Junior and senior students from area high schools attended last Wednesday’s March 16 high school tech night at Partsway in Grangeville. The approximate two-hour event was geared toward students with career interests in diesel mechanics, auto repair, agriculture technology, welding, fabrication and machining. Students heard presentations from Partsway staff, and representatives from NAPA, local auto technicians, Lewis-Clark State College. The event was sponsored by Carlyle Tools, Partsway and G&D Machine. Pictured here giving a presentation (right) is Jeremy Martin of Partsway.
Idaho County Democrats side with Sanders in Tuesday, March 22 caucus
A majority of Idaho County Democrats sided with Presdidential candidate Bernie Sanders in Tuesday night's March 22 caucus, held at Grangeville High School.
t. Mary’s Hospital Foundation held its annual Mardi Gras fund-raising event last Saturday evening, March 12, at the Cottonwood Community Hall.
Elections: March 8 results
Candidate Donald J. Trump was the majority choice – 1,668 votes — for Idaho County in the March 8 Republican presidential primary elections, carrying 16 of the total 28 precincts.
Getting traffic through is 'biggest first step'
Since last Friday, March 11, crews with West Company Inc., have been clearing landslide debris from State Highway 14, contracted to work seven days a week, weather permitting, to reopen the road. Meanwhile, bypass traffic on the 1199 Road has been reduced to 6 a.m. departures from Elk City on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. As of press time, cooler temperatures have allowed the route to remain in use for essential traffic by four-wheel drive vehicles; however, travelers should check with the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, 983-1100, or on its Facebook page, for road availability status.
How close is too close? When the fugitive Kyle A. Odom, 30, was arrested for his alleged role in shooting a Coeur d’Alene pastor earlier this month, a portion of that news item perked our interest: After the incident, Odom drove to Spokane and headed south, and later the following day he boarded a flight at the Boise Airport to Washington, D.C. So what? Well, it’s a good bet his southern getaway route was U.S. Highway 95, meaning he traveled through a large portion of rural Idaho before the diligence of airport security allowed Odom — an alleged attempted murderer who contended Martians controlled the Earth — to continue on his delusionally merry way. But not before he likely passed by Cottonwood and Grangeville, and then right through Riggins. That’s close enough.
Work starts this week; volunteers sought to help
Volunteers begin tree planting work along Three Mile Creek this week in efforts to improve environmental quality issues in this tributary to the South Fork of the Clearwater River. Funded through an Idaho Department of Environmental Quality 319 grant, the two-year project proposes to plant approximately 7,000 1- to 2-year-old seedlings and 1,000 cuttings of red-osier dogwood and coyote willow.
The Idaho County Republican Central Committee hosted its annual Lincoln Day Celebration last Saturday evening, March 12, at the Greencreek Community Hall.
Elections 2016: to the primary
With close of filings last Friday, races for Idaho County and Legislative District 7 will be contested headed into both the May 17 primary and Nov. 8 general elections.
Approximately 115 girls dressed in their finest to attend last Saturday’s March 12 Little Princess Tea Party at the Grangeville Christian Church.
A 5th wheel trailer suffered significant fire damage following an incident last Thursday at Pollock.
Survey solicits Grangeville residents’ opinions on city, community services; preferred funding options
Grangeville residents will get their chance to sound off on civic issues of concern in a citywide survey set to go out with this month’s utility bills that should start hitting mailboxes on March 21.
Bypass route times reduced due to warm weather, traffic impacts
The Idaho Transportation Department expects to reopen State Highway 14 within five weeks – by early April – and as of press time Tuesday was to select a specialized contractor to speed cleanup of the rock slide at milepost 39.
School safety, and guns on high school campuses: The topic is so emotionally and politically charged that it seems unlikely that the matter can be brought down from the rhetorical heights – whether federal to local — which such adamant passions have driven it to. But it has to be if Mountain View School District 244 is to discuss its proposals for a firearm policy.
Two dead; GPD investigating
Two domestic pets are dead and a third has been sickened in what police believe is a deliberate attempt to poison animals in Grangeville. “It’s not accidental from everything we’ve seen so far,” said Rick Thanstrom, ordinance/animal control officer, Grangeville Police Department.
- Two Grangeville men escaped injury following a two-vehicle rear-end collision accident last Friday afternoon, March 4, just east of Grangeville on State Highway 13. - Two Idaho County residents were transported for medical treatment following a rollover crash Saturday morning near Genesee in Latah County.
“It’s a similar methodology,” but no direct correlation between incidents
Two more burglaries hit the community last week, continuing a series of break-in incidents across Grangeville that – apart from one arrest — remain under investigation.
Massachusetts man missing: seven years later
More than seven years ago, Massachusetts hunter Ronald S. Gray disappeared during a fall hunting trip in the rugged Selway country northeast of Kooskia. Despite a month-long search by ground and air, the 62-year-old Essex County man was never found. Now, closure of sorts comes in a Feb. 19 filing by his widow, Nancy Gray, who is petitioning the court to declare her missing husband legally deceased. A hearing date on the petition has not yet been set.
Elections: March 8 results
Trump received a total 1,668 votes from Idaho County voters, followed by Cruz with 1,495.
Updates on State Highway 14 situation
UPDATE, March 4: - ITD brings in additional contractor to clear massive Idaho 14 landslide - Escort travel trips reduced to 6 a.m. only due to bypass condition - Public meeting set Thursday, March 10, to update Elk City residents
Group to pick presidential candidate
Idaho County Democrats will make their presidential candidate choice at their caucus on Tuesday, March 22. Participants will have the opportunity to speak for the candidate of their choice, and up to two voting rounds will be held. Practice caucus set on Monday, March 14
Residents cooperating to maintain route
Elk City traffic has adjusted to twice-daily trips, three days a week, along a bypass route as State Highway 14 remains closed just west of the community due to last month’s rock slide. “It seems to be working well for people needing to come and go,” said Sarah Secrist, dispatcher, Idaho County Sheriff’s Office (ICSO), who is coordinating communications on travel conditions for the escorted trips in and out along Newsome Creek Forest Road 1199.
Use of force, officer discretion in Idaho County in the wake of Adams County Yantis shooting
Four months later, questions continue on the circumstances involved in the fatal officer-related shooting of a long-time rancher in neighboring Adams County. As the public awaits the completion of an Idaho State Police investigation, the Free Press discussed some of the issues involved with Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings and Undersheriff Jim Gorges, as they relate to how law enforcement is governed and applied locally.
Five kids participated in Saturday’s snowshoeing event at Snowhaven Ski and Tubing Hill, one in a series of “Extreme Adventure Club” health and wellness events held through Partners Inspiring Community Health (PICH).
Sentencing set May 9 in District Court
It took the jury nearly three hours to find Jason A. Godwin guilty of second-degree murder last Friday evening, Feb. 25, a determination following four days of testimony concerning the 2014 shooting death of Kyle A. Anderson. Following the verdict, bond was revoked for Godwin, 50, of Kooskia, who will be kept in custody in the Idaho County Jail pending his sentencing hearing set for May 9.
You may love living in Idaho, but what do you really know about the Gem State? This Friday, March 4, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter kicks off commemoration of Idaho Day, recognizing Abraham Lincoln’s signing the congressional act to make Idaho a territory on March 4, 1863.
Democrats will hold a caucus March 22
Republican and Constitution party’s primary elections are next Tuesday, March 8.
Just so you know, next Monday, Feb. 29, filings open for state and county elected offices that Republicans will be filling come the November elections. That is, of course, if no other parties choose to file candidates.
Braving the afternoon cold and a light snow flurry, supporters for constitutional carry of firearms in Idaho rallied at the Idaho County Courthouse in Grangeville on Saturday, Feb. 20.
County, USFS manage alternate access
Elk City area residents have a tenuous weather-dependent connection to the outside – its goods and services, and employment — through an alternate forest route limited to three days a week.
Approximately 135 kids in grades 6-8 from Grangeville Elementary Middle School participated in an all-day activity at Snowhaven Ski and Tubing Hill last Friday, Feb. 19.
Methamphetamine, commercially sold marijuana recovered
Felony drug possession charges resulted for individuals stopped in two recent unrelated traffic stops.
We challenge public entities within Idaho County to follow the lead by the City of Grangeville on proactive efforts to engage citizens.
Winter time to test for radon; 29 percent tested unsafe
What you don’t know could be working to kill you. Radon gas: “You can’t smell it, feel it, taste it. It doesn’t cause headaches, cold, coughs or flu,” said Jim Faust, Radon Program manager at Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW). “But it’s the number one cause of lung cancer for non-smokers.”
Storage unit burglaries: “It’s a continual problem,” said Detective Jerry Johnson, Idaho County Sheriff’s Office. “There isn’t a month that goes by that we don’t have at least one.”
Dustin L. Stamper, 31, of Grangeville, and Colin G. Sprute, 48, of Orofino, were ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene, nearly six miles up Deer Creek Road, according to the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office (ICSO).
Elections 2016: Confused yet?
With all the dates and deadlines for elections this year, Idaho voters can understandably be confused as to which way to turn or what form to sign. So, here’s a summary to help guide Idaho County voters through to what’s coming up as we head into the May primary.
U.S. Highway 95 traffic was reduced to one lane for two hours Sunday morning when a semitruck caught fire at the north entrance to Riggins. No injuries were reported in the Feb. 14 incident that destroyed the semi; however, two hopper trailers – a 36-foot and 20-foot – and a load of peas were saved.
Could easily be 2045 before such an action – if any -- would be taken
Closure of the Grangeville Armory is a considered possibility, according to a long-term proposal submitted to Congress early last fall by the Idaho Army National Guard, as part of efforts to modernize its facilities across the state. But long-term is the operative phrase here, as it could easily be 2045 before such an action – if any -- would be taken.
Linemen with Avista Utilities and Idaho County Light and Power Cooperative were at Pioneer Park in Grangeville last Friday, Feb. 12.
Hearing set Feb. 19 on multiple charges
A preliminary hearing is set this Friday, Feb. 19, for a Grangeville man charged in connection with a gold nugget collection theft from Hoot’s Café last December. Jacob W. Collier, 24, is charged with grand theft and two counts of burglary, along with misdemeanor petit theft.
Cottonwood City Councilor Shelli Schumacher was sworn in as the city’s new mayor Monday night, replacing Denis Duman who resigned his seat in a letter presented at the Feb. 8 session.
With one arrest under their belts, area law enforcement continue investigation into a recent series of Grangeville-area burglaries.
“If you’re getting loud, eventually they’re not going to hear you,” said State Representative John Rusche, Minority Leader, (Dist. 6),” and you’ve probably stopped listening, too.”
Slick conditions over the weekend contributed to several slideoff and rollover crashes, reported to the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office (ICSO).
Felony charges against two Arizona woman involved in an apparent child custody dispute at Kamiah were resolved in district court last week. In a plea agreement reached with the prosecution last Tuesday, Jan. 26, Rita L. Lewis 49, pleaded guilty to the charge, amended to a misdemeanor; and the custodial interference case against Veronica M. Lewis, 26, was dismissed.
Did activist Robert LaVoy Finicum have to die? Opinions are heated on last week’s shooting of the spokesman for activists who have staged a month-long occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore. Was it justified, or was it an ambush and murder? That’s a conclusion we’re not ready to jump at, because more importantly we’re asking whether this whole situation justified actions that resulted in a man losing his life. And with this also brings to mind the role of law enforcement as public servants and protectors of the peace.
Threat of arrest, being shot keep Andersons from leaving refuge
“None of them want anything more to do with this. They want to go home,” said Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings of four individuals – two of whom are Riggins residents – who remain at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, site of a month-long standoff by protestors.
Incident alleged to involve shotgun, knife
A preliminary hearing is set for next Tuesday, Feb. 9, for a Kamiah man charged with two counts of felony aggravated assault resulting from an incident with his son last month.
Main Street establishments hit
Main Street businesses are advised to take precautions following an attempted break-in early this week that may be related to two separate burglaries last month.