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Coming Up:

Thursday, May 25th

Governor Otter will host Capital for a Day in Hayden
 Lake
, 9:00 a.m, Hayden Lake Country Club.

Monday, May 29th
 Governor Otter will speak at the I daho State Veterans
 Memorial
 Day Service, 10:00 a.m., the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.  
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Hailey Flooding



Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials and Idaho Office of Emergency Management personnel joined me in Hailey on Saturday, May 13th, for a town meeting to hear from Blaine County residents about their battle with flooding along the Big Wood River. Runoff from Idaho's unusually heavy winter snowpack has pushed the swollen river over its banks, flooding some residential areas and stretching the resources of local emergency responders. My message to Hailey-area residents was that the State of Idaho stands ready to help them cope with this emergency situation. More information is available here and here.
 
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Idaho Youth ChalleNGe Academy



One of the real highlights of the past month for me was my visit to the Idaho Youth ChalleNGe Academy in Pierce on May 1st. The cadets enrolled there are getting a second chance at success after struggling back home. Through structure, discipline, teamwork and leadership training, they learn important life lessons that build character and confidence. The Youth ChalleNGe Academy helps troubled youths become productive, contributing and positive members of society - a great investment for the citizens of Idaho. I couldn't be prouder of the work that's being done at the Academy and all those involved in turning these young lives around. Keep up the great work!  
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ICOM Ground Breaking


 
On May 17th I joined education, health-care and community leaders in Meridian at a ground-breaking ceremony for the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine or "ICOM" - which will be Idaho's first medical school. Largely because so much of it is rugged and remote, our state has among the nation's lowest rates of physicians per capita. But with ICOM, Idaho soon will be growing our own doctors to help address that chronic shortage. It's an historic step in Idaho's efforts to make health care more accessible and affordable for all our citizens. I look forward to ICOM becoming a reality and an important factor in advancing not only homegrown medical education but also a healthier future for Idaho.  
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Fill the Boot Days   
        


June 2nd and 3rd are Treasure Valley Professional Fire Fighters "Fill the Boot Days" under a proclamation I signed on May 16th. It's an annual fund-raising event for the Muscular Dystrophy Association's fight against muscular dystrophy, ALS and other life-threatening illnesses attacking muscle strength and mobility. I encourage everyone to donate by "filling the boot" for firefighters in your community. The campaign raised more than $307,000 last year, and they're shooting for even more this year. Our local firefighters are doing incredible work, donating their time and energy to this worthy cause and battling muscular dystrophy one boot at a time. Read my proclamation here.

 
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Clark Fork High School 
              


I traveled to northern Idaho on May 15th to pay a visit to the students and staff at Clark Fork High School. I spoke to the student body about my own education background and how important it was in shaping the person I am today. After the assembly I met with Clark Fork High's senior U.S. government class to answer questions and discuss the role that government plays in their daily lives. The students were very engaged, asking questions about public policy issues and Idaho's future needs and goals. I'd like to thank the Clark Fork student body and the school administration for hosting this event where I learned about the legend of their fearless mascot - the "Wampus Cats." Read all about it here. 
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First Lady Focus:
Country Music Festival Supports Idaho Meth Project 

This year it is my pleasure to team up with the Mountain Home Country Music Festival, which takes place July 28-30 this year. More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the festival this year to enjoy great country music from a star-studded lineup! Headliners this year will include Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, Lee Brice, Eric Paslay and many others.

For every ticket purchased from now until May 31st, the Mountain Home Country Music Festival will donate $5 to the Idaho Meth Project - a non-profit organization that the Governor and I launched back in January 2008. Its goal is educating teens and young adults throughout Idaho about the dangers of meth so they can make the right decision and choose not to use it even once. Through public service ads, education and community outreach, the Idaho Meth Project has helped dramatically reduce first-time meth use among Idaho's youth. Since it was launched, teen meth use has declined by 56 percent in Idaho. Related programs helped cut teen meth use by 65 percent in Arizona and 63 percent in Montana.

To purchase tickets to the Mountain Home Country Music Festival, please visit www.mhcmf.com/tix, and help support the Idaho Meth Project! 

 
Thanks for helping the United Way collect over 96,000 books!

Volunteers at the United Way Children's Book Drive in April sort through thousands of donated books.(Courtesy photo by Chad Case.)

I would like to extend my deepest thanks to everyone who participated in this year's United Way Children's Book Drive. Summertime reading is critical for our children.  Students can have trouble making progress on their reading skills during the summer months, and some can regress by as much as two-thirds. The United Way Book Drive can help address the "summer learning loss" here in Idaho.

Thanks to all of you who donated books, United Way collected more than 96,000 books during the month of April.  After collecting the books from the drop-off sites, more than 500 volunteers helped clean and sort the donated books by grade level before distributing them to nearly 100 local organizations.  Thank you for helping to increase the opportunities of success for Idaho's youth through this effort. Together we helped provide students with books needed to keep their minds growing and learning throughout these summer months.

As promised, the group donating the most books will receive a summer delivery of my Famous Brownies. This year the winner is the Idaho State Liquor Division with a grand total of 428 books donated! Thank you for your dedication and hard work each year to support the children of Idaho! 
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Agency Spotlight: 
Idaho Office of Emergency Management

This year's spring flooding in Idaho is unprecedented in its scope and magnitude, means the folks at the Idaho Office of Emergency Management (IOEM) are working around the clock. Thirty-one of Idaho's 44 counties now have local disaster declarations. Twenty-six of those counties have state declarations and 19 are under federal disaster declarations. The most recent Presidential Disaster Declaration for flooding was signed by President Trump on May 18th.
 
With each State and any subsequent federal declaration comes a coordinated effort led by IOEM to ensure counties have the support they need. Requests for assistance can include everything from the deployment of sandbags, planning and operations, assistance on damage assessments and mitigation efforts, to public information support.

IOEM Deputy Chief Brad Richy traveled throughout Idaho during the past five months with Governor Otter and other state leaders, meeting with community members and seeing firsthand what this much water can do to infrastructure, homes and businesses. Unfortunately, as record snowpack continues to melt, Idaho's rivers and streams will continue to swell and cause even more flooding. Natural disasters such as flooding are why IOEM works closely with county and tribal emergency managers to make sure response and recovery is seamless and efficient. These natural disasters also inform our training and exercise efforts toward ensuring that local governments can keep their communities safe.



While IOEM continues to focus its efforts on providing flood-relief assistance to counties, the agency also is coordinating some other significant events.

 
Approximately 100 state and federal partners participated in a discussion-based exercise at Gowen Field in Boise earlier this month on the state's response to a long-term power outage. While we don't anticipate that happening, planning ensures that we can respond swiftly and effectively when we're needed. Exercise participants included officials from Idaho Power, Bonneville Power and private industry partners. In June, IOEM will conduct a two-day exercise to test and evaluate our plans and create the most effective response possible should such an event occur.

Another event IOEM has been working on this year is planning for the total solar eclipse. Idaho will be one of the best viewing locations in the country for this rare event. More than 300 miles of Idaho will be directly within what's called the Path of Totality. That path stretches from Washington County in the western part of the state to Teton County in the east. While it isn't a disaster, the event figures to strain the resources of communities in some parts of Idaho. Making sure counties along the path of the totality are supported with planning and preparedness for a big influx of people is central to IOEM's partnership with other state agencies.

While there are some natural disasters we can prepare for, some disasters hit us by surprise. That's why it's important all Idahoans and their families be prepared. Make sure your family has an emergency plan and a 72-hour kit. To find out more about community preparedness visit the IOEM website at www.ioem.idaho.gov 
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Appointments

Aging Commission
Victor Watson - Meridian
David Pankey - Lewiston


Alfalfa & Clover Seed Commission  
Jeff Hartman - Parma
Ken Durrant - Boise
David Reynolds - Kuna
Steve Lejardi - Homedale
Kevin Osborne - Nampa

Lewis & Clark Trail Committee
Dax Chizum

Medicine, State Board  
Dr. David McClusky III - Hailey
Erwin Sonnenberg - Boise

Nursing Board
Jan Moseley - Coeur d'Alene

Occupational Therapy Licensure Board

Cherie Strand - Challis

Public Safety Communications Commission
Rep. Rick Youngblood - Nampa
Capt. Sam Hulse - Shelly

SERVE Idaho
Bryan Wewers - Boise
William Langer - Coeur d'Alene
Camille McCashland - Boise

Suicide Prevention Council
Neva Santos - Eagle

Treasurer's Investment Advisory Board
Mary Hughes - Boise 
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