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Eye On Boise archive for July 2008


Sullivan recovering from kidney surgery

Former Idaho Republican Party Chairman Kirk Sullivan is recovering in a Boise hospital following “surgery to repair an ongoing kidney ailment,” according to a statement from family spokesman Guy Hurlbutt. Sullivan, 72, “has suffered for a number of months with severe kidney stones,” Hurlbutt said.…

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Dems' poll shows 10-point Risch lead

A new poll out today commissioned by Democratic blogger Markos Moulitsas’ Daily Kos shows Republican Jim Risch with a 10-point lead over Democrat Larry LaRocco in the Idaho Senate race, with independent Rex Rammell trailing at 5 percent. Moulitsas writes that he commissioned the poll…

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Canyon prosecutor's son pleads guilty

Marcus Young, 32, pleaded guilty today to two felony crimes, possession of sexually exploitive material and destruction of evidence. Young was Canyon County’s information technology manager and the son of county prosecutor Dave Young when he was indicted September 2007 on nine felony counts; at…

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Who would do what in Duncan hearings

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge has issued his full written opinion granting Joseph Duncan’s request to act as his own attorney in his death penalty proceedings, which the judge granted orally in court on Monday. The 12-page opinion includes a couple of new details; among…

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Batt: ‘It will require a massive change’

Former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt is calling on Idahoans to step forward to upgrade the state’s ailing transportation system. “It’s frustrating when it takes 40 minutes to drive to work from 8 miles away. We need more arterials and more freeway lanes,” Batt wrote in…

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TUESDAY, JULY 29, 2008

'A very positive message'

BSU political scientist emeritus Jim Weatherby, after viewing the latest campaign commercials in the 1st District congressional race that went out today from Democrat Walt Minnick, said, “I think it’s a very positive message that will resonate with voters in the 1st District. This, of…

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Chief justice has Vietnam service-related cancer

Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Dan Eismann has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and has started chemotherapy treatments, but his doctors say his prognosis is “very good” and a full recovery is expected. Eismann, 61, said he’ll continue to serve as chief justice and will…

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MONDAY, JULY 28, 2008

Judge: Duncan can represent himself

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge has granted Joseph Duncan’s motion to act as his own attorney in his death penalty proceedings; read my full story here at"Do you feel that you're ready to go forward with your trial on these sentencing issues?" the judge…

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SUNDAY, JULY 27, 2008

Open, closed courts at issue

Here’s a link to my story that ran over the weekend about the latest openness issues in the Joseph Duncan case. Duncan’s attorneys filed legal arguments in response to motions filed by The Spokesman-Review and other news organizations who had argued that the First Amendment…

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Risch to skip live debate on public TV

Democrat Larry LaRocco has been calling on Republican Jim Risch to commit to participating in the traditional debate sponsored by the Idaho Press Club, League of Women Voters and Idaho Public TV that will be broadcast live statewide in October. Now, Risch has given his…

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High court decision could affect Duncan case

A June U.S. Supreme Court decision limiting the right of mentally ill defendants to represent themselves in court could affect the case of Joseph Duncan, the notorious murderer and child molester who’s admitted to killing four members of a North Idaho family.Though he has prominent…

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TUESDAY, JULY 22, 2008

Second Duncan evaluation is in

A second, extensive mental evaluation of killer Joseph Duncan by federal Bureau of Prisons evaluator Dr. Cynthia Low has been filed under seal in federal court in Boise. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge today ordered the filing of the sealed report, and granted only a…

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42,000 Idahoans getting a raise on Thursday

With the federal minimum wage going up on Thursday, there’s little effect in states where state minimum wages already exceeded the federal level – but there’s a big impact in Idaho. The Idaho Department of Labor estimates that 42,000 Idaho workers are now paid less…

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MONDAY, JULY 21, 2008

Plans for Tamarack Fairmont hotel fizzle

In the latest bad news for Tamarack Resort, tennis stars Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf have dropped their plan to develop a 300-room Fairmont Hotel at the newly developing ski and summer resort near Donnelly, Idaho that's lately been dogged by litigation and bankruptcy filings.…

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Pipal signs on with Boise Valley economic group

Julie Pipal, a well-known figure around the state capitol as the Idaho Transportation Department’s legislative liaison for the past five years, is the new legislative affairs director for the Boise Valley Economic Partnership, a regional economic development organization for the Boise metro area that includes,…

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Sali faces filing problems, lags in fundraising

Freshman Idaho Congressman Bill Sali is being out-fundraised by his Democratic challenger, and also is having such serious problems with the federal campaign finance reporting system that he still hasn’t filed his July 15 report and has filed nine amendments to earlier reports since June…

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FRIDAY, JULY 18, 2008

Judge orders federal wolf protections restored

Here’s a bulletin from the AP:BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A federal judge in Montana has ordered gray wolves in the Northern Rockies be returned to the endangered species list. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy granted a preliminary injunction Friday, restoring federal protections for the wolves.…

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Idaho to spend up to $5M to test cows for TB

Idaho’s state Board of Examiners, which consists of the governor, secretary of state, and attorney general with the state controller serving as secretary, voted today to spend up to $5 million to track down and test cattle that could be infected with bovine tuberculosis. Several…

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Duncan lawyers say killer mentally incompetent

Convicted killer Joseph Duncan has now been through two extensive mental competency evaluations, and his lawyers are contending he’s not competent to represent himself in his death penalty hearings. Federal prosecutors disagree, and the court hasn’t issued its ruling yet. If Duncan were ruled incompetent,…

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Ysursa files response to GOP primary lawsuit

Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, who was sued by the Idaho Republican Party in their effort to force the closure of the state’s GOP primaries to anyone but registered Republicans, today filed his answer to the party’s lawsuit. The seven-page court filing mostly consists of…

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TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2008

Duncan lawyers: Secrecy has gone too far

Attorneys for admitted multiple murderer and child molester Joseph Duncan now say there’s been too much secrecy in the killer’s death sentence proceedings, and they’re objecting to a planned closed court hearing set for Thursday. The defense attorneys said the extensive secrecy in the case,…

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MONDAY, JULY 14, 2008

Hundreds have their say on transportation

As of right now, 230 people have participated so far in the day of meetings in Caldwell that’s kicking off a round of such gatherings around the state on Idaho’s transportation funding shortfall. In the first of three hour-long information and public comment sessions running…

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Guv makes transportation pitch

Today is the kickoff of Gov. Butch Otter’s series of meetings around the state to make his pitch for addressing the state’s $240 million-a-year shortfall in road construction and maintenance. The first session, in Caldwell today, includes meetings all day between the governor’s staff and…

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FRIDAY, JULY 11, 2008

And in other debating about debates...

Residents of Nampa this week are being treated to not one, but two town-hall meetings with candidates for the 1st District congressional seat – but the first one just had Democrat Walt Minnick, and the second will have just Republican incumbent Bill Sali. Here’s how…

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