Stories from this compilation are excerpted from weekly newspapers from around the region.
MCCALL — Midas Gold has proposed forming a foundation that could contribute millions of dollars into local communities during the life of the project and beyond.
The Stibnite Foundation would offer grants to a board made up of members of each community.
Governing bodies of cities and counties in Valley, Adams and Idaho counties have been asked to sign what Midas Gold calls a “Community Agreement” that would be binding on both sides.
Midas would initially give the Stibnite Foundation $100,000 in cash and 1.5 million shares of Midas Gold Corp. stock, which was worth nearly a million dollars at the 66 cents per share stock price Monday.
Midas Gold would add another $100,000 at the beginning of next year and at the beginning of 2020 regardless of the status of the project. Funding after this point becomes tied to the company’s growth.
Another $100,000 would be given to the foundation if the U.S. Forest Service gives approval to the project, an action projected for early 2020.
An additional $100,000 and another 1.5 million shares of stock would be given to the foundation once Midas Gold receives all permits to allow construction to begin.
Once construction begins on the project, the company would give the foundation $250,000 each year during the projected three-year construction phase.
That would be a total of $1.15 million in cash and 3 million shares of stock before Midas would extract an ounce of gold from its proposed mining project near Yellow Pine.
Once the Stibnite mine begins producing gold, Midas Gold would give 1 percent of its net profits to the foundation over the expected 12-year life of the project.
That pledge would be at least $500,000 per year, Midas Gold Idaho President and CEO Laurel Sayer said.
The company would give the foundation a final payment of $1 million when mining has been completed and reclamation efforts begin.
The intent of the foundation is to develop a lasting endowment and enable the foundation to continue to exist after the mine is closed, Sayer said.
Only signers of the community agreement would be able to appoint members to the foundation board, but anyone would be eligible to apply for grants, the draft agreement said.
McCall raises questions about agreement
Midas Gold has been working for the last two months to sign up communities for a proposed agreement that would see millions of dollars given for civic improvements.
But the process has been slowed by misunderstandings and questions about the agreement, especially by the McCall City Council, Midas Gold Idaho President & CEO Laurel Sayer said.
In July, Midas Gold representatives began meeting with city councils and county commissioners in Valley, Adams and Idaho counties to ask them for comment on the proposed community agreement.
The majority of the communities have provided comments, but none of the governments have yet agreed to sign the agreement, which would form the Stibnite Foundation and the Stibnite Advisory Council.
Midas Gold would donate cash and company stock to the foundation, which would have an independent board of directors that would accept applications for community grants.
The advisory council would provide a forum for the communities in the area to stay abreast of the proposed gold mine near Yellow Pine as the project progresses.
— Tom Grote, The Star-News, (McCall), Thursday
Colfax limits students’ use of cellphones
COLFAX — The new school year brought a new cellphone-use policy for seventh- and eighth-graders at Colfax Junior-Senior High School.
Students now are not allowed to bring cellphones to classrooms, or use them between classes or in the cafeteria during lunch.
The policy is an extension of one already in place at Jenning Elementary.
“We had a lot of phone infractions in the seventh grade last year,” Colfax Principal Carrie Lipe said.
At the end of the 2017-18 school year, junior high teachers took a survey and all recommended the new policy.
Last year, the junior high rules were the same as for high school. Students were required to put phones in numbered pockets at the start of class. They were allowed to carry them in hallways, at lockers, at lunch or elsewhere.
“Back in the day, it used to be passing notes. Now it’s that times a thousand, times a million,” Lipe said.
The new policy prohibits junior high students from being seen with a phone in the halls. It grew out of training that teachers attended the past two years at ESD 101 in Spokane. The national program is called Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS).
“The (junior high kids) are calmer during lunch,” Lipe said of the change this year. “Now they’re talking to each other. They’ve been great. We’ve had no pushback from them. It was, yeah, this is probably good for us.”
— Garth Meyer, Whitman County Gazette, (Colfax), Thursday.