News

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise State this weekend hosts the national championship tournament for one particular style of debate. It's the first time the International Public Debate Association has held the competition west of the Mississippi. 

According to Sue Paul, the Executive Director of the Warhawk Air Museum, Vietnam veterans never got the respect they deserved. Paul says it’s time to put things right and look at the war as a military action, without all the politics and the Hollywood myths that have sprung up over time.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the war, Warhawk teamed up with the Department of Defense to host a series of educational talks on the history of Vietnam.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

El Korah Shrine is one of those buildings in downtown Boise people pass by all the time, but probably haven’t ever been in. In the last couple of years, Treefort Music Fest has exposed thousands of people to the venue – giving the old-school fraternal organization some new-found relevance with a younger crowd.  

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's two representatives split their votes on a bill that was overwhelmingly supported in the U.S. House Thursday that reauthorizes timber payments to rural counties with a lot of federal land.

The Secure Rural Schools Act reauthorization was tucked inside a $214 billion bill that blocks cuts in doctors' Medicare payments.

Just 37 House members voted against the bill, while 392 supported it. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, was one of the 'no' votes.

Rookie teachers in Idaho will receive pay raises starting July 1 under a $125 million proposal headed to the governor's desk for his signature.

The Idaho Senate unanimously approved the measure Thursday, where senators offered only praise that the 30-page bill had survived both chambers after seeing prior proposals flounder this legislative session.

Forty-seven years ago, Boise filmmaker Ken Rodgers found himself in the middle of the longest battle of the Vietnam War. Now, his mission is to make sure no one ever forgets the men he fought with.

Rodgers’ documentary film “Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor” is a look back at the battle of Khe Sanh.

Steve Sawyer / Flickr

A bill that would ban Idaho's slot-like instant horse racing machines has passed the House and is on its way to the governor's desk.

After two hours of discussion in the chamber, the House voted 49-21 Thursday to repeal a law the Legislature passed in 2013 allowing the lucrative betting terminals, which closely resemble slot machines.

Some lawmakers say that they were tricked into approving instant horse racing — that is, betting on an earlier horse race but with no identifiable information.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

Monsanto Corporation has agreed to pay $600,000 in fines for hundreds of uncontrolled releases of dangerous chemicals at its phosphate plant in eastern Idaho.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice announced the agreement Thursday involving the company's facilities in Soda Springs.

Federal officials say the chemicals released are hazardous and can pose serious health risks to workers and the community.

The preliminary hearing for a 22-year-old southwest Idaho man charged in connection with the killings of a former Arizona power company executive, his wife and their adult son has been postponed after the defense attorney withdrew.

An Ada County judge on Thursday then approved Adam M. Dees' request for a public defender after Dees said he had no significant assets or a job.

Dees is charged with grand theft and forgery in connection with the killings of 80-year-old Theodore M. Welp, 77-year-old Delores E. Welp and their son, 52-year-old Thomas P. Welp.

Data, U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau Thursday released its population estimates for 2014. Boise was number 20 in the Census’ list of top 20 fastest-growing metro areas. The area that includes Idaho’s capital as well as Nampa and Meridian grew 2.1 percent between July 2013 and July 2014.

Taliban Propaganda Video Screengrab

Former POW and Idaho native Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl tried to escape captivity 12 times in five years he says.

The New York Times news service reports Bergdahl first tried to escape a few hours after he was captured by a Taliban group in 2009.

Bergdahl’s lawyer provided a page-and-a-half narrative written by the 28-year-old soldier. It’s the first public glimpse into Bergdahl’s own experience as a prisoner of war.

Now that he's been charged both with desertion and with misbehavior before the enemy, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl could be looking at life in prison if he's convicted.

Bergdahl abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban for five years before being freed in a prisoner swap.

Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers have directed their staff to spend the next nine months studying the state’s contract with Optum Idaho, the company that manages outpatient behavioral health services for Medicaid patients.

Bergdahl, Hailey
Drew Nash / Times-News

In Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's hometown of Hailey, Idaho, people have become reluctant to speak publicly about the soldier who was charged Wednesday with desertion.

Bergdahl was held for nearly five years as a prisoner of the Taliban and he's now facing charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Bergdahl left his post in 2009. He was released last May in a controversial prisoner swap.

An Idaho Republican lawmaker's political website has been snapped up by a group claiming to be gay rights activists, decorated with rainbows and replaced with text requesting that the legislature meet with same-sex marriage supporters.

State Rep. Paul Shepherd from Riggins is backing a non-binding resolution urging Congress to impeach federal judges who violate the U.S. Constitution. Shepherd contends that recent court rulings overturning state bans on same-sex marriages violate the Constitution.

Nicholas D. / Flickr

Family members of three people found dead inside their home in the Boise foothills earlier this month say they are filled with sadness deeper than words can express.

The family made the statement Wednesday shortly before a funeral mass at St. Paul's Catholic Student Center on the Boise State University campus.

Police on March 10 found 80-year-old Theodore M. Welp, 77-year-old Delores Elaine Welp and their son, 52-year-old Thomas P. Welp, dead in the home.

Theodore Welp is a former Arizona power company executive.

Education, school, classroom
IlmicrofonoOgglono / Flickr Creative Commons

The average teacher pay in Idaho dropped by more than $200 from 2012-13 to 2013-14 — a decrease that the state’s teachers’ union can’t explain.

On average, only two states pay their teachers less than Idaho.

A March 10 hearing on a teacher career ladder bill drew dozens of teachers to the Statehouse to testify. A new version of the bill passed the House Monday.

But meanwhile, pay appeared to increase for Idaho “instructional staff,” including counselors, principals and curriculum specialists.

U.S. Department of Defense

A U.S. official says the Army sergeant who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held by the Taliban for five years will be court martialed on charges of desertion and avoiding military service.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will also be charged with misbehavior before the enemy, said the official, who was not authorized to discuss the announcement publicly on the record and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. military plans an announcement at Fort Bragg in North Carolina Wednesday afternoon.

Doug Kerr / Flickr Creative Commons

House Republicans are introducing an eleventh-hour patchwork plan to raise more than $100 million for Idaho roads.

The House Ways and Means Committee introduced two of the three parts Wednesday morning — including registration fee hikes and up to $26 million in general fund dollars.

The proposal is similar to legislation killed by the House Transportation Committee last week.

But House Majority Leader Mike Moyle says that he hopes breaking the plan up into three pieces will let lawmakers approve at least some of the parts.

Oregon's congressional delegation is hoping to secure a two-year extension of timber payments to rural counties. The Secure Rural Schools provision is tucked in a bill the U.S. House is voting on this week.

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