News

Jesse Michael Nix / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Girl Scouts would get a tax break on each box of Thin Mints under legislation introduced in a House committee.

The House Revenue and Tax Committee introduced a bill Monday that would exempt Girl and Boy Scouts' food programs from the state sales tax.

Republican Rep. Janet Trujillo of Idaho Falls says the tax break would allow scout programs to thrive but would take about $210,000 in scout-generated sales tax revenue from state general funds.

Amelia Templeton / OPB

Oregon conservation groups say volunteers are lining up to help reverse damage done to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge during the ongoing occupation.  

At the end of January, the Oregon Natural Desert Association put out a call for volunteers interested in doing environmental restoration at the refuge after the occupation is over. In just a week, more than 600 people from all over the Northwest have signed up.  

J Biochemist / Flickr Creative Commons

A bill that would allow public utilities to keep blueprints and other documents secret from the public has passed is first hurdle in the Idaho Legislature.

The House State Affairs Committee introduced the measure Friday.

The proposal would exempt the public from seeing emergency response plans, computer and telecommunication systems and building blueprints.

Ard van der Leeuw / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is feeding elk in four areas of south-central Idaho in hopes of keeping them off roadways and away from hay stacks and cattle operations.

The Times-News reports that residents in the Wood River Valley are asked not to feed elk or stop them from moving on to the Fish and Game feeding areas.

Provided by Ross Partridge

Ross Partridge says above all else, aspiring filmmakers need to be extremely passionate about what they’re doing. Partridge is an actor, director and writer in Hollywood – and is hosting a screenwriters workshop at Boise State University Friday. He says one also has to be able to shut out the naysayers, and trust your instincts when it comes to storytelling.

Idaho Education News

Last time around, it took lawsuits to force Idaho to rewrite its school funding formula.

Then it took a ton of new money to seal the deal. The spending increase was huge — and today, it would take more than $350 million to match it.

That was 1994.

Now, fast forward to 2016.

Dept. of Defense

The latest episode of Serial, the This American Life podcast covering Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in its second season, explored the reasons the Idaho soldier said he walked off base in 2009.

Bergdahl told filmmaker Mark Boal that he wrote upwards of 380 pages for a report for Maj. Kenneth Dahl, who investigated the case, about his motivations for leaving his base in Afghanistan. 

Jill Stewart / Flickr Creative Commons

Cities are looking to spend extra cash left in their budget thanks to the drop in fuel prices in 2015.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that Caldwell and Nampa saw major savings in their 2015 fuel budgets. In Nampa, the police department has had surplus funds in its fuel budget for the past three years.

Flickr Creative Commons

Cities and counties in Idaho would need state approval to enforce plastic bag bans under a new proposal currently making its way through the Idaho Statehouse.

The Idaho House voted 52-17 on Wednesday to make it illegal for cities to impose bag bans, restrictions on Styrofoam containers and other disposable products. If approved, local officials would need permission from the Idaho Legislature to enact the restrictions.

Currently, no cities enforce plastic bag bans in Idaho, but such efforts have been made in the past.

USGS

Just ten miles from downtown Boise, scientists are studying golden eagle migration in southwest Idaho. And they’re using roadkill to do it.

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, Boise State University and Idaho Fish and Game created a series of motion-sensitive camera traps. They drag a 250-pound road-killed elk through the snow to the trap and leave. The cameras do the work, snapping pictures of whatever scavenger comes by for a snack.

Tatters / Flickr Creative Commons

A central Idaho homeowners association is taking steps to eliminate a poisonous plant that has been killing elk in the area.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that the Valley Club Owners Association in Hailey has prohibited the planting of yews. The exotic shrubs are commonly used in landscaping, but they are toxic to many animals and to humans.

The Idaho Legislature's first-ever hearing on expanding Medicaid eligibility attracted hundreds of supporters Tuesday, but lawmakers declined to vote on whether to send the measure forward after listening to an hour of testimony.

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee held an information hearing on a proposal that would expand Medicaid eligibility to cover everyone who earns less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

Democratic Sen. Dan Schmidt of Moscow introduced the legislation as a personal bill earlier this session.

Chris Goldberg / Flickr Creative Commons

In the note posted on social media Monday, Trevor Powers told fans “youth lagoon is complete.” The Boise musician, who attained wide national acclaim for his debut album entitled "The Year Of Hibernation" and subsequent two albums, says his upcoming tour is his last one as Youth Lagoon. The band starts their European tour later this week.

Officials with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation say they've used approximately $70,000 in private sponsorships to partially offset their depleted budget.

Director David Langhorst told a state budget writing committee that private businesses like Airstream and Cabela's have funded various programs in the department's first year of using cooperate sponsorships. Private sponsorships raised another $30,000 in in-kind donations in 2015.

Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management says it’s close to releasing its Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, on the last two segments of the Gateway West Project. That means the creation of the 990 mile long power line across Idaho and Wyoming is one step closer to construction.

NPR

All eyes are on Iowa. Voters in the Hawkeye State will choose between 12 GOP presidential candidates and three Democrats. Be sure to tune in for NPR's live coverage on KBSX 91.5 FM Monday evening, or stream it online.

But should Iowa really be the first state to select a presidential nominee?

Wildlife Conservation Society

The future of grizzly bears could change this year, if the animals who frequent Yellowstone National Park are taken off the Endangered Species List. As more animals move outside the park, groups like the Wildlife Conservation Society, or WCS, are looking at where the bears go.

A new study looks at how black and grizzly bears are expanding into habitat in Idaho outside of Yellowstone National Park and how they may interact with humans.

Radio, transmitter status
Flickr Creative Commons

Update, 1:00 p.m.: KBSS service to the Wood River Valley has been restored. The issue was resolved with the repair of the third party data line that feeds the KBSS transmitter with programming.

BSPR engineers continue to monitor the signal for quality and reliability. 

We apologize for the interruption and thank listeners for their patience. 

Original post: Work continued Monday morning to resolve the outage that’s interrupted Boise State Public Radio service to the Wood River Valley since last week.

Malheur Refuge Occupiers Go Silent

Feb 1, 2016
Bradley Parks / OPB

Update: 9:44 a.m. Monday - Lawyers for the leader of the armed standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge have appealed a judge's decision to keep him in jail pending trial.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman said Ammon Bundy presents a danger to the community and the Idaho resident might fail to return for future court proceedings.

Bundy's lawyers said in documents filed Sunday that their client should be released with a GPS monitoring device and orders he not leave Idaho except for court appearances.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho legislature is considering a new bill that would cut income tax rates for top-earners and corporations. The bill is the first of its kind in this year’s session. 
 

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