That Sinking Feeling

That Sinking Feeling

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A dramatic design illustrates the structure and severity of the sinkholes that have even caused fatal accidents in Canyon County.

Text of That Sinking Feeling

  • C MY K

    Monday, May 20, 2013

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    THAT SINKING FEELING$250,000 lost after invested in fraudulent Las Vegas company

    By JOHN MILLERThe Associated Press

    BOISE As Wil-liam Corbett was pre-paring a final federal elections disclosure for his boss, U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, in October 2008, he said there was something important he wasnt told.

    Crapos then-campaign manager, Jake Ball, shifted $250,000 from a campaign account to another account at now-defunct Washington Mutual that was controlled by Balls friend, a Boise real-estate investor, for a loan. Corbett, who was leaving as Crapos volunteer treasurer at the time, said Ball kept him totally in the dark.

    Please see Crapo, A4

    Sen. Crapos campaign plagued by loose controls

    Alexa Aguilar will attend the University of Idaho this fall

    By NICK

    2013 Idaho Press-TribuneThere is at least one thing that is

    pretty obvious about Alexa Aguilar: Shes a leader.

    The Skyview High School senior was even recognized by the Nampa Chamber of Commerce for her ef-forts. She was honored with the Fu-ture Leader of Excellence Award last Tuesday.

    Aguilar is a co-captain of her dance team it took the state crown this year and vice president of the schools chapter of National Honor Society.

    She has also volunteered with Saint Alphonsus, the Salvation Army and the Rotary Club, among other organizations, all four years of high school.

    The senior boasts a 4.03 GPA and has taken more than 10 advanced placement or concurrent college credit classes. She will attend the University of Idaho in the fall. She plans to study computer science and would like to work for a major tech company like Google or Apple, or an independent company incorporating green energy into society.

    Please see Kid, A3

    Skyview senior a known leader

    How DoES A SINKHoLE oCCUr?The water moves below the highway or other

    surface, and as it flows, it carries away the fine sand and silt, which leaves spaces between the

    larger materials. If the flow is heavy enough, the larger materials move too. As the materials move

    out, they leave a void at the depth of the flow.The roof of the void will gradually work its

    way higher, as material from the top falls into the flow and is washed away. When the roof moves high enough, the surface is unsupport-ed and caves in, especially if a heavy weight travels across it, which is why cars and trucks accelerate the cave-in.

    wHAT Do AGENCIES Do To PrEVENT SINKHoLES?Other than regular road maintenance, trans-

    portation workers stay on the lookout for soft spots and running water that could cause sinkholes. We know what to look for and treat it quickly, Bryant said.

    How CommoN ArE SINKHoLES?Fortunately road sinkholes are not very common locally. Nampa Highway Dis-

    trict crews take action like the work on Can-Ada Road about once a year, District Engineer Eric Shannon said. And there is no way of knowing if that

    situation would have ultimate-ly caused a sinkhole.


    A SINKHoLE CAVE IN by DrIVING oVEr THE roAD?Yes, according to Bryant.

    About 20 years ago I saw a car fall into a sinkhole at Cole Road and Ustick,

    Bryant said. There was no warning sign at all until the cars front wheels dropped through

    the pavement.


    Sometimes road indentations can be the asphalt trying to act like a bridge over the sinkhole for a short time. Other times theres suddenly a pothole in the road, and when you look into it you cant see the bottom.

    Please see Sinkholes, A3

    Roadway collapses are rare, but transportation workers need your help preventing them

    By MIKE BUTTS | | 2013 Idaho Press-Tribune

    W hat are the chances a roadway sinkhole gob-bles up you and your vehicle?Very slim, according to highway transpor-tation officials.

    But sinkholes do cause road damage beginning this time of year and they can be dangerous. The spring, when agricultural irrigation has started and gophers

    are more active, often brings more road sinkhole potential.

    Last summer a Melba woman died when her car hit a sinkhole on Butte Road.

    Earlier this month workers for the Idaho Transportation Depart-

    ment fixed a sinkhole east of Marsing on State Highway 78. No one was injured.

    Last week Nampa Highway District workers repaired a portion of Can-Ada Road where gophers had dug underneath the pavement and water from irrigation flowed through the holes. The incident created poten-tial for a road sinkhole cave in.

    All three of the above circumstances were caused by gopher holes.

    Other circumstances can also cause sinkholes. In each case, road and highway agencies could use residents help in identifying potential or actual sinkholes, even though there is little in the way of warning in most cases.

    wHAT CAUSES A roAD SINKHoLE?Soft spots in a road usually are the result of uncon-

    trolled water moving below the surface, ITD Maintenance Coordinator Dan Bryant said. A broken pipe, worn-out culvert, a spring or subsurface flows from heavy precipita-tion or fast-melting ice and snow are common culprits. So are water flows through gopher tunnels.

    Page design and illustration by Randy Lavorante/IPT

    mike CrapoU.S. senator

    KID yoU SHoULD KNow

    IPT file photo

    Alexa Aguilar was presented with the Future Leader of Excellence Award at the Nampa Chambers Evening of Excellence May 14.

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