I visit with my District 15 constituents at their door nearly every day to stay current with what concerns them the most. The top two issues almost everyone brings up are education funding and managing growth. Both issues are impacted by a common underlying concern – fiscal management.

We go about our daily lives in the United States of America. We read newspapers in the US and via Internet we have access to myriad newspapers around the world. But how often do we stop and consider press freedom? How often do we count our blessings when we peruse social media news outlets? …

Grangeville Elementary and Middle School Library has been very busy this fall. Thanks to the community it has been a great success. We owe a huge thanks to all of the parents and families of the students here at GEMS. We had many people help out at each event, and I know I will miss some, bu…

Technology touches every part of our lives and, with technology, comes the need for reliable broadband access. Access to the Internet has become nearly as important as access to clean drinking water, power for your home and roads. In fact, access to broadband is so important that a U.S. Cour…

Many in our community are familiar with Animal Ark and Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF), but there may be some confusion as to the mission of each organization. Animal Ark and ARF retain separate 501c3 nonprofit status, donations to both organizations are tax deductible. Both ARF and Animal Ar…

On January 27, 2016, former Kamiah Mayor Dale Schneider signed Resolution 2016-1, turning all authority of the ambulance service over to the chief of the Kamiah Volunteer Fire Department. This dramatically changed the way the ambulance service operated, and the environment in which the EMTs worked.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is proceeding with impeachment charges against President Trump. As a member of Congress and an Idaho Representative, I understand the gravity of the situation. Every future U.S. President will be subject to the precedent Congress sets within the next few days.…

Nearly 15,000 Idahoans will be losing their insurance because of the passage of Medicaid expansion. While this may come as a surprise to some, the House Republican Caucus worked hard to warn Idahoans and on Nov. 1, Idaho’s Medicaid expansion open enrollment started. One of largest consequenc…

Each year, I honor Idaho veterans and volunteers who support veterans with the Spirit of Freedom: Idaho Veterans Service Award. The lives of the award recipients are fascinating and inspiring and represent the core of what makes our communities and state so special. A common characteristic a…

In response to the letter from Norma Staaf [Nov. 13 issue] regarding a voter being turned away at the Grangeville Armory during the Nov. 5 election, that error is confirmed and acknowledged.

Idaho is flourishing; let’s keep it that way by keeping state government small and cutting the fat from our budget.

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…

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…

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…

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…

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