JANUARY 7, 2010

Year End Review 2009: Part 2


   Orofino City Park’s restrooms were vandalized with red paint. Officer Bill Pollick found four hand prints in red paint on the restroom’s outer wall, red paint in the drinking fountain, and initials in red paint on the sidewalk. Inside the women’s restroom, red paint had been painted on a toilet seat, in the sink, and on the walls. The City of Orofino Public Works Department estimates repair costs at $750.

   The Eric Rist family lost everything but the clothes on their backs in a fire that totally destroyed their mobile home on Cavendish Grade. No one was injured in the blaze. The fire was caused by something that sparked a faulty butane tank. All the family safely managed to get out of the house.

   The City of Pierce was recognized for its efforts to preserve its historical heritage with the presentation of the Heritage City Award during the 62nd Association of Idaho Cities Annual Conference.

   Jess Mechling, Clearwater County Deputy Coroner, who has been in the nursing profession for over 40 years, is the new Clearwater County Coroner. He replaces Tommy Atkinson who, after three years as coroner.     

   DeAnna Webb and Forrest Tuxon, of the Reubens area lost all their belongings including their vehicles in a house fire on Saturday, July 4. Their pets managed to get out, but everything else was lost. The couple was in Orofino Saturday night, watching the fireworks, when a call came from the Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Department telling them their house was in flames. By the time they arrived at their home it was totally destroyed.

   Officials from the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) announced that an effort to prevent the introduction of invasive species, including quagga and zebra mussels, is underway. ISDA officials have been working swiftly to get watercraft inspection stations in place to implement the Invasive Species Fund Program passed by the 2009 Idaho Legislature. The objective is to prevent quagga and zebra mussels – prolific non-native mussels that destroy aquatic eco-systems, clog pipes and damage other infrastructure – from contaminating Idaho’s pristine lakes, rivers, and reservoirs.

   Two separate acts of vandalism occurred at the Canoe Camp site of Nez Perce National Historical Park on U.S. Highway 12. Charred paper was discovered in the men’s room of the concrete structure by a maintenance employee. Park staff also discovered obscenities etched in the door leading into the women’s room.

   Jeannie Johnson, Brad Cuddy, and Joann Willey are the winners of the Orofino Rotary Log Drive held July 4.

   A faulty power cord, lying on the ground by a house Friday night, started a small grass fire near a residence in the vicinity of 2400 Michigan Ave. in Konkolville. A 30’x50’ patch of grass was all that burned before firemen put out the blaze.

   The Pierce 1860 Days Committee is pleased to introduce you to the 2009, 1860 Days Grand Marshals: Harlan and Barb Opdahl.

   The Woodlot Tavern and Café in Ahsahka has been voted as having the tastiest burgers in the region. The Woodlot burgers were named number one winner in the Lewiston Burger Challenge sponsored by the Lewiston Tribune. Riverside Lanes was among the top 10 winners.

   Clearwater County has been awarded $3,868 in federal funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, for the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program. The money will supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the County.

   Clearwater Memorial Public Library was burglarized July 16 or early July 17. A library employee arrived that morning and noticed something suspicious near the cash drawer. She soon discovered the cash drawer had been emptied of all money, and two computers had been taken from the library, according to Orofino Police Department.

   Thomas McTevia, a disabled Navy veteran and former Orofino police officer, competed in the 29th National Veterans Wheelchair Games July 18, in Spokane, WA.

   Clearwater Memorial Public Library (CMPL) announced the retirement of the current director, Chris Ashby. Chris first began work at CMPL in Jan. 2003.

   Shawnee Scott, daughter of Marcy Rethwisch, both of Orofino, was among the candidates competing for the title of Miss Teen of Idaho at the 2009 State Pageant, which was held in Caldwell.


   Glen and Gail Hibbs were honored as the 2009 Grand Marshals at the Wild Weippe Rodeo.

   Jordan Dougherty, age seven, was awarded a very special gift from the Muscular Dystrophy Association. His new electric wheelchair enables him the freedom to move about more..

   Connor Shropshire re-constructed two Methodist Church stained-glass windows for his Eagle Scout project. The project began over two years ago when a member of the church council approached him to ask if he would be interested in repairing some of the aging windows in the church.

   The Wild Weippe Rodeo has a new Queen; Rachel Bonner holds that title for 2009. Currently a resident of Orofino, she is 15 years old. Rachel lived in Weippe for awhile as a child. She has been home schooled for the past three years, but is considering going to Orofino High School where one of her goals is to be in the top of her class.

   Friday morning, Aug. 7, the Barnett-Thompson Chevrolet sign was removed from the side of the dealership's building, where it has perched for nearly 40 years, due to the final closing of the dealership.

   Orofino Fire Department was called to a fire inside the Riverside Laundromat. Fire Chief, Mike Lee, said the fire started in a garbage can just inside the door. Fire damage was sustained to the wall. There were no injuries.

   On the 4th of July, Dave and Michelle Bentle, owners of M & M Pizza in Riverside, opened The Fun Zone, located at 211 Johnson Avenue. It features old fashioned arcade games and new, flashy video games. There are a couple low-sized games tiny children are able to do such as whacking alligators and driving a Flintstone car.

   Pam Jones is the recipient of a check for $10,000 in a fund-raiser for Eric Statler’s medical expenses – organized by a group of people who wish to be known simply as “Friends of Eric.”

   Lori Sutton, Housekeeping Manager for the Best Western Lodge at River’s Edge, was named Heroic Housekeeper of the Year by Best Western International.

   The Orofino PTSA recently purchased a climbing wall for the playground at the Orofino Elementary School.


   Idaho opened its first ever hunting season for wolves, Tuesday, Sept. 1.

   Inmates from the Idaho Correctional Institution-Orofino (ICI-O), worked with Orofino Celebrations, Inc. (OCI) to give the announcer booth at the Clearwater County fairgrounds a facelift in time for the Clearwater County Fair.

   A Verizon crew took down the cell phone tower located on the Verizon building next to the former Barnett-Thompson building. Verizon has completed the installation of fiber optic cables and no longer needs the tower.

   Ordinance 761, disallowing skateboarding in Orofino parks and closing of parks at 10 p.m. passed unanimously with all council members present for the vote during the regular meeting Sept. 8.

   Acting Forest Supervisor Ralph Rau announced recently, during an all employee videoconference, that Rick Brazell has accepted the Forest Supervisor position for the Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests. Rick has served as Forest Supervisor on the Colville National Forest from 2003 to present.

   The Northfork Church in Ahsahka held dedication services for the new sanctuary Sunday, Sept. 27.

   Clearwater Tribune publisher Cloann McNall won the Lewiston Roundup’s grand prize drawing for an all expense paid trip for two to the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas in December.

   Junior Miss, Lindsey Staley, represented Orofino at the Idaho Junior Miss program in Pocatello at the Stephens Performing Art Center.

   Cpl. Robert (Rob) A. Shropshire IV, a former Orofino resident and a 2005 graduate of OHS, together with Spec. Chris Richard, proved to be the toughest Air Assault Soldiers in the world in what is known as the “Ironman” race of the Army.

   Three men survived the sinking of their boat Monday, in the Clearwater River near Pink House campground at MP 37 on Hwy 12.

   During its regular meeting Sept. 16, at the Ponderosa Restaurant, the Orofino Chamber of Commerce welcomed Heather Burnham back as the acting Director.


   Two Lenore residents died when they were involved in a two vehicle accident near the Clearwater River Casino on southbound US95. The victims have been identified as Temi C. Meninick, 18, and her brother, Daniel J. Meninick, 27, both of Lenore. They both died at the scene.

   Souvenir bricks from Weippe High School were available for purchase at Duke Day at the Weippe Cemetery. The bricks have been collected from the razing process of the old school, cleaned and stamped with a line print picture of the school, a WHS logo and a Gorilla logo.

   Residents and friends of Greer gathered at the Greer Centennial Park in celebration of the new park sign that was unveiled. The sign commemorates the centennial date of Greer, which was instituted on Oct. 1, 1999. The original sign was stolen.

   Theresa Norton (Brunk) was found guilty of first degree arson, conspiracy, and insurance fraud, after a week-long trial beginning Sept. 28, and ending Oct. 2.

   Bacon, cooking on the stove, started a fire early Saturday morning that totally destroyed the home of Virgil and Judy Gardner on Band Mill Loop Road.

   This year, Public Health, Idaho North Central District, has received significantly less seasonal flu vaccine than originally was ordered and does not expect to receive any additional shipments.

   Four people from Idaho, one man and three women, competed in the National Senior Games. Brigitte Richardson, Orofino, brought home a Bronze medal for herself and Orofino in the 200 yard breast stroke.

   Gordon and Jennifer L. Benson, with their son Gabriel, celebrated their one year ownership of Video Flicks movie rental store located at 155 Main Street, Orofino.

   October enrollment for the entire Joint School District #171 is up by six students from September, but 63 less students than October of 2008. The current enrollment is 1,163.

   Public Health received its first small shipments of H1N1 vaccine.

   Bertys Smolinski celebrated her 90th birthday on Saturday, Oct. 17.

   An emergency strategy meeting was called at the Clearwater County Commissioners’ office in Orofino to determine the future and viability of Dworshak State Park and the possibility of closure next spring.

   The family of Zoie McLean hosted an open house birthday party for Zoie, who turned 105.

   Presnell Gage, PLLC, Accounting and Consulting, with offices in Lewiston, Moscow, and Grangeville, announced that they have acquired the accounting practice of Jeff Roberts, CPA, in Orofino, located at 216 Johnson Avenue.


   A structure fire at 121 Lombard Road, near Weippe, resulted in the death of a three-year-old girl, Feather Proctor. The Weippe Fire Department responded to the call and reported the mobile home structure was fully engulfed in flames and the three-year-old was still in the home.

   Orofino’s Seventh Annual Christmas Festival will feature some new and exciting activities this year including a passport program and live nativity.

   A new business Camp, Cabin and Home, located on Highway 12 in what was formerly known as The Bazaar Building, has opened its doors for business in Orofino. Randy Krall is owner.

   Loss of Internet, ATM, cell phone, and long distance phone services crippled the area for a long period of time during business hours. 

   Clearwater County Commissioners have sent a “letter of interest” on behalf of the County, to the State of Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR), expressing the County’s interest in potentially sub-leasing Dworshak State Park. “We initiated the process,” Commissioner Stan Leach said. “IDPR needs to step up to the plate and help us make it happen.”

   Cole Hoffman, a seventh-grader attending Orofino Junior High, became the first-ever honorary “Editor of the Day” at the Clearwater Tribune after he wrote a letter asking how a paper is made. We thought it would be fun and educational to let him see the process.

   A Spokane couple has purchased Glenwood IGA from the McGregors, who have owned the store for the past seven years. The new owners are Dale and Teresa Watson and son Cory. They have purchased a home in Orofino.

   Wolf hunting closed Nov. 17, for the Dworshak-Elk City Zone. The harvest of 18 wolves, for that area has been met.

   Ten thousand copies of the new Pierce-Weippe Chamber of Commerce recreation map brochure arrived this week fresh off the press. The Chamber received a $2200 grant from the Idaho Travel Council to produce a much needed tourist brochure of the Clearwater County backcountry covering the area from Idaho Highway 11, east to the North Fork of the Clearwater River.


   The Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) responded to a burglary at Barney’s Harvest Foods on Hwy 12, Orofino. Surveillance cameras reveal it was committed by at least four people. A trail of some stolen items led to a nearby neighborhood. Items taken included beer, masks, hats, bandanas and lighters.

   It was reported that Chris Goetz, of the Sheriff’s Department, attended the recent meeting in Boise of the Idaho State Parks and Recreation Board. He got confirmation that IDPR will work with Clearwater County with regard to their letter expressing interest in temporarily subleasing the park while it is in transition.

   Orofino High School is proud to announce Tiffany Heckathorn has been selected for the Idaho All State Treble Choir.

   Idaho Fish and Game is asking for help in determining who shot and wasted a bull elk discovered Nov. 23 in the Dent Acres area northeast of Orofino.

   The Weippe Public Library sent their first Lego League Team, Robo-Dragons, to travel and compete in Post Falls, Saturday, Dec. 5. The Robo-Dragons have been working the past several weeks designing a Lego robot and have designed their own T-shirt and mascot.

   Bob Wiggins of Orofino, is the winner of the fall $1000 Sweepstakes Shopping Giveaway, hosted by Orofino Builders Supply and Do It Best Corporation.  Bob Wiggins claimed this was the first time he has ever won anything! After being out of work for awhile, Bob was wondering how to make ends meet for the holidays. It seems that Christmas may have arrived a little early this year for the Wiggins family.

   The Willing Workers Club of Lenore celebrated its 100th birthday.

   Three juveniles and an 18-year-old male were arrested in connection with burglaries at Orofino businesses, according to Orofino Police Department.

   After discussion, a motion was made at a recent Orofino City Council meeting to go forward with the purchase of land belonging to the railroad adjacent to the Clearwater River. This parcel, valued at $50,000 plus an adjacent strip valued at $25,000 would be offered  by the City of Orofino with plans to build the new water plant.

   Clearwater Atomic Robotics did an awesome job in Post Falls on Saturday in the First Lego League (FLL), north Idaho qualifier event. This event was the largest qualifier event in the world with 65 teams competing for a chance to go to the state tournament (called Idaho ROKS FLL Championship Tournament) in Pocatello on Jan. 16, and a chance to go to the World Festival in April, which will be held in Atlanta, GA.

   Lindsey Staley and Malik Tiffany are the first and second place winners (respectively) in the VFW Post #3296 and Ladies Auxiliary Voice of Democracy essay contest. The subject of their essays was, “Are There Still Heroes in America Today?” The contest is sponsored by the VFW and winners may go on to compete all the way to a national level.

   U.S. Senator Jim Risch has hired Jessie McLeod to serve as a staff assistant in his Boise office. McLeod is a 2005 graduate of Orofino High School and is finishing her political science degree at Boise State University.

   At the Dec. 14 meeting of Joint School District 171 board members, it was reported that December enrollment of 1,140 students is down 10 from Nov. 1, and down by 84 students from this time last year.

   The Pierce GEM Team discovered a gem for the residents of Pierce, Clearwater County, and the State of Idaho. One of the local GEM members found that over 300 copies of "The Pierce Chronicle" were archived in the Boise warehouse of the Idaho State Historical Society.

   Hal Joseph, Physician Assistant and Certified Diabetes Educator at Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics, was one of the principle investigators and authors of a study published in the latest edition of Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics journal. Two of the other authors were physicians based in San Antonio and Philadelphia.

   Pamela Hansen of Pierce will be 4-wheeling in style this Christmas as she was the lucky winner of the VFW drawing for a 2009 Suzuki King Quad® 400cc 4x4 automatic, 4-wheeler.

   State workers from Idaho Parks and Recreation have begun clearing Dworshak State Park of the equipment that has been necessary to run it. So far, a tractor-backhoe, lawn mowers, mules (utility four-wheelers), an air compressor, and computers are among the items removed.

   Ashley Frank, seventh grade student at Orofino Junior High School, was named the first place district winner of the Patriot’s Pen Youth Essay Contest held at the VFW District 2 luncheon in Lewiston Saturday, Dec. 12. She is the daughter of Doug and Stephanie Frank and the granddaughter of Butch and Francine Finke.

   Idaho Correctional Institution – Orofino, the Orofino VFW, and numerous members of the community gathered at Cook Cemetery to say their last farewells to Orofino local Dave Cady.

   Fees for many motor vehicle services in Idaho will increase Jan. 1, the Idaho Transportation Department announced. The fee changes will generate approximately $13.1 million from increases on 18 motor vehicle services, including driver licenses, vehicle titling and driving records. Many of the fees have not increased for more than a decade.

   Les Schilling was asleep in the basement of his home at 716 Floyd Alley when he woke to the barking of the dogs. A fire had broken out on the ground floor of the home. Schilling and his dogs were able to escape without injury.

   Shirley Midstokke, RN, was recently named 2009 Employee of the Year by the CVH nursing staff. She is most identifiable for the nursing cap she wears, but what she is truly known for is her caring attitude and professional skills with the patients at Clearwater Valley Hospital.