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5:41 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Festival Of Trees Celebrates All Things Christmas And Its 31st Year In Boise

Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Saint Alphonsus Festival of Trees is one of the Treasure Valley’s most enduring holiday traditions. This is the 31st year of this celebration of all things Christmas. It’s open to the public from Wednesday through Sunday.

St. Al’s spokesman Josh Schlaich says 20,000 to 30,000 thousand people visit each year.

“It really is a generational thing,” Schlaich says. “We see grandparents, that have been coming for years, come with their grandchildren. We see great grandchildren. ”

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2014 Election
1:11 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

North Idaho Republican Loses Again In Recount

Thyra Stevenson
Credit Idaho Legislature

A Republican lawmaker from northern Idaho who was 26 votes short of keeping her seat gained only one vote on her Democratic opponent in a recount.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that state Rep. Thyra Stevenson had requested the recount because Nez Perce County experienced technical problems tabulating ballots on election night.

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Idaho News
11:15 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Filer Resident To Receive $35,000 After Dog Shot

Officials in the south-central Idaho city of Filer have agreed to a $35,000 settlement after a police officer shot and killed a resident's dog.

An attorney for the city's insurance company tells The Times-News in a story on Wednesday that Rick Clubb will receive the money as part of a negotiated settlement.

Officer Tarek Hassani on Feb. 8 responded to a report of dogs running lose.

Holidays
10:23 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Idahoans Hit The Road For Thanksgiving

Credit Aaron Brown / Flickr

More people around the country, including in Idaho, will be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday this week. AAA projects that 4.2 percent more Americans will travel 50 miles or more this week compared to last year.

Dave Carlson, with AAA Idaho, says it will be a busy time on the roads and at the airport.

“We are expecting overall 237,000 Idahoans will be traveling," Carlson says. "That represents about 14 to 15 percent of the population and about 204,000 of those will be doing so by motor vehicle.”

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Prisons
4:51 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Idaho Prison Director Announces Resignation

Credit www.idoc.idaho.gov

Idaho Department of Correction Director Brent Reinke is stepping down from his post after leading the department since 2007. His tenure included overseeing the fallout of a private-prison scandal, handling the first two executions since 1994 and enhancing the department's contract oversight.

Reinke submitted his resignation Tuesday during a special Idaho Board of Corrections meeting.

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Wolves
3:54 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

BLM Reverses Decision, Says No To Idaho Wolf Derby Permit

Credit Washington Fish and Game

After giving the OK to a wolf hunting competition on Idaho public land, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has reversed its decision.

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Idaho News
12:01 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Idaho Suicide Hotline Expands to 24-7 Service

Executive Director John Reusser credits volunteers for their work over the past two years since the hotline opened.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

If you need help, you can contact the hotline by dialing 1-800-273-TALK.

When people in crisis dial the Idaho Suicide Hotline, starting Wednesday, they'll reach someone close to home. The service is marking its second anniversary by expanding to 24-7 coverage.

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Rivers
11:50 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Lawsuit Would Stop Dredging Of Lower Snake River

Lewiston, Idaho
Credit BostonTx / Flickr

Environmental groups and the Nez Perce Tribe have filed a lawsuit to prevent dredging of the lower Snake River that enables Lewiston, Idaho, to be the most inland seaport on the West Coast.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Seattle, challenges the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' approval of a $6.7 million dredging project scheduled to begin next month.

The lawsuit was filed by Earthjustice on behalf of a coalition of environmental groups.

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Economy
10:26 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Boise Man Getting National Attention Boycotting ‘Black Thursday’ Shopping

Credit facebook.com/boycottblackthursday

For the past few years Brian Rich has been telling everyone who will listen not to go shopping on Thanksgiving. The credit union marketing coordinator from Boise started a social media campaign in 2011 called Boycott Black Thursday.

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Politics + Policy
4:25 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Idaho Legislative Committee Kills Counties' Resolution

Sen. Dean Mortimer
Credit Idaho Legislature

Lawmakers on a committee charged with improving Idaho's broken public defense system have killed a resolution that would have given the state full responsibly for assigning attorneys to indigent defenders.

Earlier this year, representatives from the state's 44 counties voted that Idaho should manage the public defense system. However, members of the Legislature's Public Defense Reform Interim Committee at a meeting Monday agreed that counties should remain in control.

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Politics + Policy
4:15 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Former Idaho Senator Craig Appeals Misused Funds Ruling

Credit U.S. Senate

Former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig is appealing a ruling ordering him to pay nearly $242,000 to the U.S. Treasury for improperly using campaign funds to pay for legal expenses following his 2007 airport bathroom sex sting arrest.

Craig filed the one-page appeal Monday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Washington, D.C.

A federal judge ruled in September that Craig illegally converted campaign money for personal expenses while trying to withdraw his guilty plea to one count of disorderly conduct.

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Silver Valley
2:27 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Study Finds North Idaho Superfund Cleanup Is Working

Coeur d'Alene Lake
Credit irmiller / Flickr

Scientists say water quality in the Coeur d'Alene and Spokane river basins in northern Idaho and eastern Washington state is improving due to ongoing efforts cleaning up one of the nation's largest Superfund sites.

The United States Geological Survey in a report released Monday says concentrations of cadmium, lead and zinc decreased significantly since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began the cleanup process in the 1990s.

However, the study also found that the concentration in some streams is above what's considered toxic to aquatic organisms.

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Tourism
1:10 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Plan Would Upgrade Idaho's Craters of the Moon To A National Park

Credit Dana Orlosky / Flickr

A decades old proposal to upgrade Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve to a national park is getting new life.

The monument's superintendent, Dan Buckley, is proposing the upgrade and says he's briefed Idaho's congressional delegation. The move would ultimately require congressional approval.

Idaho is the only state in the West without a national park entirely within its borders.

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Wolves
12:11 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Officers Recommend Charge In Wolf Shooting Just Over Idaho Border

Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Washington fish and wildlife officers are recommending a misdemeanor charge against a farmer accused of illegally shooting a wolf last month.

Whitman County Prosecutor Denis Tracy tells the Moscow-Pullman Daily News that he'll review the investigation report and the law before making a decision about whether to file charges. The wolf was shot southwest of Pullman on Oct. 12.

Under Washington law, a wolf can only be shot if it is in the act of attacking pets or livestock.

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Gun Laws
11:20 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Idaho Wants To Overturn Maryland Gun-Control Law

Credit Dainel Lee / Flickr

Idaho is among 21 states asking a federal appeals court to overturn provisions of Maryland's gun-control law that bans 45 assault weapons and limits gun magazines to 10 rounds.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey led the coalition in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the Fourth U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia last week.

The brief says the law violates the Second Amendment right to keep firearms in homes for self-protection.

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Reader's Corner
6:00 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Former China Correspondent Adam Brookes Pens Debut Novel, 'Night Heron'

In a brutal labor camp in a remote part of western China, a man imprisoned for 20 years plots his escape.  In Beijing, an ambitious foreign correspondent stumbles into a web of secrets that are more valuable than he ever dreams. And in London, British intelligence agents who bear little resemblance to James Bond scramble to pursue a surprising and intriguing lead.

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Outdoor Recreation
2:26 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Eagle Snow Park Set To Open After Long Delay

These particular kids aren't in Eagle, but the Mayor says there will be many happy faces like these at the park this weekend.
Credit Torch Magazine / Flickr

After two years of planning, a snow park will open Saturday for tubing and snowboarding in Eagle.

The City of Eagle and the park’s developer, Ryan Neptune, had been trying to get the park underway for two years. But they clashed with Ada County, which owned the land and said a commercial operation wasn’t allowed under the lease agreement.

The city finally bought the property from the county earlier this year, and gave the green light to the operation.

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Election 2014
12:40 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Idaho Records Its Lowest-Ever General Election Voter Turnout

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

This story was updated Nov. 21, 2014 

Idaho's voter participation in this year's general election was the lowest ever.

Secretary of State Ben Ysursa tells the Spokesman Review that nearly 37 percent of Idaho's voting-age population cast a ballot Nov. 4.

Ysursa described the results as "abysmal," and urged the need to turn the number around.

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Idaho News
11:43 am
Fri November 21, 2014

North Idaho Man Arrested For Carrying A Gun Into A Campus Dorm

A northern Idaho man who carried a concealed weapon into a dormitory at Lewis-Clark State College is facing charges.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that 19-year-old Wesley S. Bowler of Harpster is charged with carrying a concealed weapon without permit.

Bowler, who is not a student, was taken into custody at the dormitory on Wednesday and police seized a Kel-Tec P-11 pistol with a loaded magazine.

Bowler was taken to the Nez Perce County Jail and released after paying $300 of his bond amount.

Business
4:34 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Collaborative Effort To Bring A New YMCA, Park And School To Meridian

Marti Hill, Dixie Cook and David Turnbull donated the land for the YMCA/school/park complex.
Credit Google Earth

Meridian will be getting a new YMCA, city park and elementary school. The Treasure Valley YMCA announced Thursday it will build its first new facility since opening the Caldwell Y nine years ago. The new South Y will be built in Meridian south of I-84 near Eagle Road and Amity.

It will be built on 22 acres of donated land. The J.A. and Katherine Albertson Foundation is donating $4 million to start the project.  

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