KAMIAH -- On Jan. 16, the Kamiah Joint School District 304 school board approved the recommendation by Superintendent Steve Higgins to run the maintenance and operations levy election for $500,000.

      KAMIAH -- Kamiah Community Library will screen an Indigenous Rights Film Series featuring several documentaries by director Christopher (Toby) McLeod beginning Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 2 p.m. at the library, 505 Main St. The series is free and open to the public and will continue on Tuesdays at 2…

      CLEARWATER VALLEY -- I talked to Kamiah Schools Language Arts teacher, Taylie Hopkins, the other day. In addition to teaching at the middle school and the high school and co-directing the Kamiah Characters plays, she is planning an exciting Eastern Seaboard Tour for Kamiah and Salmon River s…

        KAMIAH -- In an effort to raise funds to open a Teen Center in Kamiah, The Upriver Youth Leadership Council Youth Advisory Board (YAB) will be hosting a monthly “Friday Lunch for a Cause.” This month is “Soup”er Friday. On Friday, Feb. 15, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., participants can order a bowl…

          MOSCOW – Nearly 2,600 students qualified for the University of Idaho's Dean’s List for the fall 2018 semester. To be included in the Dean’s List, U of I students must maintain at least a 3.5 GPA on a minimum of 12 graded credits during the semester. The fall 2018 semester ended Dec. 14.

            Bingo is set for the American Legion Hall in Kamiah this Friday, Jan. 18, 618 Main Street, at 7 p.m.

              Grease lightning and crab galore! Friends and neighbors are invited to come out for the 42nd Annual Kamiah Crab Feed Jan. 24, 25 and 26, with its theme of the 1950s-inspired movie, “Grease.” “This is a long-going event and our goal is to one day soon open back up the Kamiah swimming pool,” said volunteer Joanne Ketchum.

                The Clearwater Grange is looking for vendors for their bazaar and yard sale on Feb. 3. Do you have unsold inventory from the Christmas craft fairs or have you been making new items since then? Do you need an excuse to clean out some closets? The Clearwater Grange would love to fill the hall with vendors and welcomes new people to participate. The event is from 9 a.m-3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3, and coincides with the Groundhog Day breakfast at the Oddfellows Hall, which brings 400-plus people to town. Tables cost only $10 to rent. Call Carole Bonono at 208-926-7465 to reserve one. This is a fund-raiser for the historic, 100-year-old Grange Hall.

                  I try to keep this column pretty positive, but right now there is not much good news. With a big chunk of the federal government shut down, most of the Nez Perce-Clearwater NF employees who work in the Kamiah and Kooskia offices (as well as the rest of the offices in the country) have been sent home without pay for an indeterminate amount of time. The main thing that the Constitution requires of Congress is that they fund the government.

                    As I end my 2nd full year of writing this column, I reflect on the fun and interesting people and events in the Clearwater Valley. With this, my first column of the New Year will recapture some highlights of the year’s mix of events, both events with long traditions and new events. Tradition is good, as long as something works, but great to try new things once in a while, or a new twist on the past events. The Kamiah Characters reprised in early January with a live theater production of “Let’s Hang Him and Read the Will,” a murder mystery with over-the-top characters, played by various high school and middle school students. Later in January, the biggest event of Kamiah’s winter social scene, the Crab Feed had another fun three-night run of all-you-can-eat crab, rock and roll by the King pins, local entertainment and community fund-raising.

                      Kamiah Characters presented a Star Trek spoof Dec. 17 and 19 at Kamiah High School. The play was under the direction of teachers Jody Dow and Taylie Hopkins.

                      KOOSKIA — “This will allow us to split the costs [between Kamiah and Clearwater Valley] more evenly,” explained Clearwater Valley High School Principal Adam Uptmor at the Nov. 19 Mountain View School District board meeting.

                        Harpsterites gathered for the old-fashioned Christmas program on Sunday afternoon at the Harpster community center (AKA the old Harpster schoolhouse). I got in on the popcorn ball making on Saturday this year. I had fun with Nancy Charley, head popcorn popper, Jan Adams, keeper of the recipe/syrup maker and Patsy Hunter, lead popcorn ball roller. Colleen and I were trainee rollers and gift bag stuffers while Nancy’s and Jan’s husbands set up chairs and organized the room.

                          The Kamiah Characters Theater Club will be presenting “Star Tracks: The Exposition Menace” at the Kamiah Multipurpose Room on Monday, Dec. 17, and Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 6:30 p.m. There will be an intermission, complete with a bake sale.

                            In Idaho County and the surrounding area, it is a popular tradition to begin the holiday season with an outing to the forest to cut the family’s Christmas tree. Permits for Christmas tree cutting are now available at Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests offices, as well as several local vendors. Free permits are also available to all fourth graders through the Every Kid in a Park program.

                              I met a great guy named Mr. Sandy Staab at the Kamiah Middle School Library last month. He uses the moniker “The Chess Guy,” and travels to area schools at lunchtime to teach students the game. Fun to watch the excitement of kids as young as fourth grade intent and focused on playing this ancient board game.

                                O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches? Creatively decorated trees, wreaths, swags and the happy voices of children and adults of all ages filled the American Legion Hall in Kamiah last Saturday. This was part of a weekend-long olde-fashionned Christmas celebration organized by the Upriver Youth Leadership Council and many partners.

                                “In reality, how much of a danger are we here in Idaho in?” asked meeting attendee Robleigh Williams. “We are definitely in danger,” Stiles said. “When Idaho is targeted – and it will be – lobbyists from the marijuana industry will pour millions of dollars into their efforts.”

                                  I enjoyed two Thanksgiving dinners this year. In addition to our family’s Thanksgiving day turkey dinner, a friend and I participated in the Community Thanksgiving dinner at the Wa-‘A’Yas Center in Kamiah earlier in the week. The center provided the turkeys and hams while others brought side dishes and desserts. I enjoyed sharing a dinner table and visiting with Stella Penney and her lovely young children. Great food all around, but special food highlights included mini fry bread and huckleberry cheesecake.

                                  GRANGEVILLE — Striving to make Syringa Hospital a better care center for the community, the Syringa board of trustees discussed its strategic plan and goals at the Oct. 23 meeting.

                                  North Central District Health Department last week confirmed one case of pertussis in Idaho County, said Peg Gehring, nurse practitioner, St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics. “That’s more commonly known as whooping cough,” Gehring added.

                                    Pam Laird will speak to the Kamiah Valley Historical Society Sunday, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m., in Kamiah at the Welcome Center. The event is free. She will tell about how Native pre-European people lived and how they explored and learned about the world around their own villages and beyond including trading, agriculture, and subsentence.

                                      The Upriver Youth Leadership Council (UYLC) recently held a “Train the Trainer” facilitators training for The Strengthening Families Program (SFP). This program is a free, seven-week interactive workshop for parents and youths ages 6 to 16, that will begin to be offered in the Kamiah community and surrounding area after the holiday season. Six Kamiah community members graduated the training and are now able to offer the training locally. This is the first time that the program will be available locally.

                                        Idaho made national news last week once again for racist behavior. Fourteen Middleton elementary school staff dressed as Trump’s border wall and in stereotypical Hispanic costumes. They claimed that they did not do this in front of the students, they merely posted it on the official school Facebook page where it quickly went viral.

                                          After the Halloween festivities are you ready for Christmas shopping? This Saturday, the first craft fair of the fall season is happening right here in downtown Harpster. The old Harpster school house, now a community center, will be chock full of handmade items ranging from baked goods to purses and totes and items from Avon and Tupperware.

                                            The Upriver Youth Leadership Council (UYLC), in partnership with Kamiah Arnzen’s Drug, is helping to distribute free Deterra Rx pouches for citizens to safely dispose of their unused prescription medications. The pouches contain a water-soluble inner pod containing active carbon. When filled with warm water, the inner pod dissolves, the carbon is released, and medication placed in the pouch is rendered inert and irretrievable.

                                            The community seems to have settled into the four-day school week in Kamiah, though Joint School District 304 Superintendent Steve Higgins said all the effects of the change cannot be known so early. “We’re only nine weeks into school, so it’s difficult to tell at this point how much impact the four-day week will have. We’ll have a better idea at the end of the year,” Higgins said

                                              Clearwater Valley and Kamiah compete in the regular season as a cooperative CvK team. For districts and state meet they magically become Rams and Kubs again. Both had a great showing at the district championships in Lewiston last week. Coach Janna Privette is thrilled to be taking ten runners to the state meet on Oct. 27.

                                                Great news for theater lovers! I met up with three members of the Kamiah Characters high school theater group last week at the KHS library. Octavio Spencer and sisters Laura and Kara Dow are excited about a new play they are working on this fall. It is a Star Trek spoof, called “Star Track- the Expedition Menace.” I enjoyed watching two of the Kamiah Characters’ productions last year- “Let’s Hang Him and Read the Will” and “How the West Was Won- Black Hat Optional.” They are fun and light plays that allow the students to try on new personalities and provide a creative outlet. I will keep you posted when performance dates are scheduled. You can bet I will be there!

                                                  The historic Kooskia Opera House Theater is on the market again after selling just a year ago to a private buyer. In 2017 a local group organized to raise money to buy the opera house, but did not raise enough funds in the time allotted by the previous owners. I haven’t heard if the group will try again. It’s a great facility with a second-floor performance space that has hosted many theatrical and musical performances throughout the years.

                                                    Kamiah High School Counselor Jeannette Wilcox was recently named Region 2 Counselor of the Year by the Idaho Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (IACRAO). The award recognizes excellence in school counseling in the North Idaho South Region which includes the large geographic area from Latah County south through Idaho County.

                                                      There have been lots of recent accolades for current and former Clearwater Valley and Kamiah student athletes and coaches. Two coaches, two teams and four student athletes from Clearwater Valley High School or Kamiah High School have been nominated for honors in the Warrior Athletic Association high school awards for the 2017-2018 school year.

                                                        There have been rumors for months that the Cottonwood credit union would expand their reach to Kooskia. They confirmed last week they will open a branch in the former Umpqua bank building on Main Street. We joined Cottonwood credit union (in addition to being Freedom Northwest Credit Union members) a few years back because they have a great construction loan program. They were nice to work with and contractor liked it because he got paid quickly. (Although Freedom Northwest Credit Union can in some cases help people to find construction financing, they do not have a formal construction loan program.) It will also be great to have one fewer vacant building in Kooskia.

                                                          Fall sports are off and running, literally. The Clearwater Valley-Kamiah (CVK) cross-country team had a good showing in Deary (Moose Creek) last week, with Melanie Gianopulos winning the girls race, 41 seconds ahead of her closest rival during the 5 kilometer (roughly 3.1 miles) course. Three CVK boys placed in the top 20 led by Kevin Hill in 9th place, Preston Amerman in 16th, followed closely by Jace Sams in 17th place. The boys placed 3rd as a team; unfortunately, the girls don’t have enough runners for a team score. Great job to all the runners. I’ve heard there’s a tough hill in this race. When I saw Melanie warming up before the McCall race she was sporting a sweatshirt with “My sport is your sports punishment.” You’ve got to love running to be willing to put in the miles.

                                                            The Architectural Barriers Act, which was signed into law 50 years ago this month, influenced federal agencies across the nation to construct facilities that were universally accessible to visitors of varying physical capabilities. The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests has designed visitor centers, trails, and other facilities with the standards set by this law.

                                                              I spent last Saturday afternoon amidst happy chaos at the youth zone at Kamiah Barbecue Days. I volunteered at the obstacle course, a large brightly colored inflatable feature with two lanes. Kids of all ages attempted to leap from one large ball to the next landing on their feet, their bellies, however they could manage, making their way across the course, then climbing out and shooting down the slide at the far end. My role, trying to keep some semblance of order, was an interesting challenge.

                                                                I spent a beautiful Saturday morning at the “dash and splash” high school invitational cross-country meet at Ponderosa State Park on the shores of Payette Lake near McCall. It was the first meet of the season for the combined Clearwater Valley- Kamiah High Schools. The team sports a different uniform with C-v-K instead of the usual CV Rams and Kamiah Kubs. Male and female runners from both schools share a single coach (Kamiah science teacher, Janna Privette) and practice and travel together.

                                                                News and information from our community partners

                                                                Upcoming Events