 58-24 victory over Salmon River last Friday night, Sept. 11.

Wildfire season winds down

Selway team moves out

The worst fire season in Idaho County’s long memory will be over soon, if wet weather now moving through the area delivers. As of last Friday, Sept. 11, the National Weather Service’s Missoula-based forecasters were anticipating a tenth of an inch of rain across the fire-afflicted region, but the line of storms that arrived Monday, Sept. 14, is now expected to bring about an inch of rain to many areas.

GHS ‘got better as a team’ despite loss

For the second time this season, Grangeville drove more than an hour to the north for the chance to square off against a larger school, and for the second time this season, the Bulldogs committed too many errors to put a scare into their opponents.

Wildfire energy cut by cooler weather

Coinciding with the start of September, cooler weather and widespread rain began taking much of the energy out of the wildfires that had shown explosive growth last month.

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Wemhoff scores four TDs, lifts Pirates

Whitepine League football

If the preseason vote of Whitepine League coaches knocked Prairie off the top of the winners podium, the Pirates pushed much more forcefully for the league’s highest place with a 48-8 win over Genesee last Friday night, Sept. 4. Only one other WPL team — Troy — has a league win to its credit thus far. Meanwhile, top-voted Kamiah added a second shutout rout to its ledger — 46-0 over Pomeroy — albeit over a non-league opponent. That afternoon, Clearwater Valley won its season opener for the third straight year, crushing non-league Cascade 80-28.

Kubs smoke Oakley; most teams open this Friday

Football roundup

Chris Pethtel’s impact at end was felt immediately, as the Kamiah senior housed a 42-yard completion from quarterback Parker Whipple early in the Kubs’ 38-0 blowout of Oakley last Friday night, Aug. 28.

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Saturday blowup doubles Tepee fire size

‘It was a low roar ... you could actually hear and feel it shaking the ground’

The Tepee Springs fire claimed another 15,000 acres to a total of roughly 40,000 last Friday, and it more than doubled in size after last Saturday’s winds pushed it north of the Salmon River. The fire reportedly totaled 91,000 acres – 142 square miles – as of Sept. 1.

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Syringa still under threat of wildfire

While the Municipal Complex fires near Orofino, Greer and Reubens are said to be 85 percent contained, and while Clearwater Complex command has made definite progress against the fires in the Kamiah area, Motorway Complex command reported 28 of the 29 blazes in its charge remain uncontained at last check and Selway Complex command was still setting up its shop in Elk City.

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IMTs on station: "Absolutely unprecedented in IDL history"

According to FEMA, the Lawyer Complex was immediately threatening 650 homes in and around the community of Kamiah. Approximately 600 of the threatened homes are primary residences while others are secondary homes. The fire was also threatening a power substation, two medical clinics, an assisted living facility, two water treatment plants, a sewage treatment plant, city hall, a police station and a senior citizen center. Additionally, the fire threatens Clearwater watershed, salmon and steelhead spawning areas and the Nez Perce Reservation. Mandatory and voluntary evacuations were issued for approximately 1,200 people.

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Wilson headed to Carroll College

Next Level Athlete: Michael Wilson

With football season just around the corner, the Bulldogs have their work cut out for them — without one of the players they’ve relied on most heavily the last four years.

Suction dredgers defy EPA permit, again

Two of the three years since a federal requirement purported to close Idaho County’s major river drainages to suction dredging, Shannon Poe and the American Mining Rights Association have suction dredged in the South Fork Clearwater River. The issue veered in a stranger direction late last month, when a Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests employee gave some dredgers “notices of noncompliance,” only for the Forest Service to turn around and tell the Lewiston Tribune “it will take no further action and instead will move forward with a process that could open the river to limited mining next year.”

Wolf trapping to remain on halt in wilderness

In January 2014, in response to a lawsuit brought by EarthJustice on behalf of four other pro-wolf groups, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) abruptly pulled a wolf trapper from the wilderness. Last week, EarthJustice released a letter it received on Aug. 5, in which the U.S. Forest Service said Idaho Department of Fish and Game had informed the federal agency IDFG “does not intend to conduct any wolf control actions” in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness during the coming winter.

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Fires break out across forests; state, private lands

Monday storm sparks two dozen blazes near Kamiah

A Type II incident management team is en route to state land near the Flying B Ranch approximately three miles west of Kamiah, where Aug. 10 lightning storms caused more than two dozen fires.

Update: Type I team en route to Kamiah

A Type II incident management team is en route to Lawyers Creek Canyon approximately three miles west of Kamiah, where lightning caused more than two dozen fires in the area yesterday. Across the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, more than 100 fires have been confirmed.

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Manning Crevice Bridge replacement project may begin this fall

The Manning Crevice Bridge replacement is set to move forward, albeit a month or two later than the federal Department of Transportation’s Western Federal Lands Highway Division had indicated at a public meeting in March.

Streak snapped: Gibbons, Morales win

Walt Luman Memorial Tournament

The last time anyone other than Jason Huff and Trent Brown won the Luman, before last weekend, was all the way back in 2010. A year ago, Huff and Brown held off a late surge from Travis Gibbens and Lucio Morales to claim the de facto tournament championship with the lowest overall gross score.

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Bass to join Vandals, tackle heptathlon

Next level athlete: Kaleala Bass

The list of all the track and field state medals Kaleala Bass won during the course of four years competing in Bulldog blues begins in 2012, her freshman year, when the quartet of Sheyenne Stewart, Hannah Baker, Bass and Megan Sullivan each ran a quarter-mile of a school record 1,600-meter relay at the last meet of the season.

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Lindsley joins Boise State’s throwers

Next level athlete: Drew Lindsley

In several ways, the journey from youth to adulthood resembles the arc of the school record discus throw Drew Lindsley unleashed during the lead up to state last May.

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IDL opts for helicopter logging

Despite an injunction that has prevented the use of Forest Road 652 by log trucks, logging of a state land timber sale near Lowell now appears ready to start in time for the Idaho Department of Lands to net $500,000 to $750,000 for the state schools endowment. The Idaho Land Board last week gave approval for logs from the $2.5 million Selway Salvage timber sale to be transported off-site by helicopter, reducing the public’s profit by as much as $1.5 million compared with hauling the logs by road.

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The Grangeville city softball league season is rapidly coming to completion, with nine game nights left on the schedule before the tournament.

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Next Level Athlete: Michael Stevens

Stevens joins Corban’s track program

On the track, Michael Stevens’ first breakthrough came when Grangeville High School coach Larson Anderson pushed him out of his comfort zone.

Selway Salvage work delayed as suit under way

A federal judge has ordered work on the Selway Salvage timber sale delayed while a lawsuit goes forward. At issue is whether Forest Road 652 is open for hauling timber; from the Swiftwater Bridge, Forest Road 652 crosses private land to reach state endowment land which is near the Selway River. Last Friday, July 10, U.S. District of Idaho Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill ordered the work not to go forward. The lawsuit was filed by Idaho Rivers United (IRU) on May 19 and a footnote in one of the filings referred to its rapid progress as “a fire drill” but as of Monday, July 13, it remains unclear how long it may take to resolve.

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Recent storm sets back Camas Prairie harvest

After an early start and a quick dryout due to several 100-plus degree days earlier this month, harvest was all set to begin three weeks to a month ahead of schedule. But recent storms have set back many area winter wheat producers.

Storms douse Blue Fire but new blazes may follow lightning storm

Between Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11, the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest recorded 2,527 lightning flashes, at least 84 of which reached the ground. Amounts of recorded rainfall with these storms varied tremendously across the reporting area, from trace amounts to almost two inches over the last 48 hours.

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Border Days 2015: wrap-up

Three-day event draws family, friends for fun

Despite some high temperatures during the annual Border Days celebration, friends and family gathered at events each day, making the best of the heat.

Agencies, Idaho Rivers United file arguments in Selway suit

At stake: ‘wild and scenic’ values, $850k of salvage timber sale

A lawsuit over the use of a road near Swiftwater Bridge continued at warp speed last week, with the Forest Service, the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL), and Idaho Rivers United (IRU) all filing arguments as to whether or not the court should put a state-land timber sale on hold.

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Border Days bull rider scores 2015’s top prize

Marek’s the man

As the only Border Days bull rider with a qualified ride to his name, Grangeville's own Bo Marek cashed one heck of a check this year. His score of 77 points on the back of bilious bovine River Rock wound up being good for more than $2,200, and Marek earned every penny.