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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
In the news recently there has been some buzz about the Sandpoint mayoral race. The only two candidates for mayor are Shelby Rognstad and Mose Dunkel. In a recent interview with the Sandpoint Reader, the candidates outlined their positions on issues such as the coal trains coming from Montana, legalized cannabis, and our local economy. For instance, Candidate Rognstad opposes the coal trains coming through the area. He cited worry about a spill or derailment, while Candidate Dunkel has stated that he would work with the railroads to keep the trains running smoothly and safely. Interestingly, despite their differences, they are both in favor of the legalization of marijuana. Rognstad called it a waste of police resources and Dunkel said that the ability to use marijuana was a liberty.
On Shelby’s website http://www.electshelby.com/he gave his political views on a number of issues. He wants to finish the fiber project that would bring ultra-high speed internet to Sandpoint. He also stated that he would improve our recycling program, fix our storm drainage system, and improve our wildfire response by collaborating with other fire regional services. He has also stated that he will improve police training involving subjects with mental health problems.
Mose Dunkel’s website http://mose4sandpoint.webs.com/ outlined his platform through a FAQ and issues page. He stated that one of his goals was to bring government and the people together. He has also vowed to bring transparency to the city government. He also wishes to lower utility costs to low income residents and stimulate the local economy by creating a local business friendly environment. He has also stated that he would like a community college campus here because it would allow people to stay in Sandpoint and train for local jobs.
Both of these people are good, decent candidates. I have a favorite, but in the interest of fairness, I won’t divulge his name. While I disagree with some of their stances on a few issues, I would not be disappointed if either one won. I encourage you to go to their websites, look at the issues, and make the decision for yourselves. And if you are able to go out on November third, do it, because you will be helping to create the community that you want to live in. Bonner Taxi will also be providing free rides to the polls, so you have no reason not to go. Their number is 208-597-FINE.