Jan
6
0

It’s a Boy!

Regardless of what happens between Brant Yearout and his brothers, he will always be able to say he came in first in 2016.

The fourth boy born to Katie and Ryan Yearout, Brant was born Monday, Jan. 4, at 12:32 p.m., making him the first baby born this year at Benewah Community Hospital. He weighed 7 lbs, 10 oz, was 20 ½ inches long, joins three older brothers; Jaxson, 7, Bryce, 4, and Lane, 2 – and with his January arrival, a place in the hospital’s scrapbook.

Katie and Ryan Yearout welcomed their fourth son -- and the first baby born at Benewah Community Hospital this year. Brant was born Monday and joins three older brothers at their family home in St. Maries.

Katie and Ryan Yearout welcomed their fourth son — and the first baby born at Benewah Community Hospital this year. Brant was born Monday and joins three older brothers at their family home in St. Maries.

Sixteen years ago, staff members at BCH started celebrating the first birth of each year by providing the family with a gift.

“It was something we wanted to do to give back to the community,” organizer Eula Needham said. “And it’s really grown; we started with one little basket in 2000, and now we spend about $800.”

Ms. Needham and other members of the housekeeping staff, along with BCH employees from different departments, raise money to buy baby items and gifts for the first baby of each year and decorate the hospital room for the new family after delivery. Ms. Needham said that staff members have kept a memory book of each baby they have bestowed the gifts upon since the program’s inception.

Brant will be the 16th entry into that book.

“It’s great to see how it’s changed,” she said. “We used to just do one room and bought yellows and greens and whites because we didn’t know what the new year baby would be. But last year we raised $1,600 and were able to do two rooms, a boy room and a girl room, and use whichever delivered first.”

Spearheaded by Ms. Needham, hospital staff members have fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for the first baby, and Archie’s IGA provides a fruit basket, St. Maries Floral makes a floral arrangement for the family and Country Fair also donates an item.

Dec
30
0

A two-decade term of service

Ed Spooner hopes that the city of St. Maries can attract new business while still staying true to its logging community’s roots. He believes it’s possible.

And after 20 years in local government, he has seen what can happen with a dedicated city council.

Ed Spooner, lifetime resident of St. Maries and owner of Fast Eddie's, has served on the St. Maries city council for two decades. He did not seek re-election this term, retiring after more than 20 years.

Ed Spooner, lifetime resident of St. Maries and owner of Fast Eddie’s, has served on the St. Maries city council for two decades. He did not seek re-election this term, retiring after more than 20 years.

Mr. Spooner will retire from the St. Maries city council this month after more than two decades of service. Although still open to being involved in politics in the future, he chose not to run for re-election this year after he felt the work the council was putting forth stalled.

“The council had become stagnant, and I wasn’t used to that,” he said.

Mr. Spooner said he had seen times when that wasn’t the case. He is especially proud of the work that he was able to contribute to, alongside George Currier, the paving of St. Maries’ streets.

“That was huge for St. Maries,” he said. “I travel around Idaho and see a lot of cities that don’t have paved streets. George worked very hard, and the council made that happen.”

He is also pleased with the work that went into revitalizing Main Avenue but would have liked to have seen it continued. More than a decade ago, a local improvement district tax allowed for the city to make aesthetic improvements along Main Avenue. Lighting and landscaping was built into the islands through town, and beautification efforts along city sidewalks were initiated. But the project didn’t extend throughout the entirety of Main Avenue, something that Mr. Spooner would have liked to have seen.

He also regrets that the plan to reroute logging truck traffic around Main Avenue has not been started.

“The thing I really wished we would have done was the truck route, the Railroad Avenue project. We worked on that quite a bit,” he said. “I would have liked to see that done. I have no problem with trucks in town, it’s just hard on main street. We are a logging community; that’s who we are.”

He also hopes that the current and future councils can improve the city’s water system, an issue that has plagued the city for years.

Mr. Spooner said he believes the past two years saw a decline in production by the council, but he had the pleasure of working with some forward-thinking council members.

“Dick Burch was a move-forward kind of council member; during the Rochat Creek project, he did some things that were huge to make things there happen,” he said. “Rudy Brandvold and Dick McEwen were great, and Donny Masterson was very focused.”

Mr. Spooner was born and raised in St. Maries, left to attend North Idaho College and returned to work for Potlatch Corp. for 18 years. In 1992, he and a partner opened Fast Eddie’s, and he continues to operate the business.

Commerce, he believes, is key to the future of St. Maries.

“We need industry,” he explained. “We are very blessed to have what we have – two major timber companies in our valley – but we need businesses, small or large.”

Mr. Spooner is active with parish council at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church and plans to remain involved in local government.

“For now, I’ll step back and watch what goes on, go to meetings, be involved, be the hand-raiser,” he said. “We have a very good council now. I see some very good people that got voted in. As long as they remember they are the ones who are responsible. Don’t just get on and be there, be involved.”

Dec
23
0

Area Churches Plan Services

Where would you place yourself in the Christmas story?

Are you a shepherd; a wise man; Mary the mother of Jesus; Joseph his earthly father?

These are thoughts at least one local pastor asks people to ponder as she presents the age-old story of Christ’s birth.

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In fact, Pastor Janet Potter of the Community Presbyterian Church of St. Maries, said that is the biggest challenge of the year.

Other ways she presents the story is through Old Testament Prophecies or in the case of the younger generations, relate it to a trending book or movie.

“I haven’t been doing full-time pastoring very long, so it is all fresh for me,” she said. “It excites me to find new ways to tell a story that many people can tell in their sleep.”

Greg Worch, pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, said he doesn’t present anything new or different in his Christmas service; rather he offers the same story and depends on God to do the rest.

“We proclaim the word in a traditional service and fully rely on the Holy Spirit to convict,” he said. “What people get out of it depends on the individual’s focus.”

The New Testament offers two versions of the story of Christ’s birth, first in Matthew and again in Luke.

“Matthew is specifically written to a Jewish audience, so it has a different perspective, where Luke was written to a Gentile audience,” Pastor Worch said. “The perspectives may be a little different, but the story is the same.”

Pastor Dale Harrison of the First Baptist Church said he tries to make his message different each year.

“Everybody has heard that Baby Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem,” he said. “I try not to leave him in in the manger but expand on the story. I am planning on taking it clear through his life to his death on the cross and resurrection.”

Pastor Harrison said he has worked on the message that he plans to deliver Christmas Eve off and on for weeks.

“I plan to show how great a gift Jesus is for mankind,” he said.

Several area churches will hold Christmas services this week. Service information is listed below by location.

St. Maries

Benewah Community Worship – Christmas Eve Service, 5 p.m., Benewah Community Center, 11640 Benewah Creek Road

Community Presbyterian Church – Christmas Eve Service, 5 p.m. Dec. 24, 1100 College Avenue. Christmas Dinner, 3-5 p.m. Dec. 25

St. Mary’s Immaculate Catholic Church – Christmas Eve Service, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 24, 921 West Jefferson Avenue

First Baptist Church – Christmas Eve Service, 7 p.m. Dec. 24, 520 S. Second Street

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, 7 p.m. Dec. 24, 130 S. 10th Street

Church of the Nazarene – Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, 8 p.m. Dec. 24, 175 Grandview Drive

Plummer

Our Lady of Perpetual Help – Christmas Eve Mass, 5 p.m. Dec. 24, 1173 E Street

Worley

Worley Community Church – Christmas Eve Service, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 24, 30203 S. 1st Street

St. Michael Catholic Church – Christmas Morning Mass, 10 a.m. Dec. 25, 1824 I Street

DeSmet

Sacred Heart Mission – Midnight Mass, Dec. 24, Christmas Mass, Noon Dec. 25, 149 Byrnes Avenue

Harrison

Our Lady of Perpetual Help – Christmas Eve Mass, 4 p.m. Dec. 24, Pine Street

Harrison Community Baptist Church – Christmas Eve Service, 7 p.m. Dec. 24, 100 Pine Street

UpRiver

UpRiver Bible Church – Christmas Eve Service, 6 p.m. Dec. 24, 64100 Highway 3 South

Dec
11
0

Christmas events abound

We make it easy for you to get into the Christmas spirit with several different holiday options this weekend. Check out our helpful list below and attend a party or enjoy a concert. As we usually do, we have something for everyone this weekend.

Peggy Blackburn, Lucy Cash, (back) Barbara Scaroni, Reagan Fritsche and Rachel Mitchell are just a few of the individuals who will perform with the Hiway 95 Christmas Choir this weekend.

Peggy Blackburn, Lucy Cash, (back) Barbara Scaroni, Reagan Fritsche and Rachel Mitchell are just a few of the individuals who will perform with the Hiway 95 Christmas Choir this weekend.

Church Christmas parties …
Churches in the Harrison and Medimont areas will host Christmas parties this weekend.

The Harrison Community Baptist Church will host a party Sunday, Dec. 13 following the 11 a.m. worship service. The event includes a potluck meal and white elephant gift exchange. Adults and children are invited to bring a long a gently used gift and participate.

The River of Life church will host their party at 5 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Medicine Mountain Grange. The event features a potluck followed by a talent show and sing-along. Those with musical talent are encouraged to participate.

Hiway 95 Choir …
The Hiway 95 Choir has set two performances this weekend. The first performance will be at 2 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Plummer Bible Church. The second performance is at 5 p.m. Dec. 13 at the church. Light refreshments will be served following each performance.

Handbell choir Saturday …
The DeColores Handbell Choir from Spokane will perform at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Community Presbyterian Church, 1100 W. College Avenue. The group will perform a variety of pieces solely using handbells. The bells range in size from small to large, and the performance is unique compared to other concerts. The performance Saturday is free. There will be an optional offering for those who would like to donate to help the group pay for travel expenses.

Caroling …
Do some caroling this weekend. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Plummer invites residents to join them for some community Christmas fun. Enjoy a hayride and Christmas caroling from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. Chili dogs and hot chocolate will be served. Everyone is welcome. The church is located at 1173 E Street.

Nov
27
0

Toys for Tots Launches Again

Applications for families who want to participate in the Toys for Tots program will be available after Thanksgiving.

This is the eighth consecutive year Renee Duke will coordinate the local effort for Toys for Tots. The St. Maries City Police Department sponsors the local effort in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corp. Reserve.

Celia Sibert and Renee Duke help with the Toys for Tots program in Benewah County. Donation bins to collect new toys will be in several business following Thanksgiving.

Celia Sibert and Renee Duke help with the Toys for Tots program in Benewah County. Donation bins to collect new toys will be in several business following Thanksgiving.

Applications may be picked up at the St. Maries City Police Department, St. Maries City Hall or the Department of Motor Vehicle Office. Applications will need to be returned by Dec. 15.

Applicants must apply in person and only the custodial parent or legal guardian may apply. Proof of each child is needed, such as a birth certificate, Social Security card or guardianship papers. For proof of Benewah County residency, a driver’s license or utility bill can be shown.

“The program is open to low income families on public assistance and is open for children 12 years and younger,” Ms. Duke said.

Applicants will need to show proof of participation in any of the following as well: Medicaid, WIC, TAFI, food stamps, Social Security disability, supplemental security income or military active duty.

Last year, Toys for Tots provided gifts to 141 children locally, or 61 families. Ms. Duke said since she started helping with the program the city, and county, has given a wonderful Christmas morning to 1,100 children.

“I’m asking everyone who can help to pitch in with donations to once again bring joy to the children less fortunate in our community,” she said. “The program’s success is also due to the merchants in our small town that have the Toys for Tots containers for collection.”

Toys must be new and should not be wrapped. The program cannot accept used stuffed animals or toys.

Businesses that will have a collection bin are Hughes Ace Hardware, Banner Bank, St. Maries City Hall, Country Fair, Jack’s Pharmacy, Suntan Etc., Grapple Haus, The Paperhouse and Tri Peaks.

Ms. Duke also gave special thanks to the volunteers who help make the program a success. This year’s volunteers include Chief Margaret Lehmbecker, Lt. Robert Loe, Sgt. Doug Yearout, Officer Colton Wynn and Officer Jacob Donnerberg with the St. Maries Police Department.

“I also receive help from Petey Slegel, Sandi Auer, Kriss Gibson, Celia Sibert, Staci Schiermeister, Boy Scout Troop 442 and leader Tom Jarvi and Brenda Buell,” she said.

For more information about the program call 245-2577, 245-5102 or 245-2555. Information is available online at toyfortots.org.

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