Jackson Gardiner, from Boy Scout Troop 380 in Meridian, presented his completed Eagle Scout Project to the Idaho State Police at the end of January.
Jackson, 14, constructed 10 training boxes for ISP’s K-9 program.
His inspiration came a few months earlier when he observed a safety presentation given by Cpl. Chris Cottrell and his ISP K-9 Dax.
Jackson was so impressed with the dog and his ability to identify illegal drugs, he contacted Cpl. Cottrell and asked how he could help.
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The boxes are used in training five at a time. They are randomly placed around a large room, typically a garage or warehouse. Four of the boxes will contain something attractive to the dog, like dog food or a toy. The fifth box houses a specific drug. The dog is then ordered to search the area and is rewarded when he or she finds the box with the drug in it.
“It’s amazing to watch,” says Jackson’s father, Capt. Bill Gardiner, ISP’s district commander in the Boise area.
Out of the 10 boxes built by Jackson, five will stay in Boise and the rest will be sent to Coeur d’Alene.
Jackson completed the project with the help of donations from Intermountain Wood Products and Rodda Paint. Additionally, Jackson and several volunteers put 35 hours into cutting, assembling, sanding, painting and striping each box to look like one of ISP’s patrol cars.
We learned that ISP’s K-9s have to rely on other police agencies’ drug boxes to train. I knew right then I wanted to build training boxes for the State Police.
Idaho City Chili Cook Off
Treat yourself to a road trip for President’s Day weekend: destination Idaho City.
Enjoy the scenic drive and then feed your belly at the 31st annual Chili Cook Off from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Idaho City Visitors Center, 100 Main St.
Official judging for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place starts at noon, but you can continue to sample chili and cast your vote for your favorite until the People’s Choice Award is announced between 2 and 2:30 p.m.
There will also be live music, raffles and beer to cool down that fire inside.
And while you’re there, take some time to explore this historic town, too.
The cook off is a fundraiser for the Idaho City Chamber, with proceeds benefitting local businesses, tourism, events and city improvement projects.
Cost is $5 per person, $3 for children younger than 12.
Help local firefighters in the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb
Every year, firefighters from all over the world raise money via donation and pledge for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and then gather in Seattle to sprint up 69 flights of stairs.
Oh…and one small detail — they tackle this in full-on gear.
To put that in perspective, these firefighters tack on an extra 50 pounds with the helmet, fireproof coat/pants, breathing apparatus and air tanks used in fighting fires, and then dart up 69 floors of the Columbia Center Towers. That’s 1,356 steps in case you were curious.
The fundraising event began 26 years ago and has raised more than $10 million dollars to help develop new, more effective and less toxic treatments for patients with blood cancers.
This year’s Scott Firefighter Stairclimb is March 12 and firefighters from Boise, Caldwell, Nampa and other local departments were able to make registration. (The event sells out in less than an hour.)
You can help with the participating fire departments’ fundraising efforts. A “CrossFit. Conquer. Cure.” event runs from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 18, at Snake River CrossFit, 1123 N. 36th St., Nampa.
This will be a CrossFit-style partner workout with power cleans, front-rack lunges and push-ups. Cost is $10 per person ($20 per team).
There is an additional “grand finale” event just for local area firefighters. Each department will have the option of selecting a team of three to represent them in the Max Effort Sprint for the Cure. The top three finishing teams will receive cash prizes to be donated to their team’s fundraising efforts.
Spectators are welcome and encouraged to cheer on their local firefighters.
Michelle Jenkins: 208-377-6451