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Fire at Blue North mill in Kamiah

Fire crews are still on scene of a structure fire at Blue North Mill in Kamiah.

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Over the river and through the woods: St. Mary’s brings care to Elk City

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” may be the postman’s creed, but it certainly applies to the staff at St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics as well. Each month, St. Mary’s providers head upriver to Elk City, braving cold and snow and ice in the winter months, to offer medical services to a community that might otherwise have a difficult time obtaining them. Last month, those care providers consisted of Peg Gehring, NP, Shelli Lothspeich, Michelle Hain-Flores, nursing staff, and Kelly Williams, admissions manager.

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It's Your Business: Robinson offering tires; credit unions host annual meetings

Dave Robinson at Robinson’s Garage on Grangeville’s Main Street is in the tire business. Stop in and check out the tires he has for sale. Call 983-1151.

In the News Briefs: Jan. 18, 2017

District 7B Representative Paul Shepherd of Riggins was one of 90 legislators honored recently by Food Producers of Idaho, Inc., (FPI) as an Ag All Star Legislator. FPI annually honors legislators for their voting record on issues supported or opposed by the organization.

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Red Sky At Night

Frozen teasel is silhouetted against a brilliant sunset recently on U.S. Highway 95 in Grangeville.

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Kooskia Bridge repairs set for late February

Local concerns listened to by ITD engineer

An engineer out of the Lewiston office of Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) says work has been tentatively slated on the East Kooskia Bridge. The Kooskia resident behind a petition to preserve the bridge was pleased with the quick response from ITD. “We’re going to try and repair the bridge about the end of February, first of March, weather permitting,” said Doral Hoff, engineering manager for ITD District 2. “This will alleviate some of their concerns.”

New transfer station poised for prairie

County closing in on regional landfill project near Council

As Idaho County closes in on having a new place to send solid waste, the county’s solid waste contractor is close to signing off on a new transfer station location on the Camas Prairie.

Infrastructure, budgets at issue

City updates:

The year 2017 arrived with a blanket of snow and while some cities talked snow removal and kudos to plowing efforts, there was a plethora of other topics discussed throughout the county. The following is a compilation of meeting notes for Cottonwood, Ferdinand, Kooskia, Riggins, Stites and White Bird.

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‘Oomph to knock a manhole cover off’

Vactor vehicle offers public works proactive, in-house maintenance

This truck sucks, and Grangeville public works director Jeff McFrederick couldn’t be happier. Councilors gathered prior to a city meeting last month to look over a Vactor combination sewer cleaner recently acquired by public works. Purchased for $130,000 through the formal bid process, the truck combines high-pressure water jetting and a high-flow vacuum source to scour pipes clean, and then vacuum the material causing blockages to restore and maintain normal flow.

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Don’t touch it

Thursday outage a reminder to avoid downed lines

- Power was disrupted to 75 customers of Idaho County Light and Power Cooperative last Thursday evening, Jan. 12, when a power line broke along Highway 7. - “The most important thing here is that everyone stays away from any downed line, and don’t ever think that it is dead. Consider every line energized until it is repaired.”

Prairie Area Cereal School set Jan. 24 in Greencreek

Preregister by Thursday, Jan. 19

Timely information about the grain industry is on topic for the Prairie Area Cereal School, set for next Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the Greencreek Community Hall.

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Communities recognized for CEDA training completion

Representatives from the cities of Culdesac, Grangeville, Kamiah, Kooskia and Riggins were recently honored by the Clearwater Economic Development Association (CEDA) for the completion of the 2015 training course entitled “Community Projects: Putting All the Pieces Together for Success.”

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Outgoing Commissioner Chmelik Recognized

Outgoing Idaho County Commissioner Jim Chmelik (center) was presented a certificate of appreciation by commissioners (L-R) Skip Brandt and Mark Frei on the occasion of his last meeting with the board on Jan. 3. Chmelik began his county service in 2011 and has served two terms.

Riggins reviews the past year, looks forward

Remaining fiscally responsible is a huge responsibility for a city. Reviewing 2016, the City of Riggins worked diligently to pass the resort tax in effort to continue making payments on a sewer upgrade bond. Each of the six smaller, rural cities in the county was contacted and asked how each has grown in 2016 and what are the accomplishments or challenges each overcame. Last week, the Free Press published a summary of the answers received from representatives of Cottonwood, Kooskia, Stites and White Bird. The following is a response from Riggins mayor Glenna McClure.

County sued for $476K on access, tax disputes

What happens near Pollock usually stays near Pollock, but sometimes it ends up in federal court. According to plaintiffs Raymond Hamell and Rachell Hamell, Idaho County valued three separate properties near Pollock at more than $500,000, including one parcel assessed at $406,000, which the Hamells disputed in 2010 “due to a lack of access to the property.”