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Area programs discussed in Franklin City

Franklin City Council welcomed Anna Liquin to their Oct. 9 meeting. She represents the Cache County chapter of CAPSA in recognition of their KNOW CAPSA Campaign for October.

The Community Abuse Prevention Service Agency offers 24-hour support phone line, emergency shelter, casework, rape exam advocacy, prevention education, and clinical therapy, all free of charge to victims. Serving the Franklin, Rich and Cache counties, Liquin shared that 1,551 men, women, and children were assisted in 2018 by the program. One in three women and one in seven men are abused in Idaho and Utah each year. Pamphlets explaining the community resources available may be picked up in the city offices.

Lisa Duekin-Goede, Coordinator of the Bear River Heritage Area, highlighted the goals and accomplishments of her organization. Created in 2000, the mission of the BRHA is to identify, preserve, and enhance cultural and natural heritage, and to support economic opportunities associated with the area. Of the 33 council members from all over the Bear River area, Susan Hawkes, Assistant Curator of the Franklin Relic Hall, is included. Duskin-Goede complimented Franklin on establishing a strong city identity for tourism and recognition. She also requested the city submit an endorsement to approve and adopt the Title IV National Bear River Heritage Area Act.

A $1,500 grant from Rocky Mountain Power was awarded to Franklin for Idaho Days 2020 according to director Nicole Nielson. Nielson is also applying to the State of Idaho and State Farm Insurance for additional funding for next year. The suggestion was made to invite the governor as a special guest in the 2020 celebration.

A motion was made to retire the city’s irreparable road sweeper. It will likely be auctioned, and will not be replaced immediately. In addition, a temporary transfer of $5,000 from the MMA Utility fund to the General fund will cover upcoming bills through December.

The Sheriff’s contract with the city will be reviewed after the first of the year.

Freezing temps end the harvest for most crops/gardens

When Wes Beutler heard that the weather was forecasted to drop below 20 degrees last week, he started harvesting his potato crop 24/7, as fast as he and his crew could.

Potatoes can handle some freezing temperatures, but not below 20 degrees, he said. A cold front brought rain and snow to Franklin County and nighttime temperatures as low as 14 degrees. Beutler grows potatoes on 640 acres in the Dayton area. Before the storm, he had about 50 percent harvested.

The potato crop, like many other crops in the area, were delayed last spring due to the rainy conditions. Then the last weekend in September, 3.6 inches of rain fell on his fields, preventing any harvesting until the ground had dried enough to put equipment on it.

”We were behind from the get-go,” he said.

Despite the freeze, Beutler said he only lost those potato exposed to the air, which was about 3% of his crop.

”We’re back to harvesting,” he said.

Across southeast Idaho, other harvesters were scrambling as well. In the Mud Lake area, potatoes growers lit bales of straw in their fields on fire to stave off the killing frost.

There’s stress in the air, but “farmers don’t panic too much,” said Lance Ellis, extension agent from Fremont County. “They are working very, very hard to try and get as much done as they possibly can. That’s all you can do. Panicking is not going to solve anything. A lot of them are hoping they can either get them dug (or) that this winter storm will come through (and won’t) damage the potatoes too badly. It would be best if they all could get the potatoes dug and in the cellars.”

John Hogge, area cereals educator for the University of Idaho Extension, said that should some potatoes be lost this harvest season, the markets will remain stable.

“It would take a natural disaster to cause an economic depression for any crop,” Hogge said. “We’ve had good yields on the crops this year.”