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Andrew Ottoson

Stories by Andrew

2017 trial set in suit against Idaho County

Matter concerns 2012 sex crime involving ICSO deputy, minor

A civil case filed in Lewis County District Court against Idaho County by the young Kamiah woman who was victimized by an Idaho County Sheriff’s deputy four years ago has been scheduled for a jury trial next June.

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All the way back

Salmon River thumps Carey 36-20, returns to 1AD2 championship game

Salmon River’s march to the 1AD2 title game began with the defending state champions ranked atop the classification according to the coaches poll — a status the Savages never relinquished. A loss to Lapwai Week Five broke a 13-game winning streak, and while media pollsters dropped SRHS behind Dietrich, the Savages have won six in a row since then.

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Grangeville girls open Thursday vs. Lapwai

The Bulldogs home opener had been planned for Tuesday night, Nov. 15, but that contest has been rescheduled to Thursday night, Nov. 17, with the varsity to take the floor against 1AD1 defending champion Lapwai at 7:30 p.m.

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Nezperce nets a win on opening night

Clearwater Valley struck first with senior Torrie Pfefferkorn notching the first points of the season Tuesday night and Alicia Reuben leveled the score at 4-4 about three minutes into the contest against Nezperce, but the Indians scored the next three baskets won going away, 57-28.

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Pirates KO’d at Notus

Prairie had the 1AD1 quarterfinal firmly in hand for seven of the last eight minutes last Saturday, Nov. 5, only for Notus to mount a stunning comeback to win 38-36.

County finalizes contract for public defender services

A contract for the next two fiscal years was finalized Nov. 1, when the Idaho County Commission signed off on a deal with Joanna M. McFarland, McFarland Law Office, Attorney at Law, out of Lewiston.

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Loss Lindsley’s last as head coach

Bulldogs honcho to develop strength and conditioning program

The Bulldogs have done a lot of winning during the seven years Jeff Lindsley has been head coach, and the GHS alum on Tuesday morning, Nov. 8, told the Free Press he took on the job with the intention of holding it for just one year.

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Salmon River finishes Long Pin Conference sweep; PHS lands third seed

Area football

Salmon River had no problem with Cascade — not until the last few minutes, when, after sending out their JV boys, the Ramblers picked up their physical play.

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Grangeville strikes back

Bulldogs 29, Vandals 28 (OT)

All eyes were on Noah Kaschmitter after reserve quarterback Chad Simmons scrambled into the end zone with a vengeance on the second-to-last play of Grangeville's 29-28 overtime triumph Friday night, Oct. 28.

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Machinery arrives; lawsuit may follow

Crooked River at issue:

Heavy equipment has been seen in the Crooked River drainage, and a lawsuit – Idaho County against the U.S. Forest Service – may be soon to follow. The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests have, since December 2012, been planning to remove old mining dredge piles and reorder Crooked River’s flow, to benefit fish such as salmon and steelhead.

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Grangeville triumphs in OT

All eyes were on Noah Kaschmitter after reserve quarterback Chad Simmons scrambled into the end zone with a vengeance on the second-to-last play of Grangeville's 29-28 overtime triumph Friday night at McCall.

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Rams stumble as Whitepine League playoff picture comes into focus

Clearwater Valley needed a win to keep Troy from clinching the third of the Whitepine League’s three playoff berths, but starting with a fumble on their second play from scrimmage, the Rams’ opportunity slipped away.

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Courthouse left high and dry following plumbing leak

Restrooms at the Idaho County Courthouse were out of service Thursday, Oct. 20, while a City of Grangeville work crew dug a hole in the west edge of the courthouse lawn in search of a leaky bit of plumbing. The problem first emerged with water flowing into Main Street at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and was temporarily fixed Wednesday only to reemerge Thursday morning.

Commission states support for Elk City utility work

Water, sewer system project estimate: $4M

Idaho County Commissioners Mark Frei and Jim Chmelik both stated support for an upcoming effort to modernize Elk City’s 50-year-old water and sewer system, which is expected to cost $4 million with funding to involve a $500,000 Idaho Department of Commerce block grant, state and federal loans and a $2.5 million USDA Rural Development grant. The block grant application is to be postmarked by Nov. 18, grant writer Walter Steed told the board during a public hearing Oct. 18, and a decision will follow next spring.

Comments sought on Columbia River System operations EIS

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and Bonneville Power Administration have announced their intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the Columbia River System operations and configurations for 14 federal projects in the interior Columbia Basin.

Voter registration surges as presidential election looms

Roughly 1,400 Idaho County citizens have voted so far

Roughly 1,400 Idaho County citizens have voted so far, of about 9,600 registered for this election. That’s according to the arm of local government that’s tasked with overseeing elections – the Idaho County clerk’s office, which is now seeing about 40 voters per day casting early ballots.

Salmon River on to state; Prairie, Grangeville face play-ins

Salmon River's volleyball team added two district tournament wins to the streak the Savages have run off against Long Pin Conference foes, defeating Garden Valley 3-0 on Oct. 15 and defeating Council 3-0 in the District III title game last night. The district title comes with a berth in the 1AD2 state tournament, Oct. 28-29 at Bonneville, where the Savages will play the District IV champion -- either Lighthouse Christian or Carey -- in the first round.

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Muddy Masterpiece

Bulldogs maul Maniacs 21-6

Pity the coin-operated laundromat washers and dryers.

Pirates leave Troy in second place; Savages smash TV


Prairie thundered Troy 42-20 after a slow start saw the Trojans strike first, on a long pass play, last Friday night, Oct. 7.

District tournaments open Oct. 15 at LCSC

Three Whitepine League district volleyball seeds are set in the upper division, and four are firmed up in the lower division.

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Jacks blank Bulldogs

St. Maries 8, Grangeville 0

An 8-0 final score last Friday night, Oct. 7, began with ominous turnovers by both teams: back-to-back fumbles foretold a defensive struggle during the first cold rain of the season at the Bulldogs home field.

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GHS Royalty

Grangeville High School seniors Katrina Frei and Luke Stokes were crowned homecoming queen and king at halftime of the football game Friday night, Oct. 7.

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Olds pick for judge position

New public defender sought

Grangeville attorney Victoria Olds will serve as magistrate judge for Lewis County. Olds was selected by the Second District Magistrate Commission last Thursday, Oct. 6, to replace retiring Magistrate Judge Stephen Calhoun. It is expected she will be sworn in January 2017.

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County OK ends SR road dispute

After years of arguing with the Federal Highway Administration over the Salmon River Road, Idaho County has accepted the Salmon River Road was “completed…per the project agreement” in September 2013. The county had been seeking changes that could make the road cheaper to maintain.

St. Maries slips past Grangeville

An interception return during the final minute of the second quarter set up the first and only score of the 8-0 win St. Maries claimed Friday night at GHS.

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Bulldogs brace for unbeaten St. Maries

"St. Maries is without question one of the top three teams in the state,” GHS coach Jeff Lindsley said. “They have the seniors — 10 of their 11 starters on defense, which is uncommon at the 2A level — so it’s their turn, so to speak.”

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Bulldogs offense breaks through

GHS special teams made three key plays as Grangeville beat Parma 44-21 last Friday night, Sept. 23.

Olsen places second overall at Seaport Invitational

Clearwater Valley senior Cole Olsen finished second overall among the boys at the Seaport Invitational cross-country meet held last Saturday, Sept. 17, in Clarkston.

Salmon River girls win G’ville Tourney

Salmon River won the Grangeville Tournament with a 21-18, 21-11, victory over the host Bulldogs in the final last Saturday, Sept. 17.

PHS crushes Council; Savages smash Wilder

The Pirates rushed for 278 of 386 total yards during their 42-0 demolition of Council Friday night, Sept. 16.

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Rams crush Timberline


Trey Pfefferkorn ran for a couple of touchdowns, Mitch Morrow ran for one and threw for three, and the CV Rams led by 40 at halftime of a 60-12 blowout win over Timberline Friday night.

Solid waste fees stable as landfill talks continue

The solid waste system is more solid financially this year than it was last year, and the Idaho County Commission is working to control a key cost – the tipping fee landfill operators assess in exchange for accepting trash. If a new landfill is established near Council – as Idaho, Adams, Valley, Clearwater and Lewis counties are working to do – the difference for the county could be as much as $6.30 per ton to dispose of Idaho County’s 40 tons per day, or about a $90,000 per year difference.

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Kaschmitter breaks out, but Bantams fly the coop

The Bulldogs gained a late chance to tie when Frankie Zumwalt recovered a fumble, with Clarkston turning it over in the course of trying to run out the fourth quarter clock. But the Bantams defense rose to the occasion and kept GHS from advancing near their goal during the final three minutes of their 33-26 win last Thursday night, Sept. 8.

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Boyd lifts Savages over Pirates in non-league showdown

Savages quarterback Tucker Boyd threw a touchdown pass, ran for a touchdown and delivered three two-point conversions, all of which had Prairie trailing 30-18 entering the fourth quarter.

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Coaches vote GHS into district tournament eligibility


The Grangeville soccer squad has been voted eligible for the district tournament, GHS soccer organizers said Monday night, Sept. 12. Before this week, the Bulldogs had been operating on the idea that they’d be eligible for their first post-season next fall.

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Serrano bowls first 300 game in Camas Lanes history

It was a perfect first night of the new bowling season. Doug McRoberts knew it would happen this year, because he knew Louie Serrano had bowled 15 previous perfect games. McRoberts, who owns and operates Camas Lanes in Grangeville with his wife, Brenda, had come close as others had in recent years. The facility record stood at 297 until the breakthrough came last night, Sept. 8, when Serrano made a bit of local history when he rattled off 12 strikes in a row for Camas Lanes' first-ever 300 game.

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Soccer squad wins another

The Bulldogs struck first, and struck repeatedly to beat Orofino 7-2 Tuesday night, Sept. 6, in front of their first home crowd. Roughly 50 Grangeville supporters turned out despite wet weather that slowed the action on the GHS pitch, located on the freshly-lined patch just west of the football field.

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Cross country goes for two

Grangeville’s cross-country program consists of two boys with big aspirations this fall, under the tutelage of coach Jim Suhr.

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Turnovers cost CV

Whitepine League football

Clearwater Valley had Wallace right where the Rams wanted them during the first two minutes of the Whitepine League contest held last Friday night, Sept. 2, at the Kibbie Dome.

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GHS completes home-and-home sweep

McCall-Donnelly had trouble countering hard hitting from Rachel Kelley and Maicee Conner, as well as the serving of Kenzie Kennedy, Paige Lindsley and Kate Lutz last Thursday night, Sept. 1. Conner, Katrina Frei and Lindsley also hit well against the Vandals during Grangeville's return trip to McCall Sept. 6.

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Bulldogs blast Bengal backups behind RBs Stokes, Chamorro

Despite what the final score might suggest to those who weren’t at GHS last Thursday night, Sept. 1, this one wasn’t close, and couldn’t have been expected to be. The Bulldogs posted a 47-30 win over the Lewiston JV.

Troy, Genesee lead Whitepine League

Prairie’s daunting week involved two key road matches, and Genesee and Troy knocked the Pirates from the top of the standings.

Schmacher, Pirates rally past Genesee; Savages snag season’s second win

Genesee had the Pirates off-balance during the first half and built a short-lived lead, 12-8, last Thursday night, Sept. 1. Prairie rallied to a 40-18 win behind sophomore quarterback Spencer Schumacher, who hit four of 12 pass attempts including a touchdown throw to Hunter Chaffee.

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Audience presses Labrador on issues

Rep. Raul Labrador’s visit last Friday, Sept. 2, marked the end of his first tour of the district he represents in Congress, where has shown a willingness to clash with Republican leaders such as former Speaker John Boehner.

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Bush quarterbacks Grangeville

Bulldog of the Week

Grangeville High School sophomore Booker Bush was doing something he had never done before when he got the start under center last Friday night, Aug. 26.

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Basketball takes Bruner to College of Idaho

One of the area’s most decorated football players, Jake Bruner, is off to College of Idaho to play basketball this fall.

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Bears outbattle Bulldogs, barely

After preserving an 18-15 victory over Grangeville when TJ Wiltse’s 40-yard crack at a last-second kick to tie deflected off a teammate, the host Bears threw a very public party for themselves last Friday night, Aug. 26.

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Danly to join Walla Walla softball program

Next level athletes

Prairie Pirates softball standout Hailey Danly — a talented setter with the PHS volleyball program — is headed to Walla Walla Community College for college softball and pre-engineering.

Clear Creek project withdrawn by USFS

After years of looking at it, the Forest Service will take another look at the Clear Creek restoration. In December 2015, Nez Perce-Clearwater Forests supervisor Cheryl Probert opted for restoration in the Clear Creek watershed. Her decision on the Clear Creek Integrated Restoration Project came after years of analysis, which had found that by exercising care during harvest and decommissioning disused roads it would be possible to reduce sedimentation east of Kooskia in the long term while also bringing 85 million board feet of timber to market.

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2,084-acre Gun Club Fire linked to tracers shot Aug. 17

During the Idaho County Commission meeting Tuesday morning, Aug. 23, commission chairman Jim Chmelik said the Gun Club Fire started when tracer rounds were fired by “a couple of people who were members of the gun club” who, he said, “did step up and say ‘we did it.’” “They didn’t try to hide it or anything,” Chmelik said, “but they might as well have just gone down there with bottle rockets.”