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Idaho Legislature
12:47 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Idaho Legislature Approves Bill Limiting Payday Loans

Credit Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

A bill seeking to let Idaho dictate how much payday lenders can give borrowers passed the House Monday by only one vote.

The 35-34 decision came after several lawmakers said they had issues with the bill, which limits loan size and lets borrowers set up interest-free payment plans if they hit a financial snag.

Boise Democrat Rep. Phylis King said letting borrowers take out loans of up to 25 percent of their monthly income was still too much, suggesting the amount be closer to 5 percent.

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Agriculture
10:12 am
Mon March 17, 2014

ACLU, PETA Sue Idaho Over New Law To Punish Animal Rights Activists

Credit Anna King / Northwest News Network

The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho, PETA and other groups are suing the state over a new measure that would prosecute people who secretly film agricultural operations. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter signed the so-called 'ag-gag' bill into law at the end of February.

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Education
9:42 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Coeur d'Alene Tribe Donates $1.2 Million To School Programs

Credit Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe has donated $1.2 million to 52 educational programs in Idaho.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports the tribe made the announcement Thursday.

The money is going to support educational efforts ranging from reading, music, arts, science, college scholarship programs and vocational preparation.

The chairman of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, Chief Allen, says the money will allow students to focus on learning.

Most of the money was distributed in Kootenai and Benewah counties in northern Idaho.

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Prison Investigation
2:29 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Feds Don't Want Idaho Prison Lawsuit Paused

A federal prosecutor says she doesn't need a lawsuit against a private prison company put on hold for an FBI fraud investigation at an Idaho detention facility.

U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson's statement comes in response to a request from Corrections Corporation of America lawyers.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based company had asked a judge this week to pause the suit from eight inmates who say they were attacked by a prison gang because there weren't enough guards on duty.

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Film
12:33 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Idaho Documentarian Profiles Harvard Students Saving Lives in Uganda

Uganda children enrolled in the Initiative to End Child Malnutrition
Credit Karen Day

Idaho filmmaker Karen Day has a new documentary, featuring college students making a difference in the world. 

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Wildlife
11:28 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Montana Rule Lets Landowners Shoot Wolves Without A Permit

Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife

The state Fish and Wildlife Commission has adopted regulations to implement a law that allows landowners to shoot threatening wolves on sight, without a hunting license.

Commissioners approved new wording and definitions for administrative rules on wolf management on Thursday.

Senate Bill 200, which passed last year, allowed landowners to kill wolves that threaten their property without having to buy a permit or hunting license.

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Reader's Corner
7:43 am
Fri March 14, 2014

The Real History Of Bunker Hill With Nathanial Philbrick

On June 17th, 1775, a ragtag army of colonial patriots faced off against the most powerful army of the 18th century. Their goal was to prevent the British regulars from occupying the hills surrounding Boston in order to put an end to a months-long siege of the city. What ensued proved to be the bloodiest battle of the Revolution, and marked a tipping point for the colonists.

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Dance
7:00 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Boise Bids Farewell To The Trey McIntyre Project Dance Troupe

Dancers John Orr, Ryan Redmond and Brett Perry rehearse for the premiere of "Vinegar Works" this Saturday.
Credit Joe Jaszewski / The Idaho Statesman

Dancers with the Trey McIntyre Project (TMP) will give their final bow on the Morrison Center stage Saturday evening. Many of the dancers have earned rockstar status in the six years they’ve called Boise home.

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Theater
2:29 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Boise Writers Have 3 Weeks To Finish An Original Play Before Opening Night

The Uncanny Valley actors and writers gather for their first table-read.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Rehearsals start this week at Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT) for a play that opens in three weeks. For a professional company like BCT, three weeks is a slightly tight, though fairly normal rehearsal schedule.

Three weeks is usually plenty of time for experienced actors to memorize lines, work on their characters, and learn what they’ll be doing on stage. But for the play, The Uncanny Valley memorizing lines and actions has an added challenge. They're still being written.

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Idaho Legislature
12:30 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Idaho Senate Approves Pay Raise For Top Elected Officials

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A plan to give the governor, secretary of state, treasurer, controller and superintendent of schools 2.5 percent increases next year and each year thereafter has passed the Senate.

The Spokesman-Review reports the Senate voted 30-5 Thursday. The bill now goes to the House.

The bill calls for the attorney general's pay to rise next year to that of district judges, a 16 percent increase.

The lieutenant governor would receive a 19.6 percent increase next year, followed by 2.5 percent annual increases.

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Election 2014
10:17 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Eagle Lawyer Announces Run For Idaho Attorney General

Eagle lawyer C.T. "Chris" Troupis has announced his candidacy for Idaho attorney general.

In the announcement Wednesday at the Statehouse, he says he believes the time is right for voters to have a meaningful choice in this year's election. He plans to tap anti-incumbent and tea party sentiment in his campaign.

His candidacy sets up a primary challenge with Republican Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. Wasden is seeking re-election to a fourth four-year term. He ran unopposed when he won his third term in 2010.

Water
7:57 am
Thu March 13, 2014

How One Snowstorm Can Change Idaho's Seasonal Water Outlook

Brian McInerney is a hydrologist with the National Weather Service.
Credit Julie Rose / For Boise State Public Radio

Randy Julander measures snowpack for the U.S. government’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. It’s his job to tell water users what they can expect to see flowing down their streams and irrigation canals come spring.

When Julander answered my recent phone call, he was way up in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. He was having some mixed feelings.

"Gosh, it’s clear skies and the sun is hotter than a two-dollar pistol. I’m sitting here at 8,500 feet and in shirt sleeves," Julander said.

"Does that seem like a good sign?" I asked.

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Idaho Legislature
5:36 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter Signs Guns On Campus Bill

Credit Idaho Statesman

Starting July 1, students, staff and visitors to Idaho's college and university campuses will be legally allowed to carry concealed guns with a permit. Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signed Senate Bill 1254 into law Wednesday, making Idaho the seventh state to allow guns on campuses.

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Avalanche
3:15 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Incredible Post-Avalanche Photo Shows What It Will Take To Clear Idaho's Highway 21

The Idaho Dept. of Transportation took this photo March 11, 2014. You can see an ITD employee in orange standing in the middle of the frame, on what should be the road.
Credit Credit Courtesy Idaho Department of Transportation

Underneath all that snow, ice, and tree debris is Idaho's Highway 21. Somewhere. This dramatic image from the Idaho Department of Transportation shows just how much work is ahead for road crews in clearing off a 12-mile section of the scenic road south of Stanley. That orange dot near the middle of the image is an ITD crew member.

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Education
10:09 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Election Roundup: Voters Approve Most School Levies Across Idaho

Three New Schools Approved By Twin Falls Voters: Twin Falls voters on Tuesday approved the biggest local school district bond ever — nearly $74 million to build three schools and pay for other facility projects. The total vote reached 67.7 percent — the required supermajority — with 3,079 voters supporting the request and 1,469 voters opposed. - Times-News

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Health Insurance
9:47 am
Wed March 12, 2014

44,000 Idahoans Sign Up On Insurance Exchange As Deadline Nears

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says nearly 44,000 Idahoans have selected a health insurance plan on Your Health Idaho.

The agency says Idaho remains second in the nation per capita for the number of people selecting plans on the exchange.

The latest numbers show a 33 percent increase from one month ago.

The enrollment period ends on March 31.

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Idaho News
5:25 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Idaho Prisons Director Takes Leave, Grandson Charged With Murder

The head of Idaho's Department of Correction is taking a leave of absence as his grandson faces a murder charge in southern Idaho.

Brent Reinke has led the department since 2007. Department spokesman Jeff Ray said in a prepared statement that Reinke is taking two weeks' leave, effective immediately, to address his grandson's criminal prosecution.

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Idaho Legislature
2:00 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Idaho Legislators Will Retain Special Gun Privileges

This statue of George Washington sits on the fourth floor of the Idaho Capitol.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho Senate panel has killed legislation that would have removed a special privilege for state elected officials to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Among the leading advocates of killing the House-passed bill was Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, who is running for governor.

“My vote will not be to willingly give up the privilege that our predecessors granted,” said Fulcher. “We do not need to relinquish our privileges.”

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Public Lands
1:05 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Recreators And Environmentalists Reach Boulder-White Clouds Deal

The proposed national monument is 500,000 roadless acres.
Credit TheJesse / Flickr Creative Commons

Environmentalists and mountain bikers have reached agreement on a proposal for protecting the Boulder-White Clouds as a national monument.

The Idaho Statesman reported Tuesday that the agreement creates zones to maintain wilderness characteristics in some areas, while continuing mountain bike access to the popular area north of Sun Valley.

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Water
7:30 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Recent Rain Turns Concern To Optimism For Idaho Rafting Companies

Credit Cascade Raft and Kayak

The stretch of rain and snow across much of Idaho in the last few weeks has transformed what looked to be a terrible water year into a pretty good one. It’s not just farmers who are breathing easier now. Many in Idaho’s tourism industry, like whitewater rafting companies, rely on snowpack and stream flows as well.

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