Policy

Gay Marriage
2:57 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Federal Judge Strikes Down Montana's Gay Marriage Ban

Credit MyTudut / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge in Montana has overturned the state's ban on gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris ruled Wednesday that Montana's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to between a man and a woman violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in September that Idaho and Nevada's bans are unconstitutional. Montana is part of the 9th Circuit, and Morris cited the Circuit Court's opinion in his ruling.

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Policy
11:40 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Report: Idaho Land Board Should Rethink Commercial Investments

Credit Dave Thomas / Flickr Creative Commons

A San Francisco-based investment advising firm told Idaho’s Land Board that its commercial property investments are not a great idea.

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Policy
4:39 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

FAA Takes Light Hand In Enforcing Flight Rules For Drones

A fleet of drones used for aerial photography by Portland-based Skyris Imaging

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 6:56 pm

Commercial drones are taking to the Northwest skies even though the rules aren't clear.

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Medicaid Expansion
3:17 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Idaho Governor's Work Group Recommends Hybrid Medicaid Expansion

An Idaho work group has tweaked its recommendations on expanding Medicaid eligibility in a last-minute effort to make their plan more politically palatable to lawmakers.

Work group facilitator Corey Surber says the 15-member group approved a hybrid model Friday. The group had finalized a proposal to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter back in August. However, lawmakers warned the proposal's blanketed support of Medicaid expansion would fail to even be considered when the Republican-controlled Legislature convenes in January.

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Series
5:02 am
Thu October 30, 2014

In Crisis: Why Idaho Courts, Jails Double As Mental Health Providers

Shannon Guevara of Nampa is a recovering meth addict who is trying to repair family relationships and kick her addiction for good. Guevara is in a psychiatric treatment program recommended by mental health court.
Credit Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

It’s a sunny September afternoon, and the room is packed. It’s like a movie theater before the lights go down — the buzz of nervous energy, nattering about plans for the weekend, someone lingering in the aisle until the very last minute.

But this isn’t the movies. It’s a courtroom — one where the stakes aren’t just “jail” or “no jail” but are, for many of the people in the room, much deeper.

Idaho has 10 special mental-health courts, where adult felons diagnosed with one of four mental illnesses show up each week to talk to a judge.

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Series
5:05 am
Wed October 29, 2014

In Crisis: Lack Of Options Shifts Mental Health Care To Idaho Hospitals

Shawna Ervin cuddles up with cats Matthew and Ashley and dog Max. Ervin said the family "fur babies" help her unwind at her Nampa home and offer companionship during the day while her children are away at school. Ervin has battled feelings of isolation as an Idahoan with a mental illness. But in the past few months, she started socializing with neighbors and making new friends, as well as venturing out into the job market.
Credit Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

The voice started when Shawna Ervin was 16 years old, and it hounded her for two years.

It told her to hurt herself.

“It was relentless and wouldn’t stop laughing at me until I burned myself on my face,” she said.

When she finally did burn her face, the laughter turned maniacal. Then it stopped.

Ervin’s mental illness is not rare. She is one of thousands of Idahoans whose disorders can be severe enough to warrant hospitalization.

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Gay Rights
9:45 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Lewiston Becomes 9th Idaho City To Approve Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Officials in the north-central Idaho city of Lewiston have passed an ordinance banning discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that the Lewiston City Council passed the ordinance Monday on a 5-2 vote.

Lewiston is the ninth city in Idaho to pass an ordinance protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination.

Series
7:52 am
Tue October 28, 2014

In Crisis: Idaho Police, Social Workers On The Front Lines Of Mental Health

Philip Mazeikas has schizophrenia and was aided two years ago by a Mobile Crisis Unit. His parents had called police, seriously concerned about their son. The crisis unit's visit was the first step in getting Mazeikas the help and medication he needed.
Credit Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

Two years ago, Philip Mazeikas answered the front door of his family home. The course of his life changed when he opened it.

At 24-years-old, Mazeikas found himself in the middle of his first psychotic episode. He thought he'd been contacted by aliens who were using him in a scheme to control the world. He wasn't eating well. He was drinking his own urine.

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Series
5:00 am
Mon October 27, 2014

In Crisis: Idaho’s Fragmented Mental Health System Leaves Many Behind

Sometimes, Idahoans who don't get treatment end up in mental-health crisis. The people who help them at that point typically aren't mental-health practitioners - they're police officers, judges or prosecutors who do involuntarily commitments, or family members. Optum Idaho recognizes this and is training people in mental-health first aid. After a group activity, Rubie Gallegos explains their drawing of what anxiety feels like.
Credit Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

Roy Vopal didn’t expect to live at a Boise Rescue Mission shelter in Downtown Boise this year. But the 60-year-old had a serious knee injury, then surgery, that he said left him unable to work for the first time in his life.

“Mentally, it’s a mind-screw” to be out of work, Vopal said. “It definitely twists the brain.”

Vopal says his service in the Marines during the Vietnam War left him with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“There were times when I wanted my life to end,” Vopal said. He attempted suicide in his 30s and used drugs.

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Gay Marriage
8:38 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Coeur d'Alene Says Hitching Post Is Exempt From Gay Rights Law

The city of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, says the Hitching Post, a for-profit wedding chapel owned by two ministers, doesn't have to perform same-sex marriages.

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 12:11 pm

The city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, said a for-profit wedding chapel owned by two ministers doesn't have to perform same-sex marriages.

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Gay Marriage
10:44 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

From Writing Vows To Saying Them, One Idaho Couple's Journey To Historic Gay Marriage

Rachael and Amber Beierle stepped out of the Ada County Courthouse to a cheering crowd after getting their marriage license.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

For the last year, KBSX has been following the legal battle over same-sex marriage in Idaho. The fight ended Wednesday as a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld a lower court's ruling striking down Idaho's gay marriage ban went into effect.

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Gay Marriage
4:57 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Already-Married Gay Couples Celebrate State Recognition In Idaho

Juli Stratton and her wife were married in California, but their license should now be legally recognized by Idaho.

County clerks in Idaho officially began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples today. But those couples aren’t the only ones celebrating.

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Gay Marriage
2:05 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Listen To Boise's Gay Marriage Celebration In 60 Seconds

Boise Gay Men's chorus.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

As same-sex couples and their supporters gathered at the Ada County Courthouse Wednesday in Boise, a party atmosphere soon took hold as couples would exit the building with marriage licenses in-hand.

The Boise Gay Men's chorus was there to sing. Hundreds of supporters lined the sidewalks in front of the courthouse ready to cheer. There were no protestors.

Here are some sounds from the scene.

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Gay Marriage
4:31 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

3 Effects Of Legalizing Gay Marriage In Idaho (Besides Gay Marriage)

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho attorney general has asked his legal staff to start looking at what implications gay marriage will have for the state.

Same-sex marriage is set to start Wednesday morning in Idaho under an order from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. And the county clerk’s office isn’t the only place where the ruling is expected to take effect.

University of Idaho law professor Richard Seamon said many rights of marriage fall into the “death and taxes” category -- like joint tax returns and medical decisions.

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Policy
5:44 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Elway Poll: Washington Background Check Measure Retains Healthy Lead

According to the latest Elway Poll released Monday, a ballot measure to expand background checks for gun sales in Washington has lost some support, but still enjoys a healthy lead.

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Gay Marriage
2:02 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Same-Sex Marriages To Begin Wednesday In Idaho, Gov. Otter Won't Appeal

Rachael (Robertson) Beierle and Amber Beierle are two of the eight plaintiffs who sued Idaho over its same-sex marriage ban. The Beiereles tried to get their marriage license last week, and were denied.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

This story was updated Oct. 14 at 2:03 p.m.

It appears same-sex marriages will begin as planned Wednesday morning after Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter issued this statement saying he's done all he can to "defend traditional marriage in Idaho."

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Gay Marriage
3:08 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Idaho Governor Isn't Worried About How History Will View His Fight Against Gay Marriage

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Despite what many legal experts see as momentum for same-sex marriage legalization, Idaho governor C.L. “Butch” Otter says he is not concerned about being on the wrong side of history.   

“I don’t know how you end up on the wrong side of history defending the constitution of the state of Idaho,” Otter said Friday morning at a press conference at the Boise airport.

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Gay Marriage
6:21 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Is Idaho's Gay Marriage Case Unique Enough To Yield A Different Supreme Court Decision?

Credit David / Flickr Creative Commons

A reporter for the blog covering the Supreme Court, "Scotusblog" says the state of Idaho likely faces an uphill battle in convincing justices that their case against gay marriage is any different than the seven states the court turned away Monday.

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Gay Marriage
2:56 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Idaho's Gay Marriage Plaintiffs Disappointed, Not Defeated By Supreme Court Stay

Amber and Rachael Beierle are two of eight plaintiffs who sued the state to overturn Idaho's gay marriage ban.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Gay couples were denied marriage licenses at county courthouses around Idaho Wednesday morning after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a temporary stay preventing lower and appellate court rulings from taking effect. 

Nearly 100 people had already gathered outside Ada County's courthouse before doors opened at 8 a.m. Many of those gathered had hoped they'd be getting their marriage licenses.

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Gay Marriage
2:24 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Live Blog: Supreme Court Lifts Hold On Same-Sex Weddings In Idaho, 9th Wants To Hear From State

Machelle Migneault and her partner embraced in line to get a marriage license Oct. 10, 2014.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

This post was updated at 9:16 p.m.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has now given the state of Idaho until 1 p.m. MDT Monday to respond to this evening's motion from the plaintiffs in the case.  The plaintiffs have until 6 p.m. MDT Monday to reply to that response.

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