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Up close and personal

This big female has a passion for fashion as it prowled down the runway sporting a wide monitoring necklace to match its tan fall coat. Her image was caught on the stealth cam at Richard Shipley’s salt lick near Morgan Ridge up Maple Creek, mid-morning on Tues., Sept. 15. The following day, Dr. Bruce Kaiser walked out of Shipley’s cabin and saw a big male leap over the five-foot log fence surrounding the pavilion and sandbox. Zan Bowles, owner of Stateline Electric, confirmed that cougars have also been spotted in Sugar Creek.

COVID-19 claims first Franklin County life

The coronavirus has claimed its first life in Franklin County, states the Southeast Idaho Public Health office. A man in his 80s passed away Monday, Oct. 5, from the disease. To respect his family’s privacy, SIPH offered no additional details.

SIPH reports that 32 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Franklin County since Sept. 28. The percentage of local tests resulting in positive results reached a high of 50 percent on Sept. 7. The most recent results available were 20 percent positive on Sept. 25.

As of Oct. 5, Preston High School currently reports two active cases and 10 historical cases. Preston Junior high reports one active case and five historical cases. There has been one historical case at Oakwood Elementary.

West Side School District reports one current case. It is the district’s only case historically, said superintendent Spencer Barzee.

Kallie Peck named Miss Idaho Teen USA

Kallie Peck, 16, a junior at Preston High, has been named Miss Idaho Teen USA on Sept. 27, in Post Falls, Idaho.

The only daughter of Chris and Jenn Peck, of Franklin, and youngest of four siblings, Callie has dreamed of the title since she was a little girl, said Jean.

“The funny thing is that it is the first pageant she has ever done. She was planning on doing Miss Idaho Days, but then it got canceled,” she said.

When Kallie filled out the paperwork for this national pageant, she thought she was doing so for the 2021 competition. She went through the process, got approved and passed her interview.

“it was after that, we realized that (the pageant) was just in a couple months,” said Jean. “She was, ‘Oh my gosh, what have I done?’” But with her parents’ support, she went for it. “We just worked really hard and got her ready,” said her mother.

“I’m so proud of her,” said Chris. “She worked so hard. She is an incredible example to other girls. She has a desire to serve and to love and to help bring out the best in people,” said her father.

One of the things she did to prepare herself for public speaking and to reach another goal, that of being a motivational speaker, was to start a YouTube channel called “KallieP.”

“On it she talks to other girls about how important they are and tries to help them with feelings of self-doubt and to understand their value in this world,” said Chris.

Jenn agrees. “She has a gift to help people, mentor girls. She is a softie and a sweetheart. Girls just love her. She’s helped a lot of girls,” she said.

At Preston High, Kallie is a cheerleader. As a result of her new title Kallie is going to be putting on a cheer camp in Teton and will share her message of the dangers of social media and its effect on the self-confidence of young women. She will also be featured Wednesday morning, Oct. 7, on KIVI out of Boise via Zoom, as the new Miss Idaho Teen USA. Over the weekend, she will be singing the national anthem a the Professional Bull Riders event in Boise.

Kallie’s new title brings with it a full-time job for her parents in helping her full-fill her new role. “Oh, that’s a full time job I’m going to have, but it’s ok. I’m excited for her. It will take what she wants to do and spread her message,” said Jenn, who noted that the community’s support was key to her success.

“She had some amazing sponsors in the community that were so kind,” said Jenn. They are Mayfield Lane Homes & co., Cornerstone Realty (Mike Hansen), KLIM, Dave & Brenda Arnold, Nile. Leavitt Photography, Kelsie Ogden Hair & makeup, John & Tammy Fuit, Magnolia West (Erin Munson), GLO Mobile, Jim & Ammie Knaphus, West Motor (Mike Porter), John & Barbara Packer, Ron Keller Tire, House of Pop, Nicole Patterson, Impulse OffRoad, Ted & Nicole Peck, Poole & Willis Orthodontics, and Deanza King.

“Your support has meant the world to me!” Kallie wrote to her supporters. “Thank you for believing in this small town girl and encouraging me to chase my dreams. I couldn’t have accomplished this without you! I’m forever grateful for your generosity and plan to pay forward all that I’ve been given,” she said.

County approves subdivision in Whitney area

The Franklin County Commissioner meeting opened with an inquiry by Scott Beckstead about information concerning the right of way associated with the old OP Skaggs Property on State Street in Preston. He was directed to the City of Preston who owns the property.

The commissioners approved the county bills and the minutes before moving on. They approved the continuation of the Computer Arts contract with no changes and a request for reimbursement for the airport runway project, the cost of which is split between the city and the county. A resolution 2020-09-28 for FCMC Line of Credit was again tabled.

Troy Moser came before the commissioners about road maintenance as well as some upcoming items that will need consideration at a later date such as a location for a maintenance building that Direct Communications needs to build near the current gravel pit and a new paver.

Stacy Rindlisbaker clarified some items in a new healthcare plan for county employees and offered some vision program options for them to choose from.

The commissioners approved a request by Sheriff Dave Fryar to hire a full-time dispatch officer and the purchase of a new fingerprint machine which is fully reimbursed by the state.

Isaac Kennedy and his father, Joe Kennedy, came before the commissioners to get approval for a Class 1 subdivision at about 1250 East 800 South, Preston. After asking a few questions of Isaac the commissioners approved the subdivision which has two one-acre parcels and one three-acre parcel.

The next commissioner meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 13 instead of Monday, Oct. 12, due to Columbus Day.

Preston City begins changes at Craner Field

With the purchase of Craner Field, Preston City has begun plans to convert the field to create more recreational opportunities. On a first come, first serve basis, persons interested in sod from selected areas of the field may contact Councilman Thomas for information on cutting and collecting that sod. He can be reached through the office at 208-852-1817.

At the council’s Sept. 28 meeting, a swale bond refund was approved for Shad Moser at two properties: 389 East 100 South and 156 N. 400 East.

At the request of Mayor Dan Keller, Tucker Hough, a recruiter at the National Guard Armory in Preston, introduced Kyle Dunn, son fo Louis Jerry Hampton, and a recent enlistee, who shared with the council benefits he has enjoyed since singing up.

“I get to serve my country, and enlisting is very beneficial to help with college,” he said. Furthermore, there are “great benefits with insurance, a good signing bonus” and the job training, he said. “So when you get out you can jump right in with discipline and leadership you need. You can’t beat it. I’ve loved it so far,” he said. Those who enlist are immediately involved in the once-per-month drills which take place on a weekend.

Councilman Dodge said he enjoyed his time in the National Guard, several years ago when his family was young. “I got to shoot a lot of cool weapons and blow up a lot of things. The schooling is a great benefit,” he said.

Persons interested in more information on the National Guard in Preston may contact Hough at 208-221-8237, he said.

The council unanimously approved a development agreement and a final development plan for the Homestead Country Haven PUD at 214 West 100 North, noting that the installation of a sewer lift station is part of the developer’s responsibilities.

Councilman Thomas also noted that a fence around the development’s retention pond should be suggested.”It is not a requirement, but I’d sure like to suggest that for public safety,” he said.

It was also noted that the development is planning more than the required one visitor’s parking space per each two resident parking spaces.

It was also noted that the City is required to provide 40 pounds water pressure at the water meter, and that engineers from Forsgren and Associates tested the design and that assured that there will be that there will definitely not be lower than 40 pounds of pressure in the line.

Variances were then approved for Curtis and Judy Nelson, who are building an accessory building on their property at 110 South 100 East, as well as a barn to be built by Tom and Tarea Madsen at 520 North 800 East. The city noted that although Madsen’s proposed barn is very close to 900 East, which is on the city’s master plan, the mistaken construction of another house within that right-of-way will require the road to be altered if it is to be built one day.

“About three or four years ago, Noyes put in a home and it is right in the middle of where 900 East should be. Ninth East has never been abandoned. It either needs to be shifted to the west or abandoned. That’s why we thought it would be ok to go for this variance. We’ll worry about that road at a later date,” said Tyrell Simpson, city engineer.

The mistaken location of the home happened due the idea that the home was in the county at the time of the construction. It has since Benn determined that it is within the city’s limits.

With the city’s approval of using Southeastern Idaho Council of Governments (SEICOG) for the procurement grant for Preston’s Wastewater Administration Proposal, Amanda Collins of SEICOG advised the council that SEICOG will begin working for the $500,000 grant for the city to use towards construction of a new sewer treatment plant. The deadline for the grant proposal is Nov. 20. SEICOG’s fee for the service is 10 percent. The grant will pay Keller Associates for its work on the facility.

Collins said that if the grant is funded, it should be awarded at the end of 2020.

“We will make sure that we are on track to procure other funds. We hope to be on this for the entirety of the project. We would administrate for the totality of the project. Keep paperwork in line for reporting. When we did the waterline in from the tank into town, we got a grant for that. It included an income survey to qualify. That data is still good until next year.”

Preston City’s council then approved business licenses for Lakota Property Management Services, at 42 N. 100 West, run by James R. Mead. He will run a property management business out of home, which entails phone calls and going out to visit other properties.

“It doesn’t appear it will affect the home or neighborhood at all,” said city planner Shawn Oliverson.

A business license was also approved for Sparkling Clean Services, a home or business cleaning company run by Shauna Barrios, out of her home at 733 S. 200 West. “It complies with our home occupation code,” said Oliverson.

The city then voted to exchange a small portion of land with the new owners of the property which borders the land on which the city’s water tanks sit. When the property was surveyed, it was noted that the city’s fencing doesn’t lie on the property at all. “This is basically a boundary line adjustment,” said Simpson.

“It squares the property up for the Patiños (Manuel and Lorena Patiño) and the city, making it more useful for the city and them,” said city clerk Linda Acock.

The city then voted to have Keller and Associates conduct a study of the city’s streets, including whether there is sufficient signage, lighting and on the condition of the streets. The study is expected to take a year to complete. The city received a grant to complete the study from the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council (LHTAC).

Finally, the council determined that COVID-19 Relief Funds received by the city cannot be used to increase the size of the council room to improve social distancing capabilities. The city has not yet determined how those funds will be utilized.