News

Jethro Taylor / Flickr Creative Commons

As Idaho's housing demands have grown, so has the residential construction industry.

But that boom has a dark side: The Idaho Statesman reports that construction-related serious injuries are a common problem, and some result in deaths.

A Statesman analysis of inspection data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that at least 19 home-construction companies in the Boise region failed three or more inspections between March 2011 and December 2016 because of serious worker-safety violations.

Blaine County Sheriff / Facebook

Officials in Blaine County are telling residents water levels in the Big Wood River will rise again.  

Cooler temperatures and a momentary reprieve from flooding in the Wood River Valley are being called “the eye of the hurricane.” Speaking to a group at the Community Campus, Hailey City Councilman Don Keirn invoked the imagery while reminding people there's still plenty of snow yet to melt in the mountains.

road, highway, interstate, I-15
Garrett / Flickr Creative Commons

A Jerome, Idaho man died after crashing into a vehicle that had broken down on Interstate 84.

KTVB-TV reports the crash happened 9 p.m. Saturday.

Idaho State Police say an SUV became disabled when the driver hit an object in the road. The SUV came to a rest partially in the left lane of travel.

All four people in the SUV, including two children, were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Sometime later, Cody R. Mays was driving on the interstate when he struck the disabled SUV.

Dave Thomas

Almost two years after a toddler disappeared during a camping trip with his family, investigators plan to return to the campsite to search for new evidence.

Lemhi County Sheriff Steve Penner told KTVB-TV  last week that deputies will return to the campground outside of Leadore, Idaho once the weather improves.

Penner says the search for DeOrr Kunz Jr. was not prompted by a specific tip or new evidence. He says it's just something they need to keep working on.

Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Memorial Day means holiday travel, and AAA Idaho says the number of trips in the state, and the country, are going up. Here's a preview of what to expect.

This Memorial Day weekend, more people will be traveling, especially driving. Some of the reasons are a lower unemployment rate, relatively low gas prices and the fact that the economic recession is in the rear-view mirror.

Terry McCombs / Flickr Creative Commons

A state committee has made another attempt to break a deadlock over addressing climate change in Idaho classrooms.

But the last word in this three-year controversy belongs to Idaho lawmakers — who removed references to climate change from state science standards earlier this year.

The Idaho Shakespeare Festival is preparing for another summer under the stars - its 41st season. This year’s repertory includes Wait Until Dark, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, a musical adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Hound of the Baskervilles and a rather unique twist on Hamlet.

Weekend Edition’s George Prentice talks with the festival’s producing artistic director Charles Fee about how he builds a season and his unique casting decision for Hamlet.

Listen to their conversation below.

Jamie Richmond

When news broke that President Trump revealed classified information to Russian officials visiting the White House last week, many in Washington expressed concern. Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, however, was one of the first to make public statements in defense of Trump. This afternoon, a small group of protesters, about 54 of them, gathered outside Risch’s Boise office in opposition.

Risch, a member of the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees, said Trump’s move to declassify state secrets was completely within his right as President, as he told PBS.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson says he’s inclined to believe former FBI Director James Comey over President Donald Trump. The comments come in the wake of new details emerging about the investigation of Michael Flynn.

Speaking to reporters this week, Simpson says he’s afraid members of the GOP aren't doing enough to head off a possible crisis similar to Watergate.

Idaho National Laboratory

Some cleanup efforts at a nuclear waste landfill in eastern Idaho are on hold while workers try to figure out what caused a collapse in a dig area that sent an excavator into a pit.

The excavator was digging up transuranic waste — which is waste contaminated with highly radioactive elements.

No radiation was released during the incident last Thursday, and no one was injured, said Erik Simpson with Fluor Idaho, the contractor hired to clean up the site at the Idaho National Laboratory.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

A famed sculptor who calls Florence, Italy home finishes up a two-week course he’s teaching students in Boise State’s Fine Arts program today. A trip to his workshop is like a trip back in time.

Besides the constant clacking of chisels against blocks of imported Carrara marble, one of the most striking things about stepping into the back sculpture studio at the Ben Victor Gallery on campus is the dust. Little chips of rock and dust fly from each student’s block as they turn white stone into art.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife / Associated Press

Oregon’s Fish and Wildlife Department is holding a second hearing on a wolf plan Friday in Portland. The plan is unpopular with ranchers and wolf supporters alike.

Oregon didn’t have documented wolves before 2005. Since then, thanks to the animals crossing over the border from Idaho, Oregon now has 11 packs, totaling at least 112 wolves. Twelve years ago, the state adopted a plan to manage the wolves but wants to revise it now that the population is growing.

Stuart Rankin / Flickr Creative Commons

Thirty-seven years ago today Mount St. Helens in southwest Washington erupted in a gigantic explosion that killed nearly 60 people and injured scores of others, as well as causing millions of dollars of damage. 

Boise State Public Radio reporter Norm Gunning experienced the event firsthand as an assignment editor at KOIN TV, the CBS affiliate in Portland, just 60 miles south. Through archived audio quotes, Gunning walks us through the events of the day and how his colleagues and station covered the breaking news at the time.

Otto Kitsinger / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has appointed Payette County Commissioner Marc Shigeta and Idaho Department of Lands Director Tom Schultz to the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Committee.

Otter announced Thursday that he is accepting applications for three other openings on the recently restructured commission until June 1.

A newly enacted law ensured the commission included the Department of Lands director, three governor-appointed experts and a county commissioner. The commission will officially begin its work on July 1.

Idaho's First Medical School Slated To Open In 2018

May 18, 2017
Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Idaho’s first medical school broke ground Wednesday in Ada County. The construction process is projected to take 15 months and $34 million.

The groundbreaking ceremony marked the start of construction for the brand new Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine, or ICOM. It’s scheduled to open in August 2018. ICOM is a private, for-profit addition to Idaho State University’s Meridian campus.

An estimated $125 million of private investment is going into the project. The primary investors are the Burrell Group from New Mexico and the Rice Management Company of Houston.

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