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.

aposematic herpetologist / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho lawmakers concerned that special recognition of the Idaho giant salamander could lead to federal protections have rejected a grade school student's request it be named the state amphibian.

The Spokesman-Review reports that the House State Affairs Committee voted 10-6 on Monday against 14-year-old Ilah Hickman's plan.

An Idaho attorney general's opinion advised lawmakers that approving the salamander as a state symbol wouldn't do anything in the way of encouraging federal protections.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

An annual accounting of Idaho government payroll shows the state last year paid $1.47 billion in salaries, taxes, healthcare and insurance costs.

The annual report from the Idaho Controller’s Office shows more than a third of the state’s 25,033 workers are earning less than $40,000 each year. About 10 percent earn more than $70,000.

South-central Idaho groundwater pumpers might have to start shutting off water pumps this week.

Idaho Department of Water Resources Director Gary Spackman on Saturday denied a request by groundwater pumpers to delay a water curtailment order.

The Times-News reports that the order includes 14 cities and about 157,000 acres of land.

Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Little

Tuesday, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is having surgery to get his left hip resurfaced. From the time Otter goes into the hospital to when he comes out from his anesthesia, Lt. Gov. Brad Little will be Idaho's acting governor.

It's something Little is pretty accustomed to; it happens on a regular basis. Any time the sitting governor is out of the state or incapacitated, the lieutenant governor steps in as the top official, even if it's just for an hour or two.

JOE JASZEWSKI / Idaho Statesman

Boise State University will distribute a limited number of tickets to see President Barack Obama speak Wednesday on campus.

Obama will speak at the Caven-Williams Sports Complex, located next to Albertsons Stadium. Tickets for the event will be distributed Monday through the BSU ticket office at the football stadium, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Boise State University

The White House has announced President Barack Obama will speak Jan 21 in Boise.

The President will deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday, then be in Boise Wednesday. He’s expected to discuss themes of his address on the Boise State University campus.

“We are honored and excited to host President Obama here at Boise State,” Boise State President Bob Kustra said. “We know he will be impressed with our students and faculty and the innovative work and world-class research they are doing.”

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

For a second year, a joint legislative committee has unanimously supported increasing wages for Idaho's 17,000 state workers in fiscal year 2016.

The bipartisan Change in Employee Compensation Committee proposed awarding a 3 percent pay boost on a merit basis. This means, however, not everyone is guaranteed a raise.

The recommendation —estimated to cost nearly $30 million— now needs full legislative approval but is already expected to be supported by the governor.

Idaho lawmakers had a bit of sticker shock Friday over the state’s firefighting costs.

Updated at 5:04 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide on gay marriage this term.

The justices said today they will review an appellate court's decision to uphold the ban on same-sex marriage in Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky. The four states are among 14 that ban same-sex marriage.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to remove Western juniper from a 1.5 million-acre area of public land in southwest Idaho to conserve sage grouse habitat.

BLM Boise District Manager Jim Fincher in a statement Friday says conserving habitat for sage grouse is a key method for improving an entire rangeland ecosystem.

The agency is hosting two public meetings to provide information about the plan in Owyhee County. The first is in Boise on Feb. 4 and the second in Murphy on Feb. 5.

Comments can also be sent to the agency by Feb. 20.

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