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If you ask any Idaho state politician about the number one issue affecting their constituents, they will tell you “education.” It’s on their web sites, their social media channels, and on every piece of paper they hand out at the door. The answer has become almost automatic. No matter what p…

Once upon a time, having a job at a newspaper meant working in one of the most imposing buildings in town, inhaling the acrid aroma of fresh ink and the dusty breath of cheap newsprint and feeling mini-earthquakes under our feet every time the presses started to roll. For those of us old eno…

When it comes to finding skilled workers to fill the estimated 7.5 million job openings in the U.S., small businesses are feeling the crunch. In today’s unprecedented booming economy, our region’s small employers are searching for qualified workers to fill the increasing amount of positions …

Doctors may prescribe opioids, a class of drugs used to treat pain, after surgery or an injury. Although opioids can be an important part of treatment, they can also pose a serious risk of addiction, abuse, and overdose, especially if used continuously. This is true even for seniors and othe…

Your Idaho legislature has worked very hard developing the most sensible Medicaid expansion possible. We will not let the federal government take that away. We support the will of the people and the integrity of Idaho’s government. I can promise you that we will find the “Idaho Way” forward …

It will be Nov. 5 before we know it. With a number of elections happening in Idaho County, it’s important that voters understand just how to make their votes count.

Tax policy may seem like an abstract exercise to some people, but decisions made by Idaho lawmakers have real world consequences. Take, for instance, a couple now in their mid to late sixties living in Kootenai, Cassia, Gooding, Shoshone or Ada County. They’ve lived and worked for decades in…

The sacrifices families make when their loved ones serve in our nation’s Armed Forces are incredibly understated. Military families raise children and hold together households while their loved ones are far from home. They endure sleepless nights worrying about their loved ones serving in ha…

Some would say we live in an age of technological enlightenment because we have instant access to volumes of information at the tips of our fingers. I remember not too long ago that it would take days to read through stacks of books and Encyclopedia Britannica, the grandfather Wikipedia, to …

National Crime Victims Week is recognized each April to raise public awareness about the rights and concerns of victims and survivors of crime in the United States. This national recognition provides opportunities to honor crime victims, survivors and those who provide help in the aftermath …

As you know, Healthcare is constantly changing. But did you know that it is currently transferring from volume to value and what that may mean to you? Syringa Hospital District Board of Trustees members think it’s critical that their local communities understand the changes and how they may …

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (www.nami.org), is deeply saddened by the mass shootings that are far too common and impact every corner of our nation. Every time we experience a tragedy like this, people with mental illness are drawn into the conversation. The truth is most vi…

Nearly two-thirds of Idahoans voted for a clean Medicaid expansion program. The reasons are easy to understand: We bring $400 million in federal dollars back to Idaho, provide healthcare for tens of thousands of working Idahoans, create thousands of jobs in the process, and shore up our rura…

Among outdoor enthusiasts, the Pacific Northwest is known for its iconic salmon and steelhead that once thrived in the waters of the Columbia River Basin. At the turn of the 19th century approximately 10 to 16 million wild salmon and steelhead would return to the streams, rivers and tributar…

Insufficient broadband in rural Idaho is putting our students, businesses, and communities at a significant disadvantage. I am working hard to get more of this essential to the people living outside the major metro areas. Our government needs to work with businesses to take sound economic ac…

Being an Idaho legislator is not a full-time job: it’s more than that. This Idaho Legislature convened Jan. 7 and adjourned sine die on April 11. The session lasted 95 days -- the third longest session in history. But, that was only part of our job working for the people of this state.

In a lot of ways, it’s been a rough year to be an Idahoan. In the last several months, citizens have had to fight to preserve their most basic constitutional rights.

Some would say we live in an age of technological enlightenment because we have instant access to volumes of information at the tips of our fingers. I remember not too long ago that it would take days to read through stacks of books and Encyclopedia Britannica, the grandfather Wikipedia, to …

Over the last decade, we have experienced a digital revolution that sees people using the Internet to manage more of their daily lives.  Mobile applications, social media and search engines have become everyday tools, but their usage is accompanied by a shocking amount of hidden data collect…

In the past, I have written about tax season scams to try to help raise awareness so that Americans do not fall victim to fraud that robs people of their hard-earned money. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently alerted the public to romance scams that the commission reports has resulte…

A string of new Idaho laws is protecting our freedoms, making us safer, and helping our economy. July 1st is always a special day in the Gem State; it’s when most of the laws passed during the legislative session actually go into effect. It was a challenging year in the statehouse, but I wor…

Nearly everyone in Idaho has a friend, family member, or neighbor who has been impacted by the ongoing opioid crisis. Idahoans have spent years trying to figure out how to contend with the most addictive, widespread drugs in modern history. The opioid epidemic has become a pressing issue for…

When we think of what it means to be healthy, we often think of physical health--maintaining an optimal weight, eating well and not having any ailments slowing us down. However, the definition of “healthy” includes not just physical, but also mental and emotional well-being. Distressing stat…

Every July 4th we celebrate the establishment of our nation and the values that created it. The freedoms that our inspired founders affirmed in the Declaration of Independence, and upheld in our Constitution, are the guiding principles of our Republic.

In the 1980s, there was a brokerage firm called E.F. Hutton that had one of the better advertising slogans of the decade: “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” Believe it or not, the same is true of your voice when it comes to Medicaid expansion - Idaho’s greatest legislative achievement …

In Idaho, potatoes have long been the staple crop of our agricultural sector and economy. We are responsible for about 30 percent of the country’s total potato production. That production goes a long way in feeding the rest of the country, as potatoes are the leading vegetable crop and the s…

You were the real hero of the 2019 legislative session. You came to the statehouse more times than I can count armed with facts, personal stories, and courage to fight the legislation that would hurt your communities. We could not have passed good Idaho centered legislation or stopped damagi…

You may have seen a scary headline about measles recently. It’s been confirmed: there are two measles cases in Idaho, both from Latah County. This comes in the midst of the largest outbreak of measles in the country since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000.

“Ninety-seven percent of land in Custer County is state and federally owned and exempt from taxation,” explained Custer County Commissioner and Idaho Association of Counties Public Lands Committee Chairman Wayne Butts. “Counties and schools like ours can’t operate without federal forest payments.”

Our flag is a powerful image of our national strength and American principles.  The flag has stood on the Moon.  Determined American soldiers raised our flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima.  It was flown on buildings after the Sept. 11 attacks.  The coffins of our best and bravest, who paid t…

Congratulations to all students across Idaho who recently graduated from university or any work-force training program! Your hard work and dedication to advancing your education is one of the most invaluable resources to our state. The education that you have received represents your future …

Last November, 61 percent of voters expanded Medicaid for Idahoans who make too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid but not enough to qualify for tax credits on the health exchange. I’ve been collecting the stories of Idahoans in the gap to help them share their share experiences of bei…

Idaho County property owners will be receiving their 2019 Assessment Notices next week. Like most of Idaho, Idaho County shows no signs of a depressed real estate market.

Four percent of the nation’s forested public wildlands remain undeveloped today. These landscapes are either designated wilderness or lands that qualify for designation. Many lands not protected as wilderness are called roadless areas. There are approximately 60 million acres of unprotected …

A new law passed this legislative session may allow Idahoans to have a larger voice in federal land management. This law, deemed the, “Federalism Bill,” appoints a group of legislators to help chart a better path for cooperative efforts between the federal government and its citizens. I have…

Spring brings new life and beauty to Idaho County. It is also the time that the board of trustees at Mountain View School District starts looking at our budget for the next year. Per the state constitution, funding for public schools is supposed to be provided from state tax collections, but…

On Sept. 14, 2001, Congress wrote what would prove to be one of the largest blank checks in our nation’s history.  The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against terrorists gave President Bush authority to attack the Taliban, the Sunni fundamentalist forces in Afghanistan and the…

When it comes to growing the economy, we often focus on job growth through starting a new business. However, there is also a lot to be said about job retention and growth through transitioning current businesses to the next generation.

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