Reader's Corner
12:51 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Two Journalists Civil War Odyssey With Author Peter Carlson

History books are full of stories about the dangers and deprivations endured by soldiers who fought in the Civil War. What may be less well known are the challenges faced by journalists of the day who risked everything to get to the front lines of battle.

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Idaho Legislature
12:17 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Idaho Agriculture Industry Happy With 2014 Legislature

Credit UGA College of Ag / Flickr

Idaho's farmers, ranchers and producers say they're happy with the outcome of the 2014 Legislature.

The Capitol Press reports a lot of things went right for the agricultural industry during the 74-day session, where numerous industry-boosting bills found a foothold.

That included the Agriculture Security Act, a dairy-backed bill that punishes those who film agricultural operations, and is designed to protect farmers from spying activists.

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Dams
11:51 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Army Corps To Kill Birds At Snake And Columbia River Dams

Columbia River Gorge
Credit Shawn Kinkade / Flickr

The Army Corps of Engineers this spring will begin killing birds at some Snake and Columbia river dams to help protect juvenile salmon and steelhead.

The agency unveiled a plan Thursday that will allow as many as 1,200 California gulls, 650 ring-billed gulls and 150 double-crested cormorants to be killed.

The Lewiston Tribune says the action will occur at McNary Dam on the Columbia River and Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite dams on the Snake River.

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Population
11:21 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Idaho’s Population Shift To Urban Areas Slows

Franklin County
Credit J. Stephen Coon / Flickr

The shift of Idaho's population from rural counties to urban areas slowed last year.

Estimates released by the Census Bureau on Thursday showed the 33 rural counties saw their combined population increase for the first time in three years.

The population of the rural counties rose two-tenths of a percent from mid-2012 to mid-2013, or about 1,200 people.

The population of the 11 urban counties increased 1.5 percent.

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Idaho National Laboratory
10:50 am
Fri March 28, 2014

INL Contractor Gets 5-Year Extension

Credit Idaho National Laboratory

Battelle Energy Alliance has received a five-year extension on its 10-year contract to operate the Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls.

Battelle Energy Alliance began running the facility in early 2005 and will now operate the laboratory through Sept. 30, 2019.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced the contract extension Thursday.

The agency says it extended the contract because of BEA's consistently strong annual performances.

The INL is one of the Energy Department's 10 national laboratories and a major employer in eastern Idaho.

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Guns
4:41 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Idaho Mental Health Records Added To FBI Gun Check

Idaho added mental health records to a national Federal Bureau of Investigations database, making it easier for background checks to discover if would-be gun owners have a history of mental illness.

The Twin Falls Times-News reports gun store customers are asked to complete a form revealing their legal status, criminal history and whether they have been committed to an institution for health reasons or found mentally unfit by a court.

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Wolves
3:44 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Governor Otter Signs Wolf Control Bill

Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has signed a bill to create a state board that will work to control the growth of wolf populations in the state.

Otter signed the bill on Wednesday, despite opposition from some conservation groups.

The bill, which passed on the final day of the recent legislative session, creates a $400,000 fund and establishes a five-member board whose job is to authorize the killing of wolves that come into conflict with wildlife or livestock.

The money comes from the state's general fund.

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Grazing
10:57 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Federal Judge Upholds Bighorn Protection Plan

Credit Travis S. / Flickr

A federal judge has ruled that a U.S. Forest Service plan to reduce domestic sheep grazing on the Payette National Forest by about 70 percent to protect bighorn sheep from diseases will remain in place.

Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge A. Wallace Tashima, sitting by designation for the District of Idaho, made the ruling on Tuesday.

Sheep ranchers in Idaho and other states in 2012 sued the Forest Service over the bighorn sheep protection plan announced in 2010.

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Politics
10:47 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Idaho Gets A C+ On Election Gender Equality By Sending One Woman To Congress

Credit screen grab from umn.edu/cspg/smartpolitics

Idaho gets a C+ for the percentage of women it elects to Congress in a new election gender equality report card from the University of Minnesota’s Smart Politics blog. The site, dedicated to data-driven political reporting, looked at all the U.S. House races for the past 25 years.

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Medicaid Cuts
2:25 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Judge Halts Idaho Medicaid Cuts After ACLU Lawsuit

Credit Jasleen_Kaur / Flickr Creative Commons

A U.S. District Court judge issued an injunction Tuesday to halt deep cuts to Medicaid and restore about $16 million in assistance to Idaho's developmentally delayed adults.

The decision lets an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Idaho lawsuit on behalf of disabled Idahoans proceed as a class-action case.

That opens it up to more people who lost some their Medicaid dollars when the program was slashed in 2011.

Judge B. Lynn Winmill cited cases of severely mentally disabled Idahoans that can no longer afford necessary therapy and other care in his decision.

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