News

Travis S. / Flickr

Federal officials have released a plan to close about 30 square miles of grazing allotments to domestic sheep and goats in west-central Idaho to protect bighorn sheep from diseases.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's release of the final supplemental environmental impact statement closing three allotments starts a protest period that runs through June 19.

Two of the allotments are east of Riggins near the Salmon River and one is to the south along the Little Salmon River.

For the second year in a row, Idaho health officials say preliminary tests on dead ground squirrels south of Boise have come back positive for plague.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is still confirming the diagnosis, but officials are asking the public to be cautious.

A map of the infected area is a circle shape extending about 45 miles south from Boise to the Snake River. The boundary also extends over Interstate 84 but doesn't reach Mountain Home.

Boise State University, campus
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Treasure Valley students and residents this fall will have an opportunity to take classes from Harvard Business School without leaving Idaho. Boise State University and the famed Ivy League school announced a new partnership Thursday.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

The new crop of bing cherries has been beset with growing problems this year that are reducing the size of the crop.

The Northwest's most popular cherry variety could be in short supply in 2016, after the five-state Cherry Commission on Wednesday lowered its outlook for the season to 18.3 million 20-pound boxes.

The Tri-City Herald reported that some farmers are warning that if conditions worsen, some bing orchards could go unpicked.

Bogus Basin Recreation Area

Idaho water managers say they will step up funding for a cloud seeding program that's already been credited with increasing the state's mountain snowpack.

The Capital Press reports that the Idaho Power Co. program releases silver iodine into the atmosphere, which helps ice form in the clouds and increases precipitation.

The cloud seeding began in 2003. Idaho Power estimates that the extra snowpack creates an average of 800,000 acre-feet of water, roughly the volume of the American Falls Reservoir. It generates enough hydro-power to supply 17,000 homes.

Steelhead
Matt Corsi / Idaho Fish and Game

The first attempt to delist one of the 13 species of Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead protected under the Endangered Species Act has been denied by federal authorities.

The decision made public Thursday by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries cites concerns Snake River fall chinook wouldn't remain viable without continued protections.

An Alaska commercial fishing advocacy group called Chinook Futures Coalition requested the delisting in January 2015.

Grab app

There's been a lot of news lately about long lines at airports. The head of daily operations at the Transportation Security Administration was removed from office earlier this week, as frustrations mount at the country's bigger airports.

Texas is filing a lawsuit over the Obama administration’s transgender student guidelines.

Ten other states are supporting the lawsuit, Reuters reported Wednesday. Idaho was not on that initial list, but will support the Texas lawsuit.

“We still plan to participate and are working on an amicus brief in support of the states listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit,” Mark Warbis, a spokesman for Gov. Butch Otter, said Wednesday afternoon.

Washington Department of Natural Resources

For the first time, U.S. officials have sent firefighters to help battle a giant blaze in Canada that has destroyed parts of Fort McMurray in Alberta.

The National Interagency Fire Center says 100 firefighters flew out of in Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday morning and another 100 left from Missoula, Montana.

Officials say the firefighters are from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service.

Kristina Anderson

A woman who survived the mass shooting at Virginia Tech nine years ago is bringing her message of safety to Boise State University.

Kristina Anderson was in French class on April 16, 2007 when another student walked into her building, chained the doors shut, and started shooting at teachers and students. Anderson was shot three times. The gunman killed 32 people and wounded 17 others before taking his own life.

Now, Anderson travels the country telling her story and encouraging people to talk about safety in schools, businesses and public spaces.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The road is still closed to a Boise foothills subdivision where the land is slowly sliding beneath some high-end houses. We wanted to get a better understanding of what's happening underground. So, we spoke with a long-time Boise geologist. Not many people know as much as Spencer Wood about what’s happening under the grass of the foothills. The now emeritus Boise State University geosciences professor has been writing about the land here for decades.

What are the foothills?

The Boise foothills are soft. They’re almost entirely sand and silt.

The national YMCA has put its Twin Falls chapter on probation after finding widespread financial mismanagement at that branch.

The Times-News reports that a February assessment conducted by the national YMCA says the nonprofit organization's local board asked for help when it realized then-CEO Gary Ettenger was providing false financial information.

Ettenger stepped down in March. He could not be reached for comment.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell announced $10 million to go toward making landscapes more resilient against wildfires across the country. It’s a continuation of a directive she made last year in Boise. She made the announcement Tuesday at the National Interagency Fire Center.

 

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

A coalition in southern Idaho hopes to turn Craters of the Moon National Monument into Idaho's first national park.

Butte County commissioner Rose Bernal told KIVI-TV that getting the monument national park status could provide a much-needed boost to the struggling local economy and draw tourists already headed to Yellowstone. But opponents fear a switch could lead to land use limitations.

Yellowstone National Park extends slightly into Idaho and Montana, but it's mostly in Wyoming.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho Falls man is suing Idaho State University, claiming that he was discriminated against because of his Mormon faith.

The Post Register reports that Orin Duffin filed the lawsuit Friday. He says he was severely harassed while playing for the men's tennis team because of his membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

ISU spokesman Stuart Summers says school officials won't comment on the pending litigation.

Jeff Turner / Flickr Creative Commons

Fire trucks with red, white and blue bunting, kids on their parents' shoulders waving little flags: what’s more emblematic of American patriotism than a Fourth of July parade? Now the volunteer group that has organized Boise’s parade for the last 20 years is concerned about paying for it in the future.

Dr. Clinton Shock

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Tuesday will visit the sagebrush burned in last year’s massive Soda Fire in southwest Idaho and eastern Oregon. The Bureau of Land Management is working to recover the area, but a group of private scientists are concerned about the way the recovery is being handled. Specifically, that the agency is hurrying through the recovery without following its own concepts for adaptive management. The BLM though, says the project is being handled correctly.

IcaWise / Flickr Creative Commons

If you lived in a rural part of the state in 1990, there’s a good chance that you now live in a town or city. That’s according to census data parsed by the Idaho Department of Labor. Researcher Janell Hyer says people are continuing to move where the jobs are – and that means more populated cities like Boise and Meridian.

“People are coming from the rural areas moving into the urban areas," says Hyer. "Even though they may not be growing as fast as they were in previous years, they are still growing and that’s where the growth is taking place.”

Flickr Creative Commons

State officials say Idaho's unemployment rate in April dropped a tenth of a percent to 3.7 percent.

The Idaho Department of Labor in a news release Friday says job gains in construction, professional and business services, and education and health services helped drop the unemployment rate from the previous month.

The state agency says that based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Idaho for the sixth consecutive month led the nation in percentage increase of jobs.

Total employment for Idaho grew by more than 1,900 to 777,780.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Boise State University and Concordia Law School have created an arrangement aimed at undergrads who want to go to law school. Students can start at Concordia after three years at Boise State. For students in the “three plus three” program, the first year at Concordia will also count as the fourth year at Boise State. So students could get a bachelor's and a law degree in six years, rather than seven.

Concordia Law dean Cathy Silak says the program will help students minimize debt and get to the workforce quicker. She says it was a natural partnership.

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