May 17th, 2011
BLACKFOOT â€“Â The annual D.A.R.E. Day celebration brought nearly 900 fifth graders to the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds Tuesday. From Shelley to Aberdeen, and every school in between, students celebrated completion of the D.A.R.E. program outdoors with food, dancing, and fun.
Sergeant Craig Luker from the Bingham County Sheriff's Office spends the school year in fifth grade classrooms throughout Bingham County teaching D.A.R.E. curriculum. He says "it is not an easy job -- I can be in anywhere from one to six classes a day and sometimes at schools as much as 50 miles apart."
BLACKFOOT â€” The Blackfoot School District is facing $2.072 million in funding cuts for the 2011-2012 school year. At the Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night several ideas were presented as potential ways to shrink the budget.
Assistant Superintendent Chad Struhs presented information from the finance committee on budget reductions and ways the district can balance the budget.
"We're looking at a $2 million deficit in order to operate," Struhs said.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) â€” The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated the death penalty for an Idaho man convicted in the gruesome murder of a Blackfoot woman in 1984.
A three judge panel ruled Tuesday in the case of Richard Leavitt, who was convicted in the brutal stabbing death of 31-year-old Danette Jean Elg.
Leavitt was sentenced to death in 1985 by a state judge who cited the heinous nature of the crime.
Defense attorneys have tried several times to appeal the death sentence.
BLACKFOOT â€” Personal messages left on the two Chamber of Commerce marquees in Blackfoot over the weekend have provided law enforcement with a few clues as to who vandalized the signs.
During the weekend, someone removed the letters on the marquees at the Idaho Potato Museum and near Riverside Plaza and put up their own message on the marquees. Several letters near the Potato Museum were broken.
â€śWe do have some information weâ€™re following up on,â€ť Blackfoot Police Capt. Kurt Asmus said.
BLACKFOOT â€” While the state tennis championship is yet to be decided on the court, Blackfootâ€™s boys team claimed a state title through its efforts in the classroom.
Coach Brint Jefferis said the team has received notice from the Idaho High School Activities Association that it is the Class 4A Academic State Champion this season.
â€śItâ€™s amazing,â€ť Jefferis said. â€śHow do they juggle it all? These guys are involved in so many things, from We the People and BPA (Business Professionals Association) and choir, band and student government.â€ť
BLACKFOOT â€” Students at Lillian Vallely School have been learning about growing fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. On Monday, they each took turns planting items in their new garden plot at the school.
Lillian Vallely was one of 15 schools throughout Idaho to receive a $2,000 grant from the State Department of Education to build a garden to promote nutrition, science and agricultural education.
Blanche V. Davis Gay Jones, 93, of Riverside, passed away on Friday, May 13, 2011 at her home in Riverside surrounded by her family.
Blanche was born April 27, 1918 on a dry farm in Clark County, Idaho. She was the first of ten children born to Minnie S. Berry Davis and Howard Milton Davis.
She eventually moved to the Blackfoot area where she married Walter Scott Gay on May 11, 1936 in Brigham City, Utah.
She was a faithful member of the Episcopal Church. Blanche had a great love for her family, friends, many pets, travel, hunting, fishing, and the outdoors.
Merlin (Toots) E. Southworth 82 passed away Friday May 13, 2011 at his home following a long lingering illness.
Merlin was born in Pocatello, Idaho to Joseph (Shorty) Edward and Eliza Ann Jackson Southworth. on August 4th 1928.
He was raised on a farm most of his life and acquired a great love for animals and especially horses, which he passed on to his 3 children.
He loved and participated in the rodeos and the high light of the parade every year was when he rode the bucking barrel.Â Maybe he rode the bucking barrel too many times as his back paid the price.
BLACKFOOT â€” When Marine Lance Cpl. Cody Reed prepared to return home from Afghanistan, he told his mother, Jena, he didnâ€™t expect much notice.
On Saturday Jena Reed and several members of the neighborhood and the community welcomed Cody home in style.
Bingham County Sheriff Dave Johnson, four Blackfoot firemen and city councilman Chris Jensen were among those who shook Codyâ€™s hand and thanked him for his service.
BLACKFOOT â€” Organizers and builders of the Blackfoot Community Garden celebrated the official grand opening Saturday with a ribbon cutting and plant sale.
Gardeners and volunteers have spent the last four weeks working on turning an empty lot into a community garden near the intersection of E. Airport Road and Teeples Drive.
Garden Coordinator Jon Lyksett has had the idea to start a community garden for several years and on Saturday he said it was great to see his idea finally come to fruition.
â€śItâ€™s nice to be at a point where things are going to start growing,â€ť Lyksett said.