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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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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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