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Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

A brush fire near a housing development in Eagle was attacked quickly by firefighters earlier this week. They were able to battle the spark in part because of fire preventive measures taken by the developers who built the Avimor neighborhood.

Courtesy of Car Talk

In a press release today, NPR announced that after September 30, 2017, weekly broadcast production of the Best of Car Talk programs will end. NPR and Car Talk came to this decision after consultation with key station personnel, programmers, researchers, listeners and Car Talk's own staff.

Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

Update, Thursday, 10:12 a.m.:  The Ada County Commissioners have tabled the issue after hearing three hours of public testimony. According to a press release, 16 people testified in favor of the airstrip and 15 testified against it Wednesday night.

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Stethescope, Health Care, Doctor, Medical
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers are eligible for the same health care benefits as full-time state employees even though they are considered part-time workers.

The Idaho Statesman reports that 90 out of Idaho's 105 lawmakers are enrolled in the state's health care plan. State records show that 30 of the 35 Senate members and 60 of the 70 House members are enrolled.

The 14 percent opt-out rate inside the Legislature is higher than the state's workforce, where just about 8 percent of employees don't take the state-provided benefits.

Attempts by 900 firefighters backed by aircraft to halt the spread of a wildfire burning in rugged terrain in southwest Idaho have been unsuccessful with the blaze doubling to 14 square miles in size on Wednesday.

Officials say they've expanded a closure in the Boise National Forest and also started contingency plans to use State Highway 21 as a firebreak.

About 23 miles of the highway are closed from north of Idaho City to south of Lowman as firefighters remove trees and brush to reduce the potential for the fire to cross the road.

Idaho Ed News

Accusing the White House of “an incredible overreach,” Gov. Butch Otter’s staff attorney has urged a federal court to put the brakes on guidelines designed to protect transgender students’ rights.

But in a 34-page legal brief, filed Friday, Otter attorney Cally Younger appears to greatly misstate the potential fiscal impact of the federal policies.

Dan Logan / Flickr Creative Commons

Millions of homes built on the edge of wild areas are complicating the work of wildfire managers who must decide how to deploy the nation's firefighting resources.

Some 44 million homes have been built in what scientists call the wildland-urban interface, most in recent decades. The areas are often scenic but susceptible to fire.

C. Holmes / Flickr Creative Commons

A police chief in northern Idaho is proposing hiring incentives to attract more officers to his department.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports Police Chief Lee White has proposed adding incentives to entry-level positions for people who have experience at other law enforcement agencies.

Graphic Artist: Sam Cornett / Solar Roadways Indiegogo

A northern Idaho city will be the first to get a demonstration of high tech hexagonal paving panels that can melt snow, among other features.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that Sandpoint is working with Solar Roadways officials to install the panels at Jeff Jones Square. City administrator Jennifer Stapleton says the Solar Roadways owners plan to keep their hometown installation up to date with any upgrades to the panels.

Lake Lou / Flickr Creative Commons

The University of Idaho’s Canyon County extension office wants to give green thumbs a helping hand.

Horticulturist Rich Guggenheim says signing up for the Pest Alert Network is a great way to know what insects are causing problems in southwest Idaho, and how to deal with them.

 

“The goal is help people know when to spray, if they’re going to choose that option, what to spray with, and – more importantly – the correct way to manage it.”

inciweb.gov

Officials closed a portion of State Highway 21 in both directions in southwest Idaho on Tuesday due to a 7-square-mile wildfire burning trees, brush and grass in rugged terrain.

Fire managers gave no timeline for when the highway might reopen as some 850 firefighters backed by aircraft work on fire lines to contain the blaze that started July 18.

The highway is closed from east of Idaho City to north of Lowman as firefighters prep the area for defensive operations.

The family of a rancher authorities say was shot and killed by two Adams County Sheriff's deputies has filed a legal notice of their intent to sue the county.

The Idaho Statesman reports in a story on Tuesday that the family of Jack Yantis filed a tort claim earlier this year as a precursor to a wrongful death lawsuit seeking $500,000.

Flickr Creative Commons

An Idaho environmental group is accusing a nationwide plastic bag producer of violating federal laws on toxic waste reporting.

The Idaho Conservation League announced Monday that it has notified Novolex — which has a plant in south-central Idaho — that it must begin filing information to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's toxic release inventory database.

A representative for the plastic bag company did not immediately return request for comment.

Andrew Xu / Flickr Creative Commons

Federal authorities say they've launched the first national system intended to prevent hobby drones from interfering with planes and helicopters fighting wildfires.

The U.S. Interior Department announced the kickoff of the pilot project Monday. It uses smartphone apps already on the market to quickly alert drone fliers to temporary flight restrictions over wildfires.

Paul Townsend / Flickr Creative Commons

Police in Idaho are trying to change speed traps by eliminating the "trap" part of the process.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports that local police have started posting officers' locations on the department's Facebook page.

Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Lee White says officers aren't out to ticket drivers but to keep the public safe.

White says the idea came from a fellow police chief who says the program was effective in his department. White says the posts are an easy way to educate people about traffic safety law.

Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr Creative Commons

Ketchum’s water ordinance was put into effect in 1992. To city Public Water Works director Robyn Mattison, the decades-old law shows just how dedicated the city is to water conservation. 

The ordinance bars daytime watering, the idea being that overnight watering when temperatures are cooler is more efficient. Mattison says homeowners are used to the restriction and in the three years she’s been in the position – she hasn’t heard many complaints.

YouTube screengrab / Protect Idaho Kids

A group that wants to repeal laws exempting parents from child abuse prosecution is hard at work this summer. Bruce Wingate is the founder of Protect Idaho Kids, and says parents who deny medical treatment to their children because of their religions should be held to the same standard as all parents.

The nonprofit has produced a series of videos making that case on local TV in Boise. Wingate hopes to get the spots on the air around the state in the next five months.

Twin Falls County's insurance premiums have gone up due to lawsuit settlements paid by Idaho Counties Risk Management Program.

The Times-News reports that the county's insurance payments have increased 58 percent over the past five years from $350,639 for the 2012 fiscal year to $553,114 for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

Montana authorities say an Idaho man was electrocuted when his fishing rod touched a low-hanging power line.

Cascade County sheriff's officials said in a statement Thursday that 64-year-old Leonard Henry Kolbet died at top of the bank of Dry Fork Creek southeast of Great Falls on Sunday.

Sheriff's Capt. Raymond Hitchcock says Kolbet and another person were camping and flyfishing in the area.

He says Kolbet was walking up the creek's bank, carrying the rod slightly above his head, when it touched the power line.

Idaho National Guard

An Oscar-winning filmmaker has asked a judge to prevent the military from forcing him to turn over interviews with Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Attorneys for screenwriter Mark Boal filed a complaint Wednesday in a California federal court seeking to block an upcoming subpoena from North Carolina-based military prosecutors.

The complaint says the prosecutors intend to ask for unedited audio recordings of Boal's interviews with Bergdahl.

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