Idaho prosecutor cashes in airline miles to lift local issues to national attention

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - An Idaho prosecutor makes his case for the needs of rural America at the White House.

Gooding County prosecutor cashes in miles for a chance to bend the ears of America's leaders (Source: Gray DC).

Gooding County Attorney Matt Pember took a seat at one of the most powerful tables in America. He joined fellow Western leaders at the White House to discuss how the administration can help them tackle their biggest challenges.

He came to D.C. on his own dime, cashing in his airline miles to cover the cost of his trip rather than putting it on taxpayers.

Tuesday's conversation covered issues ranging from the environment to infrastructure. But, Pember's primary concern, is finding and sharing solutions to the nation's opiate epidemic.

"[The administration] did talk about a five percent decrease in opioid addiction, that's a good start," said Pember, "but I think as long as, if they can start working with us hand-in-hand we can put a big dent in that number."

When asked how the federal government could help Idaho and his county in an ideal worry, Pember had a wish-list prepared. "I would ask for a drug court, I would ask for more treatment facilities in small rural areas, transportation, so that the people can actually access what is given to them, and more money."

Pember said the conversation won't end Tuesday. The White House shared contact information for high-level staffers, so that Idaho's local leaders will be able to get federal support whenever they need it.

Gooding will return home to Idaho Wednesday morning.

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