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YONCALLA, Ore. – Not only has the small town of Yoncalla, Ore., elected an 18-year-old as its mayor, but that 18-year-old also has strong ties to Grangeville. Ben Simons, the son of 1981 Grangeville High School graduate Cheryl Ruzicka, was elected as mayor with 41 percent of the votes in the Tuesday, Nov. 6, election. His grandmother, Bettie Ruzicka, owns Bettie’s Floor and Décor in Grangeville.

Last week, the Idaho Babe Ruth baseball team held a car wash fundraiser in Grangeville and received much financial support for this week’s trip to Portland, Ore., where the boys from across North Central Idaho won their tournament opener.

You rate hotels, restaurants, how your product or service was provided. So why not do the same in choosing those for elected office? Reform in some U.S. states is providing for improved candidate selection, such as rank choice voting where the top contestants in a multiple candidate race are determined by eliminating those with the fewest first-choice votes.