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Meet and Greet for Local Republican Candidates to be Held in Pocatello on Wednesday, September 23


September 21, 2020

Meet your local Republican candidates running for office, this Wednesday, September 23.
Joan Reed, Republican Precinct Committeewoman, will be hosting a ‘meet and greet’ event at her home, 1351 East Elm Street, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Candidates attending include Dustin Manwaring (state legislature), Ernie Moser and Jeff Hough (county commissioner), and Tony Manu (sheriff).
To RSVP, or for more information, contact Joan Reed at 208-241-6057 or via email at joanreed41@gmail.com.


City of Pocatello Calendar, Week of September 21-25, 2020


(City of Pocatello Press Release, September 18, 2020)

The public meeting calendar for the City of Pocatello for the week of September 21-25, 2020, is as follows:

Monday, September 21

No Meetings Scheduled

Tuesday, September 22

Site Plan Review
1:30 p.m., Iwamizawa Conference Room

Wednesday, September 23

Housing Alliance & Community Partnerships Special Meeting
11:00 a.m., 711 N. 6th Avenue

Animal Shelter Advisory Board Meeting
12:00 p.m., Council Chambers

Planning & Zoning Commission Clarification Meeting
6:00 p.m., Council Chambers

Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting
6:30 p.m., Council Chambers

Thursday, September 24

Hearing Examiner
5:30 p.m., Council Chambers

Friday, September 25

No Meetings Scheduled


Pocatello Police Department, Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce, Remind Residents about Civility when Patronizing Businesses


(City of Pocatello Press Release, September 21, 2020)

As we all continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pocatello Police Department and Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce are reminding business owners, managers, and citizens about courtesy when doing business at an establishment.

Private businesses are free to set the conditions for a customer to enter or receive service at the business.  Business owners or managers are within their rights to ask patrons to leave the business if they do not follow the business’ terms.

“We understand the stress everyone is under right now and remind everyone to be courteous, respectful, kind, and patient during these times,” said Chief Roger Schei.

“As a business owner or manager, you have rights as to how you’d like your business to operate,” said Matt Hunter, President/Chief Executive Officer of the Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce.  “No business owner, manager, or employee is required to take any type of abuse from a potential customer.  If you or your employees are being subjected to any abuse, call the Pocatello Police Department.”

Citizens who do not follow a business’ rules can be trespassed, and business owners and managers are asked to call 911 for emergencies.  For non-emergency situations, call 208-234-6100.

“Again, we encourage everyone to be civil, whether it be by following a business’ rules or choosing another business to patronize,” Schei said.

For more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on what businesses can do to limit workplace violence, visit https://bit.ly/2QszQ9L.


Pocatello: AMVETS Idaho Post 1 Honors Winners of Americanism Contests


September 19, 2020  (All Photos Courtesy of Kiersten Young)

Avery Lawes, Winner of the AMVETS Flag Coloring Contest

Pocatello’s AMVETS Idaho Post 1 announced the winners of their annual Americanism contest at a dinner held to honor the local students on Thursday, September 17.  The dinner, which was held in conjunction with AMVETS Family Fun Day, took place at OK Ward Park.

Each year, AMVETS holds an Americanism contest for students in grades K-12.  There are different contests, each appropriate to the student’s grade level.  The theme for the 2019-2020 school year was, “What Does Freedom Mean to Me.”  AMVETS is unique in holding patriotic contests for students in all grades, K through 12.

Olivia Lawes, Winner of the AMVETS Lower Elementary Poster Contest

This year, the winner of the flag coloring contest was Avery Lawes, a homeschool student.  Avery was tasked with coloring a picture of an American flag and answering four questions about the flag.  Avery received a check for $50 and a certificate from AMVETS.

Avery’s sister, Olivia Lawes, was the first place winner in the Lower Elementary Poster Contest.  Olivia created a poster on the year’s theme.  Her poster featured an American flag.  Olivia, who is also a homeschool student, received a check from AMVETS for $50 and a certificate.

Heidi Crowder, Winner of the AMVETS Upper Elementary Poster Contest

Heidi Crowder took home the prize for the Upper Elementary Poster Contest.  Heidi’s poster focused on the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  It featured images of a podium with a microphone, representing freedom of speech, a group of children playing together which represented freedom of assembly, and other images.  Heidi also received a check for $50 and a certificate from AMVETS.  Heidi was being homeschooled last year at the time she entered the contest.  She currently attends Legacy Christian School in Pocatello.

Zoe Zufelt, Winner of the AMVETS Middle School Essay Contest

Zoe Zufelt was the winner of the Middle School Essay Contest.  Zoe, also a homeschool student, received a check for $150 and a certificate from AMVETS.  Zoe participates with the local homeschool group, Freedom Scholars.

The winner of the High School Essay Contest was Eddy Crowder.  Eddy, a homeschool student, received a check for $300 and a certificate from AMVETS.

Lance Kolbet, Commander of AMVETS Idaho Post 1 and Heidi Young, President of AMVETS Idaho Post 1 Auxiliary, handed out the awards to all the students.

Eddy Crowder, Winner of the AMVETS High School Essay Contest

All of the students also received an additional prize donated by ServPro.

AMVETS would like to thank AMVETS member Frank Simmons for his generous donation to the Americanism contest.

The competition for next year’s AMVETS Americanism contest will begin in January, 2021, with entries for each of the contests due in May.  The theme for next year is, “What Do I Think of When I See the American Flag?”

To learn more about AMVETS Idaho Post 1, visit their Facebook page at:


Be sure to check in with the Pocatello-Chubbuck Observer’s Education Section, and to follow our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Pocatello-Chubbuck-Observer-107472137385031  to learn about this and other patriotic student competitions throughout the year.


Chubbuck Mayor’s Blog: Advisory Question for City Consolidation on November’s Ballot


(City of Chubbuck Video Release, September 18, 2020)

This week, Chubbuck Mayor Kevin England’s weekly blog features a discussion of the city consolidation question on the November ballot.  To watch the video, click on the link, below:


White House Proclamation on the Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg


(White House Press Release, September 19, 2020)

The White House has released the following statement on the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

Today, our Nation mourns the loss of a trailblazer, not only in the field of law, but in the history of our country.  Ruth Bader Ginsburg served more than 27 years as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.  She was a loving wife to her late husband Martin, and a caring mother to her two children Jane and James.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an inspiration to all Americans.  Having lost her older sister and mother before graduating high school, she entered law school as both a wife and a mother, and one of the few women in her class.  After graduating from law school in 1959, she worked tirelessly for more than 34 years as a litigator and jurist and, in 1993, she became just the second woman to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States.  Renowned for her powerful dissents at the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg epitomized powerful yet respectful argument; that you can disagree with someone without being disagreeable to them.  Justice Ginsburg’s work helped bring about greater equality for women, secure rights for the disabled, and will continue to influence our Nation for generations to come.  In addition to her quick mind, she brought flair to the bench with her stylish jabots and her warm friendships among colleagues, even those with whom she often disagreed, most notably with the late Justice Antonin Scalia.


A fighter to the end, Justice Ginsburg defeated cancer and the odds numerous times — all while continuing to serve on the Court.  Her commitment to the law and her fearlessness in the face of death inspired countless “RBG” fans, and she continues to serve as a role model to countless women lawyers.  Her legacy and contribution to American history will never be forgotten.

As a mark of respect for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the United States, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including section 7 of title 4, United States Code, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, on the day of interment.  I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.


Video: U.S. Senator James Risch (R-ID) Speaks at Hearing about Devastating Wildfires


(U.S. Senator James Risch Press/Video Release, September 16, 2020)

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) spoke at an Energy and Natural Resources hearing about the devastating wildfires raging in the western United States, and landmark forest management reform legislation he has cosponsored to protect forestland and communities during wildfire season.

“Right now, there are more than a dozen fires burning thousands of acres throughout Idaho, the vast majority of which are located on federal lands.  Years of insufficient forest management have turned the West into a tinderbox,” said Risch.  “There are many factors that make wildfires spread, but regular fuel reduction is a critical and indisputable strategy to prevent wildfires of this magnitude from spreading.”

Risch continued, “I am proud to cosponsor the Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act, and would like to thank my colleagues Senator Daines and Senator Feinstein for their leadership in introducing it.  This bill offers commonsense solutions to these commonsense problems by improving our ability to reduce these fuels and improve our forests and protect communities in a productive, collaborative way.”

Remarks have been lightly edited for clarity.

To watch the rest of Senator Risch’s remarks, click the video below.


Portneuf River Vision Seeks Public Input on Designs to Update Centennial & Rainey Parks


(City of Pocatello Press Release, September 15, 2020.  Photo Credit:  City of Pocatello)

The Portneuf River Vision is looking for your input on the future of a pair of Pocatello parks.

Recently, the group unveiled a round of updated designs for Centennial Park and Rainey Park, and now they’re looking for your input on the plans.  Citizens are invited to complete the 20-question survey at surveymonkey.com/r/27MTYSX and answer questions about how often they use the parks, what they use them for, and more.  The answers will help the Portneuf River Vision determine which aspects of the park are a priority for residents. 

 “After getting feedback last summer, the City worked with our design team, and we are thrilled with the concept that they’ve created,” said Hannah Sanger, Science and Environment Division Administrator.  “The current design now features a grassy amphitheater with cement platforms for performers, multiple pavilions and picnic shelters, a seasonal wetland that users can walk through, numerous access points to the Portneuf River, a bike park, and more.”

The questionnaire takes about 10 to 20 minutes to complete.  Responses will be accepted until September 21.

“The feedback we get now will be used to help us further refine park plans, and will also provide us with ‘before’ data on park use today,” Sanger said.

To view the latest round of designs, visit river.pocatello.us/2020-centennial-park-plans/.

For more information on the Portneuf River Vision, visit river.pocatello.us.


New Bus Stop Completed at Intersection of West Day St. and North Grant Ave.


(City of Pocatello Press Release, September 15, 2020.  Photo Credit:  City of Pocatello)

Pocatello Regional Transit has put the finishing touches on a new stop at the intersection of West Day Street and North Grant Avenue.

The new stop features a bus shelter, dedicated bus parking, sidewalk renovations, and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramps.

“Bus stop improvement projects like this help encourage more people to ride public transit and make for a positive experience in taking the bus,” said Skyler Beebe, Pocatello Regional Transit Director.  “Senior citizen mobility is an important focus in public transportation, so with Portneuf Towers providing senior housing, this was a great opportunity.”

“The stop’s shelter will provide protection from the weather for the residents and neighbors of Portneuf Towers,” said Sunny Shaw, Executive Director of Housing Alliance and Community Partnerships.  “I am especially excited that the stop has ADA improvements permitting greater access by all who will use it.”

The total cost of the project was $55,250 and the new bus stop was completed at no cost to the City.  Funding was provided by Housing Alliance and Community Partnerships and the Federal Transit Administration.

The project was a collaboration between the City of Pocatello, Housing Alliance & Community Partnerships, and Bannock Transportation Planning Organization.

The new stop was modeled on improvements made to the stop at East Sherman Street and North 7th Avenue that were completed in the fall of 2018.

For more information on PRT including routes, stops, and more, visit pocatellotransit.com.


School District 25 Board Votes to Retire Pocatello High School’s Indians Mascot


September 16, 2020

Last night, during an hours-long school board meeting, the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 Board voted to retire the Pocatello High School Indians mascot at the end of the school year.

The vote followed public comments from students, teachers, parents, past graduates, and members of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes.  In addition, Board members were said to have received, “hundreds” of emails on the topic.  Speakers were fairly evenly divided both for and against the change, including tribal members.

Although the vote to be taken was whether or not to change the name of the mascot, many speakers chose to address school assemblies and rallies, which, some said, caused them to feel embarrassed and mocked by performances at these events.

While the meeting topic was referred to as controversial, and watching the meeting it was obvious that the issue was very emotional for many on both sides, all those speaking at the meeting were respectful and voiced their positions very articulately.

Ultimately, the Board voted to retire the Indians mascot on June 1, 2021, so as to give the students the ability to finish the year with the mascot in place along with the opportunity for all stakeholders to work together to come up with a new mascot.

To watch the meeting, click on the video link, below.