100 years agoIt was payday for Guy Craft and Jack Russel of Myers Cove this week in 1923, thanks to two dogs they purchased on the guarantee that they could catch cougars. Craft and Russell took the dogs out for a hunt, and the hounds performed “as advertised,” treeing two cats and making them easy prey. “Cougars bring a bounty of $50 from the state of Idaho and thus Craft and Russell collected $100 from the state and made $33 from the sale of the two pelts,” wire services reported. (This would be roughly $2,096 in 2023 dollars.) “Cougars, a type of predatory animal especially dangerous to deer, are nearly extinct in Idaho,” the brief story added. Meanwhile, in business news, a Montana company announced this week that it had completed a deal involving 62 million feet of standing timber in the Island Park area. Details on a sawmill at Big Springs would be announced at a later date.
75 years agoThirty Idaho Falls grocers agreed this week to close their stores on Sunday for a three-month trial period. The decision came March 11, 1948, after urging from Mayor E.W. Fanning, T.L. Lloyd, international vice president of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workers Union; Cecil Hart, president of the South Idaho Falls Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and others. According to the Post-Register, the spokesman for the grocery store that sparked the controversy by staying open on Sunday said his management was ready to shut down on the sabbath provided that other stores did likewise. A special committee representing the retail merchants’ bureau then agreed to the three-month trial moratorium.
50 years agoThe Idaho state Young Republican League opened its annual convention in Idaho Falls this week in 1973 with leaders calling for a continued conservative direction in the November 1974 election. Kimber Ricks of Rexburg, the outgoing league chairman, and Keith Long of Idaho Falls, one of two candidates seeking to succeed Ricks, said the party should not deviate from the course set in 1972. Ricks warned that Republicans should not become lax and assume the state’s two top Democratic officeholders, Gov. Cecil Andrus and U.S. Sen. Frank Church, would automatically be defeated. Both were shrewd and able foes, he said, adding that Andrus was trying to improve his image with conservative voters. “Underneath, he’s still the same old Cecil Andrus that he was openly two years ago,” he said.
25 years agoFour eastern Idaho men were facing first-degree murder charges this week in March 1998 in connection with the January 1998 slaying of an Idaho teenager near the entrance to the 17-Mile Cave off U.S. Highway 20 west of Idaho Falls. A grand jury handed down indictments for Burnell Owen “Bo” Weaver, 21; Jade C. Hammer, 18; Edward “Mudd” Staley, 24; and Shawn Eric Smith, 28; on charges that also included kidnapping and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the shooting death of 16-year-old David Thompson. A grand jury heard the cases because of problems associated with conducting four separate preliminary hearings for the suspects, Bonneville County Prosecutor Kipp Manwaring said. The attorneys for the men said they did not learn a grand jury was hearing the cases until Manwaring’s office made the indictments public on March 12. Representing Smith, defense attorney Cindy Campbell said the secret proceedings prevented her from cross-examining witnesses. Manwaring said he would push to have all four men tried together. Later in the year, Smith pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder and received the death sentence. Weaver pleaded guilty to first-degree kidnapping and received a sentence of 15 years to life. Staley pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping.
Paul Menser is the author of “Legendary Locals of Idaho Falls.”
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