KOOSKIA – Chaos and tension punctuate each video cut as two young men search and run through forests, something red spatters across a tree, and a shocking moment of discovery is made. Could it be the legendary Bigfoot, the Sasquatch?

GRANGEVILLE – A group of more than 45 people crowded into the Mountain View School District 244 district office meeting room Tuesday, Jan. 22, for the regular monthly board meeting.

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…

    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.

    CLEARWATER VALLEY -- I met up with Arden Lytle, the Harpster fire chief the other day. He wanted to let folks know that they are hosting their annual fire refresher training (RT-130). Chief Lytle welcomes people in the Harpster Fire District as well as people from surrounding fire districts …

      Kooskia Saddliers will host a meeting and potluck Saturday, Jan. 19, noon, at 2 North Front Street in Kooskia (call 208-926-0963).

        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.

          The children of Jennie (Straw) and Larry Lyons invite all to congratulate them on 50 years of marriage. Both are graduates of the Clearwater Valley High School in Kooskia, class of 1968. They were married in Grangeville, Idaho, on Jan. 4, 1969.

            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.

              Two men have been arrested as the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office (ICSO) investigation continues into a series of reported burglaries in the Selway Road area. ICSO also stated a suspicious structure fire, reported Dec. 31, is being investigated by the agency and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

              The City of Kooskia is looking toward state grant funding to pay for emergency repairs to one of the municipal wastewater lagoons damaged in November’s earthquake. A special city council meeting is set this Thursday, Jan. 3, starting at 6 p.m. to inform the public about the issue, plans to fix the problem, and to take comment.

                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.

                GRANGEVILLE — Following a lengthy discussion at the Dec. 17 board meeting, the Mountain View School District 244 board voted to hold the 2018-19 supplemental levy in May rather than March.

                  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.

                    Clearwater Valley Junior/Senior High School recently held its Christmas concert, under the direction of Mrs. Elizabeth Nuxoll.

                      When asked if the CBYCC program helped her get the job she has today, Harmony Edmondson affirmed that it was indeed a stepping stone. “CBYCC introduced me to the tools, working on a crew, how that works and what that looks like,” she explained. She added it was a fundamental part of learning how to interact and cooperate with others. “We worked near the fish hatchery outside of East Kooskia, and we built the wood fence that’s out there right now. My crew built that!” Edmondson said it gives her a sense of pride when she sees the fence, knowing that she was able to contribute to her community.

                      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.

                      KOOSKIA — A 16-year-old Kooskia male has been charged with making threats of violence involving firearms at Clearwater Valley Jr./Sr. High School (CVJSHS).

                      One of the standout items in the audit report was the school lunch fund which reflected a net operating balance of $149 in 2018 versus a loss of $10,247 in 2017.

                        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.

                        - A 16-year-old Kooskia male has been charged with making threats of violence involving firearms at Clearwater Valley Jr./Sr. High School (CVJSHS). - “I want to thank the administration for their thoughtfulness and the way they reacted to the situation,” said parent Susan Graves

                          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.

                          Christmas festivites were officially ushered in last Friday, Nov. 30, at the Kooskia Tree Lighting event, organized by the chamber of commerce. Participants gathered at Kooskia City Hall for music and pictures with Santa Claus, followed by a block’s walk to A Avenue where the town Christmas tree was lit.

                          A group of Mountain View School District 244 teachers implored the board to come together and discuss their contracts. This occurred at the Nov. 19 regular monthly meeting held in Kooskia. A meeting was not held in October. “Now that we’ve entered into the mediation stage, I don’t believe we can legally meet face to face,” board chair Lot Smith said.

                            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.

                              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.

                                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.

                                    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!

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