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Idaho Education News

When it comes to paying and keeping teachers, there are wide gaps between Idaho’s haves and have-nots.

Idaho’s new five-year plan to boost teacher pay will not solve this problem. In fact, it could even get worse.

The $125 million career ladder law is designed to narrow the teacher pay gap between Idaho and neighboring states. Within Idaho, teacher salaries are set locally, and results vary widely from district to district. (To see how your local district stacks up, use the searchable table at the bottom of this story.)

Michael Galkovsky / Flickr Creative Commons

The head of Idaho's state-run health insurance exchange says no matter what decision the U.S. Supreme Court made Thursday on the federal subsidies that are part of Obamacare, the state wouldn't have been affected.  

The court upheld the practice of giving subsidies to people buying health insurance in states that don’t have their own exchanges. Idaho is one of the 16 states that created exchanges.

Gay marriage, couples, lawsuit
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Supreme Court has declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States.

Gay and lesbian couples already can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court's ruling on Friday means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.

The outcome is the culmination of two decades of Supreme Court litigation over marriage, and gay rights generally.

A southwest Idaho man police say quit breathing while being restrained by officers has died.

Authorities tell the Idaho Statesman that 23-year-old Allen Hernandez of Homedale died Tuesday.

Authorities say Hernandez got into a car crash on Sunday morning and asked to use the phone at a residence a quarter-mile away.

Police say he called 911 and said he wanted to go home before hanging up and getting into a fight with three residents.

Prairie Dog, wildlife
Matthew Paulson / Flickr Creative Commons

Government attorneys are defending federal protections for Utah prairie dogs after 10 states stepped into the case in favor of a ruling that animal activists say could undermine the Endangered Species Act.

Federal lawyers are asking an appeals court to overturn an unusual ruling striking down prairie dog protections near the Utah town of Cedar City.

Residents say the animals are taking over their town, though animal activists countered Thursday that those concerns are overblown.

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

In September, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is set to make a decision that many in the West have been anticipating for years. The federal agency will decide whether to list the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act, a move that many groups in states like Idaho want to avoid.

Kerry Lannert / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Power sees the highest demand for electricity in the summer when people crank up their air conditioners. And with a long stretch of very hot weather in store, that demand is expected to be very high.

The utility that powers most of southwest Idaho and eastern Oregon set a new record for energy consumption just two years ago in July. Idaho Power spokesman Brad Bowlin says that record could be surpassed soon.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is playing host to nine other Western states' governors and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to try to reach a consensus on regionwide issues such as drought.

Sandoval chairs the Western Governors' Association, which is holding its annual meeting in Lake Tahoe from Wednesday to Friday.

The governors will tackle a number of topics throughout the three days, including a newly released report detailing best practices for states to mitigate the effects of drought.

Pierce Place / Flickr Creative Commons

Mississippi's flag, and the Confederate symbols embedded within it, has come down outside Boise's City Hall.

Boise Mayor David Bieter pushed to have the symbol removed from City Hall's 50-state display following the South Carolina church massacre and ensuing debate over the Confederate flag being flown at the capitol there.

A Boise official says there are currently no plans to return Mississippi's flag to the display.

The U.S. Forest Service has approved a gold mining company's plan to reopen a 4-mile road in a central Idaho wilderness and drill core samples to find out if two of its claims are profitable enough to be mined.

The federal agency in a statement Tuesday says Payette National Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom approved American Independence Mines and Minerals Co.'s plan in the Frank Church River Of No Return Wilderness.

'Almosting It'

Will von Tagen grew up in Boise, so it's not totally surprising that the 27-year-old would set his first feature film – called "Almosting It" – in the town. Boise moviegoers will get the first chance to see the film Wednesday at the Egyptian Theater.

Arte_ON / Flickr

A new look at bicycle crash data shows 1,195 people have been involved in crashes in Ada County since 2007. Most were in Boise. Eleven of those crashes resulted in the death of the cyclist.

Nampa Library officials are asking for a 16 percent budget increase to help pay for new costs associated with their more expensive location.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports the new facility is twice the size of the previous library and has been occupied since fiscal year 2015. It was funded and completed by the Nampa Development Corporation.

Grizzly, wildlife, grizzlies, endangered species list
Jason Bechtel / Flickr Creative Commons

Twenty-four grizzly bears have been captured so far this year in and around Yellowstone National Park as wildlife managers start another season of research toward a potential lifting of federal protections.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team captured the grizzlies in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and outside the parks in Montana and Wyoming.

Teams are now starting to trap grizzlies in eastern Idaho.

The estimated grizzly population in the 19,000-square-mile Yellowstone ecosystem is 757 bears.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The neighborhood known as the Waterfront District is a game changer for Garden City. It was the first high-end housing built in the historically poor, southeast section of town. It’s the development that kicked off, what many people believe is inevitable gentrification.

USDA/NRCS / Flickr Creative Commons

Last week, the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a 21st century upgrade to a system that’s been stuck in the analog world. The Conservation Client Gateway is a new website that lets farmers and ranchers apply for programs under things like the Farm Bill. Before, a farmer would have to drive to their nearest USDA office – which, in rural Idaho – could be a time and fuel-consuming task.

All four of Idaho's four-year public universities and colleges have eliminated degree programs, dissolved academic departments or reduced staff over the past year as part of a statewide effort to cut costs and prioritize college programs.

Boise State University restructured several of its academic departments, resulting in the removal of its College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs. Meanwhile, the University of Idaho discontinued 19 degree options. This included bachelor degrees in American Studies, Art Education and Medical Technology.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A coalition of groups and individuals concerned about the health of the Boise River has released an enhancement plan and wants public feedback. The Boise River Enhancement Network (BREN) says the natural resource needs serious help in four areas: water quality, fish habitat, riparian areas and the river channel itself. BREN wants cities, counties, farmers and others who rely on the river to work better together to protect it.

Department of Defense

Monday morning, a squadron of the Idaho Army National Guard is in the desert south of Boise for a live-fire training exercise. The soldiers are preparing for a special trip to California, to the Army’s most sought-after training experience.

Mark Coyle is leaving Boise State for Syracuse.

The Iowa native who moved to Boise after stints and Minnesota and Kentucky, will be formally announced in his new role in New York Monday. 

Coyle took over the top athletic position at Boise State in late 2011. He replaced Gene Bleymaier, who was fired following compliance infractions that landed the university on NCAA probation. Syracuse is facing five years' probation. 

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