July 17, 2012 in Idaho

Wind storm repairs give Idaho guv black eye

By The Spokesman-Review
Betsy Russell photo

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter sports a black eye on Tuesday, after an encounter with a “springy” tree limb he was cutting last weekend, cleaning up his property after windstorms moved through the area.
(Full-size photo)

BOISE - Idaho Gov. Butch Otter is sporting a shiner, after a tree limb he was cutting over the weekend snapped back and hit him in the face.

“With those windstorms that came through, I can’t tell you how many trees I’ve lost,” Otter said. “It was a cottonwood tree, and they’re pretty springy.”

His chainsaw had stopped working, so he was cutting the limb with a buck saw when he got smacked. “It was under some tension, and bingo, she snapped and hit me in the eye,” Otter said. He added, “I should’ve spent some time making up a more romantic story.”

Among the trees and limbs that came down on his ranch near Star during a series of windstorms that moved through the area, Otter said, “We did have one fall on a horse trailer.” But the 70-year-old governor was disappointed to find that the damage didn’t require any of his newly developed aluminum welding skills, honed in a community college class this spring. “It was just a dent,” he said with a chuckle, “so I have to take a class in removing dents from aluminum now.”

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