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Eye On Boise

Idahoans suggest other possible uses for unused governor’s mansion…

Idaho could turn its unoccupied, hilltop governor's mansion into the “Governor's Hill” winery, one citizen suggests, remaking the grassy hillsides into terraced vineyards and the house into a tasting room and visitor center. Or it could give the place, former home of the late billionaire J.R. Simplot and adorned with a huge American flag, to the Veterans Administration for a recovery center, “of course keeping the flag flying in honor of all those who have served,” proposed another.

Idaho still hasn't figured out what to do with the vacant mansion - where no Idaho governor has lived - but a month after a public hearing drew calls for getting rid of it, the state's received 50 public comments to a legislative panel charged with overseeing it. Nine wanted to keep it as a governor's residence, but all the rest had other ideas. You can read my full story here at

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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