The Idaho Land Board voted Tuesday to put 9 state-owned commercial properties worth about $20 million up for auction, likely in early December.

The unanimous vote by the five-member board is part of the board's new strategic reinvestment plan that calls for using money from the sale of commercial real estate and residential cottage sites to buy timberland and agricultural land.

Boise City Department of Arts and History

The City of Boise has allotted its largest amount ever to local artists through its annual grant program. The arts and history department announced Monday the 33 arts organizations and individuals will receive a total of $200,000.

The annual grant fund comes from the city’s general fund and has grown rapidly over the last few years. Since the grant program began 20 years ago, the city has awarded more than $1 million to artists and art groups. 

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

When I turn on a sink I often wonder where the water is coming from. It turns out when I’m getting a drink in our newsroom kitchenette in east Boise I can see the answer through the window. It’s the Boise River. If I could go up the faucet and through the pipes I’d come out less than a mile upstream at the Marden water treatment plant off of Warm Springs Blvd.

Mark Snider with Suez, the multi-national company that supplies drinking water to most of Boise and some of Eagle says this was their first surface water treatment plant in Boise.

Idaho Ed News

The State Board of Education wants to crack down on bad teacher evaluation data.

Specifically, the board is looking at imposing fines against school superintendents who deliberately send false data to the state.

The board gave the idea its preliminary approval Monday morning — during a  meeting that was held via conference call. Reporters received word of the meeting only a few hours ahead of time.

Board members endorsed adding language on teacher evaluation data to the career ladder law — the state’s five-year plan to boost teacher salaries.

Colleen Back / Idaho Aviation Foundation

The reopening of an iconic backcountry lodge has been pushed to next summer. As KBSX reported last year, the rebuilding of Big Creek Lodge near the Frank Church Wilderness is led by a group of hobby pilots who use the airstrip in the same location. 

Colleen Back of the Idaho Aviation Foundation can’t help but use flying analogies when she talks about the progress and setbacks with the Big Creek Lodge this year.

Boise Parks and Recreation

Friday, Boise opened the last section of the Boise Greenbelt. It comes nearly fifty years after the city started gathering up land to create the iconic foot-and-bike-path.

The new .9-mile section is on the south side of the Boise River between Americana Boulevard and Garden City. With this section, Boise says the Greenbelt is complete within city limits. The footpath stretches nearly 26 miles along both sides of the river.

Idaho Department of Water Resources

It’s no secret that Eastern Idaho has a water problem. There is too much demand and too little water in the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer to go around. But how did we get to this point? That’s what this chart is all about.

About 100 years ago, there was roughly 4,000 cubic feet per second of water coming out of the aquifer at Thousand Springs. It’s important to note that’s not how much water was in the aquifer, just how much was flowing out.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

It’s 60 miles across, mostly hidden from view and vital to the economy of Idaho. Much of the time, the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer gets little attention, even from people who rely on it every day. Without it, farmland would disappear and cities from Twin Falls to Rexburg would dry up. As we begin our series on water in Idaho, we take a closer look at the state’s largest “body” of water, hidden underneath the Snake River Plain.

Otto Kitsinger / AP

Idaho first lady Lori Otter has launched a new program to promote school safety across the state.

The Post Register reports that Otter on Thursday at Shelley High School announced the Idaho Office of School Safety and Security, which will foster better school safety habits in light of recent school shootings.

The initiative was launched July 1 under the Division of Building Safety and will conduct security checks at all Idaho schools every three years.

Decaseconds / Flickr Creative Commons

In 1974 world-famous daredevil Evel Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon in a steam-powered rocket. He ended up falling into the canyon on a parachute. To this day, that’s probably what Twin Falls is most known for outside of Idaho.

Boise State Public Radio

Next week, Boise State Public Radio listeners will be starting their mornings to a new tune -- or voice. Matt Guilhem joined the station at the start of September and is ready to take over the helm as host of Morning Edition. Guilhem joins Boise State Public Radio after hosting and reporting for KVCR, the NPR affiliate in San Bernardino, California.

We sat down with Matt -- who wakes up for his new job at 4 a.m. -- and asked him a few questions about his background, himself and his hopes for his time in Idaho.

Jason Sievers / Facebook

The ACLU of Idaho filed suit against the state police on behalf of a group of artists and a venue owner, challenging a statute the organization says censors artistic expression.

Federal officials have approved the first geothermal project on Idaho's public land since the 1980s.

The Times-News reports that the Burley Bureau of Land Management has given the go-ahead for Walker Ranch Energy's geothermal project, which will include a plant about 13 miles south of Malta.

The power plant will be built on private property, but up to 22 wells will be drilled on 200 acres managed by the Burley BLM office. The operation is expected to eventually produce 25 megawatts of energy.

IonCats / Flickr

A former Sun Valley treasurer has been accused of stealing almost $130,000 from the city.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that Angela Marlene Orr pleaded not guilty on Monday to three counts of felony misuse of public funds by a public employee.

Orr is accused of stealing nearly $127,000 from the city through unauthorized direct deposits and by using the city's credit card to pay for dinners and hotel costs during city-sponsored trips.

Orr resigned April 7 after working for the city for nearly four years.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Idaho Fish and Game researchers are testing a new method of fish population control. The idea is to use a female hormone that causes male-born fish to produce eggs when they mature.

By using a hormonal treatment on the fish, the biologists hope to create a monosex trout population that will eventually be unable to breed, which could keep unwanted fish populations at bay in streams around the state.

Districts across the state will collect at least $7.7 million in “emergency” property taxes — money designed to cover the costs of growth.

In school funding parlance, the additional taxes are known as emergency levies. School districts qualify for emergency levies if their preliminary fall student numbers are up from the preceding year. School boards can pass an emergency levy without voter approval.

And for districts in the state’s growth areas, the emergency levy is a perennial tax of sorts — even though trustees can only approve the tax for one year at a time.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Republican National Committee co-chair Sharon Day spoke at the Ada County Republican Roundup at Governor Butch Otter’s ranch Tuesday. The Idaho visit was one of many she’s making to drum up support for presidential nominee Donald Trump and connect with local Republican leaders around the country.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Last fall, more than 1,400 international students attended Idaho State University. This year, the number of international students enrolled has dropped by 36 percent. The decline comes after reports of racially charged attacks against some ISU students from the Middle East last spring.  

Steve Slocum / AP

New federal standards mean that children from low-income families will spend more time in Head Start preschool classes.

The Times-News reports that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced new performance standards last week that are designed to improve the Head Start program. Under the new guidelines, Head Start will provide center-xollbased services four days a week instead of the two it offered before.

Two Idaho firefighters have received the state's highest honor for their exceptional bravery and courage.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, chairman of Idaho's Medal of Honor Commission, announced the award recipients Friday.

Idaho Falls firefighter Sean Allen was honored for entering a submerged vehicle in an irrigation canal, cutting a victim free and pulling him to safety last year.

Meanwhile, Kootenai County Fire and Rescue Lt. John Ward was honored for entering a burning home while off-duty in April, 2015 and rescuing a disabled woman without protective gear.