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Gay Marriage
1:09 pm
Sat October 25, 2014

Federal Government Now Recognizes Gay Marriage In Idaho

Credit MyTudut / Flickr Creative Commons

The federal government is recognizing gay marriage in six more states, extending federal benefits to those couples.

Attorney General Eric Holder says the states are: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Saturday's announcement brings the total number of states with federal recognition of same-sex marriage to 32, plus the District of Columbia.

Couples married in these states will qualify for a range of federal benefits, including Social Security and veterans' benefits.

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Agriculture
5:22 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

New Study Reaffirms The Big Role Dairy Plays In Idaho's Economy

Credit UGA College of Ag / Flickr

Idaho dairy producers are touting a new study that again shows the substantial role the dairy industry plays in the state’s economy. 

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Business
10:07 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Smith Optics' Departure From Central Idaho Will Have Economic Ripple Effect

Credit Manoosh26 / Flickr Creative Commons

The Wood River Valley is bracing for the loss of one of its largest employers. Ski equipment maker Smith Optics is one of the area’s top 10 employers and one of the biggest private-sector employers, according Harry Griffith, director of Sun Valley Economic Development - a nonprofit focused on the Blaine County economy.

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Higher Education
2:06 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Idaho Universities Reveal Latest Enrollment Numbers (Hint: 1 Up, 2 Down)

Some of Boise State's 22,000 plus students walking to class.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise State University has more students this fall than it did fall 2013, but Idaho State University and the University of Idaho have fewer. All three of Idaho’s public universities saw substantial growth during the height of the Great Recession. But for the last few years the trend has been declining enrollment.

Boise State

Total enrollment – 22,259

Idaho’s largest public university grew by a little more than 1 percent after two years of declining enrollment.

University of Idaho

Total enrollment – 11,534

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Education
9:45 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Report Finds Treasure Valley Students Show Little Or No Growth

Credit FlickingerBrad / Flickr Creative Commons

A student-performance report from Treasure Valley schools shows stagnant growth in 11 indicators, ranging from school readiness to obtaining a post-secondary degree.

The Treasure Valley Education Partnership (TVEP) released its “Report to the Community” Wednesday, and most numbers were disappointing.

“We have a lot of work to do,” said TVEP chairman Rich Raimondi, president at Bishop Kelly High School. “We first want to be open and transparent about our baseline. I think we will see (increases) in the next couple of years.”

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Health
6:30 am
Thu October 23, 2014

New Boise Nonprofit Puts Mental Health First For Musicians

Gabe Rudow sits at the control board at the Hive. The nonprofit wants to help musicians advance their passion in a supportive community.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Organizers of a new nonprofit want to do more than provide cheap studios for Boise’s growing music scene. They’re helping musicians who are struggling with things like stress, depression and addiction by connecting them with low-cost services.

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2014 Election
3:54 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

In Latest Campaign Gaffe, Ybarra's Degrees In Question

Sherri Ybarra is a Republican running to lead Idaho's public schools.
Credit Aaron Kunz / Idaho Public Television

This story was updated at 6:50 p.m. Oct. 23. 

Sherri Ybarra's campaign has issued a statement about her academic achievements after questions surfaced earlier this week about whether she was in the process of completing a doctorate in education.

Idaho Education News reports that Ybarra is 18 credits shy of completing her doctorate.

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Election 2014
1:52 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

After Scandal, Typically Quiet Idaho Treasurer Race Heats Up

Deborah Silver, left, is running for treasurer against longtime incumbent Ron Crane.
Credit Courtesy Idaho Public Television

Idaho's normally quiet race for state treasurer is heating up during the last leg of the midterm election as four-term incumbent Ron Crane faces off against political newcomer Deborah Silver.

Republican Crane has held the office since 1998 with few viable Democratic opponents.

However, this year he's defending his 16 years in office after a recent legislative audit claimed he mismanaged funds that resulted in a $20 million loss of taxpayer money.

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Business
9:55 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Ski Goggle Maker Smith Optics Is Leaving Idaho, Taking With It 85 Jobs

Credit talksrealfast / Flickr Creative Commons

A central Idaho company whose founder invented the double-lensed, vented ski goggle that is now the industry standard is moving operations and 85 jobs out of the resort town of Ketchum.

Smith Optics announced Monday that its design headquarters will move to Portland, Oregon, during the first half of 2015.

Other parts of the company are moving to Clearfield, Utah, or Parsippany, New Jersey, over the next three years.

Robert Earl "Bob" Smith came up with the double-lens goggles in the 1960s and patented his invention. He died in 2012 at age 78

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Gay Marriage
9:38 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Idaho Wedding Chapel That Refuses To Marry Gays Sets Off Conservative Alarm Bells

The Hitching Post in Couer d'Alene has filed a preemptive lawsuit against the city.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Religious conservatives around the country are rallying to the defense of a wedding chapel in north Idaho whose owners don’t want to perform gay marriages.

The mayor of Coeur d’Alene and governor of Idaho are being inundated by hundreds of calls and thousands of emails even though neither has taken any action against the wedding chapel.

The quaint Old West style wedding chapel called the Hitching Post is just across the street from the county courthouse in Coeur d’Alene.

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Election 2014
8:13 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Jones-Ybarra Education Debate Highlights Differences School Spending

Democrat Jana Jones, left, and Republican Sherri Ybarra, right.
Credit Idaho Public Television

The two candidates vying for the job of Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction faced off Tuesday night in a debate sponsored by Idaho Public Television. 

Republican Sherri Ybarra and Democrat Jana Jones are competing to replace Tom Luna, who's stepping down at the end of his current term. 

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Business
6:00 am
Wed October 22, 2014

How A Boise Woman Is Turning African-Inspired Handbags Into A College Education

Rita at the sewing machine where she makes her African-fabric inspired cloth purses.
Credit Jodie Martinson / Boise State Public Radio

Rita Thara Yenga shows off two plastic boxes full of women's bags she's sewn. She's preparing inventory for her new store "Thara Fashion." It opened in October at the International Market in Boise.

"I'm so happy to show people my talent," she explains. "It makes me excited."

Rita sells clothes and accessories for American sensibilities, but with a distinctly African twist. 

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Gay Marriage
4:25 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Otter Requests Appeals Court Review Of Idaho Gay Marriage Ruling

Credit State of Idaho

Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter is asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for an 11-judge panel to review the three-judge ruling that overturned Idaho's gay marriage ban last week.

Otter announced Tuesday in a news release that the federal judges failed to use the correct legal standard to Idaho's Constitutional definition of marriage.

Otter argues that already one Idaho business has been harmed by the judges' ruling.

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Education
1:26 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Southern Idaho School District

The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho has filed a lawsuit against a south-central Idaho school district accusing it of sexually and religiously discriminating against a student.

The Times-News reports that Declo High School and Cassia County School District denied senior Sierra Norman the opportunity to run for student body president last spring.

School officials argue Norman took too many online dual-credit classes to qualify as a full-time student.

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Election 2014
6:45 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Republican Ybarra Dismisses Controversies As 'Campaign Rhetoric'

Sherri Ybarra
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Republican Sherri Ybarra says her at-times bumpy campaign for Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction is a result of increased public scrutiny on a political newcomer. But the school administrator from Mountain Home says she understands the focus that's on her comes with a run for public office.

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Weather
5:45 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Is It Fall Yet? Idaho's October Is Unusally Warm And Dry

This map from the Nation Weather Service website Monday afternoon shows temperatures in the 80s in some places in southwest Idaho. The average high for Boise that day is 63 degrees.
Credit wrh.noaa.gov

After highs Monday about 15 degrees above average, temperatures in southern Idaho Tuesday should be below average. But so far, this fall has been unusually warm.

October days have averaged more than five-degrees warmer than what's typical for this time of year.  Through Monday, there were only four days this month the Treasure Valley did not reach the 70s.

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Election 2014
9:49 am
Mon October 20, 2014

What's The Biggest Issue Facing Idaho Schools? Jana Jones Says There Are Two

Jana Jones ran for superintendent of schools in 2006 and was defeated by Tom Luna.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Democrat running to be Idaho’s next Superintendent of Public Instruction says funding and low morale are the two biggest issues facing Idaho’s schools.

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Trends
6:30 am
Mon October 20, 2014

See What Your Idaho Zip Code Tells Marketers About You

Credit screen grab from esri.com

Your zip code tells postal workers how to get you your daily pile of junk mail advertisements. Your zip can also tell advertisers what junk mail to send you. That’s the idea behind software company Ersi’s Tapestry Segmentation program.

The tool allows users (marketers) to type in a zip code and get an analysis of the people who live there based on U.S. Census Bureau and market research data.

Boise's North End

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Reader's Corner
6:00 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Pulitzer Prize Winner Isabel Wilkerson On "America's Great Migration"

For decades after slavery ended, African Americans continued a mighty struggle against a caste system grounded in racism. Pervasive discrimination kept many blacks from building decent lives in the southern states they called home. Faced with few choices, they undertook one of the largest migrations in our nation’s history, with more than 6 million making their way to Midwestern, Western and Eastern cities between 1915 and 1970.

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Gay Marriage
2:29 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Idaho Veteran's Cemetery Will Bury Lesbian Couple

Idaho Veteran's Cemetery
Credit Idaho Air National Guard / Flickr

An Idaho Navy veteran, who wanted to be buried with her late wife, will get her wish.

The Spokesman-Review’s Eye on Boise blog reports the head of the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery says there’s no longer a reason to keep the two apart. Madelynn Taylor has her wife Jean Mixner's ashes. She wanted to set up arrangements to have her ashes interred with Mixner's at the cemetery in Boise.

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