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FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2007

Two distinctions in one week

A bit of news from another state capital, courtesy of Stateline.org: A Georgia lawmaker charged with driving under the influence after hitting a utility pole Sunday was named “Legislator of the Year” two days later by James magazine, which covers Georgia politics. Magazine publisher Matt...

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THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2007

Justice Trout to step down

Idaho will lose its only female Supreme Court justice this year, in part because of a judicial election system that has led to increasingly nasty and controversial campaigns. "That certainly was a factor in my decision. … I think it tarnishes the judiciary," said Justice...

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TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2007

More changes in Otter administration

Gov. Butch Otter’s office has just moved into its much tighter temporary quarters for the next two and a half years, while the state capitol is renovated. Then came news that the governor’s budget director, Brad Foltman, will retire this Friday to help care for...

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MONDAY, MAY 21, 2007

MySpace to turn over Idaho sex offender names

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says MySpace has agreed to turn over the names and other information of convicted sex offenders from Idaho who’ve registered as users on the popular social networking Internet site. “I believe it is critical to receive this information to assess...

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FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2007

No December legislative hearings

The Legislative Council discussed ways to keep the next legislative session short, since it’ll be held in cramped quarters in the old Ada County Courthouse while the state capitol is renovated, but didn’t go for the idea of starting some legislative hearings in December. “I’m...

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Interpreting the images

Idaho will ask its state Indian Affairs Council, which includes leaders of the state's five Native American tribes, to propose wording for interpretive plaques to help viewers understand two controversial murals in a state-owned building that will house the next two legislative sessions. One of...

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THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2007

Lots of money but making cuts?

Preliminary figures show Idaho’s headed for a budget surplus this year of $75 million, thanks mainly to stronger than expected individual income taxes in April. If that’s a permanent thing, the state could be looking at a $100 million budget surplus in the budget that...

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2007

Otter looks at greenhouse gases

Idaho Gov. Butch today issued an executive order today putting state DEQ Director Toni Hardesty in charge of looking into the role of state government in reducing greenhouse gases.Otter’s order directs Hardesty to develop “a greenhouse gas emission inventory and provide recommendations to the governor...

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TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2007

State admin chief resigns to join Oracle

Former state Controller Keith Johnson, director of the Idaho Department of Administration, is resigning at the end of the month to become director of state and local government for the computer software company Oracle.Johnson, a Meridian native, leaves state government after more than 12 years...

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MONDAY, MAY 14, 2007

Wasden wants names of MySpace offenders

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and seven other state attorneys general wrote to MySpace today, asking the company to provide the names of sex offenders who are registered users of the popular social networking Web site. “I tell parents every day that MySpace is a...

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THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007

Legislative hearings in December?

What if the Idaho Legislature were in session in December? Holding its budget hearings in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, say, and/or going through the rules review process that usually takes most legislative committees the first three weeks of the session? This rather offbeat possibility –...

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2007

How far they've come...

As the Idaho State Police readies its new fleet of 32 Dodge Charger “muscle cars,” some are remembering back to the classic “skunk” – the 1947 Chevrolet Fleetline patrol car that earned its nickname when Idahoans first saw its distinctive white striping on a black...

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New Land Board members step in

Idaho’s five-member state Land Board has three new members, and they could change the direction the board has taken in managing state lands, lakes and more. On Tuesday, new members of the Land Board, including the new state controller and superintendent of schools, proposed to...

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TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2007


Water fight heads to court

The Idaho Ground Water Appropriators and two water districts filed suit today in Jerome against the state and the Idaho Department of Water Resources in an attempt to block the department from shutting off water to an array of junior water rights holders in the...

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MONDAY, MAY 7, 2007

Idaho spoke missing from Hub funding

Idaho legislators this year didn't come through with any funding to plan for a proposed "Inland Pacific Hub" that would try to position the North Idaho-Eastern Washington region as a center for global commerce. But backers are still optimistic that the plan can move forward....

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FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2007

Look twice for motorcycles

Motorcycle accidents are on the rise, and most happen when a driver fails to see the motorcyclist. "Cars just don't look for you," said St. Maries, Idaho, motorcyclist Norman Burch, who's helping organize a motorcycle awareness rally and parade Saturday down Sherman Avenue in Coeur...

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THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2007

Changes in marina rules in the works

As demand grows for boat moorage on North Idaho lakes, the state is struggling with outdated rules governing how marinas and docks can operate over the state-owned lakebeds. Members of the state Land Board indicated they were surprised and concerned last year when told of...

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2007

Field-burning issue a 'fluid situation'

A clean air group has asked the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to clarify whether it meant to block field-burning in Idaho. Safe Air For Everyone filed the motion Monday – the deadline for such motions – shortly before Idaho Gov. Butch Otter issued...

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TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2007

Idaho has more problems with private Texas prisons

The warden of a private Texas prison housing Idaho inmates has been "relieved of his duties" after complaints from Idaho. The Dickens County Correctional Center, which houses 125 Idaho inmates, made the change after an Idaho corrections team visited the large, older county jail near...

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MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2007

Lawmakers launch mental health reforms

Just days after state lawmakers approved "monumental" reforms in Idaho's approach to treating mental health and substance abuse problems, a troubled young man was driving from state to state, allegedly hunting down and killing former high school buddies from Boise whom he blamed for stealing...

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FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2007

'You're on the air with the governor'

How many Idahoans had questions for Gov. Butch Otter when he went on live TV last night? Plenty. I counted 15 people who asked him questions live on Idaho Public TV (and they didn't get to everyone), plus another dozen or so whose e-mailed questions...

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Journalist switches to politics

John Foster, the dynamic young managing editor of the Idaho Business Review and a former professional bike racer, has been named the new executive director of the Idaho Democratic Party. Foster, 33, is an Idaho native who previously worked in journalism in New Mexico, and...

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THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 2007

Vasquez’ withdrawal statement

Former Canyon County Commissioner Robert Vasquez issued this statement withdrawing from the U.S. Senate race, in which he had originally planned to challenge current GOP Sen. Larry Craig next year:“It is with heavy heart that I announce I am withdrawing from the race for the...

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2007

Virginia Tech prof to speak on Boise tech

Heike Mayer, a professor of urban affairs and planning at Virginia Tech’s Alexandria Center, will speak in Boise on Monday on what makes Boise unique among other growing technology centers. That includes how Boise’s high-tech business sector has grown and driven the local university to...

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Eye On Boise

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