News is born of the unexpected, the big or unusual events that demand our attention. We often know when “newsy” things are coming down the pike. Although we don’t know the exact outcome — the final revolution or end results — we know what we’d like to happen. This week, we’d like to see ...

1. Movement toward an honest, straight-up Medicaid expansion

Fed up with state lawmakers’ endless foot-dragging on what has become a life-or-death matter for thousands of financially struggling Idahoans, the voters delivered a clear message in November as more than 60 percent approved the ballot measure directing the Legislature to expand Medicaid. Only three months have passed since the election, but somehow a number of legislators have managed to either forget or misinterpret what it is they need to do with this item. Instead of simply tossing the federally supported lifeline to citizens who are floundering in the ultra-low-income medical coverage “gap,” the effete ruling elite want to seize this opportunity to let these lesser beings know just how unworthy they are of this sudden access to health care. Lawmakers, please, step down from the morality police soap box, drop the onerous work reporting requirements and all other of your heartlessly conceived heartlessly conceived hurdles for citizens whose circumstances aren’t as comfortable as your own.

2. A swift resolution over hemp

While hemp is still illegal in Idaho, it is now legal at the federal level. And while states can historically have stricter rules than federal laws, the Farm Bill does have a provision about the transportation of hemp. “No state or Indian tribe shall prohibit the transportation or shipment of hemp or hemp products.” The state of Idaho is currently in a lawsuit because state police seized a load of hemp that was being transported through the state. In addition to coming online with the new Farm Bill, we would also like to see the state grant clemency to those who have been caught transporting through the state since it became federally legal.

3. A good turnout for a good cause

The eighth annual Soup’r Bowl Fundraiser that benefits the Next Chapter Food Pantry in Ontario begins Friday. With their ticket, participants will get a bowl which can be filled up with soup at a handful of participating restaurants. The pantry, next to St. Matthews Episcopal Church and at the First Christian Church, serves people who struggle to make ends meet and put food on the table, at no cost to them.

4. The Chukars step up to a tall task

The Treasure Valley Community College basketball teams have hit their fair share of waves this season, but NWAC powerhouse Walla Walla Community College is coming to town on Wednesday and both teams have the opportunity to make a statement against the Warriors. For the women’s team, the Chukars are running out of time to take the No. 4 seed out of the stacked East Region. The men are currently sitting at No. 4, and an upset win over Walla Walla would prove that the Chukars belong among the region’s elite teams.

5. Spreading cheer for Valentine’s Day

It’s hard to pick what’s better: spreading joy or being the recipient of it. Either way you choose, Thursday is an opportunity not to miss showing someone you care, whether through a gesture or a gift (small or large). The day doesn’t have to be exclusively for couples, it’s a great time to spread cheer to friend, co-workers, relatives and, even, elderly people in retirement homes. After all, studies show that giving gifts results in longer happiness.


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