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West Nile Virus
11:46 am
Fri August 22, 2014

5 Human Cases Of West Nile Virus Reported In Idaho

The latest data for West Nile cases in Idaho
Credit Map by Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

The number of West Nile virus cases in Idaho have gone up this month in humans and mosquitoes.  
 

Human cases of West Nile were reported in four counties recently, Blaine, Lincoln, Payette, and Washington.  

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Higher Education
6:16 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Why Half Of Concordia Law School’s 3rd Year Students Will Take Fall Semester Off

Concordia's Boise law school is downtown.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Fifty new first year students will start classes next week at Boise’s Concordia Law School. That’s the largest incoming class since the school opened in the fall of 2012. Concordia’s third year class is almost as large but many of them won’t be taking classes this fall.

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Bowe Bergdahl
1:14 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Investigation: Pentagon Violated Law With Bergdahl Swap

Congressional investigators say the Pentagon violated the law when it swapped five Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held prisoner in Afghanistan for five years.

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says the Defense Department's failure to notify the relevant congressional committees at least 30 days in advance of the exchange broke the law.

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Web Streams
9:56 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Update: KBSU Classical Music Web Stream Is Back Online

This post was updated at 10:00 a.m. Aug. 28, 2014.

Boise State Public Radio's classical music web stream, KBSU, is back on the air.

The stream was taken offline for repairs last week.

Thanks for your patience, and happy listening!

This post was originally created Aug. 21, 2014.

Boise State Public Radio's classical music web stream, KBSU, is currently down.

Wildfire Costs
6:05 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

U.S. Will Likely Borrow Up To $400 Million For Fighting This Season's Wildfires

Credit U.S. Forest Service

The Obama administration is detailing the toll that the escalating cost of fighting forest fires has had on other projects, as it pushes Congress to overhaul how it pays for the most severe fires.

In a new report issued Wednesday, the Agriculture Department said that staffing for fighting fires has more than doubled since 1998.

Meanwhile, the number of workers who manage National Forest System lands has dropped by about a third.

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History
2:18 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

New Book Reveals Secrets Of Boise's Old Pen Through Photos

The old Idaho Penitentiary housed inmates from 1872 to 1973. This is the old administration building at the Pen, which is still standing today.
Credit Courtesy Idaho State Historical Society

A new collection of vintage photographs is highlighting Idaho's historic old penitentiary which was home to bank robbers, assassins, horse thieves and moonshiners for more than 100 years. The fortress-like Old Pen has long been a staple in east Boise, and it's now a place for tourists instead of criminals.

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Higher Education
1:28 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

5 Big Changes Coming To Boise State University

Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Boise State University researcher Julia Oxford has won a $10 million grant to create a Center for Biomedical Research, making it the largest grant in the university’s history. Boise State President Bob Kustra made the announcement in his annual state of the university speech Wednesday.

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Energy
10:37 am
Wed August 20, 2014

U.S. Energy Chief Announces $3.7 Million For Idaho National Lab, University Research

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says the United States must adapt all types of energy production to help minimize the negative impacts of global warming.

Moniz spoke in front of a crowded room in Idaho Falls Wednesday at the inaugural Intermountain Energy Summit. Idaho congressmen Jim Risch, Mike Crapo and Mike Simpson also spoke during the conference.

Moniz says the United States isn't shunning coal or oil energy sources, but instead, officials are finding ways to reduce their carbon emissions.

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Idaho News
8:33 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Bowe Bergdahl's Attorney Says Former POW Wants To Go To College

Credit Dept. of Defense

Hailey, Idaho native and former Taliban prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl says he wants to go to college.

In an interview with CBS News, Bergdahl's attorney said Tuesday his client would like to attend college once an Army investigation into the soldier's 2009 disappearance from a base in Afghanistan is over.

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Jobs
10:03 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Idaho's Workforce Has Shrunk More Than Most States

Idaho's July jobless rate was 4.8 percent, nationally, it's 6.2 percent.
Credit Nancy / Flickr Creative Commons

Fewer Idahoans, nearly 6 percent, are working today than in 2007 before the Great Recession began.

State-by-state analysis of employment data, from calendar year 2007 to fiscal year 2014, show only two other states have seen a greater workforce decline among 25- to 54-year-olds.

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Higher Education
2:22 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Provost: Prioritization Of Programs Makes Boise State Better

Credit Boise State University

Boise State University Provost Martin Schimpf says the university’s recent program prioritization will make the school a more relevant, efficient and higher-quality institution. 

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Education
1:24 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Idaho Schools Chief Tom Luna Takes Nonprofit Job

Luna announced earlier this year that he wouldn't run for re-election.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

When State Superintendent Tom Luna leaves office in 2015, he will join a nonprofit education vendor.

Luna will join Project Lead The Way, an Indianapolis-based organization providing programs and teacher training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — the so-called “STEM” fields. Luna will be the nonprofit’s vice president of policy, advocacy and research.

Luna will oversee four regional directors, as well as a team of policy analysts and researchers.

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Business
8:51 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Former Wall Street Executive Brings Message Of Gender Equity To Boise

Sallie Krawcheck
Credit Ellevate

A former Wall Street executive is bringing her message of gender equity to Boise. Sallie Krawcheck is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at a conference of small business people Tuesday.

Krawcheck used to oversee the world's largest wealth management company. Today, she champions the cause of diversity in corporate leadership.

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Events
8:49 am
Tue August 19, 2014

'Slide The City' Inflates Its Giant Waterslide Aug. 30 In Boise

This promotional photo is from a Slide the City event in another town.
Credit Slide the City

Utah-based Slide the City is bringing its giant waterslide to Boise Aug. 30, that's according to details on its event registration page.

We first told you about the 1,000-foot waterslide here.

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Energy
2:54 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Inaugural Energy Summit Headed To Idaho Falls

The U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, is among the speakers who will attend the inaugural Intermountain Energy Summit in Idaho Falls this week.

The Aug. 19-20 conference will feature panel discussions on the future of energy policy and production in North America. Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, are also among the speakers.

The Post Register reports that one theme of the conference is the energy potential of Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Public Safety
10:16 am
Mon August 18, 2014

How Northwest Emergency Dispatchers Get Help To 911 Callers Who Don't Speak English

Dispatch supervisor Brenda Faxon and director Mark Buchholz in the Willamette Valley 911 Communications Center in Salem.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

In an emergency, the last thing you want to hear is, "I can't understand you." The reality is emergency dispatchers in the Northwest generally speak one language, English. But in our increasingly polyglot society, some people in distress inevitably can't communicate in English.

A recent emergency call came in to the Willamette Valley 911 Center in Salem, Oregon where the caller didn't speak the same language as the dispatcher. This call could have happened anywhere in the West. A call in a foreign language is a near-daily occurrence in this region's urban counties.

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Environment
9:58 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Dredging On Docket For Managing Lower Snake River Sediment

Idaho's Clearwater River.
Credit J Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released its final plan and environmental impact statement for managing sediment accumulation in the lower Snake and Clearwater rivers in northern Idaho.

The plan calls for dredging the navigation channel of the lower Snake River at the confluence of the Clearwater River as early as between Dec. 15 and Feb. 28 this winter.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that the agency has been working on the plan since 2005. The final plan is more than 3,900 pages and cost $16 million to prepare.

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Yellowstone
9:49 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Report: Yellowstone Region Earthquake Hazard Higher Than Once Thought

A view from the Calcite Springs Overlook in Yellowstone National Park.
Credit Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park | Flickr Creative Commons

A new U.S. Geological Survey report indicates a slightly greater earthquake hazard in the Greater Yellowstone region of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho than previously thought.

And the USGS map of seismic hazards shows that the region is as seismically hazardous as anywhere in the United States. 

University of Utah geophysicist Bob Smith tells the Jackson Hole News & Guide that the nationwide USGS earthquake hazard maps and adjoining documents were last updated in 2006.

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Congress
9:41 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Sen. Mike Crapo Announces 2016 Re-election Bid

Credit Mike Crapo

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo says he will seek re-election in 2016.

In making the announcement Friday in Lewiston, the 63-year-old Republican says he's committed to resolving a number of critical issues to the country.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that Crapo was elected to the Senate in 1998 to succeed Sen. Dirk Kempthorne. He is serving the fourth year of his third term and is ranked 39th in seniority in the Senate.

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Wildfires
4:09 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Fire Managers: Keep Drones Away From Wildfires

Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Those who oversee the government’s aerial firefighting operations are asking the public to keep drones away from wildfires. Officials at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise say there have been three instances this year in which drones interfered with aerial firefighting.

One of the incidents occurred in early June over the Two Bulls Fire in Oregon. Another was on the Carlton Complex Fire in north central Washington in July. And officials say the third - in northern California - recently forced firefighters to shut down their aerial attack for a period of time.

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