Digging into History at Moscow High School

A team of University of Idaho archaeologists, university students, and local high school students are conducting a public excavation at Moscow High School. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (:56)


As the students and the archeologists dig, their hope is to find clues to the past. Here’s Professor Mark Warner of the UI’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology:

Mark Warner: “There were a bunch of houses here, going back to the 19th century, and the particular places we’re putting holes in the ground right now is to do a couple of things. Maybe, one, to get the history of the 80 years of the high school that’s been here, but two, if we’re lucky, getting the history of some of these houses that go back to the earliest settlement in Moscow.”


This public excavation in the latest such learning opportunity undertaken by the university scientists– recent stops have included the James Castle House in Boise. Always it’s with the intent of giving students and the public the opportunity to experience archaeology outside of the classroom.

The excavation will continue all this month at Moscow High School. The public is invited on Fridays and Saturdays.

I’m Glenn Mosley.

Posted September 15, 2019.

2016 coverage from the James Castle House excavation in Boise:




Mike Crapo’s Town Meetings

Idaho U.S. Senator Mike Crapo has been holding town meetings across Idaho during August and September, talking with Idahoans about their concerns. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (:53)


Senator Crapo says that wherever he goes to host his town meetings, he finds that Idahoans are very concerned, very aware, and well-informed on the issues:

Sen. Crapo: “I go away from every one of my town meetings, even though the discussion cannot be predicted before it happened– I go away from every one of them with a renewed respect for the people of Idaho, with my batteries recharged.”

Crapo previously held town meetings in all 200 of Idaho’s incorporated cities, and has now held meetings in 58 unincorporated areas of the state.

He says that some of the issues raised change over time– lately he’s been talking with residents about everything from China to robocalls– but Crapo says some issues remain the same. Idahoans, he says, are consistently concerned about incivility in government, growth in government, and the national debt.

I’m Glenn Mosley.

Posted September 5, 2019



UI Arena Seen as Example of Momentum in Mass Timber Industry

Mass timber construction is gaining momentum in the United States, as highlighted by the new sports arena being built by the University of Idaho. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (1:07)



When U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen visited the University of Idaho in June, she highlighted the use of mass timber in the new sports arena being built on the university’s Moscow campus:

Vicki Christiansen: “The development of mass timber, or wood-engineered timber, we can use much smaller diameter wood, that’s the products that really need to be thinned from the forests, and we can create it into something economical.”

Mass timber is a term used to describe a group of wood products formed by fastening or bonding smaller wood components to form prefabricated wood elements used as beams, columns, walls, and floors in buildings.

Christiansen says this is a critical time in the mass timber industry. She says a thriving mass timber market could help reduce excess vegetation in forests,  making for safer and more resilient communities, and she says it can support rural economic development.

The market for wood and other related forest products supports more than one million jobs, many in rural America. The Forest Service says that as these markets expand, so will the economic opportunities.

I’m Glenn Mosley.

Posted August 15, 2019



Funding School Facilities

Moscow Schools Superintendent Greg Bailey says it’s the thing he talks about lot.

“Right now we are one of the hardest states in the nation to pass a bond or to build facilities,” Bailey said. “You have a super majority but we also get very minimal funding from the state.

The superintendent brought the subject up again at a May 22 luncheon hosted by the Moscow Chamber of Commerce to provide a 2019 legislative review from Idaho District 5 legislators.


(Photo: Paul Kimmell, left, moderates the May 22 discussion between District 5 legislators (left to right) Sen. David Nelson, Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy, and Rep. Bill Goesling)

“I would really like to see our legislators start looking at that seriously,” Bailey said. “You look at the facilities in our communities– about the only place that’s passing these bonds for schools are the larger communities. As we’ve told a lot of people– our newest facility just turned 50 years old this past year. There’s a need.”

“This was in our Chamber survey, if you remember, about school facilities and how we fund those” Paul Kimmell of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Committee, said. “For the Chamber business community, this is a high priority, to figure this out.”


(Screen grab, Moscow Chamber of Commerce 2019 Legislative Priorities Survey, released December 2018)

“I actually think the superintendent from Moscow School District has the best idea of any I’ve heard,” State Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy (R-Genesee) said. “In that the state would put up some challenge dollars to help support facilities.

“I’ve spent my career as a fundraiser. Everybody likes to think that their dollar can be doubled. And so if there was a way that we could look at these facilities and have the state put up some money to be matched by the community… I think that even if you had a 60% bond…the mountain would be easier to climb if there was a match on the other side,” Nilsson Troy said.

“I think it’s really important to find different methods to fund our schools,”  Sen. David Nelson (D-Moscow) said.

“Since our Constitution was written a hundred and twenty some years ago, life has changed, and we have rural communities with really older schools that are hard to maintain, and we have new, growing communities where they have different problems on getting their schools built,” Nelson said.

The legislature deferred on having a special committee on facilities, Nelson said, in favor of Governor Brad Little’s task force on public education issues in the state.

“One step going forward is the Governor has appointed a new task force to set priorities on education, and I do know they’re taking that as one of their walking points,” Nelson said.

Governor Little announced the members of his new “Our Kids, Idaho’s Future” Task Force on May 15. The group is tasked with formulating a five-year blueprint “for improvement of and investment in Idaho’s K-12 public education system,” according to information from the Governor’s Office.

The task force members include teachers, school administrators, education stakeholders, business leaders, and a bipartisan group of legislators from across the state.

Jennifer Parkins, Board Chair, Genesee Joint School District and Idaho School Boards Association President, is on the task force.

Posted May 24, 2019



District 5 Lawmakers Look Back, and Ahead

by Glenn Mosley

Idaho Public Radio

Idaho District 5 legislators took a look back and a look ahead during a luncheon hosted by the Moscow Chamber of Commerce on May 22.


There were 522 bills introduced during the 2019 legislative session, along with another 67 resolutions, memorials, and proclamations, Paul Kimmell of the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee told the gathering. 331 of those bills were passed; 329 became law. Most of those take effect on July 1.

The 95 day session was the third longest in Idaho history, and the longest since 2009.

“We were there for a long time,” State Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy (R- Genesee) said. “We got grumpy with each other, I think, on the House side about day 70 to 75. So, we went twenty days too long.”


Among other topics, Nilsson Troy told the luncheon about her hemp legislation, which wasn’t passed, and the resolution supporting the idea of a 611 national suicide prevention crisis hotline, which did pass, and said she is very passionate about the way the wine industry is growing in the region and is proud to carry related legislation.

Nilsson Troy serves on the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, which recently held a three day interim meeting. “One of the things we started out with was a review of where our revenue collections are right now,” she said. “We’re $91 million behind on individuals income tax collections…we are ahead, however, on corporate tax collections. We’re $46.5 million ahead of what projections were, and we’re almost $10 million ahead on sales tax collections than what the projections were…we’re about a little less than $40 million behind on our collections for the fiscal year which ends June 30th.”

State Sen. David Nelson (D-Moscow) said he was honored to serve this year. “It was a new experience for me to be in the legislature, and I found it really satisfying in a lot of ways. One, I got to help people a lot…and also being in the legislature lets you stick your finger in a lot of things and get some traction and learn some things.”

Of his committee work, Nelson said, “I became kind of a member of a rural group of senators trying to lead on transportation issues. It’s a bi-partisan group…trying to get more support so we can do good maintenance on our local roads, both county, city.” Nelson said HB 107 was amended to include funding to help maintain rural bridges in the state.

Looking ahead, Nelson said he’ll continue working on transportation issues, including looking at how the state decides on registration fees for heavy trucks. He’ll also work on having a more reliable source of funds for transportation. Nelson also expects a lot of focus next session on funding for Medicaid expansion.

State Rep. Bill Goesling (R-Moscow) said it was a privilege and an honor to serve the district this year. He said the session was “long, busy, and somewhat stressful,” “but, I think, very successful legislative session.”

Goesling says he spent most of his time looking at ways the state can improve education. He cited his bills on school safety and to allow rural school district boards to go into executive session with three members present instead of five. He said he co-sponsored the bill raising starting teacher pay.

“We started out the year way behind on revenue coming into the state, and that really impacted our ability to do a lot of things,” Goesling said.

Goesling also said the proposed change in the public school funding formula had to be pulled back because it wasn’t working.

For next session, Goesling said he will work on finalizing the student-based funding formula; increasing funding for master level teachers; and increasing medical education opportunities, and he said his goal is to increase WWAMI to 50 students, up from the current 40.

“The important thing to remember is that there are 105 legislators,” Nilsson Troy said, “and we each go with our own agenda and we can only take our own agenda with us. I think our actions, the three of (us), this past session, speak loudly in that we were very focused on issues that were important to this district.”

The update at the luncheon followed a series of forums also hosted by the Chamber of Commerce during the 2019 session.

Posted May 22, 2019


Six Idaho Law Enforcement Officers Honored

Six law enforcement officers received the Idaho Medal of Honor for performing with exceptional courage and bravery while protecting the public.

Idaho Governor Brad Little presented the medals today, May 15, in a ceremony at the Idaho State Capitol.

“I was honored to present the Idaho Medal of Honor to six exemplary law enforcement officers for their extraordinary acts of valor and heroism,” Little said on Twitter.


(State of Idaho photo)

The six are:

  • Officer Kyle Mikowski, Meridian Police Department;
  • Sergeant Carlos De Leon, Jr., Ada County Sheriff’s Office;
  • Deputy David Anderson, Ada County Sheriff’s Office;
  • Deputy Derek Beardall, Ada County Sheriff’s Office;
  • Deputy Michael Geisel, Ada County Sheriff’s Office; and
  • Deputy Vishal Sahni, Ada County Sheriff’s Office.

“They showed tremendous courage in the face of danger to themselves and others,” Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said in a statement. “They, their families and their communities should be very proud to have these men don law enforcement badges every day. I commend each for their bravery and thank them for their exemplary service.”

All five Ada County Sheriff’s deputies received the award for their response to a 911 call on September 27, 2017 for a prowler and possible home invasion at a rural Meridian home. The deputies initiated a rescue attempt of the victims trapped inside and two residents were pulled to safety.

On July 1, 2018, Mikowski was shot in both legs when pursuing an individual who had a warrant out for his arrest. Mikowski returned fire, resulting in the suspect’s death. The officer then self-applied a tourniquet to his wounds and assisted responding personnel in finding his location.

The Idaho Legislature created the Idaho Medal of Honor in 2004. It is the state’s highest honor for law enforcement officers, firefighting professionals and emergency medical service providers.

Posted May 15, 2019


Governor Little Announces K-12 Task Force

Governor Brad Little announced the members of his new “Our Kids, Idaho’s Future” Task Force on May 15.

The list includes Jennifer Parkins of the Genesee Joint School District.

The group will put together a five-year plan to establish priorities for and improve Idaho’s K-12 public education system.


(State of Idaho photo)

“The ‘Our Kids, Idaho’s Future’ Task Force will adopt a broad-based, collaborative process to examine our public education system, with an emphasis on improving student achievement and accountability to parents and taxpayers,” Governor Little said.

Task Force members:


Teachers, School Administrators, and Education Stakeholders

  • Debbie Critchfield, President, Idaho State Board of Education — Co-Chair
  • Sherri Ybarra, Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Marc Beitia, American Falls High School teacher and 2019 Idaho Teacher of the Year
  • Kari Overall, President, Idaho Education Association
  • Jennifer Parkins, Board Chair, Genesee Joint School District and Idaho School Boards Association President
  • Jody Hendrickx, Trustee, St. Maries School District and ISBA Vice President
  • Erin McCandless, Idaho State PTA President
  • Mary Ann Ranells, Superintendent, West Ada School District
  • Luke Schroeder, Superintendent, Kimberly School District
  • Cheryl Charlton, Superintendent, Idaho Digital Learning Academy
  • Pete Koehler, retired Chief Deputy Superintendent and former Nampa High School Principal and Superintendent
  • Terry Ryan, CEO, Bluum, Boise

Business Leaders

  • Bill Gilbert, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Caprock, Boise — Co-Chair
  • Kurt Liebich, CEO, RedBuilt, Boise
  • Matt Van Vleet, Government Affairs Director, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Lewiston
  • Katherine Hart, Associate General Counsel, Melaleuca, Idaho Falls
  • Juan Alvarez, Deputy Director for Management and Operations, INL, Idaho Falls
  • Shawn Keough, Executive Director, Associated Logging Contractors, Coeur d’Alene and former state senator and JFAC co-chair


  • Senator Chuck Winder, Majority Leader, Idaho Senate
  • Senator Dean Mortimer, Idaho Senate Education Committee
  • Senator Janie Ward-Engelking, Idaho Senate Education Committee and Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee
  • Representative Mat Erpelding, Minority Leader, Idaho House of Representatives
  • Representative Jason Monks, Assistant Majority Leader, Idaho House of Representatives
  • Representative Lance Clow, Idaho House Education Committee
  • Representative Gary Marshall, Idaho House Education Committee
  • Representative Wendy Horman, Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee

Posted May 15, 2019