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Eye On Boise archive for April 2011


Drug trafficker's seized assets help police 

Here's a link to my full story at on how a seven-year-old drug federal trafficking case brought good news to law enforcement agencies in Idaho on Wednesday. That's because all appeals and asset forfeiture proceedings in the case have been completed, so the Idaho…

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MONDAY, APRIL 11, 2011

Joe Reitan, of Boise, Idaho comes down the slopes in a Cookie Monster costume during the closing day at Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area on Sunday, April 10, 2011 outside Boise. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune / Charlie Litchfield)

After the session...

Here's a link to my Sunday story on the issues and outcomes of this year's legislative session, and here's a link to my Sunday column. As for me, after a really great closing weekend of skiing at Bogus Basin (no, that's not me in this…

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From left, Betsy Russell, Jim Weatherby, Kevin Richert, John Miller and host Greg Hahn discuss the final week of Idaho's 2011 legislative session on Friday's "Idaho Reports" program on Idaho Public Television. (Idaho Public Television / Kevin Rank)

The week that was...

On tonight's “Idaho Reports” on Idaho Public Television, I join Jim Weatherby, Kevin Richert, John Miller and host Greg Hahn to discuss the events of the week. The show airs tonight at 8 p.m., then re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mountain time, 9:30 a.m. Pacific;…

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Hagedorn detains intruder at gunpoint 12 

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Republican lawmaker Marv Hagedorn says he detained an intoxicated intruder at gunpoint outside his Meridian home until police arrived on scene. Meridian police say they apprehended 21-year-old Nicholas Kuklish at Hagedorn's home. Police…

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House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, right, decries a "Legislature run amok" as he reflects Friday on this year's legislative session; at center is Minority Caucus Chair Brian Cronin, D-Boise; at left is Rep. Phylis King, D-Boise. (Betsy Russell)

House Dems: 'A Legislature run amok'

House Democrats called a press conference today to share their views of this year's legislative session, and Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, said, "In the exercise of absolute power the Republicans bullied, blustered and bungled their way through an extremist agenda that suggests to us…

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Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, center, accepts petitions Friday from Mike Lanza, center right, to launch a referendum drive to overturn SB 1184, the third school-reform bill; paperwork already has been approved to attempt a challenge to the two earlier school reform bills in the same manner. (Betsy Russell)

Referendum drive launched to overturn SB 1184 

No sooner had Gov. Butch Otter signed SB 1184, the third major school-reform bill, into law, than a new group of parents and teachers calling itself "Idahoans for Responsible Education Reform" had delivered the preliminary paperwork to the Idaho Secretary of State's office for a…

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Four online classes: 'That's the minimum' 

State schools Supt. Tom Luna now says it was a "misquote" when the New York Times quoted him this week saying that he'll ask the state Board of Education to require four online classes for graduation, though he then repeated that. "I was very comfortable…

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Gov. Butch Otter, flanked by state schools Supt. Tom Luna, left, and Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, right, hails this year's school reform bills before signing the third major one, SB 1184, into law on Friday. (Betsy Russell)

Otter signs third school-reform bill 

Gov. Butch Otter has signed SB 1184 into law, the third major school-reform bill, saying, "The system we had wasn't working, wasn't producing the kind of students that we needed." The bill shifts funds from teacher salaries to technology boosts and a merit-pay program, and…

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Last day matches prickly session... 

The Senate killed a hard-fought energy compromise by one vote, the House speaker booted two moderates out of their committee chairmanships, and Idaho's wild 2011 legislative session ground to a finish Thursday after 88 days - the seventh-longest session in state history, and clearly one…

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'A dreadful exclamation point'

House Speaker Lawerence Denney's sudden moves to replace two committee chairmen - Reps. Leon Smith at Transportation and Tom Trail at Agriculture - announced quietly just as the House was adjourning, sent shock waves through the House. Denney said he made the move to enforce…

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Denney pulls committee chairmanships from Trail, Smith 

House Speaker Lawerence Denney has removed two of the most independent-voting committee chairmen in the House: Transportation Chairman Leon Smith, R-Twin Falls, and Agriculture Chairman Tom Trail, R-Moscow, as punishment for not voting with leadership on procedural votes, including moves to call bills from committee,…

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Members of the Idaho House applaud after the gavel fell on the 2011 session for the final time on Thursday afternoon. (Betsy Russell)

House adjourns for the year 

The gavel fell, and the House adjourned for the year at 2:21 p.m. "This has been a very difficult session," said House Speaker Lawerence Denney. "I do apologize for the little scarf incident yesterday. I take responsibility for that. I don't want to make any…

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Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, center, visits with other senators shortly after the Senate adjourned for the year on Thursday. (Betsy Russell)

Goedde: 'Proud of work we've done' 

Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, said it's been a "difficult" legislative session for him. "I'm proud of the work that we've done in the education reform arena," he said, "and it's a good first step. As we go to implement it, there may…

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Pro-megaload bill passes, heads to guv

HB 193a, the pro-megaloads bill designed to block lawsuits targeting big loads on Idaho roads, has cleared the House as amended in the Senate, on a 55-12 vote. "It'll help hopefully to curtail some lawsuits and save the state some money," Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St.…

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Eye On Boise

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

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