epa.ohio.gov

Idaho's Soda Fire Creates Hazmat Concerns

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) says Idaho’s biggest wildfire this year, the nearly 300,000 acre Soda Fire, generated potential hazardous material sites. One is an old mercury processing facility in the Owyhee County desert that was cleaned up four years ago. Contaminated soil was removed and the entire facility was covered in new dirt and fenced with barbed wire. Three weeks ago, the Soda Fire swept over the area but a BLM spokesperson says the agency isn’t worried about that particular...
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The city of Pocatello says the entire population of cats at its animal shelter will be euthanized to stop the spread of an upper respiratory infection outbreak.

The Pocatello Animal Shelter says officials last month noticed a number of cats at the shelter with symptoms. Animal services director Mary Remer says the cats did not respond to about a week of treatment.

After consulting with local veterinarians and the Idaho Humane Society, officials say they determined that all the cats were infected and that it was necessary to euthanize them.

Northwest Public Radio

As high winds continued to fan a wildfire near Omak, Martín de la Rosa and his co-workers got the day off from picking apples because of the smoke. They drank beer and listened to music outside a cluster of small cabins surrounded by orchards. But they didn’t get any information about fires burning in the Okanogan Complex until they were dangerously close to home. By the time the foreman came to see them, de la Rosa says, “We were seeing smoke, and planes were out spraying.” 

Sparky / Flickr

If you’re in your car, Boise is the third safest city in America to go driving, according to Allstate Insurance Company.

Colette Cassinelli / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho public schools have received nearly $16 million after the state auctioned off cabins at Priest Lake.

The Spokesman-Review reports 35 lakefront cabin sites were purchased by the cabin owners for an average of $447,000 each at the Friday auction at the Coeur d'Alene Resort.

The highest-priced parcel in the auction went for $643,000, and the lowest-priced sold for $341,000.

The greater sage grouse is a peculiar and distinctly Western bird. It's about the size of a chicken and about as adaptable as the dodo bird, which is to say it's not very adaptable at all — at least not in a human-driven time scale.

In biological terms, the greater sage grouse is perfectly adapted for its habitat: the rolling hills of knee-high silver scrub that's sometimes called the sagebrush sea. It's the oft-forgotten parts of the fast-changing West — The Big Empty, as settlers used to call it.

NASA/Jeff Schmaltz

Monday's crisp and clear air is a welcome relief after weeks of wildfire smoke fumigated valleys around Idaho. The real-time monitor from the Department of Environmental Quality shows just how much things have improved, even in places where fires are still raging.

Randy Craig / Idaho Fish and Game

Idaho’s largest fire this year burned 279,144 acres in the southwest corner of the state. That figure is from a list released over the weekend that details the Soda Fire’s impacts. The list has numbers on nearly 30 items, including 592 miles of fences burned and 68 golden eagle nests destroyed. It also says 16 cultural sites eligible for the National Register of Historic Places were burned.

A Boise teacher in her 70's is helping kids learn outside of the classroom in an usual way: with a tablecloth.

Micky Afnan began her career as an educator in 1958. She taught high school, then elementary students.

While teaching the younger children, she recalled a colorful tablecloth her mother made when Afnan was a child. It included a map of the U.S. with the state capitals. Afnan says the cloth helped her memorize all of the capitals in a few months.

Courtesy: J.R. Simplot Company

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a potato genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine and that still damages crops.

Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co. says that the Russet Burbank can also be stored at colder temperatures longer to reduce food waste.

The potato is the second generation of Simplot's Innate potatoes and also includes the first generation's reduced bruising and a greater reduction in a chemical produced at high temperatures that some studies have shown can cause cancer.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Comic book conventions, known has "cons", happen in nearly every city in the country. Some are money-making affairs, others are organized by fans for fans. But in Boise, the public library has gotten in on this pop-culture phenomenon.

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