Boise

TASER International / Facebook

A Wall Street Journal investigation this week highlights some possibly shady business practices by Taser, the maker of the eponymous shock device and other police hardware. It uses the Boise Police Department’s nearly $1.5 million body camera deal with Taser last year as an example.

According to the Journal, Taser convinces police departments it is the only company that can provide services in order to secure contracts without having to go through an open bidding process. That’s done, the Journal says, by giving free trips to decision makers.

Justin Doering / Fifty Sandwiches blog

Recent Boise State University media studies graduate Justin Doering has set out on a unique cross-country journey.

Through a blog he's calling "Fifty Sandwiches," Doering has set out to interview people experiencing homelessness. The blogger says the idea is to "close the gap between perception and reality" when it comes to what homeless individuals experience.

Richard Eriksson / Flickr Creative Commons

A recent recommendation to the Boise City Council has awoken an issue that was, a few years ago, among the most hotly debated topics in Idaho’s capital city – should downtown Boise get a streetcar? But Mike Journee, a spokesman for Mayor Dave Bieter, says a committee led by a city engineer has not yet recommended that Boise actually build a streetcar line.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The City of Boise and a handful of nonprofit and public sector partners Tuesday announced a new program to house the area’s chronically homeless population. The plan would first put 15 homeless people in existing apartments for a cost of about $300,000 a year. Those would be owned by the city, the county housing authority and private landlords. KBSX previewed this plan in October

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Sunday started as a cold and icy morning. As the fog began lifting in Boise, Sunday morning radio programing was interrupted as President Obama stepped up to the podium at the White House.

“Pastor Saeed Abedini is coming home," Obama said. "Held for three-and-a-half years, his unyielding faith has inspired people around the world in the global fight to uphold freedom of religion. Now Pastor Abedini will return to his church and community in Idaho.”

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

The September fire that destroyed the Boise International Market has been deemed an act of arson, according to the Boise Police and Fire departments.  

A four-month joint investigation included the use of private fire investigation experts and forensic analysis. Officials say additional information uncovered during the investigation led investigators to conclude the fire was intentionally set.

Reddit

Whether your style is ostentatious and bold like Clark Griswold or more subtle-yet-savvy like Snoopy, there's a Christmas lighting display out there for everyone. And thanks to a crowd-sourced Google map on Reddit, you and your family can cruise around town looking at dozens of dazzling houses.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

In the months leading up to the eviction of more than 100 people from a tent city near downtown, Boise city leaders frequently cited crime as one of the main reasons the camp needed to be cleared.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Update 1:55 p.m. Wednesday: A plan to relocate some of the homeless people ejected from a Boise tent city last week has fallen through after objections from potential neighbors.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

The work to catalog the belongings of the now former residents of Boise’s Cooper Court homeless tent city is nearing an end. City officials say the work to properly document 70 tents and the items in them wrapped up on Saturday. That was a day after police moved into the camp near Boise’s downtown to evacuate the alley.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Update 5:30 p.m.: According to Boise Police Sgt. John Terry, there have been no arrests at Cooper Court. Police have been going tent-to-tent and the homeless people camping there are gone. Terry says there was some verbal resistance at first, but after explaining the options, people left without quarrel. 

Original post: On Friday, the City of Boise began taking new action on the homeless encampment known as Cooper Court. 

Treefort Musi Fest

They said it was coming.

The team behind Treefort Music Fest has been hyping the first announcement of musicians to play the March festival, and this morning they let the cat out of the bag. It's the fifth year the multi-day event will take over music and arts venues around downtown Boise.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

It’s been nearly two weeks since police warned residents of a tent city near downtown Boise to leave or face potential arrest. But, the tents are still up, and dozens of people are still sleeping in the alley known as Cooper Court despite the pre-dawn warning a week before Thanksgiving.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise International Market burned down in September, putting its business owners out of work. This weekend, a handful of those - mostly refugee - entrepreneurs started back up in a temporary location for the holiday season.

Trailhead in downtown Boise is in a pretty good location for restaurants and retail. It isn’t designed for either, though. Trailhead is a business incubator.

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

On Saturday, more than 1000 Idahoans rallied at the state capitol for and against refugee resettlement. That was after the state's governor and Congressional delegation all requested a suspension of the refugee resettlement program until they are assured that a comprehensive vetting process is in place.

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

About 700 people turned out at the state capitol in Boise on Saturday to show their support for refugee resettlement. Since the attacks in Paris over a week ago, Governor Butch Otter and Idaho’s congressional delegation have stated their concerns over the vetting process of refugees.

Sean Michael Foster, one of the organizers, thinks the refugee backlash comes down to politics.

Courtesy Boise Alternative Shelter Co-op

There are two ideas being talked about in Boise to house chronically homeless people. You can think of them as the Eugene model and the Salt Lake City model.

Idaho State Historical Society

When you think of Boise, what names come to mind? That’s the question two local historians asked themselves as they wrote a book about Boise's highest profile people.

J.R. Simplot, Julia Davis, Joe Albertson, Curtis Stigers and Kristin Armstrong are just some of those profiled in the new book, “Legendary Locals of Boise.”

Historians Elizabeth Jacox and Barbara Perry Bauer own TAG Historical Research and Consulting. Jacox says their book covers a wide variety of people.

Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

After years of losing money on his east Boise rental property, things are now changing for Kelley Creamer.

Creamer owns a small two-bedroom home that he and his wife bought in 2004. They fixed it up with high-end kitchen appliances, cabinets and granite countertops. They lived in the house until they purchased another home and moved into it. 

It was 2010 and Boise was still suffering from the effects of the housing downturn. Creamer says had the couple sold their first home, they would’ve lost around $20,000.

Data: MSAC and NARPM / / Graph: Lacey Daley

One of the emerging issues in the Treasure Valley over the last few years is the shrinking number of affordable housing units. As the housing market has improved and people continue to move to the area, rents have gone up and the number of available units has also declined. Our Adam Cotterell has been following the issue and he briefed All Things Considered host Samantha Wright on what many who deal with housing issues in the public, nonprofit and business sectors are calling a low-income housing crisis.

 

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