CLEARWATER VALLEY -- April Blankenship, branch manager at Kamiah community library is planning a new book club called “Open Minds, Open Books” to discuss some tough topics like racism, white supremacy and gender discrimination. These are important topics that many people avoid discussing because they are difficult. If you are ready to break out of your comfort zone and confront your own biases, consider joining. Anyone is welcome to participate in the club, you don’t have to be a current patron of the library. Contact the Kamiah community library at 208-935-0428 or if you are interested.

I heard some exciting news from Kamiah science teacher, Janna Privette. Three of her students completed independent science research projects and presented their findings at the North Idaho Science and Engineering Fair in Coeur d’Alene last week. Sophomore Cecily Puckett won an ASM materials education foundation award, a gold medal for best in the physical sciences category and a “best in fair” award. Her project explored whether horse hair strength varies by hair color. Scientists have identified the possibility of using horse hair to suture (stitch) wounds in places where medical supplies are in short supply. The ability to use horse hair for sutures will depend on the strength of the hair fibers. Puckett won an all-expense paid trip to compete at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix in May. This fair will include 1,800 high school students from 75 countries, regions and territories.

Sophomore Mya Barger won a NASA earth science award and a silver medal in the earth, environmental and plants category with her project on changes in Magellanic Penguin Habitat using remote sensing. Junior, Dawson Norman’s project looked at using an exoskeleton hand for patients who have lost the ability to write. He won a silver medal in the math, computer science and embedded systems category.

Privette couldn’t be prouder of her three students. She hopes their success will inspire other students to develop research projects next year. This is the first North Idaho Fair that Privette and her students have attended. Congratulations to Cecily, Mya and Dawson on their awards.

If you live in the Kamiah School District area, remember the vote on the school levy on March 12.

Cole Olsen, a 2017 Clearwater Valley graduate, competed at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) indoor track and field championship meet in Brookings, South Dakota last weekend, placing 9th in the 3,000-meter run. He is currently a sophomore at Lewis and Clark State College. While Cole ran on an indoor track, both the Clearwater Valley and Kamiah track and field teams began practice this week, despite snow-covered tracks and a few school days cancelled for snow. The first scheduled meets for both schools are on March 16.

If you’re a Clearwater Valley alumnus, you are invited to join in the alumni basketball game on Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m. Teams will be based on graduation year with odd years wearing dark and even years white. Contact Lara Smith at 208-926-4109 or Coach Craig Shorey at 520-221-6070. The CV boys and girls basketball teams will be running concessions at the game. If you don’t want to play, come watch the game for $4 and eat some junk food!

On Saturday, March 9, join other people who support local education at the 4th annual VEST Fest at the Kooskia community center. Tickets are still available for $25 each from Lara Heidtmann Smith at 208-926-4109. (VEST stands for Valley Educational Support Team) The event is a fund-raiser to buy additional educational materials that directly benefit Clearwater Valley Schools. The VEST board members raised $23,000 last year and hope to raise even more this year. Doors open at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m., followed by a live auction. Auction items range from fun trips to Sun Valley, CDA resort or Yellowstone Bear World to practical- round or square bales of 2019 hay from Dahler Ranch to beautiful- CV senior Mikaela Herrick’s painting, “Idaho Living” and a handmade felt bowl donated by a woman in Ohio who heard about VEST and wanted to help! Lara tells me this year has the best auction items yet!

Also, on Saturday, March 9, the Clearwater Quick Response Unit members invite you to a spaghetti dinner from 4-7 p.m. at the Clearwater Grange Hall. Dinner includes spaghetti, garlic bread, beverages and a dessert. The event is a fund-raiser for the QRU to replace their aging ambulance and other equipment. Dinner is by donation, with a silent auction, raffles and a bake sale. Eating spaghetti seems like good comfort food on a cold night and helping the QRU raise money for a newer model ambulance to help save lives, a worthwhile cause.

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