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Bowe Bergdahl
11:17 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Will Sgt. Bergdahl Be Left Behind In Afghanistan?

The case of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl  — who's been held by the Taliban since 2009 — has arisen again as the U.S. and other countries engage in diplomatic efforts to free him.

But if he's released, will America's only prisoner of the Afghan war be viewed as a hero or a deserter?

Some people are convinced that on June 30, 2009, just a few months after he arrived in Afghanistan, Bergdahl willingly walked away from his unit in Paktika province.

Bergdahl — who's from Idaho — was last seen in a video the Taliban released in December.

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Idaho News
10:59 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Driver Dies Near Eagle After Striking Horse

A woman died and three other people were injured in two crashes involving a horse on the highway northwest of Boise.

Ada County officials say the woman's car hit a horse on State Highway 16 just after 5 a.m. Monday. Deputies say the car then went off the highway, traveled about 300 yards through fields and fences before hitting a rock wall.

The victim's name hasn't been released. Both of her passengers were injured.

A short time later, another car hit the horse that was lying in the road and flipped onto its top. One person was injured.

Environment
9:10 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Interactive Map Pinpoints Idaho, U.S. Wind Turbines

A screenshot of the USGS map known as windFarm.
Credit usgs.gov

If you’ve driven across southern Idaho in the past few years, you’ve no doubt seen a lot of wind turbines. But have you ever wondered how many there are? Now you can count them and get stats on each one with a new interactive map.

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Wildlife
9:37 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Idaho Wildlife Managers Kill 23 Wolves Near Montana Border

Credit Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

Idaho wildlife officials have killed 23 wolves in northern Idaho in an effort to boost the number of elk in the region.

The Idaho Fish and Game announced Friday afternoon that the animals were killed by USDA Wildlife Service agents using a helicopter in the Lolo elk zone near the Montana border. It's the sixth time the agency has taken action to kill wolves in the Lolo zone in the past four years, bringing the total number of wolves killed there to 48.

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Avalanche
9:33 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Urban Avalanche Levels Montana Home, One Person Killed

An avalanche in Missoula, Montana buried three people, all were rescued alive.
Credit William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Updated March 4, 2014 at 9:45 a.m.

A woman who was rescued about three hours after her Missoula home was destroyed by an avalanche has died.

About 100 neighbors converged Friday to help find 68-year-old Michel Colville, her husband and an 8-year-old boy after they were buried by the avalanche in a residential area of the western Montana city.

Police say Colville died Sunday night at St. Patrick Hospital. Her husband, Fred Allendorf, remains hospitalized in serious condition.

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Reader's Corner
6:00 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

An Historic And Lonely Crusade For Wildlife With Stefan Bechtel

In 1886, William Temple Hornaday set out for the untamed West to collect American bison specimens for the U.S. National Museum. Just a few years earlier the bison herds of North America had been estimated in the millions.

But Hornaday had a hunch that had changed. He was right. The taxidermist was barely able to find enough specimens to preserve for the museum, and the rapid slaughter of America’s bison herds would drive him try to fight for their survival and that of other wildlife for the rest of his life.

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Guns
5:03 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Guns On Campus Bill Passes House Committee

Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A bill to allow students, staff and visitors to carry guns on Idaho's college campuses passed the House State Affairs Committee in a party-line split.

Lawmakers voted 11-3 Friday afternoon to send it forward to debate on the House floor, over objections from the majority of people who testified before the committee.

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Agriculture
2:11 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Governor Otter Signs Idaho's 'Ag-Gag' Bill

Credit Mouldfish / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signed a bill threatening people who secretly film animal abuse at Idaho's agricultural facilities with jail and fines.

Otter inked the new law Friday, two days after it cleared its final hurdle in the House.

Otter, a rancher, said the measure promoted by the dairy industry "is about agriculture producers being secure in their property and their livelihood."

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Policy
10:58 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Chobani CEO Urges Gov. Otter To Veto Idaho's 'Ag-Gag' Bill

Credit Provisions / Flickr Creative Commons

Food processing heavyweight Chobani is urging Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to veto a bill that would make penalties stricter for animal rights activists caught secretly filming Idaho agriculture facilities.

Chobani, which operates a huge Greek yogurt facility in Twin Falls, buys its milk from Idaho dairymen. In a press release, Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya says if passed, the measure would limit transparency.

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Idaho Legislature
3:10 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

More Than 200 Idaho Students, Faculty Rally Against Guns On Campus

Protesters against a bill that would allow some to carry concealed weapons on Idaho's campuses lined the Statehouse steps. Feb. 27, 2014.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

More than 200 people against a bill that would allow permit holders to carry concealed weapons on Idaho's university campuses protested Thursday in the rain outside the Statehouse. The group was made up primarily of students and faculty of Boise State University and the College of Western Idaho.

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Idaho Legislature
2:36 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Gay Rights Protesters At Idaho Capitol Broadcast Latest Demonstration Live On YouTube

This is a screengrab from the live stream protesters are broadcasting on YouTube.
Credit Screengrab

Gay rights activists are again risking arrest at the Idaho Statehouse.

This time, the protesters are blocking lawmakers and the public from reaching Senate committee rooms on the west side of the Capitol. They're broadcasting their civil disobedience live on YouTube.

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Medicaid
1:59 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Utah Governor Rejects Full Medicaid Expansion

Utah's Republican governor has announced he wants to reject a full Medicaid expansion, and instead seek federal dollars to cover the poor.

Gov. Gary Herbert made the announcement Thursday afternoon, saying the state has an obligation to cover the poor by plugging a hole in the safety net.

The governor, who is one of the last in the country to announce a decision, is generally opposed to the federal health law but says his decision will help people pay for health coverage in the private market.

Wildlife
1:42 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Study: Yellowstone Bison Exposed To Disease Can Be Safely Transferred

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Government and independent scientists say a seven-year study of disease in Yellowstone National Park's wild bison shows non-infected animals can be safely removed and used to start new herds.

The results bolster arguments that an animal driven to the brink of extinction last century could be restored to parts of its once-vast territory without transmitting a disease to cattle.

Efforts to relocate or provide new habitat for the park's surplus bison have stalled recently in the face of livestock industry opposition.

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Prison Investigation
11:45 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Idaho Democrats Ask FBI To Investigate Prison Company

Idaho's top Democratic lawmakers have asked the FBI to investigate private prison company Corrections Corporation of America for possible criminal wrongdoing at the state's largest prison.

The letter sent to Boise FBI Agent Ernie Weyand on Thursday says the lawmakers are concerned that the Idaho State Police lacks both the manpower and expertise needed to properly investigate the Nashville, Tenn.-based company's activities in Idaho.

The lawmakers also say the investigation may cross state lines, putting it under federal jurisdiction.

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Policy
11:30 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Former Game Show Host Bob Barker Asks Idaho Gov. Otter To Veto 'Ag-Gag' Bill

Credit Fireballk2558 / Flickr Creative Commons

Veteran game-show host and animal activist Bob Barker is asking Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to veto a bill that jails people who secretly film animal abuse at Idaho's agricultural facilities.

Barker in the letter on Thursday tells Otter that more than a dozen other states have rejected similar bills, and it could damage Idaho's image among consumers across the nation.

Barker refers to himself as a lifelong Republican, and says it's crucial for police to have access to everything they need to enforce the law.

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Idaho Legislature
11:20 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Idaho House Panel Clears Income Tax Cut, Final Passage Unlikely

Credit 401(K)2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

Business leaders worried Idaho's tax rates are too high compared to its neighbors notched an initial victory when the House Revenue and Taxation Committee approved a bill aiming to make the state more competitive.

The Republican-led panel voted Thursday to back the Idaho Chamber Alliance's proposal to cut corporate and individual income tax rates by a percentage point annually over the next six years, for an eventual $125 million cost.

Once completed, it would leave Idaho's top tax rate at 6.8 percent, lower than Montana's 6.9 percent.

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Idaho Legislature
9:55 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Idaho Approves $1 Million To Defend Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Legislature's Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee has approved spending $1 million to defend the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports in a story on Thursday that the committee endorsed a request by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to transfer the money from the general fund to the Constitutional Defense Fund in anticipation of a legal fight.

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Idaho Legislature
9:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Idaho College Students, Faculty Plan Walkout Against Guns On Campus Bill

Organizers distributed walkout fliers on Boise State's campus Wednesday.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A coalition of Idaho college students, faculty, and law enforcement will rally at the Capitol at 12:30 Thursday against a proposal that would allow some to carry concealed guns on university campuses.

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Idaho Legislature
2:36 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

So-Called 'Ag Gag' Bill Passes Idaho Legislature, Headed To Gov. Otter

A bill to punish people who secretly film animal abuse at Idaho's agricultural facilities is headed to Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter's desk after passing the House 56-14.

It's a response to videos released by activists who filmed workers at Bettencourt Dairy beating, stomping, and sexually abusing cows.

If Otter signs the bill into law, people who try to record such abuse face up to a year in jail, double the maximum punishment for animal cruelty.

Utah has a similar "ag gag law," currently being challenged in U.S. District Court.

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Idaho Legislature
11:59 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Idaho Legislature May Create Treasurer Oversight Panel

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane may soon be getting help making sure taxpayers' money is safe after auditors rebuked him for inappropriately transferring tens of millions of dollars to state accounts where it was lost.

The Senate State Affairs Committee Wednesday approved a measure to create a new, five-person advisory board to make sure Crane or future treasurers are appropriately managing accounts.

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