Idaho Department of Correction Director Brent Reinke is stepping down from his post after leading the department since 2007. His tenure included overseeing the fallout of a private-prison scandal, handling the first two executions since 1994 and enhancing the department's contract oversight.
Reinke submitted his resignation Tuesday during a special Idaho Board of Corrections meeting.
Lawmakers on a committee charged with improving Idaho's broken public defense system have killed a resolution that would have given the state full responsibly for assigning attorneys to indigent defenders.
Earlier this year, representatives from the state's 44 counties voted that Idaho should manage the public defense system. However, members of the Legislature's Public Defense Reform Interim Committee at a meeting Monday agreed that counties should remain in control.
Former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig is appealing a ruling ordering him to pay nearly $242,000 to the U.S. Treasury for improperly using campaign funds to pay for legal expenses following his 2007 airport bathroom sex sting arrest.
Craig filed the one-page appeal Monday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Washington, D.C.
A federal judge ruled in September that Craig illegally converted campaign money for personal expenses while trying to withdraw his guilty plea to one count of disorderly conduct.
Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter wants to file additional arguments in his attempt to have an 11-judge panel review the three-judge ruling that overturned Idaho's gay marriage ban.
Otter argued in a motion filed Wednesday with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that another reply is needed because a separate federal court has since upheld same-sex marriage bans in other states.
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.
The Idaho Republican Party has named former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig as its financial chair of its executive committee.
Party officials said Wednesday that Craig fills an empty volunteer fundraising position.
Craig was arrested in a 2007 airport bathroom sex sting. He was accused of soliciting sex in a men's bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport by an undercover officer. According to the officer, Craig tapped his foot under the stall and signaled that he wanted sex.
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.
Add The Words protestors at the state capitol in Boise in February. As the Add The Words campaign has stalled at the state level, nine individual cities and towns in the state have passed LGBT protections.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / For Boise State Public Radio
Four Idaho cities have made the latest rankings of a national group that advocates for the rights of lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender people.
The Washington D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign released its third annual Municipal Equality Index Wednesday. Boise, Idaho Falls, Meridian and Nampa are among the 353 cities ranked. The organization assigns cities a score based on "LGBT inclusion in municipal law and policy." It examines 47 different criteria in six categories.
The tiny town of Albion, Idaho made national headlines a year ago when its mayoral election ended in a tie and the outcome was then decided by a coin toss. Now, a year after winning that coin toss and keeping his seat as Albion’s mayor, Don Bowden has stepped down because of health problems.
The City of Boise and the Firefighters Union are negotiating a new labor contract. At issue is how much firefighters should be paid.
Last year, the average department employee made $85,000, plus another $50,000 for insurance and retirement, according to the Idaho Statesman. That’s up 24 percent from a decade ago. However, two years ago, firefighters refused a contractual raise.
Republicans will take control of the U.S. Senate in January. That could mean more influence for Idaho’s two Republican senators.
When a new party takes control, each of the Senate’s 20 committees and 68 subcommittees get a new leader. Sarah Binder studies Congress at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. She describes it as a big round of musical chairs. Binder says heading a Congressional committee brings power.
The five-member board of the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) will soon have two new voices on the commission. Kent Goldthorpe gained incumbent Mitch Jaurena's seat in District Four, and Paul Woods beat out five other candidates to win the open seat in District Three.
Boise residents Tuesday approved by a wide margin a bond to build new fire stations. Seventy-six percent of voters said yes to borrowing $17 million over 10 years. The city plans to upgrade or replace four Boise fire stations and build a new training facility.
“That facility is very needed,” says Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan. “We haven’t had a training facility in Boise that’s useable in over 20 years, at least. That’ll be a great safety feature for our fire fighters.”
As expected, the closest statewide race of Idaho's 2014 election was for superintendent of public instruction. Unofficially, Republican Sherri Ybarra won with 50.7 percent of the vote to Democrat Jana Jones' 49.3 percent. Just 5,700 votes separated the two candidates.