Ada County

Mike Paananen / Ada County Parks and Waterways

It was a photo contest by the people and for the people of Ada County. The goal was to highlight the parks and waterways managed by Ada County, and to encourage people to get out and enjoy that landscape.

"We were blown away" by what people sent in, says Scott Koberg, Director of Ada County Parks and Waterways.

elections, voting, vote booth
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Ada County officials say they mistakenly revoked 765 voter registrations and are working to get them restored.  

Ada County Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane tells the Idaho Statesman that workers discovered the mistake Thursday.

He says the revocations happened when workers compared Ada County voter registrations with registrations from 27 other states that's part of a process to remove duplicate registrations.

Michael Martin

Rick and Tess laugh a lot. After 22 years together, they finish each others sentences and tease each other constantly. “I’ve got the one-in-a-million,” says Rick of his wife. “Yeah, me too,” laughs Tess. The pair's marriage hasn't always been easy, three years ago Rick was arrested on domestic violence charges.

Rick and Tess didn’t want to use their real names, but they did want to talk about their experience with Ada County’s domestic violence court. This special court has become a model for judges around the country in the fight against domestic violence.

Ben Rauch / Flickr

West Nile virus is in Ada County. A mosquito trap near Star, Idaho tested positive for West Nile this week. It the first instance of the disease in Ada County this year.

chart, home values
Data: Ada County Assessor | Chart: Adam Cotterell

Property values in Idaho's most-populated county went up between 2013 and 2014 in a big way. This is the second year in a row Ada County's property values increased. Of course those increases are on the heels of four-straight years of decline after the housing bubble burst.  

Paul VanDerWerf / Flickr Creative Commons

If you own a home in Ada County, you may have received a letter in the mail last week from the county assessor’s office. And that letter probably said your property value had gone up, maybe even substantially.

That's good news for those wanting to sell their house or those who’ve been underwater on their mortgage. But the increases could mean higher taxes, and it could actually be bad news for the economy. 

fog, traffic, road, Boise
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Ada County highway officials say they received dozens of complaints Monday morning as heavy fog affected the operation of stop lights. 

Mike Boydstun, the Ada County Highway Department’s traffic operations engineer, estimates between 30 and 60 people called the department to report problems between 7 and 9 a.m.

JOE JASZEWSKI / Idaho Statesman

The City of Boise and the Ada County Highway District have been going back and forth recently over new high-tech parking meters. 

The city wants to install about 800 special sensors in downtown streets that will ultimately help Boise collect more parking revenue. But those streets are controlled by the county highway district.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The board of Ada County commissioners voted unanimously to end the contract with Dynamis Energy this morning. The decision releases both the county and the Eagle-based company from any potential legal action, and means the county’s $2 million loan to the company will not be repaid.  

The vote came after more than two years of public outcry over the proposed waste-to-energy plant at the county’s landfill.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

For the first time, Ada County residents Thursday night had the opportunity to speak at a public hearing on the controversial waste-to-energy plant proposed by Dynamis Energy for the county landfill. More than 200 people attended the hearing at the county courthouse.

The county’s planning and zoning commission heard testimony from more than 20 people.  All were against the project.  Karen Knudsen questioned the process county commissioners have used to this point.  She called for the resignation of commissioners Sharon Ullman and Rick Yzaguirre.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

So what percentage of people in Idaho voted?  Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa says that’s a hard number to pin down so soon after Election Day.

“It’s difficult to give a turnout figure based on registered voters because we register voters on Election Day, so that’s a moving target,” Ysursa said.  “History has shown in a Presidential year, there could be 100,000 to 112,000 who have registered on Election Day.”

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Voters around Idaho are heading to the polls this afternoon.

In the state's largest county voting has been smooth so far.  That’s according to Phil McGrane, Ada County’s Chief Deputy Clerk. ”Only small issues far, we haven’t had any real challenges to deal with and as far as we know right now there aren’t any strong lines to speak of and people are able to get in and get out relatively quickly.”

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

If you haven’t taken advantage of absentee or early in person voting, today’s the big day.  It’s time to get out to the polls and vote.  Here's what you’ll need for a smooth voting experience.

Ada County Clerk

Idaho voters who haven't been to the polls in a while may be surprised when they’re asked for photo identification.  Idaho’s voter I-D law is only two years old and infrequent voters haven’t encountered it yet. 

Everyone who wants to cast a vote in Idaho will be asked the same question. 

“When you show up at the polls, you will be asked for photo identification, so don’t be surprised,” says Phil McGrane, Ada County’s Chief Deputy Clerk.

The law recognizes several forms of photo ID.  They include:

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Ada County’s Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane describes the upcoming November election this way, “It’s a nice, clean, old-fashioned election.”

He says it will be a big change from the May Primary. “Don’t have to pick a party, don’t have to pick a ballot, no other selections that you have to make.”

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Early voters in Idaho's largest county are turning out in droves this year.  The process started Monday and hasn’t slowed down yet in Ada County.

Ada County Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane was expecting a big voter turnout for this election, but not this big.  “Someone said we opened the fire hydrant and it just hasn’t stopped.  People are showing up in record, record volumes for early voting this election.” 

UPDATE 10:45a.m.:

The mountain lion’s future is uncertain.  Evin Oneale is with Idaho Fish and Game.  He says it will all depend on the situation.  He says cougars come into the city all the time, but usually they pass through and are never seen by people. 

He says this lion may be young and looking for territory.  It may also have followed deer which have been pushed into the area thanks to a dry summer and fall.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Last Friday was a big day for county clerks in Idaho.  They mailed out the first round of absentee ballots for the November general election. 

In Ada County, 9,274 absentee ballots were mailed to voters last week.  Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane calls it the kickoff to the November election.  “We’ve received close to 500 absentee requests each day in the recent days, absentee ballots are pushing themselves pretty hard for this election.”

Ada County

For months, the debate over a proposed trash and tire burning facility at the Ada County landfill has escalated. 

A citizens group that opposes the Dynamis project has criticized Ada County Commissioners  Rick Yzaguirre and Sharon Ullman - arguing that the two aren’t listening to residents' concerns.

But this week, there’s a new voice speaking out on the garbage-fueled power plant.  That’s the third county commissioner, Dave Case. 

Dave Fotsch / Central District Health Department

A woman from Twin Falls has tested positive for the West Nile Virus. It’s the first confirmed case in Idaho this year.

Dave Fotsch of the Central District Health Department says mosquitoes tested positive in Ada, Canyon, and Payette counties. According to the Ada County Weed, Pest, and Mosquito Abatement website, the virus has also been found in west Boise.

Fotsch says West Nile’s peak year came in 2006, with almost one-thousand confirmed cases and 23 deaths. Since then, Fotsch says it’s tapered off, with only three cases last year.

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