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Idaho Governor Brad Little to Host AARP Telephone Town Hall, Tuesday, May 26, 2020

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(Press Release, May 22, 2020)

Idaho Governor Brad Little will host a statewide AARP telephone town hall to provide information and answer questions regarding the coronavirus in Idaho.

Governor Little will be joined by Alex Adams, Governor Little’s budget chief and chair of the Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee.  The hour-long conversation begins at 12 p.m. MT.  Participants can join by dialing toll-free 866-767-0637 or register in advance by visiting https://vekeo.com/aarpidaho/.

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City of Pocatello: Meetings Posted for Week of May 25-29, 2020

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(Press Release, May 22, 2020)

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The City of Pocatello has posted the calendar of meetings scheduled for the week of May 25-29, 2020.

According to the calendar, City Hall will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25.  No meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, May 26, and Friday, May 29.

On Wednesday, May 27, the only entity scheduled to meet is the Planning & Zoning Committee.  Their Clarification meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m., followed by their regular meeting scheduled at 6:30 p.m.

On Thursday, May 28, the only meeting scheduled is the City Council Budget meeting scheduled for 9:00 a.m.

For more information about the meetings, to view the full schedule/agendas, or to learn where and how to view the meetings, visit: https://pocatello.us/AgendaCenter

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City of Pocatello: City Council Budget Development Meeting Agenda for May 28, 2020, Posted

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(Press Release, May 22, 2020)

The City of Pocatello has released the following agenda for the City Council Budget Development Meeting to be held on May 28, 2020:

AGENDA
CITY COUNCIL BUDGET DEVELOPMENT MEETING
CITY OF POCATELLO, IDAHO

MAY 28, 2020

9:00 AM

CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

2020–2021 City Council: Linda Leeuwrik, Rick Cheatum, Roger Bray, Claudia Ortega (back row); Heidi Adamson, Brian Blad, Chris Stevens (front row) (Photo Credit: City of Pocatello)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines, no on-site public access is permitted for this meeting.  The full Council meeting will be live-streamed at: https://www.pocatello.us/718/Live-Streaming and available on Sparklight Cable channel 56.

1: ROLL CALL.

2: FISCAL YEAR 2021 BUDGET DEVELOPMENT OVERVIEW:  Finance staff will give a
brief overview of budget development items related to creation of the City’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget.  Department presentations will be given at this time.

3: INTER-DEPARTMENT TRANSFER CLARIFICATION – Ashley Welsh, Chief Financial
Officer/Treasurer will provide clarification regarding fund transfers between City Departments.

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4: 2021 BUDGET REPORT FIRE/AMBULANCE DEPARTMENT – Chief David Gates will
give a presentation.

5: 2021 EMPLOYEE HEALTH BENEFITS RENEWAL AND CHANGES – Human Resources staff will give a presentation regarding City employee Fiscal Year 2021 Health benefits and changes. Staff is seeking Council guidance. (ACTION ITEMS)

6: 2021 EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION – Human Resources staff will give a presentation
regarding City employee Fiscal Year 2021 compensation. Staff is seeking Council guidance.
(ACTION ITEMS)

7: 2021 REVENUE UPDATE – Ashley Welsh, Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer, will give a
presentation. (ACTION ITEMS)

8: Adjourn.

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Guest Column: U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) on Idaho Pulling Together

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May 18, 2020

Idaho Pulling Together

by:  U.S. Senator Mike Crapo

(U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, official photo)

Even in these uncertain times, as the pandemic has torn across our world taking lives and livelihoods, Idahoans are moving forward.  I have been proud to work closely with Governor Brad Little and fellow members of Idaho’s Congressional Delegation, Senator Jim Risch and Representatives Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher, to support Idahoans throughout the state’s response to the pandemic.

From the beginning, the Idaho Congressional Delegation worked with the Governor’s office to assist with testing capabilities for our state and cut through federal red tape to obtain needed medical supplies, such as masks and personal protective equipment (PPE).  We navigated conflicting federal guidelines to help get a shipment of KN-95 masks into the country for St. Luke’s Health System.  We partnered to obtain White House Coronavirus Task Force recognition of the serious need for certain testing in rural areas, such as those in Idaho.  Elevating this to the attention of the Task Force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, was important to ensure tests were directed to rural areas more in need of critical testing than larger, more populous states with bigger hospital systems and more testing capacity.

To help ensure agricultural producers in Idaho and across the country had the necessary workforce to grow our nation’s food supply, we urged the timely and legal processing of H-2A visa requests, the nation’s temporary agriculture worker program, while implementing protocols to protect public health.

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Together, we have worked to help bring home dozens of Idahoans.  Our initial repatriation efforts began with individuals stranded on the Grand Princess Cruise Ship off the coast of California in mid-March.  We communicated with those in quarantine at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to ensure access to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) tests and other resources to facilitate a safe return.

When pandemic concerns heightened globally in March, our offices worked quickly to help get Idahoans abroad safely home.  For example, a mother from eastern Idaho contacted me about her son, who was in Morocco when the pandemic hit.  We helped ensure her son made it home.  His mother wrote, “It was very comforting to know I had people working towards a solution.”  Similarly, Idahoans with travel plans gone awry amid the pandemic have also been assisted with travel vouchers or refunds for canceled travel.

We have also been working quickly with Idahoans to help navigate the various elements of emergency federal assistance enacted during the pandemic.  This includes addressing questions about whether individuals, including veterans and social security beneficiaries, qualify for individual payments, how a small business owner or agriculture producer can qualify and apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, where to get information about health care, and many other subjects.  Each win for Idahoans, and there are many more than mentioned here, has been encouraging as we pull together to overcome this pandemic.

There is no doubt recovery will take considerable time and ongoing effort and resources.  We face significant challenges in the months ahead.  Our work will continue as the Idaho Congressional Delegation are in daily contact with each other and Governor Little.  My website, www.crapo.senate.gov, has contact details and updated information to help answer questions people may have, and we will continue to post information as we get it.  We are here to help Idahoans with anything we can regarding this pandemic, so please reach out if you need help.

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Idaho Rolls Out New COVID-19 Testing Strategy

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(Press Release, May 22, 2020)

Idaho Rolls Out New COVID-19 Testing Strategy to Protect Lives, Preserve Healthcare Capacity, Rebound Economy

Governor Brad Little (Official Photo)

Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little announced today that the Testing Task Force assembled one month ago has completed its recommendations.

“A strong economic rebound can only occur with a combination of efforts, and expanded and targeted testing is a big part of our strategy,” Governor Little said.  “We have an impressive team of very capable local clinical and laboratory and research experts from across the state helping us navigate this crisis, and I sincerely appreciate their help.”

The task force’s full report is available at https://rebound.idaho.gov/stages-of-reopening/.

The Testing Task Force’s recommendations include:

  • Who should be tested and how often.  Testing across all groups of people should be expanded.  This will include testing of both symptomatic and some asymptomatic people based on priority level.  The task force proposed five testing priority levels based on testing need.  Priority 1 represents people with the highest need for testing (such as healthcare workers, residents of nursing homes, and others) and priority 5 represents those with the lowest need.
  • Investment in local testing capacity must be significantly increased.
  • Expansion of molecular diagnostic testing now, which in combination with proven public health practices such as tracing, physical distancing, enhanced sanitation, hand hygiene, and instructing ill people to stay home to protect others, will help stop the spread of COVID-19.  Molecular diagnostic tests identify the presence of the virus and tell us who is infected.  Knowing who has the virus is the most important information we need to reduce disease transmission.
  • A limited use of serologic (antibody) testing, which detects human antibodies to the virus.  The presence of antibodies tells us who has been exposed to the virus in the past, but that does not guarantee they will be protected from re-infection.  There will be important public health uses for serology testing, but at a later point in the response.

“The takeaway message from these recommendations is that we will need to build incredible testing capacity plus the ability to respond to all of those results with appropriate clinical and public health follow-up care, if we hope to provide widescale and repeated testing for all Idahoans who may need to be tested,” said Dr. Christopher Ball, Chief of the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories and co-chair of the Testing Task Force.

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The task force also noted:

  • Testing for COVID-19 is not a strategy that stands alone; it informs public health prevention strategies and risk mitigation efforts.
  • Well-executed risk mitigation efforts will achieve both reductions in disease transmission and a successfully reopened economy.
  • Lastly, a robust approach to educating the public, businesses, industry, schools, and others must be a critical part of the enhanced public health prevention strategies required to effectively mitigate COVID-19 transmission risk.

Participants of the Testing Task Force include:

Co-chairs 

Dr. Christopher Ball (Director, Idaho Bureau of Laboratories)

Dr. Jim Souza (Chief Medical Officer, St. Luke’s Health System)

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State and Local Public Health 

Division of Public Health:

Dr. Christine Hahn (Public Health Medical Director and State Epidemiologist)

Dr. Kris Carter (Career Epidemiology Field Officer – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Dr. Carolyn Bridges (Consultant)

Elke Shaw-Tulloch (Division Administrator, State Health Official)

Local Public Health District:

Maggie Mann (Director, Southeastern Idaho Public Health)

Healthcare 

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Boise Veterans Administration Medical Center: 

Dr. Andrew Wilper (Chief of Staff)

Kootenai Health:

Dr. Karen Cabell (Chief Physician Executive)

Saint Alphonsus Health System:

Dr. Steven Nemerson (Chief Clinical Officer)

Dr. Patrice Burgess (Systems Contact for Testing)

St. Luke’s Health System:

Dr. Matthew Burtelow (Boise Pathology Group, St. Luke’s Treasure Valley Medical Executive Committee)

Dr. Sky Blue (infectious disease physician, Sawtooth Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, St. Luke’s Infection Prevention Committee)

Idaho Emergency Responders Health Center

Dr. Rob Hilvers

Retail Pharmacy

Albertsons Corporation: Rob Geddes, Director of Pharmacy and Regulatory Affairs

Community Organization

Crush the Curve: Mike Boren

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White House Proclamation on Honoring the Victims of the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

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(White House Press Release, May 22, 2020)

President Donald J. Trump (White House Official Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Our Nation mourns for every life lost to the coronavirus pandemic, and we share in the suffering of all those who endured pain and illness from the outbreak.  Through our grief, America stands steadfast and united against the invisible enemy.  May God be with the victims of this pandemic and bring aid and comfort to their families and friends.

As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the coronavirus pandemic, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon 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, May 24, 2020.  I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time 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 twenty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred forty-fourth.

DONALD J. TRUMP

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Chubbuck Mayor Kevin England’s Video Blog, May 22, 2020, Topics Include Idaho Field of Heroes Memorial, Summer Activities

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(City of Chubbuck, Video Release, May 22, 2020)

Chubbuck Mayor Kevin England’s latest video blog has been posted on the City of Chubbuck website and on the City’s YouTube channel.  In this video, Mayor England provides updates on: Update Includes: Idaho Field of Heroes Memorial (https://www.facebook.com/IdahoFieldOfHeroes/), Stuart Park Splash Pad, Movies in the Park, and Summer Activities..

To view the Mayor’s latest update, click on the video link, below:

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Guest Column: Idaho Governor Brad Little on Idaho’s Economic Rebound

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May 21, 2020

Idaho’s Economic Rebound Hinges on the Safety and Confidence of Consumers and Employees

by: Governor Brad Little

Governor Brad Little (Official Photo)

As more and more businesses are opening their doors, many Idahoans have been eager to get out of the house and get back to work.

I’m grateful to see my friends and neighbors feeling confident about returning to work and visiting businesses again.

But there remain many other Idahoans with earnest concern about the effect coronavirus could have on them and their families.

Close to half a million Idaho adults are considered at-risk of developing severe complications from coronavirus.  That’s more than one-third of our adult population.

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Health and the economy are not mutually exclusive – they are interconnected.

We cannot rebound if a huge segment of our population is afraid to engage in the economy again.

They will engage, however, if they feel safe going outside their homes to visit businesses and return to work.

We all have a role to play in keeping them safe.

Our personal actions are the most effective way to manage the virus and get our economy roaring again.  Wear a face covering in public, keep at least six feet of physical distance from others, keep hands and surfaces clean, and stay home if you’re sick.

Many businesses and employers are protecting their workers and customers by practicing these measures.

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Even if contracting COVID-19 is low on your list of personal concerns, I urge you to still do these things.  Prosperity and safety are linked.  Protecting other citizens is the right thing to do, and our economic rebound depends on it.

Folks also need to know they should go to their health care provider for other medical issues.  Please, don’t put off care because of concerns about COVID-19.  In many cases, longer delays in care will worsen outcomes for patients.  Hospitals, healthcare facilities, clinics, and doctors have the protections in place to treat you safely and appropriately.

Idaho was one of the last states in the country with a confirmed coronavirus case.  We were one of the first states to create a safe, responsible plan to reopen the economy in stages.  President Trump, Vice President Pence, and White House officials repeatedly have praised Idaho’s staged approach and our handling of federal relief funds in prioritizing support for small businesses.

The one and only reason we’re able progress through the stages of reopening is because the people of Idaho – individually and collectively – have taken personal responsibility in slowing the spread of this new disease.

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We are better off in Idaho than elsewhere not because the problem doesn’t exist, but because we’re doing a good job protecting our family, neighbors, and friends.

We cannot let up.  We control the outcome.  We control our ability to make consumers and employees confident about going back to work and visiting places of business.  Our personal choices matter.

Thank you to the people of Idaho for your determination during these tough times and the care you have shown others.

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Pocatello Arts Council, Advisory Boards/Commissions, Seeking New Members

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(City of Pocatello Press Release, May 15, 2020)

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The volunteer Pocatello Arts Council, Planning & Zoning Commission, and Civil Service Commission are seeking new members.

The City of Pocatello website describes the City’s Advisory Committees as follows:

Mayor & City Council Advisory Committees

The City of Pocatello has 18 standing volunteer citizen advisory committees. While each committee has a specific mission, the overall purpose is for citizens to advise the Mayor and Council on issues of importance to the community.

Every advisory committee is open to individuals living inside the Pocatello city limits and many boards are open to residents as young as 16 years old. There are also a few opportunities for those living in the Area of City Impact. Applications are accepted at any time and are kept on file for 1 year in case of a resignation or other unanticipated occurrence.

Go to https://pocatello.us/254/Advisory-Committees for more information and an application.

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New Knowledge Adventures, Pocatello, Announces Election Results for 2020-2021 Officers

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May 21, 2020

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New Knowledge Adventures, Pocatello (NKA), has announced the election results for the 2020-2021 Officers who will lead the popular organization.  The entire slate of officers was overwhelmingly approved by the membership, with 99% of votes cast in favor.

The 2020-2021 Officers are:

President: Trent Stephens
President-elect: Sue Miller
Secretary: Suzanne Johnson
Treasurer: Phil Blick
Past President: Jan Flandro
Director-at-large (1-year term ending June 30, 2021): Sondra Dunkle
Director-at-large (3-year term ending June 30, 2023): Phil Joslin

(Director-at-large Robert Farmer remains on the board with his 3-year term ending 2022)

New Knowledge Adventures at ISU is a member-directed organization for adults of retirement age to expand knowledge and explore new ideas in an informal, noncompetitive environment.  For membership information or other information about NKA, please contact Continuing Education at (208) 282-3155 or email cetrain@isu.edu

You can also visit the New Knowledge Adventures – Pocatello Facebook page at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/604270990086140/

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(Disclaimer: Some links in this article lead to businesses with which the Pocatello Chubbuck Observer has an affiliate agreement. By following the link and purchasing from them, the Pocatello Chubbuck Observer may earn a small commission at no additional charge to you. This helps us to continue to create content that you can use. Thank you for supporting the Pocatello Chubbuck Observer!)