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Authorities in southwest Idaho say one person is in custody and police are searching for other suspects after finding two men and a woman dead amid a violent crime scene in a home in the Boise foothills.

Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney calls the killings "heinous" and says he's never seen anything as bad in his 31 years in law enforcement.

Raney said at a news conference Wednesday that the killings occurred sometime between Sunday evening and Tuesday morning.

He says police are looking for people connected to a 2003 gold Subaru.

Adam Cotterell / Information from the Tax Foundation

The Tax Foundation released its annual state tax comparison Tuesday. The non-partisan research group says Idahoans pay a little more than $3,000 a year per capita in state and local taxes. That means 9.5 percent of all Idaho personal income goes to local and state taxes. This puts Idaho right in the middle when you rank all the states, but the Gem State looks a little different if you compare it to its neighbors.

Jeff Jones / Flickr Creative Commons

Warm temperatures in February have taken a toll on winter snowpack in the Cascade Mountains and other areas in the West.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service said Wednesday that nearly a third of monitoring sites in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada reported the lowest snowpack ever measured as of March 1, and some sites didn't have snow.

Snowpack in Nevada, Utah and Idaho also fell farther below normal.

The Idaho Legislature will likely extend past its targeted March 27 end-date now that a House panel has killed a long-awaited proposal to boost teacher pay.

The panel's decision on Wednesday came at the same time the state's budget committee announced it would delay setting the education budget. The joint committee's chairmen cited uncertainty over the teacher pay bill for pushing back their budget setting.

Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park | Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho lawmakers have approved spending $400,000 to kill wolves.

The Spokesman-Review reports that the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee approved the money Tuesday for the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board.

The vote maintains the operating budget at the same level as the previous year for the five-member board created last year and operated under the governor's office.

Last year the board spent about $140,000 to kill 31 wolves between July 1 and Jan. 1 at a cost of about $4,500 per wolf.

Idaho is among five U.S. states losing the largest amount of federal timber payments aimed at rural counties and school districts.

Congress let the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act expire in the fall of 2014, leaving Idaho counties and school districts with $26 million less than expected.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

One of the Idaho Legislature's most anticipated pieces of legislation has attracted hundreds of teachers, parents and educational state officials to the Capitol eager to testify and lobby for more money for public school teachers.

However, after listening to nearly three hours of testimony Tuesday morning, House lawmakers are still nowhere closer to sealing the fate of a bill that would pump $125 million into teacher salaries.

The Idaho House Education Committee is scheduled to continue listening to testimony at 2:30 p.m.

Mark K. / Flickr

Boise and surrounding cities could break a record Tuesday, but keep a rain slicker handy for the storm moving in Wednesday night.

“Today we’re going for a high of 71, the record high for today is 73 in Boise, so it’s going to be close,” says National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Groenert.

Normally this time of year would see highs around 53 degrees.

Alan Krakauer / Flickr

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has released the initial plan for a new wildfire-fighting strategy to protect a wide swath of intermountain West sagebrush country that supports cattle ranching and is home to a struggling bird species.

The 27-page report released Tuesday calls for protecting areas most at risk by using veteran crews, rural fire departments and fire protection associations made up of ranchers who can respond quickly. The previous strategy didn't call for specific efforts to protect the habitat.

Dan Stahler / Yellowstone National Park | Flickr

Idaho officials say 19 wolves have been killed in northern Idaho in an effort to reduce wolf numbers and increase the elk population.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game on Monday announced the killings carried out last month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services in the Lolo Hunting Zone.

Jerome Hansen of Fish and Game tells the Lewiston Tribune in Lewiston that elk numbers in the region have dropped dramatically over the past 26 years.

Maryland Gov pics / Flickr Creative Commons

Author Sherman Alexie is speaking in Boise Wednesday, but the event at the 744-seat Egyptian Theater sold out three minutes after going on sale to the general public. That may have something to do with the free publicity Alexie has had in the Treasure Valley.

ProPublica / http://bit.ly/1Bkivmf

Investigative news outlet ProPublica partnered with NPR to compile a trove of data about workers compensation laws across the country. Their findings paint a vivid picture of how workers comp – established to ensure injured workers get the medical help they need after getting hurt on the job – has been significantly eroded by state legislatures, and how the scaling back of those benefits has impacted workers.

Albert Lynn / Flickr Creative Commons

Two House Republicans say they have a last-minute proposal to raise $70 million to $100 million per year in new transportation funding.

The House Transportation and Defense Committee is slated to consider the eleventh-hour proposal Tuesday. The plan would draw from overall tax revenue growth and a temporary five-cent fuel tax increase to tackle the state's $262 million annual transportation shortfall.

The Idaho House has endorsed increasing fines for violating the state's open meeting law.

Republican Rep. Linden Bateman told House members Monday that the fees hadn't been raised since the original law passed four decades ago.

The plan is slated to increase the fine fivefold — from $50 to $250 — in order to cover the cost of inflation. More severe violations could cost up to $2,500.

The bill passed 58-11. It now goes to the Senate for approval.

Keary O. / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho lawmakers are once again seeking to remove a special exemption that allows elected officials to carry concealed guns without a permit.

The House State Affairs Committee voted Monday to introduce the bill, which would rewrite most of the state's concealed weapon laws and clarify confusing sections for law enforcement and citizens.

Last year, a similar bill passed the House 62-7, but failed to pass a Senate panel.

internet, computer, broadband,
Sean MacEntee / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho school districts are saving the state millions of dollars after being forced to negotiate their own broadband services to replace a state contract deemed illegal earlier this year.

State budget writers approved allocating $6.3 million on Monday to fund school broadband services for one more year.

The amount is based on data provided to the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee showing that most schools have negotiated their own contracts at much lower rates than the state did when it was in charge of the now obsolete Idaho Education Network.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Basin School District in Idaho City has something most districts in the state don’t, preschool.

On Wednesdays, 12 preschoolers leave their small house-turned-school and walk across the playground to the high school’s music room. The children sit cross-legged in a circle and the music teacher hands out two brightly-colored sticks to each student. Music class for these preschoolers is all about rhythm, following directions, and giggling.

Congress let the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act expire in the fall of 2014, leaving Idaho counties and school districts with $26 million less than expected.

Idaho counties will bear the brunt of this loss. Seventy percent of Secure Rural Schools money goes to counties for things like road maintenance. Thirty percent goes to school districts.

Data from the Idaho Association of Counties shows Idaho County will lose more money than any other county, nearly $7.3 million.

L.Hutton / Flickr Creative Commons

Oregon, Idaho, and Washington residents are among the top polluters in the nation when it comes to fine particle emissions from burning wood to heat homes.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists Oregon, Idaho and Washington as seventh, eighth and ninth respectively in per capita emissions.

The three states share chilly climates, a tradition of wood burning, and lots of national forest land with easy access and where U.S. Forest Service managers appreciate the removing of some trees to reduce potential forest fires.

Curtesy City of Boise

Boise City Council President Maryanne Jordan is now a state senator. Jordan was appointed to the body by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter after Sen. Elliot Werk, D-Boise, resigned to join the Idaho Tax Commission.

Jordan will fill the District 17 seat. 

“I believe Maryanne has proven herself to be a dedicated public servant with a long track record of notable achievement and civic leadership,” said Gov. Otter in a press release. “I have every confidence that she will continue that laudable legacy as the newest member of the Idaho Legislature.”

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