Across the Northwest, students are wrapping up their school year. By the time Idaho high school students return in the fall, their classrooms will be on their way to becoming wireless hotspots. The Idaho Department of Education is preparing to spend more than $2 million to put high-speed wireless Internet in all public high schools.
It's part of what Idaho education officials like to call the “21st Century Classroom.” They're asking for bids over the summer on a contract to have WiFi up and running across the state by March 2014.
Even if you've never visited a jail, you probably have a pretty clear image of what inmate visitation is like – a shatterproof glass barrier, two people sitting on either side, speaking into telephones. But that's changing in some parts of the Northwest. More and more county jails are switching to privately operated video conferencing systems. Sort of like Skype, for inmates. But these systems have technical difficulties and come with costs for the inmates’ families.
Federal authorities believe the Spokane man accused of sending a ricin-laced letter to a federal judge may have also sent similar poisoned letters to the president, the CIA and Fairchild Air Force Base.
Idaho's conflicting views on gay rights is playing out in the northern part of the state this week. A committee in Coeur d'Alene Tuesday advanced an anti-discrimination ordinance. Meanwhile the sheriff of the same county is threatening to drop a Boy Scout charter because the group voted to allow gay members.
Idaho's conflicting views on gay rights is playing out in the northern part of the state. A committee in Coeur d'Alene Tuesday advanced an anti-discrimination ordinance. Meanwhile the sheriff of the same county is threatening to drop a Boy Scout charter because the group voted to allow gay members.
The 38-year-old man accused of sending ricin-laced letters to a federal judge and the Spokane post office had an active social media presence. But his online profiles contain no hints at a grudge toward the federal government. This was also not his first run-in with the law.
A tragedy in Wenatchee, Wash., is prompting educators there to bring back a high school aquatics program. Starting this fall, high school freshmen in the central Washington city will have to demonstrate they know how to swim.
Formal swimming lessons in Wenatchee had gone by the wayside, as is frequently the case lately in public schools. But the Wenatchee school board is now reversing course.
In November 2011, a freshman named Antonio Reyes drowned in the high school swimming pool.
Federal agents in hazmat suits and SWAT gear searched a Spokane apartment Saturday. They were looking for evidence connected to a pair of ricin-laced letters sent through the mail. The letters were addressed to a federal judge in Spokane and to the post office itself.
A bird of prey can get so stressed out by city noise, it will abandon its nest – with eggs still in it. That's according to a new study by researchers at Boise State University. The study suggests human disturbances affect the American kestrel more than previously thought.
The border between Washington and Idaho is like a petri dish for what the minimum wage does to the economy. That’s where two extremes meet. Idaho has the federal minimum wage: $7.25 an hour. While Washington’s is nearly $2 more.
Efforts to pass more local gay rights laws are moving ahead in Idaho. A city councilor in Coeur d'Alene plans to introduce an ordinance later this month. And in Pocatello, a failed ban on discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender people is getting a second chance.
An effort to streamline the regulatory process for small hydropower dams is generating a rare moment of bipartisanship in Congress. Two bills sailed through a Senate committee Wednesday. They've already passed the House.
Whatever gridlock exists elsewhere, it didn't show up in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. A voice vote was unanimous.
Three weeks after the Boston bombings, one of the iconic figures of that tragedy was racing again in Spokane. Bill Iffrig of Lake Stevens, Wash., joined more than 50,000 runners on Sunday for the Bloomsday Run. You might remember the images of Iffrig on the ground immediately following a blast at the Boston marathon.
The 78-year-old runner wore the same orange shirt he'd worn in Boston as he waited for the starting gun in Spokane.
One of the country's leading suppliers of french fries is asking the federal government to approve genetically modified potatoes. The USDA announced the move Friday by the J.R. Simplot Company of Idaho. It would be the only genetically engineered potato on the market.
Simplot has branded them Innate potatoes. The company figured out how to use existing potato DNA to design a spud that’s less prone to dark spots. It also produces less acrylamide when cooked. Acrylamide is a neurotoxin found in many foods. Studies on animals have indicated it may also cause cancer.
The president of Gonzaga University has reversed an earlier decision and now says a campus chapter of the Knights of Columbus can receive official club status. The Catholic university in Spokane first denied that recognition because the Knights do not admit women or non-Catholics.
President Thayne McCulloh's decision allows the Knights of Columbus council to use the university's name in its title, use school facilities and fundraise on campus. Official club status also makes the group eligible for money from the university and student fees.
An Idaho anthropologist has risked his career in pursuit of what the rest of science considers a myth. Jeff Meldrum of Idaho State University is the nation’s lone academic trying to make the scientific case for Bigfoot. It’s no joke. Now he's even raising money to launch an unmanned aircraft that would scan the Northwest's forests for the large, hairy creature. Meldrum now hopes drones can finally prove his critics wrong.
Jeff Meldrum gets frustrated when he walks into Barnes and Noble. It's one of the stores that carries his book.
The Pocatello CIty Council voted 4-3 against a proposed ordinance that would have expanded gay rights protections in the city. A hearing two weeks ago, seen here, attracted many supporters of the ordinance.
An ordinance to ban discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people failed in the city council of Pocatello Thursday night. The close vote was a setback for gay rights advocates.
Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad cast the deciding no vote, making it four against, three in favor. The ordinance would have made it a misdemeanor to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Those voting no said they didn't reach their decision easily.
Thursday, the city council in Pocatello is expected to vote on whether to make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s one of several cities in Idaho that have taken up the cause of gay rights – an issue the Idaho Legislature has so far resisted. But even some gay rights supporters wonder if the local ordinance would change anything.
The family of a silver miner killed in north Idaho has filed a lawsuit against the Hecla Mining Company. The suit claims the mine managers’ attempt to extract more silver caused the cave-in that killed Larry Marek exactly two years ago Monday.
There are fewer wolves overall in the West, but Oregon and Washington's wolf populations continue to grow. That's according to the federal government's annual gray wolf tally, released Friday. The count has also revealed the initial effect of a controversial wolf hunting season in Idaho.