Northwest Exporters Eye New Opportunities In Cuba

Northwest farmers and orchardists are among the potential beneficiaries if the U.S. and Cuba normalize their relationship and the trade embargo ends.
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Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The school day is over at Boise’s Whitney Elementary but the playground is full of children. About 140 kids each day take part in the afterschool program at the adjacent Whitney Community Center.

It has tutors to help with homework. There’s book clubs, arts and crafts, board games, basketball, outside activities, and pool and computer games for the older kids who walk over from South Junior High. Director Barbara English says some kids stay until the center closes at 7:00, but not because of all the stuff to do.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is making a high-stakes bet that it will prevail in a pending lawsuit over Snake River dredging.

Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare has been awarded a nearly $40 million federal grant to improve health outcomes.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human services announced 28 states will share $665 million in state innovation grants.

Idaho’s four-year innovation grant is meant to transition away from a fee-for-service system of health care delivery, to a value-based system.

Idaho's health department lists these seven items as its goals.

Medical, Health Care
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Your Health Idaho's executive director says nearly 74,000 Idahoans have selected a health insurance plan on the state-based exchange.

Pat Kelly told exchange board members Tuesday that the number fell somewhere mid-range of the exchange's projections.

However, Kelly did not say how many of those enrolled for the first time. He also didn't mention how many people had submitted an application but had not yet selected a health plan.

Last year, roughly 76,000 people signed up on Idaho's exchange.

State of Idaho

A pilot project that could change the way Idahoans get treated during a mental health crisis has opened its doors in eastern Idaho. Officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony in Idaho Falls Monday morning.

Idaho Potato Commission

Northwest potato farmers are cheering a small provision tucked into the newly passed federal spending package.

The Women, Infants and Children or WIC program provides modest monthly vouchers for a variety of foods. They’ll cover any vegetable -- except “white potatoes.”

That single exclusion outraged the potato industry. They felt it sent the wrong message and Northwest lawmakers from both parties got on board to reverse the rule.

philanthropy.com

A recent report from the finance website Wallet Hub says Idaho is the third most-generous state (tied with Kansas). Utah and South Dakota topped the list. Wallet Hub looked at volunteer time and money donated using IRS statistics and survey data.

Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch are looking for people interested in becoming Idaho's next federal district judge.

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge is taking senior status, a semi-retirement in which he will continue to serve the court but his caseload will be reduced. The move means that Idaho could soon have its first new federal judge appointed since 1995, when current U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill took the bench.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A group of Idaho lawmakers tapped to look at ways to improve the state's criminal justice system will meet this week to talk about when their legislative efforts will go into effect.

The Criminal Justice Reinvestment Interim Committee will meet Wednesday at the Idaho Statehouse. They'll hear from staffers with the Council of State Governments Justice Center, and they'll discuss when the criminal justice legislation they passed last year will go into effect.

The work of rearing threatened plants and animals for restoration to the wild takes time and patience and it is labor intensive. In Oregon and Washington, a growing population doing that work is inmates.

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