Imagine the impact of a holiday tradition that begins on your birthdate and carries on through family generations to follow.  

A priceless Christmas tradition began more than 50 years ago at Bonner General Health and continues to touch the lives of Sandpoint community members. During the month of December, all newborn babies at BGH receive a hand-knitted hat and a red flannel stocking—a stocking large enough that it can easily provide a warm ride home for a newborn baby.  

BGH Auxiliary volunteers eagerly continue the tradition this Dec...

With new restaurants and bars opening up all the time, competition for customers is always a challenge. That is, of course, unless you are an icon of North Idaho. The 219 Lounge in Sandpoint just celebrated its 85th birthday, and it’s been found at the same First Avenue location each of those memorable years. Locals and visitors continue to visit nightly because of the atmosphere and unique experience you get once you walk through the doors.


“The character of the bar has changed multiple times over its 85-year history,” says Mel Dick, who along...

Following many personal and professional experiences with the shortcomings of the Western medical system, Jeff Pufnock and Jessica Youngs began their studies in Classical Chinese medicine. They both individually came to study Chinese medicine with a vision of learning a system of care that fully addressed healing the whole person. Jeff’s previous career as a Ph.D. cancer immunologist brought him to the realization that he wanted to approach healing from a different perspective and foster deeper personal connections with patients, while Jessica...

Founded in 1981, Northland Communications has been providing area residents a variety of communications services for more than 38 years! With a mission to provide advanced integrated communication networks that offer a broad selection of first-class services, Northland Communications enables the communities they serve to be competitive with the larger urban areas. And thanks to an acquisition by GTCR in October 2018, Northland Communications secured more than $50 million to upgrade their infrastructure, including the ability to bring 1G residen...

“God has done so many amazing things for us.”


It is inspiring to witness the incredible people in the community who give of themselves selflessly to impact others in a positive way; devoting countless hours to help improve the lives of those in our community. And one such organization that works toward its mission every hour of every day is Priest River Ministries - Advocates for Women—which strives to do all it can for the betterment of women who have endured, and are continuing to be affected, by physical and sexual abuse and violence.


Servin...

When a person goes to college and gets a degree, they typically learn a great deal about their chosen field, hoping to find a good job, make a lot of money and live the perfect dream life. For one Spokane woman though, going from point A to point B has already happened in her 30-some years, but with a fascinating, and life-changing, twist.


Kumiko Love, an accredited financial counselor and the creator of The Budget Mom, was raised on a farm in Chewelah, Washington, and lived a normal farm-girl life. She grew up, went off to college where she ob...

It has been a decade since Ruth Klinginsmith and Karin Wedemeyer embarked on their journey of establishing a music conservatory here in Sandpoint. Guided by their backgrounds as musicians (Ruth a violinist and Karin a German born and raised opera singer), the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint opened its doors to musical hopefuls, with just a handful of students in the cold back room of a dance studio, in September of 2009.


“I do remember our humble start-up when we set out to add to the music world in Sandpoint,” recalls Karin, Music Conservatory...

Bill Ouimet trudged through waist-high snow and reached a 16-by-20-foot cement building that would be, for the next quarter decade, his home.


It was 1977, and Camp Stidwell, on the south end of Mirror Lake, was in need of a caretaker. Vandalism had creeped in, so his presence was going to stave it off.


“I came here in January, and the old guy that hired me … we went around back, opened the door and I walked in. Cement floors, tin roof, no insulation,” Ouimet said. “He goes, ‘See you in the spring, son.’ I turned around and he was gone.”


The nex...

The Sandpoint community is unlike any other, joining together to help out when others are in need and are facing hardships. The community has an opportunity to come out and show their support to a local family as Heath Okon, husband to Diana and father to their two sons Brycen and Christian, has been battling advanced stage synovial sarcoma.


“Advanced stage synovial sarcoma is cancer that starts in the extremities of the body, typically arms or legs near the joints,” says Diana. “Heath’s is in his thigh and, unfortunately, was very large before...

 Gabriel Chistman

Gabriel Christman, a senior Sandpoint High School cross-country runner, is a busy young man with both school and sports. Running on the cross-country team in the fall and the track team in the spring, Gabe keeps his grades up and is a member of the National Honors Society.


As a sophomore, an injury occurred that put a halt to the rest of Gabe’s cross-country season, as his ability to train at his full capacity was put on hold until this past summer. “I was out for two cross-country seasons, and track, unable to race to my best...

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