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Devin Ferrell / Hackfort, Treefort Music Fest

The technology-centered offshoot of Treefort Music Fest, Hackfort, got about as high-profile an endorsement an event can ask for.

During his address at Boise State University in January, President Barack Obama gave a shout-out to the event about halfway through his speech.

Contractors have received $29.7 million under the voided Idaho Education Network contract.

Should the state try to get this money back?

It’s one of the many legal issues surrounding the defunct statewide broadband system. And it’s one many state officials don’t want to talk about.

Utah's governor says he would veto a resurrected bill that would allow anyone over 21 to carry an unloaded, concealed gun without a permit.

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert told reporters Tuesday afternoon that he thinks Utah's gun laws work well as they are.

A Senate committee voted 4-1 on Tuesday morning to approve the proposal, which now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

It mirrors a similar one introduced by a House Republican earlier this year.

That lawmaker, Rep. Curtis Oda, agreed to withdraw his proposal as part of a deal with Herbert.

Idaho Capitol Senate
Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Idaho Republicans want a bigger say in the 2016 presidential election cycle. A bill that would move Idaho’s presidential primaries up two months, into March, passed the state Senate Tuesday.

Republican State Sen. Jim Rice says the whole point of elections is to let the voice of citizens be heard.

“And there is no citizen who is not impacted by the president of the United States. None,” Rice says.

Idaho Legislature

Three lawmakers refused to attend the Idaho Senate's daily invocation after objecting to the offering of a Hindu prayer.

Rajan Zed, guest chaplain, gave a lengthy prayer in both English and Sanskrit on Tuesday that focused on selflessness and peace. Senators from both sides of the aisle shook his hand and thanked him for coming.

However three lawmakers, all Republican, only came back onto the floor once the prayer was over: Sens. Steve Vick, Sheryl Nuxoll and Lori Den Hartog.

Dan Stahler / Yellowstone National Park | Flickr

Trappers killed 77 gray wolves in Montana during the 2014-2015 season that ended over the weekend.

That's down from the previous trapping season, when 87 wolves were killed.

To date, a total of 204 wolves have been killed by hunters and trappers this winter. Montana's rifle hunting season for the animals ends March 15.

Idaho hunters and trappers have killed 205 wolves, as of Feb. 25.

Dave Frazier, Adam Cotterell, Emilie Ritter Saunders

During the Vietnam War, few people had an experience quite like Boise resident Dave Frazier. He served as a public relations specialist for the Traffic Management Agency (TMA) of the Military Assistance Command, the military outfit in charge of moving supplies, equipment and people around Vietnam by land, sea and air. In his PR role, Frazier traveled throughout Vietnam taking pictures and writing stories about the work of the TMA while fighting was going on around the country.    

Frazier tells the story in his new memoir “Drafted! Vietnam at War and Peace.”

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Last month was the warmest February ever recorded in Boise.

The National Weather Service says the city broke records for average high temperatures, warmest average low temperatures and warmest average temperature. The region also received more rain than usual.

The average high temperature in Boise was 53.2 degrees. That broke a record set in 1992 by a half degree. The previous record for average lows was set in 1983. The previous record for warmest average temperature in a February was set in 1963.

Such records have been kept in Boise since 1940. 

A bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine has passed in the Idaho House on a party-line vote.

House lawmakers voted 55-14 on Monday.

Supporters of the bill argued that the legislation will better protect women's health. Others pointed out that they hoped the bill would limit the number of abortions that occur in the future.

House Democrats countered that the bill inappropriately allowed the Idaho Legislature to regulate medicine rather than physicians.

This story was updated at 12:05 p.m.

More than 20 gay rights activists have been arrested after protesting in the Idaho House and Senate chambers in an attempt to pressure lawmakers into passing anti-discrimination protections.

Activists taking part in the protest that started Monday morning warned they would not voluntarily leave until legislators consider adding four words — sexual orientation and gender identity — to the Idaho Human Rights Act.

screen grab builtinboise.com

A new online media project called Built in Boise launched last week. Its purpose is to tell the stories of local companies doing interesting things.

The website's first stories included a husband-and-wife team who sell gourmet donuts, a game designer, and a banker-turned-paddle-board mogul.

Sun Valley Film Festival

The fourth annual Sun Valley Film Festival begins Wednesday. The five-day event will show off some Hollywood names, including giving a special honor to actor Clint Eastwood. Other big screen elites will make appearances, including actor Bruce Dern and two Academy Award winning screenwriters.

Sheep Bridge Jumpers / YouTube

NPR Music announced the winners of their inaugural Tiny Desk Contest Feb. 12. Nearly 7,000 bands from across the country sent in their videos for the music gurus to judge, including some Idaho groups.

In the end, the winner was Fantastic Negrito, an Oakland act with a soulful performance filmed in a freight elevator.

U.S. Dept. of Education / Flickr Creative Commons

One of the Idaho Legislature's most anticipated proposals to boost teacher pay has finally been revealed just nine days before lawmakers begin setting the state's public education budget.

The Idaho House Education Committee listened to the plan Friday but did not vote on any legislation.

Under the plan, beginning teacher pay would bump up from $31,750 to $33,000 per year school starting in fiscal year 2016 and eventually increase to $37,000 over five years.

The president of Idaho's largest business lobby offered to resign this week after a profane email targeting the chairman of the Senate Tax Committee was leaked.

Idaho Public Television reports Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry President Alex LaBeau will keep his job, despite the leaked email.

The City of Boise is taking applications for a new ombudsperson to help oversee the Boise Police Department. But unlike in the past, the person hired for the position will be part-time rather than full-time.

The city says the job entails investigating complaints of misconduct against police, as well cases that involve officers using deadly force.

City spokesperson Mike Journee says a lack of work led to the change.  

Uber app

Ridesharing company Uber has suspended operations in Boise.

The company in a three-page letter to city leaders on Thursday says it became clear at a city council work session on Tuesday that the city plans to impose unworkable and onerous regulations. Uber spokesperson Michael Amodeo says the company does vehicle inspections and background checks on drivers.

“We think additional background checks would just place an additional hurdle or barrier to entry for our drivers that would make it more difficult for them to earn a living with the Uber platform," says Amodeo.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

House Minority Leader John Rusche says Idaho needs a new office to investigate concerns about government fraud and waste.

Rusche pitched the idea to the House State Affairs Committee on Thursday.

The bill barely squeaked by the Republican-controlled panel after an attempt to kill the plan failed by one vote.

According to Rusche, currently there is nowhere for state employees or citizens to go if they have complaints regarding state-level corruption.

Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

After a fight that lasted a year-and-a-half, the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) and the City of Boise have come to an agreement regarding parking meters in the city’s downtown.

With a 3-to-2 vote, ACHD commissioners reversed a previous decision and will now allow Boise to install high-tech sensors in the streets. The sensors will connect wirelessly to “smart” parking meters, which accept credit cards.

Lonnie Hutson

An Idaho artist has immortalized the state’s native fish, in the hopes that his art will encourage people to protect local rivers.

The health of Idaho’s rivers was the catalyst for a new art exhibit of native fish on display at the College of Idaho’s Rosenthal Gallery of Art. Artist Lonnie Hutson lives 25 miles outside of Moscow. When he’s not making art, he’s a river outfitter. He says the two professions are closely linked.

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