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Legislation
5:05 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Idaho Rep. Labrador Pushes Bipartisan Police Demilitarization Bill

Credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho GOP congressman Raul Labrador is teaming up with a Democratic lawmaker to move a bill designed to curb police militarization among state and local law enforcement agencies.

Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson and Labrador introduced the bill Tuesday. The legislation follows the shooting of a black teenager by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, that sparked a series of riots and increased criticism of police use of military equipment.

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Health Insurance
4:16 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Census Report: High Number Of Idahoans Are Uninsured

Credit census.gov

The percentage of Idahoans with no health insurance was unchanged between 2012 and 2013. A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau says 16.2 percent of the state’s residents lacked health coverage in 2013. That’s about 257,000 people.

The nation as a whole saw a slight decline in the uninsured in that time, from 14.8 percent in 2012 to 14.5 percent in 2013.

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Gun Rights
11:49 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Boise State Agrees To Change Event Policies In Face Of Possible Lawsuit

Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Boise State University officials say they will change their on-campus event policies after facing a possible lawsuit from private legal organizations.

The Idaho Freedom Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho had accused the university of violating the First Amendment after it charged a student organization security fees for a gun-rights event earlier this year.

University officials had already reimbursed the students $465 but they say will now suspend the policies that allow them to charge for enhanced security.

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Hunting
11:17 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Idaho Fish And Game Cracking Down On Illegal Spotlight Hunting

Credit Gary Beck / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho Fish and Game Department is cracking down on an illegal hunting practice known as "jacklighting." Hunters pull over to the side of a road at night, get out of the car and shine a high powered spotlight on a hillside. Any dear or elk are frozen in place by the sudden glare. Then the hunters shoot.

Fish and Game says the practice is dangerous and unethical, so the department is taking further action to catch and prosecute perpetrators.

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Treefort Music Fest
10:08 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Treefort Music Fest Releases Ticketing Details For 2015, Debuts New Website

Music fans at the RJD2 show during the 2014 festival.
Credit Francis Delapena / Treefort Music Fest

The crew at Treefort Music Fest is already in planning mode for the fourth annual extravaganza.

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Teacher Pay
3:45 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Idaho Task Force Seeks Higher Teacher Salaries

Credit BES Photos / Flickr Creative Commons

A state task force says reforming Idaho's teaching certification must be tied to increasing salaries in order to attract and retain quality teachers in public schools.

The 15-member committee spent most of Monday discussing details of implementing a new teacher pay system commonly known as the career ladder.

However, some members worry that state lawmakers will approve tougher certification requirements without providing funding for higher salaries.

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Arts + Culture
1:41 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Boise State Scientist Using High Tech Tools To Solve An Ancient Mystery

Mummy portrait of a bearded man. A.D. 170-180. From the collection of the Walters Museum.
Credit art.thewalters.org

A Boise State University professor is trying to solve a historical mystery.

Darryl Butt is trying to figure out who was buried in an Egyptian sarcophagus.  Butt, however, is not an archeologist or historian. He’s a materials scientist and associate director of Idaho’s Center for Advanced Energy Studies. He mostly works with nuclear fuels. Butt says his involvement started with a chance meeting with someone from the Walters Museum in Maryland.

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Wildlife
11:15 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Radar Could Help Idaho Drivers Avoid Wildlife Collisions

The radar system was used in Bonners Ferry for a few months last year.
Credit Grizdave / Flickr Creative Commons

A company that makes radar technology used to protect military convoys says it can be adapted to help central Idaho drivers avoid collisions with deer and elk on State Highway 75.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that Sloan Security Technologies last week presented its idea to Blaine County officials and the Idaho Transportation Department.

Company co-founder Brian Sloan says the mobile radar animal detection system alerts drivers with flashing lights when animals are present.

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Medical School
10:16 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Washington State University Gets Approval For New Medical School In Spokane

An existing building on the WSU Spokane campus would be used for a proposed new medical school. WSU faculty already teach University of Washington students here through a collaborative agreement between the universities.
Credit Washington State University

Washington State University's Board of Regents unanimously approved a plan Friday to establish a medical school in Spokane. It has the potential to generate 120 new doctors every year in the Northwest, but the move also tees up a fight between Washington's two largest public universities.

The University of Washington in Seattle is currently the state's only public medical school and it serves as the main destination for med students in a five-state area including Idaho.

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Reader's Corner
6:00 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Author Peter Stark On Astoria, The First Colony Of The West Coast

The rugged coastline of the Pacific Northwest is dotted with historic cities and sea ports. But today’s well-established metropolises belie the imagination and tenacity that it took to settle this wild and remote region.

In 1809, John Jacob Astor -- a young, ambitious New York businessman -- saw the potential of the Northwest coast as a great trading emporium for the western half of the United States. Astor dispatched a land and sea party that he hoped would arrive at what is now Astoria, Oregon. The plan was to set up a Jamestown-like colony and establish a fur trading empire.

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Medical School
1:24 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Washington State University Could Soon Open Medical School

A new report shows Washington State University is ready for a full-fledged medical school in Spokane. It would be one of the biggest educational ventures the school has seen in decades.

Consultants from MGT of America, contracted by WSU, gave this report to the school’s board of regents: WSU is well positioned to develop an accredited medical school in the near future. The group says WSU could seek accreditation in Fall 2015, and have its charter class in 2017.

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Sports + Recreation
11:03 am
Fri September 12, 2014

College Of Idaho Football Returns, Presents 'Refreshing' Option For Fans

Credit College of Idaho

There's been a buzz around the College of Idaho campus this week that hasn't existed there since the 1970s. 

Last weekend the school played - and won - its first football game since 1977. The Yotes beat Pacific University 35-34. College of Idaho plays its first home game Saturday afternoon against Montana Western at Simplot Stadium in Caldwell. 

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Arts + Culture
11:00 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Artist Workshop In Historic Atlanta, Idaho Is All About Self Expression

Credit Kris Hargis / Froelick Gallery

In a 'selfie' dominated world, a group of people are headed to the historic town of Atlanta, Idaho this weekend to immerse themselves in the art of self-portraiture. Painter Kris Hargis is leading a workshop at the Atlanta School, a new arts organization that accepts artists of all ages and levels.

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Migration
4:59 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

If You Were Born In Idaho, Data Show You Probably Stayed

Where people born in Idaho are moving to.
Credit New York Times screengrab

If you were born in Idaho, The New York Times reports you've likely stayed put. And if you did move, it was more likely you stayed in the West.  

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Water
12:16 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Report: Ground Water Levels Have Dropped In Southern Wood River Valley

Stream near Sun Valley
Credit rickotto62 / Flickr Creative Commons

A new report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) finds that ground water levels have dropped in parts of the Wood River Valley.

USGS hydrologist Jim Bartolino’s team looked at changes in ground water and surface water between 2006 and 2012.

Bartolino says there are two distinct parts to the aquifer under the valley.

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History
10:03 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Missing Section Of Nez Perce Trail Holds Little-Known Part Of History

Ruth Wapato of Spokane is the granddaughter of one of the members of the Nez Perce Tribe who fought alongside Chief Joseph in 1877.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The story most people learn about the Nez Perce Tribe and the capture of Chief Joseph doesn't tell the whole history, and now the federal government and Northwest Tribes are trying to fix that with a new historic site.

You may have heard about the Nez Perce’s epic 1,200-mile flight through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana in 1877. The U.S. Army caught up with them before they could reach Canada. And in history books and documentaries, this is how the story usually ends:

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Wildfires
9:41 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Why Remotely Monitored Video Cameras Are Replacing Some Human Fire Lookouts In The West

These remotely-monitored cameras scan for forest fires from a historic fire lookout in Douglas County, Oregon.
Credit Courtesy of DFPA

Remotely monitored video cameras are replacing some human fire lookouts on mountaintops around the Northwest.

A private non-profit called the Douglas Forest Protective Association was the first in the region to switch to remote camera fire detection. The southwest Oregon-based association deployed its first system in 2007.

The firefighting consortium's Kyle Reed said it has now replaced all of its manned fire lookouts with video cameras.

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Health
2:50 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Serious Respiratory Virus Reported In Eastern Idaho

Eastern Idaho health officials say four children have been hospitalized due to a respiratory virus.

Officials tell KIFI-TV that the children are being treated at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

Hundreds of children in more than 10 states have been sickened by a severe respiratory illness that public health officials say may be caused by an uncommon virus similar to the germ that causes the common cold.

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Agriculture
12:23 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Why Boise Owns A 7 Square-Mile Farm (Hint: It's For Your Poop)

Ben Nydegger on one of five biosolids "bunkers" at Boise's 20 Miles South Farm.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Do you ever wonder where your poop goes when you flush the toilet? If you live in Boise, it ends up somewhere a little out of the ordinary. It goes to a place called 20 Mile South Farm, so named because it's 20 miles south of Boise.

“Everybody who flushes the toilet contributes to this fertilizer right here,” Says Ben Nydegger, Boise's biosolids program manager.

Biosolids is the industry term for the stuff he’s standing next to. It’s a dark-brown pile about three-feet-tall and roughly twice the area of an Olympic swimming pool.

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Columbia River
10:43 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Record Number Of Chinook Salmon Return To The Columbia River

Chinook salmon are one of four main salmon species to migrate to the Columbia River each year.
Credit Joe Parks / Flickr Creative Commons

The number of returning chinook salmon on the Columbia River has taken a dramatic upswing. Over the weekend, 107,000 chinook salmon climbed the fish ladder at Bonneville dam.

A spokeswoman with the Columbia Inter Tribal Fish Commission, Sara Thompson, says those numbers set a new record.

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