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Remembering Frank Henderson 

Idaho lost a great statesman and citizen last month with the passing of former Representative Frank Henderson of Coeur d'Alene. He was 92. Henderson was one of those rare individuals who served his country in World War II and came home to serve the public again as a mayor, county commissioner and State legislator, all while building a distinguished career in the private sector. He has been called a consensus builder, which he certainly was. But he also was a good friend. I will remember him as a tireless and humble public servant who had a remarkably rare combination of skills that will not be easily replaced. His keen understanding of how government should work, coupled with his years of public service and his involvement with the Boys and Girls Club gave him invaluable insight. Kootenai County was fortunate to have such a tremendous public servant. Frank Henderson was one of a kind.

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Idaho Gives Day

Every spring, the First Lady and I encourage Idahoans to give to non-profit organizations that are making a huge difference in our communities. It's so important that we've set aside a special day to recognize the need. "Idaho Gives Day" is Thursday, May 7 th. Last year thousands of Idahoans showed their support by taking the time to donate to this online fundraising campaign. I recently signed a proclamation officially making Idaho Gives Day a statewide event. Non-profit organizations serve hundreds of thousands of Idahoans, foster creation of thousands of jobs, and help make our communities more supportive and inclusive. Idaho Gives Day is the perfect way to say thanks to more than 500 participating nonprofit causes that make Idaho so great. I hope even more citizens will be able to show their support this year! To contribute to your favorite nonprofit or find a new cause to support, visit

Watch the Idaho Gives video
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Calling a Special Session of the Idaho Legislature
I announced on April 29 th that I would be calling a rare special session of the Idaho Legislature starting at 8 a.m. on May 18 to consider legislation to maintain Idaho's child support system. I'm hoping it will only take lawmakers a few hours to complete their work. My decision to call the Legislature back into session stems from a House committee tabling Senate-passed legislation that would have kept Idaho in compliance with the federal Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. Failing to comply will cut off much of the funding for Idaho's child support system, which impacts more than 400,000 children and parents - or about one in every four Idahoan. With our partners in the Legislature and the experts at the Department of Health and Welfare, we explored all our options and came to the conclusion that only a special session will accomplish our goal - protecting the children and families of Idaho who rely on court-ordered child support payments. As we move forward it's important for all of us to get a better understanding of the issue and what's at stake.
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Clearwater County Capital for a Day
There truly are few places in Idaho as rich in history as the Clearwater County community of Pierce, and I was proud to become part of that history by taking my Cabinet to the town On April 28 th. From its founding by Captain Elias Pierce and its brief but glorious gold rush in the 1860s to its timber legacy, this remote community has never been an easy place to stake a claim. But now with the groundbreaking Idaho Youth ChalleNGe program based in Pierce, we're doing just that. I appreciated everyone who came out to speak with me and the rest of the representatives from our state government. I also had a great opportunity to visit and tour the Youth ChalleNGe Academy and meet the students there. Thank you to everyone who came out for Capital for a Day and to the city of Pierce for hosting our visit.
Governor Otter meets with students of the Youth ChalleNGe Academy 
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Spotlight Agency:
Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security
As part of the Idaho Military Division, the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security (IBHS) focuses its daily efforts on making sure Idaho is prepared for incidents and emergencies that could impact our state. IBHS is home to the Idaho Emergency Operations Center, which is activated during any declared disaster in Idaho. As Governor it is critically important to me that each of our 44 counties and five tribes are prepared and able to initially manage disasters at the local level. That's why IBHS is always working to support our jurisdictions with planning, training, exercises and equipment.  

I'm thankful that Idaho is a safe place to live. But that's not by chance. Part of emergency management is identifying events that could affect us, so IBHS is constantly analyzing our potential hazards and continually identifying any gaps in our preparedness.   Those hazards likely to affect the Gem State become the focal point of preparedness and planning efforts in communities across Idaho. That's how we ensure we're capable of managing incidents if they affect the people, property or resources of Idaho.


Below are key initiatives IBHS is working on to ensure our citizens and economy continues to thrive.

  • Cyber Security - IBHS is working with multiple organizations to develop public/private sector partnerships for cyber security resilience in Idaho. The first cyber security summit held at the Hewlett-Packard Co. Boise campus drew more than 100 participants from state and local agencies throughout Idaho. IBHS is already looking forward to planning next year's summit.
  • Public Safety Technologies - Idaho's emergency communications system is made up of 9-1-1, dispatch and radio components as well as the practitioners who use them on a daily basis. IBHS is working with groups like the Idaho Association of Counties and Idaho Sheriffs Association to conduct long-term planning to make sure Idaho's responders are given the support they need to communicate, and to plan for new technologies.
  • Special Teams - IBHS supports local jurisdictions in creating teams to respond to special incidents. Idaho now has capable bomb squads, hazardous material response teams, technical rescue teams and incident management teams that are ready to respond across the state or the nation as needed. As a result of the work done across Idaho, the number of hazardous materials incidents has declined steadily to the lowest point in nearly ten years.
  • Public Information Emergency Response Team - The PIER Team is a valuable state resource providing shared subject matter expertise as it relates to public information and outreach for public safety and emergency preparedness issues in Idaho. The PIER team, comprised of public information officers from State agencies, meets quarterly.


The Idaho Emergency Operations Center is always ready to activate in support of incidents around the state. 
  • IDEOC Reservist Training - The Idaho Emergency Operations Center (IDEOC) Reservist program training is a continuing effort to train and prepare community volunteers to function in the IDEOC. IBHS now has 50 active reservists. For more information on IBHS visit our Web site at
IBHS Regional Response Team 7 from Idaho Falls Fire Department takes part in a hazardous materials exercise. 
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Recent Appointments:


Children Risk Task Force

Tahna Barton - Twin Falls

Jennifer Bergin - Twin Falls

Miren Unsworth - Kuna 


Developmental Disabilities Council 

Colleen Sisk - Hayden

Dr. Julie Fodor - Moscow 


Dormitory Housing Commission -- CWI
Keith Bird - Meridian

EMS Physician Commission
Dr. Curtis Sandy - Pocatello

Honey Advertising Commission
Jay Miller - Blackfoot

Perm. Bldg Fund Advisory Council
Cindy Bateman - Meridian

Physical Therapy Licensure Board
Gladys Schroeder - Boise

Michael Jensen - Boise