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Eye On Boise

THURSDAY, JAN. 24, 2008

Midwives rally for licensing law

Dozens of midwives, supporters, moms and babies rallied in Capitol Park and are parading around the block now, pushing strollers and carrying smiling, well-bundled babies. The group was rallying for licensure of certified professional midwives, which they’re pushing for in all 50 states. They maintain...

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'Makes milfoil look like a dinner salad'

Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, took on the nickname “Morty Milfoil” the last couple of years as he pushed to address the invasive Eurasian water milfoil that’s infesting Idaho’s lakes and waterways. Now, Anderson is concerned about a new menace: Quagga mussels. The thumbnail-sized mussels...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 23, 2008

Duncan told Shasta he killed other children

Young Shasta Groene told authorities that killer Joseph Duncan, during the weeks he held her captive at a remote Montana campsite, described killing at least three other children – a tip that prompted authorities to investigate Duncan as a possible serial killer. Duncan now is...

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Only exemption repeal killed

The House Rev & Tax Committee earlier rejected five of six proposed repeals of existing tax exemptions, but agreed to consider one, regarding vending machine sales. This morning, that one got killed too. There was a motion to pass the bill, but it failed, 3-13....

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Horrific, but true

When FBI Special Agent Michael Gneckow was being questioned by Joseph Duncan’s defense attorneys in federal court yesterday, attorney Thomas Monaghan asked Gneckow how authorities knew how to judge the credibility of the details provided by the sole surviving victim of Duncan’s attack on the...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 22, 2008

Idaho, Washington reach water management accord

Idaho’s Department of Water Resources and the Washington Department of Ecology have jointly announced an agreement that they say will “guide how the two states will continue to coordinate with each other about water supply issues in the face of unprecedented growth on top of...

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Shasta described Dylan's murder

The night she was rescued from killer Joseph Duncan, young Shasta Groene gave such a vivid description of Duncan’s killing of her brother, Dylan, that authorities were left with no doubt that 9-year-old Dylan was dead. That came out this morning at a motions hearing...

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Good news and bad at Health & Welfare

Kicking off three days of budget hearings on the giant Department of Health & Welfare, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this morning heard from H&W Director Dick Armstrong, who had good news and bad news. Among the good: Application processing times in both food stamps and...

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MONDAY, JAN. 21, 2008

Marina, dock rules win committee support

The House Resources Committee has voted to approve two new sets of state regulations governing docks and marina leases on state-owned lakes, including a provision to allow up to 50 percent of a commercial marina to be converted to private, condominium-style ownership, as long as...

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Idaho considers anti-discrimination law

An Idaho Senate committee voted 6-2 this morning to introduce legislation to extend Idaho's anti-discrimination laws to cover sexual orientation. If enacted, the bill would make Idaho the 21st state to make that change. Legislative sponsors, who include both Republicans and Democrats, say the issue...

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SUNDAY, JAN. 20, 2008

Craig: 'A sterling three-peat'

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig has put out an op-ed piece about his website winning a third top award for congressional websites. Here’s his opening:“Just a few days ago, the Congressional Management Foundation recognized the best websites in Congress and awarded my website, http://craig.senate.gov, a Silver...

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SATURDAY, JAN. 19, 2008

First lady not enamored of hilltop mansion

It turns out that Idaho’s first lady, Lori Otter, doesn’t think much of the prospect of moving into her husband’s ex-father-in-law’s hilltop mansion, which is now slated to become Idaho’s governor’s mansion. “Frankly, it’s not in a condition where I’m comfortable using it,” she told...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 18, 2008

Role of Board of Ed debated

Idaho’s troubled state Board of Education should limit itself to policy-setting and not try to run programs, the board’s interim director told JFAC today. “I do not think the state Board of Education is particularly good at running programs,” Mike Rush told the budget writers....

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Libraries going strong in Internet age

State Librarian Ann Joslin says, “Idaho’s libraries are more relevant than ever.” Starting out her budget presentation to lawmakers, Joslin noted that the most likely age group to use libraries is 18-to-30-year-olds, and young families are the most frequent users. “Instead of the Internet making...

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Minnick racks up campaign cash

Democratic congressional candidate Walt Minnick says he’ll end the quarter with more than $400,000 in campaign contributions in 2007 – even though he just announced and started his campaign on Nov. 14. That tally includes $100,000 of his own funds, and leaves him at the...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 17, 2008

Humane Society names Idaho to 'Shameful 7'

The Humane Society of the United States has named Idaho as one of its “Shameful Seven” states for lacking felony animal cruelty laws. “Forty-three states, plus Washington D.C., the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, recognize the gravity of these crimes and have felony animal cruelty...

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Emergency: College has changed its name

Legislation just cleared the Senate Transportation Committee to amend the state’s existing special license plates that benefit colleges and universities to reflect Albertson College of Idaho’s name change to just the College of Idaho, its former name. Senate Transportation Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell, sponsored the...

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Otter not backing math initiative funding

State Schools Supt. Tom Luna got some favorable reactions from JFAC members this morning to his proposed math initiative, but Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, noted that Gov. Butch Otter hasn’t recommended funding the $4 million proposal. Otter’s budget director, Wayne Hammon, told the joint committee,...

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JFAC to Luna: iSTARS cuts not enough

State Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna has cut the price tag for his “iSTARS” teacher merit pay plan from $60 million to $46 million, but JFAC made it clear to him this morning that that doesn’t cut it far enough. The governor’s budget, by setting...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 16, 2008

That was quick

The Senate Education Committee voted unanimously to introduce the “WeTeach” teacher merit pay bill, without any discussion at all – and without even having the bill’s sponsors say anything about it. With the vote already over, Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, told Idaho Education Association...

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Float-home bill raises eyebrows

Legislation requested by the state Land Board to define "reasonable" rents for floating homes on state-owned Idaho lakes was introduced in a House committee Tuesday, but members were wary of the idea. Rep. Steve Kren, R-Nampa, said the issue is a "civil matter between float...

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NIC prez gives first budget pitch

New North Idaho College President Priscilla Bell gave her first budget pitch to legislators on JFAC this morning, and won praise for her confident, dynamic presentation. “Thank you, Dr. Bell – you did remarkably well,” Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron told her. “I don’t think...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 15, 2008

White: It's where they're from that counts

With all the talk about a possible medical school for Idaho, University of Idaho President Tim White sounded a cautionary note to JFAC today. “There’s really not a correlation between having a medical school and having the right number of physicians for your state –...

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'Outdated' law bans Election Day booze

It’s time for Idaho to repeal an archaic law that bans packaged liquor sales on election day – and that’s costing the state up to $400,000 in liquor sales every time there’s an election, state liquor chief Dyke Nally told lawmakers this morning. “Idaho is...

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.