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In brief: Found ballots force recount in Pocatello

POCATELLO, Idaho – An eastern Idaho election official says a countywide recount of votes cast in the Tuesday general election will be performed because workers found 25 absentee ballots that hadn’t been counted.

Bannock County Clerk Dale Hatch told the Idaho State Journal that the uncounted ballots were found Friday.

Hatch said the 25 uncounted ballots aren’t enough to change the outcome of any of the races.

Hatch, a Democrat, won by 199 votes over Republican challenger Robert Ballard. Ballard said he will pursue a recount.

Swiss bank may help Tamarack

BOISE – Idaho officials said a Credit Suisse Group-led lender consortium is among those working to help cover Tamarack Resort’s tardy lease to use state land, as jockeying over the failed Idaho ski area’s future continues.

No agreement is finalized, but a payment could cover the $250,000 lease, plus interest of $40,000 because the money was due last January.

Department of Lands officials also say a separate $125,000 payment is part of discussions, to cover the first six months of 2011.

The parties have until Nov. 19 to reach an agreement.

Tamarack’s lease is for 2,100 acres of state land where most of its ski lifts and golf course are located.

Wild steelhead die at Dworshak Dam

AHSAHKA, Idaho – An unknown number of federally protected wild steelhead have died after becoming trapped when a hydroelectric generator at Dworshak Dam was drained for routine maintenance.

Officials told the Lewiston Tribune that most of the estimated 1,000 steelhead lost on Wednesday and Thursday were hatchery fish.

Wild steelhead are listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

Workers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Dworshak National Fish Hatchery and the Clearwater Hatchery saved some 500 steelhead and returned them to the North Fork of the Clearwater River.

Officials said the dead fish were given to local food banks and the Idaho Correctional Institution in Orofino.