News

Bonnie Lindgren / Gateways School, Nampa School District

Hurricane Matthew caused record flooding in North Carolina this fall, destroying homes, businesses and government buildings. After seeing the suffering of people across the country, a group of young Idahoans decided to offer some relief.

Boise State Public Radio

Secretary of State Lawerence Denney will be working the polls in northern Idaho during Tuesday's election.

Nez Perce County Clerk Patty Weeks said Monday that she first invited Denney to work the May primary election, but the secretary had another commitment. So the two rescheduled for him to work the general election.

This will be the first election Denney — a former House Speaker in the Idaho Legislature — has spent as a poll worker since taking over the office in 2014.

Flickr Creative Commons

State officials have approved a utility company's application to build a solar power project southeast of Boise funded by customers who take out subscriptions.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission late last week approved Idaho Power's application for the 500-kilowatt solar project that would be the state's first utility-owned solar power production facility.

Brent Moore / Flickr Creative Commons

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said he’ll deport all 11 million undocumented people in the U.S. Lacking legal status, they fill many jobs – especially in farming. With Idaho solidly conservative, we wondered how those in agricultural areas reconciled their business interests with their politics.

Steve Millington is sitting in the back corner of the Twin Falls Perkins restaurant when we meet in the late morning. He’s the chairman of the Twin Falls County Republican Party and an avowed fan of breakfast; he has a plate of eggs, bacon and pancakes while we chat.

Idaho Republican Party / Facebook

Republicans are expected to dominate Tuesday's election, with GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump predicted to easily win Idaho's four electoral votes and all three of the Republican congressional candidates likely to secure their bids for re-election.

That leaves the open seat on Idaho's Supreme Court as the state's most competitive race.

Twin Falls attorney Robyn Brody and Republican state Sen. Curt McKenzie are in a tight race over the little-known position.

Sean Dahlman

It’s been more than four months since the Table Rock Fire blackened the prominent plateau in Boise.  The fast-moving wildfire ate up 2,500 acres where invasive weed species had taken over, fueling the flames overnight and destroying important mule deer and elk wintering grounds.

That’s where Martha Brabec comes in. Brabec is the foothills restoration specialist for the city. She’s been on the job for two months, and she immediately got to work on Table Rock.

Jodi Eichelberger / Surel's Place

Garden City hasn’t always been known for its artistic residents. But over the last 10 years, a growing number of creative types have set up shop there.

Surel’s Place is the focal point of the city's Live-Work-Create District. The multipurpose space, which hosts an artist in residency program, is named after Surel Mitchell. The painter lived in the house until her death in 2011.

John Robison / Idaho Conservation League

A gold mine located near the headwaters of the Boise River is again the subject of legal action by environmental groups.

In 2012, the U.S. District Court of Idaho ruled that the Atlanta Gold Corporation violated the Clean Water Act by dumping high levels of arsenic and iron into a creek that feeds the Boise River. The company took over control of the historic mine in the 1990s, and was ordered to pay two million dollars and reduce pollutants.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

Imagine if Jupiter drifted so close to the sun its atmosphere was burned away and the rocky core that was left orbited our star every three or four hours. Boise State University is leading a group of researchers looking at scenarios like this one in other solar systems.

Using a $166,000 grant from NASA, scientists led by BSU will try to figure out where these exoplanets, which closely hug their host stars, come from.

More than 100 of these ultra-short-period planets have been found, but it’s not clear how they got so close to their stars.

Flickr Creative Commons

An Idaho construction company is formally appealing findings that it failed to properly train and protect its employees.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration found a lack of training by Hard Rock Construction was a factor when two workers died in a Boise trench collapse.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Ada County elections officials today will test their voting system in advance of next week's big vote.

The test takes ballots with predetermined votes and runs them through the same process they would go through on Election Day to make sure software and equipment are working properly.

The equipment is tested every election, but Ada County Deputy Chief Clerk Phil McGrane says there’s added scrutiny this year after allegations of voter fraud across the country.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Republican U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador has contributed to more than 40 GOP candidates running in legislative races across Idaho, as well as giving $10,000 to the Idaho Republican Party.

Labrador mostly gave $250 and $500 campaign donations to Republican legislative candidates facing Democratic or third-party challengers, including races outside of his 1st Congressional District.

Elk
GoCyclones / Flickr Creative Commons

State officials have made safer a central Idaho elk feeding station where 43 elk died last winter, including 38 calves.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports in a story on Wednesday that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game upgraded the feeding station and cleared brush at the site eight miles west of Ketchum.

Agency spokesman Kelton Hatch says snow accumulations last winter forced elk to the feeding station.

Mike Gabelmann / Flickr Creative Commons

Three of four wolves fitted with tracking collars in a central Idaho wilderness area last year by state officials without federal approval are surviving as another winter approaches.

State officials say the surviving wolves from three different packs are still roaming the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

Officials say an adult female died in May due to unknown causes.

Idaho Ed News

The state has divvied up its $11.25 million earmarked to boost elementary reading skills.

And once again, the payments illustrate the scope of Idaho’s literacy challenge.

This fall, Idaho school districts and charter schools will receive money in hopes of helping nearly 37,000 kindergarten through third-grade students catch up in reading.

Bogus Basin Recreation Area

The far western United States set records for low snowpack levels in 2015, and a new report blames high temperatures rather than low precipitation levels.

The new study suggests greenhouse gases were a major contributor to the high temperatures. The study was published Monday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Election Day is next week and all 35 seats in the Idaho Senate and all 70 seats in the Idaho House are on the ballot. That means opportunity for change in the body that makes state policy.

But how much variation will we actually see? And how competitive are this year's races? Those are questions Boise State University Political Science Professor Emeritus Gary Moncrief has been considering. Moncrief says many of the state's legislative races just aren’t that competitive this year.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Federal officials on Monday released an ambitious wildfire-fighting and restoration plan to protect a wide swath of sagebrush country in the intermountain West that supports cattle ranching and is home to an imperiled bird.

The 139-page plan is essentially a how-to guide that follows Interior Secretary Sally Jewell's five-page order in early 2015 calling for a "science-based" approach to safeguard greater sage grouse while contending with fires that have been especially destructive in the Great Basin.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved commercial planting of two types of potatoes that are genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine.

The approval announced Friday covers Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co.'s Ranger Russet and Atlantic varieties of the company's second generation of Innate potatoes.

The company says the potatoes will also have reduced bruising and black spots, enhanced storage capacity and a reduced amount of a chemical created when potatoes are cooked at high temperatures that's a potential carcinogen.

Koizin / Flickr Creative Commons

The Women’s and Children’s Alliance in Boise received a $10,000 grant from Verizon Wireless to provide financial literacy education to women. The WCA provides temporary housing for families affected by domestic violence, as well as legal help and mental health counseling. But the nonprofit also sees financial empowerment as part of their mission. 

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