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For over two decades, the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference has distinguished itself from other writing conferences by its focus on ideas rather than the “business” of writing and publishing. And this year, its 23rd, the idea in focus is character.

The annual literary festival this year is guided by the theme: A Question of Character. The audience of around 1,000 will hear and learn from renowned writers exploring the ideas and limitations of character.

Melissa Wintrow for Idaho / via Facebook

State Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, sponsored successful legislation the last two years to change how police in Idaho handle, process and store what are known as "rape kits." The kits are used by investigators to preserve evidence of a sexual assault.

courtesy of the artist and Dolby Chadwick Gallery, S.F.

Idaho cities in the path of the total solar eclipse on August 21 are preparing to host hundreds of viewing parties. Some cities are more accustomed to welcoming tourists, like Sun Valley. 

Courtney Gilbert, from the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Ketchum, explained, "Hotels started selling out about two years ago. The city of Ketchum is partnering with the city of Sun Valley to organize a day of activities that will take place in Festival Meadows."

IIP Photo Archive / Flickr Creative Commons

Two big wildfires likely sparked by Monday’s thunderstorms continue to burn an hour east of Boise.

The smaller of the two fires is the Sand Point Fire. Firefighters have successfully held containment lines of the roughly 7,800 acre blaze and kept it from threatening structures. It’s burning about three miles south of Hammett. Emergency responders expect to have the Sand Point Fire contained by this evening.

John Miller / AP

Idaho National Laboratory’s Advanced Test Reactor, or ATR, is celebrating 50 years of being a source of nuclear research used globally. This $40 million construction project began operation on July 2, 1967. The reactor is used to study the effects of radiation on reactor materials and fuels.

Vadim Ghirda / AP

 

Idaho State Treasurer Ron Crane and Ohio Gov. John Kasich were just a couple of the many government websites hacked Sunday by a message containing the phrase “I love the Islamic State.” These hackings are being called defacements, or “internet graffiti," and no data was compromised.

 

 

A spokesperson for Crane says a permanent solution to the hacking is being pursued and should be in place by the end of the week.

 

 

Gary O. Grimm / Flickr Creative Commons

The gymnasium at Park School in Weiser is full of third, fourth and fifth-grade students. Standing next to the stage, Principal Angela Halvorson introduces Assistant Professor Brian Jackson from Boise State University.

“And he is going to talk to us all about this cool thing that’s coming, the total solar eclipse. Can you please give him a round of applause . . . "

Jackson is traveling around Idaho this summer to talk to kids and adults about the eclipse.

sheep, pasture, barn
Heidi Schuyt / Flickr Creative Commons

U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson will try to keep open an Idaho sheep experiment station despite President Donald Trump's proposed budget calling for its elimination.

The Post-Register reported Tuesday that Clark County economic development officials worry closure of the station could have a major negative impact on the economy.

The U.S. Sheep Experiment Station employs 14 full-time researchers. It's one of the most significant employers in the county that about 860 people live in.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr

Workers at a Twin Falls potato processing plant are claiming the company is trying to bust up a bid to join a local branch of the Teamsters Union next month.

Employees of Lamb-Weston, a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods based in Eagle that specializes in potato products, claim a so-called “union busting firm” has been hired to dissuade workers at a Twin Falls plant from joining Teamsters Local Union 483.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

After being constructed in secret by a small group of Republican senators, a push is underway to pass a bill reforming the nation's health care system.

For perspective on what changes could be in store both nationally and in Idaho, Matt Guilhem spoke to Dr. David Pate, the President and CEO of St. Luke's Health System.

Idaho To Receive $30M In PILT Funding For 2017

Jun 28, 2017
Patrick Whittle / AP

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced yesterday Idaho will receive $30 million via Payments in Lieu of Taxes, a.k.a. PILT funding, for 2017.

 

 

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

In the latest twist over legal fireworks, an opinion from the Idaho Attorney General's office says aerial fireworks can only be sold to someone with a permit for a public display or event. The controversy over sales of bottle rockets and Roman candles heated up after last year’s Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills.

 

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Before the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area became a backcountry paradise for outdoor adventures, families up and down the Snake River called it home.

Plucky families, including Lem and Doris Wilson, made a go of sheep ranching in a very primitive environment that had no electricity, no refrigerators and no modern conveniences. In 1951 the family of four moved onto a 4,000 acre ranch in the canyon, several miles away from Grangeville, with 1,200 sheep for company.

Lafe / Flickr

In the run up to the Fourth of July, fireworks are now on sale at licensed stands. With the memory of last summer’s Table Rock Fire still fresh, officials are asking people to be mindful of where they detonate their pyrotechnics.

The Table Rock Fire scorched four square miles of the Boise foothills and burned destroyed one home last year; it started with an illegal Roman candle.

Even so-called “safe and sane” fireworks can start wildfires and present a danger if set off improperly or in areas close to accelerants like fuel or dried brush.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s oldest and tallest sequoia moved over the weekend. While the evergreen only went a short distance, the process of moving an 800,000 pound tree is no small feat.

Late Saturday night, two huge excavators make that familiar beep as they slowly back up, pulling the big tree out of its spot by St. Luke’s Hospital. With Fort Street shut down, a crowd assembles to watch the hundred-foot-tall tree make its journey of about 1,200 feet down the road.

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