Stories from this compilation are excerpted from weekly newspapers from around the region. This is the second of a two-part Regional News Roundup; the first part was published Saturday.
COLFAX — Whitman County commissioners heard from a crowd Tuesday after scheduling a March 4 public meeting on a proposed zone change to allow a marijuana research facility at the intersection of Flat Road and Country Club Road outside of Pullman.
Tuesday’s regular meeting agenda actually had no time for comment slated, but commission president Art Swannack nonetheless asked anyone who would like to speak to keep it to less than two minutes.
Selway Holdings has requested 3.5 acres of their land southwest of Pullman be rezoned from agriculture to limited light industrial, which would allow plans for a facility to process marijuana.
Jordan Zager is part owner of Selway Holding and co-founder of Dewey Scientific.
“Please remain objective as this moves forward,” Zager asked commissioners.
Paul Mihalyov, a co-founder of Pullman-based Dewey Scientific, which would conduct research at the Selway site, told commissioners, “it was the last of our intentions (for this to cause problems). We’re open to meet with anybody. We absolutely don’t want this to turn into what it has.”
Kelly Fukia from Schweitzer Engineering urged commissioners “to take the time to consider, weigh the concerns with the proposal.”
— Garth Meyer, Whitman County Gazette (Colfax), Thursday
NRCS office in Orofino on verge of closing
OROFINO — The Natural Resources Conservation Service plans to close its Orofino office, leaving Clearwater County as the only county in the area without an NRCS office.
The NRCS hosts both the Clearwater Soil and Water Conservation District and the Idaho Soil and Water Commission offices, and the NRCS departure would force a closure of all three offices in the U.S. Forest Service building.
Under the proposal, the NRCS would move to Lewiston and new office space in Orofino would be sought for the district and commission offices.
The NRCS hosts the nonprofit Water Conservation District in its office space at no cost.
These three agencies work closely together and with other partner agencies like Clearwater County, Idaho Department of Lands, Department of Water Resources and others to promote voluntary conservation with private landowners in the area. Over the years, they have brought many millions of federal and state dollars into Clearwater County, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2018 alone.
The Clearwater Soil and Water Conservation District is trying to encourage the NRCS to reevaluate its plans and to consider the possible harm to the Clearwater area, landowners and the entire community.
The city of Orofino, Clearwater County and residents are joining together in this effort. For more information, call the Soil and Water Conservation District office in Orofino at (208) 400-3008.
— Clearwater Tribune (Orofino), Wednesday