Law & Justice

Lawmakers have moved forward a proposal to update Idaho's rules on drug use by potential law enforcement recruits.

Victor McCraw with Idaho's Peace Officer Standards and Training told a Senate legislative panel on Wednesday that the proposed changes would clarify the requirements regarding drug use and moral turpitude for law enforcement officers seeking certification.

Lawrence Wasden
Idaho Public Television

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says the state will receive $21.5 million after resolving a lawsuit with Standard & Poor's Financial Services.

Wasden in announcing the settlement Tuesday says it's one of the largest settlements ever obtained under Idaho's Consumer Protection Act.

He says the settlement holds S&P accountable for misrepresentations that extended into 2011.

Idaho National Guard

According to Reuters, the U.S. Army is refuting claims that it's made a decision in the case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Outlets including Fox News and NBC News reported on Tuesday that Bergdahl would be charged with desertion later this week.  

The reports cited unnamed senior defense officials.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Mike Masterson's office is almost stripped bare as he puts 10 years of papers into boxes on the floor. Boise’s Police Chief is retiring after 38 years on the force.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is calling for a moment of silence to remember three Moscow victims killed in a north-central Idaho shooting.

Otter on Tuesday called for the moment of silence at 1 p.m. Mountain Time on Wednesday.

Twenty-nine-year-old John Lee is in custody in Whitman County, Washington.

Authorities say Lee shot and killed three Moscow residents and wounded another man before leading police on a chase that ended in Whitman County.

Investigators say a laptop computer from the vehicle of a man suspected in a deadly shooting spree in western Idaho could yield clues to a motive for the violence.

Moscow Police Chief David Duke said investigators searched the car of 29-year-old John Lee, recovering two semi-automatic pistols, a revolver, a shotgun and a rifle, along with the laptop.

Lee was arrested following a high-speed chase in nearby Washington state in the hours after the shootings Saturday afternoon.

mangpages / Flickr

Jack works undercover, buying drugs from Boise dealers. He is a Boise Police Department detective, and he's seeing a troubling increase in the number of people overdosing on synthetic drugs.

BPD has found that these new man-made chemicals are replacing better known street drugs, like ecstasy or LSD. And officers are worried that users are being duped into taking the more potent synthetics.

The Idaho Court of Appeals has vacated a black man's sex crime convictions against two white female teenagers because the prosecutor interjected race in closing arguments by quoting lyrics from the Confederate anthem "Dixie."

All three judges agreed that Canyon County Deputy Prosecutor Erica Kallin erred in citing a song praising what the judges called pernicious racism, and that it might have influenced the jury.

The Pentagon has forwarded its investigation into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's disappearance from an Afghan outpost to a general courts-martial convening authority, a Pentagon spokesman said today.

Bergdahl is the U.S. soldier who was held for five years by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The U.S. gained his freedom in May by trading him for five jailed Taliban.

The Pentagon spokesman said today that action against Bergdahl could range from no further action to convening a court martial.

A closely watched court case dealing with whether religious business-owners must provide services to gay couples is headed to oral arguments Friday in Kennewick, Washington.

Russell Heistuman / Flickr Creative Commons

The Coeur d'Alene City Council says guns will now permitted at public events like parades.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports the council unanimously made the change Tuesday night, changing an ordinance prohibited guns within 1,000 feet of a parade. City Attorney Mike Gridley says the rule was originally created to avoid conflict in the community when the white supremacist group Aryan Nations was still headquartered in the region. The Aryan Nations compound closed after lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center bankrupted the group in 2000.

Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch are looking for people interested in becoming Idaho's next federal district judge.

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge is taking senior status, a semi-retirement in which he will continue to serve the court but his caseload will be reduced. The move means that Idaho could soon have its first new federal judge appointed since 1995, when current U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill took the bench.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A group of Idaho lawmakers tapped to look at ways to improve the state's criminal justice system will meet this week to talk about when their legislative efforts will go into effect.

The Criminal Justice Reinvestment Interim Committee will meet Wednesday at the Idaho Statehouse. They'll hear from staffers with the Council of State Governments Justice Center, and they'll discuss when the criminal justice legislation they passed last year will go into effect.

Luke Malek
Idaho Legislature

A federal appeals court in Seattle hears arguments Monday in a challenge to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) practice of gathering phone records of millions of people not suspected of crimes. North Idaho lawyer Peter Smith will be arguing for the plaintiff, who is his wife.

Idaho Dept. of Correction

The Idaho Board of Correction has appointed Kevin Kempf as the new director of prisons one week after his predecessor, Brent Reinke, gave his resignation notice.

The board made the appointment during a special meeting Wednesday, but the choice wasn't a surprise. Kempf has been with the department for 19 years and has served as the deputy director since 2013. That position was created by the board after Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said he wanted all of his state agencies to have a succession plan in place in case of an unexpected departure.

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