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Ben Dorger, Standard-Examiner 

Thatch Elmer, 14-year-old emerging cowboy poet, poses for a photo April 19.

At 85 he still looks like a ball player: Norman "Duke" Wiseman looks back on his life in athletics

TWIN FALLS — Norman Wiseman was a big fish in a small pond — one of eight boys who graduated from high school in 1952 in Culver, Ore., a hamlet north of Bend.

“I did really well in high school basketball,” the formerly 6-foot-7-inch Wiseman said Wednesday. “I averaged 33 points per game.”

Today, at nearly 85, the man known as “Duke” stands 6 feet 6 inches and still looks like a ballplayer.

Basketball has been very good to Duke, who credits the sport for the life he’s lived.


Second from top right) Norman 'Duke' Wiseman is seen in the Idaho State College yearbook Wednesday at his home south of Twin Falls.

After graduating, he tried out for college teams in Oregon, but was picked by none. Then one day — out of the blue — he got a letter from Steve Belko, head basketball coach at Idaho State College. Belko asked Duke to come to Pocatello to try out for the Bengals.

He later learned Culver’s druggist, an ISC alumnus, had watched Duke play high school basketball and had suggested Belko recruit him.

So Duke took a bus to Pocatello and Belko met him at Reed Gym. The gym seemed enormous to him, he said, compared to his tiny gym back in Culver.

A group from the college gathered to watch him demonstrate his skills. When it was over, Belko offered him a full scholarship to the college.

Duke had planned to go into vocational school, until he realized his scholarship was given only to academic students. So he quickly changed his emphasis from woodworking to social studies, geography, psychology and history.

“I owe a lot to basketball,” he said. “It gave me my education, my wife and my career.”

The game also gave Duke his nickname.

When Bengal basketball players met for the first time on the court, the coaches asked them to give their full name and tell something about themselves.

“So I told them my full name: Norman Louis Albert Andrew Wiseman,” he said. “Then someone said, ‘I’ll never remember all that; sounds like a duke or something.’ And I’ve been Duke ever since.”

Because of a broken arm, Duke was redshirted his sophomore year, giving him free time to court the love of his life, Ora Lee Fuller of Twin Falls.

“I majored in Ora Lee,” he said. “I was so infatuated with her.”

Ora Lee is the daughter of Dr. Orrin A. Fuller, long-ago director of the Twin Falls Municipal Band. The band named her, she said.

“I was supposed to be Orrin Jr.,” Ora Lee said. When the band leader found out he had a new daughter instead of a son, he asked band members to suggest more feminine names and passed around a hat. Orrin Fuller pulled the name “Ora Lee” out of the hat and he knew that was it.

Ora Lee was part of the Bengal’s Pep Club. She knew nothing of basketball, but she liked to wear the cute outfits and shake pom-poms, she said.


Norman 'Duke' Wiseman and his Idaho State College team took third place in the N.C.A.A. west regional tournament back in 1955.

Meanwhile, Coach Belko worked on Duke’s skills.

“He became really good at shooting hook shots,” said Duke’s son Andy Wiseman, retired school district supervisor at Castleford. “The coach would have him shoot 300 hook shots from his right hand and 300 hook shots from his left hand, every day.”

Belko led the Bengals to National Collegiate Athletic Association tournaments five years in a row; Duke competed in both his junior and senior years.

“We didn’t stand much of a chance of winning with Bill Russell playing for the University of San Francisco,” he said.

Duke didn’t actually play against the basketball legend, “but we shared the same locker room,” he said.

“The first time I saw him, I thought he was 7 foot 9,” he said, but admitted Russell is only a few inches taller than himself. “I was amazed.”

Duke always knew he’d be a teacher. His nearly 40-year career in education took him back to Oregon, then — to Ora Lee’s delight — to Twin Falls, where they finished raising their four children.

Ora Lee taught at both Lincoln Elementary and the old Washington School at North Five Points in Twin Falls.

Duke taught and coached at Robert Stuart Junior High, then became vice principal at the old O’Leary Junior High on Shoshone before becoming the principal at the new O’Leary on Elizabeth Boulevard. During his summers, he farmed 40 acres southwest of town. That first summer at the farm, he somehow managed to rebuild his tiny farmhouse and earned a master’s degree.

He topped off his career as the athletic director for Twin Falls School District before retiring in 1991.

“Duke has always been larger than life; he’s a really, really big man,” said Dennis Bowyer, former director of the Twin Falls Parks and Recreation Department.

Bowyer — a tall man himself — said he always looked up to Duke, both literally and figuratively. “He’s a great man, a respected man.”

Duke’s legacy may well be the tennis courts at Twin Falls High School. Knowing the importance of athletics, Duke used every tool in his box of skills to raise money for the courts in the early 1980s.

Duke beamed Wednesday as he leafed through pages of school books and photographs, the names and hometowns of his classmates came easily to him.

“It’s been 20 years since I’ve seen any of this.”

“So I told them my full name: Norman Louis Albert Andrew Wiseman. Then someone said, ‘I’ll never remember all that; sounds like a duke or something.’ And I’ve been Duke ever since.” Norman “Duke” Wiseman, former Idaho State College basketball star

Times-News wins big at annual Idaho Press Club Awards

BOISE — Times-News staff brought home 13 first-place wins Saturday at the Idaho Press Club Awards in Boise.

The staff received first place for best website for a daily newspaper for and an honorable mention for general excellence for a daily print paper.

Reporter Julie Wootton-Greener and former reporters Tetona Dunlap and Alex Riggins won first for series in daily print for their project, “Foster care in Idaho.”

Pat Sutphin took second place for photographer of the year and Drew Nash took third place.

Sports reporter Jake Crouse took third place for rookie of the year, an award for journalists in their first job.

Other awards:


1st Drew Nash, Pat Sutphin – “Between the Frames”


1st Drew Nash – “Inside the Frame”

2nd Matthew Gooch – “Faces of Main Street: You Visit”


1st Alex Valentine, Victor Flores – “Play for us: Dissecting prep athlete pipelines”


1st Nathan Brown – Times-News – “Could legalization of marijuana be in Idaho’s future?”


1st Heather Kennison – “6 Big Changes in Idaho Aquaculture”


1st Nathan Brown, Tetona Dunlap – “The legacy of Idaho’s huge Murphy Complex Fire”


1st Laurie Welch – “Getting over Simplot”

2nd Heather Kennison – “Demand for jobs in Magic Valley and Mini-Cassia”


1st Drew Nash – “House Fire”


1st Drew Nash – “BASE Jumping”

2nd Patrick Sutphin – “Ballet Audition”

Honorable Mention, Drew Nash – “Solar Eclipse”


1st Patrick Sutphin – “Foster Care”

2nd Drew Nash – “Special”

3rd Patrick Sutphin – “Funeral”

Idaho Aquaculture Industry - Manager Dirk Bogaard poses for a portrait in the natural spring water used at his facility Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at Idaho Trout Company in Hagerman Idaho. Bogaard says the aquaculture industry's future lies in lower waste loads. 'The ability to produce fish economically with the water we have available is key,' he says.


1st Patrick Sutphin – “Aquaculture”

2nd Drew Nash – “Foster Care”

3rd Drew Nash – “Theatre”


3rd Laurie Welch – “Volunteers’ compassion helps grieving parents”


Honorable Mention, Victor Flores, Alex Valentine — “Counting era: No-hitters take backseat to pitcher health”


Honorable Mention, Victor Flores – “Riverhawk refuge”


2nd Matt Christensen – “From the Editor”


3rd Mychel Matthews – “Hidden History”


2nd Matt Christensen – “Our view: Email bill a threat to transparency”

3rd Matt Christensen – “Twin Falls, ground-zero in the war against fake news”


2nd Patrick Sutphin – “Fingertip Catch”


2nd Drew Nash – “Softball Portrait”

3rd Drew Nash – “Blackout Wine”


2nd Tetona Dunlap – “How the Dilettantes make theater magic”


2nd Julie Wootton-Greener – “School districts learn to see homelessness differently”


2nd Laurie Welch – “Technology spurs increased vigilance after violence”

3rd Laurie Welch – “When a daughter disappears”


Honorable Mention: Julie Wootton-Greener – “Traumatic brain injury patients seek support”


3rd Julie Wootton-Greener, Heather Kennison, Mychel Matthews, Laurie Welch, Tetona Dunlap – “Making it in the Magic Valley”


3rd Staff – “Magic Valley Flooding”


Burley's Jemilynn Mahoney works a portrait session Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Twin Falls High School.

Twin Falls may increase fines for companies that violate sewer discharge limits

TWIN FALLS — The city wants to increase the fines for companies that significantly violate their industrial sewer discharge limits.

On Monday, the City Council will have a public hearing regarding the Enforcement Response Plan and Industrial User Surcharge Program. Twin Falls staff and industry partners have been working for 18 months to revise the program and fees to help the city implement its pretreatment program.

The proposed changes have received EPA approval.

“It allows us to have some flexibility when industry partners exceed their permits but not at a significant level,” City Manager Travis Rothweiler said.

In those cases, a surcharge rate would be charged for insignificant additional amounts, he said. But larger violations would have a higher penalty.

The city requires some industrial businesses to pre-treat what they discharge into the city’s sewer system. Sometimes, companies exceed their limits in what they discharge and how much. This can cause odors, and it also impacts the wastewater collection and treatment systems, city spokesman Joshua Palmer said.

The city’s wastewater treatment plant is set up so bacteria can process contaminants at a static rate, he said.

“It can take some fluctuations, but it can’t take really hard hits,” Palmer said.

The city has posted a public notice with the proposed fee increases. Administrative fines would more than double on large pollutant parameter violations, increasing from $100 to $250 on the first violation. The fines for second and third violations would be $500 and $750, with a $1,000 charge for additional violations.

The new fines will better align with regional standards, Palmer said.

The public hearing will begin no earlier than 6 p.m. Monday in City Hall Council Chambers, 203 Main Ave. E. The regular meeting begins at 5 p.m., during which the Council will:

  • Hear proclamations declaring May 2018 as Mental Health Month and Older Americans Month in the city of Twin Falls.
  • Consider a request from Twin Falls Optimist Foundation to waive building permit fees associated with the Youth House project.
  • Consider a request to approve an engineering services agreement with JUB Engineers for the 2018/2019 FAA airport projects.
  • Consider a request to use airport reserves to replace a recently failed emergency generator.
  • Hear a presentation on the Southern Idaho Water Quality Coalition.

North Korea offers to give up nukes if US vows not to attack

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told his South Korean counterpart at their historic summit that he would be willing to give up his nuclear weapons if the U.S. commits to a formal end to the Korean War and a pledge not to attack the North, Seoul officials said Sunday.

Kim also vowed during his meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday to shut down the North's nuclear test site in May and disclose the process to experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States, Seoul's presidential office said.

While lingering questions remain about whether North Korea will ever decide to fully relinquish its nukes as it heads into negotiations with the U.S., Kim's comments amount to the North's most specific acknowledgement yet that "denuclearization" would constitute surrendering its weapons.

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton reacted coolly to word that Kim would abandon his weapons if the United States pledged not to invade.

Asked on CBS' "Face the Nation" whether the U.S. would make such a promise, Bolton said: "Well, we've heard this before. This is — the North Korean propaganda playbook is an infinitely rich resource."

"What we want to see from them is evidence that it's real and not just rhetoric," he added.

The long awaited meeting between the United States and North Korea is likely to occur before the end of May, President Donald Trump suggested Saturday evening during a rally in Michigan.

“I think we’ll have a meeting over the next three or four weeks,” Trump said. “It will be a very important meeting.”

“Whatever happens, happens,” he said of the meeting, noting he may go in and ultimately leave. “I’m not going to be a John Kerry who makes a horrible Iran deal.”

Seoul officials, who have shuttled between Pyongyang and Washington to broker talks between Kim and President Donald Trump, said Kim has expressed genuine interest in dealing away his nuclear weapons.

But there has been skepticism because North Korea for decades has been pushing a concept of "denuclearization" that bears no resemblance to the American definition. The North has long vowed to pursue nuclear development unless Washington removes its 28,500 troops from South Korea and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan.

During their summit at a truce village on the border, Moon and Kim promised to work toward the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula but made no references to verification or timetables.

Kim also expressed optimism about his meeting with Trump, Moon's spokesman Yoon Young-chan said.

"Once we start talking, the United States will know that I am not a person to launch nuclear weapons at South Korea, the Pacific or the United States," Kim said, according to Yoon.

Yoon also quoted Kim as saying: "If we maintain frequent meetings and build trust with the United States and receive promises for an end to the war and a non-aggression treaty, then why would we need to live in difficulty by keeping our nuclear weapons?"

The Korean Peninsula technically remains in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War was halted with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

In another sign of warming relations between Seoul and Pyongyang, South Korea said it will remove propaganda-broadcasting loudspeakers from the border with North Korea.

Seoul's Defense Ministry said today it will pull back dozens of its frontline loudspeakers on Tuesday and expects Pyongyang to do the same.

South Korea had turned off its loudspeakers ahead of last Friday's summit talks, and North Korea responded by halting its own broadcasts. Seoul had blasted propaganda messages and K-pop songs from border loudspeakers since the North's fourth nuclear test in early 2016. The North quickly matched the South's action with its own border broadcasts.

The closing of the nuclear test site would be a dramatic but likely symbolic event to set up Kim's summit with Trump. North Korea already announced this month that it has suspended all tests of nuclear devices and intercontinental ballistic missiles and plans to close its nuclear testing ground.

Still, Adam Mount, a senior defense analyst at the Federation of American Scientists, said Kim's comments were significant because they are his most explicit acknowledgement yet that denuclearization means surrendering his nuclear weapons.

"Questions remain about whether Kim will agree to discuss other nuclear technology, fissile material and missiles. However, they imply a phased process with reciprocal concessions," Mount said in an email. "It is not clear that the Trump administration will accept that kind of protracted program."

Analysts reacted with skepticism to Kim's previously announced plan to close down the test site at Punggye-ri, saying the northernmost tunnel had already become too unstable to use for underground detonations following the country's sixth and most powerful test blast in September.

In his conversation with Moon, Kim denied that he would be merely clearing out damaged goods, saying the site also has two new tunnels that are larger than previous testing facilities, Yoon said.

Some analysts see Moon's agreement with Kim at the summit as a disappointment, citing the lack of references to verification and timeframes and also the absence of a definition on what would constitute a "complete" denuclearization of the peninsula.

But Patrick McEachern, a former State Department analyst now with the Washington-based Wilson Center, said it was still meaningful that Moon extracted a commitment from Kim to complete denuclearization.

"The public conversation should now shift from speculation on whether North Korea would consider denuclearization to how South Korea and the United States can advance this denuclearization pledge in concrete steps in light of North Korea's reciprocal demands for concrete steps toward an eventual peace agreement," McEachern said in an email.

North Korea has invited the outside world to witness the dismantling of its nuclear facilities before. In June 2008, international broadcasters were allowed to air the demolition of a cooling tower at the Nyongbyon reactor site, a year after the North reached an agreement with the U.S. and four other nations to disable its nuclear facilities in return for an aid package worth about $400 million.

But the deal eventually collapsed after North Korea refused to accept U.S.-proposed verification methods, and the country went on to conduct its second nuclear test detonation in May 2009.