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The Treefort Music Festival is preparing for what will likely be its biggest year since it began in 2012. And as it grows, new elements of the festival continue to emerge.  This year attendees will see another branch of the festival with a focus on food issues.  Tara Morgan is one of the organizers of Foodfort. She says that aspect of the festival will feature two components.

“For the taste component we have 10 local chefs that are utilizing mostly local ingredients to create small plates, and then talks which is a series of panels and discussions related to food,” Morgan said.

Nampa Police Department

Last night, the Nampa Police Department turned into baseball players to show kids a good time.

The Department got a call from a gentleman who said the neighbor kids were playing baseball in a yard with a metal ball and bat. He was worried about property damage and wanted the police to respond.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge has denied a request by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to dismiss a lawsuit by eastern Idaho potato growers seeking to end a quarantine after the discovery of a microscopic pest that caused some countries to ban Idaho spuds.

But the U.S. District Court ruling earlier this month did dismiss Idaho officials from the lawsuit, noting state court was the proper venue concerning potential violations of state law.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Democrats will caucus Tuesday night at 40 locations around Idaho. In order to participate, people cannot have voted in Idaho’s Republican or Constitution Party primary earlier this month and they have to be willing to sign a paper saying they consider themselves Democrats.

The Idaho Democratic Party wants people to show up between 5:00 and 6:00 at their caucus locations. The state party website says doors will close promptly at 7:00 MT (6:00 PT) and no one will be admitted after that.

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

State budget writers have signed off on a surprise $8 million request from top legislative leaders to pay for a possible settlement in Idaho's losing legal battle over an illegal statewide contract for broadband in public schools.

The Joint Finance Appropriations Committee voted 19-1 on Tuesday to approve the request of House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill.

Earlier this month, the Idaho Supreme Court upheld a lower court's ruling voiding the $60 million statewide contract in a drawn-out legal process.

Francis Delapena / Treefort Music Fest

Happy #Treefort2016, intrepid music voyagers.

 

Les Bois Park Instant Horse Racing (3)
Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's largest horse racing operation is closing after 40 years in business.

Les Bois Park closed its doors permanently on Sunday. Treasure Valley Racing officials say the park can't afford to stay open without horse racing terminals.

Known as instant horse racing, the machines allow bettors to place wages on prior horse races with no identifiable information. The machines have spinning wheels, sounds and animations that mimic slot machines, which are illegal in Idaho. The state ruled the terminals illegal last year.

Michael Smith / Treefort Music Fest

Of the 450 bands that will perform at Treefort Music Fest this week (March 23-27), 25 are international acts. That is the largest number of bands from across the pond to play at five-year-old festival. 

According to festival director Eric Gilbert, the increase in groups from around the globe is in part because the reputation of Treefort has travelled beyond U.S. borders. 

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Commission on the Arts (ICA) turns 50 this year. The organization, which is funded equally by state and federal funds, has a lot planned for its future. They're celebrating their big year with an arts-fueled social media campaign they're asking the public to take part in. (For more info on Art Sparks! Day, click here.)

 

screengrab truth208.org

The Idaho Meth Project has been warning about the dangers of methamphetamine through graphic advertising and outreach to teens since 2008. Now, the pet project of Idaho’s governor and first lady - Butch and Lori Otter - has changed its name and its focus.

The re-christened “Idaho Prevention Project” will continue its anti-meth message using the old name, but director Adrean Cavener says it will have a similar campaign called Truth 208 aimed at abuse of legal drugs like prescription opiates .

data from Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

We told you this week that the heroin epidemic much of the country is experiencing has not yet reached Idaho but that it could soon. However, some people say heroin is already a big problem here.

Henry Whiting II

Nestled in the Hagerman Valley sits the only structure in Idaho designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Known as Teater’s Knoll, this artist retreat was built in 1952.

Lucy Dacus / Facebook

Boise State Public Radio is excited to host a special performance with Lucy Dacus, one of the 400+ bands set to play Treefort Music Fest. Dacus will play a free "prefort" show Wednesday, March 23 at 11 a.m. The event will take place at The Linen Building, 1402 W. Grove St, Boise.

Ted Richardson / AP

Well before Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his Army post in Afghanistan, he washed out of the Coast Guard during boot camp when he suffered a panic attack.

Two years later, though, he joined the Army, obtaining a waiver from rules that bar the enlistment of those with psychological problems.

The details about his mental health — including the Army's later diagnosis of Bergdahl as suffering from "schizotypal personality disorder" — are contained in newly released documents that offer a glimpse of the legal strategy his lawyers may use in the desertion case against him.

Boise Shriners-Treefort Partnership Has Benefits For Both Groups

Mar 18, 2016
Patrick Sweeney / Treefort Music Fest

Shriners are generally known for riding around in miniature cars in parades, for circuses they sponsor and for the hospitals they operate for children.

But in Boise, Shriners have also become a linchpin in helping downtown host Treefort Music Fest, the City of Trees' annual indie music festival.

Bart / Flickr

Families living in a mobile home park in Nampa will get a knock on the door Thursday from city officials, telling them their homes are unsafe. Seventeen homeowners will face an order that says they have seven days to find another place to live.

KBOI TV first reported this week the problems at the Rushmore Mobile Home Park. The park has a private - and now faulty - sewer system. The owner has a temporary fix in place that leaves homeowners without running toilets and with access to tap water just one hour a day.

screengrab countyhealthrankings.org / Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The healthiest counties in Idaho are Valley, Ada and Blaine. The least healthy are Clearwater, Benewah and Owyhee. That’s according to this year’s national county health rankings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. [For interactive versions of the maps above and to see previous years, click here.]

Bill Williams / Flickr Creative Commons

Anyone with an idea about bike lanes in downtown Boise is invited to voice their opinion at City Hall at 5:00 p.m. The Ada County Highway District (ACHD) will host an open house Wednesday in Boise to go over four options for expanded bike lanes in the city’s downtown. Ada County Commissioner Paul Woods says the goal is to get as many people as possible to attend.

WBEZ / Flickr Creative Commons

There’s a story you hear in small towns and big cities all over the country. It goes like this: a lot of people get addicted to prescription opioid pain killers like oxycodone. When they can’t get those anymore they turn to heroin because the experience is similar and heroin is cheaper and easier to get. Much of the United States is now experiencing what is widely being called a heroin epidemic.

In Idaho we have the first part of that story. Walter Bogucki is an inpatient counselor at Port of Hope, a drug treatment center in Nampa.

The Latest on the rape kit legislation that cleared the Idaho Legislature:

2:45 p.m.

An Idaho sheriff says the Legislature shouldn't have gotten involved in creating a statewide system for collecting and tracking rape kits because many rape accusations are false.

Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland made the comments to Idaho Falls TV station KIDK on Monday before lawmakers unanimously approved the new system and sent the measure to the governor.

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