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Coming Up:

Wednesday, March 11

I will sign the American Red Cross Month Proclamation, 2:30 p.m., Governor Otter's Ceremonial Office, Boise

 

Thursday, March 12

I will speak at the Clif Bar Groundbreaking Event, 2:30 p.m., Middlebury Way and Eldridge Avenue, Twin Falls

 

Friday, March 13

First Lady Lori Otter will be the Mystery Reader in Mrs. Will's Kindergarten Class, 9:50 a.m., 12435 W. Ustick Road, Boise,


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Meeting with Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James 

I joined local leaders, members of our congressional delegation, and the mayor of Boise on February 19th in meeting with Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James to talk about the retirement of the A-10 Warthog. This fighter jet has been a versatile tool in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and has saved countless American lives. It is an effective vehicle for providing close air support for our ground troops and air strikes on strategic military targets. I am a strong advocate of continuing to use the A-10. Currently there are over 30 of these planes stationed at the Idaho Air National Guard's Gowen Field in Boise. Secretary James said the Air Force will take our concerns into consideration and keep us updated on the status of the decision. If we can't keep the A-10s, we're asking the Air Force to at least provide a replacement flying mission for Gowen Field to continue taking advantage of one of America's great military assets.  

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Coffee with the Governor

 
The morning of February 23rd marked my official return to the Capitol following recent hip surgery. To make sure I was immediately accessible to our legislators, I held a "Coffee with the Governor" event in the Garden Level below the Capitol. That gave me a chance to jump right back into the legislative session, talk to everyone about what's going on in our Statehouse and visit with many friends. It was nice seeing all these people and chatting with them after being away from the Capitol.

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Boys and Girls Club Idaho Youth of the Year


On Wednesday February 25th I had the opportunity to meet with the Boys and Girls Club of Idaho. The bright students there work tirelessly for their communities, and their advisors are making sure to guide them in the direction of citizenship, scholarship and leadership. The Idaho Youth of the Year award is a premier recognition program for Boys and Girls Club members, promoting service to Club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. Finalists for this year's award presented speeches to a panel of judges who chose the winner. Thank you to all the members of the Boys and Girls Clubs in Idaho for their hard work for our communities. Thanks to the students who came to visit me at the Capitol and congratulations to Wreny Blick - a senior at Canyon Ridge High School in Twin Falls - for winning the Idaho Youth of the Year award. And best of luck to Wreny in the national competition.
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Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 


Last year my office issued a proclamation for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month to Lara Ames, who was bravely battling the disease herself and wanted to raise as much awareness as possible. Sadly, Lara passed away from her cancer last year. To carry on her mission and passion, Lara's mother Linda Cawely asked my office to once again proclaim March to be Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is a preventable type of cancer, but only if people get screened. That's why it's become the third most diagnosed form of cancer in the United States. Every minute someone is diagnosed with colorectal cancer and every ten minutes someone dies. But 90 percent of people who receive screenings for early diagnosis are able to beat the cancer. This March I encourage everyone in Idaho to learn about colorectal cancer and what precautions they can take to combat this disease. I thank Linda for continuing to raise awareness - and save lives. 

 

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Idaho Energy Connected Conference
 I was invited to speak on March 4th at the Idaho Energy Connected Conference at the Zions Bank building in Boise. This conference is an effort to promote energy conservation, innovation, and transmission in our great state. Reliable and affordable energy is essential to maintaining and expanding Idaho's economy. Our Idaho universities also have been working with the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission or IGEM to promote new research initiatives at our schools in partnership with private sector businesses interested in commercializing the work of our scientists and researchers. Companies like Avista, Micron and Agri-Beef have joined IGEM and are working to help our universities become incubators for the next generation of consumer products and scientific breakthroughs.
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Idaho Day
The First Lady and I helped start a great new tradition on Wednesday, March 4th, with the celebration of the first-ever Idaho Day at the Capitol in Boise. It was a great opportunity to reflect and honor what makes Idaho so incredible. We had several dance performances, singers, and even a cowboy poet in the Lincoln Auditorium. I especially want to thank Representative Linden Bateman of Idaho Falls for all his efforts to make Idaho Day a reality. The Idaho State Historical Society went all out in organizing the event. And thanks to all of you who participated in the celebration! Miss Lori and I look forward to celebrating Idaho Day with the rest of you for many years to come. Happy Idaho Day! 
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First Lady's Focus

Reading and literacy are very near and dear to the heart of First Lady Lori Otter. Miss Lori has been visiting schools around Idaho and sharing her books with students. On March 2nd she had the pleasure of visiting Rolling Hills Public Charter School, located in Boise, Idaho. Rolling Hills was kicking off their Idaho Day Festivities and celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday. The students were dressed as their favorite storybook characters, the choir sang, and one student gave an inspiring speech about why she loves Idaho.

 

Miss Lori shared the historical information that lead to Idaho's first commemorative "Idaho Day" celebration, and read from her Ida Tours The 44 book. After sharing interesting facts about Idaho's 44 counties, she encouraged students to keep reading and make their school work a priority. Miss Lori left each of the students a copy of her Ida Visits 150 Years of Idaho book.

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Spotlight Agency:
Idaho Office of Energy Resources 

 


The Idaho Office of Energy Resources is intricately involved in the siting of two major transmission projects across southern Idaho, Gateway West and Boardman to Hemingway. The Gateway West Transmission Line Project, which spans from Glenrock, Wyoming to the Hemingway substation near Marsing, Idaho, has a Record of Decision issued by the Bureau of Land Management up to the Twin Falls area. The BLM deferred its decision on routes between Twin Falls and Hemmingway to analyze issues surrounding the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey. The OER was an integral part of the negotiations between property owners, the proponents of the project, BLM staff, and other interested stakeholders through the Resource Advisory Council process. From that process, consensus routes were selected, and BLM is moving forward with its NEPA process. A supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement will likely be available in June 2015, with a final decision by 2016.

 

The Boardman to Hemingway Project, also known as B2H, spans the distance between Boardman, Oregon, and the Hemmingway substation near Marsing, Idaho. After a four year delay, the BLM issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement in December 2014. Comments to the BLM are due on March 19, 2015. Both projects benefit the state by helping to integrate intermittent renewable energy sources into Idaho generation mix, and improving the reliability of the electricity grid. The OER is coordinating the State of Idaho's comments on both projects for affected state agencies.

     

For more information on these transmission line projects, please visit the OER website at www.energy.idaho.gov or email us at john.chatburn@oer.idaho.gov

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Recent Appointments:

 

3rd Dist. Magistrates Comm.
Gordon Petrie - Emmett

Basin Environ. Imp. Comm.
Marc Eberlein - Post Falls

Dentistry Board
Nathan Catmull - Heyburn

Electronic Recording Comm.
Jay Edwards - Weiser
Joseph Larsen - Burley

Energy Resources Authority
George Eskridge - Dover

Health & Welfare Board
Darrell Kerby - Bonners Ferry
James Giuffre - Boise
Stephen Weeg - Pocatello
Robert Roberge - Caldwell

Health Insurance Exchange Bd.
Candace Sweigart - Eagle
Jerry Edgington - Boise

Health Quality Planning Comm.
Ted Epperly - Meridian
David Pate - Boise
John Rusche - Lewiston
Richard Rainey - Boise
Robert Polk - Boise
Angela Beauchaine - Boise

Idaho Liquor Division
Jeff Anderson - Boise

Idaho Rural Partnership
Lori Otter - Star

Medal of Honor Comm.
Bryan Taylor - Caldwell

P.O.S.T. Council
Jan Bennetts - Eagle

Public Utilities Commission
Kristine Sasser Raper - Boise

Tax Commission
Elliot Werk - Boise

Workforce Development Council
Sherri Ybarra - Mountain Home
Johnathon Baker - Pocatello