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Coming Up:

Monday, November 24

 First Lady Lori Otter and I participate in the ceremonial lighting of Idaho's Capitol Christmas Tree, 5:30 p.m., State Capitol, 700 W. Jefferson St., Boise.



First Lady Lori Otter and I participate in the Festival of Trees Gala, 6:30 p.m., Boise Centre, Boise.
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Idaho mourns the loss of two Chief Warrant Officers

First Lady Lori Otter and I were deeply saddened by the deaths of Chief Warrant Officer Stien P. Gearhart and Chief Warrant Officer Jon L. Hartway on November 7th in the tragic crash of their Apache helicopter during a training flight two miles south of Boise. Their loved ones and brothers and sisters in arms are in our thoughts and prayers. This tragedy reminds us of the enormous sacrifice and great risk involved in military service - whether here at home, preparing to go into harm's way or on the battle lines of freedom.  My thanks to all Idahoans who joined me in honoring these courageous citizen soldiers, as well as all those who have gone before them in defense of the liberties we hold so dear.

Chief Warrant Officer Stien P. Gearhart (left) and Chief Warrant Officer Jon L. Hartway (right) 
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Veterans Parade


I was invited to participate in the Veterans Day parade in downtown Boise on the morning of Saturday, November 8th. It was great to so many Treasure Valley citizens take time out of their weekend to celebrate the men and women of our armed forces. Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, Major General Gary Sayler and State Command Chief Master Sgt. Carlo Fenicottero rode with me in the lead jeep of the parade. All our armed services from across the state and the nation were represented admirably with respectful and creative floats, trailers, and marching groups. Even the local schools and student organizations marched alongside us to honor our service men and women. Thank you to everyone who joined us that day to celebrate and respect our veterans.

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Veterans Day 
A message from Governor Otter and First Lady Lori Otter about Veterans Day
A message from Governor Otter and First Lady Lori Otter about Veterans Day

November 11th - Veterans Day - is one of the most important days of the year for American citizens. It is an opportunity for everyone to take time and reflect on what the men and women who have served this country have sacrificed for us. This year the First Lady and I sent out this message to all the service men and women, veterans and students in Idaho to remind them of the significance of Veterans Day and asking them to reach out to the veterans in their community to share their sincere gratitude. I hope everyone made this year's Veterans Day a meaningful one.

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Vote for Melissa Hunt and Stoddard Elementary 
Melissa Hunt and Governor Otter 

One of Idaho's very own teachers is in the final leg of an extremely competitive grant competition and could use the support of everyone in our great state! I am incredibly proud of teacher Melissa Hunt of Blackfoot's Stoddard Elementary School for her dedication to Idaho's students, and I want to encourage everyone to vote for her grant proposal in Farmers Insurance's Thank a Million Teachers program's Dream Big challenge. If she wins, Melissa will bring $100,000 into her school to transform Stoddard Elementary into a state-of-the-art learning environment for students there. She has worked incredibly hard to make it to this point in the competition and is planning on doing great things with the grant prize. Please take a moment to see the video that she put together with her students and go vote for her in this competition!


Farmers Dream Big Challenge Finalist -  Melissa Hunt
Farmers Dream Big Challenge Finalist - Melissa Hunt


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Now accepting applications for Idaho Department of Insurance Director 
Retiring Department of Insurance Director Bill Deal volunteering at United Way's Flapjack Feed in August of 2009
On December 31st, the State of Idaho will be saying goodbye to one of its hardest-working and most respected agency directors. After 46 years of work in the insurance industry, eight terms in the Idaho House of Representatives, and seven years as director of the Idaho Department of Insurance, Bill Deal will be retiring. I will be accepting applications for his successor through Friday, December 5th. The successful applicant will have big shoes to fill. Bill Deal has been an exemplary director and an exceptional public servant throughout his career. I'm looking for someone who shares Bill's unquestioned integrity, a high level of professionalism, and a commitment to responsive administration of the agency and to meeting the needs of Idaho citizens and businesses. Thank you to Bill for all of the great work he has done for our state, for his sage advice and counsel and for his enduring friendship.

Click here to view the application page
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Nurse Practitioner Week  

The week of November 9th-15th was Nurse Practitioners Week in Idaho. There are more than 800 licensed nurse practitioners in Idaho and over 192,000 nationwide who provide high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered, personalized health care. On November 13th I was joined by a group of Idaho nurse practitioners to present them with a proclamation celebrating and thanking them for the work they do. I'm grateful to Idaho's nurse practitioners for being a compassionate and caring group of healthcare providers for all of Idaho.
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Governor's Ceremonial Christmas Tree Lighting is Monday, November 24th 

I want to invite all Idahoans to join the First Lady and me at 5 p.m. Monday for our annual Ceremonial Christmas Tree Lighting at the Capitol. The holiday season provides us with a golden opportunity to consider our blessings and how we can open our hearts to the less fortunate in our communities and beyond. The Capitol Christmas Tree is a symbol of the evergreen quality of charity and the spirit of selfless giving that makes this time of year so special. Please join us in lighting up the season! 107.9 Lite FM will be on hand along with the 25th Army Band, Idaho's constitutional officers, and music from the Andrus Ambassador Honor Choir from Meridian's Cecil D. Andrus Elementary School and the Weiser High School Choir. Santa Claus himself also will stop by to visit with all of the children! It will be a fun evening for the whole family, and Miss Lori and I look forward to seeing everyone there.
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Recent Appointments:

Beef Council 

Scott McNeley - Grand View


Building Code Board                            

Dennis Schaffner -Eagle

Michael Arrington - Twin Falls


Commission on Aging

David Maestas - Hagerman

Sharon Sturm - Blackfoot


Commission on the Arts

Deena Heath - Lewiston


Dentistry Board

Meg Long - Pocatello


Driving Businesses Board

Lon Pyper, Sr. - Ammon

Theresa Bradford - Caldwell


LP Gas Safety Board

Jay Hill - Ashton


ID Technology Authority

Dan Goicoechea - Boise


P.O.S.T. Council

Sheriff Lorin Nielsen - Pocatello


Perm. Building Fund Advisory

Randy Steed - Eagle


Podiatry Board

Stewart Jones - Boise


Professional Geologists

Steven Derricott - Boise


Speech & Hearing Services

Dennis Bell - Boise


Suicide Prevention Council


Treasurer's Advisory Board

Gary Michael - Boise