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Andrew Ottoson

Stories by Andrew

Wildfire at 9,800 acres

The Johnson Bar Fire on the Moose Creek Ranger District has grown along its southeastern and northwestern flanks, where a Sept. 12 heat map showed fire activity increasing in conjunction with warmer weather last week. Firefighters surged into the area late last month, and as of Sept. 15, the fire had not crossed any of the lines built in August.

$3.3M airport work dominates FY15

Commission approves $18 million budget; property tax rate unchanged

As part of a 19 percent bigger budget for fiscal 2014, which the Idaho County board proposed last month and approved last Tuesday, Sept. 2, the county commissioners tabbed $3.3 million for a major airport renovation during the upcoming fiscal year. The money will fund a new runway at the airport in Grangeville, where the county anticipates construction as early as the end of summer, 2015.

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Prairie proves power: Pirates declare Whitepine League dominance

Prairie’s season opener featured a matchup of two of the Whitepine League’s elite teams — a rematch between teams whose places in the WPL pecking order were determined by a back-and-forth 96-point shootout last September in Cottonwood.

Football Roundup: Rams rumble past Cascade

The Whitepine League standings include just two league games so far, with reigning WPL champion Troy and chief contender Prairie still undefeated after Week 1.

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Moscow Mauled: Bulldogs dominate second half

Less than a minute into the Bulldogs’ 2014 opener, defensive back Michael Wilson — Grangeville’s most experienced varsity player — picked off Moscow’s third down pass attempt and returned it 10 yards to the Bears 12. Two minutes later, Jack Lawrence — a junior running back and linebacker making his first varsity start — showed off his speed with a touchdown run around the left side of the formation.

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Softball Showdown

Kooskia Krush won the 2014 Grangeville Co-Ed Softball League championship last Wednesday night, Aug. 27, at Lions Park, by claiming a 15-9 win over runners-up Brew Crew.

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Flamingo Fun Run: Lutz’s idea raises money, awareness of SMA battle

Two years ago, Harvard researchers found a link between two motor neuron diseases: Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) — and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which threatens the life of tiny Oakley Smith.

Tribe ‘surprised’ at tone of county’s letter

The Nez Perce Tribe was “surprised at the tone and unusual nature of the letter” it received from the Idaho County Commission last month; that’s how Nez Perce Tribe chairman Silas Whitman put it in a reply the county received from the tribe on Aug. 12.

Wildfire update: 3,051 acres torched near Syringa

A fire first reported Aug. 3 on federal ground about one mile southwest of the Johnson Bar Campground took four days to grow to 400 acres, running down into both the Goddard Creek and Elk City Creek drainages; last Friday, Aug. 8, it sprinted south, jumped Goddard Creek and expanded by almost 800 acres.

While rates rose, county gave garbage service away

“It was our mistake, not the tribe’s,” Idaho County Commission chairman James Rockwell said last Monday, Aug. 11, of 28 years of garbage fees the board failed to collect...

Boom harvest year for timber sales on IDL lands: County sales: 18MBF valued at $3.8 million

Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) booked a boom year in fiscal 2014, which ended June 30: 347 million board feet valued at more than $72 million was harvested on endowment trust lands the agency manages.

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Highrange blaze near White Bird 1,250 acres

Ominous clouds move through the area every August, but last weekend an especially cruel twist of lightning struck fire into an area stoutly defended by a local fire crew just three weeks ago. Though the Pittsburg Fire eventually swelled to 8,000 acres, an interagency command credited a Salmon River Ranger District crew’s initial attack with stopping the fire’s advance below Highrange Ridge.

Lochsa land swap stagnates WPT to subdivide, sell 80 acres

About a mile and a half east of the Lochsa Lodge, Western Pacific Timber has a “for sale” sign and about 80 acres up for subdivision and developed. Located near Forest Service Road 111, the land is a tiny portion of the company’s holdings in that area, but the sale would be enough, in WPT attorney Andy Hawes’ words, “to keep the lights on.”

County to tribe: pay your garbage bill

In May, the Idaho County Commission discovered a mountain of uncollected garbage bills which have been piling up since 1987 on account of a flaw in the county’s billing system. Last Thursday, July 24, board chairman James Rockwell sent the Nez Perce Tribe a letter requesting payment of more than $327,000 and asking the tribe to budget more than $19,000 per year to cover garbage collection on tribe-owned property in Idaho County.

Pittsburg Fire update: Crews holding at 8,000 acres

When lightning struck a few miles north of Pittsburg Landing 10 days ago, it hit a sore spot for locals who lost property when fire surged over Pittsburg Saddle seven years ago. That fire – the Poe Cabin Fire – claimed more than 58,000 acres and no fewer than two residences as well as much private timber and stored hay.

Bridge project funds locked in; work starts 2015

Funding has been locked in and a Boise-based contractor will be carrying out the nitty-gritty details of engineering a replacement for the aging Manning Crevice Bridge, with planners pushing back the anticipated start of construction to late next summer.

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Dredging in protest: Miners find ‘pay streak’ on the South Fork Clearwater; defy EPA

West of old Golden, the South Fork Clearwater River bent around the feet of mountains.

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Border Days 2014: Eggs, parades and rodeos – Oh, my!

Hot weather, good food, friends and family – it must have been Border Days.

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Labrador: county shooting range in the works

Congressional Rep. Raul Labrador today, July 9, is introducing legislation to set up a permanent county-operated shooting range on about 31 acres north of Time Zone Bridge.

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Timely rain keeps region’s crops on track

Boosted by this spring’s rain, area crops are on track – and many are in excellent shape, according to University of Idaho’s Lewis County ag extension agent Ken Hart. Winter wheat crops are doing “about average,” Hart said Tuesday, July 1.

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GHS football camp: Airing it out in Boise

Bulldogs make their annual passing camp another big hit

The Grangeville High School football squad took to the famous blue turf at Boise State University for the football camp the Bulldogs have attended annually under head coach Jeff Lindsley.

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Trail Retrace: Rider takes on Nez Perce historic route a second time

Twenty years ago, Hetty Dutra ventured out on the proverbial thousand-mile journey from Wallowa Lake, Ore. to the Bear Paw Mountains in Montana. This year, she is once again tracing the path taken by the non-treaty Nez Perce during the war, which broke out in White Bird during June 1877.

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25th White Bird Rodeo: Stock steals the show

Superior. That’s one word for the rough stock that ran the cowboys ragged at the 25th Annual White Bird Rodeo held last Friday and Saturday, June 13-14.

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‘Try something you never thought you would be interested in...’

Achievements boost PHS’s Cochran, co-valedictorian, to West Point post

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Helmets In The Haystack

River runners steered a wide variety of watercraft around and sometimes through the “Haystack Wave” in the Lake Creek Rapids east of Riggins during the Big Water Blowout last Saturday, June 7.

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White Bird Rodeo’s silver anniversary: Neal recounts rodeo’s 25-year history

It’s one of history’s secrets: The first time anyone ambitious enough to pursue such a bold idea thought to hold a rodeo here.

At-risk acres to receive treatment

Federal planners may soon be more able to deliver on the old vision of conservation the first national forester, Gifford Pinchot, wrote of during the Forest Service’s early days: “where conflicting interests must be reconciled the question will always be decided from the standpoint of the greatest good of the greatest number in the long run.”

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Track & Field: SOLO GOLD: Five win titles

Bass, medley lift Grangeville girls; Lindsley, Blankenship carry GHS boys; Prairie relays double; Arnzen wins; Eades’ shot put title sets school record

After three years, three reasons to work for more

“...the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” — Hobbes, Leviathan

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Track & Field: One hurdle remaining

The Grangeville boys and girls teams won their respective regional team titles last Friday and Saturday, May 9-10, at the 2A District I-II track meet held at Kootenai High School. The 1A regionals, held at the same time and place but scored separately, saw the Kamiah boys place third, while the Prairie girls and boys placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

Baseball: CV upends Genesee, but whiffs on a state berth

“We had a conversation about striking out,” Clearwater Valley coach Josh Bradley said after his young squad pulled off a 16-7 upset of Whitepine League top seed Genesee last Thursday, May 16.

Golden area access remains disputed

As revealed in the Forest Service’s April 30 response, the federal and local governments are in agreement on one point in a lawsuit over Golden-area road closures: the Forest Service does not recognize “Idaho County’s claim to control and ownership of the Buckhorn Creek Road System.”

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CV advances with upset victory

Clearwater Valley surprised Genesee with one of its best performances, and will play Prairie for the 1A District II championship Friday.

Abuse victim files suit against ICSO

A sex crime that ended in jail time for a former Idaho Sheriff’s deputy has spawned a sweeping lawsuit against the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office.

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FOR THE TIGHT SPOTS

Local team drills confined space rescues

When there is work to be done in the underbelly of, say, a grain silo or a sawmill, someone has a job to do. But for the work to go forward without raising eyebrows at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, someone has to know how to respond to emergencies that might trap workers in confined spaces. And not just any rescuers will do.

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Track & Field: Sullivan runs ‘area best’ 200 meters

Last time they crossed paths, Hailey Sullivan saw several of these sprinters from a slightly different angle. Last Thursday, May 1 at the Meet of Champions at Vollmer Bowl, they saw her.

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Track & Field: Bass wins four; Lindsley sets discus PR

Grangeville’s track and field squad marked out the top boys and girls scores last Friday, April 25, at the Lewis-Clark/Nez Perce Games behind nine first-place boys finishes and four first-place girls finishes.

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Done shootin’ ? Lack of members may spell end for Riggins Gun Club land plan

RIGGINS — Boom, gone.

If the Riggins Gun Club — once a 32-member outfit — can’t find more members, the area may misfire on a golden opportunity to establish a permanent hub for shooting sports: shotgunning trap or skeet, sighting in hunting rifles, or passing all the how-tos to the next generation. At stake, according to Rodger Laughlin, one of the club’s last two members, is a long-sought chance to acquire the shooting grounds north of Time Zone Bridge, two miles north of Riggins, which is presently owned by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

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High Hoops

High Hoops Free Press / Andrew Ottoson Grangeville City League adult recreational basketball league organizer Micah Buck battled Brandon Stark for a rebound during the April 17 finale at GEMS.

Pole fire knocks Cottonwood off grid

Hundreds of grid users were left without electricity last Thursday night, April 17, when a power pole fire at the south entrance from U.S. Highway 95 caused an outage.

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High water likely into the summer

Resurgent snowpacks to boost regional river flow levels

Thanks to one of the wettest two-month stretches ever seen by Clearwater River basin water scientists, the drainage’s snowpack grew to about 35 percent above normal as of April 1. That’s despite starting the water year with four consecutive below-average months of precipitation, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s monthly water supply outlook.

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Jet boats to run 30th annual Salmon River race this weekend

Racing fans will line the banks of the Salmon River this Saturday and Sunday, April 19-20, to take in the sound and spectacle of jet boats topping out at more than 100 miles per hour.

Track & Field: Border War -- Arnzen triples in short runs

During basketball season, one of Prairie’s powerful rebounders presented a matchup problem between the lane lines, and last Saturday, April 12, proved superior height is no disadvantage in the lanes marked out for sprinters at the annual “Border War” featuring the small schools of Idaho and Washington.

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Whole Lotta Horns

Bill Lancaster of Payette brought a truckload of about 5,000 pounds of elk and deer antlers through Grangeville last Thursday, April 10.

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State office candidates take to the stump at Grangeville event

With candidates for several state offices making a campaign stop together, Idaho County officials, local Republican leadership and GOP rank-and-filers from surrounding counties nearly filled the Super 8 conference room last Wednesday night, April 2. Meanwhile, stopping in Lewiston, incumbent state attorney general Lawrence Wasden reportedly, per the Lewiston Tribune, described them as “fringe members of his party running primary campaigns.”

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Wolf report: 659 live in Idaho: Fewer packs counted in 2013 surveys

Last year, for the first time since their establishment in Idaho during the mid-1990s, the number of wolf packs documented in the state declined from the prior year count. Despite documenting nine new packs, per official numbers released last Friday, April 4, the pack count dipped 16.4 percent from the 2012 year-end count of 128.

Payette’s sheep grazing closures upheld in court

Wool growers’ recent shot at reversing a Payette National Forest decision to close domestic sheep grazing allotments missed the mark, a federal judge ruled last month. That shot may also have been the wool growers’ last shot at a reversal, as Idaho Wool Growers Association President Harry Soulen told the Associated Press that in weighing an appeal “we’ve got to study this before we make that decision one way or another.”

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Snaggin Some Stealies

Steelhead and fishermen alike were still piled up at the South Fork Clearwater River “Snag Hole” last Saturday, March 29. For Idaho Fish and Game’s most recent steelhead harvest report, 143 South Fork Clearwater River anglers were checked, reporting 634 hours spent fishing to catch 129 steelhead (of which 122 were released), for a rate of five hours per catch.

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Baseball:Rams top Nezperce, Highland in Bradley’s debut

Prairie’s first baseball season in recent memory began with a blast March 17 against a Clearwater Valley squad guided by a new hand. CV’s bench boss, Josh Bradley, has a group of 16, of whom 14 have been regulars with his Babe Ruth and little league squads for years.

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Mattson named White Bird queen

A girl for whom the White Bird Rodeo was her first rodeo, Dakota Matson, 16, of Nezperce, was crowned queen of the 25th Annual White Bird Rodeo last Saturday, March 22. Daughter of committee members Delbert and Dee Matson, she always helps “get ready for the rodeo and other functions at the rodeo grounds,” she wrote.

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