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Idaho Education News

Twin Falls’ refugee program brings together students from diverse backgrounds. It does the same with teachers.

The district’s co-teaching model groups “the content police and the language police,” said Kimberly Allen, an instructional coach at Twin Falls’ Canyon Ridge High School. A subject expert — such as a math teacher — works alongside a colleague who specializes in working with English language learners.

“We’ve jokingly called them arranged marriages,” said Allen.

National Interagency Fire Center

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise has released its latest fire predictions for 2016.

Wildfire officials say southern Idaho could see above normal fire activity in July and August, while El Nino rains and warmer temperatures in the late spring and early summer could lead to lots of fuels. Lush grasses in May and June should dry by July, increasing the potential for rangeland wildfires. 

DraftKings / Facebook

Two national daily sports fantasy contests have agreed to stop offering their games to Idaho consumers. 

The Idaho Attorney General’s office announced Monday an agreement with DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Inc. Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says the settlement was reached after three months of negotiations.

“The concern I have is that the paid daily sports offerings provided by these companies constitute gambling under Idaho law,” Wasden says in a news release.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

In an email to supporters, the Idaho Republican Party boasts that for the first time ever, more Idahoans are registered as Republicans than as Democrats or unaffiliated. The GOP says the March presidential primary recorded the highest turnout ever for a primary in the state.

This comes as no surprise to Jaclyn Kettler, political science professor at Boise State University. She says at the time of the March primary, the Republican presidential nomination was still very much up for grabs.

Idaho Education News

In terms of geography and culture, Twin Falls can scarcely be farther removed from Afghanistan or Iran, Burma or Nepal.

Yet in schools such as Twin Falls’ Lincoln Elementary School, in a portable building abutting a blacktop playground, newly arrived refugee students begin their long and stark transition to American schools.

Idaho Education News

Some refugee students at Boise’s Hillside Junior High School remember the schools in their homelands — where teachers hit their students, or where teachers feared being hit by students.

Then there are the refugee students who have spent little time in any classroom.

“You have to learn how to be a student,” said Rita Hogan, a teacher in Boise’s English Language Development program. “And that’s tough, when you’re a seventh-grader, and you’re learning algebra.”

If you think money has too great a role in Idaho politics, or worry that it could be headed that way, you have until tomorrow to give Idaho voters a chance to decide on some restrictions.

An effort by the political advocacy group Keep Idaho Elections Accountable to reform Idaho’s campaign finance laws needs 48,000 signatures by Saturday to get proposed changes on the ballot in November.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An initiative to update Idaho’s laws around campaign finance has until Monday at 5 p.m. to reach the signature threshold. Former Democratic state lawmaker Holli Woodings is leading the initiative, called Keep Idaho Elections Accountable.

Woodings says that if the initiative passes muster, voters in November will have the chance to decide how Idaho deals with money in politics.

courtesy Snake River Alliance

Idaho’s first commercial solar power project won’t be operational this month as predicted. But one of the companies involved in the project says it should come online by the end of May.

The state’s first solar power farm is on about 500 acres just southwest of Boise. When the project, known as Boise City Solar, is finished it will produce enough megawatts to power 29,000 homes during good solar exposure. That’s more homes than a city the size of Idaho Falls.

Who owns it?

City of Boise

On Sunday evening, hot water poured on to the intersection of Grove and 3rd streets in downtown Boise. Steam filled the air as a leak from the city's underground geothermal line brought attention to a system not many people know much about.

Peter Morrill / Boise State Public Radio

In southeast Boise, Boise State University's Ron and Linda Yanke Family Research Park sits between the Boise River and Parkcenter Boulevard. Because of its lush green campus and proximity to the water, the building is home to many geese who choose to nest and settle in along the facility. The building is also home to Boise State Public Radio. (You may have even heard on-air geese making noise directly above our studios.)

Though goose and gosling sightings are common at the station, a particular family of geese has captured our attention.

Flickr Creative Commons

Residents of a southeast Boise neighborhood say at least 25 cats have disappeared from the area in the last few months and are concerned missing cats could be a problem throughout the city.

Cat owners tell KBOI-TV that felines started disappearing last July and then again in the last few weeks.

Erin Liedtke says five stray cats living in her garage for eight years all vanished in the last nine months.

Humane Society spokeswoman Allison Maier says predators are a big concern and a reason cats go missing.

screengrab / National Geographic Channel

Mud baths aren't just for spa-loving humans.

A National Geographic video captured both grizzlies and black bears submerging in what's referred to as a "bear bathtub" in Yellowstone National Park. The natural swimming hole serves as a place for the bears to cool off, take a drink and get squeaky clean.

Cameras placed around the hole recorded the action, giving insight into the iconic predators' behavior.

Penn State / Flickr Creative Commons

A recent audit found significant problems with the federally-managed nuclear waste treatment plant west of Idaho Falls.

The Post Register reports the audit outlined cost overruns, a lack of rigorous testing and other management issues at the Department of Energy facility known as the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit.

The DOE Office of the Inspector General's report says the project's construction costs have exceeded the $571 million cap set in 2010 and will likely continue to accrue.

Chobani, Greek Yogurt
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Chobani says it is giving its employees an ownership stake in the privately held company.

The Greek yogurt maker says the shares being distributed would amount to 10 percent of the company's future value in the event of a sale or initial public offering. It says each of its approximately 2,000 full-time employees will receive shares based on their role and time spent with the company.

 

Chobani says CEO and founder Hamdi Ulukaya is meeting with employees this week to talk about the plan in person.

Glen Hush / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Raptor biologist Janie Veltkamp met Beauty in 2007. Beauty is a 14-year-old bald eagle, and back then the bird was struggling to survive. She had been illegally shot in the wild, and lost her upper beak from the trauma. Without her upper beak – which is vital to eating – she wasn’t expected to live very long.

phone, office
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A new phone scam has hit the area, according to the Boise Police Department.

Scammers are able to manipulate the caller ID so the phone call appears to be from a BPD phone number. They claim Boise Police have a warrant out for their arrest on an unpaid payday type loan. The scammers say officers will arrest them unless the money is paid over the phone.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A group of Boise State students has built a tool for NASA that one day might go into space. The Microgravity team is in NASA in Houston this week, where it will be tested by experts. If it does well, NASA may use the design on a mission to study asteroids.

“It’s kind of heavy. This is last year’s tool, if it wants to cooperate,” Boise State University student Chris Ruby is holding what looks like a weird, oversized pistol with boxes on one end. Everyone on the Microgravity team calls it “The Tool.”

UPDATE: As of 3:06 p.m. Tuesday, we are very pleased to announce that regular KBSS programming service to the Wood River Valley has been restored. Today, technicians from CenturyLink repaired the leased T-1 line that provides our programming service audio feed to the Seattle Ridge KBSS transmitter, which service the greater Wood River Valley.

Discover McCall Facebook page

Update on April 27, 2016:  Valley County officials learned Wednesday that they will advance to the top eight in the America’s Best Communities competition. They’ll bring home $100,000 to begin implementing an economic development plan. In 11 months the contest sponsors Frontier Communications, DISH Network and the Weather Channel will assess how well the eight communities are implementing their plans. They’ll then choose three winners who will receive $1 million, $2 million and $3 million.

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