Monthly Archives: May 2015

Body of Missing Coeur d’Alene Man Located in Salmon River

The Idaho County Sheriff’s Office says the body of 35 year old Jason Gritten, of Coeur d’ Alene, was located by family and friends in the Salmon River approximately one mile up river from Spring Bar Wednesday night, May 27th.

The sherif’s office says “the victim traveled approximately 9 miles from the location he and Patrick Lusk, 27, also of Coeur d’ Alene, were thought to have crossed the river.”

Lusk remains missing.

Gritten and Lusk were reported missing by family on May 17th in the French Creek area of the Salmon River. A canoe was found upside down in the river about a half-mile below French Creek. The person who found the canoe took it to McCall, where it was later identified as the one Gritten and Lusk had been using.

Idaho County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue searched for the victims by boat and ATV, but were unsuccessful and suspended the search. Family and friends continued the search and found Gritten’s body.

The victim was transported to Blackmer’s Funeral Home in Grangeville.

Posted May 28, 2015


“More is Coming”– U- Idaho Expert on International Soccer Investigation

The investigation into international soccer corruption has likely only just started, according to a University of Idaho expert on international sports and politics. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (1:02)

Listen here:

Not surprised at all that the corruption is rampant.

That was the reaction from Bill Smith, the director of the University of Idaho’s Martin Institute and Program in International Studies, when he first heard the news that a 47 count indictment had been unsealed in a federal court in Brooklyn Wednesday targeting international soccer corruption.

College spokesperson International studies faculty Bill Smith

(Photo of Bill Smith courtesy University of Idaho)

Smith teaches about international affairs and sports, and he says the investigation into FIFA, soccer’s governing body, is a remarkable step. He says it resembled an investigation into organized crime:

Bill Smith: “This is why the FBI is the logical entity to take these folks on, as essentially you’re approaching this as if it’s organized crime. Which in a sense it is, I mean, it’s not under the same umbrella, the same structure, it’s got a much more respectable veneer, but that’s what organized crime tries to do, is give itself a respectable veneer.”

The charges in the case include racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.

Smith says what’s also intriguing is that what’s been targeted so far is only been a small corner of FIFA’s empire, and he expects more is coming.

I’m Glenn Mosley.

Copyright 2015 Idaho Public Radio

Posted May 28, 2015


Otter Encouraged by Recent Trade Mission to Peru and Mexico

Idaho Governor Butch Otter says he is “encouraged by the possibilities between businesses in Idaho, Peru, and Mexico” after the state’s trade mission, May 9th- 16th..

18 Idaho companies from a variety of industries accompanied Otter and state officials on the trip, including vegetable seeds, potatoes, onions, dairy products, natural and organic foods, wheat, oil seed, mining equipment, personal care products, timber, technology, medical equipment, mining raw materials and university research/international education.


“We had the best of the best of Idaho companies and organizations traveling with us, and the warm welcome and interest we received in Peru and Mexico reflected the innovative products and services we were promoting,” Otter said in a press release. “Relationships and friendships were established in both countries, and I am confident this will lead to continued opportunities for all of the trade mission participants.”

Hess Pumice in Malad, Mountain States Oilseeds in American Falls, Epical Solutions in Boise, Axus International in Boise, High Desert Milk in Burley, and AMS, Inc., in American Falls were among the companies making the trip.

“In both countries, we made excellent contacts that we are confident will lead to sales.  We identified some new opportunities in Peru and are excited about the potential there for Idaho agriculture,” Celia Gould, director of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, said in a press release. “Mexico is already an important agricultural market for Idaho but continues to grow.  It was our number-two agriculture export market last year, and I anticipate that it could become number one in 2015.”

Idaho exports to Mexico were valued at more than $301 million in 2014, up over 10 percent from 2013.  In 2014, Idaho’s exports to Peru totaled $17.05 million, up 16.4 percent from the year before.

Posted May 28, 2015


Toward A Better Prosthetic

by Sarah Jacobsen

Idaho Public Radio

Though it is unknown to many, people who use a prosthetic often deal with pain caused by the very devices that help them move. 

An assistant professor of Biological Sciences at The University of Idaho, Craig McGowan,  is studying the mechanics of movement in an effort to provide companies with the data to design protheses created to work with the body’s neuro-muscular system, and in turn, eliminate pain. 

“The long-term goal is to have a device that enables people to have healthy, active lifestyles without pain,” McGowan said.

Funded through a one year Murdock Foundation Exceptional Opportunity Grant, McGowan and his students are developing a computer simulation, modeling how prostheses designed for running interact with the body. 


(Prosthetic screen shot courtesy University of Idaho)

By studying athletes, McGowan’s team can understand the highest level of performance with these devices, setting a target for normal individuals. 

This simulation’s first phase models a non-amputee, but is refined to show the way muscles are activated and work together down to the finest detail. 

The second phase,which is currently in progress, is a simulation of an amputee using prostheses.

McGowan is now testing his model against data from amputee runners, the majority of whom are current of former Paralympic athletes. 

McGowan’s long term goal is to create a device that enables people to have a healthy, active lifestyle without pain. 

Posted May 27, 2015


“A Great College Career”– Kim Ends Vandal Career at NCAA Tournament

Heading into Monday’s fourth round of of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship, Idaho’s Leilanie Kim, the first Big Sky women’s golfer to advance to the NCAA Championship, was near the top of the leader board with 18 holes to play.

The Vandal senior from Surrey, B.C., had fired a 1-under-par 71 in Sunday’s third round in Bradenton, Florida on Sunday to make the cut as one of only nine individuals playing in the tournament to advance into the fourth round.


(Photo courtesy Big Sky Conference)

But on Monday, Kim shot an 85 during the final round for a tournament total 305. She tied for 38th.

“She was hitting it very inconsistently,” Idaho coach Lisa Johnson said in a press release, “and she didn’t putt very well.”

Kim had made three birdies and two bogeys on her way to the under-par third round, following a first-round 74 and a second round 75. Starting Monday, she was at 4-over-par 220 on the very challenging Concession Golf Club course.

“She has been hitting the ball well all week,” Johnson said Sunday, “and she’s putting better than I’ve ever seen her putt.”

Kim had said heading into the NCAAs, “I’m just going to play my game, shoot low rounds. Have fun. It would be nice to be able to go under (par) every day.”

Monday’s final round was televised on the Golf Channel. Alabama’s Emma Talley won the tournament with a three-under 285.

“It was big-time fun today with all the cameras and spectators,” Johnson said.

Kim, who graduated from Idaho on May 16th, ended her Vandal career with numerous honors, including being named to the Big Sky Conference first team this season, and in 2013-14 being named Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year and winning the WAC individual championship.

“Leilanie had a great tournament and a great college career,” Johnson said. “We’re very proud of her.”

Kim’s next stop is a U.S. Open qualifier at Oregon’s OGA Golf Course on June 2.

Posted May 26, 2015


27 Idaho Transportation Projects Get Early Green Light

The Idaho Transportation Board has selected 27 projects across the state to move up to fiscal year 2016, a move made possible, ITD officials said, by the funding approved through the gasoline tax and registration fee increases passed by the Idaho Legislature this legislative session.


The list includes several bridge and pavement restoration projects in north and north central Idaho, including US 95 locations.

The Board, voting in Pocatello Thursday, said the projects would repair and maintain critical state highways and bridges.

“We are now accelerating critical projects more rapidly from the long list of needs,” ITD Board Chairman Jerry Whitehead said in a press release. “This is an important beginning to preserve our system by replacing and preserving our bridges, as well as our pavements, and keeping Idaho’s economy and citizens moving.”

ITD said the 27 projects, totaling $46.8 million, include:

Bridge restoration – $2.8 million
Bridge preservation – $13.8 million
Pavement restoration – $21.1 million
Pavement preservation – $9.1 million

The complete list can be seen at this link:

ITD officials said project selection was based on the criteria of project readiness, bridge restoration or preservation, and pavement rehabilitation or preservation.

“We commend ITD engineers and staff for the quick response on making these projects ready for construction,” ITD Director Brian Ness said. “Organizational changes have made possible the advancement of these critical projects.”

Posted May 22, 2015


WSU Scientist Says El Nino Bad for Washington Drought

There’s been some rain in parts of Washington state in recent days, but the drought conditions in Washington that led to the drought emergency declaration a week ago by Governor Jay Inslee are likely to grow worse because of a strengthening El Nino tropical weather pattern from across the Pacific Ocean. That’s according to Gerrit Hoogenboom, director of Washington State University’s Ag Weather Network.

“The impacts of El Nino vary across the globe, including among regions here in North America,” Hoogenboom said in a press release Thursday. “While it typically brings rainfall to central and southern California, it leads to warmer weather and less precipitation across much of the Pacific Northwest.”

El Nino is produced by an ocean-warming phenomenon that can drench some parts of the world while keeping others dry. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said recently that El Nino has been building strength since March, and that there is a greater than 80 percent chance its climatic conditions will continue the rest of this year.


(Washington drought map courtesy Washington State University)

Hoogenboom, who also serves as drought coordinator for WSU Extension, says, “El Nino probably has not yet hit its peak. It’s likely that it will be stronger in autumn and winter.”

Hoogenboom pointed specifically at a weather pattern called El Nino Southern Oscillation, or ENSO. which he described as when warm ocean water in the equatorial Pacific moves like a bathtub full of water being tilted back and forth, interacting with the atmosphere.

“Different factors influence Washington’s climate, but ENSO is one of the most significant,” Hoogenboom said.

Governor Inslee declared the statewide drought emergency last Friday, saying snowpack levels were just 16 percent of normal.

“In California, the issue is lack of rain. In Washington, it’s a lack of snow,” Hoogenboom said, adding that rain produces rapid runoff, whereas melting snow gradually melts into rivers, canals and reservoirs over an extended period.

Washington state agriculture officials have estimated $1.2 billion in crops losses this year because of the dry conditions.


Posted May 22, 2015