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Andrew Ottoson

Stories by Andrew

County budget tops $21M; Sept. 5 public hearing set

The proposed budget for Idaho County’s next fiscal year, published in the legal notices on 4B today, marks just the second time since 2000 the bottom line number has topped $20 million. The Idaho County Airport renovation booked in 2016, which was carried out largely with federal money, pushed the grand total that year to more than $22 million.

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Ready To Let Loose: Elk City Days 2017

Elk City Days was in full swing on Saturday, Aug. 12, with a parade, sawdust dig, and the logging show. Here, a participant gets ready to let loose of the double-bladed ax toward the target.

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Manning Crevice Bridge replacement work runs into rock removal issue

First, the rock held up the work. Then the work held up the rock. Now what’s the holdup? Last Tuesday, Aug. 1, the Manning Crevice Bridge replacement project contractor, RSCI, told the Idaho County commission they may be asking the Federal Highway Administration for a change order to allow the rock to stay.

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Hanover Fire defies initial attack; now tops 5,000 acres

Public meeting in Riggins Aug. 9

"There are concerns for public safety. We backed it out to areas we knew we could control the access. As soon as we can, we’ll try to shrink that back.”

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Tucker to play basketball at Treasure Valley C.C.

Next Level Athlete

Salmon River basketball standout Maddy Tucker is headed to Treasure Valley Community College this fall. It’s a big step her family has helped her take.

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Cold, wet spring cost farmers 70-80 percent of their yields

Last year’s was a brutal winter for producers in many parts of the state

The Idaho County Commission declared an agricultural disaster during the July 25 meeting “due to unusual and excessive spring moisture conditions, which have prevented the planting of approximately 31,432 acres of spring crops, specifically 28,064 acres of spring wheat, spring canola, large garbanzo beans and green peas.”

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Area 'river segments' evaluated for Wild and Scenic possibilities

In the midst of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests’ forest plan revision process, the Idaho County Commission is asking the Forest Service to go all the way through a process that would narrow down the list of rivers that could eventually get Wild and Scenic protection. It’s known as a “suitability evaluation,” and it’s a step the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act requires the Forest Service to complete – whether during the forest plan revision or not.

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Solid waste reform still in the works; garbage fees, costs, still on rise

Board approves road and bridge tax hike, other expenses

Idaho County’s solid waste contractor, Robert Simmons of Simmons Sanitation, is working with county commissioners to develop a true solid waste system, as compared to the status quo operation in which local dumpsters are open 24/7/365 for all users – and continually brimming with all types of trash, refuse and items that have outlived their usefulness.

Fire near Pollock quickly controlled last Thursday

Quick action by firefighters saved home, trailer

Firefighters brought a wildfire west of Pollock under quick control last Thursday, July 27. U.S. Forest Service single engine air tankers (SEATs) were seen delivering loads of fire retardant during the firefighting effort, in a video that can be viewed on the Free Press website.

County commissioners to talk budget at 8 a.m. Aug. 1

As early as Tuesday morning, Aug. 1, – during the budget discussion scheduled for 8 a.m. at the Idaho County Courthouse – Idaho County commissioners will be proposing a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

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Commissioners consider doubling county’s city residential solid waste fee

In addition to tentatively supporting a new tax on property within the county road and bridge department’s jurisdiction, the Idaho County commissioners last Tuesday, July 25, raised the prospect of raising county solid waste fees by five percent for the coming year.

Grangeville football squad’s trip to Boise a big hit

Football

Grangeville’s annual football camp trip to Boise last month was “really, really good,” coach Jeff Adams said July 24. “Especially defensively.” “It’s always awesome,” Adams said. “This time we got some really good information. We had most of the squad go down.”

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Operation Horses & Heroes: Veterans seek, find help at Grangeville ranch

'It’s a way of paying it forward'

Spending time with horses – and each other — proved a big help to veterans from across the country whose military service took them around the world and brought them home with little thought for the transition these men and women are making to civilian life. Operation Horses and Heroes was here to help.

Brandt about to make the county’s budget problem your budget problem

Editorial

Idaho County Commission chairman Skip Brandt has a problem. And he’s about to turn his problem into your problem. The problem is one taxpayers pay commissioners to solve. There is a hole in the revenue side of the county road and bridge department’s fiscal 2018 budget – a hole where federal forest funds used to fill in for lost federal timber revenues.

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Air tour stops in Grangeville

Organizers estimated several hundred people had attended the Puget Sound Antique Airplane Club's 2017 Northwest Air Tour during the morning July 12 at the Idaho County Airport.

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Crowl wins Firecracker Fun Run

Brian Crowl won the Firecracker Fun Run July 4, finishing the new route in 18:10.09. The first female finisher was Lindsay McTague, who crossed the start-finish line, near the corner of Hall and West North Street, about six minutes later.

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Cause identified in Whitebird Fire

Private grassland southeast of White Bird burned overnight July 7, with locals who stayed up late taking photos of the burning at Baker Creek waking up to find the swath showing little activity Saturday morning.

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Border Days 2017: Celebration kicks off with egg toss for locals, visitors

"...we come back for Border Days to see everyone..."

Sounds of joy, a few tears and lots of cheering filled the streets Sunday, July 2, as Border Days street sports kicked off on Main Street. Names called for foot races included winners from Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Montana, California and even as far away as Pennsylvania.

Remote mine site to be part of Frank Church wilderness

The Idaho County Commission received three letters from the Payette National Forest last week, including one dated June 19 that disclosed the Payette’s talks of acquiring about 40 acres across the Salmon River from Tepee Creek and Jersey Creek in the southern part of the county.

Freedom of the Press for all who would hold government accountable

Editorial

Each time our country marks its beginning, we’re reminded not only of what was written in the document which Thomas Jefferson penned and which the nation’s early leaders adopted July 4, 1776. We’re reminded of the colonies’ early attempts at designing a limited central government, and we’re reminded of the Constitution, replete with the Bill of Rights.

13 local teams signed up for Lee Woods Memorial Team Roping

In local events this Border Days Rodeo, there are 21 barrel racers and 13 team roping teams signed up.

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Border Days Rodeo draw fills up

Slack 10 a.m. July 1, shows 6 p.m. July 1-2-3

The Border Days Rodeo is once again set to run July 1-2-3, 6 p.m. each night, and organizers are anticipating cowboys competing throughout the region will once again make the journey to Grangeville for a chance at a chunk of $13,800 in added money.

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State weighs season changes for SF Clearwater gold miners

“I think it was a success,” he said. “This is one of the few times that the miners actually got together and worked with the agencies to make it actually more streamlined, easier for the agencies and the miners. … They’re finally listening and maybe thinking instead of overregulating, maybe they’ve got too much here.”

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New travel plan for Nez Perce National Forest anticipated

As one travel plan’s journey ends in court, another’s may begin

The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests have fended off another lawsuit in federal court, with United States District Judge Edward J. Lodge recently ruling in the combined forests’ favor on a case Idaho and Clearwater counties brought four years ago.

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Border Days Rodeo organizers honor one of their own: Lee Woods

“He got dared to get on a bronc and he got hooked”

“He loved to be a part of it, his friends always entered it, and he was always so happy to do what he loved with the people he loved. It’ll feel a bit more special, and like he’s still there.”

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Border Days 2017: July 1-4 Schedule of Events

The 106th Grangeville Border Days is July 1-4 (Saturday through Tuesday), with each day loaded with events.

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New Views For July 4 Border Days Firecracker Fun Run

Route change this year to protect runners’ safety

The Firecracker Fun Run will go off this July 4 as it has for years, but will pop a bit differently this year.

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Riding High

The Clearwater Valley Rodeo Association’s Sunday in Kamiah last weekend, June 17-18, included a 73-point saddle bronc ride by Clancy Glenn — which was good enough to win the event.

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EhCapa Equestrian In White Bird

The EhCapa queen leads bareback riders over the bar during their performance at the White Bird Rodeo during Father’s Day weekend June 16-17.

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Marek’s ranch bronc ride a big winner

White Bird Rodeo

Local ranching scion Konnyr Marek had an outstanding couple of days on home turf at the 28th annual White Bird Rodeo last weekend, June 16-17, with big wins during both the main event (ranch bronc riding) and the local team roping.

Good Neighbor sales under way; more work planned for area lands

The Forest Service has completed all National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) planning and sale preparation work for the Woodrat Salvage Sale, one of the first Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) projects to be planned in the region.

USDA projects production drop for Idaho wheat

'Those prices are a little high compared to our local prices'

The forecast, dated May 1, anticipates a decline of nearly 3 percent in acreage planted and a 10-11 percent decline in yield per acre

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Smokejumpers test skills near Grangeville

High Marks

When fire erupted in so many local forest locales back in 2015, Missoula smokejumper Colby Jackson helped keep one of the many mid-August starts nameless.

ICSO arrests pair on drug charges at Weir Hot Springs

Michael E. Eggimann was arrested on charges related to the possession of marijuana, heroin and drug paraphernalia, and Tanner Slaybaugh was cited for possession of pot and paraphernalia, last Saturday, May 27, at Weir Hot Springs.

Judge gives USFS Orograde project a go-ahead

Civil case continues

Back in April, when the Forest Service notified the federal court in which Friends of the Clearwater sought to halt the Orogrande Community Protection Project that work would start June 1, the environmentalist plaintiffs asked the court to stop the work from going forward. On May 31, the court – under Chief U.S. Magistrate Ronald E. Bush – allowed the work to go forward while the sides continue to argue the case.

Traffic moving south of Pollock after accident downs power lines

Idaho State Police investigated a crash involving a commercial vehicle that rolled, downed power lines, and was blocking US Highway 95 at milepost 173, approximately 10 miles north of New Meadows. Idaho Transportation Department closed US Highway 95 from New Meadows to Pollock shortly before noon PT, then shortly before 2 p.m. PT restored alternating traffic through one lane.

Commission redirects $80k to new projects

Last August, county commissioners set aside $150,000 for overhauling the Idaho County Courthouse parking lot, but the board has decided two five-figure expenses will come first. Having received only one bid for the parking lot overhaul earlier this month – and that for more than $200,000 – the board last week approved redirecting more than $84,000 to two other courthouse projects.

Uptmor to run at College of Idaho

Next Level Athlete

Having run distance for the 2017 state champion Prairie Pirates Chaye Uptmor is headed to Caldwell on scholarship this fall, where she plans to study health and human sciences and psychology and, eventually, to pursue a degree in occupational therapy.

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Fischer named SSCI ‘officer of the year’

This spring, district conservation officer George Fischer received an award he called “the pinnacle of recognition for wildlife officers” — the 2016 Shikar-Safari Club International “officer of the year” award.

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Grangeville accident briefly slows weekend travelers

An accident at the intersection of U.S. Highway 95 and Main Street/State Highway 13 briefly impaired the flow of traffic shortly after 2 p.m. Friday afternoon, May 26, when Jacob Candeube of Missoula, Mont., failed to stop his Toyota pickup at the stop sign.

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Locals mostly two-and-out vs. 3A competition

Tennis

Clearwater Valley’s Kamm and Trayse Mangun played exceptionally, and came closer to a state medal than any other local individual or doubles team at the 3A state tennis meet held May 19-20 at Vallivue and Caldwell high schools.

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Prairie takes girls team title

Prairie’s last race of the day once again proved decisive, with the 4x400 girls outpacing Oakley by more than four seconds to move the team total two points ahead of Valley, into clear first.

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GHS scores 20 at state track meet

The young Grangeville teams combined for 20 points in team scoring last Friday and Saturday, May 19-20, at the 2A state track championships.

GHS baseball season ends in second round

Losses to Melba and Malad brought Grangeville's baseball season to a close during the first two days of play at the 2A state tournament held in Idaho Falls.

Pirates reach softball semifinal

With an 11-10 win over Notus, the Prairie girls are in position to play Horseshoe Bend for a shot at the 1A championship. The semifinal is slated for 10 a.m. Saturday at Airport Park in Lewiston.

Rams in the running for third place

The Clearwater Valley boys beat Wilder 7-1 in the first game of the 1A state baseball tournament, and after falling to Genesee, the Rams are set to play Glenns Ferry for third place.

Olsen wins 3,200

State track and field results: Day 1

Cole Olsen won the 3,200 run Friday at the 1A state track meet.

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Tennis team takes district title; 14 Bulldogs headed to state

A rain delay sidelined the small classifications District I-II tennis tournament last Friday morning, May 12, but when the weather finally broke at about 3:30 p.m., the floodgates opened for Grangeville’s athletes. Playing shortened matches on account of limited remaining daylight and in anticipation of more rain the next morning, the Bulldogs won three categories outright and qualified 14 in all for state.

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Local athletes qualify for 53 state events

Track & Field

Clearwater Valley senior Cole Olsen won three district titles on his own and anchored the region’s fastest medley relay last last Saturday, May 13, at Kootenai High School.

Bulldogs win district title

Tennis

Grangeville and Clearwater Valley tennis players are on to state, as the Bulldogs won the district team title yesterday and eight Rams posted top-four finishes.

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