News

David Walsh / U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

The discovery of a mammoth skull near eastern Idaho’s American Falls reservoir recently made national headlines. But scientists' work on the mammoth has just begun.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's legal fees so far to defend the now-voided Idaho Education Network high school broadband service contract are about $870,000.

The Idaho Department of Administration tells The Spokesman Review in a story on Friday that it has paid about $600,000 in legal fees to date.

The Idaho Attorney General's Office says it has spent about $270,000.

A judge in Boise voided the $60 million statewide contract Tuesday after finding the Idaho Department of Administration violated the state's procurement law.

Bogus Basin, ski
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

This post was updated at 3:15 p.m. Nov. 14:

Those who operate Bogus Basin ski area say they're now "in wait-and-see" mode. Snow totals have been on the low side of forecasters' predictions for the mountain.

General Manager Alan Moore says the ski hill needs three or four more inches of packable snow in order to open a limited number of runs this weekend.

"At this point, without more snow, we're not opening," Moore said Friday afternoon. "And as of right now it's not snowing."

The Idaho Youth Ranch is moving one of its residential care facilities from Rupert to Canyon County.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the Ranch Campus program, which provides residential care and therapy to Idaho kids who are in crisis, will be moving to a large property near the small town of Middleton in southwestern Idaho sometime in the next few years.

The Idaho Youth Ranch works with at-risk kids and their families to provide emergency shelter, substance abuse treatment, job training and counseling.

An Idaho school official says high school students relying on the Idaho Education Network to complete a state-required math course may not be able to graduate now that the broadband contract is void.

Earlier this week, a judge tossed out Idaho's $60 million school broadband contract. Fourth District Judge Patrick Owen ruled Tuesday that it wasn't legally struck.

Tim Hagen / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho resort towns like Coeur d’Alene, Sun Valley and McCall had higher crime rates than most of the state’s other towns and cities according to the FBI’s annual report of crime stats released this week.

Kevin Wolff, who teaches criminal justice at John Jay College in New York, says many resort towns are in the same boat.

Add The Words
Frankie Barnhill / For Boise State Public Radio

Four Idaho cities have made the latest rankings of a national group that advocates for the rights of lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender people. 

The Washington D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign released its third annual Municipal Equality Index Wednesday. Boise, Idaho Falls, Meridian and Nampa are among the 353 cities ranked. The organization assigns cities a score based on "LGBT inclusion in municipal law and policy." It examines 47 different criteria in six categories.

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

Idaho is on track to become the only Republican-dominated state to launch its own health insurance exchange when enrollment opens Nov. 15.

But the state exchange is facing pressure to function just as well as the federal exchange when it first opened for enrollment last year.

While the federal exchange's website experienced serious glitches when it first launched, it quickly outperformed other state exchanges in the following weeks. States like Oregon chose to rely on the federal government's site because it was too costly and time-consuming to fix their own.

Two mines in northern Idaho have agreed to merge.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports that U.S. Silver will merge with Scorpio Mining Corp. The companies announced the merger Friday.

U.S. Silver owns and operates the Galena Mine complex in the Silver Valley's Coeur d'Alene Mining District, which is just west of Wallace. Scorpio is a Toronto-based silver producer, which owns the Nuestro Senora Mine in Mexico.

Darren Blasutti will become the president and chief executive officer of the new management team.

Albion, Mayor
Ed Glazar / Times-News

The tiny town of Albion, Idaho made national headlines a year ago when its mayoral election ended in a tie and the outcome was then decided by a coin toss. Now, a year after winning that coin toss and keeping his seat as Albion’s mayor, Don Bowden has stepped down because of health problems.

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

In a ruling that could have major implications for broadband service in schools — and a multimillion-dollar price tag for  Idaho taxpayers — a District Court judge has tossed out Idaho’s $60 million school broadband contract.

The disputed Idaho Education Network contract was declared void late Monday afternoon by 4th District Court judge Patrick Owen.

Owen sharply criticized the state Department of Administration for continuing to try to salvage the 2009 contract, after carving Syringa Networks out of the deal to provide broadband to 219 high schools across the state.

firetruck, boise, firefighters
Nicholas D. / Flickr Creative Commons

The City of Boise and the Firefighters Union are negotiating a new labor contract. At issue is how much firefighters should be paid.

Last year, the average department employee made $85,000, plus another $50,000 for insurance and retirement, according to the Idaho Statesman. That’s up 24 percent from a decade ago. However, two years ago, firefighters refused a contractual raise.

map, weather
National Weather Service

The first major winter storm of the season is headed for Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, bringing with it the season's first hard freeze and snowfall to the Treasure Valley.

There’s a good chance of snow on Thursday in the Boise area.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Les Colin says an arctic air mass is coming in from central Canada.

“There was a typhoon whose remnants went up into the Bering Sea,” Colin says, “and it created an intense storm there and the consequences spread into North America and then down south into Canada and into the United States.”

Jim Pasco / Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is reporting a record high number of visitors in October.

Just over 194,800 visited the park in October, surpassing the previous October record of over 189,000 set in 2010. 

There were over 3.4 million recreational visits to Yellowstone in the first 10 months of 2014, an increase of over 10 percent over the same period last year.

With two months left in the calendar year, 2014 is already the second-highest visitation year on record. The park's peak year was 2010, when there were over 3.6 million visitors.

Donald Sandquist / Flickr Creative Commons

In a survey released by Republican Sen. Mike Crapo's office a third of more than 1,000 Idaho veterans who responded say they're unhappy with health care through the Veterans Administration.

In honor of Veteran's Day, we're broadcasting this interview with Adam Makos.  The program was originally broadcast in March, 2014.

On December 20th, 1943, a crippled B-17 bomber desperately headed for the safety of the German coast and the North Sea. Piloted by a 21-year-old American airman on his first combat mission, it had been strafed by enemy fire after dropping a bomb load on the German town of Bremen. With half its crew dead or injured, its tail nearly blown away and gaping holes in its fuselage, the besieged bomber struggled to stay aloft.

Idaho National Guard

This story was updated Nov. 7 at 12:00 p.m.

The Idaho National Guard has identified the two soldiers who were killed Thursday near Gowen Field when their Apache helicopter crashed.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Stien P. Gearheart, 50, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jon L. Hartway, 43, were killed when the helicopter they were piloting crashed during night training. Gearheart was from Meridian, Hartway was from Kuna. 

The Guard says both men were part of the 1-183rd Attack Reconnaissance Battalion based in Boise.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Republicans will take control of the U.S. Senate in January. That could mean more influence for Idaho’s two Republican senators.

When a new party takes control, each of the Senate’s 20 committees and 68 subcommittees get a new leader. Sarah Binder studies Congress at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. She describes it as a big round of musical chairs. Binder says heading a Congressional committee brings power.

Rae Allen / Flickr

The founders of a Bend craft brewery that's being sold to Anheuser-Busch are promising "business as usual."

But the sale of 10 Barrel Brewing Co. is causing ripples in the lively Central Oregon craft beer trade.

The Bend Bulletin reports reaction among fellow brewers ranging from well-wishing to a lament that the deal felt like a family member had died.

10 Barrel co-founder Jeremy Cox says key managers will remain in place, including his brother, Chris, overseeing the brewery.

sage grouse, wildlife
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr Creative Commons

The directors of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management say a listing of sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act can be avoided.

Dan Ashe of Fish and Wildlife and Neil Kornze of BLM made the comments Thursday in Boise as some of the nation's top federal land managers and rangeland scientists gathered at a conference to find ways to protect sage grouse habitat from massive wildfires.

In the last decade huge swaths of sage brush range the birds depend on have been destroyed by wildfires that often involve fire-prone invasive plants.

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