Law & Justice

Twitter: @SenatorRisch

Senator Jim Risch proposed a novel idea for protecting the nation's power grid from cyber threats. The senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee thinks we should rely less on electronics and more on humans to manage the nation's electricity.

The Republican senator cited a 2015 cyber attack on Ukraine's power grid as evidence for his proposal. Power was cut to some 215,000 Ukranians in the incident, but the outage would've been even more widespread had humans not still been in physical control of some elements of the grid.

Charlie Litchfield / AP

A former regional manager for private prison company Corrections Corporation of America says top employees at a private prison in Idaho were given yearly bonuses if they cut costs on salary, wages and other operational expenses and met other company goals.

CCA, which has since changed its name to CoreCivic, operated the Idaho Correctional Center under a $29 million annual contract with the state of Idaho until chronic understaffing, violence and other problems prompted Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to order the state to take over the facility in 2013.

Rob Howard / Flickr Creative Commons

St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Bonners Ferry burned to the ground last spring. At the time, the loss of the building was estimated to be worth $1 million. Investigators found signs of vandalism in the church after the fire was put out, including a broken statue of Jesus they say was smashed before the fire brought the building down.

Rick Bowmer / AP

Jury selection begins Tuesday in the second trial involving people who took part in last winter's armed takeover of a wildlife refuge in southeastern Oregon.

Jurors last fall acquitted occupation leader Ammon Bundy and six others who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to protest the federal control of Western lands and the imprisonment of two ranchers convicted of setting fires.

The Spokesman Review

It’s been 25 years since the Ruby Ridge siege in North Idaho. Randy Weaver and his family faced off with federal agents in a shocking stand-off on a mountain top not far from Bonners Ferry.

The siege began on August 21, 1992 and lasted 11 days. In the end, Weaver and a friend were shot and injured, and three people were dead, including Weaver’s wife and young son and a federal agent. Moreover, the incident became a rallying cry for those who felt law enforcement had overstepped its bounds.

roberto volterra / Flickr

State auditors say Idaho's child welfare system is overwhelmed, with too few foster parents, too heavy caseloads for social workers and not enough infrastructure to hold it all together.

The study from the Legislature's Office of Performance Evaluations found that the number of foster parents has decreased by 8 percent since 2014, while social workers are dealing with 28 to 38 percent more cases than they can reasonably handle.

Idaho National Guard

President Donald Trump's campaign-trail condemnation of Bowe Bergdahl — the army sergeant charged with desertion while serving in Afghanistan — won't prevent the soldier from getting a fair trial, according to military prosecutors.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Attorney General says Western Union has agreed to a settlement that involves a series of scams and more than 2,000 Idahoans.

AG Lawrence Wasden says scams are very active in Idaho right now, and especially affect the elderly. Scammers contact their victims and often pose as relatives or officials from the IRS. They demand payment from the victim in the form of a wire transfer, such as through Western Union.

Wasden found more than 2,000 complaints by Idahoans to Western Union between 2004 and 2015. Victims reported losses of $2.4 million dollars.

Rick Bowmer / AP

Leaders of an armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in rural Oregon were driving to a public meeting a year ago when police shot and killed one of them at a roadblock.

Now, LaVoy Finicum's widow and their children are planning to hold that meeting later this month in the same town, John Day. Speakers are slated to talk about the Constitution, property rights and other issues.

Todd Lappin / Flickr Creative Commons

A Nigerian woman found her Toyota Rav-4 vandalized Monday morning. The vehicle was doused in white paint, the driver’s window smashed and the radio destroyed. Scrawled in the paint poured on the vehicle were the words “Go Back.”

Mike Crapo / United States Senate

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo will start his next term in Congress by joining the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Crapo already sits on four committees, Budget, Finance, Indian Affairs, as well as Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Now he joins the Judiciary Committee.

Crapo will be part of the group that has jurisdiction for judicial and executive nominations - everything from Attorney General to the nation’s highest court. Plus, many district and appeal courts. Crapo says he’s ready to weigh in on a new Supreme Court nominee, to replace Judge Antonin Scalia, who died last year.

Boise Police Department City Hall Logo
Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

A Boise Police officer who was shot in November during a manhunt says he is paralyzed from the waist down.

It was November when police tracked down Marco Romero on the Boise Bench after his alleged crime spree that included a Meridian shooting and a carjacking. The manhunt ended in a shootout, leaving Romero dead and two BPD officers and one K9 officer injured.

AP

A new state audit of the evidence collected in Idaho's sexual assault investigations shows that law enforcement officials didn't submit nearly half of the rape kits to be tested.

Officials say that's largely because the cases were no longer being investigated or the agency determined no crime had been committed.

The Idaho State Police released its findings last week as required under a state law enacted earlier this year.

A longtime office manager at the exclusive Arid Club in Boise is charged with embezzling thousands from the well-heeled organization.

The Arid Club is popular with the Treasure Valley’s elite and political class. Office manager Paula Marcelin was in court yesterday and waived her right to a preliminary hearing. She’s scheduled to be arraigned in early January.

Bowe Bergdahl
Ted Richardson / AP Images

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s lawyers want President Obama to pardon their client. The attorneys filed the request earlier this month, in a last-ditch effort to get Bergdahl off the hook before a new administration takes over.

 

Military law expert Richard Rosen of the Center for Military Law and Policy says the request for a presidential pardon is the equivalent of a Hail Mary pass.  

“So I’ve not heard of a case like this, but this is a highly unusual case,” says Rosen. 

Tom Kelly/Flickr

The Idaho State Police and other law enforcement agencies are pushing for new rules for 911 and emergency dispatchers.

Idaho does not currently require training or hiring standards for 911 dispatchers.

ISP, the Idaho Sheriff’s Association and the Idaho Chiefs of Police want to change that. They’ve drafted legislation that would require a week of either academy or online training in the field of emergency dispatching.

Dispatchers would also have to take a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education classes every two years.

Boise Police Department

Boise Police K-9 Jardo, who was injured in a firefight last week on the Boise Bench, has died.

Boise Police Chief Bill Bones said Jardo died due to complications from the wounds he received during the manhunt. Two police officers, Corporal Chris Davis and Corporal Kevin Holtry were both injured, along with Jardo. Davis is recovering at home and Holtry remains at St. Alphonsus. Parolee Marco Romero was killed.

Roadsidepictures / Flickr Creative Commons

A former deputy fire chief in the southwestern Idaho city of Nampa has ended his federal lawsuit against the city after reaching a settlement.

The Idaho Press-Tribune newspaper reports former Nampa Deputy Fire Chief Doug Strosnider and the city reached a $750,000 settlement. In exchange, Strosnider agreed to dismiss the wrongful termination lawsuit he brought against the city after he was fired from the job in 2014.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Idaho police have identified a Boise officer who was seriously injured in a shooting last week as Corporal Kevin Holtry, a 17-year veteran of the department.

Holtry was shot multiple times in the Friday shootout and has remained hospitalized since, though officials have said his condition has improved slightly each day.

Boise police officer Corporal Chris Davis and a police dog were also injured in the shooting, and 33-year-old parolee Marco Romero was killed.

The names of two men in a south-central Idaho murder-suicide that authorities say involved jealousy over a woman have been released.

The Twin Falls County coroner on Monday says 36-year-old Troy Anderson shot and killed 42-year-old Benjamin Day on Saturday in Twin Falls and then shot himself.

Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs says it appears the ex-boyfriend killed the current boyfriend.

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