Associated Press

Jethro Taylor / Flickr Creative Commons

As Idaho's housing demands have grown, so has the residential construction industry.

But that boom has a dark side: The Idaho Statesman reports that construction-related serious injuries are a common problem, and some result in deaths.

A Statesman analysis of inspection data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that at least 19 home-construction companies in the Boise region failed three or more inspections between March 2011 and December 2016 because of serious worker-safety violations.

road, highway, interstate, I-15
Garrett / Flickr Creative Commons

A Jerome, Idaho man died after crashing into a vehicle that had broken down on Interstate 84.

KTVB-TV reports the crash happened 9 p.m. Saturday.

Idaho State Police say an SUV became disabled when the driver hit an object in the road. The SUV came to a rest partially in the left lane of travel.

All four people in the SUV, including two children, were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Sometime later, Cody R. Mays was driving on the interstate when he struck the disabled SUV.

Dave Thomas

Almost two years after a toddler disappeared during a camping trip with his family, investigators plan to return to the campsite to search for new evidence.

Lemhi County Sheriff Steve Penner told KTVB-TV  last week that deputies will return to the campground outside of Leadore, Idaho once the weather improves.

Penner says the search for DeOrr Kunz Jr. was not prompted by a specific tip or new evidence. He says it's just something they need to keep working on.

Idaho National Laboratory

Some cleanup efforts at a nuclear waste landfill in eastern Idaho are on hold while workers try to figure out what caused a collapse in a dig area that sent an excavator into a pit.

The excavator was digging up transuranic waste — which is waste contaminated with highly radioactive elements.

No radiation was released during the incident last Thursday, and no one was injured, said Erik Simpson with Fluor Idaho, the contractor hired to clean up the site at the Idaho National Laboratory.

Otto Kitsinger / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has appointed Payette County Commissioner Marc Shigeta and Idaho Department of Lands Director Tom Schultz to the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Committee.

Otter announced Thursday that he is accepting applications for three other openings on the recently restructured commission until June 1.

A newly enacted law ensured the commission included the Department of Lands director, three governor-appointed experts and a county commissioner. The commission will officially begin its work on July 1.

Eastern Idaho Technical College / Facebook

Voters in eastern Idaho have overwhelmingly approved converting a technical school into a community college.

More than 70 percent of Bonneville County residents who voted in Tuesday's election agreed to create a community college tax district. The initiative needed at least a two-thirds supermajority to pass.

AP Photo

Idaho authorities have charged a Boise man with two felonies after they say he checked his two young kids out of school and fled to the Nevada mountains, leaving a burnt-out vehicle and scattered personal belongings along the way, authorities said Tuesday.

Nevada's Eureka County Sheriff Keith Logan said 29-year-old Joshua Dundon was being held in Nevada for lack of $5 million bail.

student, desk, classroom
BionicTeaching / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho Department of Education's new reading test will be tried out by 57 schools.

The schools are in 37 districts scattered across the state, The Times-News reported.

The Idaho Reading Indicator test is given to kindergarten through third-graders.

"I truly appreciate those schools and teachers who are willing to participate in this pilot and go above and beyond to make this a smooth statewide implementation," Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said.

Brad Little, Politics
BradLittleForIdaho.com

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter says he's endorsing Republican Lt. Gov. Brad Little in Idaho's 2018 governor race.

Otter said Tuesday that while the gubernatorial race currently has a several capable candidates, he's always supported Little. Otter appointed Little to serve as his second-in-command in 2009.

 

Otter's announcement is the first high-profile endorsement of the 2018 gubernatorial race. It's roughly one year until the Republican primary election takes place.

Otto Kitsinger / AP Images

Fifteen candidates are vying for an open seat on the Idaho Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Justice Daniel Eismann announced earlier this year he will retire in August — 16 months before the end of his current six-year term. This Idaho Judicial Council has since solicited names, where they will then recommend up to four names to the governor for appointment instead of waiting until the 2018 election.

Idaho's Supreme Court positions are nonpartisan.

Charlie Litchfield / AP Images

Idaho asked a federal appeals court Friday to reinstate its ban on spying at farms, dairies and slaughterhouses after a lower court judge sided with animal rights activists who said the ban violated free speech rights.

Idaho lawmakers in 2014 made it a criminal offense to enter agricultural facilities by misrepresentation to gain access to records or to make undercover audio or video recordings. The state's large dairy industry had complained that videos of cows being abused at a southern Idaho dairy unfairly hurt business.

Neal Herbert / Yellowstone National Park via AP

Yellowstone National Park officials say a wolf they euthanized after hikers found the animal suffering from a serious injury had been shot.

Park officials released preliminary necropsy findings Thursday for the wolf that was discovered wounded on April 11 near Gardiner, Montana, in northern Yellowstone.

They are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the shooter's conviction. The alpha female of the Canyon Pack was one of three white wolves in Yellowstone.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

For the first time since 2011, the Pacific Northwest isn't showing any signs of drought.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report shows that Oregon, Washington and Idaho are free from drought worries.

Kathie Dello, deputy director of Oregon's climate office, says the Northwest saw lots of precipitation during the water year that began in October.

She says snow and rain came earlier and stayed later. Typically drier months such as October, February, March and April were wetter than usual across the region.

City of Ketchum

Officials in central Idaho have expanded a flood evacuation order to include about two dozen homes near the resort town of Ketchum.

Blaine County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Holly Carter said the homes are all in a narrow canyon west of town that runs along Warm Springs Creek. Cater says rapid spring runoff and the swollen creek waters have made it impossible to keep the road maintained enough for emergency vehicles to reliably reach the homes.

Otto Kitsinger / AP Images

Former Idaho GOP Chairman Steve Yates has filed to run for lieutenant governor in 2018.

Yates filed the paperwork to run as a Republican candidate Thursday. Yates, an Idaho Falls businessman and former aid to Vice President Dick Cheney, took over as chair in 2014 during a chaotic battle over control of the party and resigned last month.

He joins a growing list of candidates vying for the seat after incumbent Lt. Gov. Brad Little announced he would be running for governor in 2018.

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