News

Dan Dzurisin / Flickr Creative Commons

WildEarth Guardians accuses the Bureau of Land Management in Idaho of removing nearly 4 million acres from a previous plan to protect sage grouse habitat, and not being transparent about it. The environmental and wildlife advocacy group wants to see the threatened bird listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Two women in Idaho have been infected with the mosquito-borne illness West Nile virus, marking the first confirmed human cases within days of each other in Idaho this year.

One woman is in her 60s from Washington County, but did not require hospitalization

However, the second woman —who is in her 40s from Payette County— was hospitalized after reporting symptoms beginning in early July. She is still recovering.

San Deigo Sheriff's Department

The sister of a man killed in the Idaho wilderness after he was suspected of kidnapping a teen girl and killing her mother and brother in California has filed a claim seeking $20 million from the FBI.

Lora DiMaggio Robinson's lawyer, C. Keith Greer, says James DiMaggio never got a chance for a fair trial before he was shot by FBI agents two years ago.

Greer says he filed a claim with the FBI on Thursday and plans on filing a lawsuit in Idaho's federal court next week.

A conservation easement has been signed on an east-central Idaho ranch that's been a top priority for state and federal authorities for years because it contains prime spawning streams for threatened salmon and steelhead.

The agreement between the Bonneville Power Administration and ranch owner Karl Tyler signed last week protects 10 miles of the meandering Lemhi River and half a dozen tributaries.

Lorraine Bodi of Bonneville Power says the agency paid several million dollars for the easement.

Idaho Statesman

The people trying to keep Skinny Dipper Hot Springs open are still fighting despite government setbacks.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management office sent a letter to the advocate group Growing Change, saying it could not accept a document from the group outlining proposals for long-term public use of the springs because they were not specific enough.

BLM Four River Field Office manager Tate Fischer announced that he would close Skinny Dipper in April due to concerns about health and safety.

Idaho Racing Commission

Idaho horse breeders could end up empty-handed due to a dispute about how the money collected from lucrative betting machines should be distributed.

The Idaho Racing Commission discussed the topic Wednesday, but delayed making a decision until October.

There is a disagreement over how much the breeder fund should be split between the thoroughbred and quarter horse accounts. If it's not solved by December, the money automatically goes to public schools.

Chris Willey / Flickr Creative Commons

The migration of sockeye salmon from the ocean to inland parts of the Northwest has been deadly this year. Hotter than normal temperatures early in the summer warmed up low-flowing rivers, and more than a quarter million sockeye are dead or dying in the Columbia River and its tributaries.

But Idaho Fish and Game biologist Mike Peterson says the conditions are allowing scientists to observe just how resilient salmon can be in warmer water.

Macroscopic Solutions / Flickr

Idaho has its first human case of West Nile Virus for 2015. A woman in her 60’s who lives in Washington County got sick in late June.

Raemi Nolevanko is an epidemiologist for Southwest District Health. She says the woman had mild symptoms and did not go to the hospital.

“She was experiencing some pretty decent fatigue and then she mentioned fever, chills and some headache that she was having issues with,” says Nolevanko.

The woman is recovering.

Nolevanko says this first human case is right on schedule, based on last year's timeline.

TheJesse / Flickr Creative Commons

When Rick Johnson learned Monday the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would designate nearly 300,000 acres in central Idaho as wilderness - he was cautiously optimistic.  

Johnson is the executive director of the Idaho Conservation League. He’s among the Idahoans closely watching the progress of a bill sponsored in the House by Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho.

“It’s not the most functional legislative body the world has ever seen these days, so I think a lot of people retain a certain amount of skepticism,” he says.

Authorities say a south-central Idaho man responding to a Craigslist ad offering a car for sale shot and killed one man and wounded another with an assault weapon before stealing the car.

Police say 20-year-old Jacob Lyn Marshall of Jackson was arrested Saturday evening hours after the shooting when he rammed a police car with the stolen 1991 Mitsubishi 3000 VR4.

Police also arrested 22-year-old Jerry Burton Kimball, who authorities say accompanied Marshall.

Boise GreenBike
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Three months in, riders using Boise's GreenBike program have made almost 5,000 trips on the bikes.

Dave Fotsch is the director of the program. He says almost 2,000 people have used the bikes since the program started in April. GreenBike lets people rent bikes around town, and is meant to improve the environment and users' health.

“Ridership has been good, and we’ve generated about $24,000-$25,000 from membership and ridership," says Fotsch. "But I would like to see higher numbers for both of those categories.”

Boy Scouts of America

The Boy Scouts of America lifted its ban on gay troop leaders and volunteers Monday. The controversial ban was something some conservative groups in Idaho wanted to keep in place. However, many religion-based troops are expected to take advantage of a compromise that's expected to result in few actual changes. 

Former Idaho House Speaker Tom Boyd has died.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that the Republican lawmaker who served eight terms in the Idaho Legislature from 1977 to 1992 died Monday at a nursing home in Moscow. He was 86.

Boyd represented Latah County for 16 years, the last six as speaker.

Lawmakers described him as a "peacemaker" and "consensus builder."

Boyd farmed wheat and peas in the Genesee area and served on local boards before running for state office.

One of the largest Basque communities in the United States will spend the next five days celebrating the traditional Jaialdi festival in southwestern Idaho.

An estimated 35,000 to 50,000 people are expected to attend the five-day party —which starts Tuesday in Boise— as a showcase of the culture. The festival originally started in 1987, and has been held every five years starting in 1990 ever since.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has created a task force intended to strengthen the state's protections against computer hackers.

Otter on Monday announced that he signed an executive order creating the Idaho Cybersecurity Cabinet Task Force.

Otter in a statement says the task force will develop policies, programs and strategies to find vulnerabilities and prevent attacks.

He says the state's long-term economic competitiveness is linked to cybersecurity.

Don Barrett / Flickr Creative Commons

Southwest Idaho stands out in bright red on the most recent drought map. The color signifies the area is in extreme drought. Jay Chamberlin of the Owyhee Irrigation District says that's not surprising, given the lack of snowpack last winter.

Jerry McFarland / Flickr

More than a quarter million sockeye salmon returning from the ocean to spawn are either dead or dying in the Columbia River and its tributaries due to warming water temperatures.

Federal and state fisheries biologists say water that is 5 to 6 degrees warmer is wiping out at least half of this year's returning population of the cold-water species.

Ritchie Graves of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says up to 80 percent of the population could ultimately perish.

Officials are trying to cool flows by releasing cold water from selected reservoirs.

The Idaho Attorney General's Office is now investigating a former custom boat maker who moved to upstate New York to open a new business, leaving behind unfinished boats and multiple lawsuits.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

After two years without one, Boise will soon have its next ombudsman in place.

Mayor David Bieter announced Friday that attorney Natalie Camacho Mendoza will assume the role on August 3, pending city council approval.  Council members are expected to approve the selection at their meeting Tuesday.

Camacho Mendoza is originally from Pocatello.  She’s been in Boise for 20 years and has practiced law for 26.  Her experience includes work as a defense attorney and prosecutor. 

Idaho National Guard

Idaho native and Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was caught up in a raid on a pot farm in California this week.

The Anderson Valley Advertiser reports Bergdahl was on the scene this week when the Mendocino County drug task force raided a property in Redwood Valley.

“He was visiting old friends when the local dope team arrived on a marijuana raid. Bergdahl, who is awaiting military court martial, had an Army pass allowing him to be in Mendocino County.” – Anderson Valley Advertiser

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