Associated Press

Idaho National Guard

President Donald Trump's campaign-trail condemnation of Bowe Bergdahl — the army sergeant charged with desertion while serving in Afghanistan — won't prevent the soldier from getting a fair trial, according to military prosecutors.

Amelia Templeton / OPB

Three of the remaining seven defendants charged in the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge took plea deals Monday rather than go to trial next week.

Sean and Sandra Anderson, a married couple from Riggins, Idaho, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor trespassing in exchange for other charges being dismissed. Dylan Anderson of Provo, Utah, took the same step, and all three were sentenced to a year on probation.

A fourth defendant was scheduled to change his plea Monday, but the hearing was canceled.

Jethro Taylor / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho transportation officials put together a $450,000 emergency repair project when pavement on Interstate 90 broke apart this winter.

The Spokesman-Review reports Idaho Transportation Department officials say people's lives were at stake when a midwinter thaw caused potholes to open up on I-90 through Coeur d'Alene. The department patched the cracks during two nights in late January.

An extra thick bonding agent was used to help seal the asphalt patches.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho House overwhelmingly approved a $51 million tax cut plan Thursday despite hesitation from Republican and Democratic lawmakers unhappy with the deal.

 

House Majority Leader Mike Moyle (R-Star) is sponsoring the bill, and says the state’s current surplus means Idaho should give a little money back to tax payers. If the bill passes, the first $750 of income would be exempt from taxation, and the top income and corporate rates would be reduced from 7.4 percent to 7.2 percent.

AP

A bill seeking to ban lucrative electronic pull-tab games in Idaho is on its way to the House floor despite objections from state lottery officials that the betting terminals are not slot machines.

The House State Affairs Committee reluctantly endorsed legislation Thursday to repeal electronic pull-tab machines, known as touch tabs. The machines mimic the classic pull-tab lotto tickets but are paperless and are played almost exclusively in bars and restaurants.

"Let's slow it down, let's draw the line here," said Rep. Steven Harris, R-Meridian, the bill's sponsor.

Stethescope, Health Care, Doctor, Medical
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Managers for Idaho's catastrophic health care program say they are struggling to predict how much money they will need next year due to uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act.

Roger Christensen, chairman of the Catastrophic Health Care Fund board and a Bonneville County commissioner, told members on the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee Wednesday that the program is requesting $18 million for fiscal year 2018, the same as this year.

Dmitry.S. / Flickr

Idaho is spending about $650,000 this winter to feed elk, deer and antelope at 110 sites around the southern half of the state.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game on Wednesday said the severe winter prompted officials to declare four feeding emergencies in four regions to start the feeding of about 10,000 elk, 10,000 deer and 100 antelope.

"We know we are in a very significant winter," said Jon Rachael, state wildlife game manager.

Thomas Herbert / AP

Work to clear radioactive waste from the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project is nearly complete.

The Post Register reports that according to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are only 28 nuclear waste boxes left to retrieve at the facility's airplane hangar-like building. Officials expect to finish the job later this month.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

The Boise City Council has voted unanimously to adopt a resolution affirming the city's role as a welcoming community and a community of refuge.

The Idaho Statesman reports the resolution passed Tuesday declares "the City of Boise is committed to being a Welcoming City and creating a community where all of our residents feel welcomed, safe and able to fully participate in, and contribute to, our city's economic and social life."

Idaho Fish & Game Headquarters Office Sign Director
Dan Greenwood / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is trying to figure out its next move after a plan to increase hunting and fishing fees for the first time in roughly 13 years got shot down.

Spokesman Mike Keckler said Tuesday that the agency's director and the Idaho Fish and Game Commission are working on possible alternatives.

The chairman of the House Resources and Conservation Committee, Republican Rep. Marc Gibbs of Grace, told the commission Friday that the proposed legislation had problems and wouldn't advance.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho House panel has introduced legislation that would expand the list of the worst kind of felons banned from owning firearms.

Lawmakers spiked a similar effort last year after Republicans opposed including felony convictions for arson, racketeering and rioting as qualifiers to lose one's right to own firearms.

Under the new proposal, terrorists, criminal gang members, human trafficking and hijacking convictions would be banned from owning firearms, even if they are discharged from their sentences.

AP

University presidents in Idaho and Washington State are urging foreign students to avoid trips home or international travel following President Donald Trump's recent executive order.

The order blocks people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days, along with other limitations placed on refugees.

AP

Idaho residents flocked to the Capitol Friday to urge lawmakers to provide health care to the state's neediest citizens, address Idaho's medical transportation system and reform religious exemptions.

The testimony was part of the annual listening session hosted by the House and Senate Health and Welfare Committees.

megaload, transportation
Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Environmental groups, the Nez Perce Tribe and the U.S. Forest Service said Friday that they have reached a settlement in a lawsuit over huge "megaload" shipments on a scenic northwestern Idaho highway by tractor trailers.

The shipments had been on hold since 2013 along a 100-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 12 between Lewiston, Idaho and the Montana border.

Keith Kohl / Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP

Antelope injured while falling on ice. Horses stranded in snowy mountains. Cougars descending from their wilderness lairs to forage in a town.

It's been a beastly winter in the American West, not just for people but for animals too. One storm after another has buried much of the region in snow, and temperatures have often stayed below freezing, endangering a rich diversity of wild animals.

Les Bois Park Live Horse Racing
Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's horsemen groups are urging the state's racing commission to sign off on a last-ditch effort to save their faltering industry after failing to convince the Legislature to reinstate lucrative betting machines known as instant racing terminals.

John Sheldon, the operator of Idaho's largest horse racing track, told commissioners Wednesday that they already have the authority to allow tracks to use instant racing terminals.

LED Street Lighs / Pinterest

As the city of Moscow replaces streetlights with energy-efficient LED bulbs, some residents are complaining the change is too bright for residential neighborhoods.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that as traditional high-pressure sodium lights burn out across the city they are being replaced with LED streetlights. Some people say the new bulbs glow too bright.

Idaho Representative Steve Hartgen / Facebook

The Idaho House Revenue and Taxation Committee voted Tuesday to bring the state's tax code in line with federal rules, despite facing objections from two lawmakers who argued the state should not be recognizing same-sex marriages.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game

State officials have captured a female mountain lion and her three kittens in a residential area near the eastern Idaho city of Pocatello and relocated them to a more remote spot.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game said Monday that workers with a dog treed the mountain lion kittens weighing from 35 to 50 pounds on Thursday and used catch poles to extricate them from the branches.

Officials say workers treed the adult cougar Friday and used a tranquilizer dart.

Fish and Game says the four mountain lions were reunited and released in a remote area later Friday.

www.plannedparenthood.org

Women will no longer be banned from receiving abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine in Idaho under a newly reached agreement.

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands announced Monday that the lawsuit settlement lifts unnecessary burdens on women seeking safe abortions.

The organization's lawsuit was directed at two laws passed in 2015 that required doctors to be present when administering pregnancy-ending pills.

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