Idaho News

Ada County Highway District

Starting next week, the Ada County Highway District will begin work on a major construction project at Cole Road and Fairview Avenue in Boise. That will impact your commute.

Beginning January 3, ACHD will start the project by closing down Cole Road south of Fairview through February. Drivers will be detoured to Milwaukee and Curtis through Emerald.

The Stanton Project / Facebook

Planned Parenthood is suing a women's clinic in Idaho over the harassment of Planned Parenthood patients and employees in a parking lot shared by the two organizations.

Charles Peterson / Flickr Creative Commons

The past week's unprecedented cold and snowfall have shattered weather records across eastern Idaho.

Enough snow fell in Pocatello to more than triple the previous record. Set in 2008, the old December 16 record was just three inches of the white stuff. Last Friday’s storm dumped a whopping nine-and-a-half inches of snow on the Pocatello Airport.

City of Idaho Falls

Firefighters have rescued a Russian tortoise named Yoda at an eastern Idaho elementary school after a heating device caused his habitat to start smoldering.

The Idaho Falls Fire Department says it responded early Wednesday to a fire alarm at Fairview Elementary School in Idaho Falls and found the building filled with smoke.

Crews discovered a smoldering fire in a classroom in Yoda's 30-gallon enclosure and saved the tortoise.

Boise State Public Radio

Two internet companies are asking a federal judge to block Attorney General Lawrence Wasden from forcing them to return millions of dollars paid under a canceled state broadband contract.

Education Networks of America Inc. and CenturyLink Communications LLC first filed their lawsuits in federal court in August, where they argued that the state owed them more than $37 million in back payments and damages.

Rachel La Corte / AP Images

Between July 2015 and July 2016 the state grew by more than 30,000 people. That's according to the latest census data, and is the biggest increase since 2008.

The 1.8 percent gain comes from people who moved to the Gem State from other parts of the country, and from babies born in Idaho. The state is fifth when it comes to in-migration and seventh for births. Utah topped the list for growth by percentage, followed by Nevada. Other western states like Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Arizona also made it in the top-10 list.  

AP

If you thought it was exceptionally cold this weekend in the Treasure Valley, you'd be right. The frigid temperatures were the coldest in three years.

The National Weather Service says the Boise Airport hit zero degrees Sunday morning at precisely 8 a.m. While the mercury only stayed there for a few minutes, it was long enough to break a three-year streak of temperatures.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr

We told you last week that Monday will be the busiest mailing day of the year. But exactly how busy will it get?

In Idaho alone, more than 2.4 million cards, letters and packages are expected to be mailed today. That breaks down to 100,800 pieces per hour, 1,680 per minute or 28 per second.

Across the country, 611 million pieces of mail will be mailed today. That’s 7,000 per second.

Throughout the holiday season, postal carriers across the U.S. will deliver 750 million packages. That’s a 12 percent increase from 2015 and double the number from just four years ago.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

A wolf that escaped from a drive-thru wildlife tourist attraction in southeastern Idaho has been shot and killed by the owner of the business, Idaho officials said.

Courtney Ferguson, the owner of Yellowstone Bear World near Yellowstone National Park, tracked the wolf through snow and shot it about an hour after it escaped from the facility that also has bears, elk, bison and deer.

St Luke's Hospital Main Entrance
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A health care provider says it's banning all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones at its facilities throughout Idaho.

St. Luke's Health System in a news release Monday says the ban applies to all employees, patients and visitors.

St. Luke's says signs about the ban will be put up in prominent locations.

Samsung, based in South Korean, recently recalled millions of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones globally because of a problem that causes the batteries to overheat and catch fire.

However, it's believed many of the devices remain in use.

Idaho Freedom Foundation

Following last month’s election, some form of legal marijuana use is allowed in every state that borders Idaho. The Gem State’s strict prohibition of cannabis – even for medicinal purposes – goes against a national trend of increased access.

The libertarian-leaning Idaho Freedom Foundation advocates legalizing a medical form of pot used to treat disorders like epilepsy. The group’s president, Wayne Hoffman, discussed their position with our Matt Guilhem.

Facebook

Police in Boise say a 61-year-old man has been arrested in New York in connection with the death of an 18-year-old Boise woman whose body was found in late October.

Police say Bruce Marchant was arrested Thursday on a warrant charging him with murder, rape and kidnapping.

Idaho authorities say they will seek to extradite Marchant back to Idaho. The timing of that isn't clear.

Sierra Bush disappeared in September and her body was found in late October at an outdoor location south of Idaho City, about 40 miles northwest of Boise.

Gowen Field Military Division
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho National Guard says its training center in Boise is one of five locations the U.S. Air Force is considering as a base for about 18 fighter jets.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the F-35s would replace 21 A-10 planes that are currently based at Gowen Field. The Idaho Guard says a lot of work must be done before the military makes a decision, including an Environmental Impact Study and a facility inspection.

If Gowen is selected, the new flight likely won't arrive until 2021 or 2022.

IDOC

The Idaho Board of Correction has appointed Henry Atencio as the new director of prisons two days after his predecessor, Kevin Kempf, gave his resignation notice.

The board unanimously appointed Atencio to the position Wednesday. The Idaho Senate must now ratify Atencio's appointment during the 2017 legislative session.

Creative Commons Courtesy: @thekevinchang

Officials with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are once again preparing to push a plan to raise hunting and fishing fees, despite previous resistance from state lawmakers who have refused to advance similar proposals.

Director Virgil Moore announced earlier this week that his department has had to cut services because of a drop in funding. The agency relies on revenue from licenses, tags and permits to cover operational costs and does not receive general state tax dollars. However, those fees haven't increased in roughly 12 years.

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