Idaho Counties

Matt Hintsa / Flickr Creative Commons

If you're new to Idaho, you may wonder how some Gem State places got their names.  Thankfully, historian and Idaho Statesman columnist Arthur Hart has you covered.

In a recent column, Hart went over the origins of a number of county names:

screengrab countyhealthrankings.org / Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The healthiest counties in Idaho are Valley, Ada and Blaine. The least healthy are Clearwater, Benewah and Owyhee. That’s according to this year’s national county health rankings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. [For interactive versions of the maps above and to see previous years, click here.]

Idaho Legislature

Lawmakers on a committee charged with improving Idaho's broken public defense system have killed a resolution that would have given the state full responsibly for assigning attorneys to indigent defenders.

Earlier this year, representatives from the state's 44 counties voted that Idaho should manage the public defense system. However, members of the Legislature's Public Defense Reform Interim Committee at a meeting Monday agreed that counties should remain in control.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Government agencies in Idaho know they’ll be getting less money from the federal government for the foreseeable future. That’s because of spending cuts known as the sequester. Seth Grigg with the Idaho Association of Counties says every county and school district in the state has been preparing for a 5 percent reduction in future payments from the federal government.

“Nobody was prepared to have monies that they’d already collected… for them to need to return those dollars,” Grigg says.