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Bowe Bergdahl
3:10 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

House Panel Condemns Obama For Bergdahl Prisoner Swap

A House panel has voted to condemn President Barack Obama for the May swap of five Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held prisoner in Afghanistan for five years.

The Armed Services Committee voted 34-25 on Tuesday for a nonbinding, bipartisan resolution that disapproves of the exchange and faults Obama for failing to notify Congress 30 days in advance, as required by law.

Politics
1:06 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Longtime Political Reporter Popkey To Head Idaho Congressman's Press Team

Dan Popkey joined the Idaho Statesman in 1984.
Credit Courtesy Idaho Statesman

Longtime Idaho political reporter Dan Popkey is leaving his job at the Idaho Statesman to be Rep. Raul Labrador's new press secretary.

A press release from the Republican Congressman's office Tuesday says Popkey will be based in Meridian, and coordinate communications for Idaho and Washington, D.C. 

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Wildlife
12:02 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Idaho Suspends Plan For Hired Wolf Hunter

Credit Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks

Idaho Fish and Game officials say they're suspending a plan to use a hired hunter to kill wolves in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness until at least November of 2015.

Idaho's Wildlife Bureau Chief Jeff Gould made the declaration in a document filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week.

The Fish and Game Department and the U.S. Forest Service are being sued by Defenders of Wildlife, Western Watersheds Project and other environmental groups over the plan to have a hired hunter kill wolves in the protected wilderness area.

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Politics
11:46 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Judge Rules Peterson Is No Longer Chairman Of Idaho's Republican Party

Peterson, left, talks with Gov. Otter the day after the GOP's May primary.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Barry Peterson is no longer the chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, that's the ruling from 5th District Judge Randy Stoker.

“His term has expired,” Stoker told the court.

The judge’s ruling came after extensive arguments that lasted for more than two hours in court this morning in Twin Falls.

“This is not a question of this court taking any position with regard to what the Republican Party should do in this state,” Stoker said. “I have no dog in this fight, so to speak.” - Spokesman-Review

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Idaho News
4:24 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Idaho Takeover Of Private Prison Hasn't Been Problem-Free

Credit DestinysAgent / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho prison officials say they had to have thousands of dollars' worth of medications shipped overnight to the state's largest prison after the former operator, Corrections Corporation of America, left the facility without a promised 8-day supply of inmate medications.

IDOC officials also say they discovered that some chronically ill inmates went without needed medical care and that some records were missing when they assumed control of the prison last month.

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Business
3:50 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Boise Co-op To Open A Second Store

Current Boise Co-op location in Boise's Northend.
Credit boise.coop

The Boise Co-op announced Monday that it would open a second store in the Village at Meridian.

Co-op marketing director Shannon McGuire says two surveys solidified managers goals of opening a second store.

“We asked our shoppers ‘what should we do, where should we go if we considered expansion?’” McGuire says. “And out of that came ‘yes, please do expand and go West.’”

McGuire says survey respondents picked Meridian as their top choice for a second store. The second-most requested store location was Nampa, and McGuire says that could someday become a reality.

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Business
3:22 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Some Business Owners Say Idaho Liquor Laws Hurt Economic Growth

Credit Therese Tjernstrom / Flickr Creative Commons

Some Idaho business owners say the state's laws limiting the number of liquor licenses in each city stunt local economic growth.

The Idaho Statesman reports that Idaho's liquor regulation has resulted in a scarcity of liquor licenses, which in turn has caused business owners to resell licenses at exorbitant costs.

Licenses may be purchased from the state for $750 and in just two years, resold for more than $300,000.

According to Idaho law, each municipality is allotted one liquor license for every 1,500 residents.

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Idaho News
11:37 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Court: St. Luke's Health System Can Keep Saltzer

A federal appeals court says one of Idaho's largest health care providers can continue to operate Nampa-based Saltzer Medical Group while it challenges a prior ruling that it broke antitrust laws in its buyout of Saltzer.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said Friday the appeal is a priority and will schedule the case in January.

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Wildfires
10:50 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Idaho's Whiskey, Mack Fires Fully Contained

Mop up work on the fires will continue this week.
Credit Boise National Forest

Idaho's Whiskey Complex and Mack fires burning north of Boise are now fully contained. A Boise National Forest spokesman says mop up and monitoring of the fires will continue Monday.

The Whiskey Complex was a series of fires sparked by lightning on July 13. It has burned 9,446 acres south of Garden Valley on the Boise National Forest. Spokesman David Olson says isolated areas of smoke will still be visible this week as the fire smolders within its containment lines.

The Mack fire was one of 27 fires started by lightning last week. It burned 229 acres.

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Agriculture
9:44 am
Mon July 28, 2014

USDA Approves Emergency Grazing In Eastern Idaho

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved emergency haying and grazing on land normally used for the Conservation Reserve Program in parts of eastern Idaho.

Officials in Bingham, Bonneville, Fremont, Madison and Power counties requested the emergency access because of drought and crop damage. The USDA's Farm Service Agency in Idaho announced Monday that the requests were approved.

The emergency haying is allowed through the end of August, and participants must leave at least half of each field unhayed for wildlife. The hay can't be sold.

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Reader's Corner
6:00 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Part 2 Of An Interview With Daniel James Brown About "The Boys In The Boat"

This interview was originally broadcast in December, 2013:

This is the second part of an interview with Daniel James Brown, Author of "The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics"

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Health
12:32 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

West Nile Virus Found In Ada County

Credit Ben Rauch / Flickr

West Nile virus is in Ada County. A mosquito trap near Star, Idaho tested positive for West Nile this week. It the first instance of the disease in Ada County this year.

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Policy
4:16 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Gov. Otter Didn't Know 8 Immigrant Children Have Been Sent To Idaho In Border Surge

Gov. Otter with First Lady Lori Otter at a recent Republican event at the Capitol.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

This post was updated at 10:00 a.m. July 25, 2014.

This week, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter sent a letter to federal officials telling them not to send any of the unaccompanied young migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border to Idaho.

However, federal officials say they've already sent children from the border to Idaho.

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Culture
3:03 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

What Are The Sounds That Make Your Idaho City Home?

Floaters drift down the Boise River on a July day.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

On a hot summer day, the sounds that echo through Boise State Public Radio's windows along the Boise River are the shrieks and squeals of floaters drifting downstream.

A mini-rapid is right in front of the newsroom, and it's at that spot where floaters tend to get a healthy dose of cold river water. Their giggles, shock-induced screams, and mild expletives mixed with the constant churn of fast-moving water, are a lovely reminder of summer in Boise. It's a sound that likely defines Boise.

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Wildfires
11:20 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Fire Managers Nearing Containment On Most Lightning-Caused Wildfires North Of Boise

Credit Photo Courtesy Boise National Forest

This post was updated at 11:15 a.m. July 25, 2014.

Fire officials say they've nearly contained all 27 of Wednesday's lightning-caused wildfires on the Boise National Forest and state lands north of Boise.

The Mack Fire is still the largest, now estimated at 270 acres. It's now 10 percent contained.

This post was updated at 10:25 a.m. July 24, 2014.

A Boise National Forest spokesman says 14 of 27 lightning-caused fires burning on federal and state lands north of Boise are now contained.

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Policy
10:20 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Gov. Otter Tells Federal Officials Not To Send Migrant Kids To Idaho

Credit Idaho Statesman

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has sent a letter to federal officials telling them not to send any of the unaccompanied young migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border to Idaho.

Otter on Wednesday sent the letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez.

Idaho has not been contacted by federal officials about bringing any of the children to Idaho.

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Wildfires
10:00 am
Thu July 24, 2014

At More Than 9,000 Acres, The Whiskey Complex Fire Is 75 Percent Contained

A firefighter uses a drip torch along the South Fork Payette River Road.
Credit Photo Courtesy Boise National Forest

This story was updated at 10:00 a.m. July 24, 2014. 

The Whiskey Complex Fire burning in the Boise National Forest is now 75 percent contained.

The fire is estimated at 9,446 acres. The Forest Service says 851 people are staffing the fire, which is expected to be fully contained by July 28.

The voluntary evacuation order for 60 homes along the South Fork Road has been lifted, while the closure of the South Fork Payette River Road is still in effect. Access to that road is only available to fire crews and residents.

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Environment
6:30 am
Thu July 24, 2014

At Least One Idaho Wind Farm Has Been Scrapped Because Of Sage Grouse

A southeast Idaho wind farm
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The New York Times reports more than two dozen energy projects in the West have been scuttled because of sage grouse, at least one of those projects was supposed to be built in Idaho.

The sage grouse represents a much bigger challenge for states like Idaho than its turkey-like stature might suggest. The bird is considered an important part of the high desert ecosystem, but it's sensitive to man-made development and its numbers are declining.

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Recreation
11:59 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Forest Service Expands Ban Of Exploding Targets

The U.S. Forest Service has banned exploding targets in southern Idaho, southwestern Wyoming, Nevada, Utah and a small portion of eastern California because of wildfire and public safety concerns.

Intermountain Region Forester Nora Rasure issued the ban that started Wednesday and runs through July 22, 2015, on national forest lands.

Some target shooters use exploding targets because they contain chemicals that mix when struck by a bullet and create a loud bang and big puff of smoke.

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Sports
10:49 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Fox Won't Broadcast Stuntman's Snake River Canyon Jump

Beckley is a 63-year-old who's been jumping motorcycles since the mid 1970s. At 285 lbs. he bills himself as the world's largest motorcycle jumper.
Credit Big Ed Beckley's Facebook page

The Times-News reports that the Fox television network won't broadcast Texas stuntman "Big" Ed Beckley's planned Snake River Canyon motorcycle jump.

On his Facebook page, Beckley writes the network didn't have the money to broadcast the event.

"We received the final word the executes at FOX TV have backed away from the Snake River Canyon Jump. It was not in their new budget for us to make the jump.

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