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2014 Election
1:11 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

North Idaho Republican Loses Again In Recount

Thyra Stevenson
Credit Idaho Legislature

A Republican lawmaker from northern Idaho who was 26 votes short of keeping her seat gained only one vote on her Democratic opponent in a recount.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that state Rep. Thyra Stevenson had requested the recount because Nez Perce County experienced technical problems tabulating ballots on election night.

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Idaho News
11:15 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Filer Resident To Receive $35,000 After Dog Shot

Officials in the south-central Idaho city of Filer have agreed to a $35,000 settlement after a police officer shot and killed a resident's dog.

An attorney for the city's insurance company tells The Times-News in a story on Wednesday that Rick Clubb will receive the money as part of a negotiated settlement.

Officer Tarek Hassani on Feb. 8 responded to a report of dogs running lose.

Prisons
4:51 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Idaho Prison Director Announces Resignation

Credit www.idoc.idaho.gov

Idaho Department of Correction Director Brent Reinke is stepping down from his post after leading the department since 2007. His tenure included overseeing the fallout of a private-prison scandal, handling the first two executions since 1994 and enhancing the department's contract oversight.

Reinke submitted his resignation Tuesday during a special Idaho Board of Corrections meeting.

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Wolves
3:54 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

BLM Reverses Decision, Says No To Idaho Wolf Derby Permit

Credit Washington Fish and Game

After giving the OK to a wolf hunting competition on Idaho public land, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has reversed its decision.

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Rivers
11:50 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Lawsuit Would Stop Dredging Of Lower Snake River

Lewiston, Idaho
Credit BostonTx / Flickr

Environmental groups and the Nez Perce Tribe have filed a lawsuit to prevent dredging of the lower Snake River that enables Lewiston, Idaho, to be the most inland seaport on the West Coast.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Seattle, challenges the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' approval of a $6.7 million dredging project scheduled to begin next month.

The lawsuit was filed by Earthjustice on behalf of a coalition of environmental groups.

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Politics + Policy
4:25 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Idaho Legislative Committee Kills Counties' Resolution

Sen. Dean Mortimer
Credit Idaho Legislature

Lawmakers on a committee charged with improving Idaho's broken public defense system have killed a resolution that would have given the state full responsibly for assigning attorneys to indigent defenders.

Earlier this year, representatives from the state's 44 counties voted that Idaho should manage the public defense system. However, members of the Legislature's Public Defense Reform Interim Committee at a meeting Monday agreed that counties should remain in control.

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Politics + Policy
4:15 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Former Idaho Senator Craig Appeals Misused Funds Ruling

Credit U.S. Senate

Former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig is appealing a ruling ordering him to pay nearly $242,000 to the U.S. Treasury for improperly using campaign funds to pay for legal expenses following his 2007 airport bathroom sex sting arrest.

Craig filed the one-page appeal Monday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Washington, D.C.

A federal judge ruled in September that Craig illegally converted campaign money for personal expenses while trying to withdraw his guilty plea to one count of disorderly conduct.

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Silver Valley
2:27 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Study Finds North Idaho Superfund Cleanup Is Working

Coeur d'Alene Lake
Credit irmiller / Flickr

Scientists say water quality in the Coeur d'Alene and Spokane river basins in northern Idaho and eastern Washington state is improving due to ongoing efforts cleaning up one of the nation's largest Superfund sites.

The United States Geological Survey in a report released Monday says concentrations of cadmium, lead and zinc decreased significantly since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began the cleanup process in the 1990s.

However, the study also found that the concentration in some streams is above what's considered toxic to aquatic organisms.

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Tourism
1:10 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Plan Would Upgrade Idaho's Craters of the Moon To A National Park

Credit Dana Orlosky / Flickr

A decades old proposal to upgrade Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve to a national park is getting new life.

The monument's superintendent, Dan Buckley, is proposing the upgrade and says he's briefed Idaho's congressional delegation. The move would ultimately require congressional approval.

Idaho is the only state in the West without a national park entirely within its borders.

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Wolves
12:11 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Officers Recommend Charge In Wolf Shooting Just Over Idaho Border

Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Washington fish and wildlife officers are recommending a misdemeanor charge against a farmer accused of illegally shooting a wolf last month.

Whitman County Prosecutor Denis Tracy tells the Moscow-Pullman Daily News that he'll review the investigation report and the law before making a decision about whether to file charges. The wolf was shot southwest of Pullman on Oct. 12.

Under Washington law, a wolf can only be shot if it is in the act of attacking pets or livestock.

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Gun Laws
11:20 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Idaho Wants To Overturn Maryland Gun-Control Law

Credit Dainel Lee / Flickr

Idaho is among 21 states asking a federal appeals court to overturn provisions of Maryland's gun-control law that bans 45 assault weapons and limits gun magazines to 10 rounds.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey led the coalition in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the Fourth U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia last week.

The brief says the law violates the Second Amendment right to keep firearms in homes for self-protection.

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Election 2014
12:40 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Idaho Records Its Lowest-Ever General Election Voter Turnout

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

This story was updated Nov. 21, 2014 

Idaho's voter participation in this year's general election was the lowest ever.

Secretary of State Ben Ysursa tells the Spokesman Review that nearly 37 percent of Idaho's voting-age population cast a ballot Nov. 4.

Ysursa described the results as "abysmal," and urged the need to turn the number around.

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Idaho News
11:43 am
Fri November 21, 2014

North Idaho Man Arrested For Carrying A Gun Into A Campus Dorm

A northern Idaho man who carried a concealed weapon into a dormitory at Lewis-Clark State College is facing charges.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that 19-year-old Wesley S. Bowler of Harpster is charged with carrying a concealed weapon without permit.

Bowler, who is not a student, was taken into custody at the dormitory on Wednesday and police seized a Kel-Tec P-11 pistol with a loaded magazine.

Bowler was taken to the Nez Perce County Jail and released after paying $300 of his bond amount.

Gay Marriage
3:25 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Gov. Otter Requests More Arguments In Idaho's Gay Marriage Case

Credit Idaho Statesman

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter wants to file additional arguments in his attempt to have an 11-judge panel review the three-judge ruling that overturned Idaho's gay marriage ban.

Otter argued in a motion filed Wednesday with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that another reply is needed because a separate federal court has since upheld same-sex marriage bans in other states.

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Gay Marriage
2:57 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Federal Judge Strikes Down Montana's Gay Marriage Ban

Credit MyTudut / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge in Montana has overturned the state's ban on gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris ruled Wednesday that Montana's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to between a man and a woman violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in September that Idaho and Nevada's bans are unconstitutional. Montana is part of the 9th Circuit, and Morris cited the Circuit Court's opinion in his ruling.

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Recreation
10:31 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Sun Valley Restricts Mountain Use As Ski Season Nears

Credit Christopher Koppes / Flickr Creative Commons

Sun Valley Co. is prohibiting recreational activity on Bald Mountain while workers prepare the ski area for the season.

The company has an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management that allows for the prohibition for safety reasons.

The company in December 2013 enacted a policy not allowing uphill foot traffic on the ski area from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the ski season.

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Politics
10:23 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Idaho Republican Party Hires Former Sen. Larry Craig

Credit Joe Jaszewski / The Idaho Statesman

The Idaho Republican Party has named former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig as its financial chair of its executive committee.

Party officials said Wednesday that Craig fills an empty volunteer fundraising position.

Craig was arrested in a 2007 airport bathroom sex sting. He was accused of soliciting sex in a men's bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport by an undercover officer. According to the officer, Craig tapped his foot under the stall and signaled that he wanted sex.

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Medicaid Expansion
3:17 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Idaho Governor's Work Group Recommends Hybrid Medicaid Expansion

An Idaho work group has tweaked its recommendations on expanding Medicaid eligibility in a last-minute effort to make their plan more politically palatable to lawmakers.

Work group facilitator Corey Surber says the 15-member group approved a hybrid model Friday. The group had finalized a proposal to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter back in August. However, lawmakers warned the proposal's blanketed support of Medicaid expansion would fail to even be considered when the Republican-controlled Legislature convenes in January.

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Health Care
11:58 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Idaho Health Exchange Reports High Traffic, Smooth User Experience

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho officials say the state-based health insurance marketplace had nearly 13,000 visitors just days after it opened for business.

Your Health Idaho Executive Director Pat Kelly isn't immediately releasing how many Idahoans signed up for coverage on the state exchange's website. However, he told reporters Monday yourhealthidaho.org hasn't experienced any of the technical glitches that plagued the federal marketplace last year since it launched Saturday.

Last year, 76,000 Idaho residents enrolled within six months.

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Wildlife
1:59 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Second Lawsuit Filed Against Idaho Wolf Hunting Derby

Credit Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Three environmental groups have filed a lawsuit seeking to halt a wolf- and coyote-hunting derby set for early January in east-central Idaho.

WildEarth Guardians, Cascadia Wildlands and the Boulder-White Clouds Council filed the lawsuit late Thursday in federal court in Idaho against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.

The groups contend the BLM violated environmental laws on Thursday by issuing Idaho for Wildlife a special use permit to hold the competitive derby on BLM land.

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