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Eye On Boise archive for Nov. 2010

TUESDAY, NOV. 30, 2010

Picking legislative leaders...

AP reporter John Miller has this overview of GOP leadership battles in the House and Senate, which will be decided in party caucuses on Wednesday night: "Secret balloting on Wednesday evening is set to determine if Idaho Senate Republicans will turn to conservative newcomers for…

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Sen. Elliot Werk, D-Boise, right, questions Office of Performance Evaluations Director Rakesh Mohan, second from right, during a meeting of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Tuesday; at left is Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, and Rep. Cliff Bayer, R-Boise. (Betsy Russell)

Lawmakers look to reform EMS mess

The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee voted unanimously today to work with the chairs of the House and Senate health and welfare committees to introduce legislation in January to reform Idaho's emergency medical services, which a new performance evaluation found are now a disjointed patchwork of…

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FBI investigating Idaho's private prison 

Associated Press reporter Rebecca Boone reports that the FBI is investigating Idaho's private-run state prison. Here's her report: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson says the U.S. Department of Justice is looking into allegations of criminal conduct among the staff at Idaho's only…

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MONDAY, NOV. 29, 2010

Prosecutor: Secret tax deals not a crime 

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho prosecutor has declined to pursue a criminal case stemming from allegations that Idaho State Tax Commission leaders gave politically connected taxpayers inappropriate settlements. In a letter obtained by The Associated Press,…

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Wolf meeting: 'A path forward'

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter joined Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar at a meeting this morning in Lakewood, Colo. to discuss the status of wolf management in the three states - a meeting Salazar called. Afterward, the…

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New congressman still paying off student loans 13 

Idaho’s newest congressman-elect is a 42-year-old attorney and former state lawmaker, but he’s also still paying off thousands in student loans. “It’s how I got through law school,” said Idaho Rep.-elect Raul Labrador. The Project on Student Debt, a nonprofit research group funded by the…

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Idaho Congressman-elect Raul Labrador, left, and wife Becca in Washington, D.C. during the orientation for new members of the U.S. House of Representatives (Courtesy photo)

Labrador in D.C.: 'Such a privilege' 

Idaho Congressman-elect Raul Labrador, after a week of new member orientation in Washington, D.C., pronounced the experience "amazing." "I just felt the entire week like it was such a privilege to be there, and I was just in awe that the people of Idaho had…

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Idahoans can now legally sell the skins of a limited number of rattlesnakes like this one, something that previously was strictly illegal, thanks to new Idaho Fish & Game rules. (Courtesy photo / Idaho Fish and Game Department)

Rattlesnakes and roadkill... 

Thanks to concerns from Idaho state legislators, Idahoans now may legally sell up to six rattlesnake skins a year, and the state’s Fish and Game Department is looking into whether to allow Idaho hunters to salvage some road-killed animals. “I’m all for it,” said Rep.…

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THURSDAY, NOV. 25, 2010

Bogus Basin ski area on Nov. 25, 2010 - its first Thanksgiving Day opening since 1994 (Betsy Russell)

Feeling thankful... 

Today was the first time since 1994 that Bogus Basin ski area has opened on Thanksgiving Day, and it was a particularly nice one. It was c-c-cold, the powder was fresh, the sun was peeking out and snowflakes were sparkling in the air. Eager skiers…

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WEDNESDAY, NOV. 24, 2010

Business group: Megaloads should roll 

A business group that actively supports the prospect of megaloads of oil equipment traveling on U.S. Highway 12 in north-central Idaho has issued a statement that it's "concerned" over a hearing officer's ruling today that opponents of the loads have a right to be heard…

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The hearing officer's decision...

Hearing officer Merlyn Clark, in his 20-page ruling, detailed how ITD reviewed the proposal for the four ConocoPhillips megaloads and determined they could travel safely - but he also found that the three opponents who sued to block the loads clearly have a "direct and…

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Megaloads opponents: 'It is good news'

Linwood Laughy and Borg Hendrickson, two U.S. Highway 12 residents who were among those who sued to block megaloads of oil equipment two lanes wide from traveling the route, had this statement today in response to the hearing officer's decision:"We feel that it is good…

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ITD: Will review hearing officer's recommendation

The Idaho Transportation Department just announced that its hearing officer, Merlyn Clark, has ruled that opponents of the four proposed ConocoPhillips megaloads on U.S. Highway 12 have a right to contest permits for the loads. ITD Director Brian Ness "will review the recommendation," the agency…

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TUESDAY, NOV. 23, 2010

Members of Gov. Butch Otter's transportation funding task force listen to presentations at their final meeting on Tuesday. (Betsy Russell)

Lake: 'We chose a cautious way out'

Here's a link to my full story at on today's final recommendations from Gov. Butch Otter's transportation funding task force, which were 18 months in the making. House Tax Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, cast the only vote against the task force's final resolution. "I…

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Task force: 'Our work is done' 

The governor's transportation funding task force also has agreed to support a legislative task force's recommendation to permanently restore to the Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation the 3 percent share of gas taxes that it's long been receiving for trails, reflecting the amount of…

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Eye On Boise

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