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Lorie Palmer

Stories by Lorie

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Getting ready to dig? Call 811 first; Avista reps speak at chamber meeting

More than 25 people showed up for the Grangeville Chamber of Commerce quarterly meeting where they welcomed representatives from Avista Utilities. Regional business manager for the Lewis Clark region, Mike Tatko, regional account executive Jayson Hunnel, new Grangeville district manager Jeff Schwendener, and local office receptionist Holly Cox all attended the meeting.

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Lefse Making

Sarah Fuerstenau of Harpster helped with the World’s Fair demonstration of home school projects at the Centennial Evangelical Free Church Friday, Jan. 29.

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Everson hired as Grangeville librarian

Books, movies, clubs and computers, oh my! The Grangeville Centennial Library has it all and now GCL also has a new face. Jamie Everson took over as librarian last week and replaces Becky Hosman who moved to Yakima.

Comes out in the black

Syringa gets clean audit for 2015 FY

“Looking back, we can see that 2014 wasn’t the best year, but 2015 was pretty good,” said CPA Carl Swenson of Crandall-Swenson, PLLC. Swenson spoke to the Syringa Hospital (SH) board Jan. 25 at the regular monthly meeting and presented the hospital’s annual audit. While 2014 ended with an overall loss of $4,611, the hospital was on the plus side at $100,453 for 2015.

It's Your Business: Syringa Hospital main entrance open

Syringa Hospital’s main entrance and front parking lot is open to public. The main entrance is designated for any non-emergency check-ins such as laboratory and radiology testing or patient visitors. Those checking in to the Primary Care Clinic should still use the clinic main entrance doors. Those looking to pay bills or who have questions about billing can be helped at the business office, previously the LeBlanc building.

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Flower Girls Work For Animals

Members of the Flower Girls Club (with mascot Cheweenie, Scout) are seen here at Asker’s Harvest Foods Saturday, Jan. 23. The group hosted a bake sale to benefit the proposed Grangeville ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation), raising $350 for the non-profit.

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Avista welcomes new area manager; Schwendener is in Grangeville office

Avista’s Grangeville office has a new face. The corporation welcomed new district manager Jeff Schwendener the first of the month. “I’m excited to be here and have been settling in,” Schwendener said from the 201 East Main Street office.

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Let’s Talk About It: Readers discuss Jewish ‘comedy’

“Comedy and satire are vastly different things,” stated Wendy Green, scholar for the first 2016 Let’s Talk About It book discussion. A group of 14 people gathered to discuss Shalom Auslander’s “Hope: A Tragedy,” Tuesday, Jan. 19, at the Grangeville Centennial Library.

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Lindsley, Sanders win school geography bees

Where in the world did The Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy live? In what country did National Geographic explorer Zeb Hogan study white fish in the Frazier River? And what’s the most populous city in Siberia?

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Haage takes on Seattle Cascades Corps

Chase Haage didn’t grow up in marching band. Although the 2013 Grangeville High School graduate has always been musical, marching band was an experience the Idaho County area did not provide for him. He’s making up for lost time.

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Bear Claw survives off land, thrives with help from Harpster neighbors

SEARS CREEK ROAD – It’s been 10 winters since 59-year-old Bear Claw moved to Idaho. “My friend said, ‘hop in the truck and you can come,’ so I did,” the soft-spoken man said, sitting at the table of his neighbors, Jim Fuller and Dixie Lynn, who live off Sears Creek Road outside of Harpster.

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Sanders wins GEMS geography bee

Seventh grader Kara Sanders took top honors at the Grangeville Elementary Middle School geography bee today, Jan. 21.

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‘I want to help take care of the animals and give them love’

Sometimes it takes a child to start the ball rolling. Emma Roach, 11, of Grangeville, has put together The Flower Girls Club and organized a bake sale to benefit ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation).

Love is a verb; it calls for action


The decision to act is simple. Just ask 11-year-old Emma Roach. “I love animals. Why wouldn’t I want to help?” the sixth grader shrugged.

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Pilant takes helm; White Bird mayor seeks town unity

Times are changing for the town of White Bird, and at the head of that change is a new mayor. Rod Pilant was sworn in as mayor at the Jan. 11 White Bird City Council meeting and has thus begun his four-year term.

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Lindsley wins SPPS geography bee

Sixth grader Jared Lindsley took top honors at the Sts. Peter and Paul geography bee today, Jan. 14.

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New barbershop opens in Grangeville

Thirty-four years of barbering hasn’t yet grown old for Wayne Tarlton.

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County’s top 4-H members named for 2015; Costas are year’s distinguished 4-H leaders

What’s it like to be tops in 4-H in Idaho County? Ask one of the 10 area 4-H’ers who were recently named as top 4-H participants for 2015.

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It's Your Business: Credit union meeting is Jan. 31

Cottonwood Credit Union will host its annual meeting and dinner Sunday, Jan. 31, at the Cottonwood Community Hall. Registration is at 4 p.m. with the meeting at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. Dinner is $3 per plate or donate a food item to the food bank. RSVP to the credit union by Jan. 15 by calling 962-3451, 924-0225 or 937-9877.

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Snow Business

ICP, Inc., off the truck route by the Grangeville Senior Citizens Center, received some heavy, wet snows on trees outside its fence during December.

Calcaterra sworn in as new trustee for hospital

News, Reports from Dec. 28 SH board meeting

Syringa Hospital Board met Dec. 28 and swore in new trustee Paula Calcaterra of Harpster. She takes the place of board chair Dave Green who is moving to Oregon; she will serve until the next election, May 2017.

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‘Sweet Brew’ is open for business

“We’re offering homemade soups each day,” smiled Trish Hinkson. Trish and her husband, Matt, along with his mom, Marie Hinkson, purchased the former Dog Pound on Grangeville’s Main Street in September. The couple is running the eatery and mom is “behind the scenes mostly,” they said.

It's Your Business: Groaners open for free use Jan. 4-16

Quilt Treasures has a variety of upcoming classes including Beginners Quilting Class (six weeks, starts Jan. 12, $75); Featherweight Maintenance Class (Jan. 16, $65); and Quilt-in-a-Day Class (Jan. 23). Featherweight Club also starts in February. Stop by 120 W. Main Street in Grangeville or call 451-4909.

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Snowy Scene

Grangeville area residents woke up to several inches of snow Monday morning, Dec. 14, and again Dec. 19. Temperatures hovered around 32 degrees during the day as snow continued to fall intermittently. Here, a bench was covered on Mt. Idaho Grade Road. According to, temperatures for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are supposed to be 31 degrees high and 14 low, and 25 high, 11 low, respectively, with a chance of snow each day.

Stories behind best-loved tunes

What do you know about your favorite Christmas songs?

We all sing, hum along with or listen to the Christmas carols and songs of the season, but how many know the stories behind some of the best-loved tunes? Here’s a history of a few of my favorites.

Great to hear from people; reminder to give more

Trying new things can result in some pleasant outcomes.

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Angels Among Us

These three angels were part of the Sts. Peter and Paul Christmas program held Wednesday, Dec. 16, at the Grangeville school. Students in preschool through eighth grade participated in the annual presentation that included skits, songs, readings and a visit from Santa. Pictured here (L-R) in the third and fourth grade play “Jesus Comes to Earth” are Hannah Frei, Abbie Frei and Siena Wagner.

It's Your Business: CFI is buying logs at Kooskia mill

New Year’s Eve at Hoot’s Café is set for dinner from 5-8 p.m. with choices of New York steak, prime rib and baby back ribs, all with salad bar included. Music will be by The Dave Dixon Band starting at 8 p.m. Soft drinks, coffee, beer and wine will be available at the back bar. •

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Week Four: And The Winner Is ….

Karen Ruff of Harpster was the final winner in the 4 Weeks of Christmas contest.

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GHS FFA ‘adopts’ three families

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for three local families.

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Grand Prize Winner Paula Kudebeh

After four weeks of entering and answering trivia questions correctly in the Idaho County Free Press/Shopper 4 Weeks of Christmas contest, the winner was Paula Kudebeh of Grangeville.

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Ponies, bikes, Pound Puppies popular with kids in 1985

Kids’ Christmas lists reflect the toy times

Each year the Free Press “Letters to Santa” section is a popular insert in the newspaper. Letters are written by mostly third graders from Idaho County while pictures are drawn by fifth-grade students. This year’s section will be in the Dec. 23 issue of the paper.

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Christmas Cheer

White Bird’s Lighted Christmas Parade and Dance took place Saturday night, Dec. 19.

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Millage men make Christmas trip to Yellowstone: 2014 a year to remember

Many think of Christmastime as an occasion to go home. Whether it be traveling to a childhood home or having one’s own kids home for the holidays, Christmas is often associated with a homecoming.

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Spears’ true murder mystery book reprinted: Signings set for Dec. 18, 19

Author Monty Spears is re-releasing his 2009 book “From the Hands of Vernon,” that focuses on a 1956 Lewiston murder case.

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Local author to sign first book Dec. 18

A young local author will be featured at the Village Shoppe Friday, Dec. 18, 1-3 p.m. Inis L. Fal of White Bird will be signing her first book, “When the Lion Roars.”

School response in wake of student’s death

“I cannot say thank you enough to the staff for the amount of love and professionalism displayed,” said Cammy Greig, mother of a senior son and sophomore daughter

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Rough Riders 4-H Club: Gifts Galore

Rough Riders 4-H Club held a raffle for a pine hope chest handmade and donated by Valor Russell.

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Dinner items sought by food bank

Don’t forget the giving, gratitude

In the midst of the buying and baking of the Christmas season, don’t forget the giving and gratitude. “We are so thankful to our communities for all they do for the food bank,” said Carlene Whitesell, manager of the Camas Prairie Food Bank.

It's Your Business: Calcaterra is new Syringa board trustee

Syringa Hospital Board Chair, Dave Green, announced his resignation from the board last month. His last day was Nov. 23, as he will be relocating to Oregon in the next few months.

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Frosty Day

A thick frost covered the lamp post in front of the United Methodist Church on Grangeville’s Main Street late last month. The Methodist church offers a variety of services and programs. Stop in at 404 West Main Street or call Pastor Barbara Essen at 983-0310.

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Angel Face

Little Harper Blewett sat quietly for a snowflake face-painting session from Grangeville High School student Lily Willig at Syringa’s Festival of Trees family day Thursday, Dec. 3.

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‘Frozen’ In Time

Designed 2 Dance held its winter recital under the direction of teacher Brittny Mundt Saturday, Dec. 5, at Grangeville High School. More than 40 students from age 3 to 18 participated in a Frozen-themed event. Here, Macy Koole is surprised while dancing to the song “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”

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New Camas Prairie crop? Grapes make appearance at Uhlorn farm

The Uhlorn family farm just outside of Cottonwood toward Fenn may have had a few sideways looks in the past few years.

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Learning to trust God in midst of adversity: Onthank grows in faith, trust

It was a seemingly “normal” spring day 10 years ago when Cynthia Onthank sat down for breakfast with her husband, Jim, before he left for his job with Idaho Transportation Department.

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Grangeville family embraces Hanukkah: Observers of Judaism may be minority, but Ellissa Crowl feels love, acceptance in town

When it seems everyone in Idaho County is putting up Christmas lights, singing carols about Jesus and buying Christmas presents, it’s sometimes easy to overlook other beliefs. For the Crowl family of Grangeville, observers of Judaism, Hanukkah began Dec. 6 and will end the evening of Dec. 14.

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It's Your Business: Bell ringers sought for local Salvation Army drive

Would you be willing to help ring the bell for the annual Salvation Army Kettle Drive? The monies go to help local families in need.

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Test scores show Idaho students have some work to do: GHS principal says tests are a guide, not final word

Idaho Standardized Achievement Tests show Idaho students may have some work to do to catch up to standards. However, looks can be deceiving, according to Grangeville High School Principal Steve Higgins.

Our kids are more than a test grade


Once again results are out for the latest rounds of state testing on our Idaho kids. The results make it seem as if our local youth need to step it up in some areas – and that is probably always the truth.

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It's Your Business: Dance recital set for this Saturday

Don’t forget to have Lunch Among the Trees this Friday, Dec. 4, noon, at the Senior Center. All adults are welcome on a donation basis.