Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

BLM Chief Commits To Rehabilitate Soda Fire Damaged Land

Southwest Idaho’s nearly 300,000 acre Soda Fire is the largest this year in areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Most of the burned area was habitat for the sage grouse, the bird whose status as a contender for the Endangered Species List could affect ranching, recreation and energy production in 11 western states. That is why the national director of the BLM was in Boise Wednesday to talk about rehabilitating that land. Neil Kornze says his agency has to quickly start re...
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If you could help reduce water pollution right in your laundry room, would you? As you unpack your fleece jacket when autumn rolls in, there’s new information that might make you reconsider how - and how often - you wash it.

Idaho Democratic Party

Leaders of Idaho’s Democratic Party picked their next chairman Saturday. Bert Marley of McCammon replaces Larry Kenck, who resigned earlier this year for health reasons.

Marley, 67, is a former teacher and state lawmaker. He lost the lieutenant governor’s race last fall by 30 percentage points.  Democrats, in fact, lost all five statewide races. 

Marley spoke to KBSX’s Scott Graf Wednesday.  

Q: Considering the party’s recent struggles, what interested you in this job?

The U.S. Forest Service has notified a conservation group that Idaho officials will not use a hired hunter to kill wolves in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness this winter.

Earthjustice in a statement says it received the notification Wednesday from the federal agency as required by the settlement of a federal lawsuit.

The letter from Forest Service officials to Earthjustice says the Idaho Department of Fish and Game notified the federal agency of its decision on Friday.

TheJesse / Flickr Creative Commons

Conservationists in Idaho continue to celebrate the designation of nearly 300,000 acres of wilderness area in the central part of the state. The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to approve a bill that would designate large sections of the region as federally protected.

The vote was the second on the proposal in eight days.  The House passed the bill last week and President Obama is expected to sign it into law.

Boise National Forest

A dozen aircraft and more than 130 firefighters are working to contain three central Idaho wildfires sparked by lightning before they become so large they'll be impossible to put out until the end of the fire season.

Boise National Forest officials on Wednesday say a 20-acre fire about 3 miles from Idaho City is the most concerning because it's in heavy timber and about a mile from a phone tower.

Spokesman David Seesholtz says a 66-acre fire near Pilot Peak is less worrisome because it's moved to the top of a ridge.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is rounding out her two-day visit to Idaho today. Chairman Jane Chu has toured arts facilities in Boise and Twin Falls during her trip, after being invited to Idaho by Congressman Mike Simpson.

Chu says she wanted to see firsthand some of the projects the NEA is helping to fund in the state.

“The NEA has funded a number of projects here in Boise," says Chu, "and also we’re so appreciative of what the Idaho Arts Commission is doing.”

Travis Manion Foundation

A group of women from around the U.S. got together last week for a special trip along the Salmon River. They were the survivors of fallen military service members who came together to learn how to cope with the loss of their loved ones.

The trip is the brainchild of the Travis Manion Foundation. It is a non-profit group that helps veterans and families of the fallen. The foundation has led expeditions all over the country for spouses and fiancées of military members.

A pair of Meridian parents has been arrested for investigation of felony injury to a child after police say they left their toddler in a hot car while they went grocery shopping.

KBOI-TV reports 32-year-old Paula Opyd and 43-year-old Frayne Hutton were shopping Saturday in Meridian for about an hour before they realized they had left their 18-month-old child in the car.

Officials say by the time the pair went to get the boy he was unresponsive. Employees and other witnesses poured cold water on his face to help cool down his body.

A 5-year-old boy injured when a salt block fell off a truck in southwestern Idaho and went through the window of another vehicle has died.

The Ada County Coroner's Office says Carter Samuel Atwood of Syracuse, Utah, died late Monday at a Boise hospital due to blunt force trauma.

Police say 66-year-old Ronald Morgenthaler of Weiser was driving north on State Highway 52 with two pallets of salt blocks on a flatbed truck when the pallets became loose on a curve.

Idaho's so-called "ag-gag" law, which outlawed undercover investigations of farming operations, is no more. A judge in the federal District Court for Idaho decided Monday that it was unconstitutional, citing First Amendment protections for free speech.

But what about the handful of other states with similar laws on the books?

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