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In brief: Rev. Jesse Jackson to speak at UI on Feb. 7

Civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson will speak in Moscow, Idaho, on Feb. 7 as part of the University of Idaho’s celebration of Black History Month.

The former U.S. presidential candidate and founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition will deliver his address, “Keep Hope Alive,” at 7:15 p.m. in the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center, 1000 Stadium Way.

The free event is open to the public and will be followed by a question-and-answer period.

“We are honored to bring Rev. Jackson to Moscow and to Idaho,” said Mark Edwards, assistant to the UI president for diversity, equity and community.

Burning of lake dock triggers $13,500 fine

A Lake Roosevelt homeowners association has been fined $13,500 by the state for illegally burning a dock last summer.

Members of the Moccasin Bay Association burned the dock on June 5 after the National Park Service ordered it dismantled and removed it from park service land.

Burning the dock violated state environmental laws due to the release of toxic chemicals, according to the Department of Ecology.

The fine can be appealed to the Pollution Control Hearings Board within 30 days.

Otter accepts resignation of tax commission leader

BOISE – Idaho Tax Commission Chairman Royce Chigbrow resigned Friday after agency employees said he intervened in cases involving his son’s accounting firm as well as on behalf of a friend and political supporter.

Chigbrow told Gov. Butch Otter in a hand-delivered letter obtained by the Associated Press he was resigning “effective immediately.” Chigbrow, appointed by Otter in 2007, said in the letter “unfortunately, and perhaps unfairly, I have become the issue.”

His resignation comes a day after House Speaker Lawerence Denney said he expected an investigation into Chigbrow’s conduct.

Otter accepted Chigbrow’s resignation, without commenting on the concerns raised by Tax Commission employees.

Tax Commission employees say Chigbrow sought to assist Benton “Skip” Hofferber, an Idaho businessman who supported Chigbrow’s unsuccessful 2006 run for state controller. Hofferber is fighting with his former employer, Boise Food Service, after being fired in October 2009.

Commission employees also say the chairman intervened in early 2010 on behalf of a client of his son’s Boise-based accounting firm to reduce a monthly payment plan to remedy delinquent taxes, despite objections of agency staff.

Idaho lawmakers are calling for reforms of the Tax Commission.

Proposed reforms could include splitting up the duties of commissioners, who not only oversee agency employees but also must decide tax protests, as well as creating a professional director position to oversee the agency.


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