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Coming Up: 
March 2nd    
Governor Otter will participate
 in the Fluor INL waste removal celebration  at 10 a.m., in Idaho Falls.

 March 8th

Governor Otter and First Lady Lori Otter receive the annual report from the Silver Sage Girl Scouts at 3:30 p.m., Governor's Ceremonial Office.

March 9th Governor Otter will present the "Mother of the Year" award at 10:30 a.m., in the Ceremonial Office 

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Tour of Magic Valley and Mini-Cassia Flooding

I was joined by Lieutenant Governor Brad Little and House Speaker Scott Bedke on February 17th to survey the flooding that's been so devastating in southern Idaho's Magic Valley and Mini-Cassia areas. We viewed the destruction from the flooding and spoke with local residents hard hit by this winter's storms. I've ordered two Disaster Emergency Proclamations since January 21st, providing additional State assistance for the flood area. Thirteen counties have been included in disaster proclamations so far, and I once again ask all Idahoans to pull together and help their neighbors through this weather emergency.
  • Read the Disaster Emergency Proclamation here and here.  
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NGA/RGA Meetings in Washington D.C.

I participated in the National Governors Association (NGA) and Republican Governors Association winter meetings in Washington, D.C. this past week. I worked with governors from across the country on ways to more effectively and efficiently administer responsible public polices for our states. I want to thank Vice President Mike Pence for meeting with me during my stay in Washington. I served in Congress with Mike, and it was a great privilege to meet with him in his new role. We discussed some of the concerns Idahoans have about President Trump's policies, including health care, immigration, refugee resettlement and drug enforcement. The governors also heard from President Trump himself and from some of his Cabinet members, including new Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.  
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Cybersecurity Roundtable in Washington D.C.
On Friday, February 17th, for the second time this year I was a part of an executive roundtable panel discussion in Washington, D.C. In January a Senate roundtable focused on how states are dealing with Medicaid. This time the subject was cybersecurity. The discussion with governors from throughout the country focused on recent advancements in the field of cybersecurity. It strengthened my resolve to improve Idaho's cybersecurity efforts. I recently issued an Executive Order implementing recommendations from the Cybersecurity Task Force led by Lieutenant Governor Little. And I'm proclaiming March to be "Cybersecurity Advancement Month" to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity as we learn how to protect ourselves from the threats of financial crimes, infrastructure disruption and even terrorist attacks at the hands of hackers.     
  • Read the Executive Order here.
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Idaho Agricultural Summit
On February 21st I attended the 23rd annual Larry Branen Idaho Ag Summit in Nampa, where I presented the five winners of the 2017 "Governor's Award for Excellence in Agriculture." Congratulations to Doug Gross, Steve Wilder, brothers Doug and Art McIntosh, Sid Cellan and Garth Sasser. Their continued leadership and innovation in the field of agriculture has become the model for success in the industry. I want to thank all those who were nominated for this year's awards and applaud their commitment to excellence. I couldn't be prouder of all the hard work that's gone into developing Idaho's agricultural ecosystem. We have the right people in the right jobs keeping Idaho on track as a world leader on the cutting edge of agricultural advancements and production. All our farmers, ranchers and other ag producers and processors deserve our gratitude and respect.  
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Black History Month

On February the 16th I proclaimed February "Black History Month" in Idaho as we celebrate equality and social justice throughout the state. Idaho has always been a place of acceptance and inclusion, and the history of the African-American culture in Idaho is one of togetherness and integration. I hope all Idahoans took the time during February to remind ourselves how fortunate we are to live in a free nation filled with opportunity, where we all can live, work and raise our families in peace. I encourage everyone to visit the Idaho Black History Museum in Boise to view the rich legacy of African-American culture in our great state.
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Youth of the Year

I was very impressed with the latest recipients of "Youth of the Year" awards presented by the Idaho Alliance of Boys and Girls Club. On February 22nd, I met Cassidy Littleton of the Magic Valley Boys and Girls Clubs, Destiny Huston of the Lewis Clark clubs, Fatima Fernandez of Ada County, Hope Newman of Kootenai County, Ivan Lomeli of Nampa and Nicholas Parkinson of Mountain Home Air Force Base. I can say with a great deal of confidence that Idaho's next generation of stars is looking very bright. All the Youth of the Year recipients were extremely engaging and energetic as they spoke candidly about their achievements and hard work. Congratulations to all the winners, and keep up the good work!
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First Lady Focus 

United Way's Women United group works tirelessly throughout the Treasure Valley to do their part in providing hygiene and nonperishable food items to youths and families.  There are more than 4,500 homeless students in the Treasure Valley due to the number of families unable to meet their financial needs. In an effort to keep these pantries stocked, United Way hosts the Women's United School Pantry Project, urging more women to get involved.

According to the Women United group, you can get involved by hosting your own collection drive within your neighborhoods, churches or schools. You also can volunteer to pick up and deliver items to schools as needed or lend your special skills to help make an impact for local youth. Or you can simply spread the word about the School Pantry Project by encouraging others to get involved!
The project takes the below items year round.

Food Items
  • Shelf-stable milk
  • Dried nuts
  • Dried fruits
  • Oatmeal
  • Cereal
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Crackers
Clothing/Hygiene (All K-8 sizes)
  • Socks
  • New shoes
  • Tooth Paste
  • Shampoo
  • Bar Soap
  • Toothbrushes
  • Razors
  • Lotion
  • Dry laundry detergent
  • Dental Floss
  • Feminine supplies
To help support children and families by getting involved with United Way's School Pantry Project, you can email

Keep up the great work, Women United!
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Agency Spotlight: 
Lottery Commission
We say at the Idaho Lottery that every play pays, whether it is in the form of prizes to players, commissions earned by retailers, or by the dividends earned by beneficiaries - Idaho's Public Schools and the Permanent Building Fund. In every community in Idaho, no matter how large or small, there is always someone benefitting from the Idaho Lottery.
Twenty-four miles from the nearest freeway and more than fifty miles from the nearest stop sign or traffic light is a small two-room schoolhouse that sits among the sage brush and prairie grass.  There are only two roads that lead to towns far away from the Arbon Valley in southeastern Idaho, but here, the most modern building is the school run by long-term Principal Robin Claunch.  
There is no grocery store, no restaurant, no gas station, and no Idaho Lottery retail locations - just ranches in the sparsely populated valley.
With only 18 students, its annual distribution of Lottery dividend money from the Department of Education is only a few hundred dollars.  By participating in the Lottery's annual Scratch for Schools program, Robin and the entire staff of Arbon Valley have frequently won more than their annual distribution.  It took several years for them to save up enough of their winnings to pay for the biggest update to their grounds - a new concrete playground.
"We used to have asphalt, but the cracks were growing deeper and wider each year.  The kids called it the Grand Canyon," said Robin during a recent visit to the school.  "It wasn't safe for them to play outside on the playground."
All that changed when they put in a new playground surface tough enough to endure even the coldest, harshest of Idaho's winters for many years to come.  
"Most of the money came from Scratch for Schools," Robin said.  "It's beautiful; thank you."
(Pictures of school and playground)
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Aeronautics Advisory Board      

John Blakley - Nampa


Arts Commission                            

Jeanne Meyers - Ketchum


Bond Bank Authority                     

Seth Grigg - Boise


Brand Board      

Thomas Basabe - Grandview


Charter School Commission       

Kitty Kunz - Boise


Cosmetology Board                       

Lindy High - Boise

           Linda Swope - Twin Falls


Criminal Justice Commission    

Lynn Luker - Boise

           Melissa Wintrow - Boise


Dentistry Board               

Dr. Dan Davidson - Dalton Gardens


Denturitry Board             

Pamela Miller - Nampa


Food Quality Assurance Institute            

Bob Naerebout - Twin Falls

           Jim Patrick - Twin Falls

           Phylis King - Boise

           Janie Ward-Engelking - Boise

           Judy Boyle - Midvale


Juvenile Justice Commission    

Anna M. Rodriguez - Moscow


Magistrates Commission--First District

Mayor Mac Pooler - Kellogg


Magistrates Commission--Second District          

Robert Coleman - Lewiston


Petroleum Tank Storage Fund  

Megan Blanksma - Hammett


Public Defense Commission      

Shellee Smith Daniels - Malad City


Public Safety & Security Information Sys.

     Jeff Lavey - Meridian


 Public Safety Communications System 

Carmen Boeger - Caldwell



Colleen Showalter - Boise


Sheep & Goat Health Board      

Dr. Marie Bulgin - Caldwell


State Historical Records Advisory Board              

Jeffrey Bryant - Idaho Falls

           Jennifer A. Stevens - Boise


State Insurance Fund    

Todd Lakey - Nampa


Suicide Prevention Council

           Carmen Kay Stanger - Boise


Tax Commission              

            Tom Katsilometes - Meridian
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