UPDATE: Sadly, Uriah Goff died Saturday, Jan. 6.
BLISS — When Alysen Springer went to a specialist in Boise during her pregnancy, she wasn’t expecting to deliver her baby 13 weeks early.
The Bliss resident didn’t bring much — not even a change of clothing — to her Dec. 8 doctor’s appointment. She was just expecting a day trip to formulate a medical plan to help with her son’s growth.
But Springer found out her body wasn’t coping well with the pregnancy. A doctor told her: “You’re not leaving the hospital being pregnant.”
She felt fine for a couple of days in the hospital and thought everything would go back to normal.
But at 3 a.m. Dec. 11, “I took a downhill spiral, basically,” Springer said. She was in pain and her liver was in distress.
Initially, the plan was to try to hold off on delivery for 24 hours. But that didn’t happen. Springer had an emergency C-section — not what she’d originally planned.
“I wanted to do a natural birth,” she said. “But my body was already to the point of shutting down.”
Uriah Goff was born at 27 weeks gestation at 1:02 p.m. Dec. 11. He weighed just 1 pound 7 ounces, and measured 12.4 inches.
Once her son was born, Springer started feeling much better.
Since then, “it’s been kind of a roller coaster ride,” she said. Uriah was so small, he wasn’t taking to feedings at first.
He also underwent “a couple of downhills” common to premature babies, she said, such as needing a blood transfusion. “Besides that, he’s basically in perfect health.”
Uriah will likely be at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit in Boise until March 6, his original due date, but if things go well, he could be released as early as February.
“As they say, he’s the boss right now,” Springer said.
Uriah’s great-grandfather, Danny Reed of Hollister, said the baby is making good progress, especially considering how early he was born. “There haven’t been any major medical issues transpire at this point.”
Now, Uriah weighs 2 pounds, 5 ounces.
Father, Tyler Goff, has two other children from a prior relationship, but Uriah is the first child for the Bliss couple. Springer and Goff have been friends since they were students at Filer High School.
Reed said he thinks the couple has fairly good medical insurance, but there are still daily expenses and a loss of income since Springer hasn’t been able to work.
“They didn’t plan on this happening until March,” Reed said.
Springer has been staying in Boise to be near her son. She’s on maternity leave from her job at Ziggy’s Express Gas & Grill in Bliss.
Goff missed a week of work as a cook at Oxbow Diner in Bliss when Uriah was born. Since then, he has driven back-and-forth from Bliss to Boise on his days off work.
Even though their home is closer to St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center, the Twin Falls hospital accommodates infants only 30 weeks and older. Those who are younger, like Uriah, receive care in Boise.
Last year, a Hansen couple made headlines when their baby girl — Rainna Crabb — was born in March at just 24 weeks gestation at St. Luke’s Magic Valley, weighing 1 pound, 1 ounce.
Now, she’s home and doing well after spending four months in the NICU in Boise.
It’s a success story — one Uriah will hopefully emulate as his medical journey continues.
BURLEY — Authorities are combing Jerome County for more evidence into the disappearance and apparent murder of Tiffani Streling, the Burley woman who went missing in 2015.
Police announced in November that they’d found Streling’s remains in rural Jerome County. On Friday, Sheriff Doug McFall said that only the skull was originally found, an accidental discovery made by excavation workers.
Now, police are hoping to find Streling’s additional remains in the hopes they could yield more clues into how Streling died and who caused her death.
“We are still looking for the rest of her body,” McFall said. “There have been several searches in the immediate area, but it has not been found yet.”
Authorities have not disclosed the exact location of where Streling’s skull was found, likely to keep the public away as authorities search for additional remains.
The FBI is examining forensic evidence collected in November. The sheriff said he didn’t know how long the testing would take. DNA testing is expected to confirm the positive dental identification performed by the Ada County Coroner’s Office.
“We haven’t heard anything back from the FBI lab yet,” McFall said.
All of the information and reports gathered by his office will likely be turned over to the Cassia County Sheriff’s Office, which was investigating Streling’s disappearance.
“We don’t know where the homicide took place,” McFall said, an important factor in determining jurisdiction.
He said there is a possibility that at least “part of the crime” took place in Cassia County.
Cassia County Undersheriff George Warrell said the case has not been officially turned over to his office.
“We are following up leads and gathering as much info as we can,” Warrell said.
Streling was reported missing by her boyfriend James McLaws the day after she disappeared. McLaws and the father of Tiffani’s deceased baby reportedly had a confrontation the day she disappeared.
Her family continued to hold vigils and search for her after her disappearance.
Streling’s mother, Melissa Belt, said in November that her family was upset but “relieved” that she had been found.
Streling’s father, William Streling, said the family wanted to wait for her remains to be returned before they held a memorial service.
Warrell said anyone with information on the Streling case should call the Cassia County Sheriff’s Office at 208-878-2251.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump felt compelled Saturday to let the world know he’s playing with all his marbles and is among the sharpest cookies around.
In a series of tweets, Trump defended his mental fitness and boasted about his brains, saying he is “like, really smart” and “a very stable genius.” It was the latest pushback against a new book that portrays him as a leader who doesn’t understand the weight of his office and whose competence is questioned by aides.
“Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart,” Trump tweeted from Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, a few hours before a strategy session on the 2018 legislative agenda with Republican congressional leaders and Cabinet members.
And when Trump addressed reporters later, the Ivy League graduate was ready for the question.
“I went to the best colleges for college,” said Trump, who holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. “I had a situation where I was a very excellent student, came out, made billions and billions of dollars, became one of the top business people, went to television and for 10 years was a tremendous success, as you probably have heard, ran for president one time and won.”
His ire was directed at Michael Wolff, author of “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” The book draws a derogatory portrait of the 45th president as an undisciplined man-child who didn’t actually want to win the White House, and who spends his evenings eating cheeseburgers in bed, watching television and talking on the telephone to old friends.
The book also quotes Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, and other prominent advisers as questioning the president’s competence.
“I consider it a work of fiction,” Trump told reporters, then bemoaned the country’s “very weak” libel laws.
“I don’t know this man. I guess sloppy Steve brought him in the White House quite a bit and it was one of those things. That’s why sloppy Steve is now looking for a job,” Trump said.
In one of his morning tweets, the president said critics are “taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence.”
He said his journey from “VERY successful businessman,” to reality TV star to president on his first try “would qualify as not smart, but genius .... and a very stable genius at that!”
Trump also spoke about the special counsel’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election at Camp David saying “everything I’ve done is 100 percent proper” and he insisted that his campaign didn’t collude with Moscow or commit any crime.
His team has been “open” with special counsel Robert Mueller and “done nothing wrong,” Trump told reporters at Camp David.
He bemoaned the unrelenting focus on alleged Russia ties, saying the probe is “very, very bad for our country. It’s making our country look foolish and this is a country that I don’t want looking foolish, and it’s not going to look foolish as long as I’m here.”
A number of news outlets, including The Associated Press, have reported that Trump directed his White House counsel to tell Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to withdraw from the Justice Department’s investigation into potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Sessions’ decision to step away prompted Mueller’s appointment.
Trump told reporters at Camp David that The New York Times story first reporting the request was “way off, or at least off,” — although he wouldn’t say how.
He added: “Everything that I’ve done is 100 percent proper. That’s what I do, is I do things properly.”
While at Camp David, Trump was also able to address the upcoming talks between the Koreas.
Trump, who last year lambasted his chief diplomat for talking about negotiations with the nuclear-armed North, told reporters at Camp David that some dialogue or direct conversation with Kim Jong Un was not beyond the realm of possibility.
“Sure, I always believe in talking,” Trump said. “Absolutely I would do that, I wouldn’t have a problem with that at all.” But he was quick to add that any talks would come with conditions, which he did not specify.
The first formal talks between North and South in more than two years are set to take place in a border town Tuesday as the rivals try to find ways to cooperate on the Winter Olympics in the South and to improve their ties. Tensions are high because of the North’s nuclear and missile programs.
“Right now they’re talking Olympics. It’s a start, it’s a big start,” Trump said during a question-and-answer session.
Kim “knows I’m not messing around. I’m not messing around, not even a little bit, not even 1 percent. He understands that,” Trump said.
Assessing next week’s discussions, Trump said “if something can happen and something can come out of those talks, that would be a great thing for all of humanity. That would be a great thing for the world.”
The president also said that he had spoken with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in, who “thanks me very much for my tough stance.”
“You have to have a certain attitude and you have to be prepared to do certain things and I’m totally prepared to do that,” Trump said, contending his tough words have helped persuade the North to sit down with the South.