A 2016 report from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indicates that more than four in five American Indian and Alaska Native women and men experience violence in their lifetimes;American Indian and Alaska Native women are also two times more likely than other groups to experience rape or …

History has shown that there are critical times where the actions of individual citizens have the biggest impact on outcomes for the whole community and country. We are currently in one of those times. With new confirmed Covid 19 infections in our communities and rapid exponential growth of …

Do you have chronic pain, and your life isn't what you need or want? Do you have family, friends, or your physician wanting you to reduce or stop your pain medications? Peg Gehring, FNP-BC, DPN, at St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics wants you to know that there are options for you, and St. Mary…

When there is a need for a major reform in our country, listening is the starting point for sound change. Recently, I had the opportunity to discuss proposed federal policy changes to address police use of force at a Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing. The input of those who have work…

When someone suspects that they may have coronavirus, we hope that they immediately take steps to get tested so they know if they should self-isolate. Unfortunately, a growing number of Idaho children have difficulty getting tested and treated for coronavirus because they don’t have access t…

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Idaho’s healthcare workers have stood ready to serve the needs of all Idahoans.

As an Idaho taxpayer and state representative, it is my priority to address the property tax problem that is crushing everyday Idahoans. Governor Little has proposed the use of pandemic relief funds for lowering property taxes related to emergency services. Let’s be clear: this is a temporar…

In recognition of Flag Day, I wrote this column weeks ago to commemorate our flag and national anthem.  Today, as our country grapples with division and some have used the flag in expressions of rage, I questioned whether to submit it.  However, I determined that especially now we should rem…

On May 8, 1945, Americans, with our allies around the world, celebrated Nazi Germany’s surrender ending World War II in Europe.  Many American troops stationed in Europe were soon after sent home or to the Pacific Theater.  Concentration Camps and communities across Europe were liberated, Ja…

Open a business now or stay the course? Sacrifice lives or sacrifice jobs? The issue is almost as fraught as the simple choice facing all of us: Do we wear a mask to protect others or go bare-faced in public?  

As lieutenant governor, I am one heartbeat away from the governor’s chair. I am also a small business owner. My family and I own four small businesses in the restaurant and automotive industries, employing hundreds of Idahoans. As a former member of the Idaho House of Representatives, I repr…

I’m writing to you from what we affectionately call the “Bunker.” The Bunker is the base from which, under normal circumstances, we coordinate the massive undertaking that is required to pull off an election at hundreds of polling places, each processing hundreds, if not thousands, of voters…

At the drop of a hat, Idaho students and teachers have had to completely change their education plans for the school year. They are creating lessons in the virtual world while they are burdened by one of our state’s biggest problems: bad internet. Now, more than ever, Idahoans need reliable …

It came as a huge relief when Governor Little announced that the stay-at-home order would continue and that upcoming decisions to “re-open” business should be done based on the best scientific information available. Our current health care systems have not been overwhelmed yet thanks to most…

“After hearing about this virus for several weeks in the news, and still having very few positive test results, with only 3 cases attributed to Idaho County, it may be tempting to resume life as normal,” says Dr. Kelly McGrath, Chief Medical Officer at Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics.…

Congress and the Trump Administration have enacted three phases of legislation providing resources to support the fight against the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Most recently, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed, and President Trump signed into law,…

Some say there are two states of Idaho. It’s true that the Gem State divides by mountains, desert and a time zone; it’s also true that it’s split by radically different political temperaments. On the one hand there’s the spirit of cooperation and belief that government can help, on the other…

The Forest Service is currently accepting public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the forest plan revision on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. The comment deadline is April 20. The National Forest Management Act (1976) mandates all national forests to have a…

The staff at St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals & Clinics continue preparing for COVID-19 and are dedicated to keeping our employees safe and meeting the needs of our patients. We continue to manage chronic disease, and evaluate and treat acute illnesses, while also considering t…

Amid the changing landscape of stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, county clerks across Idaho have been faced with the many challenges of preparing for and ultimately conducting the May 19 Primary. March 30 found us impatiently drumming our fingers as we awaited a decision …

In light of the current ongoing pandemic, there have been many recent life altering changes that have caused an increase in stress for all of us, including the concept of social distancing.  Day in and day out, we hear ever changing information about COVID-19, and how it is affecting our com…

“You may be hearing a lot of different information about the severity of the coronavirus in different countries. The fact is that the experience has been different. Some countries have done a great job of slowing the spread of coronavirus (such as Singapore) and other countries have not been…

“FOOD Brings Everyone to the Table” is the theme for this year’s Ag Day – March 24th. Our country’s farmers and ranchers work hard to provide food and clothing for our country and the world. The Idaho County Farm Service Agency is proud to honor our local farmers and ranchers and recognize t…

Great news for Idaho parents and students regarding Early Childhood Education. Thanks to the successful collaboration of a bi-partisan committee of stakeholders convened over the summer and the support of Governor Brad Little, Idaho is the recipient of a $3.3 million Federal Preschool Develo…

This time of year, there are a lot of illnesses going around. Your co-workers have probably been coughing. Your kids have probably missed some school. We’ve been seeing all the typical suspects here at the clinic: strep throat, influenza, colds, and pneumonia. This is also the peak season fo…

Two weeks ago, Idaho Education News reported a story on school fund balances throughout the state. Big Country news picked up the story and shared it with our local readers. Many patrons of the district have either ask me directly or in a roundabout way if the information was correct. The an…

Support Local Journalism

Now, more than ever, the world needs trustworthy reporting—but good journalism isn’t free. Please support us by subscribing or making a contribution.

News and information from our community partners

Upcoming Events

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.