Monday, January 31, 2011

U.S. District Judge strikes down healthcare reform law

(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden welcomed today’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, striking down the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” as an unconstitutional overstepping of congressional authority.

Specifically, Judge Vinson found that the “individual mandate” portion of the law – requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face financial penalties – violated the U.S. Constitution.

“Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void,” Judge Vinson wrote in his 78-page decision in favor of Idaho and 25 other states that challenged President Obama’s signature law.

“There no doubt will be an appeal, but I’m confident we will prevail. In my view, this ruling sets the stage for Congress and the states to get down to the real work of making health care more accessible and affordable rather than shoving a one-size-fits-all solution down Americans’ throats,” Governor Otter said. “Along with the recent decision by another federal judge in Virginia who reached the same conclusion, and the U.S. House of Representatives’ decision to repeal Obamacare, the handwriting seems to be on the wall for proponents of this slippery slope to

“Today’s decision is an important first step in understanding the limits of our Constitution with regard to the powers of Congress,” Attorney General Wasden said. “As important as today’s decision is, there is little doubt that the federal government will appeal. I remain confident that the issues will ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court.”

Friday, January 28, 2011

Orofino police investigating malicious property destruction

Orofino Police Department (OPD) Officer Matt Russell is investigating several instances of Malicious Destruction of Property in Orofino that occurred between Thursday night and Friday morning, according to OPD. A stop sign at the intersections of Michigan Avenue and C Street and another on Brown and C Street were both torn down and damaged.

A report of damage at 203 F Street, where someone spun a vehicle in circles and left tire marks in grass, was received from Public Works Supervisor John Barton, according to OPD.

Officer Russell received the report at Friday morning.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact OPD at (208) 476-5551 or e-mail a tip by visiting OPD’s website at

The stop sign at C Street and Michigan Avenue was torn down and mangled.

This no parking sign was forced almost completely over.

Tire tracks from where a vehicle veered into the grass on F Street.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

School board expels five students

Five seventh grade students were expelled from the Orofino school at the deliberation of the School District #171 board members at a meeting last week in Peck.

Board member John Schwartz noted that the students may seek an outpatient treatment program by a certified drug and alcohol counselor if they complete this program the board may consider allowing them back into school at an earlier date but no sooner than the beginning of the 2011-12 school year.

All except one of the students, their parents and a Riverside Recovery representative met with the board previous to the decision being made to expel the students.

District Supt. Dale Durkee announced the district’s administrative team prioritized the need to move the seventh graders from Orofino Elementary School to Orofino High School this fall.

See the rest of the School Board meeting article in this week's paper.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Message from Mayor Smathers

In this week's paper, Orofino Mayor Ryan Smathers will publish an imporant message regarding the youth drug and alcohol abuse issue in Clearwater County.

Here is a portion of the message:

"We have a Strong and Urgent need for Help in Our Community. We have a "Community Problem" which is affecting some of our most valuable citizens. The alcohol and prescription drug abuse issue at our elementary school is an urgent and dire situation needing a strong and deliberate response from all of our citizens. DON’T STOP READING NOW. You may be asking yourself, is there anything I can do to help? Well, the first thing is to LOCK UP your prescription medication. Even if you live alone, the potential for a visitor having access to your prescriptions is high. Locking your prescriptions away protects you and also protects the youth of our community.

"Second, it is not all right to be buying alcohol for minors. If you’re doing it, STOP. If you know someone purchasing alcohol for minors, report them. You may be of the frame of mind that alcohol is not an issue. You’re wrong. Studies have shown that alcohol at younger ages affects brain development and learning abilities. There is a legal drinking age for a reason. Let’s do our part to keep alcohol out of reach or locked up."

The rest of the message can be viewed in this week's Clearwater Tribune.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Orofino water users: Remember to conserve!

Those residents who use the City of Orofino water system are reminded to conserve water today and tomorrow (Monday and Tuesday).

City staff will be conducting required maintenance to the city water treatment plant, and during this period, water production will be limited to half its daily output, thereby limiting the amount of water being pumped into storage reservoirs.

All city reservoirs were full at the time of maintenance and are expected to easily meet the needs of residents and businesses. Nonetheless, the mayor and city council ask that users of the city water system conserve as much water as possible during these two days. In the event of an emergency, large quantities of water may be needed.

Questions can be directed to the city at (208) 476-4725.

Friday, January 21, 2011

January 20 poll

Our poll this week is about gun control. It was inspired by the tragedy involving Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford. The question is, do you favor gun control? The possible answerers are:
  1. Yes, but only to a point
  2. No, I don't
  3. I wish guns were illegal
So far only one person has voted that they wish guns were illegal. Ten say they favor gun control to a certain point. Everyone else who has voted is opposed to gun control.

If you haven't voted, do so now at The poll is in the left column. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Watch for our 100 year special edition

Clearwater County turns 100 this year. In honor of our county's colorful history, the Clearwater Tribune will publish a special edition featuring interesting historical articles. Watch for it the first week of March. It will be inserted into every newspaper; be available here in the office; and available at our website,, by clicking on the blue Special Editions tab.

And because there's no way we can condense Clearwater County's history into one special edition, we'll begin publishing historical articles in our paper after the special edition comes out.