News

City of Ketchum

Officials in central Idaho have expanded a flood evacuation order to include about two dozen homes near the resort town of Ketchum.

Blaine County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Holly Carter said the homes are all in a narrow canyon west of town that runs along Warm Springs Creek. Cater says rapid spring runoff and the swollen creek waters have made it impossible to keep the road maintained enough for emergency vehicles to reliably reach the homes.

Otto Kitsinger / AP Images

Former Idaho GOP Chairman Steve Yates has filed to run for lieutenant governor in 2018.

Yates filed the paperwork to run as a Republican candidate Thursday. Yates, an Idaho Falls businessman and former aid to Vice President Dick Cheney, took over as chair in 2014 during a chaotic battle over control of the party and resigned last month.

He joins a growing list of candidates vying for the seat after incumbent Lt. Gov. Brad Little announced he would be running for governor in 2018.

Penn State / Flickr

A new report from the U.S. Geological Survey says southeast Idaho is overdue for an earthquake. Sometime within the next 50 years, USGS says the so-called “big one” will start rattling southeast Idaho along the Bear Lake Fault.

They estimate the likelihood of a magnitude 6.0 quake coming in the next half-century at 63 percent.

Samantha Wright/BSPR

Update 10:34 a.m. Thursday: Former Republican Lt. Governor David Leroy has filed paperwork to run for Labrador's seat. He is the first candidate to enter the race.

Earlier this week Republican Rep. Raul Labrador filed paperwork to run for Idaho governor, ending a long period of speculation about whether he would jump into the race. Now, political wonks are turning their attention to who might seek his congressional seat. 

The Peregrine Fund/Bosch WebCam

The Peregrine Fund announced this week that four American Kestrel eggs have hatched in the well-watched nest in Boise. It is the sixth year the birds have raised a family live on a webcam.

The female laid the first egg on March 27 and four other eggs slowly followed. Usually eggs are laid every other day but the Peregrine Fund says a storm slowed the process down this year. After some fits and starts, four of the five eggs hatched over the weekend.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho college is moving forward with plans to purchase a geothermal aquifer that can provide heat to most of its campus.

The Times-News reports a resolution passed Tuesday will allow the College of Southern Idaho to finalize the $2.4 million purchase of Pristine Springs, a geothermal aquifer north of Twin Falls. Legislators have set aside $1.2 million this year for the purchase. The college will cover the other $1.2 million.

Planned Parenthood of the Northwest

A federal judge has agreed to dismiss a lawsuit challenging two anti-abortion laws in Idaho now that lawmakers have repealed the targeted statutes.

In 2015, the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands sued the state over two newly enacted bans that prohibited women from receiving abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine. Planned Parenthood argued that the laws placed unnecessary burdens on women seeking safe abortions.

Idaho Fish and Game

After an emergency declaration was issued for Blaine County Monday by Lt. Gov. Brad Little, the Army Corps of Engineers say they're sending a small group to the region to help with flooding.

The Corps is sending a three person crew to assess flood risks to public infrastructure and help Blaine County emergency management staff. Members of the Army Corps team are experts in both hydraulic and civil engineering. Another task the group will assist with is coming up with contingency plans should a worst case scenario unfold.

Cathleen Allison / AP Photo

A new study of sage grouse in Eastern Washington found a surprisingly large benefit from a federal program that subsidizes farmers to plant year-round grasses and native shrubs instead of crops.

The study concluded that is probably the reason that sage grouse still live in portions of Washington's Columbia River Basin.

"Without these lands, our models predict that we would lose about two thirds of the species' habitat, and that the sage grouse would go extinct in two of three sub-populations," said Andrew Shirk of the University of Washington's Climate Impacts Group.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

A couple of truckloads of sheep were delivered by truck to 8th Street above the Foothills Learning Center Monday. They are slowly heading north.

For experienced Boise Foothills trekkers, spotting sheep wandering through the scrub and pathways in the spring is not so unusual. But not everybody is familiar with the story of Frank Shirts and his sheep.

Shirts is a real-life sheep rancher with 12 bands (groups) of sheep. That adds up to about 28,000 ewes and lambs each year.

Vicky Bates

A new book follows the journey of a Sun Valley family in the 1990s when they're faced with the death of their son.

Rocky Bates struggled from the time he was adopted with medical issues. In the book “Empty Jacket,” his mother Vicky Bates chronicles Rocky’s struggles with illness, his childhood and his sudden death at age ten.

U.S. Department of Energy via AP

A portion of an underground tunnel containing rail cars full of radioactive waste collapsed Tuesday at a sprawling storage facility in a remote area of Washington state, forcing an evacuation of some workers at the site that made plutonium for nuclear weapons for decades after World War II.

Officials detected no release of radiation at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and no workers were injured, said Randy Bradbury, a spokesman for the Washington state Department of Ecology.

City of Twin Falls

In a 5-to-2 vote Monday, the Twin Falls City Council decided to label the community a “Neighborly City.”

In the run-up to the decision, the city council heard more than three hours of public comment at meetings over the last month.

The “Neighborly City” label is a tamer version of declarations other cities have made calling themselves either “Welcoming” or “Sanctuary Cities” where federal immigration law is either downplayed or outright flouted.

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

After months of speculation, U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador walked into the Idaho Secretary of State's office Tuesday morning and signed the paperwork to start his run for governor.

Screengrab / Feeding America

A new report shows the number of people dealing with hunger in Idaho has dropped overall. But children in some parts of the state are still struggling to get enough to eat.

The annual study by Feeding America – a national network of food banks – shows that overall food insecurity in the state has decreased incrementally.

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