Idaho News

Dieseldemon / Flickr Creative Commons

Voters in the Wood River Valley may be asked to consider another local option tax to fund airline services and marketing efforts.

Boise State Public Radio

Boise community activist Marilyn Shuler passed away this morning. She was 77.

Shuler is best remembered for a number of accomplishments. She led the Idaho Human Rights Commission for 20 years, from 1978 to 1998. Former Governor Cecil Andrus called her “(an) influence at the moral center of Idaho.”

Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

Oddly enough, you can buy fireworks in Idaho, but detonating aerial types in the state is illegal. The Table Rock Fire started unintentionally with illegal fireworks on June 30th of last year; the total cost of battling the flames ended up around $341,000.

Immediately following the fire, Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan called the fireworks policy “absolutely ludicrous.”

Now, Doan is asking lawmakers to prohibit the sale of fireworks in Idaho.

J. Mc. / Flickr Creative Commons

The City of Boise wants people to move their inaccessible bins from alleys to the street. The request comes after winter storms that have made some alleys with piled-up snow and ice impossible for trucks to navigate.

Here's the full press release from the city:

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Treasure Valley bus riders are now able to cruise the web at the same time they cruise around town.

ValleyRide buses are offering free wireless internet to their users. The WiFi is another step toward modernization of the bus system; in Oct. 2016, the system opened a brand new underground transit center in downtown.

According to a press release from Valley Regional Transit, the service will come with filters to block access to websites deemed inappropriate. Many cities across the world have offered free internet on buses for years.

Jason Lantz / Idaho Bureau of Land Management

Four days in January cost Southwest Idaho and Eastern Oregon more than $25 million in winter storm damage. The Idaho Statesman talked with a New Jersey-based company that analyzes insurance claims data, and reports the Jan. 6-9 storm meets the industry standard of a “catastrophic event.”

Verisk Analytics says the total pricetag for damaged homes, cars and businesses is unclear.

Dean Shareski / Flickr

This winter’s snow and cold temperatures have taken a toll on area roads. And it’s not just piles of snow that are causing problems. On many streets there are new potholes to worry about.

Potholes crop up every winter, but back-to-back storms this season have made these road hazards blossom.

The Idaho Transportation Department says usually there is time after a winter storm for crews to put temporary patches on potholes. But with so many storms so close together, they can't keep up.

Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Wednesday evening, St. Luke's Men's Health Clinic is hosting a motivational speaker at Boise State University. Travis Mills has a New York Times bestseller and loads of confidence. But what he doesn’t have is a key part of the story.

Bill Dentzer / Idaho Statesman

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has signed a disaster declaration for Washington County in west-central Idaho due to snow accumulations.

The proclamation signed Monday makes available $65,000 that officials in Weiser say is needed to truck snow out of the city.

The document notes that snow is putting buildings at risk. The Idaho Statesman reports that Weiser's only grocery store collapsed under the weight of snow last week.

inl.gov

The director of the Idaho National Laboratory says it's problematic whether a small quantity of spent nuclear fuel needed for research will be allowed into Idaho this spring.

The lab renegotiated a research agreement to allow the shipment to be received later this year, Mark Peters told the Post Register.

IdahoPower.com

As part of a push to relicense the Hells Canyon hydroelectric facilities, Idaho Power is seeking an expenditure review by the state’s Public Utilities Commission

If the commission agrees to review the $221 million spent by Idaho Power and grants a prudency determination, the electric company could recoup that money from ratepayers.

Rick Strack / Boise State Public Radio

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released new floodplain maps. Those revisions could impact some Treasure Valley residents.

The new maps cover parts of Ada and Canyon Counties.

The floodplain is an area that has a one percent chance of being inundated each year. The new maps chart areas facing the risk of being overrun with water along the Boise River, Nine Mile Creek and Willow Creek among others.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Demonstrations are expected both in Washington, D.C. and across the country as Donald Trump assumes the presidency. One of the biggest will be the Women's March on Washington set for Saturday. The movement has generated so-called sister marches across the nation, including here in the Gem State.

Courtesy Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and backers of a proposed for-profit osteopathic medical school have been touting the 78 new medical residency positions the proposed school claims to have created.

But an Associated Press review shows those residency spots don't yet exist, and the accreditation board responsible for approving them has denied the first step in the process of creating them. A separate accreditation board has also deferred a decision on whether to grant the proposed Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine pre-accreditation status.

Purple Sage Farms

If you visit the Boise Farmers Market in the summer, you’ve probably seen Tim Sommer and his family selling greens. They’ve owned Purple Sage Farms in Middleton since 1988, and sell to local restaurants in the Treasure and Wood River Valleys.

webmarketsonline.com

With a string of powerful storms bringing winter conditions not seen for over 30 years, accumulating snow continues to be an issue across the Treasure Valley. If you need help digging out, there's an app for that.

Shovel Up Boise connects those in need help of getting out from under all the snow with those willing to handle a shovel or operate a snow blower and do a little work.

AP

Astronaut and teacher Barbara Morgan is the first recipient of Idaho's highest civilian honor.

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter announced Morgan's achievement after his annual State of the State address on Monday.

Morgan was an elementary teacher in McCall before joining NASA's Teacher in Space program. She later trained as a NASA mission specialist and flew on the Endeavor space shuttle in 2007.

The Idaho Medal of Achievement was created in 2015.

Frankie Barnhil / Boise State Public Radio

Six-and-a-half inches of snow fell Tuesday in Boise, bringing the total snow depth to 15 inches so far this year – a new record. The snow storm prompted the closure of area schools and some businesses, and caused almost 100 car accidents.

 

“The last 29 years I guess the district looks wise for not investing in plow trucks that they didn’t need," says Ada County Highway District President Paul Woods. "Now on this 30th year I guess one could say: ‘Well how come you don’t have more trucks?’”

Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise says it’s sad to report that Jabari the lion was euthanized Wednesday.

We told you last year that the 14-year-old lion was diagnosed with lymphoma. He was getting treatment, including chemotherapy. But his health continued to decline and his condition worsened recently.

It was 2008 when Jabari and two female lions opened the African Plains Exhibit. He was a favorite at the zoo, often roaring during the day.

Michael Kappel / Flickr Creative Commons

Officials in southwest Idaho's highly populated Ada County say they've deployed their entire fleet of snow removal equipment and contracted with private entities for more as a winter storm moves through.

The Ada County Highway District on Wednesday says 58 pieces of equipment ranging from snow plows to anti-icing units are in action and that six private road graders have also been hired.

The National Weather Service says about 5 inches of snow have fallen in the last 24 hours in the snowstorm expected to last until late Wednesday in an area that includes Boise.

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