Cheer

Cheers to the Twin Falls County Commission, which voted Thursday to finally give veterans a fitting home.

For years, local veterans groups have met in dilapidated buildings, in living rooms or just about anywhere else they could find to gather. Not surprising, the less-than-ideal situation made it difficult for veterans to access resources.

Now, veterans will have access to 7,000 square feet of offices, meeting spaces, a recreation room and even a kitchen. The space will be managed by the Twin Falls Veterans Council, a group of eight local vet organizations.

“It’s our idea as a commission to serve our veterans as kind of a one-stop shop,” said Commissioner Don Hall, who is also a vet.

Inspired by the commissioners’ decision, local philanthropists are stepping up. An anonymous businessman has pledged to pay the vets’ already low $50-a-month lease fee.

As reporter Heather Kennison wrote for the Times-News:

“Franklin Building Supply has agreed to donate a set of double doors for security, 30 gallons of paint, and labor to remove a wall to create a large meeting room for the VFW auxiliary.

“Jimmy Berkley, judge advocate general and founder of Twin Falls Veterans Council, plans to move his personal military memorabilia collection into the meeting space so others can see and enjoy the historic pieces. He has uniforms dating back to World War I.”

Congratulations to the county and all its vets for finally finding a home.

Jeer

So much for public service in Lincoln County.

Earlier this year during the late-winter floods, a dairy flushed manure water into the canal system, which eventually made its way into drinking wells. The dairy has since been fined, but there are still homeowners dealing with well contamination.

At the time, county commissioners told residents they’d reimburse them for well-testing kits. No one wanted Lincoln County residents drinking contaminated water, after all, so officials removed cost as an obstacle from folks testing their wells. At most, 40 wells were tested, meaning the county would be on the hook for $640.

But now the county is telling residents it won’t pick up the tab, because the county didn’t receive flood and disaster funding like it thought it would.

Good grief. We appreciate fiscal responsibility in our elected officials, but this is ridiculous.

Are commissioners really too cheap — or cold-hearted — that they’d go back on their word and stiff people who’ve already had their drinking water contaminated? You’d think spending $600 would be money well-spent even if it’s only to avoid looking so terrible.

Voters in Lincoln County should keep this incident in mind next time commissioners want to give themselves a pay bump or spend a little taxpayer money on perks like food or travel.

No, $600 shouldn’t be such a big deal, but that’s the whole point.

Cheer

Take a chilly jump into the Snake River today, and you may just warm the hearts of a grieving family.

The Luckey family has been anything but. The family was displaced by the Texas hurricane earlier this year and landed in Twin Falls. On Monday, their 2-year-old daughter, Cassandra, died when a cat knocked over a lamp in the RV where the family was staying.

The tragedy for this family is simply heart-breaking, especially so close to Christmas.

Volunteers are hosting a fundraiser for the family, a “polar plunge,” where folks can make a small donation and take a dip in the Snake.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at Centennial Waterfront Park, and the plunge starts at noon. The cost is $40, or $20 with a new unwrapped toy.

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