Alex Cwalinski / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Veterans Bring Supplies And Support To Dakota Access Pipeline Protest

On Sunday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline to carry oil underneath a section of the Missouri River in North Dakota. For months, this has been the site of protests, led by members of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. In the days leading up to the decision, military veterans joined the protest, including several from Idaho.

Last weekend a small group of Idaho Veterans loaded into a van and began the thousand-mile drive to the...

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real estate, home for sale, housing market
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has increased the price of mortgages they will insure in 2017. This is the first time since 2009 that HUD has increased the amount for federally backed mortgages . Growing demand for housing in Idaho is a factor. For example, if you want to buy a house worth $275,000 in Boise, you may be eligible for a Federal Housing Administration 30-year fixed mortgage. That’s an increase of about two percent. In more expensive places like Blaine...

AP

A restored, hand-carved carousel will likely start offering rides next spring, a northern Idaho group says. Coeur d'Alene Carousel Foundation President Cari Fraser tells The Spokesman-Review that plans to have it running this year changed after poor weather in October and design changes delayed work on a new building in downtown Coeur d'Alene. "The carousel construction has been moving slowly, as of late," Fraser said. "We are on pace to be open spring 2017. I am hoping for an April opening,...

telephone, buttons, hotline
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline is expanding its services by adding an additional phone line for people to call in crisis. The Idaho Statesman reports that the new phone number will also accept text messages Mondays through Fridays, between 3 p.m. and midnight. Organizers announced the additional services on Monday. Idaho's suicide rate has long been above the national average, peaking as the ninth highest rate in the country in 2014, the most recent year for which figures were available...

University of Idaho, College of Agricultural & Life Sciences / Facebook

Upgrading aging infrastructure at nine research and extension centers around the state is a main goal, the new director of the University of Idaho's Agricultural Experiment Station said. Mark McGuire told the Capital Press that some of that infrastructure dates back to the 1960s and 1970s and needs upgrading so researchers have modern facilities and equipment. "We're trying to revitalize all of the college's infrastructure," he said, noting the college will try to get state, federal and...

Tom Kelly/Flickr

The Idaho State Police and other law enforcement agencies are pushing for new rules for 911 and emergency dispatchers. Idaho does not currently require training or hiring standards for 911 dispatchers. ISP, the Idaho Sheriff’s Association and the Idaho Chiefs of Police want to change that. They’ve drafted legislation that would require a week of either academy or online training in the field of emergency dispatching. Dispatchers would also have to take a minimum of 40 hours of continuing...

Idaho Dept. of Correction

Idaho Department of Correction Director Kevin Kempf is resigning to take a job as the executive director of the Association of State Correctional Administrators. Kempf gave the state Board of Correction his resignation on Monday, he said in an email, calling the decision "bittersweet." In the email, he said the state is headed in a good direction, crediting lawmakers, the governor's office, members of the state judiciary and other criminal justice officials for working together. He said that...

Lawerence Denney
Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney wants to reform the state’s Sunshine Laws. According to Idaho Reports, Denney plans to introduce new legislation in the upcoming session. Sunshine laws are used to make government agencies more transparent. Specifically, he wants to increase the penalty for campaign contribution violations by more than $2,000. Denney also wants any candidate or advocates for a ballot measure who spend more than $500 to issue a financial report. And he wants these...

Parolan Harahap / Flickr

The Environmental Protection Agency says it plans to require mining companies to show they have the financial wherewithal to clean up their pollution so taxpayers aren't stuck footing the bill. Friday's announcement follows a 2015 court order for the agency to enforce a long-ignored provision in the 1980 federal Superfund law. The requirement would apply to hard rock mining, which includes mines for precious metals and other ores. The EPA spent $1.1 billion on cleanup work at abandoned hard...

Idaho officials have sold seven commercial properties for $17.3 million as part of a plan to get rid of politically contentious commercial real estate and use the money to buy timberland and agricultural land that the state uses to generate revenue to fund schools. The Idaho Department of Lands sold the properties on Thursday in an auction that officials said brought in $4.5 million more than the appraised value of the properties. "I was surprised we got that much above the appraised value,"...

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Interior Department has updated a rule that governs activities like ranching, mining and gas drilling on federal land. Obama Administration officials say they aim to simplify the process for land development, while building in more transparency and public input. But to some energy industry groups and western state politicians, the timing of the rule update is concerning. According to the Associated Press, Wyoming senator John Barrasso is concerned the change will mean policy decisions...

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