U.S. Department of Defense

The wildly popular podcast Serial captivated listeners last year, and was downloaded 80 million times. In the first season, the spinoff of the public radio show This American Life followed the story of a man imprisoned for the murder of his high school girlfriend – but who maintains his innocence.

Rob Palmer Photography

Scientists studying the American Kestrel are asking for the public’s help to pay for new research into the bird’s decline. The hope is that people who admire America’s smallest falcon will try to save it.

A federal official who helps oversee refugee resettlement in the U.S. says despite an effort to do away with a program in Twin Falls, he still thinks the city is a viable option for refugees.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

North Boise’s 13th Street sees a lot of traffic for a relatively narrow road in a predominately residential area. A junior high, a popular park, foothills access and the Hyde Park business district all bring in cars. And people who live on 13th say those cars are driving way too fast.

Dan Dzurisin / Flickr Creative Commons

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the much-anticipated decision on Twitter Tuesday morning, using the hashtag #WildlifeWin.

“Because of an unprecedented effort by dozens of partners  across 11 western states," says Sec. Jewell in a video, "the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the greater sage grouse does not require protection under the Endangered Species Act.”

Idaho Education News

As Idaho moves into the realm of mastery-based education, the state is getting unpaid help from a prominent education reform group.

But the Foundation for Excellence in Education — founded by GOP presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — is itself a newcomer to mastery. During a meeting with the State Board of Education in May, a foundation official said the group has not worked with any other states on implementing mastery programs.

Alan Krakauer / Flickr Creative Commons

Early Tuesday morning Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced on Twitter the decision of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service not to list the greater sage grouse as endangered. This follows years of hard work, cooperation and collaborative planning among stakeholders in what is being touted as the largest conservation effort in U.S. history. 

Stakeholders are already reacting to the decision. Below are comments from some of those individuals and groups.

sage grouse, wildlife
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Interior Department says the greater sage grouse does not need federal protections across its 11-state Western range after some limits were put on energy development and other activities.

Tuesday's announcement signals that the Obama administration believes it has struck a balance to save the widespread, ground-dwelling birds from extinction without crippling the West's economy.


The head of the Federal Aviation Administration was in Boise Monday. Director Michael Huerta spoke to the National Association of State Aviation Officials convention at the Boise Center. Prior to his comments there, Huerta visited the National Interagency Fire Center. 

The FAA and officials at NIFC have worked together to try and curb the issue of drones flying too close to aerial firefighting operations. Numerous times this year, air tankers and helicopters flying over wildfires had to be grounded because drones were discovered nearby.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

Treasure Valley school districts faced with a shortage of special education teachers are turning to alternative routes of certification as they struggle to fill positions.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the shortage has hit West Ada School District, the state's largest district, and Boise School District, one of Idaho's highest-paying districts. Council, a logging town near Boise with only 240 students, has also struggled to find special education teachers.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A series of seminars on open meetings and public records laws returns to southwest Idaho Monday. The organization Idahoans for Openness in Government puts together the seminars each year in different parts of the state along with the office of the Attorney General. The free public seminars start Monday in McCall then come to Boise and Nampa early next month.

Idaho’s Attorney General and the Idaho Press Club do the presentation. The interactive event lasts about three hours and features audience role playing.

Emilie Ritter Saunders

If you’re being stalked by a person who isn’t a relative or a romantic partner in Idaho, there’s not much the police can do to protect you from having contact. Civil protective orders here don’t cover stalking behavior by acquaintances or strangers.

But Idaho State Sen. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, wants to change that. The lawmaker and attorney says he’s been working on legislation to broaden the categories governing protective orders since 2013.

Idaho High School Cycling League

Student athletes in some parts of Idaho have another option for a team sport this fall: mountain biking. Almost 250 students make up the first group of athletes in the Idaho High School Cycling League. There are 17 teams all together, including three at high schools in Boise. The rest are spread across the southern half of Idaho up to McCall. 

Diane Ayres / SNIP

Every day unwanted kittens and puppies are born in the Treasure Valley and one nonprofit is trying to help. Spay Neuter Idaho Pets or SNIP wants to reduce the overpopulation of dogs and cats in Idaho. Right now, they’re concentrated on the Treasure Valley.

“Spay and neuter your pets. It saves lives,” says Diane Ayres, SNIP’s founder and Executive Director. She says there are simply too many animals being born.

Youth Lagoon

Boise's own Youth Lagoon is a trending topic in music news this week. Led by Trevor Powers, the music project's third full-length album is set for release September 25. But before then, music junkies can stream Savage Hills Ballroom from NPR Music.

Drexel University

When my wife became a nurse I suggested we move to Oregon where RNs make in excess of $20,000 a year more than in Idaho. I was joking (mostly) but that gap is hard to ignore. And it’s not much smaller for Washington or Nevada. Now a new info-graphic from Drexel University says we should ignore those raw salary numbers because Idaho is financially the best place to be a nurse.

James Marvin Phelps / Flickr Creative Commons

Federal officials say a 150-square-mile area in southwestern Idaho will serve as a public lands sanctuary for non-reproducing wild horses from around the West that have nowhere else to go.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Monday announced the release of its approved Resource Management Plan for the Jarbidge Field Office.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The preliminary hearing for Idaho Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is set for Thursday. Bergdahl left his Afghanistan post in 2009, was captured by the Taliban, held for five years, and released back to the U.S. in a prisoner trade. He is charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

The military hearing is known as an Article 32. Several media reports, and the Bergdahl Wikipedia page, say his Article 32 is similar to a civilian grand jury. But Brigadier General Walt Donovan says that’s incorrect.

CyberHades / Flickr Creative Commons

The state of Idaho’s new Cybersecurity Task Force holds its first meeting Wednesday afternoon. Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter created the group through executive order in July. Lieutenant Governor Brad Little will chair the task force.

Trevor / Flickr

A traveling exhibit on the Magna Carta is in Boise this week at the Idaho State Archives. The 800-year-old document helped outline America’s system of representative government.