Friday, December 28, 2012

Year-End Review: Part I


Fire broke out at approximately 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 2, at Central Idaho Offset Printing, located at 910 Grangemont Rd. The building, owned by Stanton Logging, houses the press equipment used for printing of the Clearwater Tribune and other regional publications. Due to the fire, the Clearwater Tribune has a new look. Page size is smaller. After 100 years of the paper’s page size measuring 14x23 inches it is now 11x21 inches.

Through the American Restoration and Recovery Act, grants have been obtained, with matching funds from the tribe to undertake erecting towers for a comprehensive broadband system over the Clearwater Valley. Cities that will have accessible coverage include Culdesac, Kamiah, Fraser, Orofino Riverside area, Ahsahka, Peck, Cherry Lane, Cottonwood Creek, and as many areas in between as possible.

Ryan Smathers was sworn in for his second full-term as Mayor of the City of Orofino. Along with Mayor Smathers, two newly elected councilmen took their oaths of office for the first time: Avery Dunaway and Don Gardner. The two new council members fill the seats of Doug Donner and the late Roy Clay. A motion passed, naming Marguerite McLaughlin, as the new President Pro Tempore for the council.

The Pierce-Weippe Chamber of Commerce has erected a new Chamber member sign in front of Pierce Free Library. Chamber appreciates Jared Construction and Express Nametags & More, both Chamber members, for creating this handsome sign.

Cindy Downing celebrated nearly 28 years of public service to Clearwater County. Cindy retired on Friday, Jan. 27. She began working in the Clearwater County Auditor/Recorder’s Office on March 22, 1984 and worked in that office the entire 28 years. She worked as a deputy auditor recorder for Clerk, Allen Medalen until 1992 when she was promoted to Chief Deputy for Clerk, Robin Christensen, and continues to serve in that capacity for Clerk, Carrie Bird.

A power outage hit the Orofino area at approximately 2:15 p.m.

Jan. 19, knocking out power to a total of 1,991 Avista customers. The cause was weather-related, reportedly damage to a substation. A total of 750 Clearwater Power customers were also affected by separate power outages, according to Bob Pierce with Clearwater Power.


Talon Lewis Francis Palmer was the first baby of 2012 to be born at CVH. Talon’s parents are Jamie Jackson and Marcus Palmer, Kamiah. He was born Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 12:34 a.m.

The High Country Inn celebrated it's 10th anniversary with two evenings of romantic candlelight Valentine's dinners and a special gift for the ladies each evening. The grand opening event for the High Country Inn happened during Valentine’s of 2002.

Kelly and Lois Lineberry celebrated 50 years of marriage with a reception at the Christian Faith Worship Center in Clarkston, WA.

Dale Durkee, Joint School District #171 Superintendent, submitted his letter of resignation to the board of trustees at a special board meeting. His resignation will be effective at the end of June. He has worked in the district for 26 years.

Helen Alocco, 66, of Orofino, was found by Clearwater County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue. She and her husband, Carl Alocco, 60, got stuck in snow up Cascade Drive Sunday and she attempted to walk out. She was found on Cooper Road off Cascade Drive, reportedly cold but in good health. Helen had walked 12 to 14 miles before she was located.

Ed Glaze and Rick Alain of Orofino were trolling for trout on Dworshak Reservoir when Ed hooked a 33” steelhead. They didn’t have a net large enough so Rick grabbed it by the tail to get it in the boat. The hatchery steelhead somehow ended up in the reservoir.

An open house birthday party was held at the Riverside Assembly of God Church for Marj Hardman, who turned 80 years old.

The Clearwater Tribune celebrates 100 years. The first issue of the Clearwater Tribune was published Friday, May 5, 1922, after the Clearwater Republican and Orofino Tribune merged. The Clearwater Tribune’s 100th anniversary begins with the Clearwater Republican’s first issue in March of 1912.

Fire destroyed the 1895 Heritage House, an unoccupied historical house on Old Melrose Grade Rd., above Peck. The structure burned to the ground at approximately 3:30 p.m., Wednesday. Feb. 8. Three trucks and five fire fighters responded to the scene.


Emersyn Marie Wiese is the Leap Year baby born on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, leap day, at CVH. Her proud parents are Nate and Amber Wiese.

The Orofino Distinguished Young Woman program was held March 10 at Orofino High School. Orofino Distinguished Young Woman for 2013 is Kate Conner. First Runner Up is Devonee Perrin and Second Runner Up is Katie Alverson.

Psalm 40 Feed, owned by Bridgette Heighes, located at 1782 Cemetery Road in Weippe, is now open and ready to serve your pet and livestock needs. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

AREA ATHLETES BRING HOME GOLD—The Lewis Clark Special Olympics floor hockey team traveled to Boise for state competition on March 3. The team, made up of players from the area, including local teammate Jack Vaage from Orofino, played well and swept their competition. The team represented the region with skill, courage, sharing and joy—attributes of a Special Olympics athlete. The O-Stars Cheerleading Silver team won the National title at Pac West Nationals in the junior level 1 division in Portland, OR, March 3-4.

Casey Meza, CEO, St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals and Clinics, has accepted the Executive Director of Regional Services position with Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene.

Boyd and Millie Brookshier have purchased The DogHouse business from Dana Losey.


This year the 12th Annual Orofino Spring Round-Up, held on April 14, was dedicated to the memory of Roy Clay, longtime businessman who was committed to serving Orofino and the people who live here.

Drake Hernandez was awarded Mr. OHS. He is the son of JJ and Ringo Hernandez.

World jet boat racers were welcomed by a meet and greet event held in the Orofino City Park. The meet and greet was sponsored by the Orofino Chamber of Commerce. Fans had the opportunity to talk with racers from various countries and see the fabulous boats before they hit the river the following day.

Robert Vian, who has been principal at Timberline Schools for the past year, has been hired as school district #171 superintendent, to replace Dale Durkee who has resigned effective at the end of this school term.

Heather Leach left the Idaho Department of Labor after 14 years for a new challenging opportunity where she is working for Manpower which, as a staffing company, is known as a world leader in workforce solutions.

Bob McKnight retired from the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) after nearly 30 years.

W.J. (Bill) Lesmeister of Orofino was honored at the 74th Annual Avista Trailblazers dinner April 14, for 50 years as a member of the group.

Angela Miller, age 13, shot her first turkey April 15. The turkey had an 8 1/2 inch beard and weighed 24 pounds. Angela shot the turkey with her 20 gauge shotgun given to her from her grandpa Albert Lawrence. Angela is the daughter of Ken and Bonnie Miller.

Local amateur radio (HAM) operator, David Justesen, With the aid of other club members and computer/ internet resources, wrote the complex communications plan needed to ensure continuous radio communications that was crucial to the safety of the two-man crews racing their 100+ mph boats in the narrow canyons for the Toyota Weaver Seed World Jet Boat Marathon.

Jim Richards retired after 20 years as Maintenance Supervisor for the City of Pierce.

Coach Bo Cummings’ jersey was retired and presented to him during a ceremony between baseball games against Grangeville April 19.


Clearwater County Marine Deputy Mike Gladhart has been named Idaho’s Marine Deputy of the Year. He has been employed in law enforcement by Clearwater County for the past 10 years.

Dworshak Reservoir made the Bassmaster Magazine Top-100 list of best places to fish for bass, according to an April 24 release by B.A.S.S.

Orofino Celebrations, Inc. has assembled new aluminum bleachers to replace the old bleachers that were between the log arena and the city park.

Record crowds ushered in a new era of jet boat river racing in north central Idaho during the 2012 Toyota Weaver Seed World Jet Boat Marathon Championship held April 13-21. U.S.A. driver Ryan Rogers of Lewiston and Crabtree, OR navigator Gary Weaver won the overall championship title completing the fastest time piloting #285 Pure Insanity for all 24 race legs on the St. Joe, Snake, Clearwater and Salmon rivers.

The Clearwater Tribune received an American flag that was flown in Afghanistan from SSgt. David S. Taylor. The flag was his way of saying thank you to the Tribune for publishing an inspiring editorial written by SSgt. Taylor.

Orofino Maniacs mangled the Tigers of Kendrick (18-1) in the first of two games played in Orofino on May 4. The Maniacs wasted no time in making 13 runs in the first inning.

The Spartan Ladies’ track team broke two school records at the Meet of Champions in Lewiston on May 3. The medley relay team of Lacey Bonner, Morgan Willett, Mattlyn Brouwers and Aspen Jared placed first with a time of 1:56.23, breaking the 1988 school record by 1.27 seconds! Mattlyn Brouwers’ third place triple jump finish of 33’9” broke her own school record again by 12 inches!

Swade Patrick Malloy is serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Milan Italy Mission. Swade was raised in Reno, NV but has resided in Orofino for the past year and has spent summers here with his grandmother, Nancy Umphenour, for most of his life.

Shania Rales, a 2012 Orofino High School graduate, is the Kooskia Old Opera House Theatre American Idol winner. According to Shoni, “She came in second, but we just knew we had to make sure she had the chance to go for her dream. We decided that we would pay for her trip to an American Idol tryout in Denver.”

Success was sweet for Orofino’s Lady Maniacs softball team against Kendrick, (4-0) in the Idaho Class 2A District II championship game in Orofino, May 12. The Lady Maniacs are undefeated this season!

Six Timberline tracksters headed to state track May 18-19 in Meridian.

Angela Baldus has resigned as Orofino Elementary School principal after five years to accept a position as new principal for Highland Elementary School in Clarkston.

The Lady Spartans Track Team, consisting of Aspen Jared, Mattlyn Brouwers, Morgan Willett, and Lacey Bonner, brought home the gold and set a new 1A state record with their 1:53.83 finish in the 800m sprint medley!


Garold and Carol Choate celebrated their 50th anniversary with an open house June 2 at the Lenore Community Center.

Kelly and Ronnie Zink celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a family gathering at their daughter’s house in Culdesac.

Kenny Miller, age 12, shot his first turkey on the last day of turkey season. The turkey weighed 20 lbs and had a 9 inch beard. Kenny is the son of Ken and Bonnie Miller.

Dalton Jones, six years old, caught his first salmon off Ahsahka Bridge at 7:32 a.m. on Sunday, June 2. It took 12 minutes to get it in. The salmon was 31 inches long and weighed 13 pounds.

Annie Lozar retired from Walrath Insurance Agency. An open house was held Friday, June 29, in honor of Annie’s retirement.

James Harper of Orofino caught a monster Chinook salmon on Flag Day, June 14. He hooked a 21-pound, 40-inch-long salmon on his second cast, and it took 15 minutes to reel the fish to shore. Harper said in 52 years of living here, this is the largest salmon he’s ever caught.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Orofino’s latest member of the police force, signing on for duty

Officer Mike Shore, of the Orofino Police Department, is shown with the department’s new K-9 dog “Pia,” a two year old Dutch Shepherd trained to sniff out four specific illegal drugs.

By Alannah Allbrett

“Pia,” a two year old Dutch Shepherd police dog, now calls Orofino home. The K-9, originally from Germany, was picked up approximately a week ago at the Spokane, WA airport and will reside with Officer Mike Shore and his family in a kennel especially constructed for her by Public Works employees, Tyson Cobb and Jeremy Gering.

Pia will be kept indoors in the cold weather. Pia eats “Red Flannel hooch chow,” a high-energy, high-protein dog food, according to Shore, which the department is able to purchase at Whipple’s Feed.

“So far, she is adjusting well,” said Officer Shore who worked with a K-9 narcotics dog for one year in Georgia before joining OPD. He was a certified dog handler in that state and will be taking the required test for certification in Idaho. Pia is a “high-strung” young dog who has to adjust to crossing time zones, new handlers, new smells, new food, and a new home. Shore said that she is highly trained and her primary purpose will be drug detection, and protection of a police officer in situations involving an aggressive offender. “She will be a great drug dog; all she wants to do is work,” he said.

Officer Shore has a two year old child who is watching from a distance, fascinated at this new member of the family. Naturally, the child is segregated and has only watched Pia from a distance. As the dog becomes more familiarized with the family, proves obedient and safe, she will gradually be able to interact with the child a little more.

Pia is provided from a company called: K-9 Working Dogs International, LLC that specializes in training police K-9‘s. The cost of the animal, after a $3,000 grant, is $8,000, and her training is guaranteed.

Some police dogs are trained specifically for narcotics. Others are trained to handle aggressive offenders. Pia will be cross-trained to serve both functions. The dog will remain the property of OPD and stay with the department in the event of a change in handlers in the future.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Persistence pays off for Staff Sgt. David S. Taylor

Standing next to the Welcome to Orofino sign in Cannon Park, Staff Sgt. David Taylor shows off his pretty daughters: nine year old Nohealani on the left and seven year old twins Melia and Leialoha in front. David is holding an American flag he gave to the Clearwater Tribune - a flag that flew over combat in Afghanistan.

By Alannah Allbrett

It was a bright, warm day in May. America’s day of horror 9-11, would occur just a few months later but, in the heat of the day, David Taylor, led his platoon across the grounds at Camp Pendleton. They had just completed a brutal 12 mile trek in the nearby hills and were hungry, sweaty, and tired.
The sound of clomping boots, accompanied their march toward the mess hall. At the same time, another platoon was marching directly towards them. As the other troops got closer – something odd happened. David focused on the oncoming platoon leader’s face. He looked familiar. They came to a stop facing off. David kept looking intently at the other guy, and the opposing platoon leader stared right back without breaking rank or saying a word.

It was quiet. The instructors noticed the odd behavior and the stares being passed between these two platoon leaders on the parade deck and assumed they were antagonistic and wanted to fight each other.

“Alright, if you guys want to settle something,” the instructor yelled, “you better settle it here!” and shoved David toward the other guy who said, “Sir, I can’t sir!”

The instructor asked him why not, to which he replied, “I can’t, sir.

“Why can’t you?” barked the instructor.

“He’s my brother, sir,” came the reply from David’s brother, Chris, who had joined the Marine Corps in Lewiston, just four months prior to David enlisting of Portland, Oregon.

David remembers it as a pivotal moment because they both had just completed combat training at the School of Infantry. “It was a benchmark,” said David, “because we had both made it through.” Having joined the Marines from different cities, each brother did not know where the other one was, and to meet up randomly like that – each having become a platoon leader, was just short of miraculous.

From then on, while at Pendleton, the two brothers were given an hour a day to meet up and spend time together. “I got a lot more respect from my peers,” said David, “when they realized I wasn’t just a guy out to better myself – but was part of a family that was trying to serve its country.”

And what a family! Staff Sgt. David S. Taylor can credit his family’s service record right back to the Revolutionary War, where one of his grandfather’s, about six generations removed, served. His great-grandfather William served in the Navy. His grandfather was a Marine Corps artillery man – serving in the Korean conflict. A cousin graduated from WestPoint, and another is an Army Sergeant. His brothers Chris and Aron both served in the Marine Corps as well.

David didn’t always know what his course would be. When he graduated from Lewiston High School, he was kind of at loose ends. “I didn’t know what I was supposed to do,” said David. “I guess I was waiting for some monumental moment when I would know.” An uncle said to him words that now guide his life: “If you want to be more, you’ve got to do more.” Those words, together with talks with his brothers, helped him decide his future course. “We just kind of felt something was going to happen and that we needed to be serving and ready,” said David. “Then the September attacks came and, as we spoke on the phone that day, we knew why we were serving. Chris would end up serving two tours in Iraq and I would serve a tour in Afghanistan.”

Graduating with honors from Camp Johnson’s Supply & Logistics School, David was first sent to Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii where he served for three years. It didn’t take him long to distinguish himself as a leader. David advanced five ranks in two years, becoming a supply expert serving in Okinawa, Japan as well a serving in Afghanistan in 2001, where he wrote the Operation Enduring Freedom Supply Chain Manual.

David’s efforts, running a supply chain for critical procurement needs with a five million dollar a month billing cycle, helped bring uniformity to supply chain processes that earned him an award for excellence in that field in 2012 and, more importantly, helped a lot of American servicemen in Afghanistan. While in the service, David completed his B.A. Degree in Philosophy and a Master of Arts Degree in Management.

Since his days of being a north Idaho champion distance runner in high school, David has actively helped kids with athletic goals through coaching. He now serves as the National Director for High School Cross Country, at the National High School Coaches’ Association, an organization Bob Ferraro of Easton, PA founded in 1989. To learn more about that organization, visit or

In May of this year, David was honored with a recognition ceremony at the University of Idaho. To date, David has received a Marine Corps Achievement Medal (in lieu of a Gold Star); an Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Navy Unit Commendation Medal; Meritorious Masts for exemplary service, and three Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals. Pending is the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals.

David stopped by the Clearwater Tribune offices, bringing his three beautiful daughters with him: nine year old Nohealani, and her twin sisters Melia and Leialoha, both seven years old. We’re a family operation at the Tribune, so the girls enjoyed playing computer video games with my visiting grandson, coloring, and eating donuts purchased by Publisher Marcie Stanton. Marcie’s dogs enjoyed all the company.

[Note: when the 9-11 attack occurred, David’s brother Aron was in downtown New York City serving on a mission for the LDS Church. He watched as the planes hit, the towers fell, and was a part of the first responders evacuating those who were hurt. He went on his mission directly after finishing his Marine service.]

What are David’s plans now that he’s departing the military? He has decided to go into service with law enforcement back in northern Idaho. He will also be accepting a commission in the Idaho National Guard and attending the Idaho Officers’ Candidate Course in March. David really cares what happens to this country, and has plans to run as a state Senator for Idaho.

Meanwhile, David is actively forming a foundation to help disadvantaged kids get an education and has been building a website to educate fellow citizens on the purpose of government:

“Persistence,” says David “is the only thing that will tick off failure enough for it to get out of the way of your success; so persist!”

On his return from duty in Afghanistan in May of 2012, Staff Sgt. David Taylor (front row, center) was honored at the University of Idaho for his service to his country and community.

Staff Sgt. David Taylor is shown in a casual moment with troops he served with in Afghanistan. He was deployed to Afghanistan in May of 2001 where he wrote the Operation Enduring Freedom Supply Chain Manual and was in charge of a 5 million dollar per month supply budget.

This picture in Afghanistan shows the tent quarters US soldiers typically have as their shelter while serving in that country.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Konor Parker graduates basic training

Air Force Airman Konor L. Parker graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Parker is the son of Greg and Keri Parker of Orofino.

He is a 2012 graduate of Orofino High School.

K-9 “Pia” coming to OPD

By Alannah Allbrett

Police Chief, Jeff Wilson gave a video presentation to the Orofino City Council, Tuesday, November 27, showing training exercises of Orofino’s soon-to-be newest addition to the force, K-9 dog named Pia.

Pia is a 1½ to two year old Dutch Shepherd from Germany that is scheduled to arrive in Orofino Thursday, Dec. 7. She will be brought to her new home via the Spokane, WA airport.

Pia is provided from a company called: K-9 Working Dogs International, LLC that specializes in providing dogs trained in police work. Some dogs are trained specifically for narcotics. Others are trained to handle aggressive offenders. Pia will be cross-trained eventually.

The dog will be the property of OPD and stay with the department in the event of the handler transferring to another location. A special kennel was constructed at handler, Officer Mike Shore’s home where the dog will be housed. Pia will be kept indoors in the cold weather.

The Orofino Public Works Department helped to construct the dog’s shelter at a cost of approximately $115 for materials from Orofino Builders Supply.

This police dog has been specially trained to recognize and find several narcotic substances including: heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and marijuana. Her trainers believe that she is even tempered, obedient, and probably one of the best possible K-9 candidates available.

The owners believe that Officer Shore is already competent to handle the dog and will become certified to use the dog in patrol. Other law enforcement agencies will participate in a future six week course and split the cost of training with OPD.

To see training videos of Orofino’s newest part of the team visit these websites: and

Friday, November 30, 2012

Remember the Brink And A Half Club?

This is the seventh-edition cover of Idaho’s Golden Road To Adventure. The magazine was published by the Brink And A Half Club, and printed by the Tribune Publishing Company of Lewiston. This issue is from 1954.

By Andrea Dell

Unless you were alive in the mid-twentieth century, you probably do not remember the Brink And A Half Club. If you have heard of it, you might know it was founded by people who accidentally drove their cars into the Clearwater River.

Harry Cummings shared with the Clearwater Tribune a 1954 issue of a magazine called Idaho’s Golden Road To Adventure, published by the Brink And A Half Club. The magazine featured a plethora of photographs and articles promoting recreation in the Clearwater area and along the Lewis-Clark Highway.

Activities and topics covered ranged from wildfire fighting to fishing, hunting, motorcycle riding, camping, and much more.

The Brink And A Half Club’s founding members clearly had quite the sense of humor. According to the magazine, the club was organized on Sept. 27, 1947, in the small mining community of Fall Creek and Golden.

The founders, a group of local residents who unintentionally landed their cars in the Clearwater River, took the club’s name from this experience. “If you’re on the road, you’re on the BRINK, take away half and you’re in the river—thus Brink And A Half,” explained the article.

Initially, only people who accidentally entered the Clearwater as passengers in a vehicle were eligible to be members. If reading through issues of the Clearwater Tribune from the time period when this club was founded is any indication, someone was newly eligible to become a member nearly every week.

Later, the rules were altered so anyone who had simply driven along the Clearwater could become a member. Finally, membership became open to anyone who wished to join. The membership fee was $3 a year, according to the 1954 issue of Idaho’s Golden Road To Adventure.

The club didn’t seek publicity, yet newspapers and magazines carried articles that were read across the country. Letters from all over the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii; and even European countries, made their way to the club. All expressed interest in learning more about Clearwater country.

This inspired the club’s members to publish and distribute, once a year, a booklet. It was called Idaho’s Golden Road To Adventure.

From the original 12 members, the Brink And A Half Club grew to several thousand, and included people from Europe and Asia.

Idaho’s Golden Road To Adventure was published from 1948 to 1958. The editor listed in the 1954 issue was David Brazil. Horace Parker and Roscoe LeGresley were Associate Editors. Brink And A Half Club officers were Ben Bear of Orofino, President; Ernie Nelson of Lewiston, Vice-President; and Horace Parker of Grangeville, Treasurer. The directors were Roscoe LeGresley of Kooskia, Ed Folden of Clearwater, Harry E. Faris of Kooskia, and Charlie Dundas of Pierce.

This “Big Game Hunting” article was taken from the 1954 issue of Idaho’s Golden Road To Adventure.

The cutline that ran in the Idaho’s Golden Road To Adventure 1954 issue this photo appeared in read, “Nez Perce Chiefs performing ancient tribal dance. Shira photo.” It may have been taken during Grangeville Border Days.

Delbert Roby, now living in Kamiah, is the man in the center of this picture. To the right is Dick Roby, now deceased. The fellow on the left is unknown. Cutline information under the photo stated, “Three Kamiah residents with the limit of salmon. These six fish weighed a total of 108 pounds. Salmon fishing is good during the spring months. Photo by C.W. Adams.”

Here is a picture of Zan’s Tavern, located a few miles upriver from Orofino, that appeared in the 1954 issue of Idaho’s Golden Road To Adventure.

Monday, November 26, 2012

On the highway with OPD

By Alannah Allbrett

“Up against the car; hands behind your back! Feet back, and spread ‘em!” Just kidding! Those weren’t the words Orofino Police Department (OPD) Officer Matt Russell (pictured above) said to me Nov. 2 when I stood beside his 2009 Dodge cruiser with St. Michael on the sun visor. What he actually said was, “You’re the first person to ride with me in a long time, who I wasn’t taking to jail.” I came armed with a laptop, a tape recorder, a notebook and pen, and a lot of curiosity as I joined him for a ride-along on his swing shift in Orofino.

What did I expect? Well, I sort of pictured us s*l*o*w*l*y cruising through sleepy neighborhoods, an occasional dog barking in otherwise quiet streets, routine drives down back alleyways and a little boredom thrown into the mix. What I got was carsick trying to write in the dark on my lap – in a sometimes fast moving and rarely standing still vehicle.

First I’m going one direction down Hwy. 12 – nope, now we are going the other way. What’s that? There’s something in the road? We turn around and stop in the middle of the highway, lights flashing. It turns out to be a bunched up tarp somebody dropped or blew off of a vehicle. Officer Matt retrieves it quickly and stows it in the trunk. Later we swing by the police station to drop it off; he hasn’t got room to haul around extra stuff.

I soon found that cramming into the tight fitting passenger side of the car, with a Tough Book laptop mounted to my left, a long flashlight mounted by my left kneecap, a radar gun (looking like a remote control with a curly telephone cord), a hand-held drivers’ license scanner, and some other gadgets I was afraid to touch – that this was not going to be an easy night. I resorted to taking notes the old fashioned way, with a notebook and pen.

‘I’m tough,’ I told myself. ‘If he can take it, I can take it!’ So, with my laptop case as a desk, and my purse on the floor between my feet (hey, I’m old, gotta have a purse) – I proceed to play reporter asking lots of questions of this nice young man who has helped me out in the past, more than once.

One time, on a hot summer day, I locked myself out of my car (I know, I know) while getting gas at IGA. I went into the store wondering what to do. It was after business hours, so I couldn’t call a locksmith, even if I knew of one. I was tired, thirsty, and embarrassed to have done such a stupid thing.

Karen Wolfe, at the service desk, bought me a bottle of water with her own money and said she’d call the police for help. ‘The police?’ I thought. I’m from a big city, and it never would have occurred to me to call the police for something like getting locked out of one’s car. Soon, Matt was on the scene to help me. It was tricky; he didn’t want to break the automatic locking system, so he called in Mickey of JV Lock & Key to help. (Thanks Mickey. Thanks Karen!) Another time, my car was vandalized, and Matt was there taking pictures and writing a report.

We make a stop to fuel the car then are heading past Tri-Pro to pick up a service revolver from another officer. One of Matt’s jobs is to perform regular maintenance on service weapons to make sure they are in proper firing order. As we pass the mill, Matt says that he grew up playing in back of it with other kids.

It was never part of his plan to come back to his hometown after finishing POST training in Pocatello’s Idaho State University. But he worked for Clearwater County Sheriff Department as the resident deputy in Weippe before joining OPD. ‘How’s that going for you?’ I asked him. “So far I approve,” he answered. It’s challenging enough to be in law enforcement without serving in the town where you grew up; where a former classmate might think he gets special treatment instead of a deserved DUI.

With the service revolver picked up and secured in the trunk, we are heading back towards town on Michigan Avenue. Up ahead, a small sedan has a white light showing on the rear end below the taillight. “Local 32090, white Subaru” Matt says into his mic. The dispatcher comes back with the registered owner’s name and city of residence.

Matt thumps the keyboard of his built-in laptop and verifies the driver’s information. He waits until the driver is in a straight area with room to pull off, then turns on his lights. One can almost feel the driver’s heart thumping as she slows down and pulls off the road. “You know you’re giving her a heart attack,” I say. “Mmmmhm” comes the reply as he steps out of the squad car, closes the door, and carefully approaches the stopped vehicle.

With the observation camera filming the scene in front of me, I watch as he reaches down and checks the tail light area and then steps forward to talk to the driver. Turns out to be a middle aged lady from Lenore. No, she did not know she had a backup light stuck on. She is given a courtesy warning and the opportunity to fix it, Matt calls in “clear” on the radio, finishes entering information in his computer, and we move on.

‘Do you run a regular circuit around town?’ I ask. He replies in the negative, “I try not to get into predictable patterns or habits.” We make another run down the highway and back before heading towards the high school. Matt turns on his spotlight, and checks the doors and windows at the school. He responds to the dispatcher many times during the night, turning the radar on and off with the approach of passing cars. He explains what the lights on the radar equipment stand for and the various beeps it makes. One kind of chirp indicates a misreading on the radar that might happen as three cars approach at the same for instance.

We are in the downtown area of Orofino, it’s a Friday night, and three teen-aged girls are laughing and yelling to each other as they meander toward the theatre. Another woman hesitates by a car. Matt watches to make sure she is not in trouble. He explains that her behavior looked curious, and he wanted to know that she was alright. A couple more loops on the highway, and we are back downtown again. By this time I had gotten myself good and queasy from trying to write, ask questions, and watch the road as we traveled.

It’s very dark, and I’ve abandoned any type of note taking, I switch to my tape recorder as we ride along – except for the radio, it’s quiet for the moment. We cross Orofino Bridge, and Matt is checking out a pickup in front of us that has some kind of metal object sticking up behind the rear window. He gets closer to take a look. From my angle, it looks like the side of a tool box that is open; it doesn’t appear to be a problem.

We loop through town and I ask to be let out of the car to catch my breath. Matt drops me off and tells me when he will pick me up again. I offer to give him my cell number – silly me, of course, it’s right there on his screen when he enters in my name. I decide to sit on a bench, and get my stomach back where it belongs by sucking in some cold night air.

A car comes by where I am sitting; it occurs to me how odd this must look, a lady sitting on a bench downtown on a cold night. The car comes around the block a couple more times. I begin to wonder how smart my idea is. I stow my bulky computer case in my car so that I have more leg room when I get back on board with what the police do on a regular basis, night after night. I ask Matt if it’s unusual to see a car repeatedly circling the block like that. He tells me that sometimes, in the course of a night, he will pass the same car several times while making his rounds.

Deer are everywhere – in the park, on street corners, behind the bank on Michigan Ave, in the cemetery, up behind the high school, in front of the library. Oh look, there’s a buck standing on a slope watching us as we go up the hill into a Riverside subdivision. Matt tells me what a common problem they are and how easy it is to hit one. One rolled across his hood not too long ago, putting him on the infamous list of officers who have collided with Bambi.

I was not feeling too friendly towards the ungulate population myself after having an encounter of that kind the week before. They are a known problem in this area, especially this time of the year, and don’t make it any easier for him to get to where he’s going.

It turns out to be a night of “vehicle violations,” broken tail lights, only one head light, no lights – over and over again. Matt pulls a pickup over near the transfer station road. He knows the entire family in the pickup. He tells me afterwards that his job is mostly “talking to people.” Whether that means talking to them about broken equipment, giving them a citation, or booking them and taking them to jail – basically, he still has to communicate the problem with them.

He doesn’t always gain agreement, but in the case of a warning about a broken light, he’s doing them a favor. Besides making it safer on the road, it saves the driver money. “A part that might cost them $12 to $15 to fix is a lot cheaper than a ticket,” he says. Unfortunately, they might have been warned several times already and have ignored the problem.

A property owner, who lives in another town, but owns a house in Riverside, has asked that the recently vacated house be checked. After giving the house a onceover, Matt pulls into the narrow driveway, gets out his flashlight and walks around the house checking inside the windows. Nothing appears amiss.

The flashlight snaps into a charging unit, but of course I’m not able to do that simple task. We are in the Forest Service parking lot, and I get out again to gulp air, as Matt replaces the flashlight. More deer.

We head back into town: more radar checks, more vehicle stops, and so it goes. We turn around on Riverside Avenue, and as we approach the intersection near the bridge, Matt flips on his right turn signal. Okay, this is too much. ‘You’re not taking me back out on that highway again are you?’ I whined. And away we go.

Previously, I pointed out to Chief Wilson when I signed a safety waiver, that there was nothing in the agreement about backseat driving – in this case from the front seat. He assured me though, that that was not acceptable behavior. He didn’t say anything about me not whining.

We’re watching traffic alongside the highway, in a turnout by the Clearwater River where city lights shine across the water. A vehicle in the oncoming lane flicks on his brights, warning another car that the police are watching.

Matt checks some more streets, and then turns around where Mountain Motor Sports used to be. As we pull out on the road, we feel something under the tire and hear a small thump. Matt turns around to see if something is in the roadway. Nothing was spotted, but he checked anyway to make sure it was safe. I asked him if he’s ever recorded how many miles he puts on the road in one week. He has no idea, but is sure it’s well over a hundred miles. Matt pulls over a blue, Chevy pickup after calling in the plates. He comments that the driver doesn’t like the LED’s (flashing lights) any better than he does. But it’s a necessity.

Another officer is going to meet with Matt later that evening to take care of some police business, do I want to come along? ‘Well gee, this has been educational and everything’ I think to myself, but all I can think about is getting out of that car.

In terms of vehicle accidents (thankfully there were none) or arrests, it was a quiet night. In terms of danger on the road – watch out for deer and drunk drivers. Sometimes there is a lot more activity, and some nights it gets very quiet and he is able to catch up on paperwork in the office in the wee hours.

Matt said he was taught keyboarding (typing) in school, but he was never taught to type while driving. “It’s an acquired skill,” he says. The multi-tasking a police officer has to do, the verbal questioning, the checking of every little detail when passing a car, the recording of incidents – is simply amazing. There are a LOT of acquired skills.

The next time your heart is thumping as you are being pulled over, count yourself lucky that someone was looking out for your safety. Not everybody likes police. According to Chief Wilson, no one likes enforcement. I have never heard anyone complain, though, about feeling too safe in their neighborhood. Your job may seem hard sometimes, but hey, when was the last time you had to put on a bullet proof vest just to do it?

The Orofino Police Department has an interactive website where people may read news bulletins, email an officer, or read the Chief’s Blog. Check it out at: 
[Note: vehicles and licenses for this article are fictional.]

Friday, November 16, 2012

Christmas tree permits available at Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests

The permits can be purchased from any of our Forest offices or at the following local vendors: Harpster Store in Harpster, Tom Cat’s Sporting Goods in Kooskia, Rae Brothers Sporting Goods and Tackett’s Saw Service in Grangeville, Cloningers Harvest Foods in Kamiah, Helmer Store and Cafe in Helmer, Idaho Rigging in Potlatch, and Southside Chevron and Woodland Enterprises in Moscow. In this area, it is a popular tradition to begin the holiday season with an outing to the forest to cut the family Christmas tree. Permits are required for each tree you are going to cut. Permits are $5 each and are limited to three per family.

“Cutting a Christmas Tree on Your Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests” brochure is available at all forest offices. As a general rule, no special areas are designated for Christmas tree cutting.

Here are some tips when choosing and cutting your Christmas tree:

· Cut your tree at least 200 feet away from well-traveled roads, flowing water, campgrounds and recreation sites.

· It is permissible to cut trees from the cut banks and fill slopes of lesser-traveled roads.

· Select your trees from thickets or overstocked areas. Avoid removing trees from plantations or other areas where tree growth is sparse.

· Select a tree that is the right height for your needs. Please don’t cut a large tree just to take the top.

· Pile all discarded branches away from roads, ditches and culverts.

· Cut your tree as close to the ground as possible. Stumps should be eight inches or less.

· Attach a permit to each cut tree prior to transporting it in your vehicle.

Have a safe and fun outing! For more information, call the Nez Perce National Forest at (208) 983-1950 or the Clearwater National Forest at (208) 476-4541.

KLER/Key Club Stuff the Bus hauls in 1.5 tons of food

The second annual “Stuff the Bus” event was held Friday and Saturday at Glenwood IGA and Barney’s Harvest Foods. KLER Radio and Key Club of Orofino High School members sponsored the event. Key Club members shown are (l to r) Taeh Burke, Madison Parks, Tanner Schwartz, Ashley Frank, Devin Broncheau, Dale Kellar and Dustin Berry.

This past weekend, a generous community gave to those who are struggling by donating 3,000 pounds of staple food items and paper products to the second annual Stuff the Bus.

KLER Radio and the Key Club of Orofino hosted the event for the second consecutive year, with big results. A school district 171 bus Nov. 9-10 was set up at local grocery stores Glenwood IGA and Barney’s Harvest Foods. During two-hour live remote broadcasts, listeners were encouraged to come by the stores and purchase canned items, boxed foods or paper products that would be donated to the three local food banks in Orofino.

General Manager of KLER Radio, Jeff Jones, said, “All the kids who participated both days from Key Club and our staff at the station were blown away by the generosity of the people who came by our bus. It wasn’t uncommon to see shoppers come out of the stores with a cart full of groceries, and leave them with the bus. Plus people would just walk right up to one of our Key Club kids and say, here’s $20, buy what every you might need.” Advisor to Key Club Ashley Sartini said cash donations seemed to have no limits. “One of our girls came running up to us with a $100 bill and said a gentlemen gave it to her to place into our cash donations. It really does our young people well to see how generous people are, and then to know that their work collecting food is going to a worthwhile cause.”

Saturday afternoon the three food banks located at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Lifeline Food Bank, were visited by the bus and each received a third of the weekend haul. Donations continue to be taken at both IGA and Barneys with the foods to be delivered before the holiday season.

Jones said, “We didn’t keep track of how much food we collected the first year, but if people continue to give the same way next year, we’re going to have to get a bigger bus!”

Friday, November 9, 2012

Clearwater County gets its first Seasonal High Tunnel

The White family in their seasonal high tunnel this summer.

By Amber Brocke, Clearwater NRCS District Conservationist

In the past couple of years, recognition has been given to the benefits of locally grown produce. Many of you have likely seen information on the USDA People’s Garden and the movement towards locally grown produce and the numerous benefits it is having on communities.

Many people across the nation have chosen to take advantage of USDA programs that provide cost-share incentives to help address resource concerns within agricultural lands such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

As a part of the EQIP program, practices that help to extend the growing season of annually grown fruit and vegetable crops, such as a seasonal high tunnels, have been implemented across the nation and further support the idea of locally grown produce.

Longtime residents of Clearwater County, Jean and Bill White, were the first participants in the county to receive cost share assistance through EQIP to implement a seasonal high tunnel to extend the growing season of their fruit and vegetable crops.

In addition to the seasonal high tunnel, a micro-irrigation system was also implemented to increase the irrigation efficiency and allow the placement of the water directly in the root zone where the plants can utilize it. Less water is lost to evaporation and the health and vigor of plants that are grown within the seasonal high tunnel are greatly increased. The seasonal high tunnel in conjunction with other practices to address resource concerns can help to extend the growing season of crops by up to two weeks at each end.

The White’s, including Bill, Jean, and their son Terry, planted a variety of crops this year in the seasonal high tunnel including numerous varieties of tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, basil, squash, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, beans, and various flowers to attract pollinators. Crops will be rotated throughout the seasonal high tunnel to reduce pest pressure and address fertility in the soil.

This winter the Whites hope to grow cool season crops including kale, chard, and lettuce in the high tunnel. “We are pretty pleased with it,” said Bill White. Terry and Jean both commented on how they are “continually learning new things” with the high tunnel and how to manage the crops inside of it.

As of Nov. 6, the high tunnel was still producing broccoli, tomatoes, eggplants, and hot peppers. They are currently using passive heating techniques, such as compost and black plastic, to keep the temperature within the high tunnel up and the plants growing.

In addition to the seasonal high tunnel, the White’s have additional areas on their place where they grow corn, raspberries, gourds, fruit trees, grapes, and various other crops. As a result of program timing, the White’s were not able to assemble their seasonal high tunnel until the beginning of July 2012. The delay posed some challenges for them; however, they were able to work through them and had a very successful year with their vegetable and fruit production.

In addition to cost-share assistance to implement a seasonal high tunnel, multiple other practices can also be implemented to address resource concerns such as nutrient management, pest management, cover crops, and micro-irrigation systems.

Persons interested in applying for cost-share assistance through the EQIP program can submit an application to the local NRCS office, located in the Forest Service building at 12730 Highway 12, Orofino, ID 83544.

To be considered for 2013 funding, applications must be submitted prior to Friday, Nov. 16. For questions and more details about the EQIP program, please contact the Clearwater NRCS office at 476-5313, ext. 3.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

Friday, November 2, 2012

Deyo Reservoir and Recreation Area update

The Deyo Reservoir peninsula is pictured at full pool in March 2011. Fishermen will be able to fish right off the peninsula, as well as fishing off any of seven additional docks.

Submitted by Friends of the Deyo Reservoir

As the construction period of 2012 ends, we want to report the progress made throughout the summer at Deyo Reservoir. The repairs have been completed on the seepage area that occurred last winter. Those repairs required that the reservoir water level be drawn down to facilitate the repairs.

We will hope for lots of moisture this winter and next spring, so the reservoir will fill again, and the reconfigured wetlands will trap and hold water for the use of birds and wildlife. Hundreds of geese, ducks, cranes, turkeys, and other game birds and song birds have already discovered their new home at Deyo.

Many trees needed to be replaced that were lost during construction. Thanks to a generous donation of 11 fifteen foot Canadian Cherry trees (chokecherry) from Reggear Tree Farms, we began recovery of the site.

Hauling these large trees and helping to plant them were Ed and Marge Kuchynka and Sid and Christine Brown. Marlowe Jorgenson backhoe dug and prepared the holes, and others helping to set the trees were Cynthia Tews, Norm Steadman, Jim and Bridgett Lalonde, and Hayden Wilson. The Weippe Volunteer Fire Department crew supplied a pumper truck with water that day, and several other times throughout the summer.

The Friends of Deyo Reservoir have completed the public pavilion that is situated on the north peninsula, just off the parking lot. The location is easily accessible and also handicap accessible. This pavilion is for all to enjoy for picnics, gatherings, outdoor meetings, or just a place to sit and relax.

In 2011, trees from the site were cut and hauled to Weippe by Deyo Brothers, Mike and Brian. Don Ebert donated his time and talent to cut the timbers and lumber on his portable saw mill, and stored the lumber and timbers until we started construction of the pavilion. Under the direction of Ed Kuchynka, construction began Aug. 15.

The following businesses donated time and equipment for this project: Jason Berreth of Solid Rock Gravel for gravel, equipment and concrete; Gateway Materials of Lewiston for iron, steel, rebar and other hardware; and Luke Lapointe for steel fabrication, delivery and installation; Fastenal of Lewiston for hardware; Tim Kortens for bobcat, concrete and landscape work; Carl Stemrich for concrete pour and finish; Ron Larson for setting timbers and trusses; Equipment and labor were donated by Ed Kuchynka, Norm Steadman, and Luke Lapointe.

Others helping were Ed Dobson, Jim Lalonde, Toby Cox, Leo Fitz, Helen Kettle, Steve Brand, and Marge Kuchynka. We received discounts on trusses from Barlow Truss and discounts on roofing materials from Orofino Builders Supply. The volunteer spirit is alive and well at Weippe.
The approach and interior roadways, designed and engineered by Norm Steadman and Ed Kuchynka, were pioneered, installed and built by Jason Berreth of Solid Rock Gravel, and Kirk Gangewer and crew of Clearwater Highway District. The interior roads include those through both the East and West RV Campgrounds. There is a handicap accessible site at each campground location.

Toilets were purchased and installed at each of the campground sites thanks to a grant from Idaho Parks and Recreation RV funds, and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game personnel, under the direction of Don Beck. Don has also installed another toilet just off the parking lot, next to the boat launch. All of these toilet facilities are handicap accessible.

The Fish and Game have also installed six floating fishing docks, besides the one next to the boat launch ramp. Four of these docks are handicap accessible.

The Friends of Deyo Reservoir and Weippe-Fraser Recreation District are currently working on the water and power installs at the Deyo Site and hope to have the well drilled soon. The actual campground sites will be put in next summer, pending another grant approval by Idaho Parks and Recreation RV Fund.

The Weippe-Fraser Recreation District will be handling some aspects of the Recreational needs at Deyo Reservoir, and we welcome comments, help, and input from anyone. Contact Marge at 208-435-4362.


Pictured here is the completed pavilion on the Deyo Reservoir peninsula.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Candidate forum draws a modest but interested crowd

By Alannah Allbrett

October 16 saw a turnout of about 45 people at the Candidate Forum sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and students from the Advanced Government class at Orofino High School. 

Three candidates for the state legislature were on hand to answer questions of the student panel. But the apparent interest of the audience was focused on local candidates running for seats on the Clearwater County Commission. 

The audience was allowed to write their specific questions for submission; candidates were presented with the chosen questions with no foreknowledge of what issues they would tackle. 

The candidate responses were monitored by timekeepers, holding each to a fixed time to answer their questions. The speakers did a better job fitting the time allotment than presidential candidates of late. 

Not every candidate was asked the same question, however. 

Three of the four people running for commissioner were present. 

John Allen (D), 67, a former commissioner in District 3, introduced himself saying that in his 45 years in Clearwater County he has traveled every road, worked with a lot of people and agencies, and has a background to understand the history of the county. 

Allen recalled, in times past as the owner of the Bald Mountain Ski Shop, when they used to rent out 100 pairs of skis a day – reflecting that the economy was more robust then. He related his four years of military experience, including one year serving in Viet Nam. Allen served as county commissioner from 2006–2010. As a volunteer, he has always been involved in community service doing work for different county departments. He serves on several boards: North Central Health; Clearwater County Waterways; the State Hospital North Advisory Board; Dist. 2, Mental Health Board, and serves on the Farmers Market Board as Co-Chair. 

Candidate Don Ebert (D), 50, currently serving his tenth year as Commissioner in Dist. 1. He related some of his background, stating that he had also served 10 years on the School Board. The Eberts own Mary Ann’s Groceries in Weippe and have been in the community for 50 years. Ebert said that he has a Business Administration Degree. “I love this county and believe in the people,” he said. “They are some of the best people anyone would hope to know.” Ebert said that he has a lot to offer the county. 

Carole Galloway (R), 59, is currently serving the commission on a two year term – her first. Introducing herself, Galloway said that she has lived in this county for 39 years, is a small, independent business owner who is involved in churches, schools. She said that her involvement in coaching has taught her the importance of having strong schools in the community. She stated that she is a parent of four children and nine grandchildren. 

Galloway said her heart has always been in “doing what I can for the people. I don’t give a hoot who you are, but I am here to help in any way I can,” she said. 

She strongly feels the federal government far overreaches itself by imposing too many regulations and that the rules keep changing for businesses and individuals. She said that right now it is very difficult for anyone to start a business, but that there are things that can be done. She enjoys working for and with people and is starting to “hit my stride.” 

Summarizing a couple of the questions candidates were asked: 

Question: Why do you want to be commissioner?

Ebert: “This is one of the places I can do something for the community. I get to help people sometimes. Everybody wants to make a difference, and I feel like I can make a difference. It gives me a sense of community and purpose, and it’s a good thing.” 

Galloway: “I get a chance to help people – to stand up and do what I can. I want to be involved in the forest plan because it’s a huge thing in our community. I am already committed to do the best for our community and do what we can.” 

Allen: “I like the job; it’s a joy to help people. [When I was commissioner] People would come in mad, and pretty soon start talking in a normal voice. We can’t always help everybody when it comes to taxes, etc., but there are so many things we can do for people. I volunteer for the county and sit on a lot of boards. I do it because I like it. I just really enjoy the job and doing it.” 

Question: What are the duties and responsibilities of a commissioner? 

Galloway. “This is the second year of the budget. Our [department] supervisors do a good job, and they know we don’t have a lot of money. This year was kind of a squeaker. We didn’t know if we would have the RSC (Rural School Community Trust) money or not. We’re also trying to do better on our roads.” 

Allen: “One of the duties of a commissioner is that of a being a legislator of the county. They can reduce or raise taxes within the limits of the law. They are allowed to raise it three percent each year if they choose to.” Allen read from public code and said the part of Idaho Code that he really likes is: (paraphrasing) “Commissioners provide for health and improve safety,” etc. 

Regarding fiscal management he said, “We set the budgets – take the revenue and try to match it with expenditures. The trick to being a commissioner is you have to choose your battles and pick ones that make the best difference. We have to try to get along with everybody as best we can and move forward together.” 

Question: What is the number one goal for the county? 

Allen: “The number one goal is to get a good money source for our roads and schools. Fifty-three percent of our county is federal land, and we always got money from them. We shouldn’t have to go begging Washington, D.C. for money to run our schools and fix our roads. We need to try to come up with a steady source of money from the federal government. In 1907, 25 percent of revenue would go to the county and schools when they were logging and mining quite heavily. They don’t do that anymore, and it dried up. We still have expenses and still need money.” 

Ebert: “The top priority is to keep solvent, manage money, and provide services mandated by the state government. We have to keep the county running smoothly. A big goal, beyond that, is to urge the forest service do more active management. We’ve been working on that for quite some time. Last year we cut more timber. The Forest Service Plan is timely, and we’ve been invited to participate in it. My goal is to have the most influence in the process. And I’m going to try to influence the forest service plan in our favor as best as I can. It’s going to take an incredible amount of time. I am going to get the most for our county anywhere I can get it.” 

Galloway: “I want our county to have the opportunity to have more jobs. The state is demanding more and more all the time. We need to work on jobs. We didn’t do all we could do, the last two years. Government regulations are constantly changing. In the last years, it’s the way our country is going. Businesses want to come here, but not knowing how they can comply, they won’t come. We’re losing doctors and several good teachers. We need to do as much as we can to get business going. There are things we can do as commissioners – update the website [as an example]. This is a wonderful place to live and raise kids, and we’ve got to make it so families can make it."

Following the Commissioners’ answers, Sheriff Chris Goetz took his turn fielding questions ranging from underage drinking enforcement, to why the reservoir is heavily patrolled when the river is not.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hiring to begin at National Guard Youth ChalleNGe school

By Alannah Allbrett

The Idaho National Guard Youth ChalleNGe (IDNG) School in Pierce is nearing the hiring stage. IDNG has issued a hiring plan which calls for a staggered schedule, and federal money has been released to begin the long awaited program.

Idaho will fund $1.4 million, with matching federal dollars of $4.2 million. Superintendent, Bob Vian, speaking Monday evening to the School Board, passed along the rather convoluted path the money will travel. “The state sends the money to us” he said. “We send the money to the military; the military is going to send a check to us for the teachers and students. It will be paid for in full by them” he stated. “The Food Service Program will be contracted, billed high, and adjusted every month based upon use.”

The school year will be a longer one for teachers, teaching for 22 weeks, taking a four week break, and going for another 22 weeks, thereby earning contract teachers double the regular salary. The school will be “broken out” as a separate entity from Joint School District 171, otherwise the increased salaries would figure into the district’s overall average. That would negatively affect the Pay for Performance structure currently in place. Mr. Vian said the IDNG School will be one of the only schools in Idaho that, in fact, has money.

The school district will contract with the National Guard for school bussing, food, and educational staff. The state will advertise for a head teacher (Principal) in January 2013.

Mr. Vian said the school, by its nature, will call for unique staffing. There will be a G.E.D. program for former drop-out students, attempting to earn a high school equivalency diploma. Students will also do community service on weekends, tied in t d teacher, as there is a high special education threshold involved,” said Mr. Vian.

Vian said the IDNG program, unlike the one in Bremerton, WA, will be required to take every student “that walks through the door.” There is a catch, however, once a student has entered the program and leaves voluntarily, is expelled, or leaves the campus unauthorized, he or she will not be allowed to return to the program. “It’s kind of like a high school dance,” said Vian. “Once in – and once out.”

The program will have a very military structure to it with a Commandant, and CadrĂ© Leaders. Students will be working virtually ‘round the clock including mandatory weekend study halls. When asked if the students would be provided with religious services, Mr. Vian said, knowing the military, he was sure they would have a Chaplain or other religious activity of some sort.

A Program Coordinator and RPM Coordinator will be hired in December of this year. Beginning January 2013, the following positions will be filled: a Budget Officer; Recruiter; Commandant; LOG Specialist, and an Administrative Assistant.

By March, a Lead Teacher (Principal); Lead Counselor; MIS; two RPM Assistants; an Administrative Assistant, and a Maintenance person will be hired.

Five contract instructors; two Counselors, and two Case Managers will come on board in May. In September 2013, three Shift Supervisors; a Cadre Team Leader; a Nurse Practitioner, and Medical Assistant will join the team.

The school is set up to accommodate up to 120 students. There will be a total of 54 positions, 33 initial hires and 8 contracted workers, with 13 additional positions to be filled as the program grows.

Mr. Vian, accompanied by the district’s Business Manager, Special Education Director, Food Service Manager, and probably one special education teacher, will travel to Bremerton, WA to observe the National Guard operation there. The Guard will begin an advertising campaign within ten days, to include television, radio, and newsprint media announcements on the program’s particulars. Their website is located at:

Local couple's grandson plays for Eastern Washington University

Cody McCarthy, inside linebacker for Eastern Washington University, tackles Montana State quarterback DeNarius McGhee during Eastern’s game Oct. 13 at Montana State. Eastern won the Big Sky Conference game 27 to 24. Cody is the grandson of Mike and Lynn McCarthy of Orofino and the son of Joe and Shellie McCarthy of Boise. The Eastern Eagles are now 4 - 0 in Big Sky play and 5 -1 overall, with their only loss coming at Washington State University in Sept. in a close 24-20 game.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Streamlined Sales and Use Tax: State Tax Commissioners visit Orofino Chamber

By Alannah Allbrett 

Idaho State Tax Commissioners paid a visit to the chamber of commerce luncheon Oct. 3. Tom Katsilometes, Ken Roberts, and Richard Jackson answered questions and gave an update on collecting state revenue.

The tax commission serves as the Board of Equalization for the state – monitoring anything that crosses the state, and they are tasked with providing detailed in-formation to assessors.

The focus of their presentation was on what’s called the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax. They pointed out a line on one’s state tax return form where taxpayers are required to report taxes on items they purchase and use that are from out of state. This includes items purchased via the internet and from other countries.

The use tax is supposed to level the playing field so that local "brick-and-mortar" stores and remote sellers operate under the same rules, ensuring all revenue that is due the state is collected.

Purchasers are responsible for paying the tax, interest, and penalties for claiming incorrect exemptions. One example given was that of a business purchasing software by downloading it from the internet. No sales tax is charged on such a transaction, however, the purchase needs to be reported when tax time rolls around.

Bottom line: if something is brought into the state and stored or used here, and one has not already been charged sales tax for it, you owe use tax.

Start saving receipts on all purchases, whether over the internet or while on vacation, and ask your tax preparer’s advice. Speaking to the business owners they said, “It’s good for Orofino, it makes you competitive with the world.”

Executive Director’s Report

Stephanie Deyo re-ported an increase in the number of visitors’ packets being given out. She gave a brief rundown also on the new 70’ flagpole the chamber has taken on as a project.

The flagpole will be erected near the entrance to Orofino City Park and will be lighted during nighttime hours. Stephanie reported that there has been a lot of community support for the project which is scheduled for completion by late October or the beginning of November.

Lumberjack Days

The final numbers were not in for profits from Lumberjack Days celebrations, but the chamber anticipates that fundraising, through the beer garden, should be better than the previous year.

North Idaho Chamber Tour

Neal Johnson reported that buses will be bringing visiting legislators on a tour through Orofino during the North Idaho Chamber Tour scheduled for Nov. 11 – 13. They will be stopping at Canoe Camp then visiting local businesses: A & E Signs, SJX Jet Boats, and Nightforce Optics, and having lunch at the Lodge at Rivers Edge. Five seats will be raffled for a helicopter ride back to Lewiston for the Governor’s Banquet. The Orofino Chamber of Commerce will have a table at that banquet. For details, contact the chamber office at: (208) 476-4335.


Loren Whtten-Kaboth, Director Clearwater County Economic Development, attended a meeting with the project engineers for the woody biomass project.

A Trade Mission Day for jet boats will take place Oct. 11. Boat manufacturers from Russia, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands will be present. SJX Jet Boats will sponsor a river tour of our area with dinner following. SJX has expanded with four new employees and the leasing of a second building – keeping business local.

Next meeting

The next scheduled meeting will take place on Wed., November 7, at 12 noon at the Ponderosa Restaurant.