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Andrew Ottoson

Stories by Andrew

Kubs smoke Oakley; most teams open this Friday

Football roundup

Chris Pethtel’s impact at end was felt immediately, as the Kamiah senior housed a 42-yard completion from quarterback Parker Whipple early in the Kubs’ 38-0 blowout of Oakley last Friday night, Aug. 28.

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Saturday blowup doubles Tepee fire size

‘It was a low roar ... you could actually hear and feel it shaking the ground’

The Tepee Springs fire claimed another 15,000 acres to a total of roughly 40,000 last Friday, and it more than doubled in size after last Saturday’s winds pushed it north of the Salmon River. The fire reportedly totaled 91,000 acres – 142 square miles – as of Sept. 1.

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Syringa still under threat of wildfire

While the Municipal Complex fires near Orofino, Greer and Reubens are said to be 85 percent contained, and while Clearwater Complex command has made definite progress against the fires in the Kamiah area, Motorway Complex command reported 28 of the 29 blazes in its charge remain uncontained at last check and Selway Complex command was still setting up its shop in Elk City.

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IMTs on station: "Absolutely unprecedented in IDL history"

According to FEMA, the Lawyer Complex was immediately threatening 650 homes in and around the community of Kamiah. Approximately 600 of the threatened homes are primary residences while others are secondary homes. The fire was also threatening a power substation, two medical clinics, an assisted living facility, two water treatment plants, a sewage treatment plant, city hall, a police station and a senior citizen center. Additionally, the fire threatens Clearwater watershed, salmon and steelhead spawning areas and the Nez Perce Reservation. Mandatory and voluntary evacuations were issued for approximately 1,200 people.

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Fires break out across forests; state, private lands

Monday storm sparks two dozen blazes near Kamiah

A Type II incident management team is en route to state land near the Flying B Ranch approximately three miles west of Kamiah, where Aug. 10 lightning storms caused more than two dozen fires.

Wolf trapping to remain on halt in wilderness

In January 2014, in response to a lawsuit brought by EarthJustice on behalf of four other pro-wolf groups, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) abruptly pulled a wolf trapper from the wilderness. Last week, EarthJustice released a letter it received on Aug. 5, in which the U.S. Forest Service said Idaho Department of Fish and Game had informed the federal agency IDFG “does not intend to conduct any wolf control actions” in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness during the coming winter.

Suction dredgers defy EPA permit, again

Two of the three years since a federal requirement purported to close Idaho County’s major river drainages to suction dredging, Shannon Poe and the American Mining Rights Association have suction dredged in the South Fork Clearwater River. The issue veered in a stranger direction late last month, when a Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests employee gave some dredgers “notices of noncompliance,” only for the Forest Service to turn around and tell the Lewiston Tribune “it will take no further action and instead will move forward with a process that could open the river to limited mining next year.”

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Wilson headed to Carroll College

Next Level Athlete: Michael Wilson

With football season just around the corner, the Bulldogs have their work cut out for them — without one of the players they’ve relied on most heavily the last four years.

Update: Type I team en route to Kamiah

A Type II incident management team is en route to Lawyers Creek Canyon approximately three miles west of Kamiah, where lightning caused more than two dozen fires in the area yesterday. Across the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, more than 100 fires have been confirmed.

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Manning Crevice Bridge replacement project may begin this fall

The Manning Crevice Bridge replacement is set to move forward, albeit a month or two later than the federal Department of Transportation’s Western Federal Lands Highway Division had indicated at a public meeting in March.

Streak snapped: Gibbons, Morales win

Walt Luman Memorial Tournament

The last time anyone other than Jason Huff and Trent Brown won the Luman, before last weekend, was all the way back in 2010. A year ago, Huff and Brown held off a late surge from Travis Gibbens and Lucio Morales to claim the de facto tournament championship with the lowest overall gross score.

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Bass to join Vandals, tackle heptathlon

Next level athlete: Kaleala Bass

The list of all the track and field state medals Kaleala Bass won during the course of four years competing in Bulldog blues begins in 2012, her freshman year, when the quartet of Sheyenne Stewart, Hannah Baker, Bass and Megan Sullivan each ran a quarter-mile of a school record 1,600-meter relay at the last meet of the season.

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IDL opts for helicopter logging

Despite an injunction that has prevented the use of Forest Road 652 by log trucks, logging of a state land timber sale near Lowell now appears ready to start in time for the Idaho Department of Lands to net $500,000 to $750,000 for the state schools endowment. The Idaho Land Board last week gave approval for logs from the $2.5 million Selway Salvage timber sale to be transported off-site by helicopter, reducing the public’s profit by as much as $1.5 million compared with hauling the logs by road.

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Nail-Bitten

The Grangeville city softball league season is rapidly coming to completion, with nine game nights left on the schedule before the tournament.

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Lindsley joins Boise State’s throwers

Next level athlete: Drew Lindsley

In several ways, the journey from youth to adulthood resembles the arc of the school record discus throw Drew Lindsley unleashed during the lead up to state last May.

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Next Level Athlete: Michael Stevens

Stevens joins Corban’s track program

On the track, Michael Stevens’ first breakthrough came when Grangeville High School coach Larson Anderson pushed him out of his comfort zone.

Selway Salvage work delayed as suit under way

A federal judge has ordered work on the Selway Salvage timber sale delayed while a lawsuit goes forward. At issue is whether Forest Road 652 is open for hauling timber; from the Swiftwater Bridge, Forest Road 652 crosses private land to reach state endowment land which is near the Selway River. Last Friday, July 10, U.S. District of Idaho Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill ordered the work not to go forward. The lawsuit was filed by Idaho Rivers United (IRU) on May 19 and a footnote in one of the filings referred to its rapid progress as “a fire drill” but as of Monday, July 13, it remains unclear how long it may take to resolve.

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Recent storm sets back Camas Prairie harvest

After an early start and a quick dryout due to several 100-plus degree days earlier this month, harvest was all set to begin three weeks to a month ahead of schedule. But recent storms have set back many area winter wheat producers.

Storms douse Blue Fire but new blazes may follow lightning storm

Between Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11, the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest recorded 2,527 lightning flashes, at least 84 of which reached the ground. Amounts of recorded rainfall with these storms varied tremendously across the reporting area, from trace amounts to almost two inches over the last 48 hours.

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Border Days 2015: wrap-up

Three-day event draws family, friends for fun

Despite some high temperatures during the annual Border Days celebration, friends and family gathered at events each day, making the best of the heat.

Agencies, Idaho Rivers United file arguments in Selway suit

At stake: ‘wild and scenic’ values, $850k of salvage timber sale

A lawsuit over the use of a road near Swiftwater Bridge continued at warp speed last week, with the Forest Service, the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL), and Idaho Rivers United (IRU) all filing arguments as to whether or not the court should put a state-land timber sale on hold.

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Border Days bull rider scores 2015’s top prize

Marek’s the man

As the only Border Days bull rider with a qualified ride to his name, Grangeville's own Bo Marek cashed one heck of a check this year. His score of 77 points on the back of bilious bovine River Rock wound up being good for more than $2,200, and Marek earned every penny.

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Border Days rodeo to continue Sunday at 2 p.m.

Marek leads bull riding, plus other unofficial results

As the only Border Days bull rider with a qualified ride to his name, Grangeville's own Bo Marek stands to cash one heck of a check this year. If his score holds up -- 77 points -- Marek will have earned every penny.

Getting serious about waste County plan to rework system

The Idaho County Commission is continuing to get serious about reforming the way solid waste disposal works on the Camas Prairie.

IRU files injunction to stop timber cut on Selway Salvage sale

The Idaho Department of Lands estimated more than $2 million could be netted for the state schools trust if work on the Selway Salvage timber sale starts soon, but the work may be held up by a controversy about the use of a road that cuts through private property.

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Full slate set for 2015 Border Days Rodeo: Bucking broncs blast off this Friday

Starting with slack time at 10 a.m. July 3, more than 200 rodeo pros affiliated with the Idaho Cowboys Association, Pro-West and NPRA will be taking their turns at Border Days arena, vying for $12,300 in added money.

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Grand Entry For White Bird Days

White Bird Days grand marshals Polly Hollandsworth (green vest) and Peg Marek (brown vest) led the parade on horseback last Saturday, June 20.

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Eagle Scout flagpole project helped by many local hands

Grangeville’s Marcus Gravatt started his Eagle Scout project two years ago, having weighed a variety of civic ideas.

Environmentalists court pyhrric victory

History advises against fighting battles that can be won only by self-destruction, but a fight now under way in a federal court is exactly that kind of fight.

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Thrills, Spills Mark Rafting Season’s Opener

Many of those who passed through the Chair Creek rapids north of Riggins caught a big wave, but a few quite literally hit the Salmon River last Saturday afternoon, June 6, for the Big Water Blowout — an annual celebration of the start of the local rafting season.

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Prioritizing spending, pushing back federal overrreach, debt issue key for Sen. Crapo

Late last month, Sen. Mike Crapo visited the area. His tour included stops in seven Idaho County communities; he met with the Idaho County Free Press editorial board on May 29.

Familiar foes on the docket for Whitepine League

The rippling consequences of the failure of a school levy in Troy are already being felt more than 130 miles to the south, as the Whitepine League bastion’s plans to visit Riggins for a Zero Week game at Salmon River High School may not hold up this August.

Suit seeks to stop USFS road use to reach sale

Morgan and Olga Wright are suing the Forest Service to stop the use of a road that crosses their property to reach state land where the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) has proposed to cut nearly seven million board feet of timber.

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Canoeists’ bodies found

EMT urges river-users to wear life jackets

Two weeks after two Coeur d’Alene men were reported missing in the French Creek area, both have been found deceased.

Commissioners discuss solid waste

At the outset of the budgeting season for the 2016 fiscal year – with the Idaho County Commission to hear each department’s budget request during the weeks ahead – the board will begin considering a new idea on how to keep a lid on solid waste costs in the future.

GHS adds 4A Sandpoint to fall football schedule

A four-person scramble in support of GHS football is set for Sunday, June 7, at Grangeville Country Club, with tee-off set for noon.

ITD plans $2.5-million-plus projects at Grangeville, U.S. 95 starting in 2016

Several million dollars of state highway projects are planned for Grangeville tentatively next summer.

‘Win-win’ on project to create firebreaks at Harpster

Idaho County has long sought federal dollars to fund work to create firebreaks in between Harpster and the Golden Hills, Idaho County Fire Mitigation Department head Randy Doman said last Thursday, May 21. With a grant now in place, work began Monday, May 25.

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Clearwater Chinook Running Hot

The most recent South Fork Clearwater River harvest report estimated the chinook salmon catch rate at less than eight hours per keeper while anglers on the Salmon and Little Salmon rivers totaled more than 800 keepers May 11-17.

State tennis brackets set

A last-minute injury withdrawal will have Grangeville's Sarah Wilson competing this weekend at Vallivue High School in place of teammate Savannah Thanstrom, who placed second in the district's girls singles bracket. The state bracket was announced Wednesday morning.

Comment sought on Riggins public shooting range

The Bureau of Land Management’s Cottonwood Field Office is asking for public comments by mid-June regarding a 36-acre parcel just north of Time Zone Bridge.

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Clearing the bar: 41 area track and field athletes headed to state

For many of the dozens of area athletes who qualified to compete at the state track and field meet at Middle- ton this weekend, earning a trip to state counts as a major triumph. For the best of the best in Idaho County, qualifying is a mile-marker on the way to the apex goal: a state title.

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Bulldogs knock out Kendrick, fall to Orofino

The Maniacs occasionally got the better of Grangeville in boys team sports earlier this year and had the GHS baseball team’s number all spring. With a walk-off mercy rule victory over Kendrick on the second day of District II tournament play, the Bulldogs gave themselves a shot at reaching the state tournament. But the second post-season Bulldogs-Maniacs encounter in as many days ended with Grangeville’s hitters again stumped by Orofino’s pitching.

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Bulldogs notch five solo wins at ‘area best’

On a day that athletes from across the region marked outstanding performances, several of Grangeville’s set new personal records and others from across Idaho County proved their places among North Central Idaho’s elite.

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Playoffs set to run this week in Orofino

It’s tournament time, and this year’s tournaments will be held in Orofino.

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Riggins Rodeo starts Saturday

The kids’ stick horse race is back and there’s plenty of action for the adults this weekend, too.

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Softball: Pirates pop McCall, Troy

The Pirates had 10 wins under their collective belts before a 3-0 loss to Genesee sent them for a loop. Prairie stumbled to a 15-14 loss to Asotin on April 21, allowing the Panthers to score nine runs during the fourth inning of that contest.

County objecting to Crooked River Valley rehab project

The Forest Service’s Crooked River Valley Rehabilitation would dramatically reshape a valley marked by mining five miles west of Elk City, and the Idaho County Commission is objecting.

Frei won’t press for pro-life insurance

Idaho County Commissioner Mark Frei will not press forward with a plan for the county to pay for a pro-life alternative to the county’s existing health insurance.

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1A Baseball: Rams rise as Whitepine League play picks up

For Clearwater Valley fans, a win over down-river rival Kamiah always comes as a treat — and, as a bonus, the Rams’ 4-3 victory last Thursday, April 9, maintained their lead over the Kubs in the standings.

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