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Pocatello: Stuck Inside? Marshall Public Library Offers Free Collection of Online Books, Videos


(Photo Credit: Marshall Public Library Facebook Page)

The people of Pocatello are not used to being stuck inside.  Indeed, there is so much to do in Pocatello, from the symphony to the skiing, it’s sometimes hard to know what to choose!

That’s changed recently, as many people are having to isolate themselves, and public gatherings are closing in order to “flatten the curve” with respect to the COVID-19 threat.

All is not lost, however, as Marshall Public Library has a fantastic collection of books, videos, and educational series that can be viewed online, and all free.

The library offers several online services, including Cloud Library, OverDrive, and kanopy, just to name a few.  All you need to watch to your heart’s content is a library card.

If you don’t have a library card, Marshall’s dedicated staff can help.  Just call them at (208) 232-1263 and they’ll set you up with a temporary card that will allow you to gain immediate access to all their great resources.

The online content is a great resource for the entire family!  Their collection includes thousands of children’s media, in addition to classic and modern films and books that parents and seniors will enjoy.

To learn more, visit the Marshall Public Library website, at:

Church Shooting Hero: Evil Exists, Defend Yourself


(Turning Point USA Video, March 19, 2020)

Turning Point USA has released a short video (under four minutes) featuring Jack Wilson, the man who stopped a shooter from killing more people during a church service in Texas late last year.

On the website hosting the video it states, “On December 29th, a Monster entered a Church in Texas with the intention of committing a mass shooting. It took Jack Wilson 6 seconds to kill him.

The average Police response time is 9 minutes. Jack saved the lives of his friends and family because he was armed and ready to defend them against absolute evil.

This is Jack’s story.”

See the video by clicking on the link, below:


Guest Column: U.S. Senator Mike Crapo on Moving America’s Public Transportation Systems Forward


Moving America’s Public Transportation Systems Forward

by: U.S. Senator Mike Crapo

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

The Senate Banking Committee recently held a hearing on the reauthorization of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which expires at the end of September 2020. The FAST Act provides long-term funding certainty for public transportation agencies across the country, funding that goes toward capital purchases and operations of the systems, and ultimately promotes safety, mobility and economic opportunity.

Public transportation plays a key role in our nation’s economy. There are over 430,000 workers employed in public transportation in the United States, and transit provides approximately 33 million trips every workday, taking many Americans to and from work, school and medical appointments. Although people typically think of public transportation as large, urban transportation systems, such as subways, transit is a critical lifeline to many rural communities as well. For example, in Idaho, where fixed-route bus service plays an important role in the more urban areas like Boise, non-emergency medical transportation is critical to the health and well-being of many elderly and disabled Idahoans, and tribal transit provides connectivity opportunities for the Coeur d’Alene, Nez Perce and Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.


During this public hearing, there was an appropriately large emphasis on the fact that we are facing yet another surface transportation reauthorization where the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund is the most significant issue that needs to be addressed in order to advance a comprehensive, long-term reauthorization bill. The Highway Trust Fund was originally intended to be funded with federal gas and diesel taxes. However, since 1993, Congress has chosen to transfer general fund money into the Highway Trust Fund to pay for reauthorization bills. The highway account required a $52.8 billion general fund transfer to pay for the FAST Act and the transit portion of the FAST Act required an $18.1 billion general fund infusion; these numbers will only continue to grow if we do not address the underlying solvency.

There have also been many changes to the mobility landscape since the last reauthorization, such as the rise of on-demand service, transitions to electric vehicles and deployment of autonomous technologies that should be addressed in a comprehensive long-term bill. Traditional fixed-route transit service is an essential backbone for comprehensive transportation networks. However, there have been numerous technological advances that can enable a higher quality of service at a lower cost that agencies should consider. Transit agencies should incorporate these technologies to complement fixed-route service outside of service hours, to provide non-emergency medical transportation, to bring riders to or from fixed-route service to their final destinations, and to modernize fare payment collection, just to name a few.

Federal policies should provide more certainty to transit agencies by addressing statutory and regulatory burdens in order to invite more innovation into the transit industry. Federal policies should encourage business-like operations of transit systems. This includes streamlining efficiencies, assessing current service with needs, maintaining assets in a state of good repair, leveraging resources for procurements, and seeking out partnerships with the private sector where appropriate.

Public transportation is an area of our Committee which is historically known for having overwhelming bipartisan support. I intend to continue this bipartisan tradition as we seek to balance the needs of bus and rail, urban and rural systems across the country. A long-term reauthorization bill is critical to providing the certainty and stability that transit agencies, cities and states across the country need to make responsible transportation planning decisions. While there are many challenges ahead, it is possible for the Banking Committee to produce a long-term, fiscally responsible reauthorization bill that can garner broad bipartisan support.


WinCo Pocatello Seeking Temporary Grocery Clerks – Thirteen Positions Available


March 22, 2019

WinCo Foods in Pocatello is seeking to hire thirteen Temporary Grocery Clerks by the end of this week (Friday, March 27).

The careers section of the WinCo website states, “This posting is a temporary assignment due to the surge in sales and customer traffic that WinCo Foods is experiencing. The assignment will last approximately 90 days. Duties will include Go-Backs and collecting Carts as well as performing other duties as directed. Shifts will vary including nights and weekends.”

To learn more about this position, or to apply, visit:—temporary/job




Teaching From Home Math Tip: Memorize Times Tables


Teaching From Home

Math Tip:  Memorize Times Tables

by:  John Crowder

John Crowder, Owner of Crowder Education in Pocatello, Idaho

Has the coronavirus resulted in your school closing?  Many parents are now having to consider home schooling for the first time.  Here’s a tip from veteran homeschooler, former private school administrator, and tutor, John Crowder, owner of Crowder Education in Pocatello:

One of the biggest reasons that children struggle in math is that they don’t know their math facts.  Students should be learning their multiplication tables no later than 3rd grade.  In 4th grade, students should be able to pass a timed single digit multiplication test.  Passing means that students should be able to complete a timed multiplication fact sheet at a rate of 2 seconds per problem with no errors.  For example, a 64 problem speed drill should be competed, without mistakes, in 128 seconds or less.

Truly proficient students can complete a multiplication fact sheet in half that time, at a rate of 1 second per problem.

Here are two good ways to learn your multiplication facts.  One, learn to count by different single digits.  Two, practice with multiplication flash cards.  Don’t try to learn all the facts at once.  Most students learn to count by two’s, threes, and fives, but those who struggle with their multiplication facts frequently have trouble with the 7’s, 8’s, and 9’s.  Take one of these at a time, i.e., learn to count by your 7’s, practice with the 7’s flash cards, then move on to the 8’s, and so on.

My experience working with students has shown me that, even high school students are sometimes not able to pass a multiplication speed drill.  Check to make sure that your child, regardless of grade level, is able to do so.  To find free, printable math drills online, go to

Math is easy when students are given the tools to succeed.  Make sure your child is on the road to success!



Idaho Governor Brad Little to Host AARP Telephone Town Hall, Tuesday, March 24, 2020


(Press Release, March 20, 2020)

Governor Brad Little (Official Photo)

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, Idaho Governor Brad Little will host a statewide AARP telephone town hall to provide information and answer questions regarding coronavirus in Idaho.

The hour-long conversation begins at 12 p.m. MST.  Anyone can participate.  Participants can join by dialing toll-free 866-767-0637 or register in advance by visiting  The conversation will also be streaming at




Surgeon General Asks Public to Donate Blood


Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams is asking members of the public to donate blood during the coronavirus pandemic.  The United States is currently facing a critical shortage of blood.

Emphasizing that one unit of donated blood can save up to three lives, in this 30 second video, Dr. Adams discusses the safety precautions being taken for those who donate blood as he urges all Americans to do their part to help save lives during this crisis.

Editorial: Trump Was Right


by: John Crowder, Editor and Publisher of the Pocatello-Chubbuck Observer

John Crowder, Publisher, Pocatello-Chubbuck Observer

Trump was right.

You wouldn’t know it by listening to or reading what most of the mainstream media is saying, but the coronavirus epidemic is an unmitigated vindication of the major policies that President Donald J. Trump campaigned on and has been implementing since he was elected.

Trump was right about borders.

President Trump campaigned on strong borders.

As countries around the world now race to secure their borders, and as cities and states issue orders confining residents to their homes or locking down entire states and nations, it is clear that having secure borders is vital to protecting a country’s citizens in the face of a pandemic.

Trump was right about manufacturing jobs.

President Trump has been bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

An article appearing online today on the Voice of America (VOA) website, written by John Xie, is entitled, World Depends on China for Face Masks But Can Country Deliver? (See article, here:  The article points out that the world is dependent on China to produce this, now critical, item.  Yet, China’s demand for facemasks in their own country during the pandemic has risen to the hundreds of millions per day.  This is just one of many vital products now produced outside the country.  The coronavirus pandemic has shown that manufacturing jobs in one’s own country is not just good economic policy, it’s a matter of national security.

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

Trump was right about the free market and opposition to socialism.

Trump said in his 2019 State of the Union speech, “America will never be a socialist country.”

The United States is responding to the current crisis better than any other nation on earth. We have entrepreneurs and innovators working to produce critically needed products and developing new methods of doing business as we quickly adapt to circumstances. We have the resources to help Americans get through the economic difficulties and loss of income that a crisis such as this produces. Why? Because of the free market. It is the free market system that has allowed us to build an unprecedented level of prosperity, and that enables everyday Americans to innovate and find unique solutions in times of crisis. You don’t have this capability in socialist nations.

We will learn from the pandemic.

We will get through this pandemic, and, hopefully, learn important lessons from it. When it’s over, let’s not forget one of the most important lessons:

Trump was right.


Pocatello Business Review: Black Swan Inn


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. What better time to learn about one of Pocatello’s true gems, the Black Swan Inn?

Last Saturday I took advantage of the standing offer available to the public to tour the “luxurious theme suites” of this remarkable auberge. My tour guide, Emma, led me from one spectacular room to another. Each one was truly remarkable. The rooms featured waterfalls, aquariums, themed murals, sculptures, jetted tubs, and even a sauna in one of the rooms that we viewed.

Romeo and Juliet Suite (Photo Credit: Black Swan Inn)

Some of the rooms have two levels. This was put to dramatic effect in one of the Romeo and Juliet Suites. Looking up at the second floor balcony, it’s easy to imagine the beautiful Juliet stepping out to deliver her famous lines from the Shakespeare play. On the ground floor, you proceed along a cobblestone path with hand painted murals setting the mood of the room. The room’s shower is embedded in one of the castle turrets, and a circular staircase takes you to the second floor balcony. The 65″ Smart 4K television with built in Roku sits on the drawbridge, where it can be viewed from the bed area or the jetted tub.

Mayan Rainforest Suite (Photo Credit: Black Swan Inn)

While all of the rooms are truly incredible, one of my favorites was the Mayan Rainforest Suite. Entering the room, you are transported to the ancient and exotic ruins, deep in the jungle. Climbing the stairs leads to an authentic bamboo tree house, and a ten-foot waterfall cascades nearby. The dual-headed shower is enclosed in the trunk of a towering tree, and you can take it all in as you sit and relax by the fire.

Given the exquisite level of detail, the rooms at the Black Swan Inn are remarkably affordable, priced comparably with any high-end hotel. Rooms all come with kitchenettes and, in the morning, you have the option of receiving a basket of pastries, included with the room, or, for a small additional fee, having a hot breakfast delivered.

Other themes, besides those mentioned above, include Arabian Nights, Atlantis Under the Sea, Black Swan Garden, Cave, Egyptian, Jungle Falls, Pirate, Rocky Mountain Cabin, Sea Cave, Tropical Forest, and Wild West.

For a truly unique get-a-way, one that will produce lasting memories, I enthusiastically recommend the Black Swan Inn. To learn more about this remarkable local business, or to make reservations, visit them online at:


Attention Students: Registration Now Open for Patrick Henry College Teen Leadership Camps


Patrick Henry College (PHC), “founded in 2000 with a vision to restore America by educating the best and brightest Christian students to take their place as future leaders of the nation and its culture,” has opened registration for their 2020 summer camp season.

Their website states, “PHC has developed a reputation as one of the truly elite Christian institutions of higher education in the country.  It is known for attracting an incredible caliber of students from all over the country who believe that their calling is to lead the nation and shape the culture, and for producing graduates that are virtually incomparable in terms of their ability to think logically, communicate persuasively, and represent the cause of Christ faithfully.”

Between June 21 and July 18, PHC offers nine different week-long camps for teens.  Camp themes include:

  • Strategic Intelligence
  • Leadership and World View
  • Constitutional Law
  • Moot Court
  • Entrepreneurship & Economics
  • Speech
  • Debate
  • WJI Multi-Media Journalism
  • C.S. Lewis: Beyond the Lamp Post

To learn more about PHC and their summer camps, visit: