Stories in the Regional News Roundup are excerpted from weekly newspapers from around the region. This is part two, with part one having appeared in Saturday’s Tribune.


KOOSKIA — The Kooskia Ambulance Department will be getting a new addition to its fleet. According to Ambulance Director Phillip Legg, who announced the news at a regular Kooskia City Council meeting last week, the new unit will be partially funded by a $120,000 grant from Idaho Health and Welfare, Idaho Bureau of EMS.

There is also a $10,000 grant for a mechanical CPR device made by Zoll.

“This device can outperform any human being doing CPR,” Legg said. “We have a lot of capabilities and maneuverability with it; it’s a wrap-around device that straps on the person and does manual compressions for us. It adjusts to the needs of each person as far as rate and depth of compressions and keeps working consistently all the way to the hospital. Because we have such large transport times, the statistics that are shown with this particular device are pretty astounding. It increases survivability, especially in outlying rural communities by almost 30 percent.

“Sometimes we only have two or three crew members on, so with that, if we were able to put that device on somebody, then we would free-up having to rotate through people doing compressions,” added Legg.

Legg also reported that Dr. Jessup resigned June 30 as Kooskia’s medical director, for various reasons. “We got an interim medical director who is Dr. Sandy, and he’s the state medical director; he sits at the head of the Idaho Physicians Commission, which is the body of doctors that puts together our protocols. He’s going to be a great asset to our team; he offered to do it temporarily until we get a local doctor here that wants to do it.”

Legg said there is already a candidate for the permanent medical director; Dr. Schweitzer started his career in EMS and is all about advances in emergency medicine and he’s already going through and taking on the medical director for St. Mary’s Ambulance as well as a couple other entities. “He’s pretty excited about being medical director,” added Legg.

“I think the crew has come together really cohesively, everyone seems really happy, (now that) all of the stuff has stopped,” said Legg in reference to the lasting turmoil within the department.

The concern amongst crew members wasn’t so much about political aspects; rather they were troubled about the work atmosphere and continue to strive for a welcoming environment. “We have a brand new EMT class and about four new EMTs coming out of that and we don’t want to taint the waters for those new people, we want to make sure it’s a welcoming, open environment for them to want to serve their community and grow,” said Legg. “Everyone is on the same page; it’s water under the bridge and everyone is happy to move on and move forward.”

— Janene Engle, The Clearwater Progress (Kamiah), Thursday

Citizens sound off over fireworks enforcement

DAYTON — At last week’s Dayton City Council meeting, Christine Broughton was selected by the council to fill the remainder of Zac Weatherford’s city council term, which was created when he became Dayton’s interim mayor.

The council interviewed Broughton and two other applicants, Cara James and Charity Herren. Mayor Weatherford thanked James and Herren for their interest in serving on the city council and encouraged them to apply for the seat recently held by Kathy Berg. Berg has submitted her resignation from the council effective June 30.

Art Hall submitted a letter to the council regarding “non-consumer, illegal” fireworks being discharged in Dayton over the Fourth of July, and what he perceives as a lack of response from local law enforcement officials.

Special guest JJ Dippel said she agreed with Hall’s assessment. She would like to see fireworks held in one safe locale, such as the school football field, rather than throughout the city.

Undersheriff Robbie Patterson said the sheriff’s department received 71 calls for service over two nights during the Fourth of July. He said calls included fights in progress, malicious mischief, narcotic reports, burglaries and unwanted persons, which kept them busy.

Weatherford, the county’s prosecuting attorney, Dale Slack, and Sheriff Joe Helm have met about the fireworks issue and are discussing what to do, Patterson said.

Weatherford said he met with Helm a month before the Fourth of July and asked that the city’s ordinance regarding fireworks be enforced. He said they also discussed the times and dates fireworks are allowed.

“I will be meeting with the sheriff, and Planning, and the Public Safety Committee to go over the ordinance and see if any changes need to be made,” Weatherford said.

— Michele Smith, The Times (Waitsburg), Thursday

New doctor to serve county clinics, ER

COLFAX — Dr. Peter Edminster will take the place as a family practitioner and OB for Dr. Anthony Lundberg, who has practiced in St. John for 19 years.

Dr. Lundberg plans to move to St. George, Utah, where he will join the Veterans Affairs program.

Lungberg and his wife, Kelly, have five children.

Edminster is certified in family practice and OB. He has completed his residency with Family Medicine of Spokane with a rural training track at Colville.

The training track was the same one followed by Lundberg prior to his move to St. John.

Edminster grew up in Colbert, where he wrestled for the Mead High School wrestling team.

He moved on to obtain his bachelor’s degree in biology from Carroll College in Helena, Mont.

Edminster traveled to Honduras after finishing his undergraduate degree, to teach English, Spanish and math to children.

“It gave me perspective on the profound need for compassionate and passionate medical care in the world,” he said.

Edminster said his father and older brother are also doctors, and he didn’t think he wanted to pursue the same path until he went to Honduras.

Edminster attended medical school at the University of Washington.

He will staff the Whitman Medical Group clinic in St. John, and will commute to Colfax for a couple days in the week. He said he will also work in the emergency room and will deliver babies.

“I appreciate it being an independent group that isn’t owned by a corporation,” Edminster said.

He said the full spectrum medicine approach and the current doctors at the clinics drew him to the St. John community.

“I’m excited to be a part of a community,” Edminster said. “I want to help people take ownership of their health and establish long-term relationships.”

Edminster’s family includes his wife, Melissa, who works as a hospice social worker, and two sons, Sam, who is 2 1/2, and Levi, who is 3 months old.

The Edminster family plans to make their home at the doctor’s house in St. John. They will be the fifth physician family to reside at the St. John residence.

A reception for the change of doctors is planned from 4 to 6 p.m. July 28 at the residence.

Current patients of Dr. Lundberg may contact the Whitman Medical Group office with questions. Dr. Edminster’s tentative start date is Sept. 1.

The Whitman Medical Group employs about six doctors for three clinics in Colfax, St. John and Tekoa.

— Madysen McLain, Whitman County Gazette (Colfax), Thursday

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