Category Archives: Local News

Solar Roadways Fact or Fiction?

Our Reporter explores the Solar Roadways project in Sandpoint, Idaho after many errors on their install.  The day the student journalism class went to test the panels, it led to a city police investigation. Unfortunately, the panels were not working on the day of Bird Eye News’ test. To this day, as of March 21, 2017, the panels are not producing any power that can be used by the city’s power grid.

Are the Solar Roadways fact or fiction?

Gonzaga Success…Story by Bailey Stapleton

The city of Spokane is celebrating as Gonzaga University men’s basketball team is on one of the biggest streaks in NCAA history. Game after game, the team has gone to win with an outstanding 27-0 record; the best in Gonzaga history. Team after team has challenged the Zags to only be defeated. The Bulldogs defeated the San Francisco Dons last week 96 to 61. But, why is this season different from the others? After the Portland game, The Spokesman Review got the chance to interview HeadGonzaga Coach Mark Few. Who went to say, “It’s been stressful with these consecutive games, and we need to get time to rest; it will continue to be tough and hopefully that’s where our depth comes to help us.” (Quote from

White, Red, Blue...Gonzaga’s #32 goes in for a layup against the San Francisco Dons at home in Spokane. Photo by The Spokesman.com
White, Red, Blue…Gonzaga’s #32 goes in for a layup against the San Francisco Dons at home in Spokane. Photo by The Spokesman.com

Spokesmen Review) One ofGonzaga’s keys to winning these games is their center PrzemekKarnowski from Poland who manages to lead the team to greatness with amazing lay-ins and shots. Karnowski came to Gonzaga in 2012 to play basketball for the university from Poland.His Resounding success this year has led him to be one of the most successful centers in GU history. Coming in at 7’1 and 300pounds he truly is the backbone of GU’s 2016-2017 team. With aPoint Percentage of 12.8 Karnowksi truly is a great player.Another thing fans are wondering is will the Zags win the NCAA tournament? Could we possibly see a repeat of last season?Based on the statistics of what we’ve seen, hopefully, the Zags will continue to dominate and bring pride to the local area. For now

the Zags seem to be on point delivering blow after blow on other basketball teams challenging The Lilac Cities Juggernaut men’s basketball team The Gonzaga Bulldogs. Last season proved to be very disheartening for the Bulldogs who made it to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament. Last year’s team was very successful in the fact that they were on a massive win streak, but lost their momentum in the 1st round of the Final Four, It truly brought fans and the player alike to sorrow as the season they had worked so

Captions for Gonzaga Story Gonzaga (White,Red and Blue) Goes in for a dunk during Gonzaga Urancisco Dons beating them 96-61 at home in Spokane. Photo By Spokesman.com
Captions for Gonzaga Story
Gonzaga (White,Red and Blue) Goes in for a dunk during Gonzaga Urancisco Dons
beating them 96-61 at home in Spokane. Photo By Spokesman.com

hard for ended. This year however proves to be different for the players as their coach Mark Few has said that they have been working on all the strengths and weaknesses of the team as a whole and how they can make it better in each game they play. Zag fans everywhere are excited to see how this season turns for the zags. So far their season has been an incredible one and the best in Gonzaga Basketball history. With an all-star line up with some of the best players from around the globe, this year’s tournament should be looking up for Gonzaga and The Lilac City as they are able to beat team after team with an amazing success rate. The Odds are in their favor, but we will see how it plays out during March Madness.

Snow Days…Story by Natalie Faris

The northern counties of Idaho have been experiencing some very violent snow/ice storms. All of the cities that surround Sandpoint and FBCS are covered with fresh snow and icy roads. Sandpoint received about a foot of snow with some freezing rain. However, the snow never stopped north of Sandpoint, hitting Bonners Ferry with about three feet in most places, however, deeper snow was found further north from Bonners Ferry.

On Monday, officials declared Monday the 8th an emergency, enabling the city to ask for additional snow removal resources if needed. Thankfully, the city hasn’t needed the resources yet and has been hard at work. According to the Spokesman-Review’s interview of Mayor David Sims the city generally hauls about 50 dump trucks of snow, but on Monday they were at a total of 160 and still counting, making this three times bigger than an average snow storm in Bonners Ferry.

Rumors of possible record snowfall are floating around, however, the current record is “26.0 inches on January 15, 1954”. Sadly, the

Heavy Snow…A picture of the trees that received a fresh blanket of snow during the snowstorm which caused Bonners Ferry to declare a state of emergency. Photo by Lauren Stidham
Heavy Snow…A picture of the trees that received a fresh blanket of snow during the snowstorm which caused Bonners Ferry to declare a state of emergency. Photo by Lauren Stidham

storm dropped about 20 inches on the hardest day. Learn more at the Spokesman-Review and WeatherDB.

However, even though no records were broken, school was canceled on Monday the 6th and the north bus wasn’t running at all expect for on the afternoon of Wednesday the 8th. Overall, full-time school was only held twice this week (Tuesday and Wednesday), the and there was two EADs (Thursday and Friday).

But what is up with all of these EADs? What happened to our snow days? Our school has a cap on how many snow days we can take after we hit our limit, snow days are turned into EADs. You might wonder how we are supposed to know how to complete all of these EAD assignments without seeing our teachers and learning what we need to do, and you might have found it hard to complete all of those assignments without teacher help before the hard due date scheduled on Friday the 10th. Thankfully, the school recognized the tough situation and moved the hard due date to Friday the 17th, giving students extra time to get things all tied up.

With all of this talk of snow and missed school days, don’t let the weather get you down! Sunshine and warmth are forecasted for the week

of 12-18th of February, maybe spring isn’t far away after all!

Halloween at FBCS… Story By Iris Grayson

Halloween at FBCS was all together an eventful day.

Halloween is a Celtic holiday that is now usually associated with receiving candy and dressing up in costumes.

The decorations around the school were curtsey of the student council, everything ranging from spider webs in the entrance, to bats and ghosts hanging from the ceiling. There were noise makers going off in the entrance, and mouse silhouettes on the front desk as well.

The Halloween costumes at FBCS ranged from the Joker, to a Minion in a coconut bra, to original characters.

The Judges of the costume contest consisted of Paul, Wendy, Michael, and Mary. The winners of the costume contest were Gabe Walden, as a trashcan, for most original; Sierra VanGaundy as Flynn Rider, and Yakira Jones dressed as Rapunzel from Tangled.

Though they weren’t the only ones with impressive costumes, there were Joellie Heneise, Juliet Harrison dressed up as Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, Joker and henchmen, original characters such as Barnaby Abrahams and Emmet Gilligan, Zacharie from Off, and many, many others. Student Council also gave the kids going to the lock in a treat, as they had to pay less money if they were wearing a costume on Halloween. They gave this as a way of thanking everyone for celebrating school spirit.

 

The pumpkin carving contest ended up having three contestants and three winners. There were pumpkins painted, and carved. Though a total of one of the pumpkins was carved for the pumpkin carving contest. The one carver was Holly’s entire advisory. While the painters brought theirs in by themselves.

One pumpkin was white and had melted crayon art falling from the top. The other was a pumpkin painted like a woman’s face with Day of the Dead make up. The carved pumpkin was a smaller frowning pumpkin inside of a larger pumpkin with square holes carved through it. All three contestants ended up winning the contest and all received a mug filled with candy.

 

Day of the Dead was also on Tuesday the 2nd and Wednesday the 3rd, and it is the days after Halloween. Day of the Dead the holiday is also called Día de los Muertos is a Spanish holiday that honors the dead in a celebratory way. The multi-day holiday is to commemorate, friends and family who have died, and those who still need help gaining access to the spirt world.. The day usually is decorated with marigolds, and sugar skulls.

Please remember to be positive that the candy you do eat is sealed, and unopened, as it may contain dangerous substances, or objects inside if they are already opened.

Forrest Bird Charter School would like to give a thank you to everyone who participated in providing school spirit by dressing up, carving pumpkins, and competing in the contests.

Concealed Carry… Story By: Iris Grayson

At the beginning of July Boise, Idaho has received a new law. Those of the age 21 or older have a right carry a concealed fire arm without a permit inside the city limits. This law also has some restrictions as well, for instance you are not allowed to carry a concealed in any of the following: Courthouse, Juvenile detention facilities, Adult correctional facilities, Prison, Jail, Privet schools, Charter schools, and Public schools.

This gun is showing off the American red white and blue. Photo By: Huffington Post
This gun is showing off the American red white and blue. Photo By: Huffington Post

A concealed permit allowed a person to carry a small fire arm, such as a handgun, on your person, or in close proximity to yourself, in a public space.

The new law is the result of decades of work to liberalize gun laws in Idaho. Already one of the states with some of the most permissive gun laws in the nation. The law even states that caring a concealed fire arm is even allowed in the state capital.

Despite giving his signature Governor C.L Otter expresses concern about the right to carry a concealed fire arm from those who are at a lack of education, and/or requirement to fire such a weapon. Though other states are already the law are Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Vermont, Wyoming, and West Virginia.

C.L Otter states”Such a safeguard would seem to be part of the Second Amendment’s ‘well-regulated’ standard. What’s more, the addition of a simple training requirement in this bill could have addressed the concerns of our valued law enforcement leaders and others who cherish both the shooting culture and the safety of shooters and non-shooters alike.”

It is legal for adults of age 18 to carry a firearm outside the city limits. It is still illegal for people under the age of 18 to carry any weapon, firearm or not. The ability to carry a concealed firearm permit is still in motion, and if one is received the ability lasts a total of five years.  Though no test must be taken for the right to carry concealed firearms.

The concealed fire arm law is passed in Idaho. Photo By WMD.com
The concealed fire arm law is passed in Idaho. Photo By WMD.com

““Out here in the West, most people have grown up with guns – they see no issue,” said Vaughn Killeen, executive director of the Idaho Sheriffs Association and the former longtime sheriff of the state’s most populous county. This year, the Sheriffs Association, which long had concerns about permit-less concealed carry, backed the new law.” (The Spokesman.com)

“I’m pro-gun – I think you should be able to carry them,” Haug said, he also stated, “I’m concerned that we don’t have people with a good education about how to properly carry a weapon, how to protect it, when to use it and when not to use it.”

Haug noted the 2015 incident in which a two year old found his mother’s gun in her purse, while shopping at Walmart in Hayden. The young boy shot and killed his mother. The mother had a concealed gun permit.

“We’ve had a couple of incidents,” stated Haug, “we want to prevent those tragedies.”

“We’re so close to Washington and Montana, so in order for them to go either direction, they have to have a permit,” Miller said.

Free Range Shooting… Story By: Lauren Stidham

Free Range Shooting… Story By: Lauren Stidham

At the Scene... Jack Yantis’ bull lying on the side of the road. Photo By: Pro Liberate
At the Scene… Jack Yantis’ bull lying on the side of the road. Photo By: Pro Liberate

November first, 2015. A free-range bull was hit by a station wagon in Council Idaho. The small car did not have enough force to kill the animal and instead left it injured, confused, and mad as could be. As it ran around, charging at whoever got too close, all dispatch called rancher Jack Yantis. Yantis was the owner of this 1.25 ton beast and was asked to come put it down before it could cause further damage.

This was a routine action. Yantis’ cows had been hit before in this free-range corridor. Like all the other times, he grabbed his 204. caliber rifle and went out to the scene. But, two deputies arrived first.

When the deputies , they opened fire on the bull with their 9mm and when that didn’t work and only agitated the bull more, one officer used a M16. Most people who have dealt with cattle would know that unless shot at just the right spot, both of these weapons will only injure the animal and make it suffer for a long time before it finally bleeds out and dies.

Jack Yantis, along with his nephew, Rowdy Paradis and wife Donna Yantis, came to the highway only to see that the sheriff’s deputies had arrived first. They wanted to put the bull down in a humane way. Yantis came up to the cow and positioned himself to shoot. However, before he could shoot, one of the deputies came up and grabbed Yantis’ shoulder. During the motion, Yantis’ rifle discharged once.

Family Man... Jack Yantis holding one of his grandchildren. Photo By: New York Times
Family Man… Jack Yantis holding one of his grandchildren. Photo By: New York Times

After the discharge, the deputies shot Yantis twice, once in the abdomen, once in the chest. After shooting, the deputies handcuffed and pinned Yantis’ relatives to the ground who were also on the scene. Yantis’ relatives were not assist him. Instead he was left to bleed to death similar to his bull dying next to him on the side of the road. During the commotion, Donna Yantis had a heart attack. She was brought to a hospital and kept there for a while. During this time, she missed her husband’s funeral.

The FBI and Idaho State Patrol are currently doing an investigation on this incident, trying to see if any state criminal violations or any federal violations occurred.  They have given no timeframe of which they will be done, which is a violation of the sixth amendments, the right to speedy trial.

But why did this happen? There is such a contrast between the interview with former police officer Patrick Pezzelle and this story. (see story) Pezzelle stated that he had five hostage situations during his career and all of them ended with no casualties, injuries, or shots fired. “This was accomplished because we had a plan in place to contain the suspect, control the environment, and [establish] communication with the suspect…We prepared to use force, but only as a last resort.” Said Pezzelle. Now a hostage situation seems more severe than a bovine in the road. What is the difference? Why did the five hostage situations go so much better than this story?

 

How safe is your Water?… Story By: John Holmes

How safe is your Water?… Story By: John Holmes

The contaminated water of Flint…can be seen while a city employee flushes a fire hydrant. Photo by: CNN.
The contaminated water of Flint…can be seen while a city employee flushes a fire hydrant. Photo by: CNN.

Water is a vital resource to a community. But, do we know how safe our water actually is? Residents of Flint, Michigan, had suspected a bad water supply after local officials decided to switch from the town’s original water line. The town was paying for the original line – running from Lake Huron. Two years ago, city officials decided to switch the water supply to Flint River – a river that runs through town, notorious for its filth. The switch was due to a financial crisis for the town.

Though the water looked and smelled suspicious, residents of Flint were told by city officials that the water was fine. It wasn’t until August of last year that a contamination of the city water was discovered.

A research team from Virginia Technical Institute conducted several in-home tests of the drinking water. Their findings indicated elevated levels of lead in the water. In relation to the lead, there is also a high capacity of iron. The Flint River water supply is 19 times more corrosive than the Lake Huron supply, according to the Virginia Tech. (For more about the Virginia Tech’s involvement, see here).

Several Flint residents are involved in a class-action-lawsuit against the state of Michigan, including former governor Rick Snyder.

But what about our own water? Is it safer than Flint’s?

Idaho’s water…pretty clean, isn’t it? Photo by: Idaho Conservation League.
Idaho’s water…pretty clean, isn’t it? Photo by: Idaho Conservation League.

According to the City of Sandpoint’s most recent Water Quality report, the two water sources used by Sandpoint residents are Sand Creek and Lake Pend Oreille. There are no lead contaminants running from the sources, though the pipes do contain lead. However, the lead content is well below the maximum limit of 15 parts per a billion – ranging in at an average 3.33 parts per billion. (For more on Sandpoint’s water supply, see here).

The report also states that there have been no violations of Federal standards.

Also, if you use a well on your property, it is relatively simple to test your water. Here are some directions to test your well water. So, Idaho residents, you need not worry about your water.

New Sandpoint Crisis Line… Story By: Harry Henderson

New Sandpoint Crisis Line… Story By: Harry Henderson

People who are having a hard time with something in their lives and just need to talk it out are encouraged to call the crisis line no matter what time of day and express their feelings and to have a safe place to talk about what is going on with someone who is there to listen. -Photo by: jessscott
People who are having a hard time with something in their lives and just need to talk it out are encouraged to call the crisis line no matter what time of day and express their feelings and to have a safe place to talk about what is going on with someone who is there to listen.
-Photo by: jessscott

Sandpoint has a new crisis line that will be open after hours and is available when the current crisis line is closed. It will be open from 5pm to 8am and will be staffed by licensed Idaho mental health clinicians. The health clinicians will earn minimum wage and will work in 15 hour shifts answering phone calls. The North Idaho Crisis Services after hour line opens Friday, January 15th, 2016. The crisis line has enough funding to go on for about another nine months thanks to the partnership that NAMI Far North made with Bonner’s Partners in Care Clinic, the group is seeking donations to reach their 20,000 goal. The group asked if the local government would give them funding to keep them going, but there has been no response.

Catherine Perusse, crisis director for National Alliance for Mental Illness Far North wants the crisis line to be a place that people can call anytime and someone can be there to prevent a crisis before it gets out of control. She says that the crisis line can help with calls to the hospital or 911. Perusse said that there is a major lack of resources in the area and the crisis line’s goal is to show data that proves the town desperately needs resources.

With the implementation of the new after-hours crisis line people are welcome to call any time of the day with anything that is bothering them and a certified mental health clinician will be there to listen and respond with helpful encouragement to resolve any issue, if a crisis arises the clinician will be there to talk anyone down from potentially injuring themselves or others. -Photo by: lifelineh2h
With the implementation of the new after-hours crisis line people are welcome to call any time of the day with anything that is bothering them and a certified mental health clinician will be there to listen and respond with helpful encouragement to resolve any issue, if a crisis arises the clinician will be there to talk anyone down from potentially injuring themselves or others.
-Photo by: lifelineh2h

A few Forrest Bird Charter School students agree they should make their money strictly through donation and corporate funding, and that the tax payers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for a crisis line that they might never use. Many of the students that I interviewed liked the idea of an after-hours crisis line if it is going to be beneficial to the community and possibly stop people from doing bad things. The students think that it would be beneficial because it will provide jobs and improve the community, but many of my peers believe that Sandpoint really doesn’t need an after-hours line because there isn’t a lot of crisis in Sandpoint. In all, the students that were interviewed believe that a crisis line is a good idea in that it may help people get through hard points in their lives and it may stop people from doing things that they might regret, also it is good for the town because it will provide jobs for residents, but there might not be a lot of demand for a crisis line in a town that doesn’t have a lot of crisis.

Local Community in Uproar… Story By: Lauren Stidham

Local Community in Uproar
Story By: Lauren Stidham

Men, women, and children are desperately fleeing wars in Syria. “For many, the choice to embark on such dangerous journeys seems the only way to give their children a chance of survival and safety.” – UNHCR. Out of the Syrian population, 4.3 million of them are refugees and 6.6 million are being displaced within their own country. Half of those are children.

Man carries girl from the ashes... This young man carries Syrian girl from the rebel of a heavy shelling attack on the Douma neighborhood of Damascus on June 16, 2015.
Man carries girl from the ashes… This young man carries Syrian girl from the rebel of a heavy shelling attack on the Douma neighborhood of Damascus on June 16, 2015. Photo By: Latin Times

So how is America helping these refugees? As you probably know, the US is helping refugees by taking them into our country and supporting them with our resources. As a nation, the U.S plans on taking in 10,000 refugees this year. Even though that is a nice little number, it is quite petty compared to the situation at hand. There are close to eleven million people that are being moved from their homes, and America is taking 0.07% of them. Eventually we hope to bring in a total of 30,000 but even that is still 2% of the total.

But even though the U.S. is only taking a small part of the total burden, how will this look for the cities and culture of America? Most people instantly jump to the security risk factor. The argument for this is that we are bringing in many people who are of the same religion and race as many terrorists that have viciously launched attacks on America and her allies.

In order to try to keep an event like that from happening again, the government has put into place a background/vetting system. The refugees have to pass a series of tests so that we can ensure that they shouldn’t be a threat to society. “It is not a perfect process. There is a degree of risk attached to any screening and vetting process. We look to manage that risk as best we can,” Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said. (FOX news)

So even though the U.S. has a basic screening process that refugees must go through, it is still possible that there will be mistakes. An argument against this is that since 9/11 the United States has taken in 784,000 refugees from around the world and only three of them have been arrested for crimes related to terrorism none of them were anywhere close to actually committing an attack against America. However, not very many of these people were from religions that members had declared war on our nation in the name of their god.

The truth... This picture depicts the true conditions of which Syrian refugees live in. Photo By: MyCause
The truth… This picture depicts the true conditions of which Syrian refugees live in.
Photo By: MyCause

So it is debatable whether the refugees could prove as a risk to our country, we really can’t say. There is evidence that supports both sides. “People fear what they don’t understand…” – Andrew Smith. America can’t truly know or predict if the refugees will be a threat. But the things that can be predicted and even known include how much it will affect the economy, how much resources the U.S. will need to support them, and possibly what cultural differences it will make if refugees are to be placed in a place like Sandpoint.

Have you ever tried to find a job in Sandpoint? It may not be impossible but it isn’t overly easy either. For a few years after the refugees come, it would be much harder to find an open job for teens and other people without complete and specialized education. Suddenly there would be approximately 350* more people competing of the same jobs that high schoolers and college students want too.

Then there is housing. Where could Sandpoint possibly fit an extra 700* people? Each family would need a home that would suit their own specialized needs. The refugees don’t just need housing for 700* people, they would need housing for a large group of families. Maybe the refugees would need three five-bedroom houses, two four-bedroom houses, six studios, and ten tree-bedroom houses. The city couldn’t simply provide them one or two large buildings to all live in, because it would create a very segregated culture.

Then, if we were successful in creating a non-segregated housing situation, in order to maintain that culture Sandpoint would need to equip the schools. The schools would need teachers that could speak Arabic and English fluently so that we could effectively teach the students. The question is, where can the schools find these teachers? Arabic isn’t a commonly spoken language and not only that, but the few who do speak Arabic are likely to not be qualified teachers.

Next, Sandpoint must observe the additional resources needed to effectively provide for the refugees. They would need food, clothing, proper tools for their religion, and transportation.

Obviously food would be a huge factor, for a long period of time, the refugees would not be economically stable enough to afford food. The same applies to proper clothing, perhaps they would have some clothing with them, but it is most likely that they would not have winter boots, jackets, gloves, and hats. What about transportation? Either the government would need to upgrade the Spot buses or somehow provide them with vehicles. Now this would all add up to a major bill, but who would be funding it? Would it be footed with tax dollars? If so, just about think how much taxes would have to go up.

What about their religious needs? They would need a place to pray and worship, but how could it ever possibly be funded through tax dollars? Really, there is no constitutional way to do that.

Should Sandpoint Embrace Syrian Refugees?

  • No (53%, 21 Votes)
  • Yes (48%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 40

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