Idaho

National Life Group

Wallace, Idaho was once one of the largest and most prosperous towns in the state. Situated beside Interstate 90 west of Coeur d'Alene and less than 100 miles from the Canadian border, the old mining town boomed around the turn of the 20th century. At its height, Wallace miners produced the most silver in the country, earning it the nickname "Silver Capital of the World."

WBEZ / Flickr Creative Commons

There’s a story you hear in small towns and big cities all over the country. It goes like this: a lot of people get addicted to prescription opioid pain killers like oxycodone. When they can’t get those anymore they turn to heroin because the experience is similar and heroin is cheaper and easier to get. Much of the United States is now experiencing what is widely being called a heroin epidemic.

In Idaho we have the first part of that story. Walter Bogucki is an inpatient counselor at Port of Hope, a drug treatment center in Nampa.

Dept. of Defense

The latest episode of Serial, the This American Life podcast covering Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in its second season, explored the reasons the Idaho soldier said he walked off base in 2009.

Bergdahl told filmmaker Mark Boal that he wrote upwards of 380 pages for a report for Maj. Kenneth Dahl, who investigated the case, about his motivations for leaving his base in Afghanistan. 

Facebook

In the fifth episode of 'Serial," the popular podcast focusing its second season on Idaho native Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, producer Sarah Koenig explores the many ways, official and unofficial, people stateside sought Bergdahl's freedom.

Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in 2009 when he walked off his base in Afghanistan. He was held for about five years until President Barack Obama negotiated a deal to have him released.

Dept. of Defense

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier who walked off his base in Afghanistan in 2006, didn't like clocks in his room after being rescued from the Taliban in 2014, he said in the fourth episode of "Serial's" second season.

"Serial" is the popular "This American Life" spin-off podcast that delved into a true crime story in its first season and is focusing on Bergdahl in its second season.

Bergdahl told filmmaker Mark Boal in an interview on the episode that he became uncomfortable with clocks during his five years in the Taliban's hands.

"Months and days, weeks or months, don't matter because (the) only thing you can really understand is how long the seconds are lasting," Bergdahl said in the interview. "That's what hits you the hardest: is just the seconds."

Click here to read the entire story from the Idaho Statesman.

Idaho Statesman

It’s quickly established where “Serial,” the popular podcast focusing its second season on the story of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, got the name of its second episode, “The Golden Chicken.”

That’s a name a member of the Taliban used to describe Bergdahl as a prized capture. Mujahid Rahman, whom producer Sarah Koenig identified as one of the Taliban who helped hide Bergdahl in the days following his 2009 capture, claimed they designated Bergdahl a guest to keep lower Taliban members from killing or abusing Bergdahl.

Jerry Mathes

A writer from Idaho has won a North American Book Award. Author Jerry Mathes won the best memoir award for his book “Ahead of the Flaming Front: A Life on Fire.”

Serial, the most popular podcast produced to date, began its second season Thursday morning, and as rumored, it’s focusing on Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey. Bergdahl was held captive in Afghanistan for five years after leaving his post, then was traded back to the U.S. in a controversial prisoner swap and currently awaits word on whether he’ll be court-martialed.

Boise State Public Radio

Make some room, 208.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission approved the change Monday. People with the current 208 number, which has been around since 1947, will be able to keep their area code. “986” will get assigned to new phone numbers beginning in 2017.

Once the second area code is added, 10-digit dialing will be required throughout the state.  

Aaron Hockley / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho gets almost half of its electricity from coal-fired plants in nearby states. But where the coal is burned doesn’t change things for Kelsey Nunez. She’s the executive director of the Snake River Alliance and says Idaho’s dependence on the carbon-emitting source needs to end.

Crowdrise

Twenty-five-year-old Luke Richardson was last seen on September 12th. The Vermont-native, who was living in Hailey, was last spotted on the Summit Creek Trail. His tent and coat were later found in his home.

But after eight days of looking extensively in difficult mountain terrain, officials called off the search. Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey says crews had scoured 51 square miles and logged almost 2000 man hours. Searchers used military helicopters, drones and dogs, and rescuers from Idaho and Montana.

CyberHades / Flickr Creative Commons

The state of Idaho’s new Cybersecurity Task Force holds its first meeting Wednesday afternoon. Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter created the group through executive order in July. Lieutenant Governor Brad Little will chair the task force.

Deb Love / Trust for Public Lands

An Idaho official is trying to garner support from counties in western states to legally challenge the government's ownership of public lands.

The Lewiston Tribune reports Idaho County Commission Chairman Jim Chmelik is traveling this week with the goal of getting 100 counties to sign on to support the Western Landmark Foundation.

The foundation was formed in March with Chmelik as the registered agent. He says when 50 counties have signed up he'll start asking supporters to contribute between $3,500 and $5,000 each toward a legal fund.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

You’ve probably seen this design on someone’s chest or the back window of cars:  It's the state of Idaho, appearing as a gun, but shooting a pine tree instead of a bullet.  

The design seems to be everywhere, but so are a lot of Idaho-themed designs. In the last few years, the shape of the state of Idaho has found its way into more and more everyday art like t-shirts, hats and decals.

Gay marriage, couples, lawsuit
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Six same-sex couples in northern Idaho who received marriage licenses before state officials say a federal court made such unions legal are being given a unique state-approved opportunity for a do-over.

Northern Idaho officials are offering a marriage license application that has the unusual option of selecting already married.

The application available only to the six same-sex couples in Latah County who married in early October is intended to allow them to get a new application without denying they're already married.

Dan Dzurisin / Flickr Creative Commons

Between 2007-2013, the greater sage grouse population declined by 56 percent across 11 states. That's according to a study paid for by the Pew Charitable Trusts, which looked at the sage brush habitat as a whole.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

One Idaho start-up company is making strides in the drone industry, and has begun flying the unmanned aircrafts to help farmers get the best possible yield. The goal is to accurately and quickly assess problem crops early on – ones that could be weather damaged or needing more water – so the farmers can make adjustments.  

Images from drones equipped with high-tech cameras and sensors can show hard-to-access problem areas, potentially saving farmers time and money.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Federal authorities have made public the final management plan for six wilderness areas and 16 wild and scenic river segments in southwestern Idaho.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Monday published on the Federal Register the Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Management Plan.

Amanda Peacher / OPB

On Nov. 13, 2014, Tod Halsey noticed something strange about one part of the roof under the cut shop at Woodgrain Millwork. It was sagging between two beams.

“It was literally bowing,” said Halsey, a forklift driver who worked at the mill for 28 years. “It looked like it was smiling.”
 

“I told supervisors,” he said. “They came out and looked at it and said it would be all right.”

The sagging roof troubled Halsey, but he said even he would not have guessed what would come.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The U.S. Agriculture Department has declared two northeast Nevada counties natural disaster areas due to the lingering drought with an emergency order that also makes emergency low-interest loans available to farmers, ranchers and businesses in parts of neighboring Idaho and Utah.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday declared Nevada's Elko and Eureka counties primary natural disaster areas. The disaster assistance that becomes available there also applies to contiguous counties in Utah — Box Elder and Tooele — and in Idaho's Cassia, Owyhee and Twin Falls counties.

Pages