Friday, September 23, 2016

Shopko Hometown Store grand opening is Friday, Oct. 14

Opens to customers Sunday, Oct. 2

Shopko has announced that it will open a new Shopko Hometown store located at 429 Michigan Ave on Friday, Oct. 14. Shopko Hometown provides local residents a convenient new community-focused shopping experience that features essential name-brand items.

A special grand opening event, highlighted by a $2,500 check presentation to Orofino Junior / Senior High School by the Shopko Foundation, will take place at 7:45 a.m.

All residents are invited to join the Shopko team and community leaders for the event. For those who can’t wait for the grand opening celebration, the store will be open to customers starting on Sunday, Oct. 2.

The first 100 customers in line will receive a free $10 Shopko gift card. A number of prizes will also be given out through “register to win” events.

Customers will also be encouraged to sign up for Shopko’s loyalty program to receive exclusive mailers, $10 off on their birthday and special email announcements and offers.

Every customer who uses their loyalty member card on the day of the grand opening will be entered into a drawing for a $1,000 shopping spree. Refreshments will be served inside the store.

The store will be open Monday through Sunday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The pharmacy will be open Monday through Friday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“The excitement surrounding our grand opening isn’t just about the products we sell, it’s about making life easier for the customers we are privileged to serve,” said Peter McMahon, Shopko CEO. “It’s about the stuff that counts—the essentials that help people get ready for work or school or to enjoy the weekend with family and friends.”

Shopko Hometown combines Shopko’s strong reputation for health services and customer service with a broad and dynamic offering of national brands and private label brands at a great value. Product offerings include clothing, home furnishings, toys, consumer electronics, seasonal items and lawn and garden products – all in attractive, well laid out, easy-to-shop store format.

“At Shopko Hometown, we understand that we’re simply part of the larger community,” said McMahon. “That’s why we support local organizations, such as schools and 501(c)(3) organizations, that are vital to the well-being and future growth of the community.”

Having opened 53 stores in 2015 and 22 thus far in 2016, including the Orofino location, Shopko is projecting continued growth over the next two years with the expected opening of additional stores in markets across the country. 

Shopko provides the stuff that counts. Follow Shopko at Facebook.com/Shopko.

About Shopko

Shopko is owned by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a leading private investment firm focused on leverage buyouts, equity, debt, and other investments in market-leading companies. 

Founded in 1962 and headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Shopko Stores Operating Co., LLC is a $3 billion retailer that operates 372 stores in 25 states throughout the Central, Western and Pacific Northwest regions.

Retail formats include 131 Shopko stores, providing quality name-brand merchandise, great values, pharmacy and optical services in small to mid-sized cities; five Shopko Express Rx stores, a convenient neighborhood drugstore concept; five Shopko Pharmacy locations; and 231 Shopko Hometown stores, a smaller concept store developed to meet the needs of smaller communities.

For more information, visit www.shopko.com.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fall burning planned on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests


The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests will be conducting fall prescribed burns beginning as early as Sept. 10 and continuing through September and into October, until weather or air quality conditions are no longer favorable.

Roads and trail heads that lead into these areas will be posted with caution signs and a map of the prescribed fire locations. 

Powell Ranger Station is planning to broadcast burn a 20 acre unit in the Saddle Camp area along FS road 5601. Smoke may be seen along FS road 107 and FS road 500.

Machine piles in the Saddle Camp and Granite Pass areas within the vicinity of the Powell Divide Timber Sale, along with hand piles near Rocky Point Lookout and the Powell Ranger Station, are also targeted for burning.

Moose Creek Ranger District is planning pile burning in the Johnson Bar area and the Swiftwater and Iron Mountain timber sale areas.

As weather and conditions allow prescribed fire treatments may be applied to three units in the O’Hara area. Visitors may see smoke and meet forest personnel along FS roads 470 (Coolwater) and FS road 464 (O’Hara) during burn operations. 

Lochsa Ranger Station as part of the North Lochsa Face Project is planning a landscape burn in the Middle Butte area north of FS road 483. The prescribed fire treatment is estimated to be 1,000 acres.

The purpose of the burn is to reintroduce fire to the landscape, reduce woody fuel loadings which also reduces the potential for large, catastrophic wildfires, and allow vegetation, naturally found in these areas, to return. 

Additional broadcast burning is planned in late September or early October in the Dead Canyon Timber Sale area near the upper portion of Deadman Creek and Cedar Knob and in the Cabin Timber Sale area near Cabin Creek. The prescribed fire treatments will reduce woody debris to create openings for tree planting.

North Fork Ranger District is planning pile burning in the Middle Bugs Timber Sale area. Piles are located near Lean-To Ridge off of FS road 555 and Beaver Dam Saddle off of FS road 103.

Palouse Ranger District is planning to broadcast burn 30 acres in the Abes Animals Timber Sale near Bovill and an additional 15 acres in the Robo Stew Timber Sale near the community of Elk River. 

Machine piles will be burned in the Cherry Pit, located near Helmer, and Abes Animal timber sale areas. Hand piles located near Jerome Creek, near Harvard, and near the Palouse Ranger District are also targeted for burning. 

Salmon River Ranger District is scheduled to broadcast burn approximately 336 acres within the Festus, Adams Stewardship and the Buckshot timber sale areas.

Approximately 129 acres will be treated within the Festus Timber Sale southeast near White Bird Station off of FS road 9485.

45 acres located in two logging units within the Adams Stewardship Timber Sale near the Adams Work Center, FS road 221, and FS road 309.

Treatments in the Buckshot Timber Sale will total 162 acres and is located near Willow Flat off of FS road 354.

Prescribed fire treatments in various Ponderosa Pine plantations near McComas Meadows, Earthquake Basin, and in the Cove area at the head waters of Bully Creek are planned. 200-300 acres will be treated.

Red River Ranger District, weather permitting, will begin prescribed fire treatments September 12, 2016 and continue until weather and conditions no longer support burning operations. Prescribed fire treatments are scheduled in the Red River Meadows area and the Soda Creek area. 

Acres and locations scheduled include: Approximately 100 acres in the 66 Timber Sale located on the west side of Red River Meadows and below FS road 1800 (Cole Porter Road), 80 acres, Looney 2 Timber Sale, east of FS road 222 along FS road 1806 (Loon Creek Road), 14 acres, Blanco Timber Sale, and east of FS road 222.

Also north of FS road 1183 (Blanco Road), 100 acres, Jungle Trail Timber Sale, located between FS road 234 (Red River Hot Springs Road) and FS road 1172 (Soda Creek Road), and 200 acres in the French Gulch Timber Sale along FS road 9822 (French Gulch Road).

Fire personnel will work closely with the Idaho/Montana Airshed Group, the National Weather Service, and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to insure that smoke impacts are minimized. 

Smoke from these prescribed fires will be much less than what would be expected from a wildfire. If smoke concentrations approach air quality standards fire ignition may be delayed until air quality improves.

Residual smoke may be visible for up to two weeks following ignition, but most of the smoke from the fires will dissipate one or two days after ignition. 

Specific information on the location and timing of these prescribed burns are available at each of the district offices. Powell Ranger Station – Matt Young or Brandon Cichowski, 208-942-3113, Moose Creek Ranger District – Tim Schaeffer or Aaron Skinner, 208-926-4258, Lochsa Ranger Station – Sean Gaines or Neal Cox, 208-926-4274, North Fork Ranger District – Mike Lubke or TC Peterson, 208-476-4541, Palouse Ranger District – Lisa Spinelli or Alan Carlson, 208-875-1131, Salmon River Ranger District – Mike Blinn or Kevin Barger, 208-983-1950, Red River Ranger District – Josh Bransford or Tom McLeod, 208-842-2245.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Forest Proposes Adding Cabins and Lookouts to Recreation Rental Program and Increase and Implement New Fees at Several Recreation Sites Across the Forest

The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests are interested in receiving your comments on a proposal to increase the fee at one campground; and implement a new fee at two campgrounds, three group recreation sites and four cabin/lookout rentals. 

Through this proposal, if implemented, two cabins and two lookouts will be available for public rental, adding to the Forest’s popular recreation rental program. They will also bring several campgrounds, group sites and a dump station into alignment with other sites offering similar benefits and services. 

While these sites have historically been free, the forest has invested in items such as; potable water; increasing recreation site capacity and amenities, such as group sites and shelters; improved toilet facilities; and new picnic tables and other infrastructure.

A reasonable fee, paid by users of these sites and services, will help ensure that the Forest can continue maintaining and improving the sites for future generations. 

The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests is proposing to charge fees at the following sites:

· Aquarius – Purple Beach Group Site, North Fork Ranger District: Proposed fee of $15 per night and an additional $5 extra vehicle, per night fee for more than 2 vehicles. The adjacent day use picnic area will remain free to public use. 

· Cedar Flats Sewer Dump Station, Fenn Ranger Station, Moose Creek Ranger District: Proposed fee of $10 per use/waste dump.

· Elk River Day Use Picnic & Group Shelter, Palouse Ranger District: Proposed fee of $25 daily rental of the group day use facilities which includes a large group shelter with a maximum capacity of 150 persons and parking for 30 vehicles. Advance reservations for this site will be available through the National Recreation Reservation System.

· Fish Creek Group Site, Salmon River Ranger District: Proposed fee of $25 per night with a maximum capacity of 75 and 20 vehicles. Advance reservations for this site will be available through the National Recreation Reservation System.

· Gold Meadows Cabin Rental, Lochsa/Powell Ranger District: Proposed fee of $40 per night. Advance reservations for this site will be available through the National Recreation Reservation System.

· Liz Creek Cabin Rental, North Fork Ranger District: Proposed fee of $40 per night. Advance reservations for this site will be available through the National Recreation Reservation System.

· Lolo Creek Campground, Lochsa/Powell Ranger District: Proposed fee of $12 per night.

· Partridge Creek Campground, Palouse Ranger District; Proposed fee of $12 per night. 

· Scurvy Mountain Lookout Rental, North Fork Ranger District: Proposed fee of $45 per night. Advance reservations for this site will be available through the National Recreation Reservation System. 

· Wallow Mountain Lookout Rental, North Fork Ranger District: Proposed fee of $45 per night. Advance reservations for this site will be available through the National Recreation Reservation System. 

Additional construction is required at Partridge Creek Campground prior to implementation of proposed fee, and is planned to occur in 2017. No fee will be charged prior to completion. The four proposed cabin and fire lookout rentals have not been available for recreation use prior to this date. An analysis of nearby similar recreation sites indicates that the proposed sites and associated fees are in alignment with other offerings.

In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act which allows the Forest Service to retain 95 percent of fees collected at certain recreation sites and use these funds locally to operate and maintain and improve these sites. 

Forest managers will be accepting comments until October 14, 2016. For more information, questions or to provide comments about any of these fee change proposals, please contact Diana Jones at (208) 476-8239. You can mail comments to: Diana Jones, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, 12730 U.S. Highway 12, Orofino, ID 83544 or email comments to FS-comments-northern-clearwater.

Once public involvement is complete, this proposal and public comments will be presented to the Coeur d’Alene Bureau of Land Management Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) prior to a final decision and implementation.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Clearwater County Fair: The pedestrian’s revenge

By Andrea Dell

One year, while walking home from the fair, I encountered a chalk drawing of a human outline, in the street.

It was in the middle of a crosswalk beside the old Orofino Junior High—the intersection next to First Christian Church. It looked like the type of outline drawing crime scene investigators make around a murder victim’s corpse.

My first thought was a little evil: An Orofino pedestrian bites the dust.

Obviously no one died there, or any such thing. No doubt it was drawn by someone having a little fun.

Still, being a pedestrian in Orofino isn’t easy.

Clearwater County’s Fair and Lumberjack Days weekend is the one time of year when pedestrians rule the streets in downtown Orofino. You can step casually off the curb and know you aren’t in danger of being run over, because everyone else is doing the same thing.

Normally, this is not the case.

Like me, you’ve probably been to communities where cars will basically slam on their brakes to stop for you.

In Orofino, you don’t often see such a thing from motorists. To be fair, when you attempt to cross the street, it doesn’t usually take more than a few seconds before someone will stop for you.

Even so, most pedestrians know to be extra wary if there is any traffic when they’re trying to cross the street.

Often, a couple of drivers in either direction will breeze on by as you stand there waiting. It’s hard to say if they weren’t paying attention, or simply didn’t want to spare that three to five seconds it would take you to cross their lane.

Sometimes, a driver will speed up when they see you. Perhaps they think they’ll be out of your way faster if they hurry, plus they won’t have to stop. Everybody wins!

When you’re the driver, and perfectly willing to stop for pedestrians, it’s tricky for you, too. Cars behind you may not notice a pedestrian even if you do. Do you try to stop, and risk getting rear-ended, or do you cruise on by, leaving the pedestrian to wait on someone more curteous?

The larger issue for drivers is figuring out what the heck a pedestrian is trying to do.

Because pedestrians here are conditioned to be extra wary of traffic, the way we handle that wariness is fairly confusing to motorists.

For example, one species of Orofino pedestrian you’ll notice is the timid lurker. You’ll find them hovering shyly on the sidewalk, a body length from the edge of the curb.

They’ll be tentatively glancing back and forth, hoping the traffic will clear, or at least figure out what they’re wanting and slow down.

Maybe they’re even rocking back and forth a bit, the way you do when you need to use the restroom pretty badly. It’s difficult to tell that they even want to cross the street.

When they do cross, they break into a fast walk, or even a jog, as if they feel it’s only a matter of seconds before the vehicle that finally slowed down for them decides to floor it and mow them down.

Another type of Orofino pedestrian is the one a driver does see, and does stop for, because they are standing at the edge of the curb, clearly waiting.

In this case, instead of crossing, they wave the driver on by. Do they not want to cross after all? Or, do they want to be free and clear of all traffic before they cross, so they can take their time? Perhaps they’re just being courteous.

The only way to know is to glance in your rearview mirror after you’ve driven past. Sometimes they’ll be right where they were, leaving you to wonder why they’re just standing there.

More likely, you’ll see them step into the street and cross, or waving on some other vehicle that showed up.

During the Clearwater County Fair, this timid pedestrian business doesn’t exist, particularly on Main Street (only a block from where the fair is set up).

Pedestrians march boldly into the street whenever and wherever they please, sparing barely a glance at any motorists who try and brave downtown Orofino.

Sometimes droves of pedestrians pass in one giant pack. Other times, there are just a couple of people, or small groups, spaced just far enough apart that cars can’t simply speed by without running over someone.

If you’ve never noticed it before, or never thought about it, take a minute to check it out at this year’s fair.

And, enjoy it while you can—once things wrap up on Fair Sunday, you’ll be back at the bottom of the food chain, Orofino pedestrian!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Orogrande Community Protection Project gets underway

The Orogrande Community Protection Project got a jump start in July when Idaho Department of Corrections' (IDOC) Red Shirt crew joined forces with forest personnel.

The Red Shirts, comprised of ten crew members from the Idaho Corrections Institute in Orofino, put training they had acquired to use cutting, brushing, and piling around the community of Orogrande. Corrections Officer Spencer, said of the group, “They are ready to go to work.”

The IDOC crew members earn $1.25 an hour. Wages earned in projects like the Orogrande project can be used to send money home, pay for child support, and purchase items in the commissary like pop, candy, and Ramen noodles.

Skills learned and utilized help inmates reintegrate back into the community and find jobs. When crew members were asked if they had spent time in the forest and done similar work, a range of experience, from one who had grown up in that line of work to another who was originally from Sacramento and had never done any kind of related work or spent time on forest lands, was shared.

Nez Perce-Clearwater Forest Supervisor, Cheryl Probert, signed the Final Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Orogrande Community Protection Project on January 29, 2016. 

In a Feb. 8 news release, a community member shared, "The Orogrande Protection Project is an example, of what can be accomplished when the local community and USFS work together in a harmonious way…” 

The project is designed to reduce forest fuels near private lands and roads near the Orogrande Community, other private lands, and along Forest Road 233, the Crooked River Road.

The project is also designed to reduce the risk of high intensity wildfires and to improve forest health, vigor and resilience within forest stands.

These actions are consistent with the Idaho County Community Wildlife Protection Plan (CWPP). The project area is located in the Crooked River watershed southwest of Elk City.


Shown here is some clean-up work done during the Orogrande Community Protection Project. The goal of the project was to reduce the risk of wildfires and improve forest health.


Pictured here are members of ICI-O Red Shirts work crew who helped at the Orogrande Community Protection Project.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Prescribed fire aims to reduce fire risk, improve elk habitat

Weather conditions permitting, fire managers plan to begin prescribed fire operations next week in the Barnard Junction and Moose Kelly project areas of the North Fork Ranger District. 

The planned area has remained relatively untouched by fire for almost a century. Applying fire in a controlled manner will reduce the risk of future catastrophic wildfires and provide better forage for declining elk herds and other wildlife species.

The prescribed burn has been scheduled to take advantage of the narrow window of opportunity for prescribed fire treatment available, as the area receives 30 to 60 inches of rain annually, and is compared to an inland rainforest.

The fire will be allowed to move and spread within the units until precipitation from a season-ending weather event occurs. Units targeted for treatment range from 150 acres to 2,050 acres.

Not every acre will burn, but the entire area will benefit from the increased vegetative diversity created by the managed fire. 

After fire managers perform a test burn, a helicopter, utilizing aerial ignition, will drop hundreds of chemical-filled plastic spheres that look like ping-pong balls onto ridges with stands of dead and dying timber in the target area. A chemical reaction causes the spheres to ignite on the ground and smolder until they light vegetation.

By varying the proportions of the chemical mix and the number of spheres dropped, fire managers can control the speed of ignition and the intensity of the prescribed fire. The fire will then be allowed to back downslope into wet drainages, reducing fire intensity. 

The targeted prescribed fire area burned during the historic 1910 and 1919 fires. Decades of fire suppression has left the area heavily forested with lodgepole pine and many of the trees in the area are dying from infestations of mountain pine beetle. Reducing the amount of available fuels aids in the reduction of potentially large, high intensity wildfires.

Thick tree canopies have prevented growth of forage required by big-game animals. The result has been an adverse effect of elk habitat in the area and elk populations dropping drastically over the past quarter century. Many plants respond favorably to fire and new growth will provide forage for wildlife.

Residents of Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley are likely to see smoke from the burn. Prescribed fire produces smoke, but the smoke is typically short-lived and managed to minimize impacts to communities.

Prescribed fire and other fuels treatments help to reduce the severity of wildfires and minimize adverse smoke impacts on public health and safety.

Over the next several weeks, the forest is planning several other prescribed fire projects in the North Fork and Lochsa/Powell Ranger Districts to reduce fuels and restore characteristics of a fire-adapted ecosystem. Prescribed fire treatments have not been implemented in these wetter areas since 2011.

Planned treatment areas are located within remote, roadless areas or areas with very limited road access. Staggering the prescribed fire treatments through the late fall reduces smoke impacts to local communities.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

ICI-O and Special Olympics Idaho team up for a “Mega Event Fundraiser”

Idaho Correctional Institution-Orofino (ICI-O) has a goal of raising $10,000 for Special Olympics Idaho, and to get there, they are holding a Mega Event Fundraiser all day Saturday, July 30, at Ernie’s Steakhouse in Lewiston.

The event kicks off at 9 a.m. and continues until 10 a.m.

“‘ICIO’s Mega Event Fundraiser’ is the largest fund raising event that we have done to date,” said Anthony Riccomini, Even Coordinator. 

“It will include a Jail Sit Challenge, Tip and Cop, Torch Run, inmate artwork auction, free parking lot carnival with carnival games, snow cones, and more! We will be out all day long raising awareness for Special Olympics Idaho,” said Riccomini.

The day begins with the Torch Run at 9 a.m. Athletes from the Special Olympics, along with representatives from the IDOC, local law enforcement, and the general public, will carry the Torch of Hope from North 40 Outfitters down Juniper Dr. to Nez Perce Dr., ending at Ernie’s Steakhouse around 10 a.m.

Law enforcement and Special Olympics athletes will compete to see who can acquire the largest dollar amount of pledges for their run. The top two law enforcement officials and top two athletes that receive the most will win the honor of taking turns running the torch. The general public is encouraged to run as well. 

No pledges are necessary, but a $10 entry fee ($20 with a Torch Run t-shirt) will be collected at the starting line the day of the event between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.

The arrival of the runners at Ernie’s Steakhouse will be the kick-off of the free parking lot carnival. There will be a bounce house, face painting, carnival games, prizes, and more. 

IDOC will have a “jail” set up, and will challenge the public to give up an hour of their freedom to sit in this “jail” for charity. 

At 11 a.m. Ernie’s will open for lunch and there will be law enforcement officers on hand to serve the guests for tips. All tips that are collected by the officers will go to the Special Olympics Idaho. (Officer tips are in addition to the servers tips). 

Inside Ernie’s you can check out the IDOC inmate artwork silent auction and place your bids. There will be a radio live remote, as well as a live band for your enjoyment.

Ernie’s Steakhouse is located at 2305 Nez Perce Dr. in Lewiston. To view details about each activity, print flyers and pledge forms, make donations, and view the artwork up for bid in the silent auction, visit http://www.iciomtf.org/megaevent.html.