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After Secure Rural Schools Vote Divides Idaho Republicans, Labrador Takes Shot At Simpson

Congressman Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, is lashing out at fellow Congressman Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, over what Labrador perceives as criticism from Simpson. Last Thursday, Labrador voted against legislation that would send millions of federal dollars to rural Idaho schools and counties. He says he did so because the Secure Rural Schools reauthorization legislation was attached to a larger, unrelated Medicare reimbursement bill Labrador viewed as too expensive. Simpson voted for the bill, which...
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This story was updated at 5:44 p.m.:

An Allegiant Air pilots' strike was averted after a judge blocked the walkout late Wednesday afternoon. The strike was set to happen Thursday.

Original post:

Allegiant Air passengers may have to make alternate travel plans because the budget airlines' pilots plan to strike beginning Thursday. The strike could impact flights across the country, including in Idaho.

The Idaho Senate has approved a 7.4 percent increase to the state's public school budget, which includes funding for a sweeping five-year plan to boost teacher pay.

The chamber unanimously approved all seven parts of the Idaho's largest budget — totaling more than $1.4 billion of general funds — with no debate on Tuesday.

Republican Sen. Dean Cameron from Rupert says he'd never seen the chamber move through the education budget so swiftly.

medical marijuana, pot
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A pro-cannabis group has filed paperwork with the Idaho Secretary of State’s office to begin gathering signatures for a medical marijuana legalization initiative. The group New Approach Idaho was founded a few months ago. Its members hope Idaho voters will be able to decide on pot legalization in 2016. New Approach Idaho president William Esbensen says the initiative has three parts.

State officials say the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has granted Idaho an extension to comply with the federal REAL ID Act.

The Idaho Transportation Department in a statement Tuesday says the extension granted on Friday means Idaho residents can continue to use their Idaho driver's licenses to board commercial flights and enter federal areas, such as nuclear facilities and military bases.

That was set to expire starting in 2016.

Today Show Screengrab

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter Tuesday commented on statements made by the Obama administration surrounding the release of former prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl in an interview on NBC’s Today Show.

Bergdahl is a Hailey, Idaho native who was exchanged in 2014 for five U.S. detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Begdahl was held for nearly five years in Afghanistan by a Taliban group after being captured when he walked off his U.S. Army base.

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The Supreme Court says private sector health care companies cannot sue to force states to raise their Medicaid reimbursement rates to keep up with rising medical costs.

The justices ruled 5-4 Tuesday that the medical companies have no private right to enforce federal Medicaid funding laws against states if Congress has not created such a right.

Transmission tower
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This post was updated at 10:28 a.m.

Idaho Power says power has been restored to all 30,000 customers who were affected by the early morning outage.

The power company said in a tweet it still doesn't know the cause of the outage.

The outage was first reported at 7:30 a.m.

An Idaho House panel has killed a proposal to legalize oil extracted from cannabis plants used to treat children with severe forms epilepsy.

The bill failed to garner enough votes to advance on Monday.

The quick vote came after the House State Affairs panel listened to nearly four hours of testimony, ranging from tearful parents pleading for the bill's passage to law enforcement representatives wary of the plan's unintended consequences.

The bill was named after 10-year-old Alexis Carey, who has a rare but intractable form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome.

Butch Otter
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A plan to help school districts crack down on bullying in Idaho's public schools is on its way to the governor's desk.

The Idaho Senate passed the bill 24-10 on Monday.

The bill would require local school district leaders to go through anti-bullying training and create a way for bullying to be reported.

Democratic Sen. Jane Ward-Engelking from Boise, who sponsored the bill, says that bullying can lead to depression and anxiety among students, as well as problems keeping up with classwork.

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