Idaho News

Idaho National Guard

A military officer testified Monday that he saw another soldier shot in the head during the 2009 search for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who's accused of endangering his comrades when he walked off his post in Afghanistan.

The testimony came at a pretrial hearing at which an Army judge also agreed to delay Bergdahl's trial by several months until May 15, 2017.

Prosecutors are arguing that the judge should allow evidence of two wounded soldiers' injuries into the case to help them show that Bergdahl's disappearance effectively put other military members in harm's way.

Peter Roome / Flickr Creative Commons

City officials in central Idaho have approved allowing restaurants with five or fewer locations to open in McCall.

KTVB-TV reports that the resort town had previously only allowed restaurants with more than one location to make up just 10 percent of restaurants inside the city limits.

City council members approved the new ordinance during their Nov. 3 meeting.

Photo provided by family via Richard Bennett

On this Veterans Day, veterans of World War II are disappearing at a rapid rate. Many veterans of that era never talked about their wartime experiences and came back from the war to live otherwise ordinary lives.

Richard Bennett is a freelance writer who grew up in Mountain Home after World War II. What he didn’t know then was how many of the men who lived in his small town had gone off to war. It wasn’t until much later, as he began to research their history, that he learned about the contributions they had made during that period.

As part of Veterans Day, the Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa is holding a symposium Saturday on women in the military.

2016 is the Year of the Woman for Idaho’s military, both currently serving and veterans. Last week's Veterans Day parade in Boise was dedicated to woman.

Amethyst Keaten is a Senior Master Sergeant in the Idaho Air National Guard. She says women don’t make up a large percentage of her branch, the Air Force, but they have a big impact.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

After a divisive political election, about 100 people gathered at the Idaho Statehouse today to try to come together and find common ground.

The Interfaith Alliance held a service with a Rabbi and an LDS minister, along with Unitarian and Episcopalian members.

Judy Cross is the President of the Board of Directors for Interfaith Alliance of Idaho. She organized the event a few weeks before the election.

Today she said the state needs healing, after such a polarizing election.

Flickr Creative Commons

An Idaho construction company is formally appealing findings that it failed to properly train and protect its employees.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration found a lack of training by Hard Rock Construction was a factor when two workers died in a Boise trench collapse.

Seth Perlman / AP

School officials in southwest Idaho say a bus driver slammed on the brakes when several kids were fighting, and a parent says her second-grade daughter suffered a concussion as a result.

West Ada School District spokesman Eric Exline tells KBOI-TV that surveillance video shows the bus driver did slam on the brakes Wednesday, but it's not clear why.

Kids flew forward because the bus doesn't have seatbelts. A parent says a doctor on Thursday examined her second-grade daughter and diagnosed the concussion.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A Halloween activity growing in popularity is that of cemetery tours. These guided tours are designed not only to provide a little scare, but usually include a lot of history about the cemetery and the people buried there.

Preservation Idaho, which works to preserve historic sites in the state, is hosting a tour Sunday of Boise's Cloverdale Cemetery. It’s known for its resident swans and a group of reindeer which live on the premises.

Jason Margolis / Twitter

This week, we're bringing you a series of stories on refugees in Boise. The public radio show "The World" sent reporter Jason Margolis to Idaho to learn more about how refugees are making a go of it in the city. The three reports are part of PRI's "Global Nation," a program that tells real-world stories of immigrants in the United States.

St. Luke's

When you think of Giant Sequoia trees, you may think California before you think Boise. But Idaho’s largest Giant Sequoia, with its complicated history, is about to be moved from behind St. Luke’s Hospital downtown.

The 98-foot-tall tree is more than 20 feet around. The tree began life as a tiny cutting given to Dr. Fred Pittenger and planted next to his house around 1912.

It grew, and grew, as St. Luke’s and the city grew too. But it almost perished in the 1980s, smothered by the holiday spirit of the community.

Nat Tung / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s almost that time of year, where you give out handfuls of candy to young trick or treaters. But what kind of candy is the most popular?

Turns out, Idaho’s number one Halloween candy is … candy corn. Apparently it’s a big hit according to CandyStore.com.

Yes, there is a place on the internet where you can buy pounds of candy for Halloween, or any other occasion. CandyStore.com has been around since 2007.

The Idaho Transportation Department says the number of crashes involving teen drivers is on the rise.

The Post Register reports that in every category of crashes tracked by the department, the number involving teens increased between 2014 and 2015.

According to the department, drivers aged 15 to 19 were two-and-a-half times more likely to be involved in a crash.

Fatalities were up 70 percent from 2014, and serious injury crashes rose by 36 percent statewide.

A University of Idaho fraternity has been suspended and is under investigation due to undisclosed allegations.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that university officials said Tuesday that the chapter of Delta Sigma Phi is accused of engaging in behavior that is inconsistent with the university's policies.

Fraternity officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Facebook / West Valley Humane Society

Amid financial questions, the board president and interim executive director of the West Valley Humane Society have resigned.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the shelter announced the resignation of Board President Brenda Cameron and interim Executive Director Susan Woodward on Monday afternoon.

The resignations come after governmental entities, including the cities of Nampa and Caldwell and Canyon County, began considering a financial audit of the shelter after a number of late invoices.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP Images

Despite attempts to reconcile their differences, two high-profile Boiseans appear to be on the path to divorce.

 

Saeed Abedini made international headlines when he was freed from an Iranian prison earlier this year after his wife, Naghmeh, advocated for three years to get him released. The Christian pastor had been arrested in Iran after the government accused him of starting home churches in the Islamic country.

Federal officials say they've purchased 8 acres in south-central Idaho to establish a national cemetery.

The Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration announced Tuesday that it bought the property in Buhl from a private owner for $51,250.

Interim Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Ronald E. Walters in a statement says the new cemetery will help the agency reach veterans in rural parts of Idaho.

The cemetery is being developed as part of the National Cemetery Administration Rural Initiative program.

Bureau of Land Management

An alarm system triggered by the fire let Bureau of Land Management employees know their Challis office was burning Tuesday morning.

The fire, which began around 2:00 a.m., gutted the 14-year-old building. The walls are still standing, but the roof is almost completely destroyed and the inside is scorched black.

 

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

Federal safety authorities have fined a southwest Idaho company $77,000 following the deaths of two workers in a trench collapse in Boise.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Tuesday issued the fines to Meridian-based Hard Rock Construction.

Thirty-six-year-old Bert Smith and 26-year-old Ernesto Saucedo died when the trench collapsed on May 3 while they worked to install a sewer line.

Federal officials say the company failed to put in safety measures and didn't instruct the employees on methods to eliminate cave-in hazards.

A Tuesday morning fire has caused significant damage to a U.S. Bureau of Land Management office in central Idaho and an arson task force has been called in to investigate.

The Custer County Sheriff's Office says the fire reported at about 2 a.m. appears to have started on the south side of the building in a shop area.

BLM spokeswoman Sarah Wheeler says the building is uninhabitable for the 30 full-time and seasonal employees.

There have been no reports of injuries, and authorities didn't have a damage estimate.

Preservation Idaho

Boise is known as the City of Trees, and one man had a lot to do with that title. Walter Pierce planted 7,000 trees in Boise. One of the neighborhoods he built, and some of his trees, will be part of a tour this weekend.

Walter Pierce was a land locator and surveyor in the late 1800s. When he started a business in Boise in 1890 he platted several Boise neighborhoods, including Elm Grove Park west of Harrison Boulevard in the North End.

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