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Eye On Boise

TUESDAY, NOV. 15, 2005

You can tell the governor is excited

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne is clearly excited about his Medicaid reform initiative, which he officially unveiled at a press conference in his office today. The plan, which depends on federal authorities issuing an unprecedented blanket waiver or super-waiver of dozens of federal rules, would vastly simplify…

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THURSDAY, NOV. 10, 2005

Not too flippin' sweet

What’s up in Preston, Idaho – the town where the popular Napoleon Dynamite movie was filmed? Just today, former Preston Police Chief C. Scott Shaw was sentenced to one to five years in prison for misuse of public money and perjury. And yesterday, the Idaho…

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Senator says he ‘drilled’ oil execs

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig put out a news release declaring that he “drilled oil executives” in a hearing yesterday on gas prices. “When gas is cheaper on Capitol Hill than it is in Idaho, I’m frustrated,” Craig said. “Idaho consumers are paying through the nose…

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National voice brings debate to state

The national debate that’s raging over the idea of teaching “intelligent design” in public schools comes to Idaho this week, as the Rev. Barry Lynn arrives in Boise to speak. Lynn’s in town to speak at an ACLU banquet, but on Friday morning, he’ll give…

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TUESDAY, NOV. 8, 2005

People really are voting

Today is not a particularly big Election Day in Idaho, what with no statewide issues on the ballot and mostly just city elections going around the state. (Kootenai County is an exception, with a countywide ballot issue on a local-option sales tax.) But here in…

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High school redesign redesigned

After six public hearings and lots of outcry, a state Board of Education committee has modified its plans for redesigning high school curriculum in Idaho. Gone are requirements for 6th through 8th graders to have at least a C average in all core courses in…

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TUESDAY, NOV. 1, 2005

One idea they liked

Members of the Legislature’s interim committee on property taxes found one idea they really liked this morning – because it would help vulnerable seniors pay their property taxes without costing the state, counties, or other taxpayers a penny. The idea, hatched by committee staffer Jason…

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WEDNESDAY, OCT. 26, 2005

So that's the deal with Casey

Back in July, folks who pay attention to Idaho politics were surprised to see a little squib of news from Coeur d’Alene saying that CdA High Principal Steve Casey was running for state superintendent of schools as a Republican – and no other information, followed…

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MONDAY, OCT. 24, 2005

And another one...

Dr. Jana Jones, currently chief deputy for state Superintendent of Schools Marilyn Howard, has scheduled an announcement for tomorrow afternoon that she’ll run for the superintendent post as a Democrat.

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Marilyn Howard is NOT running

Despite reports around the state suggesting otherwise, Marilyn Howard is not running for re-election as state superintendent of schools. Howard, the only Democrat currently holding statewide elected office in Idaho, announced this morning that she’ll retire next year when her current term ends. The two-term…

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FRIDAY, OCT. 14, 2005

Board holds hearings, doesn't attend

The state Board of Education is holding hearings across the state on its sweeping high school redesign proposal, which seeks to make Idaho’s high school curriculum much tougher and impose new requirements down into the junior high level as well. But some attendees have been…

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Butch wins friends in Eastern Idaho

What if you represent North Idaho in Congress, but you’re running for governor and you want to win friends over in Eastern Idaho? 1st District Rep. Butch Otter found a way to do just that when President Bush came to town. Otter used his allotment…

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SATURDAY, OCT. 1, 2005

Candidate will serve time

The Boise City Council candidate who claimed she was too busy to serve her sentence of 25 hours of community service for obstructing and delaying a police officer, and wanted to pay a $100 fine instead, has changed her mind, and now says she’ll serve…

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FRIDAY, SEPT. 30, 2005

A very busy woman

Boise religious activist Brandi Swindell, who has spearheaded the “Keep the Commandments Coalition” to battle unsuccessfully over the city’s move of an old 10 Commandments monument from a city park to a local church, announced today that she’s running for the Boise City Council.Here’s the…

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What happened last time

Now that a federal judge has ordered Idaho to remove 200 inmates from its prisons by Oct. 28 due to extreme, impermissible and unconstitutional overcrowding, it’s worth remembering what happened the last time Idaho sent hundreds of inmates out of state due to overcrowding here.…

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MONDAY, SEPT. 26, 2005

Cloudy with a chance of conspiracy

The eastern Idaho TV weatherman who claimed Hurricane Katrina was a man-made plot by Japanese mobsters to take revenge for Hiroshima is off the air now at KPVI Newschannel 6, but the station management insists that Scott Stevens wasn’t forced out. “Scott advised me several…

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FRIDAY, SEPT. 23, 2005

Silence between rivals

At today’s Idaho High School Redesign Summit, two likely GOP candidates for state superintendent of schools – Tom Luna and Steve Smylie – found themselves at the same table, separated only by House Education Chairman Jack Barraclough, R-Idaho Falls. Yet, nary a word passed between…

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TUESDAY, SEPT. 20, 2005

Idaho weather guy thinking big

This one is so weird I had to check the calendar, but no, it’s not April Fools Day – it’s still September. And the Idaho Falls Post Register is reporting that a local TV station meteorologist over there is gaining national notoriety for his theory…

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FRIDAY, SEPT. 16, 2005

He's out of there

The executive director of the state Board of Education, Gary Stivers, is retiring effective Oct. 1, the state board announced today. Stivers, who has been at the state board for four years, previously was director of the state Industrial Commission for 11 years. He’s worked…

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THURSDAY, SEPT. 15, 2005

Hear the whole thing

The Idaho Supreme Court has posted the full audio from yesterday’s arguments in the school funding lawsuit on the Internet, so you can hear the whole thing – including these gems:Deputy Attorney General Jim Carlson: “The Legislature wants this case to end…”Justice Linda Copple Trout,…

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FRIDAY, SEPT. 9, 2005

Brady calls Otter vote 'outrageous'

Jerry Brady, the Democratic candidate for governor of Idaho, blasted GOP candidate Butch Otter’s vote against a federal aid package for hurricane relief Friday, calling it “outrageous.”“In the future, if Idaho ever had a catastrophic event, we could very well need urgent aid from our…

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Otter's campaign is working it

1st District Congressman Butch Otter made it clear where he’s looking when he announced that he was running for governor in 2006 – before he was even sworn in for his current two-year term in Congress. Now, here’s evidence of what Otter’s been up to:…

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FRIDAY, SEPT. 2, 2005

Plenty of property tax talk

Idaho Senate Majority Caucus Chair Brad Little, R-Emmett, says there’s “critical mass” now to do away with a loophole that lets real estate speculators pay almost no tax on million-dollar development land by taxing it as farm property until they actually build on it. Little…

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WEDNESDAY, AUG. 31, 2005

Another property tax initiative

A retired physician and former state epidemiologist filed his own property tax limiting initiative on Tuesday, seeking to cap taxes and values just for the primary homes of Idaho residents – whether they’re homeowners or renters. “We’re not talking about rich people and second homes…

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MONDAY, AUG. 29, 2005

Must be the rain?

Every state but Oregon saw its residents get fatter last year, according to a report from the University of Baltimore Obesity Initiative, with obesity rates on the rise across the nation. To add insult to injury, the initiative gave Idaho an “F” for its state…

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Eye On Boise

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