News

Neil R. / Flickr

In the last few days the U.S. Supreme Court has issued several major decisions. Perhaps the one that will have a direct impact on the most people in Idaho is last week’s split decision that effectively eliminates President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Those would have granted temporary legal status to people whose children are legal U.S. residents (known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans or DAPA) and to people who came to the country as children (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.)

Scott Thomas / Flickr Creative Commons

The Supreme Court’s decision Monday to strike down a Texas abortion restriction law could have ripple effects in Idaho, where pro-choice advocates are cheering. In a 5-3 ruling, the justices overturned a Texas law requiring surgical facilities in abortion clinics, while also requiring clinic doctors have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

Major Chris Borders / Idaho National Guard

A soldier from the Idaho Army National Guard is the nation’s first female enlisted soldier to graduate from M1 tanker school.

Sergeant First Class Erin Smith enlisted in Idaho’s Guard in 2001 as a combat medic. She's been deployed to Bosnia and Iraq. She had wanted to try being an Army tanker and last year, when the military opened up all positions to women, she got the chance.

Roadsidepictures / Flickr

Three men police say targeted two youths in a racially-based attack are facing felony hate crime charges.

Boise police arrested 29-year-old Christopher Daniel, 48-year-old Verdell Daniel and 27-year-old Thomas Caldwell on Sunday. All three have been charged with felony malicious harassment. Caldwell also faces misdemeanor battery and driving under the influence charges, and Christopher Daniel faces felony and misdemeanor battery charges.

KrisAlysha / Flickr

A Caldwell-based seed company has agreed to pay $200,000 in penalties to settle allegations that it illegally discriminated against citizens from outside the U.S.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the Justice Department announced the settlement with the Crookham Company on Monday.

A federal investigation from 2014 to earlier this year found that Crookham required non-U.S. citizens to show either a permanent resident card or employment authorization card to prove they were authorized to work. U.S. citizens had been allowed to produce any type of valid documentation.

Nathan Feir / Flickr

Going somewhere over the July 4 weekend? You are not alone. AAA Idaho says 215,000 Idahoans will be traveling over the holiday period.

AAA Idaho says Independence Day is typically the busiest summer travel holiday, thanks to summer vacations and kids out of school.

Around the country, 43 million Americans are expected to travel over the weekend. That’s five million more than Memorial Day. Idaho and other mountain states will see 3.2 million holiday trips.

Thanks to low gas prices, 173,000 Idahoans will take their car when they travel this weekend.

Screengrab USDA.gov

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, four Idaho counties are in a state of disaster because of drought. The counties are Canyon, Owyhee, Payette and Washington. Farmers and ranchers there and in any adjacent counties can get federal money to help them through the year if they can prove the drought is hurting their production.

insurance exchange, computer, your health idaho
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Officials with Your Health Idaho say they are actively working to ensure that customers don't see another delay in receiving a critical tax form needed to prove health coverage and avoid a tax penalty.

The state's health insurance exchange failed this year to distribute the forms by the required Jan. 31 deadline. The exchange also issued thousands of corrections because of inaccurate information on the forms.

While all customers eventually received their correct forms before April 15, officials have raised concerns about the same challenges occurring next year.

An Uzbek refugee sentenced to 25 years in prison after being convicted of a plan to kill military personnel or civilians in Idaho has dropped an appeal of his conviction and sentence in exchange for dismissal of bomb-making charges in Utah.

The Idaho Statesman reports in a story on Thursday the deal also includes prosecutors in Idaho dropping their appeal that 33-year-old Fazliddin Kurbanov's 25-year sentence isn't long enough.

Adelpha Photography/Flickr

Idaho’s Hispanic population is growing. That’s according to the Idaho Department of Labor.

Using Census Bureau numbers, the department found that the Hispanic population grew 2.9 percent between mid-2014 and mid-2015. That’s an increase of 5,696.

Janell Hyer is a research analyst at the Labor Department. She says Idaho’s Hispanic population went up 15.1 percent since the 2010 census.

“We added over 26,000 Hispanics to our community and living in this area you’re seeing more and more commercial businesses that are targeting Hispanics.”

For Sale Coldwell Banker House Sold
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Home ownership in Idaho’s two most populous counties is getting less affordable. That’s according to a report released Thursday by real estate data company RealtyTrac.

How affordable your home is has to do with the percentage of your income you have to spend on it. RealtyTrac says home prices are going up faster than income in Ada and Canyon Counties. So homes are getting less affordable.

Sen. Mike Crapo's office

When he was a kid, Trevor Schaefer was diagnosed with brain cancer. His family was living in McCall, but after he got sick he and his mom moved to Boise for his cancer treatment. Doctors removed a golf-ball sized tumor from the base of his brain, and radiation and chemotherapy followed. Now 26-years-old, Schaefer won his battle against cancer. This week he won another battle. After years of lobbying congress, a provision with his name on it is the law of the land.

Idaho Ed News

Slightly more than 25,000 Idaho elementary school students were reading below grade level, according to statewide test scores from this spring.

As sobering as those numbers sound, they also represent a snapshot. In the fall of 2015, more than 36,000 students were not reading at grade level. At the end of the school year, two-thirds of these students remained below grade level. But over the course of the school year, teachers and schools helped 11,000 students pull their reading skills to grade level.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs says it’s his ethical duty to not sensationalize an active criminal case, and that information on juvenile cases is even more sensitive. But after anti-Muslim conspiracy websites accused officials of covering up the sexual assault of a five-year-old girl, Loebs is publicly disputing these accusations.

screengrab aecf.org

The Annie E. Casey Foundation this week released its annual Kids Count report on child well-being. Idaho ranked 22nd out of the 50 states. But Idaho is not really in the middle of the pack when you break that ranking down into its individual components. In some measures, the state’s children have it much better than their peers in other states, and in some they have it much worse.

Idaho Ed News

Three Idaho charter schools run the risk of a midyear financial collapse, and are on notice with the state.

Idaho’s Public Charter School Commission has issued notices of fiscal concern to Blackfoot Charter Community Learning Center in Blackfoot; Syringa Mountain School in Hailey; and The Village Charter School in Boise.

Penn State / Flickr Creative Commons

State and federal officials say Idaho faces an increased potential for rangeland wildfires in the south, but forested areas in the north are in better shape at this point than last year.

Wildland fire analyst Jeremy Sullens of the National Interagency Fire Center told the Idaho Land Board on Tuesday that a good snowpack has put more moisture in northern Idaho forests to delay the fire season.

But he says additional moisture in the southern part of the state has led to an increase in grasses that could fuel rangeland fires.

tribalclimatecamp.org

Representatives from Native American tribes are in McCall this week to talk about how they can adapt to climate change. Donald Sampson says Native Americans are and will continue to be more impacted by climate change than the rest of the country. That’s because climate changes are affecting their traditional food sources.

Ben Amstutz / Flickr Creative Commons

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials have decided to reaffirm their previous decision to close a popular hot spring near Boise. The decision to close the hot spring for five years comes after failed attempts over the last year from citizen groups to keep Skinny Dipper Hot Spring open.

A prosecutor in south-central Idaho is refuting a widespread rumor that three young Syrian refugees raped a girl at knifepoint.

Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs says that no gang rape involving Syrian refugees or a knife took place despite allegations currently circulating on social media and conspiracy-oriented websites.

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