State of Idaho

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

There’s a legal fight going on over control of water in the Treasure Valley. The rhetoric in the fight has been intense. One side even has an ad campaign. 

Imagine a movie-theater preview voice comes up over cheery music reminiscent of a babbling brook. 

“Irrigation water, it makes the Treasure Valley a lush green miracle instead of a desert landscape. Imagine a typical 105 degree summer day. Now imagine your irrigation water is completely shut off to your lawn, garden, farm or favorite park.” The music stops.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The State of Idaho has $125 million sitting in the bank that doesn’t belong to it. It belongs to state residents. In fact, more than 800,000 people are entitled to some of it. That’s equivalent to about half the state’s population.

This reporter got a tiny fraction of that money, which raised a lot of questions for me. A while ago I got a check in the mail from the State of Idaho. I wasn’t expecting a check and for I while I had no idea what it was for. Just as surprising though was the amount: 6 cents. 

Idaho Transportation Department

He’s the record-holder in Idaho for state service; 57 years at the Idaho Transportation Department. And Terry Jacobsen says he’s planning to break that record. He wants to keep going until he hits his Diamond anniversary; 60 years working for the state of Idaho.

“I was a greenhorn when I started,” Jacobsen says. That was April 14, 1959. They didn’t even have calculators then, so he had to use a slide rule, or “slip stick,” as he calls them. He’s watched so many things change and advance over the years.  "It boggles my mind to think about them,” he says.