deq.idaho.gov

Pollution Increasing In Idaho's Snake River Aquifer

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) this week released several reports on important aquifers around the country. Idaho’s Snake River Plain Basin features in two of those reports. About a fifth of Idahoans rely on that aquifer as their only source of drinking water. USGS hydrologist Kenneth Skinner says the Snake River aquifer is one of the cleanest in the country, but pollution has been growing. The biggest culprit is nitrate from agricultural fertilizer and dairies. In drinking water, nitrate...
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Community Conversation

Join the KBSX newsroom Feb. 11 for a conversation about Idaho police and community relations in the wake of events in Ferguson and New York.

BLM, land, outdoors
Pete Zimosky / Idaho Statesman

 A committee of Idaho lawmakers tasked with looking at the possibility of acquiring federal lands - and putting them under state control - has issued a report to the full Legislature. 

John Milner / Flickr Creative Commons

When it comes to determining America's best ski towns, it's not always about the best powder or accommodations. 

For the second year, real estate information company RealtyTrac has published a list of the best ski towns for investing. Three Idaho spots make this year’s list. 

The head of Idaho's horse racing regulatory agency has retired.

The Idaho Statesman reports that Frank Lamb's retirement is effectively immediately. An Idaho State Police spokeswoman declined to provide further information about why Lamb retired.

However, the announcement came two days after the Statesman reported Lamb had been working as a consultant in Wyoming for a simulcast and instant horse racing company.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra says she wants local school officials to decide how money should be spent in the classroom.

During her first budget presentation to the Legislature Thursday morning, Ybarra said she hadn't yet determined exactly how funds for some of her biggest policy initiatives would be spent. Instead, Ybarra said, she wanted to figure out those details once she saw just how much money the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee budgets for each line item.

Government agriculture officials will kill up to 5,000 ducks, geese, chickens, pheasants and turkeys due to a bird flu outbreak at a hunting operation Washington's Okanogan county.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Earlier this week, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a rare press conference announcing their support of laws that would protect gay and transgender people from discrimination while still safeguarding religious freedom.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Every year in late January volunteers around the country, and across Idaho, take to the streets to ask people experiencing homelessness where they slept on a particular night. It's a difficult task because people who sleep in their cars or in parks -- known as unsheltered homeless -- can be hard to find. But the numbers volunteers come up with are important because they're used for things like setting federal funding for local homeless programs.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A panel in the Idaho House is expected to vote this morning on a bill that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The vote comes after three days of hearings.

The nearly 20 hours of testimony came from gay people speaking about their experience with discrimination in Idaho. Parents talked about worrying their gay or transgender children would be fired or kicked out apartments.

Boise State University

The head of Boise State University says state support has lagged behind the surge in enrollment in recent years.

BSU President Bob Kustra Wednesday told lawmakers the school needs to add at least 63 new faculty positions -- especially if Idaho is going to meet its goal to graduate more people from college.

Kustra says the student-to-faculty ratio is above average for a school of Boise State's size. And, he says, students sometimes experience course “bottlenecks.”

Nearly one year after lawmakers and small business owners cast a critical eye at the contractor managing mental health and substance treatment for Idaho's poor, company officials say approval ratings remain high and problems are few.

Executives from Optum, a unit of UnitedHealth Group, told the House Health and Welfare Committee Wednesday that they had a 95 percent satisfaction rating among members who receive behavioral-health services under Medicaid.

That's according to the most recent sample survey the company sent out to their members.

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