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Two long time public servants said farewell to public office at a December 8 ceremony honoring Mike Mitchell for his 20 years as Lemhi County Coroner and Bob Cope for his 14 years of service as Lemhi County Commissioner.

Mitchell’s career as a law enforcement officer dates back 40 years having served two years as a Salmon City Police officer and 38 years with the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office. County Clerk of the Court Terri Morton had the honor of thanking Mitchell for his many years of service and presenting him with a Plaque of Appreciation.

Cope has also served the city and county, first as a Salmon City Councilman and for the last 14 years as a Lemhi County Commissioner. His work has frequently brought national attention to the small community of Salmon with his service on national committees and involvement with congressional delegations. Last July a tribute to what was referred to as Cope’s exemplary service was entered into the 113th Congress Congressional Record. On Monday Amy Taylor, Regional Director for Senator Jim Risch, Mike Roach, State Natural Resource Director for Senator Risch and Kathryn Hitch, Regional Director for Senator Mike Crapo presented Cope with an embossed copy of the formal Congressional document.

The tribute from Risch and Crapo cited Cope’s ability to address critical natural resources and environmental challenges with common sense, wisdom and humor. They thanked him for his successful efforts with the Idaho Roadless Rule and commended his problem solving and consensus building abilities. Cope has held leadership positions with the National Association of Counties, the U.S. Forest Service’s National Planning Rule Implementation Committee and the state Roadless Commission. The senators also acknowledged his distinguished career that began as a U.S. Presidential Scholar and Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine graduate. That career is ongoing and approaching the 40 year anniversary mark.

Many friends, county officials, Salmon Mayor Leo Marshall, seat B Idaho State House of Representative Merrill Beyeler as well as the congressional delegation all added their thanks to Dr. Cope.

Cope officially vacates his commissioner duties on January 12 but is not retiring from public participation as numerous state and national committees have already solicited his ongoing services.

Perhaps of greatest immediate importance to locals is, even though the Copes’ considered a radio retirement the New Year’s Eve tradition of Radio Free Salmon hosted by trivia expert Cope and his office elves will once again bring in the New Year. One of the contests may include guesses as to how many years the program has been on the air. Cope promises some new attractions and special categories for this year’s program.

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