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3:36 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Event Offers A Rare Glimpse Into Life For Boise Refugees

International Rescue Committtee (IRC) Executive Director Julianne Donnelly Tzul (far right) pictured with some IRC staff.
Credit Jodie Martinson / Boise State Public Radio

If you've wondered what life is like for Boise refugees, a local organization has put together a unique event offering a rare chance to walk in the shoes of a new Idaho refugee.

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Cobell Settlement
1:37 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Native Americans Getting Final Settlement Payments

Hundreds of thousands of Native Americans across the nation have started receiving the final cash payments this week from one of the largest government settlements in U.S. history.

Checks ranging from $869 to nearly $10 million were sent beginning Monday to more than 493,000 people by the administrators of the $3.4 billion settlement.

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School Funding
4:25 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Idaho Voters Tax Themselves $1 Billion To Fill School Budget Holes

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Since July 1, 2007 — and during Butch Otter’s two terms as governor — school districts have backfilled their budgets with more than $1 billion in supplemental property tax levies.

The amount of the levies has steadily grown during Otter’s first eight years in office. So too has districts’ reliance on these short-term voter-approved levies.

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Arts + Culture
11:58 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Idaho Playwright Wins $625,000 MacArthur 'Genius' Grant

Samuel D. Hunter
Credit Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Idaho native Samuel Hunter is one of 21 recipients of this year’s MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as genius grants. Just in his early 30s, the Moscow native has already made a mark on the nation’s theater scene. He’s won numerous awards for his work including the prestigious Obie Award in 2011 for his play “A Bright New Boise.”

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Energy Economy
11:27 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Railroad Wants Second Bridge To Handle Increase In Coal, Oil Trains

Credit side.tracked / Flickr Creative Commons

Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad wants to build a second bridge in northern Idaho to handle an expected increase in traffic that includes coal and oil trains.

Railway spokesman Gus Melonas tells The Spokesman-Review in a story on Wednesday that the one bridge at Sandpoint restricts train traffic.

The railway wants to build another bridge about 50 feet west of the existing bridge that crosses Lake Pend Oreille where it meets the Pend Oreille River.

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Scam
10:52 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Police Say Scammers Targeting Victims In Treasure Valley

Credit Thomas Hawk / Flickr

Con artists are giving new life to an old scam. The Boise Police Department is warning Treasure Valley residents to avoid becoming victims.

The Boise Police Department says scammers are using fear and the threat of arrest to get victims to part with their money. BPD first reported on a version of this scam last November.  Now they say scammers have escalated their efforts to con people out of money.

Here's how the scam works:

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Tourism
10:34 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Ketchum Says Idaho's Wolf Management Policies Hurting Tourism

Credit visitsunvalley.com

The resort town of Ketchum, Idaho, is asking the state to back off on killing wolves. They say it’s bad for business.

The Ketchum City Council passed a resolution Monday night urging wildlife managers to use non-lethal tactics to control the wolf population.

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Legislation
5:05 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Idaho Rep. Labrador Pushes Bipartisan Police Demilitarization Bill

Credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho GOP congressman Raul Labrador is teaming up with a Democratic lawmaker to move a bill designed to curb police militarization among state and local law enforcement agencies.

Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson and Labrador introduced the bill Tuesday. The legislation follows the shooting of a black teenager by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, that sparked a series of riots and increased criticism of police use of military equipment.

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Health Insurance
4:16 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Census Report: High Number Of Idahoans Are Uninsured

Credit census.gov

The percentage of Idahoans with no health insurance was unchanged between 2012 and 2013. A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau says 16.2 percent of the state’s residents lacked health coverage in 2013. That’s about 257,000 people.

The nation as a whole saw a slight decline in the uninsured in that time, from 14.8 percent in 2012 to 14.5 percent in 2013.

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Gun Rights
11:49 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Boise State Agrees To Change Event Policies In Face Of Possible Lawsuit

Boise State University officials say they will change their on-campus event policies after facing a possible lawsuit from private legal organizations.

The Idaho Freedom Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho had accused the university of violating the First Amendment after it charged a student organization security fees for a gun-rights event earlier this year.

University officials had already reimbursed the students $465 but they say will now suspend the policies that allow them to charge for enhanced security.

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Hunting
11:17 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Idaho Fish And Game Cracking Down On Illegal Spotlight Hunting

Credit Gary Beck / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho Fish and Game Department is cracking down on an illegal hunting practice known as "jacklighting." Hunters pull over to the side of a road at night, get out of the car and shine a high powered spotlight on a hillside. Any dear or elk are frozen in place by the sudden glare. Then the hunters shoot.

Fish and Game says the practice is dangerous and unethical, so the department is taking further action to catch and prosecute perpetrators.

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Treefort Music Fest
10:08 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Treefort Music Fest Releases Ticketing Details For 2015, Debuts New Website

Music fans at the RJD2 show during the 2014 festival.
Credit Francis Delapena / Treefort Music Fest

The crew at Treefort Music Fest is already in planning mode for the fourth annual extravaganza.

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Teacher Pay
3:45 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Idaho Task Force Seeks Higher Teacher Salaries

Credit BES Photos / Flickr Creative Commons

A state task force says reforming Idaho's teaching certification must be tied to increasing salaries in order to attract and retain quality teachers in public schools.

The 15-member committee spent most of Monday discussing details of implementing a new teacher pay system commonly known as the career ladder.

However, some members worry that state lawmakers will approve tougher certification requirements without providing funding for higher salaries.

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Arts + Culture
1:41 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Boise State Scientist Using High Tech Tools To Solve An Ancient Mystery

Mummy portrait of a bearded man. A.D. 170-180. From the collection of the Walters Museum.
Credit art.thewalters.org

A Boise State University professor is trying to solve a historical mystery.

Darryl Butt is trying to figure out who was buried in an Egyptian sarcophagus.  Butt, however, is not an archeologist or historian. He’s a materials scientist and associate director of Idaho’s Center for Advanced Energy Studies. He mostly works with nuclear fuels. Butt says his involvement started with a chance meeting with someone from the Walters Museum in Maryland.

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Wildlife
11:15 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Radar Could Help Idaho Drivers Avoid Wildlife Collisions

The radar system was used in Bonners Ferry for a few months last year.
Credit Grizdave / Flickr Creative Commons

A company that makes radar technology used to protect military convoys says it can be adapted to help central Idaho drivers avoid collisions with deer and elk on State Highway 75.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that Sloan Security Technologies last week presented its idea to Blaine County officials and the Idaho Transportation Department.

Company co-founder Brian Sloan says the mobile radar animal detection system alerts drivers with flashing lights when animals are present.

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Medical School
10:16 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Washington State University Gets Approval For New Medical School In Spokane

An existing building on the WSU Spokane campus would be used for a proposed new medical school. WSU faculty already teach University of Washington students here through a collaborative agreement between the universities.
Credit Washington State University

Washington State University's Board of Regents unanimously approved a plan Friday to establish a medical school in Spokane. It has the potential to generate 120 new doctors every year in the Northwest, but the move also tees up a fight between Washington's two largest public universities.

The University of Washington in Seattle is currently the state's only public medical school and it serves as the main destination for med students in a five-state area including Idaho.

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Reader's Corner
6:00 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Author Peter Stark On Astoria, The First Colony Of The West Coast

The rugged coastline of the Pacific Northwest is dotted with historic cities and sea ports. But today’s well-established metropolises belie the imagination and tenacity that it took to settle this wild and remote region.

In 1809, John Jacob Astor -- a young, ambitious New York businessman -- saw the potential of the Northwest coast as a great trading emporium for the western half of the United States. Astor dispatched a land and sea party that he hoped would arrive at what is now Astoria, Oregon. The plan was to set up a Jamestown-like colony and establish a fur trading empire.

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Medical School
1:24 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Washington State University Could Soon Open Medical School

A new report shows Washington State University is ready for a full-fledged medical school in Spokane. It would be one of the biggest educational ventures the school has seen in decades.

Consultants from MGT of America, contracted by WSU, gave this report to the school’s board of regents: WSU is well positioned to develop an accredited medical school in the near future. The group says WSU could seek accreditation in Fall 2015, and have its charter class in 2017.

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Sports + Recreation
11:03 am
Fri September 12, 2014

College Of Idaho Football Returns, Presents 'Refreshing' Option For Fans

Credit College of Idaho

There's been a buzz around the College of Idaho campus this week that hasn't existed there since the 1970s. 

Last weekend the school played - and won - its first football game since 1977. The Yotes beat Pacific University 35-34. College of Idaho plays its first home game Saturday afternoon against Montana Western at Simplot Stadium in Caldwell. 

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Arts + Culture
11:00 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Artist Workshop In Historic Atlanta, Idaho Is All About Self Expression

Credit Kris Hargis / Froelick Gallery

In a 'selfie' dominated world, a group of people are headed to the historic town of Atlanta, Idaho this weekend to immerse themselves in the art of self-portraiture. Painter Kris Hargis is leading a workshop at the Atlanta School, a new arts organization that accepts artists of all ages and levels.

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