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Congress
5:21 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Updated: Why An Idaho Senator Wants The Air Force To Keep A Plane It Doesn’t Want

The A-10 Thunderbolt is more commonly known as the Warthog. It was developed in the 1970s and production stopped in the early '80s. Its slow speed allows it to train its powerful machine gun on ground targets faster planes would zip by.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo spoke to reporters at length Wednesday on the importance of reducing government spending, at the same time he spoke about keeping a program that Air Force leaders want to phase out in order to save $3.5 billion.

Crapo, a Republican, has joined Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, and others to push legislation that would block the Air Force from retiring the A-10 fighter jet.

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Idaho News
2:54 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Former Boston Mobster Turned Idaho Rancher Convicted In Attempted Hit

A former mob associate who spent over a decade posing as a cattle rancher in Idaho has been convicted of federal charges including the attempted murder of a man who became the boss of the New England Mafia.

Enrico Ponzo was convicted Wednesday after a monthlong racketeering trial.

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Idaho Legislature
1:15 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Idaho State Senator From Boise Resigns From Legislature

Credit State of Idaho

An Idaho state senator representing Boise announced Wednesday he's resigning from the Legislature as of Dec. 1. District 18 Sen. Branden Durst, a Democrat, is vacating the seat he won in 2012.

In a press release from the Idaho Democratic Party, Durst says he's resigning "to focus on his family’s needs."

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Policy
9:46 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Simpson Unveils Bill For Third Idaho Federal Judge

Credit Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson has introduced a bill designed to add a third federal judge in Idaho to help offset an expanding and cumbersome caseload.

The Republican says it's past time for Idaho to get a third federal judge.

The federal court system in Idaho is now overseen by two federal judges — B. Lynn Winmill and Edward J. Lodge.

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Health
9:40 am
Wed November 20, 2013

3 'Toxic' Drugs Slated For Idaho's Illegal List

Three versions of a synthetic hallucinogenic drug appear bound for Idaho's list of illegal substances after the federal Drug Enforcement Administration placed them on the same list as marijuana, heroin and LSD.

The federal drug agency made the announcement on Tuesday for drugs known by their street names that include 25i, Smiles, and N-Bomb.

For substances declared by the federal government as among the most dangerous drugs, Idaho law requires the Idaho State Board of Pharmacy to control the substance after 30 days — unless state regulators find reason to object.

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Tax Policy
5:35 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Idaho Narrows The Business Equipment Tax Exemption With New Rules

The new rules mean cell towers, underground storage tanks, poles and towers, signposts, pipelines and conduit, and railroad track are defined as real property, excluding the items from the personal property tax exemption.
Credit Shalbs / Flickr Creative Commons

Certain utility companies in Idaho won't see as large of a tax break as many anticipated now that the state has more clearly defined what types of property qualify for the business equipment tax exemption.

The Idaho Tax Commission Tuesday unanimously approved two rules that define the difference between real and personal property.

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Idaho News
1:59 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Idaho Pastor Detained In Iran Granted Visit From Family

Credit Courtesy of American Center for Law and Justice

Human rights officials say an Idaho pastor who is being detained in a notorious prison in Iran has been allowed to visit with family.

Officials with the American Center for Law & Justice say Monday's visit marked the first time Saeed Abedini was able to see family since his transfer to Rajai Shahr prison more than two weeks ago.

The 33-year-old Christian pastor who had been living in Boise. But he's been in Iranian custody since September 2012 and is serving an eight-year sentence for undermining state security.

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Preschool
12:03 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Why One Idaho Lawmaker Wants To Pilot Public Preschool

Kloc is in the middle of his first term as an Idaho legislator.
Credit Courtesy: Hy Kloc

A recent report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds more than two thirds of low income Idaho kids don’t go to preschool. But as we’ve reported before, two thirds of Idaho kids from high income families do go to preschool. That’s not surprising since Idaho is one of only a handful of states that does not have statewide, state-funded preschool.

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Policy
11:44 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Idaho Business Group Urges State To Consider Private Insurance Through Medicaid

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho business group urged Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to study how Arkansas won permission from Washington, D.C., to use federal Medicaid funding to help poor people buy private insurance.

The Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry sent Otter a letter Friday, calling Arkansas' program a "market solution" that was of great interest to members that include hospitals St. Luke's Health System and Saint Alphonsus Health System.

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Science
11:34 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Comet ISON Expected To Light Up Idaho's Skies

Comet ISON passed through Virgo earlier this month
Credit Aaron Kingery / NASA

If you wake up early and the skies are clear this week, a comet named ISON should be visible through binoculars over the southeastern horizon.

Astronomy websites have hyped the passage of this comet as the best in more than a decade. But a lot depends on a close encounter with the sun next week.

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Election 2014
1:05 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Mitt Romney Endorses Republican Mike Simpson In U.S. House Race

Idaho U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson's bid for a ninth term got an assist Monday when former presidential candidate Mitt Romney released an endorsement letter.

Simpson faces challenger Bryan Smith in next May's Republican primary election.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, lauded Simpson as a "stalwart conservative leader," accusing what he called "outside" groups of interfering in the race by backing Smith.

Smith has won the conservative group Club for Growth's support in his bid to unseat Simpson.

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Higher Education
12:58 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Univ. Of South Dakota Provost Named New Univ. Of Idaho President

Credit University of South Dakota

A provost from the University of South Dakota has been tapped to become the University of Idaho's new president.

The Idaho State Board of Education announced Monday that Chuck Staben, provost and vice president of academic affairs at the University of South Dakota, was chosen out of the five finalists contending for the job.

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Wildlife
9:15 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Some Idaho Elk Hunters Want More Wolves Killed

Credit Blocke / Flickr Creative Commons

About a third of Idaho hunters making written comments on the Idaho Fish and Game Commission's draft elk management plan say they want more wolves killed to increase the elk population.

The Times-News reports that the commission on Thursday at its quarterly meeting received the first report on the 442 comments.

About 150 of hunters making comments say they want increased measures to control wolf populations.

Only 19 people making comments wanted no wolf control measures.

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Science
9:05 am
Mon November 18, 2013

NASA Image Of Saturn Shows An Idaho Professor's Work

Saturn's rings captured by Cassini.
Credit NASA.gov

The picture below is the planet Saturn and its rings back-lit by the sun. It’s essentially a planetary eclipse. Earth appears as a blue pinprick in the background. The picture is a mosaic of 141 different images. It comes from the Cassini space craft and it’s getting a lot of attention online.

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Station News
9:00 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Programming Change: BBC's 'Outlook' Comes To KBSX

Dick Gordon hosted WUNC's The Story from 2006-2013.
Credit Courtesy: American Public Media

Back in August, American Public Media announced 'The Story' would stop production after a successful eight-year run when host Dick Gordon decided to leave. The final episode will air Friday, November 22.

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Reader's Corner
4:23 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Football And Concussions: An Interview With 'League Of Denial' Author Steve Fainaru

“Iron Mike” Webster was one of the most revered and beloved Pittsburgh Steelers of all time. The Hall of Fame center was a tough, hardworking and disciplined player who gave everything he had to football.

But after retiring from the NFL in 1990, he suffered a severe decline in both physical and mental health. When he died 12 years later at age 50, his body made one of its most significant contributions to the sport, and to the fellow players he loved.

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Labor Department
3:59 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Twin Falls Businessman, Board Of Education Member To Head Idaho's Labor Department

Edmunds is a businessman from Twin Falls, Idaho.
Credit State of Idaho

A state Board of Education member is shifting roles, after Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter named him to head the Idaho Department of Labor.

Ken Edmunds of Twin Falls will fill the post starting Nov. 25, replacing Roger Madsen who held the job since 1995.

Edmunds is a Twin Falls businessman whose experience includes working as an accountant and controller as well as an executive for the company that operates Cactus Petes casino in Jackpot, Nev.

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Film
3:38 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

'Craters Of The Moon' Cast On Hand At Boise's Best Of Sun Valley Film Fest

The film Craters of the Moon screens in Boise Saturday.
Credit Courtesy of http://www.cratermovie.com

The best of this year’s Sun Valley Film Festival (SVFF) screens in Boise Saturday night. The Best of SVFFest will feature two award-winning films; STUCK, about a one-night stand, and Craters of the Moon, which is about a couple who gets lost and stranded in the snow.

Here's the trailer from Craters.

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Gateway West
2:02 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Why The Feds Approval Of A Massive Power Line Excludes Part Of Idaho Route

Jim Fincher is the District Manager for the Boise BLM District Office
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The Bureau of Land Management Tuesday approved most of a 990-mile-long power line that's being built on public land. But a section of the line, about 295 miles in Idaho, were deferred. That means the BLM will hold off on the OK for that area until stakeholders along the line’s route can come to a consensus.

The Gateway West project will run from Wyoming across southern Idaho. It's an effort between Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power.

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Health Insurance
1:57 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Idaho Mulling Whether To Extend Health Insurance Policies

Bill Deal is director of the Idaho Department of Insurance.
Credit Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Idaho Department of Insurance director Bill Deal said he's likely to announce Monday whether his state will adopt President Barack Obama's proposal to extend old health insurance policies that otherwise would be canceled.

Through a spokeswoman on Friday, Deal said he's in discussions with Idaho insurers offering policies to individuals on how such a move would impact the state's health coverage marketplace.

President Obama on Thursday said he'd allow insurance companies to keep selling their old plans to people whose policies were going to be canceled.

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