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Candidates for May 19 election introduced


What is your vision of the county over the next four years?

Robert Swainston: I think that it is important that we continue to build on the strong community values that we already have. We need to have smart growth that works for our residents that are here, and allows others that want to share our values to move here. We need to be business friendly and help our existing businesses to thrive and allow businesses to locate here that would benefit our community. I also feel like it is very important to protect our agricultural roots.

Carl Wheeler - I would like to continue to see the county running and moving forward with honesty and integrity that will keep Franklin County a family oriented place, a place we can call home and be proud to be a citizen of.

What are the issues facing our community right now, and in the future?

Robert Swainston: In light of what is going on now, the COVID-19 virus is the biggest issue right now, but moving to the future issues of growth, the courthouse, a balanced budget, keeping tax increases to a minimum and protecting our current values and community are going to be the things we need to take care of.

Carl Wheeler: I think some of our main issues right now facing our community is growth. In order to keep up with the continued growth it is imperative that we can be prepared for it. Some of the things I would like to focus on for the future are the remodel of the courthouse, improvements to the fairgrounds, and the cannery.

What are your plans to handle those issues?

Robert Swainston: — With the COVID-19 virus, I think that it is important that we be smart about protecting ourselves, but it is important that we get back to work and get the economy and employment levels back to pre-COVID-19 levels. I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all solution to this problem. I think that each county knows their citizens and challenges better than anybody and decisions should be made at those levels.

-Keep a balanced budget, while continue to keep taxes low and still provide excellent services to the county.

-Growth is happening and will continue. We need to have good ordinances in place that allow for smart growth that protect our values and agricultural roots. We need to protect our open spaces, and protect our access to the public lands that surround us.

- We need to be business friendly and provide economic incentives that make sense to lure desirable businesses to our community.

-We have to find a way to make the courthouse ADA compliant without breaking the bank. We need to do this on our terms, before we are forced to and the price tag gets too large.

Carl Wheeler: We need to think through and look at all options before we make decisions on these things so we can keep our county heading in the right direction. I feel fortunate to have a cannery in our county especially in the times we are seeing now; I feel we need to help keep the cannery up and operating. This is a great asset to have for our community.

Why should the public vote for you?

Robert Swainston: In my first term as commissioner, I have fought tax increases and have fought hard to spend your tax dollars wisely. I feel like I have helped Franklin County be a very desirable place to live and raise a family. I want to continue to protect our strong core values and this community that I love.

Carl Wheeler: I am honest, dependable, and willing to spend the time necessary to continue keeping Franklin County a great place to live, work, and raise a family.


What is your vision for the Sheriff’s Office for the next four years?

David Fryar: My vision for the office and for the entire county is the same as it always has been. We serve all those who live here and those that are passing through with proper response and respect. As we do this, we will always meet challenges. We will see growth and crime. This is a very fluid business.

In law enforcement things will always change rapidly. We will continue to meet those changes and challenges by proactively seeking the technology, training, and equipment we need to make our vision a reality. We have done this in the past very well and will continue to do it moving forward. Above all, every representative of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office must remember and demonstrate the core values of humanity in all that we do. We care for one another, and hope to foster that culture in the entire community.

Mike Wilson: My vision for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office during the next four years has many parts. First and foremost, we need to have 24/7 deputy coverage. The four-hour gap in coverage is the “status quo” that must be done away with. Public relations have always been a large part of my service. I would like to see the sheriff’s office come together as one strong cohesive unit. I would like the department to build positive connections, through compassion and service with the citizens of this community. We need enhanced training and policing methods. More deputies need to be hired. Equipment needs to be purchased and maintained. Inter-agency agreements need to be built upon and secured with surrounding areas. We are living in an ever-changing world and we need to be ahead of the curve, not behind it. Over the last eight years of living here, I have seen new homes, neighborhoods and businesses entering this great county but have not seen the needed change in the sheriff’s office. We need to anticipate even further growth and be ready for it.

What do I think are the main issues facing our community right now? And, in the future:

David Fryar: We learned in 2019 that our community is not immune to many of the same issues that happen in more populated places. The things that some may have thought ‘wouldn’t happen here,’ happened here. We experienced and investigated a very violent homicide. Two of our good deputies were involved in an officer-involved shooting. Those deputies showed professionalism and courage when it mattered most. We have trained and prepared for these issues and we will continue to meet them honorably. Any of the terrible things that are going on in the world can happen here. Among these challenges are drug issues, crimes against children, theft, and domestic disputes. The weight and responsibility of preparing the office and the community to meet these challenges has kept me up at night, but I feel confident to say we will meet them as we always have because we are prepared. I know that our community will always pull together and succeed. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office has felt great support from the community throughout these potentially polarizing times and this means a great deal to us.

Mike Wilson: The main issues facing Franklin County right now, are in many ways, the same as those facing our nation as a whole. Cyber crime in all its evil forms are flooding everywhere, whether it is financial scams, identity theft or horrific sex crimes. It’s no secret that Franklin County faces a drug problem, as does most of the country. Drug issues always cause a ripple effect of domestic violence, assaults and theft. With the rapidly growing popularity of ATV/ UTV’s we need to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to ensure the safety of everyone enjoying our beautiful outdoors. For far too long, law enforcement and society as a whole have been playing defense in these areas. However there are many groups working together to be on the offensive and we need to be part of that.

What is my plan to handle those issues:

David Fryar: I can say that our plan moving forward will be much of the same, as we can be proud of the way that we handled unexpected challenges in 2019 and the years preceding. We were able to arrest and bring to justice the homicide suspect. That only could have happened with hard work and a cooperative effort with any and all agencies available to help us. One of the goals I had eight years ago was to ensure all emergency agencies in our community worked more closely together and in a cooperative effort. This cooperation and effective communication across agency lines is imperative to best possible outcomes. We have seen that happen. I have great respect for all of our first responders and am honored to work alongside them. We have maximized our training as the budget has allowed. This has required some innovation and flexibility, but we have met the task. We have trained successfully in-house. This training is imperative. I want our deputies and staff to feel confident and prepared to meet any issue imaginable. One way we have maximized our preparations within a small department is having our deputies become specialists in specific areas. They then bring that knowledge to the rest of our department. That said, the best plan to handle any potential challenges will be to continue cohesive efforts among our office and others that we work with. We have an incredible wealth of resources amongst us that we must be certain to access.

Mike Wilson: The only way to handle these issues is to be ahead of the game! During the time that I worked for Clinton City, Utah, we had a population explosion in a few short years. Once changes came in to our town, it went from a little sleepy community to a bustling town very quickly. We were so far behind on the number of officers needed and it was very hard playing catch up. It was difficult trying to handle all the new traffic, as well as the civil, domestic and cyber crimes. It was a struggle trying to hire new officers and allocate equipment and training. I’ve been through this and I just want to be on top of things. I don’t really want to see our community get too big, but we are behind the curve right now with how many officers we have per 1,000 people. I will look into grants to bring more officers, better training and life-saving equipment. We will see a decrease in crime and in drug problems, through a partnership of the community and the department. If we don’t set goals and work on this, we will be further behind the curve and it will cost this community a lot more money in the end. I will have officers on duty 24/7 and I will put an end to the gap in coverage the very first month. I will work with every deputy and employee to serve you with respect and professionalism. I will work with each great city in Franklin County to see that you are not just heard, but served. I will work with the all elected officials, both city and county, to bring about these needed changes. I will be looking for any and all grants that will ease the financial burden that sometimes comes with change. I will not ask anything of our wonderful dedicated employees in the FCSO that I myself would not do.

Why should the public vote for me?

David Fryar: I guess this is the part where we are supposed to talk up all of our accomplishments. This can be uncomfortable for me. I think most of you already know me. I have been involved with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office for nearly 40 years; 34 of those years have been spent as a full time deputy, chief deputy and sheriff. I was born here and all but 10 years of my life, have lived here. With the help of this entire community, my dear wife Tina and I have raised all of our five children here. I am an Idaho certified police officer. I have received the highest level of certification from the Idaho Peace Officers Standards and Training Council, the Executive Certificate. I am a graduate of the FBI command college, I have thousands of hours of training, and I have acted as a POST instructor. I served as president of our regional sheriff’s association. I have been very active in this community my entire life in professional, personal, and religious capacities. Most importantly, those experiences have brought me to know so closely so many of you. The real reason you should vote for me is because I know you! I have served with this community. I have shared in your achievements and have spent many hours with many of you in your hard times. I love our great county and the wonderful people who live here. I have the greatest investment in the community and will be honored to serve a third term as your sheriff. I will continue being me.

Mike Wilson: I would ask the amazing citizens of Franklin County to vote for me to bring needed change. I have been blessed to serve my fellow citizens for 22 years in law enforcement and was taught from my youth to serve others whenever the opportunity arises and I have tried to do just that. I’m fluent in Spanish. I’m an FBI Certified Hostage Negotiator and Crisis Intervention Officer, FTO officer, POST instructor for firearms (handgun, shotgun, patrol rifle, precision rifle) Advanced instructor in firearms, POST instructor for Spanish introduction for officers, ACT (hand to hand combat instructor), TASER instructor, firearms armorer, concealed weapons instructor. My wonderful family has lived here for eight years, however I have been visiting and enjoying Franklin County since I was 12 years old. We used to visit my sister, Debra Sharp, often and enjoy the rodeo, bed races and all of the other fun events. I have a lot more that eight years of love for Franklin County. I love hunting, fishing and hiking in the mountians. I love my family and friends. I love America; I love and sustain the Constitution of the United States of America. I will do everything in my power to help keep you safe, prepare for the future and maintain your rights and freedoms.


Robert Swainston: 208-339-0900, roberts@fcidaho.us

Carl Wheeler: 208-252-0626, or 208-427-0000

Dave Fryar: 208-852-2142, davefryar@gmail.com

Mike Wilson: Facebook page “VOTE Mike Wilson for Franklin County Sheriff” or mikewilsonforsheriff.blogspot.com.

Presto disinfects plant after employee tests positive for COVID-19

Presto Products in Lewiston, Utah, closed for a thorough disinfection on Monday, April 6, after learning an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The company employs a significant percentage of its employees from Franklin County.

“The safety and health of our employees and customers is our number one concern,” said Katie Porter, a spokesperson for Reynolds, the eastern company that owns Presto.

She said the Lewiston plant is expected to resume operations for the evening shift Thursday, April 9, after the cleaning. Employees who were scheduled to work during the period of closure will be paid for their shifts, said Porter.

The employee who tested positive for COVID-19, hasn’t been in the plant since March 27 due to being on vacation. “Out of caution, we decided to temporarily close the plant for a complete cleaning. We engaged a professional cleaning company that specializes in this service to ensure our employees have a safe environment when they return,” she stated on Wednesday morning.

This is the second case at the facility. The first case was reported on March 26. That person worked with four people, some of whom reside in Franklin County. The company asked those four employees, and a fifth employee who might have had contact with the employee who tested positive for COVID-19, to go home and quarantine themselves, per the directions of the health department. None of those employees developed symptoms of COVID-19.

“The two employees (who tested positive) do not work closely together, so we believe that the cases are not related. Additional cleaning was completed following the first case. Because the first employee-only accessed a few areas of the plant, we were able to close off those areas for cleaning without closing the entire plant,” states Porter.

No other employees had contact with the vacationing second employee who tested positive, so none were asked to quarantine themselves.

“As an essential business, we are following CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines for prevention, including handwashing, increased cleaning and sanitation, and physical distancing,” Porter stated. Working around food-grade products, the plant already maintains a high standard of sanitary practices.


As things change daily due to the effect the coronavirus has in our FRANKLIN COUNTY community, they will be posted here. Please contact us (208-852-0155 or copy@prestoncitizen.com) if you have an event that has been postponed or canceled or, if you need help or have ideas or services that can help others. We will share them here on a daily basis.

Monday, April 13

• Idaho is reporting 1,453 verified cases of COVID-19 and 33 deaths. No cases have been confirmed in Franklin County. The state is again reporting the number of cases per county. No cases have been confirmed in Franklin County. Other counties with confirmed cases include Bonner (4), Kootenai (45), Latah (3), Nez Perce (20), Idaho (3), Adams (1), Valley (2), Washington (1), Payette (9), Gem (9), Canyon (161), Owyhee (4), Ada (529), Elmore (16), Camas (1), Blaine (458), Lincoln (15), Minidoka (6), Gooding (5), Jerome (30), Twin Falls (79), Cassia (9), Power (2), Bannock (5), Caribou (1), Bingham (2), Bonneville (14), Custer (2), Fremont (2), Jefferson (4), Madison (5), Teton (6).

• Cache County has confirmed 36 cases of COVID-19.

Sunday, April 12

• Idaho is reporting 1,426 verified cases of COVID-19 and 27 deaths.

• Cache County has confirmed 33 cases of COVID-19.

Saturday, April 11

• Idaho is reporting 1,407 verified cases of COVID-19 and 27 deaths.

• Cache County has confirmed 33 cases of COVID-19.

Friday, April 10

• Idaho is reporting 1,396 verified cases of COVID-19 and 25 deaths.

• Cache County has confirmed 30 cases of COVID-19.

Thursday, April 9

• Idaho is reporting 1,353 verified cases of COVID-19 and 24 deaths.

• Cache County has confirmed 29 cases of COVID-19.

Wednesday, April 8

• Idaho is reporting 1,232 verified cases of COVID-19 and 18 deaths.

• Cache County has confirmed 28 cases of COVID-19.

Tuesday, April 7

• Idaho is reporting 1,210 verified cases of COVID-19 and 15 deaths.

• Cache County has confirmed 23 cases of COVID-19.

•Shreiber Foods donated some N95 masks to Franklin County Medical Center.

• Heritage Home has temporarily banned visitors from its facilities.