Associated Press

Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

About 600,000 young spring chinook salmon have died at a northern Idaho fish hatchery after an electrical problem stopped water from circulating.

The Nez Perce Tribe tells the Lewiston Tribune the fish died at the Kooskia National Fish Hatchery on Friday when an electrical circuit breaker tripped and a warning system to alert hatchery workers failed.

The salmon were a few weeks old and scheduled to be released next spring and return as adults in 2020.

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building Attorney General Office Wasden
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho House lawmakers used Attorney General Lawrence Wasden's budget plan for fiscal year 2018 to highlight their displeasure with the chief legal officer's recent agreement to repeal two anti-abortion laws.

House members voted 40-30 on the attorney general's budget Monday, a narrow vote in a Legislature that typically displays overwhelming support for funding proposals once they are set by budget writers.

Gothia Towers / Flickr Creative Commons

A bill shielding yoga training from state regulations is headed to the governor's desk for approval.

The Idaho Senate on Monday cleared a measure to exempt certain yoga instruction programs from being regulated just like for-profit vocational schools, which oversee students enrolled in programs such as truck driving or welding.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers are gearing up to spend the final few weeks of the legislative session focused on transportation funding possibilities, including a key tool the Legislature hasn't leveraged since 2005.

Last week, Sen. Bert Brackett, a Republican from Rogerson, introduced legislation to allow the state to borrow $300 million in bonds for road projects and repay it with future federal highway payments.

ap

A conservation group has created maps identifying key landscapes in three Western states most likely to sustain native species amid climate change and is distributing money to protect private lands in those areas through use-limiting easements or outright purchases.

The Nature Conservancy says it has $6 million from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation that it's now distributing among land trusts that must come up with five times the amount in matching funds for approved easements or acquisitions.

Joe Jaszewski / The Idaho Statesman

Idaho residents are helping to boost the economy of a small Oregon town by purchasing marijuana from the town's two dispensaries, which lie along the border between the two states.

Huntington, Oregon, has 435 residents, but the city's pot shops can serve up to 600 customers on a busy day, with most coming from out of town, The Idaho Statesman reported.

Chris Carlson / AP

 The northern Idaho city of Moscow is saving hundreds of thousands of gallons of water since implementing a conservation plan last year that provides rebates to customers who swap out their old toilets for more water-efficient ones.

Flickr Creative Commons

House lawmakers have killed legislation allowing FBI background checks on some state employees despite warnings from the bill's sponsor that doing so will cause the state to lose critical federal funding.

The proposal would have allowed the Department of Labor to conduct FBI fingerprint-based background checks on employees, applicants, contractors, interns and other. The federal government requires the checks for any employee who handles confidential taxpayer information.

Daniel Weber / Flickr Creative Commons

An Idaho Senate panel has agreed to exclude several references to climate change in the state's newest proposed science standards.

The standards haven't been updated since 2001 and have been criticized as vague. The House Education Committee sparked controversy earlier this month by removing several key mentions to climate change and human impact on the environment from the proposed standards. The amended rules needed to be adopted by the Senate panel in order to be implemented.

John McCrostie for District 16 / Facebook

An Idaho Democratic lawmaker sparked objections from Republican members Monday for using an anti-motorcycling profiling bill to promote amending the state's Human's Rights Act.

Rep. John McCrostie of Boise praised the proposal for not allowing discrimination based on a certain lifestyle, adding that no one should be profiled if they are gay or a biker. McCrostie's argument caused vocal protest from lawmakers who felt he violated House floor rules.

This caused House Speaker Scott Bedke to warn Democrats to keep their debate focused on the proposed legislation.

In a story Feb. 23 about a lawsuit involving a wolf- and coyote-shooting contest in Idaho, The Associated Press reported erroneously the disposition of the suit. The judge dismissed part of the lawsuit, not the entire lawsuit, and a decision on an action the groups have against the U.S. Forest Service involving Idaho for Wildlife's predator contest is pending.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Tom Banse

An environmental group has filed an appeal seeking to stop the construction of two high-voltage transmission lines in southwestern Idaho.

Western Watersheds Project filed the appeal late last week with the U.S. Department of the Interior's Board of Land Appeals concerning the Gateway West project.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management last month issued a formal decision approving a plan by Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power to build and operate 321 miles of 500-kilovolt transmission lines on public land in Idaho's Gooding, Elmore, Owyhee, Cassia and Twin Falls counties.

wild horses, nevada, wildlife
James Marvin Phelps / Flickr Creative Commons

Federal officials say they plan to capture 150 wild horses starting later this month in central Idaho near Challis and remove about 50 for adoption.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management in a news release Tuesday says the capture will likely go through mid-April using a large-scale bait trap operation.

Officials say the Challis Wild Horse Herd Management Area is under a court decree to maintain wild horse numbers within appropriate management levels.

Officials say that number is up to 253 horses, but the current population is over 280 horses.

AP

Law enforcement agencies would have to follow new statewide standards on how long physical evidence in sexual assault investigations should be retained under new legislation headed to the House floor.

Idaho officials are in preliminary discussions with the U.S. Forest Service on possibly buying federal public lands.

State Forester David Groeschl of the Idaho Department of Lands told Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and other members of the Idaho Land Board on Tuesday that the state is eyeing timberland that the federal agency has previously proposed for possible sale or exchange.

Groeschl said the state is also identifying potential Forest Service lands not previously considered for sale.

Brittney Tatchell

The ancient bones of the Kennewick Man have been returned to the ground.

The Tri-City Herald reports that early Saturday, more than 200 members of five Columbia Plateau tribes and bands gathered at an undisclosed location to lay the remains of the man they call the Ancient One to rest. That's according to an announcement Sunday by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Courtesy: Hy Kloc

An Idaho Democratic lawmaker's resolution honoring immigrants and refugees faced opposition from a legislative panel after Republican members questioned the timeliness of such praise.

Rep. Hy Kloc, of Boise, says his resolution introduced Thursday is intended to recognize the ongoing contributions of immigrants and refugees in Idaho.

Kloc, who was born in a refugee camp in Germany and whose parents were Holocaust survivors, said he came to the United States as a refugee in 1949. Last year, he backed a resolution honoring the 130th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty.

Barry Crabtree / Flickr Creative Commons

State budget writers have approved allocating $526,900 to help research and dispose contaminated fields in eastern Idaho.

The request, made up of both state and federal funds, is part of an ongoing effort to treat the negative impacts of a pesticide known as methyl bromide, applied on potatoes in Bingham and Bonneville counties in 2006

Charlie Litchfield / AP

A former regional manager for private prison company Corrections Corporation of America says top employees at a private prison in Idaho were given yearly bonuses if they cut costs on salary, wages and other operational expenses and met other company goals.

CCA, which has since changed its name to CoreCivic, operated the Idaho Correctional Center under a $29 million annual contract with the state of Idaho until chronic understaffing, violence and other problems prompted Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to order the state to take over the facility in 2013.

Adam Theo / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho lawmakers are considering joining fellow Republican-dominated states calling for a constitutional amendment to limit federal government power.

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