News

Lucy Dacus / Facebook

It's that magical time of year when the NPR Music crew puts out their "best of" lists.

Although there aren't any Idaho bands on the list, Boise music fans may recognize a number of artists featured on the critics' 2016 lists. High on Bob Boilen's list is the first album from Lucy Dacus. She performed a solo set for Boise State Public Radio and Storyfort last March, and then played to an enthusiastic crowd at Treefort Music Fest that night.

Traditions of Christmas

During the holidays, you can enjoy choirs, plays and theater from local and national groups – both big and small. Now Nampa has become home to a full-blown Radio City Music Hall-like production, featuring local singers, dancers, and performers. It began with a leap of faith.

Called the Traditions of Christmas, this show is a huge undertaking, with around 65 local cast members, 400 costumes, kick-line dancing, comedic skits and a nativity scene with live animals.

Ada County Courthouse Law Court
Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

According to the Ada County Jury Commissioner’s Office, at least one person has fallen victim to a jury duty scam in Boise. County officials say the scam starts with a phone call from someone claiming to be a police officer. The person then is told they’re in contempt of court and owes $1000 for failure to comply and appear for jury duty.

So far, at least one person says they lost $1000 from the scam. He was instructed over the phone to mail a gift card to the person claiming to be an officer.  

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

California has Yosemite, Montana Yellowstone and Washington Mount Ranier. Every western state has a National Park – except Idaho. But that may change. A group in the small town of Arco is looking to get a nearby National Monument re-designated as Idaho’s first National Park.

Richard Drew / AP Images

According to the Washington Post, Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) has been tapped to lead the Interior Department under Donald Trump. The cabinet position oversees key agencies pertinent to life in the West, including the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

AP

The federal government dropped its efforts to seize hours of unaired interviews an Oscar-winning screenwriter recorded with Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Mark Boal had sued the government to block a military prosecutor who threatened to subpoena 25 hours of interviews for possible use at Bergdahl's court-martial for abandoning his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Legislative auditors say the Idaho Racing Commission failed to give $72,000 to public schools in 2015, but did give $286,000 to horse breeder associations that year.  

Zondervan/Harper Collins

What happens when you turn off the internet for a year? That’s what author Esther Emery wanted to find out a few years ago when she cut the cord to all electronic devices.

Emery and her husband lived in Idaho, met in the Panhandle, and later moved to southern California. She had a successful career. But marital infidelity, giving up her job to become a stay at home mom and a sudden move to the east coast rocked her life.

She found her video screens became an addiction.

Mark Iocchelli / Flickr

Earlier this year, we reported that two Elmore County cats had died after an outbreak of plague in ground squirrels.

Idaho Department of Education

This adorable penguin was drawn by Sawtooth Elementary fifth-grader Kylee Thiel. It was submitted from Twin Falls along with other pictures from around the state in the Idaho State Department of Education's Holiday Card Contest.

Idaho Schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra said Thiel's artwork was the winner. It will be featured on the Department's holiday greeting card. Thiel will also get a certificate and copies of the card to share with family and friends.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

A wolf that escaped from a drive-thru wildlife tourist attraction in southeastern Idaho has been shot and killed by the owner of the business, Idaho officials said.

Courtney Ferguson, the owner of Yellowstone Bear World near Yellowstone National Park, tracked the wolf through snow and shot it about an hour after it escaped from the facility that also has bears, elk, bison and deer.

Bowe Bergdahl
Ted Richardson / AP Images

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s lawyers want President Obama to pardon their client. The attorneys filed the request earlier this month, in a last-ditch effort to get Bergdahl off the hook before a new administration takes over.

 

Military law expert Richard Rosen of the Center for Military Law and Policy says the request for a presidential pardon is the equivalent of a Hail Mary pass.  

“So I’ve not heard of a case like this, but this is a highly unusual case,” says Rosen. 

Jon Preuss / Sawtooth Avalanche Center

An avalanche in southwestern Montana killed a skier over the weekend.

Park County Sheriff Scott Hamilton says 55-year-old Christopher Peterson of Ketchum, Idaho, died. He was skiing with six other people Sunday when the slide buried him in 5 feet of snow near the base of a tree.

Hamilton says probes and an avalanche transceiver helped find Peterson and the other skiers dug him out within 15 to 20 minutes, but he couldn't be resuscitated.

Idaho Statehouse
Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney say the state's four Republican electors will meet next week to cast their ballots for the president of the United States.

Otter and Denney in a statement Monday say the electors will meet at noon on Dec. 19 in the Governor's Ceremonial Office.

Several of Idaho's electors say they've been flooded with emails, telephone calls and Facebook messages from strangers urging them to reconsider their vote for President-elect Donald Trump.

St Luke's Hospital Main Entrance
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A health care provider says it's banning all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones at its facilities throughout Idaho.

St. Luke's Health System in a news release Monday says the ban applies to all employees, patients and visitors.

St. Luke's says signs about the ban will be put up in prominent locations.

Samsung, based in South Korean, recently recalled millions of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones globally because of a problem that causes the batteries to overheat and catch fire.

However, it's believed many of the devices remain in use.

Idaho Freedom Foundation

Following last month’s election, some form of legal marijuana use is allowed in every state that borders Idaho. The Gem State’s strict prohibition of cannabis – even for medicinal purposes – goes against a national trend of increased access.

The libertarian-leaning Idaho Freedom Foundation advocates legalizing a medical form of pot used to treat disorders like epilepsy. The group’s president, Wayne Hoffman, discussed their position with our Matt Guilhem.

AP

The Yakama Nation and other Columbia Basin tribes are praising the passage of a bill in Congress that will return their ancestor, known as Kennewick Man, to the tribes.

The return of the ancient skeleton will allow the tribes to rebury him in the manner their people have followed "since time immemorial."

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray first introduced the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act and was joined by senators from Oregon and Idaho. Murray says a provision in the bill will start the process for returning the Kennewick Man to his "rightful resting place."

Metro Community Services

A group of 10 high school students are learning building techniques as they put together a tiny house in Wilder. As Samantha Wright reports, a partnership designed to teach kids new skills is behind the project.

Alex Cwalinski / Boise State Public Radio

On Sunday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline to carry oil underneath a section of the Missouri River in North Dakota.

For months, this has been the site of protests, led by members of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. In the days leading up to the decision, military veterans joined the protest, including several from Idaho.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican, has introduced a bill that would protect the state's portion of the craggy, scenic Scotchman Peaks.

The Spokesman-Review reports that Risch has proposed legislation that would designate about 14,000 acres of Idaho's land as a federal wilderness area, which would limit development to preserve the land's natural character and ecological function.

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