Idaho News

CompassioninWorldFarming / Flickr

A dozen groups representing food safety supporters, free speech advocates and labor unions are helping fight the Idaho law banning secret filming of animal abuse at agricultural facilities.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the groups have filed friend-of-the-court briefs with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals detailing their opposition. They argue that the law violates the First Amendment.

No groups have filed similar briefs in support of the law.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

To mark the Boise Depot’s 92nd birthday, the Union Pacific Railroad brought in a very special guest from their facility in Cheyenne, Wyoming. As Engine 844 made the trip from Wyoming across Idaho, the unmistakable sound of a steam whistle rang out at stops in Pocatello, Gooding and Nampa as it headed to the Boise Depot.

When it arrived in Nampa Saturday afternoon, an excited a crowd of hundreds turned out to see the massive locomotive up close.

Kyle Green
Courtesy Idaho Statesman

The highest paid employee on Idaho's payroll is eligible for bigger bonuses under a newly amended contract.

The Idaho State Board of Education agreed Thursday to up how much Boise State University's head football coach Bryan Harsin can make in bonuses each year.

Harsin will now be eligible for a $50,000 bonus if the Broncos become the champion of its six-team division. Previously, the amount was $15,000. Harsin could also see a $75,000 bonus if the team wins its athletic conference's title game — a bump from the former $50,000.

AP

Who are the Basques? In episode three of Some of the Parts, we look at why you’ll hear a different answer to that question in Idaho than you’ll hear anywhere else in the world.

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Update, April 20: The Valley County team did not take home one of the top prizes in Denver, despite making it to the finals. 

BC / Flickr Creative Commons

When a rocket engineering club at the University of Idaho tested an experimental rocket fuel, the accelerant exploded sending 4 students to the hospital.

The students are out of surgery and recovering; initial reports following the explosion said three of the students were in stable condition and one was in critical condition.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The alley known as Cooper Court wraps around Interfaith Sanctuary homeless shelter near downtown Boise. For much of 2015 the alley was packed to bursting with tents, makeshift shelters and the people living in them who preferred the streets to staying in shelters. That camp was one of the biggest local news stories of 2015. Police eventually cleared it, scattering its residents.

Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise reported Thursday that its beloved giraffe, Julius Longfellow, has died.

The 11-year-old male Julius fell early Thursday morning. Zoo workers tried to get him back up but couldn’t, and had to euthanize him. A necropsy is planned.

Julius came to Zoo Boise in 2008 from the African Safari Wildlife Park in Ohio. A private fundraising campaign paid for his purchase and transport to Boise. His first name, Julius, was in honor of a donor to Zoo Boise. His last name, Longfellow, came thanks to Longfellow Elementary School, which raised money for him.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The tent camp in an alley called Cooper Court put homelessness at the forefront of Boise’s collective conscience like nothing else had in recent memory. In episode two of Some of the Parts, we check in with some of its residents one year after Boise Police cleared the alley.

ITD

"This is bad," says an unknown voice on the video. That seems to be an understatement, as 800 cubic yards of hillside slide down onto the roadway south of Bonners Ferry.

The slide was caught on video by Idaho Transportation Department workers on April 7.

Here's what happened: ITD Land Surveyor Mathew Wilson was checking out the stability of the hillside. As he videotaped, he heard popping and cracking coming from the site. Flaggers on the scene stopped traffic as horrified workers watched. Three minutes later, the hill slowly slides right down onto the road.

Though Still Mostly Rural, Idaho's Urban Population Is Growing

Apr 11, 2017
Boise, downtown, city, moon
Charles Knowles / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho is considered a rural state. Ranked by population density, it is one of the most sparsely populated states in the U.S. But in 2016, Idaho was also the third fastest-growing state in the country.

Migration from other states was a big reason for that. According to the Idaho Department of Labor, last year more than 19,000 people moved here from other areas, and more than 10,000 babies were born here. 

Seth Perlman / Associated Press

If you’re e-filing your taxes as next week’s deadline looms, and your return is rejected, you may be the victim of identity theft. The Idaho Tax Commission has already seen cases of fraudulent returns.

Since January, the Idaho Tax Commission has prevented the theft of close to $300,000 in Idaho refunds that were targeted by criminals.

Tawnya Eldredge is the Commission’s identity theft assistance coordinator.

Penn State / Flickr Creative Commons

The nation's only underground nuclear repository has received its first shipment of waste, more than three years after shipping was halted in response to a radiation release that contaminated part of the facility.

The U.S. Energy Department said Monday that the shipment from a federal facility in Idaho marked a milestone for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and the government sites where waste left over from decades of nuclear weapons research and development has been stacking up.

AP

A proposed for-profit osteopathic medical school in Idaho may have to delay its opening date a year if a national accreditation agency does not sign off on its plans this month.

That could postpone other projects, including a proposed $3 million expansion to Idaho State University's anatomy and physiology laboratory that the new school plans to fund and use.

Idaho Statesman

Boise officials have hired a contractor to clean up lead and other debris that's accumulated at a police shooting range in the foothills on the north side of the city.

City spokesman Mike Journee tells the Idaho Statesman in a story on Friday that Metals Treatment Technologies will be paid about $50,000.

Journee says the company will evaluate what is required to do a more thorough cleanup of the area that's been used as a shooting range since 1960.

Interfaith Sanctuary

Homeless people in Boise face many challenges, including where to sleep, where to find food and how to get around. But one homeless advocate found that one of the biggest challenges of being homeless is proving who you are. Getting a legal, photo ID, if you don’t have one, can be almost impossible.

Eustacia B / Flickr Creative Commons

Officials in northern Idaho say thousands of gallons of raw sewage seeped into Hayden Lake.

KREM-TV reports that the Hayden Lake Recreational Water and Sewer District was notified Wednesday of the sewage spill. The sewage seeped up from the ground due to a faulty sewer service connection.

District representatives estimate that 3,500 to 17,000 gallons of sewage was released into the lake.

The lake has since been disinfected with sodium hypochlorite and does not pose a known threat to the public.

In this debut episode, what happens when you’re part of two communities that don’t get along? Hear one person’s story of trying to be part of two groups and not feeling at home anywhere. Denying either might mean truly belonging in the other but can you choose to deny part of who you are?  

Interfaith Sanctuary

Boise’s Interfaith Sanctuary is holding a musical benefit Thursday night at the Record Exchange. Its directors say they’ve changed how they look at homelessness and now rely more than ever on the generosity of the community.

Interfaith Co-Director Jodi Peterson says in the past, the Sanctuary had two licensed social workers to serve 164 guests at night at the shelter. But Peterson says that wasn’t enough. So they upped the budget from $650,000 to one million dollars, and now employ 10 case managers.

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