Election – Dist. 2 Commission
Public land use and access, solid waste, fiscal responsibility and need for new ideas are issues being raised in the race between Republicans Rusty Bennett and Mark Frei for the Idaho County Commission. Bennett will be challenging first-term incumbent Frei in the race for the four-year-term District 2 position in the May 17 primary election. The commission position makes an annual $24,424 salary.
Citizen interest in developing a trail for mountain biking within city-owned property south of town will receive further scrutiny.
Emergency personnel responded to two minor wildland fires in the region last Wednesday, April 6.
The Clearwater Valley High School senior class hosted a Bingo and walking tacos night last Friday, April 8, to raise funds for its Safe and Sober Graduation Party. Among the evening’s participants included (L-R) student Hailie Roy and Mika Charley.
High winds on a tail of a cold front last week resulted in minor highway blockage and a power outage in the Syringa area.
Receiving $6.250 million
Idaho County will be receiving $6.250 million in federal payments, down 3.8 percent from year prior, through the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS).
Election – Dist. 7A Representative
White Bird resident Priscilla Giddings will face incumbent Shannon McMillan of Silverton in the May 17 Republican primary election for District 7A Representative. The winner in this contest will face Democrat Jessica Chilcott of Sandpoint in the Nov. 8 general election.
Idaho County saw a minor population increase, 0.4 percent, last year, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Nearly two dozen kids participated in a March 26 bike safety event at Grangeville Elementary Middle School, one in a series of Extreme Adventure Club offerings for kids ages 8 to 18 through PICH (Partners Inspiring Community Health). Events are free and run through June. Next is an April 16 geocaching activity, contact Kirsten Jensen, 983-2667; on April 30, “A Taste of Italy,” JoAnn Smith, 507-0720; June 11, disc golf and pizza party, Kevin Asker, 983-6098.
Woman treated for minor smoke inhalation
An electrical problem was cited as a factor in last week’s structure fire at the Twin Bridges Subdivision. An estimated $5,000 to $10,000 in damage, primarily to the modular home’s electrical system, resulted from last Thursday’s March 31, fire, according to Chief Allan Yearsley, Salmon River Rural Fire Department (SRRFD).
Fishing has remained busy along the South Fork of the Clearwater River, including last Friday, April 1, where activity was seen along State Highway 14 from near the base of the Mt. Idaho Grade and right up toward Golden. Here, two men keep their focus at a popular hole near milepost 7 where steelhead were to be had. Check the latest fishing reports with Idaho Fish and Game online: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.
Public safety is on our minds this week; some unsung heroes to keep in mind, and a social activity you shouldn’t be doing while driving.
Thinking of writing a letter in support of your favored political candidate?
'...we’re absolutely happy to be here'
Working with convicted felons on improving basic living and vocational skills and preparing them for employment may not be how many young people would want to spend their spring break. But nine University of Idaho students chose to do so earlier last month at North Idaho Correctional Institution at Cottonwood.
Idaho County Democrats heavy for Sanders in March 22 caucus
Last week’s Democrat caucus to choose a presidential candidate was just one of its purposes, explained event emcee Linwood Laughy to the approximately 160 people who gathered March 22 at the Grangeville High School cafetorium. “Let’s have open minds, listen and see what we can learn,” he said, and “… to participate in our democracy. And our country needs us to participate a lot.”
With all the big, pressing, controversial, distressing issues out there, sometimes it’s nice to digress and just hit a few of the small ones. Ever given crosswalk flags a thought?
Felonies charged in meth possession, aggravated battery
Riggins woman charged with felony meth possession; Kamiah man charged with felony aggravated battery
Grangeville High School freshman Bella Klapprich was chosen Saturday, March 19, as the 2016 White Bird Rodeo queen.
Splitting off Kooskia from Mountain View School District 244 is not ridiculous or crazy as its board representative, Mike Dominguez, said at Monday night’s meeting. It is sheer lunacy, and it’s implementation – were patrons to be so foolish as to be led down that primrose path – would spell disaster for that community, and more importantly, its kids.
WUNCCIL helps replace Kamiah homes lost to fire
A week’s worth of hammer swinging put up two new homes for Kamiah families who lost everything to last summer’s disastrous wildfire season. The two wood-framed homes – one 600 square feet, the other 900 square feet — finished last week were around $30,000 each to construct, largely due to labor provided by Mennonite church groups out of Montana, donated lumber from area mills – CFI at Kooskia, Idaho Forest Group at Grangeville, and Blue North Forest Products and Empire Lumber of Kamiah – and financial generosity of North Central Idaho communities.
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.
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.
t. Mary’s Hospital Foundation held its annual Mardi Gras fund-raising event last Saturday evening, March 12, at the Cottonwood Community Hall.
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.
“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.
- 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.
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.