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.


GRANGEVILLE — Ferdinand resident Pat Alfrey made an online purchase last month.

“Well, I’m out 215 bucks, and maybe my VISA company will reimburse me,” she said.

Alfrey is out her money, and the promised product, after purchasing from the site A search for the site found an empty page stating, “This shop is unavailable.” An Internet search found multiple sites warning about the page, stating it was a scam.

“I had been researching craft sewing tables,” she said, and found one for $215 on this site. “You know what they say about sounding too good to be true?” she said, but she convinced herself on the good price as sometimes outlet stores have deals on single or discontinued items they need to move out the door.

She ordered, received confirmation of the purchase, and then a shipping confirmation, which said it would take three to six weeks for delivery.

“I clicked on it and tried to track it. It said this website doesn’t exist,” Alfrey said. “So, I Googled it. It’s a scam.”

Alfrey wanted to inform the public of this scam, noting she still sees this site pop up in her Facebook feed. Her hope is the scam doesn’t use her credit card information to defraud her further, but regardless, she intends to cancel this account and set up a new one.

Security in online shopping starts with a website search of the company, bringing up results of whether it is legitimate, as well as reviews by the public. Some web browsers will display the site’s security status in the address window, which is an indicator of whether it’s safe or malicious. Law enforcement agencies advise often that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is a scam.

— David Rauzi, Idaho County Free Press (Grangeville), Wednesday

Four from county to compete in National High School Finals Rodeo

All roads lead to Rock Springs, Wyo., today through Saturday for the 71st annual National High School Finals Rodeo, to include competitors from the United States, Mexico, Australia and Canada.

Among them are four names from Whitman County who finished in the top four in Washington to qualify.

Lance Mills, a 2019 graduate of St. John/Endicott High School, won the state championship in tie-down roping and took second in trapshooting, a high school rodeo event. He will compete in both at nationals.

Jordan Paddock, a bullrider and 2019 Garfield/Palouse graduate, placed second in state to advance to nationals.

Wesley Castanon, a new Oakesdale graduate, finished third in Washington in saddle bronc to make it to Rock Springs.

Sydney Berquist, a junior-to-be at Colfax High School, goes to nationals in breakaway roping, for which she finished third in state.

— Whitman County Gazette (Colfax), Thursday

McCall eyes ‘going small’ on affordable housing

McCALL — Encouraging smaller, denser housing is one way to provide affordable homes for working residents in McCall, a new study recommends.

That idea and others were aired during a recent joint work session between the McCall City Council, the McCall Area Planning & Zoning Commission and Kushlan Associates, a Boise-based consultant hired by the city.

“Ultimately, I think we need to make it as easy to live here as it is to visit here,” Councilor Colby Nielsen said.

Councilors and P&Z members agreed that smaller, denser housing like duplexes, bungalow courts and townhomes should be a focus in helping solve the city’s housing problem.

“Three here, three there, two there is going to add up over time,” P&Z commissioner Robert Lyons said, noting smaller projects are more realistic for the average developer.

One idea is to allow smaller, denser projects in all single-family residential zones, which make up about 89 percent of the city, according to Kushlan’s report.

Currently, proposals for such units in single-family residential zones must go through a lengthier and more expensive approval process.

Another idea is to promote the use of secondary apartments like garage lofts as deed-restricted local housing.

This could be done by eliminating a requirement that such units have separate sewer connections, which would need to be cleared with the Payette Lakes Recreational Sewer and Water District.

Development standards for temporary seasonal housing like RV parks and yurt camps is another idea under consideration.

Removing barriers to local housing developments was another topic weighed during the work session.

The report also urged relaxing of standards to give flexibility to developers.

— Drew Dodson, The Star-News (McCall), Thursday

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