Friday a group of Idaho senators hears from the public on a proposal to change how referenda and initiatives get on the ballot. This comes a few months after Idaho voters overturned education laws through the referendum process.
It takes 6 percent of eligible voters in Idaho to get an initiative on the ballot. The Idaho Farm Bureau wants that to be 6 percent of voters in 18 of the state’s 35 legislative districts. Spokesman John Thompson says the Farm Bureau has wanted this change for years and calls it a preemptive move.
Researchers in Idaho say they've finally solved a mystery surrounding a 270-million-year-old shark. After a century of guessing, scientists have put a face to the giant animal that once swam the region, back when the Northwest was underwater.
The problem was that sharks are mostly made of cartilage, which doesn't keep well over millennia. So all scientists had from Helicoprion was a curious spiral of thin, serrated blades – which various scientists imagined to be from its dorsal fin, its tale - even it's nose.
Most of the films you’ll see this weekend at the Family of Woman Film Festival in Sun Valley come from overseas. The festival will feature films from Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo, and India. Only one film comes from the U.S. The Invisible War, which exposed the sexual assaults in the U.S. military. That documentary was recently nominated for an Academy Award.
Idaho ranchers looking to help fight rangeland fires near their homes received a funding nod from lawmakers this Thursday.
The Idaho Budget committee unanimously approved $400-thousand dollars for more volunteer rangeland fire protection associations. The money was requested by Governor Butch Otter in January.
Idaho currently has one fire association, in Mountain Home. Three more are proposed for Owyhee, Elmore, and Twin Falls counties. Graig Glazier is with the Idaho Department of Lands. He says that’s a good start.
The season of Lent often means abstaining from an indulgence, a time of doing without. But for the pie makers at St. Michael’s Episcopal Cathedral in Boise and their Lenten Lunch, it’s a time of fellowship and tradition. Using recipes that have been handed down for almost 40 years, the pies are a favorite at the Friday event.
Sally Terrill rolls out pie crusts. “This will be either a coconut cream or a chocolate pie.”
Alongside Sally is her husband, Alan. “Oh, I’ve been here, how many years?”
Automatic budget cuts could affect your vacation plans. That’s because the U.S. Department of Interior says those cuts will reduce what national parks can spend if Congress doesn’t come to an agreement by Friday.
All national parks and monuments, including those in the Pacific Northwest, will have to cut 5 percent of their budgets. That might not sound like a lot, but the vast majority of their budgets cover things like salaries and utilities.
Sequestration is looming, with the across-the-board $85 billion federal budget cuts now less than a day away. Among those watching closely to see what happens is Idaho Senator Mike Crapo.
As the deadline gets closer, Crapo expects several attempts to hold off sequestration. He’s heard of at least three bills that will come up for a vote. “One will be on the President’s proposal to avoid the sequestration by raising taxes and setting off some of the sequestration by agreeing not to do it.”
Idaho endurance cyclist Jay Petervary set a new race record in the Iditarod Trail Invitational early Wednesday. The 350 mile race follows part of Alaska’s famous Iditarod trail. The 40 year old Petervary is among 36 bikers and runners who started their race near Anchorage Sunday.
“I didn’t sleep at all and I didn’t spend an hour at any checkpoint," Petervary says.
A bill before an agriculture committee in the Idaho Legislature aims to keep shepherds from abandoning their flocks. The state's wool industry still relies on old-fashioned sheep herders but some are leaving those positions for better jobs. Now, the bill has hit a nerve with immigrant rights groups.
Idaho lawmakers are considering a re-write of the state's charter school law. Thursday they'll hear from the public.
Idaho was an early adopter of charter schools. Fifteen years ago, the state passed a law to allow the publicly funded, privately run schools to be created. Since then the only major change has been the formation of a commission to oversee charter schools. In recent years, though, Idaho has slipped from being one of the charter-friendliest states in the country to one of the least.
It’s Wednesday, so that means a new edition of Boise Weekly is out. Today’s paper is the latest work under the new editor Zach Hagadone.
Hagadone has been reading the Boise Weekly for nearly 15 years. At 32, he's worked with the Associated Press, Idaho Business Review, and even started his own paper in his native Sandpoint. In a recent interview with KBSX, Hagadone told us that alternative weeklies have been somewhat insulated in the changing world of print journalism.
Friday's looming sequestration deadline has left federal agencies struggling to come up with contingency plans. According to the White House, the Federal Aviation Administration's [FAA] budget would be cut by $600 million.
Cindy Hoovel took charge of DaVinci Charter School (then called Garden City Community School) in 2007, its second year. In her first year the school paid all its debts and started a reserve fund. She says she will start looking for a new job.
Charter school advocates in Idaho are pushing state lawmakers for money to help pay for facilities. They argue they need the money because they can’t pass levies like traditional districts. Many districts say they need that money even more. There’s one charter school that’s become a poster child for this debate over school funding.
New numbers out Monday show Idaho's rural areas experienced the post-recession years very differently from the state's cities. While places like Boise and Pocatello were on the mend, economic output in rural communities in Idaho declined.
Tuesday lawmakers in Idaho’s House Education Committee hear from the public and vote on a bill to give more money to charter schools. Under the bill charters would get money each year for buildings. Advocates say they need it because they can’t pass levies like traditional districts. But some districts call the measure unfair. Now a fight could be brewing between the two groups as both vie for limited state funding.
The White House says Idaho schools will lose about $6.6 million this school year if the sequester happens. These automatic spending cuts are set to take effect this Friday unless Congress reaches an agreement.
Idaho lawmakers have been in session for nearly three months and there's still a lot to get done before legislators can go home. The Governor’s health insurance exchange survived a vote in the Senate. Now the House will consider the state-based exchange this week. There are also several education and gun bills that are working their way through the legislative process.