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Election 2014
1:52 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

After Scandal, Typically Quiet Idaho Treasurer Race Heats Up

Deborah Silver, left, is running for treasurer against longtime incumbent Ron Crane.
Credit Courtesy Idaho Public Television

Idaho's normally quiet race for state treasurer is heating up during the last leg of the midterm election as four-term incumbent Ron Crane faces off against political newcomer Deborah Silver.

Republican Crane has held the office since 1998 with few viable Democratic opponents.

However, this year he's defending his 16 years in office after a recent legislative audit claimed he mismanaged funds that resulted in a $20 million loss of taxpayer money.

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Business
9:55 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Ski Goggle Maker Smith Optics Is Leaving Idaho, Taking With It 85 Jobs

Credit talksrealfast / Flickr Creative Commons

A central Idaho company whose founder invented the double-lensed, vented ski goggle that is now the industry standard is moving operations and 85 jobs out of the resort town of Ketchum.

Smith Optics announced Monday that its design headquarters will move to Portland, Oregon, during the first half of 2015.

Other parts of the company are moving to Clearfield, Utah, or Parsippany, New Jersey, over the next three years.

Robert Earl "Bob" Smith came up with the double-lens goggles in the 1960s and patented his invention. He died in 2012 at age 78

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Gay Marriage
4:25 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Otter Requests Appeals Court Review Of Idaho Gay Marriage Ruling

Credit State of Idaho

Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter is asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for an 11-judge panel to review the three-judge ruling that overturned Idaho's gay marriage ban last week.

Otter announced Tuesday in a news release that the federal judges failed to use the correct legal standard to Idaho's Constitutional definition of marriage.

Otter argues that already one Idaho business has been harmed by the judges' ruling.

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Education
1:26 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Southern Idaho School District

The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho has filed a lawsuit against a south-central Idaho school district accusing it of sexually and religiously discriminating against a student.

The Times-News reports that Declo High School and Cassia County School District denied senior Sierra Norman the opportunity to run for student body president last spring.

School officials argue Norman took too many online dual-credit classes to qualify as a full-time student.

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Salmon
11:53 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Coho Salmon Season To Open On Clearwater River

Idaho officials have approved a coho salmon fishing season on the Clearwater River following efforts by the Nez Perce Tribe to bring salmon back after they disappeared about 30 years ago.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission on Wednesday approved the sport fishing season that starts Friday and runs through Nov. 16.

Anglers will be allowed to keep two coho salmon per day and up to 10 for the monthlong season on portions of the Mainstem and Middle Fork Clearwater River.

Election 2014
9:48 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Secretary Of State Candidate Denney Challenged To Forgo Public Pension

Holli Woodings and Lawerence Denney recently debated on Idaho Public Television.
Credit Courtesy Idaho Public Television

Idaho's Secretary of State Democratic candidate Holli Woodings is challenging Republican opponent Lawerence Denney to forgo his public pension.

Woodings announced Monday that she's challenging the long-term Idaho politician after he said he supported taking every elected official off the state's pension system during an Oct. 7 debate.

After serving nearly 20 years in the Idaho Legislature, Denney's pension will jump from $500 a month to $3,600 a month after his first term if elected.

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Election 2014
9:36 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Idaho's Libertarian Candidate For Governor Not Among Participants In Tuesday's Debate

Idaho's Libertarian gubernatorial candidate John Bujak says it was unbelievable he did not meet the requirements to participate in the latest governor debate.

When contacted by The Associated Press Monday, Bujak said he didn't know his name was not among the three candidates participating in Tuesday's debate. But KTVB executive director Kate Morris said all of the possible debate candidates were notified of the qualifications when they were invited on May 28, including Bujak.

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Gay Marriage
2:02 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Same-Sex Marriages To Begin Wednesday In Idaho, Gov. Otter Won't Appeal

Rachael (Robertson) Beierle and Amber Beierle are two of the eight plaintiffs who sued Idaho over its same-sex marriage ban. The Beiereles tried to get their marriage license last week, and were denied.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

This story was updated Oct. 14 at 2:03 p.m.

It appears same-sex marriages will begin as planned Wednesday morning after Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter issued this statement saying he's done all he can to "defend traditional marriage in Idaho."

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Gay Marriage
2:24 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Live Blog: Supreme Court Lifts Hold On Same-Sex Weddings In Idaho, 9th Wants To Hear From State

Machelle Migneault and her partner embraced in line to get a marriage license Oct. 10, 2014.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

This post was updated at 9:16 p.m.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has now given the state of Idaho until 1 p.m. MDT Monday to respond to this evening's motion from the plaintiffs in the case.  The plaintiffs have until 6 p.m. MDT Monday to reply to that response.

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Gay Marriage
11:37 am
Mon October 6, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Effectively Makes Gay Marriage Legal In 30 States, Not Idaho

Credit MyTudut / Flickr Creative Commons

This story was updated at 5:45 p.m.

State bans on same-sex marriages have been falling around the country since summer 2013, when the Supreme Court ordered the federal government to recognize state-sanctioned gay marriages. The high court Monday cleared the way for more expansion by turning away appeals from five states seeking to prohibit it.  

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Medicaid
1:22 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Supreme Court Takes Up Idaho Medicaid Challenge

Credit DBKing / Flickr

The Supreme Court will decide whether private sector health care providers can force a state to raise its Medicaid reimbursement rates to keep up with rising costs.

The justices on Thursday agreed to hear an appeal from Idaho.

The state is trying to overturn a lower court decision that ordered the state to increase payments.

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Skiing
1:12 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Idaho Officials Approve Tamarack Resort Ski Lease

Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

State officials approved a lease for Tamarack Resort's ski area in about as long as it takes an expert skier to go from the top of the mountain to the bottom.

The five members of the Idaho Land Board voted unanimously at a special session Thursday to transfer the 2,100-acre lease to a company called New TRAC.

New TRAC acquired the lease following a sheriff's bankruptcy sale in March.

The lease costs about $278,000 annually, far more than the $80,000 the land would generate if it reverted to timber harvest.

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Campaign Violation
10:15 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Former Idaho Sen. Craig Ordered To Pay For Misused Funds

Credit Joe Jaszewski / The Idaho Statesman

Former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig has been ordered to pay nearly $242,000 to the U.S. Treasury for improperly using campaign funds to cover legal expenses after his arrest in a 2007 airport bathroom sex sting.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled Tuesday that Craig illegally converted campaign money for personal expenses while attempting to withdraw his guilty plea to one count of disorderly conduct.

Jackson found that Craig's effort was not connected to his duties representing Idahoans in Congress.

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Ethics Violation
9:55 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Idaho Supreme Court Rules Former Prosecutor, Gubernatorial Candidate Bujak Broke Ethics Rules

The Idaho Supreme Court has ruled that Libertarian gubernatorial candidate and former Canyon County prosecutor John Bujak violated four of the Idaho State Bar's ethics rules between 2004 and 2011.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the court ordered that Bujak's law license be suspended for one year, but because he already underwent a 19-month interim suspension three years ago, the penalty has been satisfied.  

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Idaho News
3:42 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Idaho Considers Ski Area Lease For Troubled Tamarack Resort

This is a photo of the then-unfinished Tamarack Resort near Donnelly in 2009.
Credit A.Davey / Flickr Creative Commons

Tamarack Resort could take a significant step toward a clearer financial picture Thursday when Idaho officials decide whether to transfer a ski area lease to a new company that emerged after a sheriff's bankruptcy sale last spring.

But first a majority of the five-member Idaho Land Board will have to be persuaded at the special meeting that Tamarack can afford about $278,000 annually to use the 2,100 acres of state-owned land the ski area is built on.

The lease represents one of the state's more lucrative deals.

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Wildlife
3:34 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Federal Judge Won't Give Wyoming Control Of Wolves

A federal judge has denied requests from the state of Wyoming, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, and pro-hunting groups to change a decision last week that reinstates federal protections for wolves in the state.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday denied requests to change her ruling.

Wyoming had requested fast action on its reconsideration request because the state had planned to allow hunters to begin killing wolves Wednesday in an area bordering Yellowstone National Park. The judge's ruling bars any hunting.

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Idaho Legislature
10:31 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Idaho Legal Fees To Look At Public Lands Takeover Total $61,000

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's bill for outside legal work to find a way take over federal public lands is up to about $61,000.

Documents obtained by The Spokesman-Review in a story on Tuesday show Holland & Hart charged about $20,000 for work from April to August.

That's on top of about $41,000 the state previously paid.

Holland & Hart lawyer Bill Myers charges the state $420 an hour.

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Business
3:49 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Albertsons, Supervalu Disclose New Data Breach

Credit RoadsidePictures / Flickr Creative Commons

The parent companies of the Supervalu and Albertsons supermarkets say they have uncovered another breach of their computer networks, potentially compromising data from consumers.

The companies say that in late August or early September, malicious software was installed on networks that process credit and debit card transactions at some of their stores. Albertsons says the malware may have captured data including account numbers, card expiration dates and the names of cardholders. Supervalu says it believes most of its stores were not affected.

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Election 2014
1:09 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Idaho Governor Ads Heat Up, Hazy On Details

Idaho's gubernatorial candidates are honing their campaign messages as election season enters the homestretch. However, as political advertisements increase, not all include details proving their claims.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's political ads have largely focused on his involvement during his past two terms in improving Idaho's economy after it fell during the Great Recession.

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Wildlife
1:05 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Idaho Wolf, Coyote Hunting Derby Group Wants Permit For 1,500 Square Miles

Credit Jim Peaco / Yellowstone National Park

A group that overcame a court challenge last winter to hold a wolf- and coyote-shooting derby is seeking a permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to roughly double the area for a second event this winter.

Steve Alder of Idaho for Wildlife says the tentative dates for the derby in the east-central part of the state are Jan. 2-3.

The BLM plans to make public an environmental analysis Thursday and take public comments for 15 days. The agency says about 1,500 square miles are involved.

Environmental groups say they will contest the permit.

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