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Andrew Ottoson

Stories by Andrew

Two walk away from Tuesday afternoon plane crash near Skookumchuck

Neither of two crewmembers aboard a Cirrus SR22 was injured when the plane went down in a yard near Skookumchuck, short of the Slate Creek airfield Tuesday afternoon, July 17, according to an FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) preliminary report filed July 18. Visible at the scene was a parachute attached to the aircraft itself.

July 18, 2018 10:21 a.m. read more..

Airport revenue tops $150K three-quarters into fiscal year; new fees add $945 in the first month

New fees have been in effect at the Idaho County Airport since June 12, when the county commission approved a resolution declaring $5 per day or $50 per month due for light plane ramp and parking facilities at the airport. As of July 12, operators had paid $945 in ramp and parking fees, among total airport revenue of more than $152,000 during the current fiscal year.

July 18, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Rodeo awards $33K, Alires wins big

The mid-week date of this year’s Independence Day put Border Days organizers to a tough choice, but in the end, the rodeo — both fans and contestants — made a strong showing.

July 11, 2018 6:39 a.m. read more..

Grangeville wins Babe Ruth finale

The local youth baseball season is not quite over, as area Babe Ruth all-stars prepare for a tournament this week in Meridian. Grangeville’s 13-15 year-olds — several of whom played varsity baseball at GHS this spring — won the last local game of the summer June 29 at Clearwater Valley High School. Three rounds of tournament play concluded with a 13-3 Grangeville win over Kamiah — a final score coaches agreed did not reflect how closely the game was contested.

July 11, 2018 6:07 a.m. read more..

County receives $1.7M in PILT, puts $100K treating noxious weeds

Last week, the federal Department of the Interior (DOI) announced local governments across Idaho will receive more than $36 million out of the $553 million President Trump approved for the PILT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) program this spring. Idaho County is set to receive $1,719,685.

June 30, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Fuller wins bull riding, ranch bronc tops prizes

The most joyous outburst of the 2018 White Bird Rodeo came Saturday night from the mouth of Wyatt Fuller, who celebrated a bull riding win with a few fist-pumps and a shout in the center of the arena. He had made a sublime late-clock recovery, good for 74 points and more than $700.

June 20, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Second body found in Selway River

Two of four men missing in the Selway River since a May 21 vehicle accident have been recovered: Reece Rollins, 22, of Terrebone, Ore., and Koby J. Clark, 21 of Bozeman, Mont., and Kuna, Idaho.

June 13, 2018 7:42 p.m. read more..

Dixie Road chip seal planned to cost $1.4M

Federal funding will cover all but about $107,000 of the more than $1.4 million involved with an upcoming project for sealing cracks on the first 26 miles of the Dixie Road, under the early steps toward an agreement between the Federal Highway Administration and Idaho County which were taken last month.

June 13, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Commission approves $4,200 for effort

Alongside neighboring counties, Idaho County earlier this month agreed to put up $4,200 to study how to make the regional fiber optic network ready for emergency communications. The amount, matched by the other counties across the district, will fund discovering the locations of existing fiber optic lines and estimating the costs of building new interconnections between the region’s dispatch centers.

June 13, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Sally Ann Road reopens after culvert replaced

Storm damage repairs zoomed forward during the days following Gov. Butch Otter’s disaster declaration, which made state money available to fix Sally Ann Road culverts damaged by storm water last month. The Idaho County Road & Bridge Department reopened the road Saturday, June 2.

June 6, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Missing person searches go cold; Pankey, Selway River four still unfound

Two separate private searches for missing people continued into June in Idaho County: One following the Salmon River (Pine Bar) disappearance of Grangeville’s Shawnta LaRae Pankey last month, the other originating from the Selway River pickup crash in which six out-of-state men were caught up earlier this month. But there’s nowhere left to look but to the rivers, Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings told the Free Press May 30. “After this many days, we are making that assumption,” Giddings said. “We’re waiting for the rivers to spit them out. Someone will call us, and we’ll go get them.”

June 6, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Sally Ann Road reopening on schedule for Saturday

Storm damage repairs zoomed forward during the days following Gov. Butch Otter’s disaster declaration, which made state money available to fix Sally Ann Road culverts damaged by storm water last month. The Idaho County Road & Bridge department has been working toward reopening the road sometime Saturday, but the exact time depends on weather and construction, Idaho County disaster management coordinator Jerry Zumalt told the Free Press Friday, June 1.

June 1, 2018 10:46 a.m. read more..

Protests dinged NFL’s business barely, if at all

National Football League player protests are back in the national news, thanks to the league’s new policy requiring players to stand and “show respect for the flag” if they are on the field during pregame flag ceremonies – and thanks to the President’s prompt criticism of that policy.

May 30, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Grangeville, county property values on the rise

Earlier this month, Idaho County assessor James Zehner told the county commission the property values on which local taxes are assessed will be “slightly up” across the area his department reappraised for 2018. And the real estate market points to a surge in home sale prices. In 2017, 44 Grangeville residences sold at an average reported price of $124,027, and so far in 2018, 10 sales have been reported at an average price of $140,645.

May 30, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Congratulations 2A Baseball Runners-Up

The Grangeville baseball team placed second at the 2A state tournament last week. Pictured are from left: (back row) assistant coach Rick Stephens, Tyler Stephens, Ethan Bonn, Chase Adkison, Easton McEwen, Hunter Schoo, Trent Hunter, Kolten Key, Jack Kennedy, Braxton Miskin, Blake Schoo and Reece Wimer; (front row) Dawson McEwen, Quinn Hall, assistant coach Bob Barreiros, Gannon Garmin, head coach Lee Nadiger, Tescher Harris, Ethan Croston, Tori Ebert and Michael Woods.

May 23, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Oatman leads Kubs charge

Kamiah’s Kaleb Oatman had thrown the discus farther and farther each week since April 28, but even a new personal record might not have outdistanced the bombs barrel-chested Valley sophomore Collin Tvrdy hurled last Saturday morning, May 19.

May 23, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Grangeville takes second place in Nampa

Grangeville’s Hunter Schoo was the goat for much of last Friday afternoon, May 18 at Nampa Christian High School. But at the end of the Bulldogs’ semifinal comeback win over Malad, Schoo was Grangeville’s hero.

May 23, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Budget line overrun as men MacGregor once defended face prosecution in county

As part of a review of county spending midway through the current budget cycle, the Idaho County Commission recently had the prosecuting attorney account for a spending line that had over-topped the full-year amount the commission budgeted last summer. Commissioner Mark Frei asked prosecuting attorney Kirk MacGregor to account for the amount the county has spent on for “conflict” prosecution since the current budget year began last October.

May 16, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

State grant, federal SRS funds bankroll county’s fire mitigation

The Secure Rural Schools (SRS, a.k.a. federal forest funds) reauthorized by Congress earlier this year flows not only to highway districts and local schools. Some of it funds small forestry projects through Idaho County’s fire mitigation department. But the county’s fire mitigation arm also has put some state money to work: About $111,000 so far this year, fire mitigation manager Randy Doman told county commissioners Tuesday, May 1.

May 16, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

$152K bid at sheriff’s auction; Commissioners question SAR budget overage at meeting

The Idaho County Sheriff’s Office auction held April 28 drew bids totaling more than $152,000, according to public records – and not every big-ticket item was sold. “There were things we couldn’t sell because of the time requirements of the federal government,” Giddings told the Free Press May 7. Because state law requires money from the sale of county property to flow through the county’s general fund and be allocated by the county commissioners through the normal budget process, elected officials are moving to put their “horsetrading” over what to do with the auction proceeds in writing.

May 9, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Vacancies cloud role to allocate SRS funds

When the county receives federal Secure Rural Schools (SRS) forest funds anticipated next month, it will deal with two longstanding types of money not addressed in previous Free Press reporting on the sudden reauthorization earlier this year. These funds are known as Title II and Title III funds, and are administered differently than the bulk of the money, which flows to local schools and highway districts.

May 9, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

County seeks bids for Woodland gravel stockpile

Idaho County’s informal solicitation to supply rock for the county’s Woodland-area stockpile resulted in one bid for $138,000 last month, so the county commissioners decided Tuesday, May 1, to advertise it formally in the newspaper. The “call for bid” legal notice is in the Idaho County Free Press this week.

May 9, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Grangeville wins district

Grangeville’s second consecutive district title came on the heels of coach Lee Nadiger’s first regular season title, as the Bulldogs ran over Orofino 12-2 and blunted a last-inning rally by St. Maries to win the district title game 3-2.

May 8, 2018 3:54 p.m. read more..

Forest Service monitoring finds South Fork miners sticking to the rules

In recent years, gold miners have gone to the state capitol in large numbers to demand a sweeping rollback of state and federal Clean Water Act regulations they say impinge on small scale suction dredging operations, but a subtle change in the state’s rules for this upcoming dredging season may put to the test how many miners are willing to work the South Fork Clearwater River this summer.

May 2, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Giddings, Ada County poised to grapple over homeowners exemption

A local elected official insists she has followed the law, but an April 20 report in the Lewiston Tribune exposed a dispute between Rep. Priscilla Giddings and the Ada County Assessor’s office, in which that county may yet seek tax payment related to Giddings’ move from Garden City to White Bird ahead of her run for the District 7 House seat she won in 2016.

April 25, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Idaho County Commission backs Alt3 in USFS Hungry Ridge restoration

The Idaho County Commission’s latest letter to Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests supervisor Cheryl Probert put the board’s weight behind Alternative 3, which Hungry Ridge Restoration Project documents indicate would “maximize potential 25 percent return to Idaho County.” The Forest Service is working toward making a final decision on the project by January 2019.

April 25, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

D-3 wins Kooskia-area fire mitigation bid

The Idaho County Commissioners on April 17 approved a bid by D-3 Native Woodworks of Grangeville for fire mitigation work at a cost of $834 per acre, totaling $5,504. Work on the Tahoe Fire Mitigation Project, which consists of fuels reduction on 6.6 acres east of Kooskia, is to be complete by July 30.

April 25, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Bulldogs pound Orofino, Prairie

The fields up top were swamped last week, so Prairie and Grangeville made arrangements to meet in the river valley, where the Kubs showed off a field in spectacular condition and the Bulldogs overpowered PHS 10-0 last Friday afternoon, April 13.

April 18, 2018 8:14 a.m. read more..



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