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Other News
2:20 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Bogus Basin Opens Thursday

Boise, ID – Bogus Basin plans to open Thursday.  The ski area received enough fresh powder this week to run four lifts and its magic carpet.  This is the latest ever opening for Bogus Basin.  Mike Shirley is President and General Manager of the ski area.  He says they took a major financial hit because of the lack of snow, “Don’t know how much exactly but it probably amounts to three million bucks in revenue that we’ve missed.”  Only the front side of the mountain is open now, but hopes are high for more runs and lifts as conditions allow.

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio

redraw political lines
11:04 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Idaho Supreme Court Rules Redistricting Plan Unconstitutional

BOISE, ID – The Idaho Supreme Court tossed out the latest plan to redraw political lines.  Justices ruled four to one the plan violates the state’s Constitution because it splits counties unnecessarily.

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Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission
11:00 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Weather Hampers Governor’s IGEM Events

BOISE, ID – Governor Butch Otter planned to travel to three universities today to tout his IGEM Plan.  It stands for Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission.

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Other News
11:47 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Winter Finally Comes To Idaho

 

A major winter storm will cover Southern Idaho over the next few days.  Jay Breidenbach is with the National Weather Service.  He says the conditions are just right for snow.

Jay Breidenbach “There is a tremendous surge of moisture, originating out over the tropical pacific ocean, streaming up past the Hawaiian Islands, that is gonna be streaming right into the region, over top of cold air that’s in place, had a pretty strong front come through over the weekend, those are the two ingredients you need for a winter storm, cold air and a good source of moisture.”

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Other News
11:52 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Redistricting Challenge, Round Two

 

BOISE, Id – Idaho Supreme Court Justices will hear a challenge to the latest plan to re-draw the state’s political boundaries this week.  This is actually the second challenge and  it comes from North Idaho.

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Other News
11:50 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Idaho’s CAT Fund Needs Cash

 

BOISE, Id – Idaho’s Catastrophic Health Care Program needs cash.  That’s the word today from the Fund’s Chairman, Roger Christensen. The program pays hospital costs for those who don’t qualify for Medicaid, but can’t pay their bill. Christensen told budget lawmakers that for the current fiscal year, the legislature gave the fund $19-million dollars.  But he’ll need another $17-million to keep it going through the end of the fiscal year in June.

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Other News
11:48 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Health And Welfare Director Makes Case For $2.4 Billion Budget

 

BOISE, Id – More people are signing up for help from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in part to a poor economy.  That’s according to the Director, Richard Armstrong.

Richard Armstrong “Our food stamp caseload is at a record high.  In November, the actual number of enrollees was $235-thousand.  We estimate 6.3 percent growth for the current fiscal year.”

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Medicaid will go up in 2014
10:57 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Health and Welfare Director Makes Case for $2.4 Billion Budget

BOISE, Id – More people are signing up for help from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in part to a poor economy.  That’s according to the Director, Richard Armstrong.

Richard Armstrong “Our food stamp caseload is at a record high.  In November, the actual number of enrollees was $235-thousand.  We estimate 6.3 percent growth for the current fiscal year.”

Last year, Health and Welfare averaged nine-thousand applications each month for food assistance.  But Armstrong told budget lawmakers today food aid is not the only program hit hard by the economy.

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Catastrophic Health Care Program
10:54 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Idaho’s CAT Fund Needs Cash

BOISE, Id – Idaho’s Catastrophic Health Care Program needs cash.  That’s the word today from the Fund’s Chairman, Roger Christensen. The program pays hospital costs for those who don’t qualify for Medicaid, but can’t pay their bill. Christensen told budget lawmakers that for the current fiscal year, the legislature gave the fund $19-million dollars.  But he’ll need another $17-million to keep it going through the end of the fiscal year in June.

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Other News
11:54 am
Fri January 13, 2012

A Closer Look At K9’s

Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Police departments across the country often employ the help of dogs alongside their human companions.  Here in Idaho, Boise’s Police Department K-9 team is growing.  Later this month, two new dogs will join the unit.  What goes into making a police dog?

Officer Randy Arthur opens up his patrol car and out pops his K9 partner, Vigo

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independent ethics commission
4:58 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Idaho Ethics Commission Take One

House Minority Leader John Rusche and Rep. Phylis King
Scott Ki/BSPR

BOISE, ID – Democratic lawmakers in the Idaho Statehouse unveiled their plan for an independent ethics commission Thursday.

Representative Phylis King is a Democrat from Boise.  She started work in the Fall to draft a plan to create an independent ethics commission.

Rep. Phylis King:  “The Commission will review, evaluate, and refer citizen complaints regarding possible breaches of ethics, misuse of funds, or violations of law by state employees and elected state officials.”

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Plans to re-structure political boundaries
4:53 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Challenges to Redistricting Have a History in Idaho

BOISE, Id – This week the U-S Supreme Court took on a plan to re-draw political lines in Texas. That case tests the allocation of new congressional seats largely created because of that state’s rising Latino population.  Courts in Colorado and Hawaii have already thrown out plans to re-structure political boundaries. Here in Idaho, the Supreme Court heard  arguments last week on a challenge from Twin Falls County to the new Redistricting map.  Twin Falls County prosecutor Grant Loebs told the Court the plan is unconstitutional because it splits up too many counties.

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Other News
11:58 am
Thu January 12, 2012

Challenges To Redistricting Have A History In Idaho

 

BOISE, Id – This week the U-S Supreme Court took on a plan to re-draw political lines in Texas. That case tests the allocation of new congressional seats largely created because of that state’s rising Latino population.  Courts in Colorado and Hawaii have already thrown out plans to re-structure political boundaries. Here in Idaho, the Supreme Court heard  arguments last week on a challenge from Twin Falls County to the new Redistricting map.  Twin Falls County prosecutor Grant Loebs told the Court the plan is unconstitutional because it splits up too many counties.

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Do Idaho state employees need more money?
4:51 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Raising State Salaries, Yes or No?

Samantha Wright/BSPR

BOISE, Id – Do Idaho state employees need more money?  That was the question before budget lawmakers today.  Governor Butch Otter has proposed a one-time, three percent, merit-based bonus in fiscal year 2013.  The last time state employees received a raise of any kind was in fiscal year 2009.  Theresa Luna directs the Department of Administration. She said back then, state employee compensation lagged behind the private sector.

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Other News
2:30 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Nominate a President Through The Internet?

BOISE, ID – A non-profit called Americans Elect has a new way to nominate a Presidential candidate.  It’s through the Internet.  The group begins collecting registered voter signatures Wednesday in Idaho.  It doesn’t have a Presidential hopeful yet, but the group wants to gather enough signatures to be able to put its nominee on the November ballot.  Kellen Arno is National Field Director for Americans Elect.

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Other News
12:56 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Native Seed Collection For Great Basin Restoration

 

Boise, ID – A long-term initiative to restore native plants throughout the Great Basin Region includes hundreds of thousands of acres of land south of Kuna, Idaho.  The Morley Nelson Birds of Prey National Conservation Area is prime habitat for raptors, like the American kestrel and the Red-tailed hawk. But their prey- , animals like jack rabbits, are disappearing with the native plants they like to eat.  The Bureau of Land Management is trying to bring back some of those plants to help the raptors.  But the agency needs manpower and seeds to do it.

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Other News
12:02 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Raising State Salaries, Yes Or No?

 

BOISE, Id – Do Idaho state employees need more money?  That was the question before budget lawmakers today.  Governor Butch Otter has proposed a one-time, three percent, merit-based bonus in fiscal year 2013.  The last time state employees received a raise of any kind was in fiscal year 2009.  Theresa Luna directs the Department of Administration. She said back then, state employee compensation lagged behind the private sector.

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Jobs and education are two priorities
4:45 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

What Should Idaho Lawmakers Do?

Tom Kelly (FLICKR)

BOISE, ID – Idaho’s lawmakers are back in Boise for this year’s legislative session.  We wanted to find out what people want lawmakers to work on so we sent Scott Ki to talk with people out for lunch near the statehouse.

More than half of the people I talked with had no opinion or didn’t know what state lawmakers were up to just a few blocks away.

“I’m not very informed. . . Ah, I’ve got nothing to say.”

But others, like Boise private school teacher Jess McGinnis, knew exactly what she wants Idaho lawmakers to work on.

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Rusche says the Governor’s address fell short
4:39 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

ID Dems’ Response to Governor Otter

Rep. John Rusche (D) Lewiston/Idaho Legislature

BOISE, ID – Idaho Democratic lawmakers didn’t hold back on their official response Tuesday to Governor Butch Otter’s State of the State address.  They’ll propose an ethics commission and a jobs package this session.

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Education is the state’s economic lifeline
4:34 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

Governor Wants Modest Increase To Education Budget

Idaho Governor Butch Otter wants to give public schools 31.69 million dollars more next year.  That’s a 2.6 percent increase. Now it’s up to lawmakers to determine what the actual amount will be. One of those most responsible for that is Dean Cameron. The Republican co-chairs the legislature’s budget writing committee. Cameron says education is his top priority but…

Dean Cameron “We’re not able to do more than the governors asking for. And it will be a dilemma and a push to do what he’s recommending there.”

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