Corrections And Clarifications

Travis Smith / Boise State Public Radio

Instructors at the University of Idaho and Boise State University and colleges around the country are protesting pay and working conditions for part-time faculty. National Adjunct Walk Out Day is meant to highlight the trend in higher education of relying on lower-paid, adjunct instructors who work from semester to semester.

A petition being circulated online and on Boise State’s campus Wednesday reads:

Washington State Department Of Transportation / Flickr Creative Commons

The continuing labor dispute between a West Coast dock workers union and the Pacific Maritime Association is causing headaches for Idaho businesses. Twenty-nine ports in California, Oregon and Washington have been impacted by shutdowns.

Lawmakers have moved forward a proposal to update Idaho's rules on drug use by potential law enforcement recruits.

Victor McCraw with Idaho's Peace Officer Standards and Training told a Senate legislative panel on Wednesday that the proposed changes would clarify the requirements regarding drug use and moral turpitude for law enforcement officers seeking certification.

Nearly one year after lawmakers and small business owners cast a critical eye at the contractor managing mental health and substance treatment for Idaho's poor, company officials say approval ratings remain high and problems are few.

Executives from Optum, a unit of UnitedHealth Group, told the House Health and Welfare Committee Wednesday that they had a 95 percent satisfaction rating among members who receive behavioral-health services under Medicaid.

That's according to the most recent sample survey the company sent out to their members.

Patrick McKay / Flickr

Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter has filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court making good on his promise to take the fight against gay marriage to the highest court in the land.

Uber
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The city of Boise has issued a cease-and-desist order to Uber, the app-based car service company. City officials say Uber is violating an agreement not to charge passengers until the city gives it the go ahead.

Uber has been operating in Boise since October under a temporary agreement with the city. Boise and Uber were in negotiations for a permanent contract.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

As expected, the closest statewide race of Idaho's 2014 election was for superintendent of public instruction. Unofficially, Republican Sherri Ybarra won with 50.7 percent of the vote to Democrat Jana Jones' 49.3 percent. Just 5,700 votes separated the two candidates.

mental health, in crisis
Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

Nine-year-old Kendra sits in one of the private rooms on the second floor of Boise’s Downtown public library with her community-based rehabilitation services worker, Jennifer Beason.

Beason slides a workbook to Kendra. It is what she calls her feelings journal. “Do you know what relieved is?” she asked.

Without missing a beat, Kendra rattles off examples of feeling relieved.

mental health, in crisis
Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

The voice started when Shawna Ervin was 16 years old, and it hounded her for two years.

It told her to hurt herself.

“It was relentless and wouldn’t stop laughing at me until I burned myself on my face,” she said.

When she finally did burn her face, the laughter turned maniacal. Then it stopped.

Ervin’s mental illness is not rare. She is one of thousands of Idahoans whose disorders can be severe enough to warrant hospitalization.

Philip Mazeikas, mobile crisis, mental health
Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

Two years ago, Philip Mazeikas answered the front door of his family home. The course of his life changed when he opened it.

At 24-years-old, Mazeikas found himself in the middle of his first psychotic episode.

He thought he'd been contacted by aliens who were using him in a scheme to control the world. He wasn't eating well. He was drinking his own urine.

Big Cougar Fire
Idaho Department of Lands

This story was updated at 9:45 a.m. Aug. 11, 2014

The Big Cougar fire burning in northern Idaho has charred 65,000 acres and is 50 percent contained.

The Idaho Department of Lands reports nine structures have now been destroyed by the fire that is burning south of Lewiston. An additional 200 structures are still considered threatened.

Lightning sparked the fire August 2. Mandatory and voluntary evacuations are still in effect for some residents in the area. Click here to find the latest.

s9-4pr / Flickr Creative Commons

In her 28 years covering Idaho politics, Betsy Russell has never gotten a press release from someone running for a political party chairmanship, until this year.

Normally only the party faithful would even notice the state Republican Party convention, which starts today in Moscow, and lasts all weekend. But this year, the convention and the chairman's race are getting a lot of attention.

Credit Courtesy Idaho Department of Transportation

Underneath all that snow, ice, and tree debris is Idaho's Highway 21. Somewhere. This dramatic image from the Idaho Department of Transportation shows just how much work is ahead for road crews in clearing off a 12-mile section of the scenic road south of Stanley. That orange dot near the middle of the image is an ITD crew member.

Curt McKenzie
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

On one corner of Curt McKenzie’s desk at the Idaho Capitol sit three candy jars. On the opposite corner - an Army green ammunition box.

McKenzie is the Republican state senator from Nampa who introduced a controversial bill that would allow some people to carry guns on Idaho’s college campuses. The bill has passed the Senate and is now in the House.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Boise State University says proposed legislation that would allow guns to be legally carried on its campus would cost the school about $2 million each year.

BSU’s head of security and police services, Jon Uda, detailed the costs in a university memo. In it, he says having guns on campus would present “myriad” of new threats for campus security.

Dartmouth College Athletics

A college student from Sun Valley died over the weekend while competing in a skiing event in Vermont.

Torin Tucker, 20, was a member of the Dartmouth College cross-country ski team. He died Saturday during the Craftsbury Marathon. His cause of death hasn't been determined. A school spokesman says Tucker died at the event after attempts to resuscitate him failed. Dartmouth says it will fly flags at half staff Monday and Tuesday to honor Tucker's memory. 

RoadsidePictures / Flickr Creative Commons

The grocery chain Albertsons plans to close several stores in the Northwest.

The Albany Democrat-Herald in Oregon reports that seven of 111 shops will be shuttered. The affected stores are in Washington and Oregon.

Albertsons spokesman Dennis McCoy says the Boise-based company is continuously evaluating its stores, pulling the plug on locations that are less profitable.

McCoy says some of the employees who worked at the affected stores may be able to transfer to a different location.

John Campbell

Next month, Sochi, Russia will host athletes from more than 85 nations at the Winter Olympics. Some of those countries might surprise you. They get no snow or have no mountains.

Remember the Disney movie "Cool Runnings?" It immortalized the Jamaican bobsled squad. Team Jamaica is coming back for more this year.

And so is the U.S. Virgin Islands. The U.S. territory will likely be represented by a Whitman College student who calls Sun Valley, Idaho home.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter kicks off the 2014 legislative session with his annual State of the State speech at this hour.

Otter's speech is heavy on education, and increasing education funding. He's also using the speech to coin a new idea, instead of K-12 education, Otter says the state needs to think of public education as K-Career. "It is a formula that emphasizes local autonomy and accountability as the keys to success not only for our schools but also for our communities, our economy, and most importantly for our students," Otter says.

AJForIdaho.com

The Idaho Democrats' choice to run for governor was listed as a Republican five years ago.

In 2008, Anthony Joseph "A.J." Balukoff was named as a Republican backer of then-U.S. House candidate Walt Minnick.

Balukoff was among 60 "Republicans for Minnick" during the Democrat's successful run against Bill Sali.

In an August 2008 e-mail from Minnick's campaign, Balukoff topped a group that had "supported the Republican Party with time, with money and with votes. And we will continue to do so in this election and in elections to come," according to the message.

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