Governor's Mansion
10:51 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Idaho Plans To Sell $70,000 In Furniture That Filled Vacant Governor's Mansion

The hilltop house in Boise has never been a permanent residence for an Idaho governor.
Credit Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

Idaho aims to unload $70,000 in surplus furniture that once filled the never-occupied governor's mansion before it was returned to potato mogul J.R. Simplot's family this year.

The Spokesman-Review reports the furnishings include two bedroom sets, dining furniture, wall art and kitchen supplies.

The Idaho Governors Housing Committee Wednesday decided to dispose of the items that are now costing about $318 a month to store.

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Bowe Bergdahl
10:14 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Card Campaign Asks You To Put Idaho POW On Your Holiday Mailing List

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho, appears in a 2010 video from a Taliban-affiliated insurgent group, the Haqqani Network.
Credit IntelCenter

Supporters of a captured soldier from Idaho are urging people to add one more name to their holiday mailing list. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been a prisoner of the Taliban since 2009.

Now, organizers in his hometown of Hailey, Idaho are trying to get Christmas cards to him.

It's been four-and-a-half years since Bowe Bergdahl was captured near his base in southeast Afghanistan. The now 27-year-old is still believed alive, but so far there's end in sight for his captivity.

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5:30 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Explore The Owyhee Canyonlands With New Trail Guide From Idaho Author

A view from the "Between the Creeks" hike in the Owyhee Canyonlands.
Credit Steve Stuebner

The Owyhee Canyonlands cover more than 5 million acres of rugged landscape in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon.

Few hikers and campers venture into this desert wilderness because there aren't many trail signs or information.

Steve Stuebner teamed up with photographer Mark Lisk to create a guidebook for the Canyonlands. Their new book, The Owyhee Canyonlands: An Outdoor Adventure Guide, details 55 hiking and biking trails.

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11:47 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Rep. Patterson Says He'll Resign From Idaho House

Credit Idaho Legislature

Republican Rep. Mark Patterson says he'll resign from the Idaho Legislature, a day after party colleagues from his district in Boise urged him to quit.

Patterson said Wednesday he'll hand in his resignation to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter this week.

On Tuesday, members of the GOP District 15 precinct committee voted unanimously to ask Patterson to quit. That's after revelations in early November that he pleaded guilty in a 1974 rape case in Florida.

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11:01 am
Wed December 18, 2013

A Year After DUI Arrest, Idaho Sen. Crapo Says He's Successfully Quit Drinking Alcohol

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-ID.
Credit U.S. Senate

Idaho's Republican Sen. Mike Crapo said Wednesday that he has not consumed alcohol since his arrest last December near Washington, D.C.

Crapo was arrested in northern Virginia on December 23, 2012 after he was pulled over for running a red light. A test showed Crapo’s blood alcohol content was .11, an amount above the legal limit.

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10:07 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Idaho Wildlife Advocate Pleads Guilty To Poaching

Credit GoCyclones / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho director for the wildlife advocacy group Greater Yellowstone Coalition has pleaded guilty to poaching two elk.

The Idaho State Journal reports Marv Hoyt is currently on vacation and will retire from his post at the end of the year. Hoyt pleaded guilty last month to misdemeanor charges of unlawful taking of game and wasteful destruction of wildlife. Prosecutors said Hoyt only had one elk tag but that he killed three cow elk during a November hunting trip in Caribou County.

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Federal Budget
9:43 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Idaho Senators Reject Federal Budget Deal

United States Capitol.
Credit Cliff1066 / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's Republican U.S. senators both voted against a bipartisan budget deal that now goes to President Obama for his signature.

Sens. Mike Crapo and James Risch on Tuesday opposed the plan that passed 67-33.

Like Crapo and Risch, all those against the measure were from the Senate's minority GOP side.

The deal marked a modest congressional accomplishment at the end of a year punctuated by a partial government shutdown, a near-default by the U.S. Treasury and congressional gridlock on issues ranging from immigration to gun control.

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4:15 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Decision On Wolverine Protections Delayed

Federal wildlife officials have delayed until next summer a decision on whether wolverines should receive more federal protections.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday that the delay will be used to address questions about the impacts of climate change on wolverine habitat. Spokesman Steve Segin says the agency will decide by Aug. 4 if wolverines should be listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Government scientists say the carnivorous weasels face an uncertain future as their high mountain snow field habitat dwindles because of warming temperature.

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Payday Loans
12:08 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Caldwell, Idaho Limits Payday Loan Shops

Officials in a southwestern Idaho city have passed new rules limiting where payday loan businesses can open shop.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports the Caldwell City Council unanimously passed an ordinance this week limiting new payday loan businesses to manufacturing and light industrial zones. The rules mean that if a payday loan company wants to open a storefront in a populated area, it will have to get a special use permit first.

10:11 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Wildlife Managers Hire Hunter To Kill Two Central Idaho Wolf Packs

State wildlife officials have hired a hunter to eliminate two wolf packs in a federal wilderness area in central Idaho because officials say they are eating too many elk calves.

Fish and Game Bureau Chief Jeff Gould tells the Idaho Statesman that hunters are having a difficult time getting into the Frank Church-River of No Return wilderness, so the agency hired hunter-trapper Gus Thoreson of Salmon to kill the wolves in the Golden and Monumental packs.

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5:04 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Study: Yellowstone 'Supervolcano' Much Bigger Than Thought

Mammoth Hot Springs is a key tourist attraction in the park.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A new study shows the chamber of hot molten rock below Yellowstone National Park is more than 2 and a-half times larger than previously estimated.

Lead author Jamie Farrell of the University of Utah said Monday the magma chamber is about 55 miles long, 18 miles wide and runs at depths from 3 to 9 miles below the earth.

That means the supervolcano below Yellowstone has the potential to erupt with the force of its largest-ever eruption 2.1 million years ago.

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Mental Health
9:33 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Idaho Courts See 82 Percent Increase In Mental Commitment Cases

An annual report from the Idaho Supreme Court shows that the state has seen a dramatic increase in the number of involuntary commitment cases filed for people with mental illness.

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6:32 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Boise State's New Head Football Coach Says "It's Great To Be Home"

Bryan Harsin was officially introduced as Boise State's new head football coach Friday.
Credit Boise State University

Bryan Harsin was formally introduced as the new head football coach of Boise State’s Broncos Friday. The 37-year-old has a long history with the Broncos. He was a quarterback for the team in the late 1990s and was then an assistant coach from 2001 to 2010. Harsin was also an offensive coordinator under former head coach Chris Peterson from 2006 to 2010.

“It feels great to be home,” Harsin told the crowd at a press conference Friday. “It’s truly a privilege and an honor to stand here before you today as the next head coach of Boise State.”

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Reader's Corner
6:00 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Part 2: An Interview About "The Boys In The Boat"

The second part of an interview with Daniel James Brown, Author of "The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics"

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Idaho Legislature
3:07 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Boise Democrats Choose 3 Names To Replace State Sen. Durst

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Democrats from a Boise legislative district that's among Idaho's most-competitive has selected its three top candidates to replace a departing state senator.

District 18 in southeastern Boise is aiming to fill the vacancy left when former Sen. Branden Durst relocated to western Washington.

They are incumbent state Rep. Janie Ward-Engelking, the No. 1 choice of the district's officials; Lawrence Crowley, a utility consultant; and Elizabeth Oppenheimer, an education advocate.

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11:50 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Idaho Lands On Top 10 List For Increase In Homeless Students

More than 6,000 Idaho students were homeless during the 2011/2012 school year. That's .5 percent of all public school kids.
Credit BionicTeaching / Flickr Creative Commons

Student homelessness in Idaho has grown by 27 percent, putting the state in a list of 10 that have seen the largest increase in the number of kids without stable, reliable homes. That data from the U.S. Department of Education measured growth from the 2010/2011 school year to 2011/2012.

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Election 2014
10:31 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Former Idaho Lawmaker From Pocatello Plans To Run For Secretary Of State

A former Idaho legislator from Pocatello, Evan Frasure, is running as a Republican in the ever-more-crowded 2014 secretary of state primary.

The Idaho State Journal reports Friday Frasure plans to make a formal announcement next week.

Frasure says he believes it's the right time for somebody from eastern Idaho to fill the post.

Already, two southwestern Idaho people have joined the GOP primary race: Rep. Lawerence Denney of Midvale, and deputy Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane.

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10:20 am
Fri December 13, 2013

4 Miners Injured At Lucky Friday Mine Sue Hecla

Credit Photo by Hecla Mining

Four miners who were injured and trapped by a rock burst at a northern Idaho mine two years ago are suing Hecla Mining Co., alleging mine mangers sent them into unsafe working conditions while assuring them the area was safe.

The Spokesman-Review reports Ronnel E. Barrett, Gregg Hammerberg, Eric J. Tester and Matthew Williams are seeking more than $1 million for injuries, medical treatment and lost wages.

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7:04 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Live-Choreographing Lifts The Curtain On Trey McIntyre's Art

(L to R) Grandma Kelsey plays while Trey McIntyre choreographs a "Make A Ballet" piece with dancers Chanel DaSilva, Brett Perry and Ryan Redmond.
Credit Christina Johnson

To make a ballet, choreographer and artistic director Trey McIntyre needs fresh musical inspiration. For this, he turns to Boise musician Kelsey Swope – whose stage name is Grandma Kelsey.

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Federal Budget
5:48 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Idaho's Labrador, Simpson Split On Federal Budget Deal

Idaho's Republican congressmen again parted ways on a budget vote.

Eight-term U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson on Thursday aligned with House Speaker John Boehner and other backers of the measure that passed 332-94, including majorities of Republicans and Democrats.

That didn't stop second-term Rep. Raul Labrador from branding the bi-partisan package "a bad deal, plain and simple."

For Simpson, it protects funding for the Idaho National Laboratory, shores up rural schools' budgets — and reduces the federal deficit by $23 billion, all without raising taxes.

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