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Winter Olympics
12:50 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Sun Valley Skier Gunning For Olympic Gold...For The Virgin Islands

Both Olympic hopefuls racing for the U.S. Virgin Islands have Sun Valley ties. Jasmine Campbell (on left) is most likely to receive the one slot in Sochi allocated to the U.S territory. Sun Valley Ski Academy graduate (2013) Veronica Gaspar on right.
Credit John Campbell

Next month, Sochi, Russia will host athletes from more than 85 nations at the Winter Olympics. Some of those countries might surprise you. They get no snow or have no mountains.

Remember the Disney movie "Cool Runnings?" It immortalized the Jamaican bobsled squad. Team Jamaica is coming back for more this year.

And so is the U.S. Virgin Islands. The U.S. territory will likely be represented by a Whitman College student who calls Sun Valley, Idaho home.

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Idaho Legislature
11:35 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Bipartisan Group Of Idaho Lawmakers Launch Effort To Pilot Public Preschool

Democratic and some Republican advocates for state-supported preschool intensified their push for a $1.4 million, five-school pilot program they hope will eventually open the door in Idaho to broader pre-kindergarten education.

At a press conference Monday, Boise Rep. Hy Kloc, a Democrat, was joined by Republican Rep. Douglas Hancey of Rexburg and Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney in promoting the proposal.

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Weather
10:06 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Avalanche Warning Issued For Sun Valley

Credit AlistarHoward / Flickr Creative Commons

Officials with the National Weather Service have issued an avalanche warning for central Idaho's Sun Valley region, warning that both natural and human-triggered avalanches are likely.

The Times-News reports the warning will remain in effect until further notice for the Sawtooth, western Smoky and Soldier Mountains as well as for alpine terrain near Galena Summit.

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Idaho Legislature
9:57 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Idaho House Panel Delays Debate Of Tax Rules For Same-Sex Couples

A House panel delayed discussion of new rules forbidding same-sex couples legally married elsewhere from filing joint Idaho income tax returns.

House Revenue and Taxation Committee Chairman Gary Collins said numerous people wanted to testify, so he put it off until Tuesday.

According to temporary State Tax Commission rules, same-sex Idaho couples legally married elsewhere must recalculate federal taxes as singles before filing state taxes.

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Idaho Legislature
7:00 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Election Year Could Cut Short Idaho's Legislative Session

The Idaho Statehouse
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The 2014 Idaho legislative session started just last week, but there are already people watching the calendar to see when lawmakers will go home. That matters to taxpayers because each day of the session costs roughly $30,000. 

Lawmakers aren't just thinking about the money, but they're gearing up for the primary election this May. 

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Idaho Legislature
4:53 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

LGBT Advocates Rally In Boise, Push "Add The Words" For The Eighth Year

Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Hundreds of people braved winds and dark clouds to attend a rally Saturday on the steps of the state Capitol in Boise.

The event, sponsored by the group Add the Words, Idaho, brought people from as far away as Kellogg and Idaho Falls all demanding one thing: for the Legislature to add the phrase “sexual orientation and gender identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act.

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Idaho News
1:14 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Hecla Mining Co. Faults Miner For Own Death In Cave-in

Larry Marek, pictured about a week before he was killed by a cave-in at the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, Idaho.
Credit Hayley Marek

Hecla Mining Co. says a miner who died in a tunnel collapse at the Lucky Friday Mine in northern Idaho is partly responsible for his own death due to his own negligent and careless misconduct.

The company in court documents filed last week says 53-year-old Larry "Pete" Marek was not in his assigned work area when the accident occurred.

The Spokesman Review reports the company filed the documents in response to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Marek's family in April. The family says the company put profits ahead of safety.

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Television
1:45 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Depressing Dinner Plates: Why 'Antiques Roadshow' Dreads Your Grandmother's China

David Rago with a $3 plate in Boise
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Pottery and porcelain expert David Rago says two things are certain when he sees someone pull out a dinner plate.

“I’m going to tell them it’s worth $3 and they’re going to be unhappy.”

That’s why, Rago says, appraising plates is the worst part of his 'Antiques Roadshow' gig. And he says he has to do it a lot. He’s been traveling with the popular PBS show for 18 years. Thousands of people bring antiques to Roadshow tapings, but only a few get to go on air to talk about their family treasures.

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Idaho News
8:29 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Missing California Airplane Found Near McCall, Idaho

This still photo taken from Idaho Transportation Department video shows the steep, snowy terrain searchers were combing for the missing aircraft.
Credit Idaho Department of Transportation

The Valley County, Idaho Sheriff's Department says a single-engine airplane that's been missing since December has been found near McCall. Lt. Dan Smith says it appears none of the five people aboard the Beech Bonanza aircraft survived.

On Dec. 1, 51-year-old California software executive Dale Smith departed from eastern Oregon with four family members en route to Butte, Mont. The Associated Press wrote in December that Smith reported engine trouble during his flight and asked for coordinates for the Yellow Pine air strip in Idaho's backcountry.

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Education
5:18 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Idaho Schools Stay Near The Bottom In Education Report Card

Preschoolers in Caldwell's P-16 program practice writing their names.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s education system saw no significant improvement in the past year, at least according to Education Week’s 2014 Quality Counts state report card. The annual report from the education-focused news outlet is frequently cited by all sides during education debates in Idaho.

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Idaho Legislature
4:32 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Idaho Legislative Panel Backs State Employee Pay Raise

Credit Tax Credits / Flickr Creative Commons

A Republican and Democratic lawmaker panel unanimously backed a proposal for a 2 percent pay increase for Idaho's 17,000 state workers in fiscal year 2015, saying agencies had for too long relied on savings from attrition to boost their employees' checks.

The 18-member Change in Employee Compensation Committee said Friday the pay should be awarded on a merit basis.

Half the increase would be built into ongoing salaries, while the other half would be considered for the year starting in July only.

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Idaho Prisons
3:17 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Idaho To Begin Process Of Taking Over Private Prison

The Idaho Board of Correction has officially ordered the state's prison department to begin the process of taking over operations at the privately run Idaho Correctional Center.

The board made the decision Friday, one week after Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter announced that he believed the state's experiment with privatization at the facility was over.

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Road Closure
3:14 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Part Of Highway 21 Closes Due To Avalanche Danger

Idaho Transportation Department officials have closed a 12-mile stretch of State Highway 21 in central Idaho due to potential avalanches.

The agency closed the road Friday morning from Grandjean Junction to Banner Summit.

Officials say it's unclear when it will reopen.

That section of road is known as Avalanche Alley because it has about 60 avalanche chutes and 90 percent of the avalanches causing problems on Idaho roads.

Economy
10:45 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Palouse Knowledge Corridor Eyes Entrepreneurs

The Palouse Knowledge Corridor has announced plans intended to attract startup businesses to the region that includes north-central Idaho and eastern Washington state.

The group includes representatives from the University of Idaho, Washington State University, and area cities.

The Lewiston Tribune reports the group on Thursday presented an idea for a five-day conference called "Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp" it hopes to hold June 21 to June 25.

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Health Insurance
10:35 am
Fri January 10, 2014

An Estimated 20,000 Idahoans Sign Up For Coverage On State's Health Insurance Exchange

Enrollment in Idaho's insurance exchange has blossomed after the federal government fixed the website that residents use to sign up for health insurance coverage.

Roughly 20,000 people signed up for individual and family coverage in time for it to begin Jan. 1.

That's up from 1,730 people who purchased coverage available via Your Health Idaho through Nov. 30.

The new total was announced Friday by Your Health Idaho spokeswoman Jody Olson.

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Reader's Corner
8:38 am
Fri January 10, 2014

'Blackett's War' And Operational Research In WWII With Stephen Budiansky

During World War II, a small group of British and American scientists worked tirelessly to defeat the German U-boats that were wreaking havoc on allied commerce. Armed with a dogged determination and a fair amount of mathematics, physics and probability theory, they forged the new field of operational research and forever changed how wars were fought and won.

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Media
8:27 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Watch Downtown Boise's 'Big Hole' Become An 18-Story Tower In Idaho Statesman's Time-Lapse

The new Zions Bank building in downtown Boise took 14 months to build. Photographer Darin Oswald documented its construction in a project that will be unveiled this weekend.
Credit Darin Oswald / Idaho Satesman

When a developer decided to build a new tower in downtown Boise, it was big news. It was especially newsworthy because of its location: the corner of 8th and Main streets. That spot had been empty for more than 20 years, earning it the nickname 'The Hole.'

So when word broke that Zions Bank would build its new Idaho headquarters there, Idaho Statesman photographer Darin Oswald decided to set out on an ambitious project. He wanted to document the building’s construction through time-lapse photography. 

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Public Rally
4:02 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Hundreds Expected To Rally For LGBT Rights In Boise

(L to R) Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, organizer Mistie Tolman, Rep. Grant Burgoyne at an Add the Words press conference last legislative session. Buckner-Webb and Burgoyne will speak at Saturday's rally in support of a bill that would seek to protect LGBT Idahoans from discrimination.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

For the eighth year in a row, Idaho gay rights advocates will attempt to get the attention of the Legislature with a rally at the Capitol this Saturday.

"Add the Words Idaho" organizer Mistie Tolman says more than 600 people have said on Facebook that they’ll attend. She says people from all across the state will ask lawmakers to add the phrase “sexual orientation and gender identity” to the state’s human rights amendment.

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Agriculture
2:54 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Idaho Farmers Receive Less In Government Subsidies

Credit JayneAndd / Flickr Creative Commons

Direct payments from the government to Idaho farmers and ranchers dropped 17 percent in 2013 compared to the previous year.

University of Idaho agricultural economists tell The Capital Press that the projections are based on data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service.

John Foltz, dean of University of Idaho's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, says government payments to Idaho farmers will likely continue to decline in future years.

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Campaign Finance
1:14 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Simpson Outraises Smith 4-to-1 In Idaho's GOP House Race

In the congressional fundraising horse race, Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson says he outraised challenger Bryan Smith nearly four-to-one in 2013's final quarter.

Smith announced Thursday that he raised $111,066 in the fourth quarter. The money will go to his GOP primary election bid against Simpson, with the vote on May 20.

Meanwhile, Simpson says he brought in $430,000.

In total, Simpson says he raised more than $1.25 million in 2013, with Smith raking in $525,000, including his own money, since joining the race in June.

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