Back to profile

Andrew Ottoson

Stories by Andrew

Tease photo

Power players: Pirates in the running

Fall Sports Preview 2017

The Pirates are healthy and on their way to readiness for their next game — which will be one of the 1AD1 classification’s most consequential season openers.

Tease photo

CV alum Sears steps up

Fall Sports Preview 2017

The Clearwater Valley volleyball team has a new head coach Rams fans will recognize both for her JV coaching and her accomplishments as an athlete.

Tease photo

GHS resets: Hudson takes charge of volleyball program

Fall Sports Preview 2017

“They work really, really hard,” first-year Bulldogs head coach Cheyenne Hudson said of her new team, “and we’re working on some mental stuff. It’s a game of mistakes, but right now they get down really fast if they make a mistake. I’m working really hard on that mental side — how they control their emotions, that kind of thing.”

Tease photo

Pirates on board with familiar new coach

Fall Sports Preview 2017

This fall, coaching changes are a big part of what several local teams are facing, and the Prairie volleyball team is no exception. But it won’t be a jarring transition in Cottonwood.

Tease photo

Summit squad starts strong

Fall Sports Preview 2017

Summit’s 2017 volleyball squad showed much potential during the annual preseason Jamboree Aug. 21 in Grangeville, where the Patriots won the three games they played.

Tease photo

Roger that: Clearwater Valley gets new head coach

Fall Sports Preview 2017

There’s a new head coach running the Clearwater Valley football team — though calling it “running” might not be quite the right word for what the man who has coached football for nearly five decades does.

Tease photo

Numbers running up: PHS cross country program growing

Fall Sports Preview 2017

Prairie cross country coach Glenn Poxleitner has 13-14 girls out this season — including the whole group that ran at state last year.

Tease photo

18 boys turn out for GHS soccer season

Fall Sports Preview 2017

GHS head coach Joel Gomez was surprised by his team’s nervous start to the program’s second season, during which McCall shut the Bulldogs out on Aug. 22.

Tease photo

Bulldogs rumble early, Bears rally late

The Bulldogs’ first football game of 2017 turned on a couple of no-luck plays during the second half, and the Bulldogs still nearly came up with a key defensive stop late in what ended up a 21-14 loss to Moscow Friday night, Aug. 25.

Soccer boys net a win as Perez and Perez score the goals

“I’m happy with how we played on Saturday,” GHS boys soccer coach Joel Gomez said. “Everybody played like they really wanted to be there.”

Tease photo

Moscow escapes Grangeville with a win

Grangeville's first football game of 2017 turned on a couple of odd plays during the second half, and the Bulldogs still also came up with a key defensive stop late in what ended up a 21-14 loss to Moscow Friday night, Aug. 25.

Tease photo

Serrano strikes first at Senior Championships

Louie Serrano of Grangeville set two local marks last bowling season, bowling Camas Lanes’ first 300 game as well as an 800 series. He bowled another perfect game in March, during the qualification tournament held in Burley for the 2017 Senior Championships recently held in Las Vegas. And Serrano’s strong play continued in Vegas, where he tallied a 714 score on 650 pins during the three-game medal round in the 55-59 men’s classification.

Federal land buy, Highline Fire irk county commissioner

Idaho County commission chairman Skip Brandt on Tuesday morning, Aug. 22, notified congressional representatives and local, regional and statewide media that the Payette National Forest is intending to buy “another chunk of our county/private/taxable acres” in the southern part of Idaho County.

Tease photo

Soccer squads play today in McCall

Fall sports season has arrived, with the Grangeville High soccer teams first among local squads to take the field.

Tease photo

Skillz uncrushed in softball finale

The summer softball season came to an end last Wednesday, Aug. 9, with Skillz holding off Kooskia Krush 19-17 in the trophy game.

County budget tops $21M; Sept. 5 public hearing set

The proposed budget for Idaho County’s next fiscal year, published in the legal notices on 4B today, marks just the second time since 2000 the bottom line number has topped $20 million. The Idaho County Airport renovation booked in 2016, which was carried out largely with federal money, pushed the grand total that year to more than $22 million.

Tease photo

Ready To Let Loose: Elk City Days 2017

Elk City Days was in full swing on Saturday, Aug. 12, with a parade, sawdust dig, and the logging show. Here, a participant gets ready to let loose of the double-bladed ax toward the target.

Tease photo

Manning Crevice Bridge replacement work runs into rock removal issue

First, the rock held up the work. Then the work held up the rock. Now what’s the holdup? Last Tuesday, Aug. 1, the Manning Crevice Bridge replacement project contractor, RSCI, told the Idaho County commission they may be asking the Federal Highway Administration for a change order to allow the rock to stay.

Tease photo

Hanover Fire defies initial attack; now tops 5,000 acres

Public meeting in Riggins Aug. 9

"There are concerns for public safety. We backed it out to areas we knew we could control the access. As soon as we can, we’ll try to shrink that back.”

Tease photo

Tucker to play basketball at Treasure Valley C.C.

Next Level Athlete

Salmon River basketball standout Maddy Tucker is headed to Treasure Valley Community College this fall. It’s a big step her family has helped her take.

Tease photo

Cold, wet spring cost farmers 70-80 percent of their yields

Last year’s was a brutal winter for producers in many parts of the state

The Idaho County Commission declared an agricultural disaster during the July 25 meeting “due to unusual and excessive spring moisture conditions, which have prevented the planting of approximately 31,432 acres of spring crops, specifically 28,064 acres of spring wheat, spring canola, large garbanzo beans and green peas.”

Tease photo

Area 'river segments' evaluated for Wild and Scenic possibilities

In the midst of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests’ forest plan revision process, the Idaho County Commission is asking the Forest Service to go all the way through a process that would narrow down the list of rivers that could eventually get Wild and Scenic protection. It’s known as a “suitability evaluation,” and it’s a step the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act requires the Forest Service to complete – whether during the forest plan revision or not.

Tease photo

Solid waste reform still in the works; garbage fees, costs, still on rise

Board approves road and bridge tax hike, other expenses

Idaho County’s solid waste contractor, Robert Simmons of Simmons Sanitation, is working with county commissioners to develop a true solid waste system, as compared to the status quo operation in which local dumpsters are open 24/7/365 for all users – and continually brimming with all types of trash, refuse and items that have outlived their usefulness.

Fire near Pollock quickly controlled last Thursday

Quick action by firefighters saved home, trailer

Firefighters brought a wildfire west of Pollock under quick control last Thursday, July 27. U.S. Forest Service single engine air tankers (SEATs) were seen delivering loads of fire retardant during the firefighting effort, in a video that can be viewed on the Free Press website.

County commissioners to talk budget at 8 a.m. Aug. 1

As early as Tuesday morning, Aug. 1, – during the budget discussion scheduled for 8 a.m. at the Idaho County Courthouse – Idaho County commissioners will be proposing a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Tease photo

Commissioners consider doubling county’s city residential solid waste fee

In addition to tentatively supporting a new tax on property within the county road and bridge department’s jurisdiction, the Idaho County commissioners last Tuesday, July 25, raised the prospect of raising county solid waste fees by five percent for the coming year.

Grangeville football squad’s trip to Boise a big hit


Grangeville’s annual football camp trip to Boise last month was “really, really good,” coach Jeff Adams said July 24. “Especially defensively.” “It’s always awesome,” Adams said. “This time we got some really good information. We had most of the squad go down.”

Tease photo

Operation Horses & Heroes: Veterans seek, find help at Grangeville ranch

'It’s a way of paying it forward'

Spending time with horses – and each other — proved a big help to veterans from across the country whose military service took them around the world and brought them home with little thought for the transition these men and women are making to civilian life. Operation Horses and Heroes was here to help.

Brandt about to make the county’s budget problem your budget problem


Idaho County Commission chairman Skip Brandt has a problem. And he’s about to turn his problem into your problem. The problem is one taxpayers pay commissioners to solve. There is a hole in the revenue side of the county road and bridge department’s fiscal 2018 budget – a hole where federal forest funds used to fill in for lost federal timber revenues.

Tease photo

Air tour stops in Grangeville

Organizers estimated several hundred people had attended the Puget Sound Antique Airplane Club's 2017 Northwest Air Tour during the morning July 12 at the Idaho County Airport.

Tease photo

Crowl wins Firecracker Fun Run

Brian Crowl won the Firecracker Fun Run July 4, finishing the new route in 18:10.09. The first female finisher was Lindsay McTague, who crossed the start-finish line, near the corner of Hall and West North Street, about six minutes later.

Tease photo

Cause identified in Whitebird Fire

Private grassland southeast of White Bird burned overnight July 7, with locals who stayed up late taking photos of the burning at Baker Creek waking up to find the swath showing little activity Saturday morning.

Tease photo

Border Days 2017: Celebration kicks off with egg toss for locals, visitors

"...we come back for Border Days to see everyone..."

Sounds of joy, a few tears and lots of cheering filled the streets Sunday, July 2, as Border Days street sports kicked off on Main Street. Names called for foot races included winners from Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Montana, California and even as far away as Pennsylvania.

Remote mine site to be part of Frank Church wilderness

The Idaho County Commission received three letters from the Payette National Forest last week, including one dated June 19 that disclosed the Payette’s talks of acquiring about 40 acres across the Salmon River from Tepee Creek and Jersey Creek in the southern part of the county.

Freedom of the Press for all who would hold government accountable


Each time our country marks its beginning, we’re reminded not only of what was written in the document which Thomas Jefferson penned and which the nation’s early leaders adopted July 4, 1776. We’re reminded of the colonies’ early attempts at designing a limited central government, and we’re reminded of the Constitution, replete with the Bill of Rights.

13 local teams signed up for Lee Woods Memorial Team Roping

In local events this Border Days Rodeo, there are 21 barrel racers and 13 team roping teams signed up.

Tease photo

Border Days Rodeo draw fills up

Slack 10 a.m. July 1, shows 6 p.m. July 1-2-3

The Border Days Rodeo is once again set to run July 1-2-3, 6 p.m. each night, and organizers are anticipating cowboys competing throughout the region will once again make the journey to Grangeville for a chance at a chunk of $13,800 in added money.

Tease photo

State weighs season changes for SF Clearwater gold miners

“I think it was a success,” he said. “This is one of the few times that the miners actually got together and worked with the agencies to make it actually more streamlined, easier for the agencies and the miners. … They’re finally listening and maybe thinking instead of overregulating, maybe they’ve got too much here.”

Tease photo

New travel plan for Nez Perce National Forest anticipated

As one travel plan’s journey ends in court, another’s may begin

The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests have fended off another lawsuit in federal court, with United States District Judge Edward J. Lodge recently ruling in the combined forests’ favor on a case Idaho and Clearwater counties brought four years ago.

Tease photo

Border Days Rodeo organizers honor one of their own: Lee Woods

“He got dared to get on a bronc and he got hooked”

“He loved to be a part of it, his friends always entered it, and he was always so happy to do what he loved with the people he loved. It’ll feel a bit more special, and like he’s still there.”

Tease photo

Border Days 2017: July 1-4 Schedule of Events

The 106th Grangeville Border Days is July 1-4 (Saturday through Tuesday), with each day loaded with events.

Tease photo

New Views For July 4 Border Days Firecracker Fun Run

Route change this year to protect runners’ safety

The Firecracker Fun Run will go off this July 4 as it has for years, but will pop a bit differently this year.

Tease photo

Riding High

The Clearwater Valley Rodeo Association’s Sunday in Kamiah last weekend, June 17-18, included a 73-point saddle bronc ride by Clancy Glenn — which was good enough to win the event.

Tease photo

EhCapa Equestrian In White Bird

The EhCapa queen leads bareback riders over the bar during their performance at the White Bird Rodeo during Father’s Day weekend June 16-17.

Tease photo

Marek’s ranch bronc ride a big winner

White Bird Rodeo

Local ranching scion Konnyr Marek had an outstanding couple of days on home turf at the 28th annual White Bird Rodeo last weekend, June 16-17, with big wins during both the main event (ranch bronc riding) and the local team roping.

Good Neighbor sales under way; more work planned for area lands

The Forest Service has completed all National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) planning and sale preparation work for the Woodrat Salvage Sale, one of the first Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) projects to be planned in the region.

USDA projects production drop for Idaho wheat

'Those prices are a little high compared to our local prices'

The forecast, dated May 1, anticipates a decline of nearly 3 percent in acreage planted and a 10-11 percent decline in yield per acre

Tease photo

Smokejumpers test skills near Grangeville

High Marks

When fire erupted in so many local forest locales back in 2015, Missoula smokejumper Colby Jackson helped keep one of the many mid-August starts nameless.

ICSO arrests pair on drug charges at Weir Hot Springs

Michael E. Eggimann was arrested on charges related to the possession of marijuana, heroin and drug paraphernalia, and Tanner Slaybaugh was cited for possession of pot and paraphernalia, last Saturday, May 27, at Weir Hot Springs.

Judge gives USFS Orograde project a go-ahead

Civil case continues

Back in April, when the Forest Service notified the federal court in which Friends of the Clearwater sought to halt the Orogrande Community Protection Project that work would start June 1, the environmentalist plaintiffs asked the court to stop the work from going forward. On May 31, the court – under Chief U.S. Magistrate Ronald E. Bush – allowed the work to go forward while the sides continue to argue the case.