Trick or Treat the Old Town Streets in Pocatello

“Trick or Treat the Old Town Streets” will be held on Monday, October 31 from 3-5:30 p.m. in Old Town Pocatello.

Bring your children down for a safe Halloween afternoon as the Old Town merchants and businesses open their doors and hand out candy and treats to all visiting ghosts and goblins.

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A list of firework shows and parades throughout East Idaho

Several towns throughout East Idaho will host Fourth of July parades and firework shows this week. Here’s a rundown of events in each city.


  • Pocatello’s Fourth of July parade will begin at 9 a.m. July 4 and will start at the corner of First Avenue and Center Street.
  • The Biggest Show in Idaho will be held at the Portneuf Wellness Complex on July 4. Fireworks will begin at 10 p.m.

Idaho Falls:

  • The Idaho Falls Fourth of July parade will begin at 9 a.m. July 4. The parade route will proceed west on Fourth Street from Holmes Avenue, turn south on Boulevard and end in Stonebrook.
  • Melaleuca Freedom Celebration Fireworks will begin at 10 p.m. on the Idaho Falls River Walk on July 4. 


  • Rexburg’s Independence Day parade will begin at 10 a.m. July 4. The parade will start on Main Street by Madison Memorial Hospital.
  • The firework show will be Saturday after the Whoopee Days Rodeo. The rodeo starts at 7 p.m.


  • Blackfoot’s Freedom Parade will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. The parade will be on Airport Road from Highway 91 to Jensen Grove.
  • Bingham Memorial Hospital Liberty Firework Show will be Saturday at 10 p.m. at Jensen Grove.


  • Rigby will host a fireworks show Saturday at Jefferson Lake.

Soda Springs:

  • The Soda Springs Fourth of July parade will be at 10 a.m. July 4. The parade will start by Farm Bureau on Highway 30.
  • The Spectacular Fireworks will begin at 10 p.m. at Kelly Park in Soda Springs.

Lava Hot Springs:

  • Lava Hot Springs will have a fireworks show July 4 on Fireworks Hill. The fireworks will begin at dusk.


  • A Fourth of July parade will be in Paris at 1 p.m. July 4. The parade will go down Main Street.
  • Montpelier’s firework show will be at Allinger Park and will begin at dusk.

Fort Hall:

  • Fort Hall’s Treaty Day Firework Show will be July 3 at the Fort Hall rodeo grounds. Fireworks will begin at dusk.

‘Star Wars’ group appears at Family Fun Day

(Photo by Cydney McFarland/Idaho State Journal)

(Photo by Cydney McFarland/Idaho State Journal)

By Cydney McFarland/Idaho State Journal

POCATELLO — Back by popular demand, the “Star Wars” Timberline Garrison made appeared at Family Fun Day at the Portneuf Wellness Complex on Saturday. Members of the “Star Wars” costuming group posed for photos to raise money for the Idaho Foodbank.

The Timberline Garrison is the local branch of the 501st Legion, an international “Star Wars” costuming group nearly 7,000 people strong.

Representing Idaho and Montana, the Garrison boasts roughly 36 members. Idaho makes up the majority of that with 26 members. However Southeast Idaho is home to only 12 members.

With no members in Pocatello, a small group drove to take part in Family Fun Day. This year featured three members dressed as Princess Leia, a Storm Trooper and an Imperial Officer.

“Darth Vader is busy,” said Garrison member Erin Atwood. “He couldn’t get off work.”

According to Atwood, all of the costumes are made by hand to ensure the best quality costume.

“Most of us find that off-the-rack costumes aren’t as wearable,” said Atwood. “We try to be as screen accurate and professional quality as possible. We want to look like we walked right out of the movie.”

Members of a local Star Wars costuming group were back at Family Fun Day to raise money for the Idaho Foodbank over the weekend. (Photo by Cydney McFarland/Idaho State Journal)

Members of a local Star Wars costuming group were back at Family Fun Day to raise money for the Idaho Foodbank over the weekend. (Photo by Cydney McFarland/Idaho State Journal)

Atwood said the costumes can take anywhere from a few days to months to complete — depending on the complexity of the costume and the time a person is able to put into it.

“We are real people with real jobs,” said Atwood. “Unfortunately not flying around the galaxy.”

Due to the detail and time it takes to make these costumes, they often become community projects, according to Atwood.

“If I can sew and you can’t, I’ll help you,” said Atwood. “Some people can work with plastic so they’ll help with costumes like Storm Troopers. Everyone really helps out and that’s the great thing about this group.”

Atwood said most people only have one costume, generally their favorite Star Wars character. Others, like Atwood, will have multiple costumes.

The group poses for photos and talks to fans in an effort to raise money for local charities. On Saturday they were collecting donations for the Idaho FoodBank. (Photo by Cydney McFarland/Idaho State Journal)

The group poses for photos and talks to fans in an effort to raise money for local charities. On Saturday they were collecting donations for the Idaho FoodBank. (Photo by Cydney McFarland/Idaho State Journal)

“I have five now,” said Atwood, who was dressed as an Imperial Officer on Saturday. However her main costume is a TIE Fighter pilot.

The Timberline Garrison does specialize in Imperial Costumes, the bad guys in the “Star Wars” movies. Members use their costumes, and love of the films, for good. They attend local events, like Family Fun Day, and pose for pictures to generate donations for local charities.

On Saturday that was the Idaho Foodbank. But they often make hospital appearances through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and have helped charities like the Salvation Army, Museum of Idaho and Idaho Falls Domestic Violence Shelter, among others.

The group has been coming to Family Fun Day for over four years and are popular with young and old enthusiasts alike.

Local “Star Wars” fans, the Blakeslee family, came to Family Fun Day in costume to take photos with the Timberline Garrison.

“We have lots of ‘Star Wars’ costumes,” said Charity Blakeslee, the mother of four who makes all the costumes. “We just keep adding to the collection in different sizes.”

The Blakeslee kids — Jace, Paige, Tristan and Devin — range in age from 2 to 15 and they all dressed as the Jedi superheroes from “Star Wars.”

Getting their photos with the Timberline Garrison has become a tradition for the family, with many of them being featured in the Journal in previous years.

“We try to come every year possible,” said Garrison member Atwood. “We just love to be here helping the community and helping the Foodbank.”

4 on 4 beach volleyball tournament July 2

POCATELLO — A 4 on 4 Beach Volleyball Tournament will be held on Saturday, July 2 from 11 a.m. To 3 p.m. at the Portneuf Wellness Complex.

The tournament, sponsored by Gold’s Gym is co-ed and there will be prizes.

Registration is $20 per team, and there will be four age divisions: 8-11, 12-14, 15-17 and 18 and older. Register online at

Individuals who want to participate but don’t have a team can register for $3 and will be matched with a team.

All of the proceeds from the event will go to help fund the Pocatello Police security officers during the Biggest Show in Idaho events on July 4.

For more information call Gold’s Gym at 234-4653.

Jail Break 5K fun run/walk is June 28

By Journal Staff

POCATELLO — Here’s your chance to run from the police — legally.

The Jail Break 5K fun run/walk, hosted by Gold’s Gym, will be held on Wednesday, June 28 at 7 p.m. The course will start in the Pocatello City Hall/Pocatello Police parking lot and continue for 3.8 miles through neighborhood streets to the Gold’s Gym parking lot.

But watch out for the cops! Pocatello Police volunteers will be standing along the route waiting to tag participants with a colored dye. The tagee will be required to complete 25 jumping jacks or 10 burpees, before being set free.

Register online at by June 25 for $25. The cost goes up to $35 if you register after June 25. There is a ten percent military discount and groups of three or more pay $20 per person.

There will be prizes for fastest time, best name and best costume. For more information call Gold’s Gym at 237-4653.

Families invited to Fishing Derby June 25 at Portneuf Wellness Complex

By Journal Staff

POCATELLO — A fishing derby to benefit the Bannock County Search and Rescue Critical Equipment Fund will be held at the Portneuf Wellness Complex on Saturday, June 25 in conjunction with the Biggest Show in Idaho Music Festival and Extravaganza.

The derby will begin at 8 a.m. And wrap-up at about 2 p.m. $100 cash prize will be given for the biggest fish in each of the age divisions: youth, teen and adult. Pre-registration is required to participate in the derby, register at

Torey Danner, Bannock County Search and Rescue Commander, says that this is a great way for families to spend some time together.

“We wanted to generate a nice fun, family atmosphere, we wanted to promote the complex and wholesome family fun.”

Funds raised will go toward the purchasing and upgrading of critical equipment used by the search and rescue volunteers. Though the organization does get some funding from the Bannock County Sheriff”s Office, that money is mostly used for operational purposes and does not leave much left over for equipment.

“We are trying to meet half way, we’re trying to do our part,” Danner adds.

Firehouse Subs will be serving up food during the derby and proceeds will go to the equipment fund. Following the derby there will be a raffle for a chance to win gift certificates from many local businesses. Raffle tickets will be sold at the event.

Participants who have their own fishing equipment are encouraged to bring it, but Idaho Fish and Game will also be there with some gear for those who may not have any.

2016 high school graduation schedule for Southeast Idaho

Magdalena “Maggie” Gunn gets a big hug from Loreen Fireech after Gunn walked through the graduation line at the New Horizon High School graduation Wednesday night at Holt Arena in Pocatello last year. (Photo by Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal)

Magdalena “Maggie” Gunn gets a big hug from Loreen Fireech after Gunn walked through the graduation line at the New Horizon High School graduation at Holt Arena in Pocatello last year. (Photo by Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal)

POCATELLO — Several Southeast Idaho schools will be having graduation ceremonies coming up, with most dates May 24 through 27. The schedule is as follows:

• Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25: Rehearsals and graduation ceremonies are all held at Holt Arena. Rehearsals are Highland High School May 25, 2 p.m., New Horizon High School May 25, 4 p.m., Century High School May 26, 7 a.m. with breakfast, Pocatello High School May 26 at 9 a.m. Graduation is New Horizon High School, May 26, 6 p.m., Highland High School May 26 at noon, Century High School May 26 at 3 p.m., and Pocatello High School May 26 at 6 p.m.

Other schools are:

• Shelley High School, Shelley, May 24, 7 p.m., at school gym.

• Snake River High School, Blackfoot, May 25, 8 p.m., in the gym.

• Marsh Valley High School, Arimo, May 25, 8 p.m., at the school.

• North Gem High School, Bancroft, May 25, 8 p.m., at the gym at the school.

• West Side High School, Dayton, May 25, 7 p.m., Dahle Performing Arts Center.

• Malad High School, Malad, May 25, 7 p.m., high school gym.

• Bear Lake High School, May 26, 7:30 p.m., Paris Tabernacle.

• Shoshone-Bannock Junior/Senior High School, Fort Hall, May 26, 6 p.m., at the school.

• Aberdeen High School, Aberdeen, May 26, 7 p.m., at the middle school.

• Preston High School, Preston, May 26, 8 p.m., in the new gymnasium at the school.

• American Falls High School May 27 at 7 p.m., at the school gymnasium.

• Soda Springs High School May 27 at 8 p.m., at Soda Springs High School gym.

• Rockland High School May 27, 7 p.m., at the school.

• Grace High School, June 1, at 7 p.m., at the school in Grace.

• Blackfoot High School, Blackfoot, June 3, 7 p.m., Blackfoot Performing Arts Center.

Registration Now Open for Free Babysitting Clinic at Marshall Public Library

City of Pocatello news release:

One of the Marshall Public Library’s most in-demand classes will be returning just in time for summer.

Saturday, June 11 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., the library will host its free babysitting clinic. The class is specifically designed for 11 to 14-year-olds and helps introduce caregivers to the basics of babysitting. Topics slated to be covered are personal and kid safety with the Pocatello Police Department, an introduction to CPR and first aid for babysitting emergencies, proper foods for children, understanding the ages and stages of child development, and more.

“The demand for babysitters is at its peak in the summer months,” said KathAnn Hendricks, Young Adult Librarian. “We want to help ensure that our community’s babysitters are prepared with the right knowledge and skills to responsibly care for infants and children.”

Due to the demand for the class, there’s no limit to the number of participants who can join in the seminar. Snacks for attendees will be provided.

Registration is required and participants can sign up at or by calling the Children’s Office at 232-1263 ext. 109. Registration begins May 9 and will close June 6.

More on the many programs offered by the library can be found on the library’s website.

The most popular baby names in the U.S. are…

(Submitted Photo)

(Submitted Photo)

By Mary Clare Jalonick/Associated Press

When it comes to baby names, Emma and Noah reign supreme.

And don’t name your daughter Isis.

For the second year in a row, Emma and Noah top the annual list of top baby names in the U.S., according to the Social Security Administration. That’s the third year on top for Noah and the second in a row for Emma, which was also No. 1 in 2008.

The administration released its annual list of top baby names Friday, and the top five names for girls and boys in 2015 remained unchanged from the previous year. Noah was followed by Liam, Mason, Jacob and William. Emma was followed by Olivia, Sophia, Ava and Isabella. Ava and Isabella switched spots from 2014, with Ava climbing to number 4.

One major change was the girls’ name Isis, which had remained steadily in the middle of the pack of the country’s top 1,000 names for the last 15 years. In 2015, after the name had emerged as an acronym for the extremist group Islamic State, it dropped completely off the list.

That’s a dramatic shift, says Laura Wattenberg, baby name expert and founder of

“It’s actually quite rare for a name to be eliminated by issues in the news,” she says, noting that the name Adolph was still at No. 555 in the U.S. at the end of World War II when the Nazis and Adolf Hitler fell.

There’s another recent example, though: the name Hillary dropped off the list in 2009, a year after Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic presidential primary to Barack Obama. The name was No. 721 in 2008. Hillary remained off the list this year, as did the name of her current Democratic primary opponent, Bernie, as in Sanders.

Barack has never appeared in the top 1,000 names, and the popularity of the name of Obama’s predecessor, President George W. Bush, dropped slightly during his eight-year presidency, from No. 130 to No. 163.

The first name of this year’s presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, also dropped in 2015, from No. 418 to No. 441.

Wattenberg said that unlike in the past, parents avoid politics in name choices today. But names of past presidents remain popular. The girls’ name Kennedy, for example, is No. 57.

“We want our presidents out of office or preferably dead before we name our babies after them,” Wattenberg said.

Emma’s popularity soared in 2002, the same year that Rachel, a character played by Jennifer Aniston on the TV show “Friends,” named her baby Emma. Also boosting the name, actress Emma Watson played Hermione Granger in the popular Harry Potter movies.

Emma has been ranked among the top three baby names for girls since 2003, first reaching No. 1 in 2008. In 2013, Emma was No. 2 behind Sophia.

For several years, trends have favored names that are short and smooth — Mia, Liam and Noah — and that have a lot of vowels.

Two girls’ names that skyrocketed in popularity in 2015 were Alaia and Adaline, illustrating that vowel trend. Alaia moved up more than 2,000 spots on the list, from No. 2,676 to No. 664.

The reasons for Alaia’s rise aren’t clear.

“Perhaps this can be attributed to high-fashion designer Azzedine Alaia, or maybe it is because of Alaia Baldwin, the model/daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin,” speculated the Social Security Administration in a news release.

The name Adaline moved from No. 1,393 to No. 364. “The Age of Adaline” was a 2015 movie starring Blake Lively.

For boys, the top-rising name is Riaan, which moved from No. 2,286 to No. 926. It’s the name of the young son of a well-known Bollywood actor, Riteish Deshmukh.

The Social Security Administration’s website provides lists of the top 1,000 baby names for each year, dating to 1880. The top baby names that year were John and Mary. John is now No. 26, while Mary has fallen to No. 124.


Follow Mary Clare Jalonick on Twitter:


Study ranks Idaho as one of the worst states for working moms

By Idaho State Journal Staff

A study by a personal finance website found that Idaho is one of the worst U.S. states for working mothers.

According to WalletHub’s “2016’s Best & Worst States for Working Moms,” the Gem State ranked #44 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The methodology used in the study compared three key dimensions: 1) Child Care, 2) Professional Opportunities and 3) Work-Life Balance.

Though Idaho was ranked relatively high under Professional Opportunities (#17) and Work-Life Balance (#12), the state was ranked dead last (#51) for Child Care. The dismal Child Care ranking pushed the Gem State to the bottom 10 overall.

WalletHub also ranked Idaho last in daycare quality (#51), while access to pediatric services was near the bottom at #48. However, total child care costs, which were adjusted for median women’s salaries, were ranked 17th overall.

The study ranked the top 10 states for working moms as follows:

1. Vermont

2. Minnesota

3. Connecticut

4. North Dakota

5. Massachusetts

6. Illinois

7. Wisconsin

8. Colorado

9. Kansas

10. New Jersey

The states ranked at the bottom are:

41. West Virginia

42. New Mexico

43. Georgia

44. Idaho

45. Mississippi

46. Arizona

47. Alaska

48. Louisiana

49. South Carolina

50. Alabama

51. Nevada

The results of the study can be found at

Zoo Idaho opens Saturday in Pocatello

Zoo Idaho’s oldest grizzly bear, Stripes, looks in charge at the zoo exhibit. (Photo by Michael H. O'Donnell/Idaho State Journal)

Zoo Idaho’s oldest grizzly bear, Stripes, looks in charge at the zoo exhibit. (Photo by Michael H. O’Donnell/Idaho State Journal)

By Michael H. O’Donnell/Idaho State Journal

POCATELLO — As the weather warms, animals in Pocatello’s Zoo Idaho — both wild and confined — are increasing their activities, and visitors will be able to take advantage of the zoo’s season opener Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.

Because construction continues at the Lower Ross Park entrance to the zoo, visitors are asked to enter at the zoo headquarters building in Upper Ross Park near the Pocatello Animal Shelter at 3101 Avenue of the Chiefs.

“We made a conscious effort to strike a balance in our improvements during the offseason,” said Peter Pruett, Zoo Idaho Superintendent. “We wanted to make sure to enhance our visitors’ experience and also improve the lives of the animals who call Zoo Idaho home year-round.”

Because the opener will push visitors to the upper part of the zoo, the first exhibit will be the facility that holds grizzly bears Shoni and Stripes. Shoni is a 4-year-old female brought to Pocatello two years ago after she was captured on the Shoshone National Forest near the Pahaska Tepee Resort outside of Cody, Wyoming. Stripes is more than 30 years old but still rules the roost at the bear exhibit.

“Shoni still gives the old bear plenty of space,” said lead zoo keeper Jim Beinemann.

Additional fencing has been added around the grizzly bear exhibit that will allow guests to have a better view of both bears in the outdoor portion of the exhibit.

Beinemann has been preparing some of the new changes at the zoo, including a new enclosure for the bobcat and another space for “Pokie” the porcupine.

The raccoons have moved into a newly renovated exhibit next to the turkey vulture, and for the first time this spring, “Lambchop” the baby bighorn sheep will be on display.

Responding to lead zoo keeper Jim Beinemann’s whistle, two raccoons at Zoo Idaho in Pocatello come running for snacks on Thursday afternoon. In the photo below, Zoo Idaho’s oldest grizzly bear, Stripes, looks in charge at the zoo exhibit. (Photo by Michael H. O'Donnell/Idaho State Journal)

Responding to lead zoo keeper Jim Beinemann’s whistle, two raccoons at Zoo Idaho in Pocatello come running for snacks on Thursday afternoon. In the photo below, Zoo Idaho’s oldest grizzly bear, Stripes, looks in charge at the zoo exhibit. (Photo by Michael H. O’Donnell/Idaho State Journal)

Beinemann made the rounds Thursday to check on the displays and toss a few snacks to the animals. Using a whistle to get their attention, Beinemann provided some snacks to a pair of raccoons and the reclusive porcupine.

As Beinemann made his way through the zoo complex, Canadian geese and rock chucks dodged across the access road in front of his service truck.

Rock chucks, or yellow-bellied marmots, emerge early in the lava rock formations of the park.

“We saw the first ones on March 1,” Beinemann said.

Unlike many zoos in the country, Zoo Idaho accepts only animals that would be found in the habitats of the Rocky Mountains. It’s why a pair of buffalo graze a large area with a small herd of elk and some pronghorns.

Beinemann said the zoo is hoping to establish a special area for the antelope in the near future and potentially convert an existing pen area to house mountain lions.

“We are continually making improvements,” he said.

A sheep at Zoo Idaho in Pocatello. (Photo by Michael H. O'Donnell/Idaho State Journal)

A sheep at Zoo Idaho in Pocatello. (Photo by Michael H. O’Donnell/Idaho State Journal)

Work also is continuing on the zoo’s entrance along South 2nd Avenue. A new ADA pathway is scheduled to be in place by mid-May while landscaping will go into the summer months. Another new walkway will be constructed from the entrance to the bighorn and mountain goat exhibits. Officials also say construction will begin this spring on new exhibits for the golden eagle and bald eagle, with construction expected to wrap up in the summer.

During the month of April, Zoo Idaho will be only open during the weekends. Admission is $5.75 for ages 12 to 59, seniors ages 60 and up are $4.50, children ages 3 to 11 are $3.75; and infants to age 2 get in free.

In May, the Zoo will be open daily through October and guests can resume using the South 2nd Avenue sometime mid-month.

“We’re an extremely economical option for entertainment and education,” Pruett said. “A family of four can spend a day at Zoo Idaho for less than $25.”

For more information on Zoo Idaho, visit or call 208-234-6264.


Zoo Idaho officially opens for the season April 2

ZooImagePOCATELLO — Zoo Idaho’s 2016 season will get its start this weekend. On April 2 at 10 a.m. the gates will be opened, officially welcoming visitors for the new year.

Enter through the Zoo Education Building at 3101 Avenue of the Chiefs near the Pocatello Animal Shelter. Admission is $5.75 for ages 12 to 59, $4.50 for seniors ages 60 and older and $3.75 for children ages 3 to 11. Infants ages birth to 2 get in free.

This year will mark the debut of several improvements at Zoo Idaho. Additional fencing has been added around the grizzly bear exhibit that will allow guests to have a better view of the bears, Shoni and Stripes.

The raccoons have moved into a newly renovated exhibit next to the turkey vulture. Also making a move was the bobcat who now calls the old lynx exhibit home.

Work is also continuing on the zoo’s entrance along South Second Avenue. A new Americans with Disabilities Act pathway is scheduled to be in place by mid-May while landscaping will go into the summer months. Another new walkway will be constructed from the entrance to the bighorn and mountain goat exhibits.

Officials also say construction will begin this spring on new exhibits for the golden eagle and bald eagle, with construction expected to wrap up in the summer.

During the month of April, Zoo Idaho will be only open during the weekends.In May, the zoo will be open daily through October, and guests can resume using the South Second Avenue sometime mid-month.

For more information on Zoo Idaho, visit or call 234-6264.

Easter egg hunts coming to Pocatello, American Falls

Easter eggs.

Easter eggs.

By Cydney McFarland/Idaho State Journal

To celebrate Easter, two local businesses are hosting Easter eggs hunts, boasting over 20,000 eggs each. Both will take place on Saturday — one in Pocatello and the other in American Falls.

In Pocatello, Gate City Real Estate is bringing back its event by public demand after a two-year hiatus. According to Gordon Wilks of Gate City Real Estate, they’re planning to hide 21,000 eggs in Caldwell Park.

“Every year since we stopped we get dozens of calls to bring it back,” said Wilks.

The Easter Bunny will be making an appearance and the hunt will start at 10 a.m.

“It’s 21,000 eggs but they’ll be gone in two minutes,” Wilks said. “It’s amazing, really. But we will have an area for the tiny kids so they don’t get run over by the rest of them.”

Wilks said he’s expecting several thousand people due to the number of calls they’ve received asking for the event back.

Later in the day in American Falls, Troy Brazelton, owner of ABC Auto, will host his 4th annual Easter egg hunt. Brazelton said he advertised the event with 15,000 eggs but has upped that to 20,000.

Those 20,000 eggs won’t only hold candy, but will also have tickets to win pizza and candy bars. Brazelton and his team at ABC Auto have also created candy cannons that can fire up to 15 pounds of candy at a time.

“The kids really go crazy for it,” he said.

Brazelton is hoping for 10,000 people — last year 7,500 people showed up — and has purchased 5,700 pounds of candy for the event.

“I couldn’t do it without the crew at the shop,” Brazelton said. “We’ve worked about a month getting together.”

The event will be held at American Falls High School and kick off will be at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

“It’s just something we do for the community,” Brazelton said. “You think about all the holidays you have and, for me, Easter was a big one.”

A guide to upcoming Easter egg hunts in Southeast Idaho

(Idaho State Journal file photo)

(Idaho State Journal file photo)

POCATELLO — Several Easter egg hunts are planned this weekend in Southeast Idaho for local children. Most will be held Saturday. They include:

  • The Portneuf District Library, 5210 Stuart Ave. in Chubbuck will host an EGGcessible Easter Egg Hunt for children with special needs and their families on Saturday at 11 a.m. There will be special guests, prizes, and treats.
  • ABC Auto will have its third annual Easter egg hunt Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in the fields behind American Falls High School, 2966 S. Frontage Road in American Falls. More than 15,000 eggs will be given away. Candy bars also will be available. Children ages 2 to 13 will be divided into three categories. There also will be cash prizes as well as a chance to win movie and swimming passes. Look for a demonstration of shooting candy out of a candy cannon. For more information, call ABC Auto owner Tony Brazelton at 208-226-2424.
  • North Gem Community Development Corporation sponsors its annual Easter egg hunt Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Bancroft City Hall for ages 1 to 2, Teuscher Square for ages 3 to 5, North Gem School for ages 6 to 8 and LDS Church lawn for ages 9 to 12. The American Legion Auxiliary Post 61 will have its annual food sale starting at 10:30 a.m.
  • Preston Community Easter Egg Scramble is Saturday at Preston City Park. Children ages 1 to 3 starts at 10 a.m., ages 4 to 6 at 10:15 a.m., and kids ages 7 to 11 begin at 10:30 a.m. Special needs children starts at 10:45 a.m. A bounce house will be available and prizes awarded, and the Easter Bunny will visit.
  • The annual Easter egg hunt is Saturday at 11 a.m. at Wells C. Stock Park by the Oregon Trail Center in Montpelier. This is for ages 12 and younger. Sponsored by the Bear Lake Montpelier Chamber of Commerce.
  • Weston Easter egg hunt is Saturday at 10 a.m. at Weston Park. There will be four age groups plus an egg drop. Sponsored by Woodward’s Country Store.
  • Celebrate Easter at the Bannock County Historical Museum, 3000 Avenue of the Chiefs in Pocatello, on Saturday. There will be arts and crafts from 1 to 2 p.m., followed by popcorn and a movie. The event is geared toward those 10 and younger.
  • Chubbuck United Methodist Church, 5147 Whitaker Road, Chubbuck, will have its Easter service Sunday at 11 a.m. There will be an Easter egg hunt for all children following the worship.
  • American Falls American Legion Roland Evans Post 3 community Easter egg hunt is Sunday at Willow Bay recreation area. It starts at 1 p.m. and is for ages 12 and younger.

Indian Hills students brighten orphans’ smiles

Students at Indian Hills Elementary school in Pocatello held a special charitable event to bring smiles to orphaned children in the Philippines. They identified three orphanages that badly need toothbrushes and helped supply them. (Submitted Photo)

Students at Indian Hills Elementary school in Pocatello held a special charitable event to bring smiles to orphaned children in the Philippines. They identified three orphanages that badly need toothbrushes and helped supply them. (Submitted Photo)

By Idaho State Journal Staff

POCATELLO — A group of Filipino orphans have brighter smiles thanks to students at Indian Hills Elementary school.

It all began when fifth-grade teacher Susan Chandler started sharing stories about family members who have worked at orphanages in the Philippines and the amazing lack of simple oral hygiene items including toothbrushes.

This information was shared with the student council at Indian Hills, and it launched an effort to help, according to Patty Fonnesbeck, who is a social worker at Indian Hills and helps supervise the student leadership group.

An assembly was held, and student body officer and fifth-grader Carter Felde urged students to pitch in and help the orphans. Pocatello dentist Mike Sutton explained the importance of good oral health to the students. And fifth-grade teacher Alisa O’Berry shared stories about conditions at Philippine orphanages where children had to share toothbrushes.

A drive to collect toothbrushes was launched.

“We gathered 1,678 toothbrushes in three days,” Fonnesbeck said.

For students who couldn’t afford to buy a new toothbrush, the school accepted donations of 25 cents. That brought in another $50.

“The kids were so excited,” Fonnesbeck said. “It was nice.”

The donations were packed up and made a trip to the Philippines last week.

PMC’s free Teddy Bear Clinic to be held March 12

Journal file photo

Journal file photo

Submitted by Portneuf Medical Center

Families throughout Southeast Idaho share their homes with polka dotted dogs, furry monkeys, pink Arabians, friendly lions and some perhaps even have a spirited unicorn. While these animals don’t eat much, they wear plenty of hats and are often found sleeping under the covers, sneaking into backpacks, partaking in tea parties, comforting the nighttime frights and dare I say they often are infused with a bit of magic. Like children, little furry friends sometimes get injured or sick and need to be seen by a caring professional to get better.

This is the premise behind the Teddy Bear Clinic. We at Portneuf Medical Center know that a trip to the hospital can be overwhelming and a bit frightening for little ones. If your child’s stuffed animal can handle a visit to the hospital to get stitches or a bandage, then, if or when, your child needs to visit the hospital for an injury or illness, they will be less frightened.

Our goal is for each child to participate in the Teddy Bear Clinic and become an “expert.” When a child brings their cuddly bear to the hospital to attend the Teddy Bear Clinic, the child gets to play the role of parent who comforts their bear while they receive necessary medical attention. Children see that all those who care for their furry friend do so to make them feel better. Subsequently, if the child ever needs to come back for an injury or illness, they have some background knowledge that can help put some of their fears at ease.

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Twin Utah moms each give birth to their 2nd set of twins

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Identical twin sisters from Utah each recently gave birth to identical twins — again.

Kerri Bunker and Kelli Wall delivered twins within weeks of each other at a hospital in Orem, south of Salt Lake City. Years ago, they gave birth to their first sets of twins, now 4- and 5-year-olds, at the same hospital a few months apart.

Bunker’s newest twins arrived Feb. 13. Wall’s youngest twins were born about three weeks earlier.

Ryan White, spokesman for Timpanogos Regional Hospital, says some of the twins were conceived through in vitro fertilization.

The 36-year-old women say they aren’t just sisters but best friends, neighbors and co-workers. They say all nine kids will grow up together.

Bunker also has a 2-year-old child.

No new info released on school district threats

Pocatello High School. (Submitted Photo)

Pocatello High School. (Submitted Photo)

By Idaho State Journal Staff

POCATELLO — Police released no new information Wednesday about the suspect identified in connection to announced threats made against the Pocatello-Chubbuck School District this past weekend.

Pocatello police announced Tuesday that a suspect had been identified and interviewed, but a name was not released.

Schools were placed on heightened alert Tuesday due to a threat that Pocatello police said surfaced on social media.

Pocatello Police Spokeswoman Dianne Brush said it’s not known when the threat was originally posted, but police became aware of it this past weekend.

In a press release issue Tuesday, Pocatello police reported that the suspect was identified and interviewed, and the threats had been resolved.

Brush said the individual is not a student in District 25 and the unnamed suspect lives outside of Pocatello.

It is still unknown if the suspect will face charges related to the threats.

Brush said the case is still under investigation by the Pocatello Police Department.

Pocatello police have suspect in School District 25 social media threat incident

Pocatello High School. (Submitted Photo)

Pocatello High School. (Submitted Photo)

By Idaho State Journal Staff

Pocatello police have identified a suspect in the School District 25 threat incident that prompted a visible police presence at some District 25 schools Tuesday.

Pocatello police released the following statement at 3:18 p.m. Tuesday: “A suspect has been identified in the threats made towards School District 25. The suspect has been interviewed and the threats have been resolved. The case is still under investigation by the Pocatello Police Department and no further information will be released today.”

Police provided no information on the identity of the suspect or whether the suspect is a District 25 student. It’s also unclear if the suspect will face any charges.

Neither school district nor police officials would comment on the nature of the threat except to say that it was a threat made via social media against the school district.

Pocatello police said they received the threat over the weekend and decided Tuesday morning to increase their presence at District 25 schools as a result. District 25 schools were closed Monday for Presidents Day.

District officials said the increased Pocatello police presence was at some of the schools in Pocatello but not all of them. Police and district officials have not specified which schools were threatened.

The Journal learned about the increased Pocatello police presence at the schools Tuesday morning from district parents.

Chubbuck police said Tuesday morning that they had discussed the threat with Pocatello police and as a result Chubbuck officers increased their patrols of District 25 schools in Chubbuck. Chubbuck police said from what they understand about the situation the social media threat was against District 25 schools in Pocatello, not Chubbuck.

District officials told the Journal that everyone who entered a District 25 school on Tuesday was asked to present their ID and state their business before being allowed to access the school.

District officials described the threat level as “heightened awareness.” No District 25 schools were put on lockdown Tuesday and no students were sent home because of the threat.

Pocatello police investigating social media threat against District 25 schools

Pocatello High School. (Submitted Photo)

Pocatello High School. (Submitted Photo)

By Idaho State Journal Staff

There was a visible Pocatello police presence at some District 25 schools Tuesday morning because of a social media threat.

Neither school nor police officials would comment on the nature of the threat except to say that it was directed at the school district.

Pocatello police said they received the threat over the weekend and decided Tuesday morning to increase their presence at District 25 schools as a result. District 25 officials said the increased Pocatello police presence was at some of the schools in Pocatello but not all of them.

The Journal learned about the increased Pocatello police presence at the schools Tuesday morning via district parents.

Chubbuck police said Tuesday morning that they had discussed the threat with Pocatello police and as a result Chubbuck officers would be increasing their patrols of District 25 schools in Chubbuck. Chubbuck police said from what they understand about the situation the social media threat was against District 25 schools in Pocatello, not Chubbuck.

District officials told the Journal that everyone who enters a District 25 school on Tuesday will have to present their ID and state their business before being allowed to access the school.

District officials said they’re describing the threat level as “heightened awareness” as a result of the threat being investigated by Pocatello police.

As of noon Tuesday no District 25 schools were on lockdown and no students had been sent home because of the threat.


$25,000 in free dental care provided to area kids

About $25,000 in free dental care was provided to area youths through Southeastern Idaho Public Health and Idaho State University recently during the Give Kids a Smile Event. (Submitted Photo)

About $25,000 in free dental care was provided to area youths through Southeastern Idaho Public Health and Idaho State University recently during the Give Kids a Smile Event. (Submitted Photo)

By Southeastern Idaho Public Health

Southeastern Idaho Public Health and Idaho State University had another successful year for the Give Kids a Smile Event recently at ISU’s Dental Hygiene Clinic.

Dental professionals provided 93 income eligible kids (preschool age-fifth grade) more than $25,000 in preventative services. These services included dental cleanings, sealant placement, fluoride varnish, oral hygiene instructions and a thorough examination by a dentist.

Officials said 52 of the 93 children were in need of restorative work (fillings, extractions, root canals, etc.). Those youths have been referred to partnering dentists in Southeast Idaho to receive their follow-up care at no cost to the family.

Area dentists donated about $40,000 in restorative work at last year’s Give Kids a Smile Event. This year we referred more children and we expect donations to increase for 2016.

‘Give Kids a Smile Day,’ is a national event sponsored by the American Dental Association that is held every year in Pocatello in February.

The following local groups donated time and services to this year’s event: Southeastern Idaho Dental Society, Idaho State University Dental Hygiene Department, Idaho State University Dental Residency Program, Southeastern Idaho Public Health, the Idaho State Dental Association & over 20 area dentists.

Breastfeeding bill brings talk of ‘milking’, babies in coal mines

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A proposal to require businesses to accommodate breastfeeding mothers at work has passed the Utah Senate despite concerns from one lawmaker who wondered if it would lead to babies in coal mines.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that another lawmaker compared pumping to milking on Tuesday.

The idea is sponsored by Republican Todd Weiler, a senator from Woods Cross who says 16 other states have similar the protections.

He told Republican Sen. David Hinkins of Orangeville that the plan would grant reasonable requests like extra breaks, and would not allow workers to feed babies in coal mines.

Weiler explained that babies don’t have to be present because women can pump for later. Republican Sen. Scott Jenkins from Plain City said he and his wife called that process milking.

The bill passed the Senate 18-9.

Inflatable playground opens in Pine Ridge Mall

Steve Brown, left, and son Brandon started a new play place at the Pine Ridge Mall in Chubbuck called Jump In. It has an area with several bouncing toy structures and a place where youths can work on climbing skills. (Photo by Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal)

Steve Brown, left, and son Brandon started a new play place at the Pine Ridge Mall in Chubbuck called Jump In. It has an area with several bouncing toy structures and a place where youths can work on climbing skills. (Photo by Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal)

By Sarah Glenn/Idaho State Journal

CHUBBUCK — An otherwise quiet corner of the Pine Ridge Mall is now filled with the sound of fans and the red-faced squeals of kids young and old.

This winter, cousins Steve and Brandon Brown filled thousands of square feet of empty mall space with inflatable bounce houses, ball pits and obstacle courses. Their newest business, Jump In, welcomes all ages to run, jump, roll and play on more than seven inflatable indoor playgrounds. Their most recent addition is a rope course (named the “gravity pit” and designed for older children) that dangles over a sea of black and red foam blocks.

“My favorite experience is watching dads go through the bounce houses with their kids and just have such a great time,” Brandon Brown said. “Recently a woman came in who was turning 80 and she wanted to go through the obstacle course with her daughter.”

Jump In has opened its doors to every age from pre-school groups to Idaho State University students.

“We wanted the whole family to be able to come,” Brown said.

The joint venture adds to the lengthy list of enterprises the Browns have supported across the area. Steve Brown is a Pocatello City Council member and Brandon Brown is a known name in local insurance.

More than a business venture, Jump In aims to financially support the Brown’s involvement in the P.A.S.S. (Perfect Attendance Spells Success) Program. Over the past six years, Brandon Brown says the program has boosted local graduation rates by 5 percent and encouraged students from 33 different area schools to achieve a perfect attendance record. This year, the program aims to give out about 450 mountain bikes to youths who have perfect school attendance.

“We are hoping this can help pay for the bikes,” Brown said of Jump In’s revenues. “The idea is to help sustain it in the long-term and participate in our community.”

Each year, the P.A.S.S. Program hosts a carnival that uses the Brown’s bounce houses. And while Jump In originally began as a way to put those bounce houses to good use year-round, the Browns discovered that many were too tall to fit inside the mall — meaning a major new investment in custom inflatables.

According to Brown, what customers will mostly see are inflatables that have been specifically designed to fit the space. With a wide array of playgrounds to chose from, Jump In will occasionally swap out its offerings and new inflatables will appear.

The business officially opened on Nov. 13, signing a year-long lease with the mall. The Browns hope that once Jump In gets off the ground, they will be able to sign an extended five-year lease for the space.

While a mall-based bounce house emporium is a one-of-a-kind business in Southeastern Idaho, mall management said that the Browns were not the first to think it was a profitable idea.

“He kind of brought it to our attention,” said Tia Lloyd, general manager for the Pine Ridge Mall. “There were several other parties with the same intention, but he was the first to get the ball rolling on it. … I hadn’t heard of it before in any of the malls I’ve researched, but it’s a great idea and it seems to be catching on.”

The Browns hope that the relationship can be beneficial not only for local families looking for family-friendly indoor fun, but also for the mall.

“We saw an opportunity to have a symbiotic relationship,” said Steve Brown. “We can help to drive traffic and they can help us have a great business.”

Jump In is open during regular mall hours, Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m to 9 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

An hour of jump time in the main bounce house area costs $7 per person. An extra $3 is added if customers want to play in the gravity pit (designed for older children).

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon, anyone ages 6 and under can play for up to 2 hours for $4. Day passes and party packages are also available. Day passes cost $13 or $16 if the gravity pit rope course is included.

Eventually, the squeals and giggles of children will become louder than the fans that power the inflatables — the Browns are covering the fans with specially-designed sound-muffling boxes to cut down on the noise.

Visit for more information.

Free dental care at Give Kids a Smile 2016 in Pocatello

By Southeastern Idaho Public Health

Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease found in children: it is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever.

The social impact of oral diseases in children is substantial because more than 51 million school hours are lost each year. Children in low-income families are absent nearly 12 times more than children from higher-income families. Because of pain and suffering from oral diseases, children may have problems eating, speaking and learning, which can negatively affect school attendance and participation.

Give Kids a Smile Day is a national event sponsored by the American Dental Association that will be held locally in Pocatello on Feb. 5 and 6 at the Idaho State University Dental Hygiene Clinic, 999 Martin Luther King Drive (Building #37). The following local groups are donating time and services to this year’s event: Southeastern Idaho Dental Society, Idaho State University Dental Hygiene Department, Idaho State University Dental Residency Program, Southeastern Idaho Public Health, the Idaho State Dental Association and many local dentists throughout Southeast Idaho.

Dental professionals will provide eligible Pocatello and Southeast Idaho children, who are preschool age through fifth grade, an opportunity to receive dental exams and treatment at no cost. All children seen will receive a thorough examination by a dentist and preventive services (tooth cleaning, fluoride varnish, sealants and oral hygiene instruction). If restorative care is needed, families will be referred to area dentists that are donating services to Give Kids a Smile. More than 20 dental offices are participating in this year’s event.

This event is targeted toward families that have limited access to dental care. WIC income guidelines establish the criteria needed for a child to receive services; however, families do not need to be on WIC to participate in the event. Proof of income (e.g., pay stub, last year’s taxes) is needed to participate.

Families that have children in need of dental services and that fit the eligibility guidelines are encouraged to make an appointment as soon as possible by calling Dana Solomon at Southeastern Idaho Public Health at 239-5256. If more information is needed, call April Guidinger at 478-6314.

Indoor kiddie pool in Lava Hot Springs open during the winter

The Portneuf Kiddie Cove and spa at the Lava Hot Springs Indoor Aquatic Center are open for public swim on Tuesday mornings. Also, starting on January 6, “Splash Time” will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays.

“Kids love the water in this venue. It’s warm and shallow, so even hesitant kids have a fun time acclimating. I hope parents or grandparents can come over to tire out their little ones,” said Karen Homstad, Aquatics Program Manager.

After opening in July 2013, Lava’s kiddie pool is in its second winter season. The shallow pool is the only one of its kind in SE Idaho, sloping from zero depth to 18.” The pool features 92 degree water, a big toy with slides, geysers, bubblers, a spinning tray, and a waterfall toy.

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Grace Lutheran student William Yik to be Pocatello’s “Mayor for a Day”

City of Pocatello news release”

A local eighth grader will be the latest student to take the helm of the City of Pocatello with the “Mayor for a Day” program.

Grace Lutheran School student William Yik was selected by the school after submitting an essay that answered the question, “If you had the opportunity to improve the city, what would you do?”

“William has some interesting ideas on promoting our businesses and improving our local attractions,” said Mayor Brian Blad. “I’m looking forward to hearing what he has to say, as well as showing him an inside view of City government.”

Mayor for a Day Yik will take office the morning of December 9, 2015 and will accompany Mayor Blad as he performs his duties. Yik’s term will end that afternoon when he returns to school at approximately 1:30 p.m.

No Child Left Behind rewrite heading toward final approval

JENNIFER C. KERR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A long-awaited rewrite of federal education law appears headed toward final congressional approval.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to end debate on a widely criticized No Child Left Behind Act, setting up a final vote Wednesday. The sweeping legislation would give the states greater control over the nation’s public schools but still maintain annual testing to gauge student progress.

The federal government would see its influence in education policy substantially limited and would no longer be able to tell states and local districts how to judge the performance of schools and teachers.
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Holiday light tours offered in Pocatello

City of Pocatello:

Tickets are on sale now for Pocatello Regional Transit’s (PRT) annual Holiday Lights Tour to be held Dec. 17 and 18. During the two-hour trip, PRT buses make their way around Pocatello and Chubbuck, showcasing the best in holiday décor that the area has to offer.

“When we started the tour close to 30 years ago, we just wanted to do something fun for the holidays,” said Dave Hunt, Pocatello Regional Transit Director. “I’d like to thank the residents who have continually put up impressive displays and really made the tour into something special.”

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Come play pickleball at the Pocatello Community Recreation Center

City of Pocatello press release:

New for the winter season, visit the City of Pocatello’s Community Recreation Center (CRC) to try the exciting and fast growing sport of Pickleball.

Pickleball is a lively paddle game that combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis and was created with one thing in mind: fun!  It was designed to be easy to learn and play whether you’re 5, 85, or somewhere in between.

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Franklin Middle School students campaigning against straw waste

Franklin Middle School First LEGO League Team 14757 Robo-Turtle-Bots has researched problems related to the world’s trash as part of the 2015 FLL Challenge and decided to take a new spin on campaigning against straw waste.

They have written both the national corporate office of McDonald’s Corporation as well as the three local McDonald’s businesses asking to talk to them about curtailing the company’s global straw waste. Straws are not recyclable, are typically only used once and are one of the top ten items choking the world’s oceans, harming sea turtles and other creatures. The team learned that McDonald’s Corporation hands out 60 million straws a day worldwide and they have suggested that McDonald’s Corporation take a hint from The State of California recent programs that require stores charge for non-reusable bags.

The Team hopes to share their efforts with people locally and as far as their social media page on Facebook will take their campaign. They hope that by charging for straws instead of just handing them out that there will be less waste. When asked what they would use instead of a straw their reply was simple, “just take the lid off!”

For more information and to aid in their cause:

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ISU Choirs to present “Songs of the Season” concert

ISU news release

POCATELLO – Idaho State University Choirs Holiday Concert “Songs of the Season” will be presented Dec. 4 in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church in Pocatello at 7:30 p.m.

ISU Director of Choral Activities Scott Anderson will conduct the 20-voice ISU Chamber Choir and Professor Kathleen Lane will lead the ISU Women’s Choir.

“The wonderful atmosphere of the First Presbyterian Church provides a perfect venue to present a wide variety of choral music celebrating the traditions associated with the Christmas season,” Anderson said. “Audiences will hear representative choral works from the 1500s to the present day; ancient to modern expressions of uplifting texts and unique carol settings.”

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ISU Tree Lighting Festival is a great holiday event

Idaho State University news release

POCATELLO—The fifth annual Idaho State University Tree Lighting Festival, presented by the Union Program Council, will be held 7-9 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Pond Student Union.

Festivities include horse-drawn carriage rides, hot chocolate, arts and crafts, an interactive ice sculpture and special guest Santa Claus. ISU choral singers will also be performing for the event. The first 200 guests will receive a lighted, silver-colored ISU ornament.

In general it should be a light-hearted, fun way to kick off the holiday season,” said Heidi Oliver, program coordinator for ISU scheduling and events. “We encourage everyone to come out.”

The idea of the Tree Lighting Festival started a few years ago when a group of students wanted to start decorating campus for the holidays. The Union Program Council has been putting on the event for the past five years.

We wanted to give ISU a home feel especially for those students who weren’t going home for the holiday,” Oliver said. “We thought we would bring the living room onto the campus.”

This year there will be a 25-foot Noble fir tree decorated in orange and black.

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Grace Lutheran School high honor/honor roll students

5th Grade:

High Honor Roll: Ester Julie Freundlich, Tyara Gomez, Brenna Patterson, Dean Thiros, Logan Thompson, Benjamin Hess, Hyun Lim, Matthew Marshburn, Kadrie Kemp

Honor Roll: Marina Emerson, Richie Bull, Kaden Horton, Harlee Lee, Antonio Rodriguez, Alexander Jones, Madison Hoagland, Thomas Astaldi

6th Grade:

High Honor Roll: Jamal Chouffani El Fassi, Emma Grayson, Hunter Killian, Thomas Kramer, Ariana Long, Jordan Mayo, Ava Patterson, Alexus Perez, Tristan Pinkerton, Lizzie Richardson, Natalie Phinney, Richie Sheng, Taylor Bull, Bode Baker, Mazie Countryman, Ryan Dillon, Mia Raschke, Niall McKenzie, Tyler Smith, Raquelle Trogden, Alicia Vigliaturo

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Mystique to present “Believe . . . In The Magic of Christmas”

The Mystique Performing Arts and Events Center, 158 E. Chubbuck Road, will present “Believe . . . In The Magic of Christmas” Dec. 3, 9, 10, 14, 15, 17, 21, 22 and 23. It is a timeless Christmas tale set in contemporary America that will inspire your imagination and reignite childhood memories of Christmases past. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. and dinner and pre show will start at 6:30 p.m. The show will start at 7:30 p.m. Call 238-8001 or go to for tickets and more information.


Pocatello Zoo’s “Wild Winter Weekends” begin December 5

After a popular inaugural run last year, the Pocatello Zoo’s “Wild Winter Weekends” will be returning next month.

The 2nd Annual event is slated for Saturday, December 5, 2015 and Saturday, December 12, 2015 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. both days and offers zoo-goers a chance to see the zoo and its animals in a little different light.

“With the holidays underway, we’ll be getting into the spirit by stringing Christmas lights around the exhibits at the zoo and giving the animals holiday themed enrichment treats,” said Peter Pruett, Zoo Superintendent for the Pocatello Zoo.
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Congress finally close to vote on new education law

JENNIFER C. KERR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is finally close to a vote to rewrite the outdated and highly criticized No Child Left Behind education law.

The compromise legislation, approved Thursday by House and Senate negotiators, would sharply reduce the federal role in education policy but still require students to be tested in reading and math in grades three to eight, and once in high school.

The conference committee action paves the way for a vote in the House during the first week of December, and days later in the Senate.

The legislation embraces state-driven protections to ensure that all students, no matter their race or background, have access to a quality education.
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Pocatello Community Charter School earns accreditation from national organization

By Cydney McFarland

POCATELLO — The Pocatello Community Charter School this year became one of only 14 schools in the nation credentialed by EL Education. The school is only the second in Idaho and one of 23 across the United States to be so recognized.

EL Education — formerly known as Expeditionary Learning — is a K-12 nonprofit group that focuses on raising student achievement though meaningful work and character development that promotes high achievement for students of diverse backgrounds. The program has been used by about 4,000 teachers in 150 schools across 30 states.

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Idaho judge says some school fees unconstitutional

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho judge says a school district failed to provide a free education to a Meridian family because it charged fees for certain classes.

Fourth District Judge Richard Greenwood only addressed the fees charged to Russell Joki’s grandkids while they attended the West Ada School District, but the ruling could have implications statewide.

Joki originally filed the case in 2012 against dozens of public school districts and the state, noting that parents in districts across the state pay fees to the schools attended by their children to cover the cost of some elective classes, some school supplies and cartons of milk.

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Levitt Center presents “Into the Woods Jr.”

POCATELLO — The Leavitt Center Theatre Company presents “Into the Woods Jr.” on Nov. 20 and 21 at 1030 Sublette Street. The Friday, November 20 show will begin at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s matinee will begin at 2 p.m.

The Brothers Grimm “go Broadway” as Sondheim and Lapine offer up a cockeyed fairy tale in Into The Woods JR., an adaptation of one of Sondheim’s most popular works designed especially for young performers.

Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at or at the door. Call 1-855-653-2487 for more information.

Night of 1,000 Santas Festival and Night Lights Parade is Nov. 27

The Night of 1,000 Santas Festival and Parade in Old Town Pocatello will be held on Friday, November 27.

Stop by Muse Boutique Salon & Spa, 501 N. Main Street for a free Santa hat. 1,000 hats will be given away on a first come, first served basis. Then on November 27 festivities will begin at 1 p.m. when the Citizens Community Band Old Town Trolley will be giving free trolley rides through Old Town Pocatello. Santa’s elves will be on board giving treats to all the children.

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Downey Elementary pays tribute to veterans

By Debbie Bryce For the Journal

POCATELLO — About 100 Downy Elementary School students paid tribute to veterans at the Idaho State Veterans Home Tuesday.

Along with a collection of patriotic songs, the K-6-graders spent the last two month working on a special video for the vets that will be viewed during Veteran’s Day celebrations Wednesday.

“We are grateful to all of you and for the contribution you made so these children can come and sing to you today and can go to school to learn,” Principal Nancy Dalley told the veterans.

Dalley said the students were excited to get to perform for the veterans and last year the Veteran’s Day performance by Downey Elementary School was viewed in Washington, D.C.

Joseph Tomi is a second-grader at the school and he knows exactly what a veteran is.

“It’s someone who fought for freedom,” Joseph said.

He said his grandfather and his mother are both veterans.

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Students, teachers excited about coming Grace Lutheran High School

By Michael H. O’Donnell

POCATELLO — Students, teachers and administrators shared excitement about the future opening of a high school at Grace Lutheran on Saturday, and pastor Jonathan Dinger shared it will take about $300,000 more in donations to “make him sleep better at night.”
Construction has started on the $2.5 million, 21,000 square-foot high school next to the existing K-8 school at 1350 Baldy Ave. Classes at the new high school are expected to begin next August with about 30 to 40 ninth-graders.
It will be the first private, religious-based high school in Pocatello.
Grace Lutheran school currently educates about 400 students in grades kindergarten through eight.
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Space Exploration display debuts at Marshall Public Library

The Marshall Public Library will be hosting a display on space and space exploration throughout the month of November.

The display will feature detailed models of spacecraft like the Apollo Command and Service Module, the Space Shuttle, and the International Space Station. These will be accompanied by information panels detailing the history and missions of the craft.

Additionally, the display will feature information on the some of the probes, telescopes, and robots currently exploring the Solar System. Further info will cover the geological makeup of the planets and moons in our Solar System.

12th annual Diamondback Roundup at CHS

The 12th annual Diamondback Roundup at Century High School is Nov. 5 beginning at 5:30 p.m. There will be Dutch-oven food, raffles and auctions. The dinner will be at 6 p.m., and live auction at 7:30 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Century High School bands and choirs. The school is located at 7801 Diamondback Drive. All of the money donated and made through sold dinner, raffle tickets and the live and silent auctions will go to Century student activities and athletics. Raffle tickets are one for $10 or three for $25. Dinner tickets are $10 per person, with kids six and under free. For more information, contact Debbie Chilton at 208-478-6863.

Voters to decide $10.5 million A.F. school bond

AMERICAN FALLS — Voters in the American Falls School District will decide the fate of a $10.5 million bond to expand the Intermediate School and move third-graders to that building from Hillcrest Elementary. Bond funding would also pay for a new auxiliary gym at the high school and additional upgrades at the Intermediate School.

The bond election, which requires a two-thirds majority for passage, will be held Tuesday.

If approved by voters, the project will be broken down into three phases. Phase one calls for the new high school gym and third-grade classrooms be completed in the spring of 2016. Phase two would be a roof overbuild for the fourth-grade area of the Intermediate School and renovations that include a media center and computer lab in the summer of 2016. Phase three would be a new roof for the fifth-grade area of the Intermediate School, new restrooms and an ADA ramp for the cafeteria by 2017.


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1st Responder Academy to be offered to Pocatello area high school seniors

Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 news release:

Pocatello First responderLife Flight Network, Pocatello Fire Department and Pocatello Police Department help Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 announce the kick off of the new 1st Responder Academy. This Academy will be the second in Idaho. The 1st Responder Academy is available to all Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 students and encompasses education in Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Emergency Medical Services. Current classes include 1st Responder Orientation, Law Enforcement I and II.

There will be an air ambulance landing in the parking area of W. Fremont and N Harrison Ave. in Pocatello around 9:30 a.m. this Monday, November 2 for the students to see and to help kick off the program. (Weather permitting)

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Play larger than life games at the Marshall Public Library

Click here to read about more local Halloween events.

Join Pocatello’s Marshall Public Library, 113 South Garfield Avenue, for a family-friendly afternoon of life-size versions of your favorite board games as well as treats for trick-or-treaters during Trick or Treat the Old Town Streets on Saturday, October 31st 3:00pm-5:30pm.

The library will host a variety of games including oversized Scrabble, giant Jenga, life-size Candyland, Human Hungry Hungry Hippos and more!  Marshall Public Library will also give out comic books to trick-or-treaters as part of Halloween ComicFest.  Costumes are encouraged.

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Blackfoot Police Department hosting trunk or treat

The Blackfoot Police Department is hosting its First Annual Trunk or Treat. BPD invites the public to Jensen’s Grove on Halloween night from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM. The Blackfoot Police Department, with help from the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office and the Blackfoot Fire Department, will be handing out candy from their emergency response vehicles. Members of the public are also encouraged to participate by decorating a vehicle. 50 spots are available for these vehicles. Candy donations would be greatly appreciated. For more information, or to reserve a spot for your vehicle, please call Leslie at 785-1235.

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Boo Fest at the Clarion Inn

The first annual Boo Fest will be held at the Clarion Inn, 1399 Bench Road in Pocatello, on Thursday, October 29 from 4 to 7 p.m. The event is free and everyone is invited. There will be vendor style trick or treating with local businesses, clubs and organizations. There will also be free food and activities for kids,

The best child’s costume will win a pool party package, a $200 value! Call 637-6598 for more information.

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SE Idaho Halloween attractions 2015

Editor’s note: We have tried to include everyone here, however, if you have a Halloween/fall attraction that is open to the public and it is not on this list, please email

Trick or Treat the Old Town Streets: Appropriate for all ages. Free event, dress up and trick or treat at participating Old Town Pocatello merchants on Saturday, October 31 from 3-5:30 p.m. Look for the orange pumpkin in the window. Stop by the Idaho State Journal and say hello!

Trick or Treat at the Pine Ridge Mall: The Chubbuck police and fire departments will host trick-or-treating in the mall on October 31 from 6-9 p.m. Free for all ages.

• Join Pocatello’s Marshall Public Library, 113 South Garfield Avenue, for a family-friendly afternoon of life-size versions of your favorite board games as well as treats for trick-or-treaters during Trick or Treat the Old Town Streets on Saturday, October 31st 3:00pm-5:30pm.

The library will host a variety of games including oversized Scrabble, giant Jenga, life-size Candyland, Human Hungry Hungry Hippos and more!  Marshall Public Library will also give out comic books to trick-or-treaters as part of Halloween ComicFest.  Costumes are encouraged.

This program is free and open to the public. Stop by the library any time between 3:00 pm and 5:30 pm to join in the fun!

For more information on this library event, please contact Jamie Bair at 232-1263 x112 or Information on all library events may be viewed on the Marshall Public Library Facebook page.

Swore Farms: Appropriate for all ages. There is a corn maze, pumpkin patch, face painting, farm game, tiny tots string maze, puppet station, ring toss, pumpkin bowling, bean toss, stories, hay wagon rides and more. The corn maze is open from 10 a.m. to dusk on Saturdays and from 4 p.m. to dusk Mondays through Fridays. Pumpkins are available for purchase. Test your knowledge in the corn maze, there is a question at each turn, answer correctly and turn down the correct path, but if you answer incorrectly you’ll hit a dead end!

Admission is $6 which includes the corn maze, corn maze, face painting and wagon ride to the pumpkin patch. Maze/play area only admission is $4. Wagon ride only is $3. Veterans get in free and there is no admission cost for infants age 1 and under.

Located on Ballard Road north of Pocatello. Take highway 91 to Ballard Road and then turn west.  You will see the Swore Farms sign about a 1/4 mile down the road.

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Haunted Science Lab to be held in Pocatello

Idaho State University new release

POCATELLO —The Idaho State University Society of Physics Students, the Kiwanis Club of Pocatello and the ISU Department of Physics will host a Haunted Science Laboratory exhibit open to the public on Oct. 24 3-9 p.m. at the old Car Quest Warehouse, 1161 Wilson Ave. in Pocatello.

The Haunted Laboratory features interactive exhibits designed to delight, fright and educate kids of all ages. Exhibits include a Van deGraaf generator, lasers moving to music and lots of cool illusions with smoke and mirrors.

Several exhibits use the same principles of those of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. The exhibits are also open to schools and educational groups at no charge by appointment Oct. 19 through Oct. 23.

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Volunteers needed for Pocatello Zoo Boo

POCATELLO — Preparations are under way for one of the Pocatello Zoo’s most popular events and they need the community’s help.

The zoo is looking to recruit a legion of volunteers to help put on the annual ZooBoo Halloween extravaganza. Volunteers are needed to help run the “Fact or Treat,” craft, and game stations on Saturday, Oct. 31. Help is also needed with set-up before the event on Friday and also clean-up after the event on Saturday

Shifts are available on Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. for set-up, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 12:15 to 3:15 p.m. during the event on Saturday, and the clean-up shift runs from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

For staffing purposes, volunteers are asked to commit by Friday, Oct. 16. For more information contact Cory Coffman at 234-6264.


Muggle Magic: Event combining Harry Potter and science to be held in Pocatello

The Idaho Museum of Natural History (IMNH) is hosting its annual, Muggle Magic, event from 11am-3pm on October 24, 2015. Muggle Magic combines the iconic world of Harry Potter with natural science.

On Saturday, the museum will transform into the IMNH School of Nature and Science. Upon entry, students will be sorted into different areas of the museum representing different courses. Children will be introduced to wand making using Idaho native trees, meet toads and snakes, and learn about Muggle creatures that look like dragons! School will be held in two sessions on October 24th at 11 am and 1 pm at the museum.

“We are very excited to bring back Muggle Magic this year” says IMNH Education Specialist, Becky Hansis-O’Neill, “The overlap between real animals and the abilities of fantastical beasts allows us to spark young imaginations in a unique and effective way.”

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ISU cheerleaders to host cheer clinic

POCATELLO — The Idaho State University Bengal Cheerleaders are hosting a youth clinic on Friday, October 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. in Reed Gym. Children ages 3-14 are invited to participate.

The cheerleaders will teach participants a dance and cheer and some basic cheer techniques such as motions, jumps and stunts. Cost is $30 and includes a T-shirt and admission to the ISU football game on Saturday, Oct. 17. Participants must preregister by October 12.

For more information contact Misty at 208-251-7991 or

Click here to download the registration form Checks should be made payable to ISU Cheer.

Mail the registration form to:

ISU Bengal Cheer/Misty Stucki

911 S. 8th Ave. Stop 8061

Pocatello, Idaho 83209

Journal file photo

Journal file photo

Infertility resources come to Idaho Falls

By Sarah Glenn
For the Journal

IDAHO FALLS — One out of every eight couples who try to conceive have trouble becoming pregnant or they experience a miscarriage, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s National Survey of Family Growth. Even a young healthy couple with normally functioning reproductive systems have only a 20 percent chance of conceiving in any given month.

Dr. Deirdre Conway

Dr. Deirdre Conway

“Incidents of infertility haven’t changed much in the past 10 years but people are certainly talking about it more,” said Dr. Deirdre Conway, a specialist in reproductive endocrinology and infertility with the Utah Fertility Center. “Most of us have at least known someone who has struggled with infertility.”

On Oct. 1, the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center will host a 6 p.m. seminar for those who struggle with infertility. Conway will present at the session and leave time for both group and one-on-one questions.

Conway graduated from Penn State University and went on to earn her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 2003. While a resident at New York University, she won numerous teaching awards, has collaborated with the nation’s leading infertility experts and holds nine different awards for her work. Conway completed a three-year fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and infertility at UCLA Medical Center, and is board certified in both obstetrics and gynecology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility.

“We are very lucky to have her in our community,” said Coleen Niemann, a spokesperson for EIRMC.

The resource is rare for women in southeastern Idaho, who otherwise have to travel to Boise or Salt Lake to receive in vitro fertilization services.

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Southeast Idaho grade school libraries get grants

By Journal Staff

Three elementary school libraries in Southeast Idaho are among the 47 to receive mini-grants from the Idaho Commission for Libraries to help young students become more proficient readers.

Receiving $5,000 grants were A.J. Winters Elementary in the Bear Lake School District, Groveland Elementary, Blackfoot School District; and Downey Elementary, Marsh Valley School District.

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Man causes concerns at elementary school

By Journal Staff

POCATELLO — Tendoy Elementary School students and their parents were put on alert Monday morning after school officials reported that an older man had attempted to put his arms around a child who was walking to school.

Janice Nelson, Tendoy Elementary School principal, says two children, a boy and a girl, were walking to school along Monte Vista Drive the morning of Sept. 10. As they neared the area of Renee Avenue, an older man on foot approached the children and attempted to put his arms around the boy’s waist. The boy kicked to get away, and he and the girl continued to school where they alerted Tendoy Elementary School staff. The staff immediately contacted Pocatello police and the children’s parents.

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Recaro recalls child car seats; top tether can come loose

RDETROIT (AP) — Recaro Child Safety is recalling more than 173,000 car seats in the U.S. because the top tether can detach from the seat in a crash.

The recall affects ProRide and Performance Ride seats made before June 9, 2015.

Recaro says the seat shells can crack or come loose from the main shell during a crash, increasing the risk of injury. The problem was discovered in testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The company says no injuries have been reported.

Recaro will send owners new webbing with instructions on how to secure the seats. The recall was expected to begin this month.

Last week the government urged parents to register car seats with the manufacturer so they can get quick notification of recalls.

Arbon Elementary Fun Run is September 26

ARBON — Everyone is invited to participate in the Arbon Elementary Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, September 26 at the school, 4405 Arbon Valley Highway. Pre-registration starts at 8:30 a.m. and the race starts at 9 a.m.

Registration cost is $5 for kids and $10 for adults. Any additional donations are welcome and all funds raised will go to the purchase of new playground equipment for Arbon Elementary School. There will be 2.5K, 5K and 10K routes.

If you have questions please call Jamie Evans at 208-269-0370.

Out of ideas for your child’s school lunch already? Here’s help

By Janet Patton
Lexington Herald-Leader (TNS)

With school back in session, many parents desperate to give kids healthy lunches often turn to that infinite resource of hope and dreams: Pinterest.

That, my friends, is a recipe for failure. Your cut-out sandwiches will never look that cute. Your salads will never stay that crisp. Tidy bundles of matchstick carrots and pretzels? Please.

Lunches need to withstand a frantic dash in a backpack to beat the tardy bell.

But you can’t give up and pack baloney on white bread, grab a soft drink, a bag of chips and some snack cakes for the noontime meal.
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Pocatello Zoo switches to school year hours

City of Pocatello news release:

As fall approaches the Pocatello Zoo is transitioning to its school year schedule.

Starting today, September 8, 2015, the zoo will only be open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The new hours will be in place until the last weekend in October when the zoo closes for the winter. But as Cory Coffman, Curator of Education for the Pocatello Zoo, explains, the change in hours doesn’t mean the zoo is going into hibernation.

“We invite our local schools to schedule a field trip during the week here at the Pocatello Zoo,” Coffman said. “Elementary school students can visit for $1.50 per student while the charge for Junior and Senior High School, and college groups is $4.00 per student. We do ask educators to contact the zoo in advance to schedule their field trip.”
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Mystique to present “The Addams Family” musical

Addams CHUBBUCK — The Mystique Performing Arts and Events Center, 158 E. Chubbuck Road, will present “The Addams Family” musical on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays from September 25-November 7.

“The Addams Family” features an original story, and it’s every father’s nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family. A man her parents have never met. And if that weren’t upsetting enough, she confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. 
Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.
Dinner starts at 6 p.m. Show only seating starts at 6:40 p.m. Shows start at 7 p.m. There will be a matinee at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 31.
To purchase tickets and for more information call 238-8001, stop by the box office or online at

Rotary Club of Pocatello announces area-wide auditions for the 2015 performances of “The Nutcracker” Ballet

Rotary Club of Pocatello news release

A-2 nutcrackerPOCATELLO — Area-wide auditions for up to 18 available parts in this year’s performances of the Rotary Club of Pocatello’s “The Nutcracker” Ballet, produced by Brindusa-Moore Ballet Academy, will be Saturday, September 19, 2015, at the Brindusa-Moore Ballet Academy studio, 150 South Arthur, Suite 102, Pocatello (Lewis Street entrance). Registration for each group will begin 30 minutes before the scheduled audition. Audition times by age groups are as follows: (1) ages 6-8, 12:00 p.m.-12:45 p.m. for up to two parts as Chefs and up to two parts as Cherubs; (2) ages 9-12, 12:45 p.m.- 1:45 p.m. for up to two parts as Soldiers, up to two parts as Angels, up to two parts as Rats, up to two parts as Party Children, and up to two parts as Gingersnaps (previous pointe experience is required for parts as Party Children, so please bring pointe shoes); and, (3) ages 13 and older, 1:45 p.m.-2:45 p.m. for up to two parts in Waltz of the Flowers and up to two parts in Snow (intermediate-to-advanced pointe experience is required for Waltz of the Flowers and Snow, so please bring pointe shoes). All male and female dancers are welcome to audition, whether or not affiliated with a studio. Each auditioning dancer will be required to pay to the studio a non-refundable $5 audition fee at registration.

Within three days following the completion of the auditions, Brindusa-Moore Ballet Academy will notify the auditioning dancers by e-mail of the results of the auditions (not all auditioning dancers will necessarily be selected). All selected dancers will be required to pay to the studio on or before the first day of rehearsals a combined rehearsal and costume fee ($80 for Waltz of the Flowers, Snow, Soldiers, Angels, Rats, Party Children and Gingersnaps; $50 for Chefs and Cherubs).

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Ed chief proposes 7.5 percent increase for schools budget

KIMBERLEE KRUESI, Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho’s public schools chief is seeking a 7.5 percent increase in education spending for 2016, revealing her own budget proposal for the first time since taking office.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra released her plan Wednesday. In it, Idaho’s public school funding would bump up nearly $110.4 million more than what lawmakers allocated this year.

“It is a budget that recognizes local control, while increasing opportunities for all students across our great state to achieve,” Ybarra said in a statement about her $1.58 billion budget.
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Fall swim classes available in Pocatello

Fall swim classes are available Sept. 14 to Oct. 8 and Oct. 12 to Nov. 5 at the Community Recreation Center, 144 Wilson Ave., Pocatello. Classes are Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday for four weeks. Times are 5:30, 6 and 6:30 p.m. Classes available for ages 3 to 5 and levels one through five for those 6 years of age and older. Cost is $34 for regular lessons or $17 for parent/child lessons. To register, go to, go to the center in person or call the center at 232-3901 for more information.


Fourth grade students invited to visit Craters of the Moon free

ARCO – Craters of the Moon invites all 4th grade students to visit the park for free as part of the White House’s new Every Kid in a Park program. Starting September 1, 4th grade students can now go to to complete an activity and obtain a free annual entry pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks.

“We invite 4th graders and their families to visit the ‘Moon’ and the other national treasures that make up the National Park System as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016,” said Craters of the Moon Superintendent Daniel George. “We hope that these free passes will encourage 4th graders, their classes, and families to climb a volcano, explore a lava tube cave, and experience everything that the national parks have to offer.”

Craters of the Moon offers a variety of activities that fourth graders and their families can enjoy, including guided walks through lava tube caves in summer, snowshoe walks in winter, educational field trips, and an opportunity to earn a “Lunar Ranger” patch by completing  activities in a free booklet available at the visitor center.

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Orientation meeting for the Miss Gate City/Pocatello Scholarship Pageant

There will be an orientation meeting for the Miss Gate City/Pocatello Scholarship Pageant Sept. 5 at Pocatello’s Marshall Public Library, 113 S. Garfield Ave., at 1 p.m. in the Community Room. If you are interested in competing please come to get more information. Please bring a binder. They are an open pageant so anyone from Idaho is eligible if you are between the ages of 13-16 for teens and 17-24 for miss. This is a preliminary for the Miss America pageant.


Four-day school weeks popular in Southeast Idaho

By Michael H. O’Donnell

School is back in session all over Southeast Idaho, and for a majority of the area’s districts that means four-day school weeks.

Beginning with a recession that gained ground in 2009 and faced with reduced state funding, dozens of school districts in rural areas of Idaho trimmed their school weeks and eliminated Friday classes to save money for hot lunch, utilities, transportation and substitute teachers. This fall, 42 of Idaho’s 115 public school districts and 11 charter schools are using a four-day week.

Among them are Marsh Valley, Snake River, Grace, Firth, North Gem, Soda Springs, Preston, Oneida County, Rockland and both the Blackfoot and Bingham Academy charter schools.

State funding may be improving, but the districts are sticking with the shorter school week.

Longtime clerk and business manager at Marsh Valley School District GaLene Andersen said initially the district did it to save money. Cutting out bus travel on Fridays and the ability to lower the heat and cut lights in the district’s four elementary schools scattered across southern Bannock County did save money.

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Kind Community celebration to be held in September

Screen shot 2015-08-25 at 4.46.14 PMPOCATELLO —  Kind is a big deal these days. Individuals and organizations all across the country are working to make their schools, their neighborhoods, their communities, their worlds, just a little bit kinder.

That’s why a group of individuals in Pocatello and Chubbuck, Idaho are bringing their separate causes together in the spirit of collaboration to form an initiative called Kind Community.

A weeklong celebration of kindness will officially launch Kind Community in Pocatello and Chubbuck, Idaho, September 21–27, 2015 with programs that educate, engage and encourage participation.

“It’s exciting to see the entire community get behind and support Kind Community,” said Pocatello Mayor, Brian Blad. Behind the positivity and kindness, there are dire and sobering statistics that punctuate the need for our community to take swift and immediate action. Idaho has the 5th highest suicide rate, a ranking that is steadily declining (Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho). Idaho is also at the bottom of the third quintile on a ranking of overall well-being in Idaho (Gallup-Healthways (2014). State of American Well-Being).

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Sagebrush Arts Festival is Sept. 12-13 in Pocatello

By Jenny Hopkins

POCATELLO — The annual Sagebrush Arts Festival, hosted by the Pocatello Art Center, is a way for artists to exhibit their work and for community members to enjoy it.

This year’s festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday September 12 and 13 on the Idaho State University campus at the corner of 5th Ave. and Carter Street. Hours will be from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. both days and admission is free.

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Just a reminder — School in Pocatello and Chubbuck starts Wednesday

School district 25 press release

Pocatello/Chubbuck School District students will return to school this Wednesday, August 26th. Schools throughout the District look forward to welcoming students back for the new school year.

As children return to school, the District asks motorists to slow down and be extra careful when driving in areas where children walk, bike or are bussed to and from school. Because of heightened excitement and/or being late to bus stops, children may dart into traffic unexpectedly so drivers need to watch carefully when children are in the area.

Parents are encouraged to accompany children walking to school or walking to bus stops. They are also encouraged to stay at bus stops until children board the bus.

Bagging the Binkie

By Donna Howard
For the Journal

I wondered why Lizzy kept going into the closet occasionally during the day, but I didn’t think too much of it. She was about 18 months old at the time and seemed so grown up. We had a new baby in the house, and that made Lizzy seem rather old to us.

In fact, we felt like it was time to get rid of her pacifier, as we didn’t really want to have to deal with two sets of them. So a couple of months after her sister was born, we told Lizzy that it was time to just let the baby be the only one with a binky. After all, she was a big girl, and she didn’t need one any more. We were wrong. Continue reading

Headboard upholstery projects for the newbie

By Rebecca Hermance
For the Journal

Ready to give your bed a fresh new look?  Make the bed the focal point of your room by adding a cozy headboard. Headboards are a favorite starting point if you are looking for a beginning upholstery project, as they can be an easy and inexpensive DIY. 

A few years ago, I made my first headboard by covering a piece of plywood with two-inch foam and then wrapping it with a large-patterned black and white floral print. The only tool needed for that was a staple gun, and the whole process took about 20 minutes! We attached our headboard to the bed frame with two thin boards screwed into the back. Continue reading

Fall dance and gymnastic classes offered

Press Release

POCATELLO –– The City of Pocatello’s Community Recreation Center is now registering youth for the Fall Dance and Gymnastics program.

A wide variety of dance classes are being offered Monday through Thursday both in the morning and evening. Classes start the first week in September. For a more detailed schedule, please visit Dance class tuition is $22 per month (September, October, November and December) and the class concludes with a recital in January.

To register online, go to or stop by the Community Recreation Center at 144 Wilson Avenue. Call 232-3901 for more details.

Registration for Community Recreation Center fall swim lessons opens today

Press Release

POCATELLO –– Registration for fall swim classes through the City of Pocatello’s Community Recreation Center opens today at 6 a.m.

Classes are Sept. 14 through Oct. 8. Another option is to take classes Oct. 12 through Nov. 5.  Classes are held Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday for four weeks. Times are in the evenings at 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Classes available include Preschool (three to five years of age) and Levels 1 through 5 for those six years of age and older. Continue reading

WalletHub ranks where best and least educated families settle

Press Release

They may not always be the brightest, but the college-educated third of Americans often have a leg up on their degree-less peers. With more schooling, they not only have access to better job opportunities and bigger salaries, but educated workers also fill their cities’ coffers with the most tax dollars over time, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Continue reading

Districts summer lunch program serves 99,000 meals

By Sarah Glenn
For the Journal

POCATELLO –– With the start of school just around the corner, Pocatello/Chubbuck District 25 has wrapped up the 14th year of its free summer lunch program.

According to district officials, the program fed more than 99,000 meals to area children over the 11 weeks it ran.

“We just want to say thank you to the community for their awesome support,” said Tom Wilson, Food Services Coordinator for District 25. “We received a lot of great comments this year.” Continue reading

Creative Closets: Maximizing your household space

By Rebecca Hermance
For the Journal

Whether you are working from home or just need a space to sit down with a laptop or store craft supplies, consider turning a closet into an office space. Following a serious decluttering session, we found the closet in our guest room to be relatively empty. I was also wishing for a space where I could set up my sewing machines and leave them (that was not the kitchen table). I work on things in spare moments when my kids are briefly occupied or when they are sleeping at night. The guest room closet turned out to be the perfect solution: I can close the door when I am not working and it is right next to the basement play area. Continue reading

Idaho Department of Education opens review of Core Standards

By Sarah Glenn
For the Journal

BOISE –– Is there a specific part of the Idaho Core educational standards that you think could be improved?

Wednesday, the State Department of Education opened up a website where parents, educators and any other stakeholders can give a virtual thumbs up or thumbs down to specific parts of the Idaho Common Core Standards. The web address is

“This is the first time we will use a platform like this that has a format like this,” Jeff Church, Chief Communications Officer for the Idaho Department of Education said.

The review asks for comment on english language arts and math standards. The state’s science standards were reviewed earlier this year. Continue reading

Mormons more likely to marry, have more children than other U.S. religious groups

Pew Research Center

The share of Americans who identify as Mormons has roughly held steady even as the percentage of Christians in the U.S. has declined dramatically in recent years, according to the Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study. The study, released this spring, found Mormons stand out in other ways: They have higher fertility rates and are far more likely than members of most other major religious traditions to be married – especially to other Mormons.

Mormons made up 1.6 percent of the American adult population in 2014, little changed from 2007 (1.7 percent), the last time a similar survey was conducted. By contrast, the percentage of Christians in the U.S. has dropped from 78.4 percent to 70.6 percent during the same time period. Continue reading

Ross Park Aquatic Complex Announces Changes to Operating Hours

Changes Coincide with Start of Area Schools

Press Release

The City of Pocatello’s Ross Park Aquatic Complex will soon be making the switch to school year hours.

Starting Wednesday, August 26, 2015 the facility will be open on weekdays from5-8 p.m. On weekends and Labor Day, the pool will be open from 12-8 p.m.

Weekdays will also feature family night pricing where all admissions are 50% off.

The last day of the season is Labor Day, Monday September 7, 2015. For more information on the Ross Park Aquatic Complex, you can visit their Facebook page.

The schedule is also included below.

  • Wed, Aug 26 – Fri, Aug 28 open 5-8 p.m.*
  • *Family Night Pricing:  All admissions 50% off from 5-8 p.m.
  • Sat, Aug 29 & Sun, Aug 30 open 12-8 p.m.
  • Mon, Aug 31 – Fri, Sept 4 open 5-8 p.m.*
  • *Family Night Pricing:  All admissions 50% off from 5-8 p.m.
  • Sat, Sept 5 – Mon, Sept 7 open 12-8 p.m.


UN declares today International Youth Day

By Sarah Glenn
For the Journal

Across the globe today, young people are picking up trash, writing their elected representatives and helping with community projects as the United Nations promotes its 16th annual International Youth Day.

“In this landmark year, as leaders prepare to adopt a bold new vision for sustainable development, the engagement of youth is more valuable than ever,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in this year’s Secretary-General’s Message. “At this critical moment in history, I call on young people to demand and foster the dramatic progress so urgently needed in our world.” Continue reading

Pocatello Animal Services to host “Check the Chip” Day

Saturday event highlights importance of microchipping

By Sarah Glenn
For the Journal

POCATELLO –– Pocatello Animal Services can get anywhere from two to 20 lost animal reports per day. Whether or not that animal makes it home safely depends a lot on proper microchipping.

“We still do our best to find the owner, but unless they are actively looking it can be hard to reunite that pet,” said Danielle Garcia, Shelter Manager for Pocatello Animal Services.

The benefits of microchipping led Pocatello Animal Services to join in on a national trend. “Check the Chip” Day was started by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association. Continue reading

To young moms: You are doing OK

By Donna Howard
For the Journal

“I’m doing okay,” my daughter said.

Those words spoke volumes. With three children of her own and two foster children, all under the age of 10, I knew the load she was carrying. It was doubled due to one child being a newborn.

I smiled, remembering those days. My days were filled with diapers, baby wipes, spills, and disasters. They were also filled with snuggles, baby smiles and giggles, and adorable little toddler clothes. I miss those days, but I admit that I don’t miss the sleepless nights. Continue reading

Peeling back the layers: paint projects at home

By Rebecca Hermance
For the Journal

If you happen to live in an older home, it is almost a guarantee that some of your trim, doors, or built-in furniture pieces have several layers of paint on them.  Even with proper preparation and using thin coats of paint, over time it all builds up.  Our own home is over 50 years old, so you can just imagine the thick layers and gloppy drips that were starting to flake off our hallway linen closet doors and drawers.  The doors actually wouldn’t close unless you lined them up just right, and then pushed them both in at the same time.

After almost four years of dealing with partially opened closet doors hitting us in the head as we walk out of our room in the middle of the night, I decided to fix the problem–I took the doors off.  Problem solved!  Unfortunately, since it happens to be the spot where we store the household cleaners and other not-so-beautiful items, the door removal was only a temporary solution. Continue reading

Vacancies on the Pocatello/Chubbuck Mayors’ Youth Advisory Council

Press Release

The Pocatello/Chubbuck Mayors’ Youth Advisory Council has 26 vacancies open for immediate appointment.

This 36-member council is a volunteer advisory board made up of local students in grades 9 through 12 with no more than 40 percent of the members from any one high school. The Youth Council is designed as a way:

  • a) for youth to express their views;
  • b) to encourage civic pride, literacy and literacy;
  • c) for youth to advise the Pocatello and Chubbuck Mayors and City Councils on issues of importance to youth in our area; and
  • d) to receive training opportunities and learning experiences regarding matters of governance.

Meetings are held the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 3:15 p.m. in the Pocatello City Council Chambers, 911 North 7th Avenue.

Members of the Youth Council serve from their appointment date until their date of graduation from high school. Any student interested in becoming a member can obtain an application at the Pocatello Mayor’s Office at 911 North 7th Avenue, Chubbuck Mayor’s Office at 5160 Yellowstone Avenue or at

Applications for membership must be received by August 18, 2015.

Fall Team Sports Registration Wrapping Up

Press Release

The deadline to register for several team sports activities through the City of Pocatello’s Parks and Recreation Department is fast approaching.

Registration for third and fourth grade flag football will be closing Friday, August 14, 2015. Meanwhile, registration for adult coed soccer, adult coed softball, adult men’s softball, adult women’s softball, and adult women’s volleyball closes Wednesday, August 12, 2015.

For more information and links to register for these sports you can or call Brian Lowman, Team Sports Supervisor, at 234-6235.

State Department of Ed to lead review of teacher quality

Press Release

BOISE – The Idaho State Department of Education (SDE) will be leading a study in an effort to further support school districts, to ensure that all students, regardless of race or family income, have access to highly qualified teachers and leaders in the Idaho public education system, Superintendent Sherri Ybarra announced today.

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Education announced its Educators for All Initiative to help schools and districts support high quality educators for students who need them.  As a part of this initiative, Idaho is required to submit a “State Plan to Ensure Equitable Access to Excellent Educators” by August to ensure how our students will be taught by experienced, qualified, and in-field teachers at the same pace as other students.

A preliminary webinar will be held Wednesday to provide more in-depth information to education stakeholders who may be interested in the review process.  More information will be provided following the August 12th webinar.

Pocatello Community Charter School teaches leadership through backpacking trip

By Sarah Glenn

POCATELLO –– Eighth grade arrives for most Idaho children with a flurry of nerves and new beginnings. For some at Pocatello Community Charter School, however, the eighth grade begins with a five-day whitewater rafting and backpacking trip.

“Throughout the trip they go through some pretty intensive leadership training,” said PCCS dean Michael Mendive. Continue reading

When back to school means homeschool: Five tips for a successful year at home

Submitted Article
Madcap Inc. Curriculum Development 

Parents may choose to homeschool for a number of reasons, but it’s primarily due to a mismatch between their child’s needs and the school’s mandated curriculum. However, simply knowing something isn’t working doesn’t automatically mean knowing what will. So where can they begin?

Finding the best curriculum for a child’s individual needs can be confusing. Here are five tips to help parents wade through the dizzying array of choices. Continue reading

Back 2 School Giveaway set for Aug. 15

By Sarah Glenn

CHUBBUCK –– In the early hours of Aug. 15, families will be lining up at 202 West Siphon Road by the hundreds to receive much-needed school supplies for free.

Since its humble beginnings a decade ago, the Back 2 School Giveaway event has exploded into a regional tradition and necessity for thousands across Southeastern Idaho.

“It says a lot about the community we live in that it is a community where people want to give,” said Joshua Robinson, event director for the Back 2 School Giveaway. “We live in a place where you can give and you know that what you give is actually going toward something that is going to yield a result.” Continue reading

Heart disease preventable

By Dr. Warren Willey
Columnist for the Journal

Heart disease remains a leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for one in every four deaths. Even as we are all preached at and encouraged to employ preventative measures to ward off heart disease, and thereby increase longevity and enjoyment of life, we are occasionally left wondering how powerful these preventative measures really are. Continue reading

Average cost of required elementary school supplies tops $70

Staff Reports

The numbers are in: the cost of the average elementary back-to-school supply list in 2015 is $70.93. The National Retail Federation puts their estimate closer to $97.

Costs for required supplies in Pocatello/Chubbuck District 25 elementary school classrooms varied both above and below that number, depending on the school, the required supplies and where they were purchased.

The national numbers were crunched by TeacherLists, an online school supplies list aggregator. Continue reading

Perceived rights and political correctness are teaching our kids to bully

Commentary by Derold Bates, Ed.S

We hear a lot about bullying these days. Is this something new or are we just hearing more about it now?

If we define bullying as “One forcing his will over another’s will” that is as old as human history. So, why is it such a big thing now?

To understand why this is true, we should examine some factors that are at work in today’s society: Continue reading

Night out event aims to create stronger communities, neighborhoods

Aug. 4 event brings block parties to Pocatello

By Sarah Glenn

POCATELLO – Many still remember those halcyon days when street lights were the signal to come home and neighbors all knew each other.

The Housing Authority of the City of Pocatello is trying to recreate that feeling of community with four events Tuesday evening. Block parties will be held at Christensen Courts (711 N. 6th Ave), Portneuf Towers (666 W. Day Street), Maple West (350 W. Maple Street) and McKinley Manor (1050 McKinley Ave.). Each event begins at 7 p.m. and will conclude around 9 p.m. – just after the street lights turn on. Live music, door prizes and refreshments are only a few of the block party features that will be available to anyone in the neighborhood.

“Our biggest goal is to strengthen our communities and become involved in our communities as well,” said Michele Poletti, Executive Assistant for the Housing Authority of the City of Pocatello. Continue reading

Eating out increases weight loss woes

By Dr. Warren Willey
Columnist for the Journal

Over the last few months, I have been running a simple survey in my weight loss clinics asking about the most common obstacles to success in people’s weight loss goals. Having an adequate number of responses now, I hope to share the data with you on occasion with a small discussion about the concern. 

One of the most frequently indicated barriers to success involved eating out. The survey question was phrased as follows: Eating out due to time constraints and the difficulty in making food limit my dietary success. With the high ‘Agree’ and ‘Strongly Agree’ response rates, this obviously poses a problem. Continue reading

Idaho lawmakers respond to Planned Parenthood undercover videos

AP and Staff Reports

BOISE – Earlier this month, anti-abortion group The Center for Medical Progress, released two videos claiming to show that Planned Parenthood executives were selling aborted fetal organs.

The second and most recent video shows Dr. Mary Gatter, a Planned Parenthood medical director in Southern California, meeting with people posing as potential buyers of intact fetal specimens. Much of the conversation on the video deals with how much money the buyers should pay.

Federal law prohibits the commercial sale of fetal tissue, but allows not-for-profit donation of tissue if the women who underwent abortions give their consent. Planned Parenthood contends that the payments discussed in the new video, and a similar one released last week, pertain to reimbursement for the costs of procuring the tissue (storage, transportation, etc) — which is legal.

Regardless, the videos have conservative legislators up in arms. Continue reading

Lego prosthetic puts imagination at amputee’s fingertips

By Sarah Glenn

In a video that has captured the attention of amputees everywhere, Dario, a young amputee from Bogata Columbia, gleefully chases a friend around the room while a light from a Lego spaceship extends from his fingertips.

The elementary school boy who is missing his left hand due to a congenital birth defect is the star of a research project released earlier this month by Carlos Arturo Torres, a graduate of Umea Institute of Design. Torres teamed up with Lego Future Lab and CIREC to create a prosthetic that allows children amputees to create their own limb extensions with Legos – anything from a spaceship to a working front loader dump truck could extend from the child’s robotic limb. Continue reading

Registration Deadlines Approaching for Upcoming Fun Run

Press Release

The deadlines to register for the upcoming race in the 2015 Portneuf Valley Fun Run Series are nearly here.

Thursday, July 30 at 5 p.m. marks your last chance to register for the Element Outfitters Fun Run and guarantee that you will receive a T-shirt. However, participants can register up until August 6 at 5 p.m. for a spot in the race. Race day is August 8.

The 5K course weaves through the neighborhood around OK Ward Park in Pocatello while the 10K course travels through both Pocatello and Chubbuck. The 10K walk starts at 7:30 a.m. while all other events start at 8 a.m.

For more information and to find links to register online you can

Decluttering my house with the KonMari Method

By Rebecca Hermance
For the Journal

In my ongoing quest to minimize our possessions and declutter our home, I have come across numerous books on the subject. While most of them are inspiring and motivating, one in particular tops my list so far.  “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” by Marie Kondo, will galvanize you into action. There is a reason it has sold over 2 million copies and has been no. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller list: it really works.

The KonMari Method basically revolves around the simple question, “Does this (item) spark joy?”  Kondo recommends holding each item in your hand and if it makes you happy (or sparks joy) keep it. If not, get rid of it.  Continue reading

Teaching Our Kids the Difference: Food vs. Food-Like Substances

By Jamie Bell
Columnist for the Journal

When I was a child in school, I recall there always being one or maybe two overweight children in class. Childhood obesity was the exception, not the rule.  Most kids were generally lean and healthy.  My generation grew up on mostly homemade meals; eating out, snacks, and sweets were an occasional treat.  As I have volunteered in my kids’ classrooms over the last eight years, I have noticed that this ratio has definitely shifted. The percentages of children who fall within a healthy body fat percentage appear to have dwindled to dramatically low levels.  Chubby is the new normal, and to see obese children is a common occurrence.  According to the CDC, “the percentage of children age 6-11 years old who were obese increased from 7 percent in 1980 to nearly 18 percent in 2012.  The percentage of adolescents age 12-19 who were obese increased from 5 percent to 21 percent in the same period.”  Adult obesity is even higher, between 30-40 percent nationally. Continue reading

Survey: Canning gaining popularity among millennials

Press Release, ORC International

In a return to our culinary roots, Americans across the country – most notably millennials – are turning to home preserving this summer. Research conducted by ORC International on behalf of the Ball brand canning line determined that nearly half of all millennials (49 percent) are interested in canning this summer and the primary reason is because they love cooking and canning seems fun (38 percent). This research also found that 68 percent of Americans would rather make their own fresh foods than purchase store bought. Continue reading

Study: Weak muscles linked to earlier death, disability and illness

By Dr. Warren Willey
Columnist for the Journal

It is a well-established fact that low levels of muscular strength, as measured by hand grip strength devices, are linked to earlier death, disability, and illness. This was confirmed yet again in a very large study called the prospective urban rural epidemiology (PURE) study.

In it, investigators collected data on almost 140,000 adults in 17 different countries. Over the course of the study, the subjects’ hand strength was regularly tested. The data collected showed that every 5 kg decline in grip strength was associated with a 16 percent increase in risk of death from any cause and a 17 percent greater risk of cardiovascular death, particularly heart attack and stroke. Continue reading

Hypnosis for childbirth instruction offered in Pocatello

By Jami Hepworth, Certified Hypnobabies Childbirth Instructor (HCHI)
For the Journal

POCATELLO – Women in Pocatello now have multiple options for Hypnobabies Childbirth hypnosis classes. The Hypnobabies method promises a natural way to achieve easier, more comfortable and joyful childbirth. Some even claim a painless process.

Pocatello now has two teachers certified in the method. Jami Hepworth, a three time Hypno-Mom, is a certified Hypnobabies instructor who recently moved to Pocatello and is now hosting classes from her home. She will be joined by a second Hypnobabies instructor in the fall, Natalie Sue, who took a year off of teaching to have her fourth baby.

The six week, three-hours-per-week program teaches medical-grade hypnosis techniques that enable Hypno-moms to transform the discomfort of birth to pressure, or even pleasurable sensations. The hypnosis techniques used are based off of Gerald Kein’s “Painless Childbirth Program” and are much more than simple guided imagery or relaxation. Hypnobabies uses the same medical hypnosis techniques that people employ when preparing for surgery without any drugs, which is called hypno-anesthesia. Continue reading

Campers make toys for zoo animals

Enrichment Piñatas to be Given to Zoo Animals on Thursday at 10 a.m.

City of Pocatello Press Release 

Have you ever walked around the Pocatello Zoo and seen cardboard, PVC tubes or twine in an exhibit, and wondered how they got there?  Well these are leftovers from special toys made to give animals at the Zoo for behavioral enrichment.  Keeping animals entertained and engaged by putting something new in their homes to sniff, taste and tear apart helps to keep the animals thinking and moving.

Enrichment isn’t exciting just for the animals, Zoo campers love it too!  Jr. Zookeeper campers this week are participating in a very exciting enrichment project: Piñatas.  Zoo campers are working in teams to create piñatas in the shape of the animal’s favorite food and at the end of the camp, will be filling them with treats for the animals to enjoy.  How do they get the treats out? By tearing up the piñatas, of course!

The piñatas will be given to the animals on the last day of camp, Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.  The public is invited to attend.  Regular admission is required for the event.  Just as the Zoo opens, the black bears, cougars and raccoons will be given their piñatas to enjoy while Zoo campers and attendees get to watch!


Cooper the Black Bear enjoys past year’s enrichment piñata.

Boy Scouts of America poised to allow LGBT leaders

By Sarah Glenn

IDAHO FALLS –– The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is moving to allow individual scout troops to chose their own leaders regardless of their sexual orientation.

While most expect the amendment to easily pass, the change won’t be official until the National Executive Board meets to ratify the resolution on July 27.

Since the BSA’s announcement last week, local leaders have been listening to questions from concerned parents who want to know, what does this change mean for Idaho boy scouts? Continue reading

Pops of color bring simple changes to small spaces

By Rebecca Hermance
For the Journal

It is fun to shake things up a bit and get a fresh perspective on different spaces in your home. For example, I still love the bright orange wall behind my office desk and shelves, even after living with them for more than three years.  But, I was in the mood for a simple change that would update the space and add some personality.  Continue reading

Moth watchers to flock to Idaho Museum of Natural History for Moth Day 2015

Staff Report

POCATELLO – We know them as pests who can infest clothing and gardens; but scientists know and admire the moth as one of the most diverse and successful creatures on planet earth.

Moth admiration spawned a national commemorative week that started in 2005 in New Jersey and has since migrated to museums and national parks across the United States. National Moth Week begins Saturday and continues through July 25.

Tuesday, The Idaho Museum of Natural History will commemorate National Moth Week with a free Moth Party from 10 – 11:30 p.m. White tents and bright lights will be set up near the museum’s back door in an effort to attract both partiers and live moths. People can then photograph and, with the help of museum staff, identify the moths. The museum will also provide pizza to the the first 25 people who come. Continue reading

Jefferson Elementary students beautify school through gardening

By Kathy Vitale, Garden Club Advisor
For the Journal

POCATELLO – Just outside Jefferson Elementary School’s two entrances off Gwen Street and Skyline Drive, an array of flowers are in full bloom. The secret to the school’s beauty doesn’t belong to the local landscaper – rather to the students who created the gardens.

“When I first saw the garden, I actually thought grownups did all the gardening,” said Olivia Hernandez, a student at Jefferson.

However, as she came to find out when she joined the Jefferson Garden Club, the work of tending these gardens is done by fourth and fifth graders who sign up for an after-school service club. Continue reading

Free range vs. scheduled summers: which is better for children?

By Sarah Glenn

There is plenty of research supporting a busy, engaged and controlled childhood and just as much advocating for free-range children. With summer well underway, we thought we would sift through some of the research. This article is not meant to be a definitive, end-all source of information. Rather, we want to give you something interesting to talk about around the table with your family, friends and even your children. Share your thoughts on structured vs. free-range children on our Pocatello Parents Facebook Page. Continue reading

Work is Fun… When You Are a Toddler 

By Donna Howard
Columnist for the Journal

Why is it that the most cooperative helpers are generally the shortest people in the house? Why can’t willingness to help be directly proportional to height and not inversely proportional?

It has never ceased to amaze me how much a two-year-old likes to help his mommy. It is also surprising how fast that changes when the child actually has assigned chores.

But what can a small child do to help? What chores are they capable of doing? Continue reading

To Poland with love: Marshall Public Library connects locals with Polish pen pals

By Sarah Glenn

POCATELLO –– While a bustling industrial town in Poland sleeps, its library and locals will be the topic of conversation at the Marshall Public Library.

Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. the Marshall library story time will revolve around Pocatello’s new sister library in Stalowa Wola, Poland.

“We have been wanting to have a sister library for a while now and we are so glad it has finally happened,” said Amy Campbell, reference librarian for the Marshall Public Library. Continue reading

Weight loss is simple, but we make it complicated

By Dr. Warren Willey
Columnist for the Journal

I had interesting conversations with two patients on the same day last week.

They have very similar demographics including their ages, their activity levels, and their lifelong struggles with weight and the associated medical complications that accompany it. They both started my optimal health program about the same time, in January of this year. Both were very motivated, had regular exercise schedules, a good grip on stress, good support systems in place, etc. Continue reading

Study: Idaho among the worst 10 states for teen drivers

By Sarah Glenn

While it doesn’t top the list of the worst offenders, Idaho is not faring well when it comes to teen driving safety and affordability.

A June WalletHub survey ranked Idaho 41 out of 50 states when it examined the best and worst conditions for teen drivers. The survey considered crashes, the cost of insurance for teens, drivers licensing laws, fatalities and the cost of a ticket, among other criteria. Continue reading

What makes a house a home?

By Rebecca Hermance
Columnist for the Journal

Sometimes inspiration strikes in the most unlikely places. As I write this, I am sitting at my grandmother’s table in a small town in Montana.  We are having a family reunion at the end of the week, and some of us were lucky enough to come to Grandma’s early.

Everything about this home is extremely familiar.  Grandpa and Grandma built it at the foothills of the Rocky mountains in the early 1950s.  They raised six kids on their cattle ranch and grew hay in the meadows.  In later years, they hosted many out-of-state hunters who came for the true Montana experience.  Through my teenage years, we spent many Christmas and summer holidays running around the ranch, despite the all-too-frequent visits from grizzly bears and mountain lions. Continue reading

Cost of July 4th cookout decreases this year: Still under $6 per person

Courtesy, American Farm Bureau Federation

WASHINGTON, D.C., – A Fourth of July cookout of Americans’ favorite foods including hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pork spare ribs, potato salad, baked beans, lemonade and chocolate milk will cost slightly less this year and still comes in at less than $6 per person, says the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Farm Bureau’s informal survey reveals the average cost for a summer cookout for 10 is $55.84, or $5.58 per person. That’s about a three percent decrease compared to a year ago. Continue reading

ISU seeks pregnant women for new study

By Greg Eichelberger
For the Journal

POCATELLO – Local women expecting children are being asked to participate in a unique new study in an effort to find out more about their daily lives, including some of the struggles and blessings that go along with giving birth in modern day America.

The Idaho State University Idaho Mom Study is seeking 60-80 pregnant women in their third trimester to examine their experiences during pregnancy and how they may relate to the growth and behavior of their infants.

Continue reading

Montreal researchers look at behavior’s impact on dad’s sperm

Press Release

MONTREAL, CANADA – This past week, renowned researchers from all over the world gathered for the Teratology Society’s 55th Annual Meeting. One of the symposia revolved around clinical research examining the link between dad’s behaviors and healthy babies. Researchers looked at just how influential environmental exposures and genetic interactions are on dad’s sperm and, as a result, his offspring.

“We are very conscious that what the mother does or is exposed to during pregnancy will have an impact on her children,” said Barbara Hales, PhD, a McGill University professor, Teratology Society past-president and cochair of the Paternal Exposures Symposium. “We really do not even think about the importance of dad. There is now a lot of evidence that the father plays a very important role and that quality of his germ cells may be altered by age, occupational, environmental or lifestyle exposures, like diet and stress.”

Continue reading

Melaleuca Freedom Celebration set July 4 in Idaho Falls

By Kendra Evensen

IDAHO FALLS — The 23rd Annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration fireworks show may be free for the many families who will attend, but the freedoms it celebrates have come at a high cost over the country’s 239-year history.

That’s what organizers hope people will remember when they attend the fireworks show that will take place at the Greenbelt in downtown Idaho Falls around 10 p.m. on Independence Day.

“Melaleuca created this experience to pay tribute to our country’s veterans, soldiers and their families, all of whom have sacrificed for the freedoms of this great nation,” Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot said. “This experience recognizes those who gave us a free country.” Continue reading

Local teens pay it forward

By Lisa Dayley Smith
For the Journal

POCATELLO – Members of Hawthorne Middle School’s Virtues Club paid it forward in May by handing out roses and also paying for residents’ purchases at Shopko.

It was all done to give youth a lesson in paying it forward. Virtues Club leader Jenifer Fullmer showed her club members how to by being the first to do so. 

“A little elderly lady walked in and I said ‘Hi, ma’am, I’d like to give you a flower to make you smile.’ I got the biggest hug,” she said.

Continue reading

Running too fast

By Donna Howard
Columnist for the Journal

I probably did deserve that ticket.

It was the story of my life. I was going just a little faster than I should have been, trying to make up a little time. As usual, I was running late that day. With four preschoolers, everything took longer than I thought it would.

Silly me. I should have known by then that with children, everything takes much, much longer. Continue reading

Weight training for teens: Do it right

By Jamie Bell
Columnist for the Journal

Recently as I watched the NBA Finals, I was reminded of a widely accepted fact: over the last 20 years, athletes in every sport have gotten bigger, stronger, faster. The competitive nature of sports, year-round club teams, and improvements in training and nutrition have all contributed to the constant advancement in human performance. Just showing up for practice every day after school isn’t sufficient for most kids anymore. The highly-competitive environment of sports at every level has created demand for additional training and resources for our children beyond their usual team practice.

The problem with this is that as young athletes seek out methods and training to gain a competitive edge, they often participate in weight training activities without supervision or proper instruction. Particularly pre-adolescents and teens who have access to weight rooms and gyms can be found attempting to lift more weight than they should and with terrible technique and form. This practice can cause injury and is not helpful in development of the athlete. Continue reading

Physics takes flight Saturday at Tydeman Park

Water rocket festival invites kids to launch pop bottles into the air

By Sarah Glenn

POCATELLO – Last year, old plastic pop bottles soared 120 meters into the air above Tydeman Park – higher than a football field turned on end. Saturday and Sunday they just might go higher.

The Idaho State University physics department is hosting its second annual water rocket festival from 10 a.m. – noon on Saturday and Sunday. ISU will have launchers, supplies and university students on hand to help children build the perfect rocket.

“I wanted to do something over the summer to help buck interest in science and physics,” said event organizer and ISU professor of physics Steve Shropshire. “It’s a way to expose kids to science and make it fun.”

Continue reading

Local mom makes prevention her passion after daughter’s suicide

Idaho suicide prevention group seeks board members, volunteers

By Sarah Glenn

POCATELLO – On a cold February day 16 months ago, Carmen Stanger found her teen daughter Maddie Beard dead in their home – the victim of suicide.

“I am constantly piecing together the events leading up to what happened – what could have prevented this,” Stanger said. “As a mom, you can’t help but look at every little piece.”

Today, Stanger has channelled her grief into action. Sunday, she led a group of local lobbyists to Washington D.C. where they are pushing for better suicide prevention and mental health resources for Idaho. Stanger is now a field advocate for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), working to form an Idaho chapter of the organization. She hopes that resource will be available to Idahoans by December. With chapters nationwide, the AFSP funds research, offers educational programs, advocates for public policy and provides support resources for those, like Stanger, who have been affected by suicide. Of the top six states with the highest suicide rates, Idaho is the only one without a chapter of the AFSP.

“Our goal is to reduce suicide by 20 percent by 2025,” Stanger said.

Continue reading

Stop workplace stress

By Dr. Warren Willey
Columnist for the Journal

I think most healthcare providers would agree that if there is one potential intervention to improve quality, as well as quantity, of life it would be to control stress. It is estimated that, in the United States, 1 million people every day miss work because they are too stressed out. As workplace stress is very common and also nearly impossible to change (unless, of course, quitting your job and moving to Hawaii is an option) finding methods for dealing with the stress is likely the best solution.

Using the high stress work environment of a surgical intensive care unit, researchers at Ohio State University recently showed that on the job relaxation techniques cut stress levels by 40 percent and lowered the risk of burnout. Using a salivary biomarker, the intervention group showed good objective proof of the benefits of workplace stress reduction over an eight week intervention. The stress reduction intercession consisted of gentle stretching, yoga techniques, quick meditative sessions, relaxing music, and mindfulness (defined as the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment). Continue reading

Idaho Department of Education committee looks at “mastery-based” education

Staff Report

(BOISE) — The Mastery-Based Education Committee of the Idaho State Department of Education (SDE) held its first meeting June 18th and 19th in the Len B. Jordan building.

The committee, comprised of volunteer education stakeholders from throughout the state and two SDE staff members, is charged with developing recommendations related to the implementation of mastery-based education. That method of instruction allows students to advance through subjects based on their knowledge and achievement in a subject rather than the time spent on a class, also called “seat-time requirements.”

Continue reading

Castle Rock State Park to open fishing pond and archery course

By Mary Keating
Press Release

CASTLE ROCK STATE PARK – To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Idaho Park Systems and introduce the fishing pond and archery course, Castle Rock State Park will host a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday at 11am. Festivities include free fishing at the beautiful new fishing pond, archery course exhibition, a Dutch oven meal and kid’s games in the shaded picnic area.

“Bring your fly rods, mountain bikes, climbing gear, bow and arrows and your dad” said Wallace Keck, Superintendent for the City of Rocks National Reserve. “This area is fast becoming Idaho’s recreation mecca and it has something to offer everyone.”

Castle Rock State Park, with a couple of new additions this spring, is accessible, close and a unique place to enjoy the weekend. In addition to the scenic walks near the historic California Trail and the varied opportunities for wildlife watching, photography, world class technical rock climbing, picnicking, disc golf, biking, and camping, Castle Rock State Park now has a 1.4 acre fishing pond and is proud to open an archery course. The course will host a minimum of fourteen stations; eventually, the course will be extended with the goal of hosting state and national archery competitions.

Castle Rocks State Park is located two miles northwest of the village of Almo in southern Cassia County. The area sits at a crossroads of many different ecosystems. Basins, wetlands, peaks and rivers, each with their own unique ecosystem and magnificent backdrops, draw many outdoor enthusiasts to the region.

Mary Keating is a monthly contributor to the Family Living Magazine, a national and state award-winning feature writer, a wife and mother. Find her at or on Facebook.

Pocatello dads are great because …

The Pinterest Project Chronicles: A homemade chalk paint for summer garage sale scores

By Rebecca Hermance
Columnist for the Journal

Summer garage sales are in full swing and it is absolutely the best time to score used furniture. That dining table with water rings and marker stains, the multi-colored dining chairs of someone’s previously attempted project or the cute little headboard that would be perfect in your daughter’s room. It’s a plethora of furniture with so much potential!

Continue reading

Red vs. Blue states: Which creates a more stable family?

By W. Bradford Wilcox and Nicholas Zill
Courtesy of The Institute of Family Studies

When it comes to family, red states have a bad reputation. From the media to the academy, red states have acquired a reputation for talking a conservative game regarding family, but utterly failing to deliver on their old-school aspirations in the real world. The most thoughtful proponents of this view, scholars Naomi Cahn and June Carbone, have argued that the “red” family model—which discourages premarital sex, encourages younger marriage, restricts abortion access, and idealizes the male-breadwinner/female-homemaker family—is simply unworkable, and maybe even destructive, in the twenty-first century. They point to comparatively high divorce and teen pregnancy rates in many red states as one sign that the red state model has outlived its usefulness.

Continue reading

Pocatello Valley Montessori School host open house

POCATELLO — The Pocatello Valley Montessori School is holding an open house to address common questions and misconceptions about the Montessori curriculum. There will be the opportunity to see some Montessori materials used within the classroom and learn more about the method. There will be a guest speaker, and the school will also be announcing the teacher for the 1-3 grade class, opening this Fall.
Continue reading

More men opting to be Stay At Home Dads

By Sarah Glenn

It isn’t just a mom’s club around the playground anymore. Sprinkled throughout library story times and mid-week dance classes, it is fairly normal to find the average dad.

“Dads today want to be involved with their children, there’s no doubt about that,” said Al Watts, president of the National At-Home Dad Network.

The number of fathers staying home has nearly doubled in the past quarter century. Today, more than 2 million dads have traded briefcases and cubicles for full-time fatherhood.

Continue reading

Goodbye MooDonna, hello Happy: Eastern Idaho State Fair welcomes new ambassador of fun

Information courtesy, EISF

BLACKFOOT – There will be a new face around the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds come September – a happy, furry, friendly face.

The fair is introducing a new mascot, with his own backstory and personality. For a little fun, here’s the dish on Happy:

Orphaned at an early age, Happy was subsequently raised by street monkeys in the backcountry of Belize. After he was adopted by Chilean miners, he spent years underground honing his people skills. When the mine collapsed, his father brought their family back to the homeland and took a job as a parasail operator in the popular vacation destination of Port ‘O Poti, Belize. Happy enjoyed his time on the white-sandy beaches where he thrived on corn dogs and pre-fab ice cream treats. Continue reading

Eastern Idaho State Fair announces theme, mascot and entertainment lineup

By Sarah Glenn

BLACKFOOT –– The 2015 theme for the Eastern Idaho State Fair (Sept. 5-12) is “Find Your Happy” – and they mean literally.

A furry, red ball of joy named “Happy” is the fair’s new official mascot who will wander the fair aiming to spread a little joy wherever he goes. For the next several years, the fair’s theme will be built around the idea of finding happiness in all its forms. Continue reading

Pocatello Sewing School starts clothes care class

By Sarah Glenn

POCATELLO –– Hanna Geshelin believes that we are sending our youth out into the world having lost the art of mending.

That is why Geshelin (who runs Pocatello Sewing School) is starting a class aimed at those first striking out on their own – be it for an LDS mission, military or academic endeavor. The three-hour class will cover how to sew on a button, mend a blouse, patch clothing holes and properly wash and dry various types of clothing. It will also include a basic budgeting primer.

Continue reading

Putting Your Best Disciplinary Foot Forward

By Donna Howard
Family Page Columnist

Obviously, we all want to be our best self when we are around other people. We also want our children to be on their best behavior. We don’t want to be airing our dirty laundry in front of the world. We want to be proud of our children, and we want our children to be proud of us.

However, always living this way can backfire.

Remember that fake-it-until-you-make-it line? It only goes so far when dealing with families. Of course, we need to wait until we get home to discuss improper behavior with a child so that he or she isn’t humiliated in front if their friends.

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ISAT testing delays cumbersome but won’t affect average student

By Sarah Glenn

POCATELLO –– Students across Idaho will have to wait a little longer for their ISAT (Idaho Standards Achievement Test) 2.0 test results. A new Common Core curriculum in Idaho meant a new test for students – one that was introduced in classrooms just this year. While students and educators statewide were expecting results from the new Idaho Core Standards-aligned test on June 5, hiccups in the system mean that all the math tests are not scored yet. According to State Department of Education officials, Monday is the new day to watch for complete results.

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Idaho Museum of Natural history debuts new evolution exhibit

Kid-centered grand opening includes freebies, food truck, raffles and more

By Sarah Glenn

POCATELLO – Kids of all ages are invited to the Idaho Museum of Natural History Saturday for an exhibit grand opening extravaganza.

The new exhibit, “Evolving Idaho,” explores how evolution has shaped the diversity of Idaho’s plants and animals, showcasing some of their adaptations to Idaho’s environment through interactive modules.

“I am hoping that people come away with a greater understanding of what evolution really is and how the process really works,” said Rick Williams, curator of botany for the Idaho Museum of Natural History. Continue reading

Study: More dad-time with kids equals happier employees

Press Release, Academy of Management

Based on a survey of close to 1,000 working fathers, a paper published February in Academy of Management Perspectives finds that “the more time fathers spend with their children on a typical day, the more satisfied they are with their jobs and the less likely they want to leave their organizations. Further, they experience less work-family conflict and greater work-family enrichment.”

The study continues to suggest that involved fathering is good not only for workers but for their companies “via its positive association with father’s job satisfaction, commitment to their work and lowered intentions to quit.” Continue reading

Sweden increases paternity leave, U.S. lags behind

By Sarah Glenn

Couples in Estonia get up to two years of government-paid paternity leave. Fathers in Sweden now get three months of paid paternity leave. New parents in Idaho are federally entitled to, at most, 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

The United State’s lagging policies on paternity leave reentered the news in June when Sweden’s government upped the international ante and introduced a third month of paid leave set aside just for fathers. Continue reading

The Pinterest Project Chronicles: Lessons learned painting patio furniture

By Rebecca Hermance
For the Journal

We have all seen those beautiful images of outdoor spaces with the perfect setup of barbecue  grills and patio furniture for cozy alfresco dining, intimate conversation and marshmallows around the fire. Last spring, there was a wholehearted attempt to create a beautiful outdoor oasis on the concrete slab in our back yard. Working with a non existent budget, I purchased a faded green plastic Rubbermaid table from Idaho Youth Ranch for $8. I decided I would spray paint it a neutral gray color and it would be perfect with some brightly colored chairs. Continue reading

ISU Museum of Natural History offering summer programs for kids and families

Idaho State University news release:

POCATELLO – The Idaho Museum of Natural History at Idaho State University will offer fun, educational event opportunities for children and families throughout the summer.

Programs include:

Fun for the Whole Family!

• June 10, “Geocaching: A Family Affair”

Geocaching class will introduces families to the sport of geocaching. The class starts by learning how to use GPS units, and gives participants a chance to do some geocaching on the ISU campus. The class is open to children of all ages, who are accompanied by an adult. Class time is from 5 to 7 p.m. and the cost is $10 per family.
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Summer reading program to start at American Falls Library

Children ages 2 to 12 will discover the many different types of heroes found in books and within their community as the American Falls District Library presents “Every Hero Has a Story” during their summer reading program.

Children who don’t read during the summer months can lose up to one-third of the gains made during the school year. Help your child maintain their reading skills by encouraging them to participate in the summer reading program, which includes games, activities, art projects, crafts, special guests and more.
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Children’s Summer Art Program at Pocatello Art Center

Submitted by Pocatello Art Center

POCATELLO — The Children’s Summer Art Program at the Pocatello Art Center, 444 N. Main St., begins Monday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to noon for 6- to 8-year-olds and Thursday, June 11 from 10 a.m. to noon for 9- to 12-year-olds.

This is a pay-as-you-come program; no registration is required. The cost is $5 per child, each time they attend.

This summer they have five different instructors who will bring to the classroom a variety of art and art crafts. The program will include such things as painting ceramics, making and painting masks, comic book art, scratch art, pastel art, gauche/watercolor art, just to name a few.
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Getting angry? Think best possible motives

Commentary by Derold Bates, Ed.S

While driving down a busy freeway in Tacoma, Wash., a new model pickup came past me driving on the right shoulder. The driver pulled in my lane immediately in front of me. I had to hit my brakes to avoid a collision. My first impulse was to blast my horn at him and race ahead of him and cut him off, while giving him some choice words I had saved for just such a time as this.

Then it hit me! Why have two people on the road acting like idiots! One is enough!

At that moment my BPM, or  Best Possible Motive was born. Once I made the decision to not retaliate I said to myself, “Wait a minute, I know nothing about this man.” He might be rushing to the hospital for a medical emergency. Maybe his daughter is sick? Considering those possible motives, I didn’t want revenge. I was calmed and that prevented me from retaliating in anger and possibly creating a road rage incident. Continue reading

Cigarettes: Cow pie marketing

By Dr. Warren Willey
For the Journal

Whom would you consider to be one of the best marketers and marketing industries out there? Let me reword that: if I could give a nice fresh cow pie  to a company that would add such twists and slants to what it actually is and what it could potentially do, could they sell it to about anyone who heard the advertisement for it? 

Some of you are starting to envision a few companies and/or industries that could fill this role. Let me add one more caveat in their salesmanship: they particularly market to kids and teenagers. Now do you know who I’m talking about? It’s the tobacco industry.  They literally could take a cow pie and convince you that it was not only harmless, but good for you. 

Did you know big tobacco owns a large share of the food industry? This would include Nabisco, Kraft, General Foods, and others. Big tobacco’s incredible marketing ploys have not changed over the years: they’re just using them now with substances they call “food”. They market things that are not only not good for you but that have been proven in scientific study after scientific study to be dangerous and to cause health problems. Worse yet, they market directly to our kids and then tell us this foodstuff is part of a “healthy and nutritious meal”. 

Don’t fall for it anymore.  You cannot rely on these companies having your best interests or your health in mind, just as you cannot trust the government and their recommendations, as they, too, are a money-based, not health-based, industry. Do your research: understand food and its effects on your body. That way, the next time you see a cow pie being marketed as good for you, you can see it for what it really is.

Dr. Warren Willey can be reached for appointments at 208.237.7911 or via his Web site

Mystique to hold theater camp for kids

By Greg Eichelberger
For the Journal

CHUBBUCK — There are summer camps for studying space travel, participating in band, gymnastics and any number of team sports, but the Mystique Performing Arts and Event Center will host a unique children’s summer theater camp between June 8-19 for any child age 8 to 14 who is interested in theater or just wants to do something fun. No previous theater experience is necessary.

The camp was started three years ago and was designed to instruct children on how to audition and create characters. It will also offer tips on singing and dancing on stage and even how to overcome stage fright. The camp will conclude with a fully-staged play and is open to children age 8 to 14.

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Summer lunch program draws thousands

By Sarah Glenn

POCATELLO – In 2001, the Summer Food Service Program humbly began with two lunch ladies taking food over to Alameda Park in their cars.

“After three days of them getting bombarded, we taught them how to drive a truck,” said Tom Wilson, Food Service Coordinator for Pocatello/Chubbuck District 25.

Over the past 14 years, the free lunch program for kids has exploded into a wildly popular ritual for hundreds of local families. It now employs 22 people who serve thousands of lunches daily at eight different parks.

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Today is National Donut Day: Here’s where you can get the donut deals

By Sarah Glenn

Across America today, people are celebrating the spongey, sugary goodness of donuts. While you would assume that National Donut Day was dreamed up by a marketer with a sweet tooth for profits, its origins are actually as sweet and innocent as the goodie itself.

In early June 1938, a young United States doctor was headed to a military base to treat patients. Knowing the tragedy he would find when he arrived, he stopped by a bakery and picked up eight dozen donuts for the wounded. His patients appreciated it so much that they started buying and giving donuts to other hurting veterans. The Salvation Army eventually picked up on the popularity of the donut among military servicemen and started a fundraising campaign to give every needy and wounded World War I solider a donut. The tradition continued into World war II when Red Cross Volunteers also distributed donuts. The Red Cross nurses were sometimes referred to as “Donut Dollies.” Continue reading

Pocatello Arts Council looking for new member

By Sarah Glenn

POCATELLO –The Pocatello Arts Council (PAC) is looking for another volunteer member and anyone over the age of 16 is welcome to apply. Applications are due Monday.

“Sometime in the past two years we had one senior from Century High School apply to be on the board and they ended up volunteering with us,” said Frank Hartleib, the current chairperson of the Pocatello Arts Council. “Having someone her age gave us a nice perspective that we as adults didn’t have. Anyone interested in helping to promote the arts (in our area) is welcome to apply.”

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Junior Achievement of Idaho expands program, services to Pocatello

Junior Achievement of Idaho is excited to announce the expansion of programs and services into the Pocatello area K-12 Schools.

 Please join us for an informational meeting about the impact of Junior Achievement Programs to students and how you can be involved. Our goal is to establish long term sustainability of Junior Achievement programs in the Pocatello area.  We need class mentors, board members, as well as financial help to implement programs.

 Date:  Wednesday June 10th

Time:  11:30AM – 1:30 PM

Location:  Idaho State University College of Business-Building 5

RSVP :  208-375-5243 or

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Family Fun Day is June 6; free to attend

By Journal Staff

POCATELLO — Looking for food, fun and entertainment for the whole family?  Plan to attend the Family Fun Day at OK Ward Park on Quinn Road on Saturday, June 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This event is free admission and activities for all and is sponsored by the Idaho Central Credit Union and the Idaho State Journal.

A variety of booths will offer everything from educational animals from the Pocatello Zoo to information from Idaho Power, Dentistry For Kids, IDEA Gem Prep, Pocatello Head Start, Health West, Alpine Animal Hospital, State Farm Insurance, Highland High School FCCLA Club, and Americorp Volunteers.

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Schedule of free yoga classes in Pocatello

Starting today, yoga teachers across Idaho will welcome the community into their classes for free as the state celebrates the third annual Idaho Health and Yoga Awareness Week. At least one free, family-friendly class will be offered daily at various locations across Southeastern Idaho through Tuesday. A full schedule of free classes in Pocatello, Chubbuck and Blackfoot is listed below.

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Introducing the new editor of the family page

By Sarah Glenn

“Let us today talk about our inescapably impossible task of providing every week a first rough draft of history that will never be completed about a world we can never really understand,” ~ Former Washington Post President and Publisher Philip L. Graham.


It’s nice to meet you. My name is Sarah Glenn and I am stepping into the role of Family Editor for the Idaho State Journal. 

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Building a fort: Locals invited to Fort Hall Replica as it kicks off summer season

By Rebecca Long Pyper

 The Fort Hall Replica will celebrate its summer-season grand opening May 30 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 During the celebration guests will learn about local goings-on during the 1840s and 1850s, specifically about fur trappers and settlers in the West. “It’s a very enjoyable history lesson,” said replica committee vice chair Gerald Waggoner. “Most of the people in this area probably had ancestors that came through during that general time.”

 The Fort Hall Replica opened in 1963 and is operated by City of Pocatello Parks and Recreation. A 10-member committee oversees operation and has planned this season’s grand opening with one-day exhibits and demonstrations. Admission is free for the day.

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High tea: Tips for throwing your own tea party


By Rebecca Long Pyper

The forecast is promising sunshine, and the flowers are blooming — it’s the perfect time to celebrate the women in your life with a quintessentially girly tea party. Using found items and second-hand steals, you can craft a memorable get-together, even on a budget. Follow these tips to come up with ideas that will work for your own spring soiree:

>> Just because it’s called a “tea” party doesn’t mean you have to stick with the namesake beverage. Choose a fruity slush (try the raspberry-lemonade slush recipe below) or simply serve water with lemon slices.

Or don’t even serve a special drink at all; instead, serve cupcakes in the teacups — they’ll function as décor and refreshment in one. Pick up teacups on the cheap at thrift stores; those without matching saucers can be found for around 50 cents.

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Free summer lunches for kids in Pocatello/Chubbuck to begin June 1

POCATELLO — Pocatello/Chubbuck School District No. 25 will offer the Summer Food Service Program. Free meals will be provided to children under age 19 from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. on weekdays from June 1 through August 14.

Meals will be provided at Alameda Park at Wayne St. Pine St;  Bicentennial Park at Abraham St. and Eve St. in Chubbuck;  Caldwell Park at 8th and Center St.; Hawthorne Park at Hawthorne Road and W. Eldredge Road; New Horizon Center at 955 W. Alameda Road; OK Ward Park on W. Quinn Road; Raymond Park at Lincoln St. and Carson St. and Upper Ross Park on Fredregill Road.

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Registration open for Hoops Academy

CHUBBUCK — Hoops Academy is now accepting registrations for its Summer 3 on 3 League. Play starts June 15 and goes through July 17. Cost is $99 per team. Boys and girls divisions are available for athletes in kindergarten through 12th grade as well as a special open division for ages 19+.  Each team will play two games per week. Registration deadline is June 11.  Visit to register or contact Joe at 251-1655 with questions.

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Education First High School Exchange Program recruiting host families for exchange students

By Sarah Glenn

For the Journal

BLACKFOOT –– Joanna Baird has welcomed international exchange students to Idaho for the past five years. Their first exposure to rural America usually includes a trip to Walmart and a root-beer float.

“The biggest excitement they probably have coming to America is getting to see school spirit,” Baird said with a smile, recalling students she welcomed into her home whose idealized vision of the American teenage experience was the Disney movie “High School Musical.”

Between 80 and 100 foreign exchange students call southeastern Idaho home each year. They come with the help of the Education First High School Exchange Program.

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Grace Lutheran plans public event regarding planned high school

By Kendra Evensen

POCATELLO — Grace Lutheran officials are hoping to give the community a chance to visualize and learn more about the private Christian high school they are planning to build in Pocatello during a special event on Saturday.

The public event will include sessions at both 5- and 6 p.m. on Saturday, and will take place at the school campus at 1350 Baldy Avenue.

Grace Lutheran Church Pastor Jonathan Dinger, who will serve as headmaster of the school, said they are planning to map out the school floor plan on the parking lot and will even set up basketball hoops and bleachers in the gym area to help people visualize what the facility will look like.

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Idaho State University mom study seeks participants in third trimester of pregnancy

Idaho State University news release:

POCATELLO – The Idaho State University Idaho Mom Study is seeking 60-80 pregnant women in their third trimester to examine women’s experiences during pregnancy and how they may relate to the growth and behavior of their infants.

The study’s full title is “Idaho Mom Study: Infant Development and Healthy Outcomes in Mothers” and is directed by Nicki Aubuchon-Endsley, ISU associate professor of psychology within the Department of Psychology’s Perinatal Psychobiology Laboratory.
“A woman’s experiences during pregnancy may impact her infant’s development as well as her adjustment into motherhood, making an understanding of this time period important,” Aubuchon-Endsley said. “Therefore, the study is designed to examine how participants’ experiences during pregnancy influence the growth and behavior of their babies.”

These experiences include pregnancy-related changes such as weight, body size, diet, mood, medical regimen and health in addition to experiences during childbirth. Researchers will follow up with participants and their infants six months after birth.

Participants must be 18 years of age or older, before 37 weeks gestation, and fluent in English. Participants will receive up to $75 and students may receive an additional one credit for each half hour of participation toward relevant ISU courses.

This research will have the potential to inform prenatal education and interventions, leading to improvements in maternal and offspring health.

For more information call the Idaho Mom Study, 208-380-1140 or email <a href=””></a>.

The eyes have it — What parents need to know about their kids and eye exams

By Rebecca Long Pyper
For the Journal

Good vision is key to success for kids, especially since being able to see the board is crucial for classroom academics. By being proactive about your children’s vision, you’ll help kids keep pace with their potential, rather than trying to catch up later.

Dr. Jay Borgholthaus, an optometrist with Summit Eyecare, outlines when visits to the eye doctor should start. He also identifies signs that vision is getting worse, and when contacts might be a better option than glasses.

>> Get an eye exam earlier than you might think. Borgholthaus recommends by age 3 or 4 so the child is ready to hit kindergarten at full speed. An exam can alleviate other concerns too. In some cases, parents are worried because their children’s eyes appear to turn in. But in actuality, there is no developmental problem with the eyes. A doctor’s visit can set some fears at ease.

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Pocatello/Chubbuck summer school starts June 1

The Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 summer school program starts Monday, June 1.

Students who have not already registered may register the first day of school at 7:30 a.m. Summer school will be held at the New Horizon Center, 955 W. Alameda Road.

For more information contact the District office at 235-3211 or Principal Dr. Heidi Kessler at

Summer camp for kids offered at Mystique Theater

CHUBBUCK — Enrollment is now open for Mystique Theater summer camp. This year’s camp will be taught by three experienced professionals from the area.

Children ages 8 to 14 will learn auditioning, beginning dance, acting and beginning vocal requirements for the stage. Each student will receive a T-shirt and goody bag filled with the tools needed to make the learning experience fun. Siblings will receive a 20 percent discount but you must call the box office to receive the discount.

To register for the camp, go to or call 208-238-8001. They are located at 158 E. Chubbuck Road.

Summer reading program to start at Marshall Public Library

POCATELLO — The 2015 Summer Reading Program at the Marshall Public Library, 113 South Garfield Avenue, will start with a party on Monday, June 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. The theme of the program is “Every Hero Has A Story.”

There will be music by the Snake River New Horizons band, a variety of crafts for all ages, Operation Gratitude- an opportunity to write letters to our soldiers and veterans, information on our summer reading activities, and people can explore the new Make It Bus examples of current and upcoming makerspace projects.

There are summer reading programs for children, teens, and adults.

For more information on library events, please visit the library’s website at and the Library’s Facebook page at