Franklin’s friends at Century High School

My cat Franklin and I experienced mind-bending kindness during Kind Community Week. If Franklin could write his own story, this would be a doozy. Six weeks ago, my grumpy, orange tabby went missing. I spent hours walking my dogs and meowing through the streets. Neighbors surrounding Holt Arena went to bed many a night hearing wistful cries. “Franklin! Come here, Little Buddy!” He never came.

The Sunday before the Kind Community Kick-Off, members of the steering committee and I were doing a final walkthrough at the Portneuf Wellness Complex. My cellphone buzzed. The caller lived near me and had seen my “Lost Cat” fliers. His son who attends Century High School mentioned an orange tabby cat showed up a few weeks ago, and the night custodian was feeding it. That couldn’t be Franklin. What would he be doing out at Century?

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4,986 comments - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - September 30, 2015 at 8:36 PM

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Well, Yogi, looks like it’s definitely ‘over’

Mike Murphy

The man that some experts have labeled the greatest baseball catcher of all time has passed away. Yogi Berra was a baseball icon and a philosopher for everyman. Yogi famously said, “It ain’t over till it’s over,” but I would say that, along with the man, an entire era of America’s Game is over. They just don’t make baseball players like Yogi anymore.

Players in Yogi’s time were tough, compared to today when players miss games due to fatigue from filming underwear commercials. Yogi played for 19 seasons, and I cannot find any record of Yogi ever missing a game due to injury. And he was a catcher which, even if your baseball playing career peaked in little league, you know is one of the most demanding jobs in all of sports.

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4,929 comments - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - September 27, 2015 at 2:04 AM

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It’s about kind

By Billie Johnson

On Monday September 21 beginning at 5:30pm our community will experience its first ever large scale celebration of kindness. Although planned within a vigorous and compacted timeframe, the vision for what may transpire at Monday’s Kind Community Kick-Off Celebration has been brewing for years.

Five or six years ago I attended the Bannock County Relay for Life at Davis Field. I acutely remember walking in silence with at 1,000 people during the “luminaria lap.” Through the glow of the candles that lighted the names of loved ones lost to cancer and survivors who have conquered the disease, I could also see those walking with me in a silence barely broken by breathing. There were married couples and divorced parents; former in-laws and grandkids; a republican and a democrat vying for the same office; gays and straights; a team called the “Mormon Moms” and another team who snuck in a flask or two.  It was a brief moment of serene and absolute community until I felt a deep frustration build.

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937 comments - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - September 20, 2015 at 2:35 AM

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ISU: a leader in the health professions

By Linda Hatzenbuehler

The word is out across Idaho: If you want to build a rewarding career in the health professions, Idaho State University is the place to go.

We offer 50 degree programs in the health professions — more than any other college or university in Idaho — and award more than a third of our degrees in the health professions.

Students want to enter careers where the job market is strong. Both the national and state labor departments list health professionals as “hot” based upon the number of job vacancies nationwide. ISU offers degrees in seven of the top 10 “Best Jobs of 2015,” compiled by U.S. News and World Report. Those jobs include physician assistant studies, nurse practitioner, dental hygiene and physical therapy.

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560 comments - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - at 1:15 AM

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How ISU helped my professional development

By Sekhar Dahal

“Son, go and do the best you can” were my dad’s words in the airport’s departure hall before I boarded my flight. I was leaving everything behind to work on my dreams and to carve out something for myself in the United States — “the land of opportunity,” a popular synonym used for this great country back home in Nepal.

As my flight took off, there was this feeling of perplexity in my thoughts, and I could not stop myself from thinking: Will I really be able to do well at graduate school? Will I be able to land a good internship at a good company? The university will have thousands of students — will people even notice my hard work and help me in my endeavors?

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313 comments - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - at 1:13 AM

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The people we meet in heaven

By Billie Johnson

Summer is a great time to catch up with friends, but it can also be impossible with my tendency to pack something into every minute. Recently, a friend and I were trying to catch up before school started, but I had this and she had that. I had a bike ride. She had a book club. I wish I wanted to join a book club. It sounds so intellectual. Challenging. Prestigious. But I don’t. I love stimulating discussions surrounding books, though.

Years ago when my former partner was in a book club, she’d grumble that they rarely talked about the book. Instead they would talk about their husbands, kids and daily lives while sipping wine and snacking on exotic-for-Idaho cheeses. She enjoyed the camaraderie but really wanted to discuss characters and themes. Often she’d tell me about the books, and we would discuss them. One of my favorite books I’ve never read is “The Five People You Meet in Heaven.”

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280 comments - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - September 12, 2015 at 9:27 PM

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Maybe I’ll start running—tomorrow

By Mike Murphy

Lately I have found myself getting the urge to start running again. I figure after five years off I should be pretty rested and ready to go. In fact, I woke up early this morning to the sound of crows arguing over who gets first dibs on a discarded KitKat wrapper when I suddenly experienced that old urge to jump out of bed, chug a cup of coffee and head out the door on a long run. Or maybe I was just having a nightmare because I woke up again an hour later.

I first started running 35 years ago, around the time that the distance-running craze was really taking off. At that time everything was the 10 kilometer race — or 6.2 miles for those who suspect the metric movement was some sort of government conspiracy. Like the federal troops were going to stealthily move in and take over, while the rest of us were all distracted trying to convert mile times into meters and liters into quarts.

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230 comments - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - at 9:20 PM

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Suicide in Idaho far more common than murder

In 2014, 320 people completed suicide in Idaho, and 30 people died by homicide. In other words, death by suicide is 10 times more frequent than other violent deaths.

This week is Suicide Prevention Week, and Sept. 10 was World Suicide Prevention Day. The goal this week is to raise awareness of suicide as a major preventable cause of premature death. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Idahoans age 15-34 and for males age 10-14. (The leading cause of death is accidents.) Idaho is consistently among the states with the highest suicide rates. In 2013, Idaho had the 7th highest suicide rate in the nation, 47 percent higher than the national average. Between 2010 and 2014, 96 Idaho school children (age 18 and younger) died by suicide. Twenty of these were younger than 14.

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378 comments - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - September 11, 2015 at 8:08 PM

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Know when to set yourself apart

By Kalynn Brazeal

There comes a time when you have to just set yourself apart. You have to cleave. This first comes to mind whenever I think of marriages: The Bible tells us that we are to cleave from our parents. This is to help us cement ourselves as a couple, to find our way on our own.

Do you know someone who has done this? We did. Not by choice, but because my husband joined the military, and it meant that we were on our own in every sense of the word. For 10 long years, our family was a tiny little unit. When the kids were sick, we traded off walking the floor, then getting up and going into work the next day on fumes. Our children went to a military day care while we worked hard to provide a life for them.

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390 comments - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - September 5, 2015 at 3:22 AM

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PHS: Living the legacy

By Billie Johnson

just had one of the best, most surreal weeks ever! I got to experience the first day of school at Poky High all over again — 25 years after my senior year. The red and the blue, the football team, the class yells, the Indianettes breaking their arrows with the crescendo of traditional fight songs and all of the buzz still have me smiling. This time I went with slightly less acne, a few more pounds, a presumably more hip hair style and surprisingly the same amount of first-day jitters.

I’ve gotten to know second-year principal Lisa Delonas through volunteering with my alma mater’s gay-straight alliance club last year. Even after going through the paperwork to volunteer and getting all of the approvals, protocol requires me to check into the office each time. Frankly, I love this protocol. The ladies in the PHS office are as nice as the ladies who were there 25 years ago. Their energy and genuine care for students always has me parting in a better mood. I wish high school could feel like that for everyone.

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791 comments - What do you think?  Posted by ifennell - August 29, 2015 at 9:36 PM

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