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LEWISTON – With car headlights casting their shadows against a wall of the Clearwater River Valley on Nez Perce lands Tuesday night, protesters once again gathered in an attempt to block passage of a truck bearing an oversize load of oil refinery equipment bound for Canada. But their protest was swept to the side of the road by police by press time, as the Omega Morgan truck hauling 322 tons of equipment rolled by to a chorus of boos. A similar protest successfully barred the truck’s path for more than four hours Monday night. Tuesday’s gathering attracted about 50 participants just before 10 p.m., some bearing glowsticks to illuminate the pitch-black roadway.
Visitors to Silverwood Theme Park often find the last thrill ride of the day is pulling out of the parking lot back onto Highway 95. For drivers leaving the park and headed south toward Coeur d’Alene, that hair-raising left turn across traffic will soon be only a memory.
A long-term effort to widen and improve U.S. Highway 95 north of Coeur d’Alene will take a major step forward this year. Two important segments will undergo construction in the vicinity of Silverwood Theme Park and Athol.
BOISE – An Oregon congressman is calling for a federal investigation into plans for oversize shipments of oil equipment across U.S. Highway 12 to Canada, saying he doesn’t want U.S. taxpayers subsidizing Canadian oil production. “I am concerned about the ExxonMobil Canada plan to use U.S. roadways to haul oversize loads to Alberta, Canada, for the Kearl Oil Sands project,” Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon, wrote to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood on Aug. 25.
BOISE – Idaho’s transportation chief said Monday that a court decision revoking permits for giant truck shipments on scenic U.S. Highway 12 from Moscow to Lewiston could “end up restricting commerce and limiting business opportunities.” Director Brian Ness’ comments came as the Idaho Transportation Department joined ConocoPhillips in appealing the decision to the Idaho Supreme Court.
An Idaho judge on Tuesday revoked special permits allowing a company to truck four oversize loads of oil refinery equipment through a federally protected river corridor, saying the state failed to address public concerns and violated its own regulations in approving them. Judge John Bradbury ordered the Idaho Transportation Department to review the request from ConocoPhillips again and to take action to ensure the safety and convenience of the public.
LEWISTON – A state judge will decide today if ConocoPhillips can ship four oversized loads of oil refinery equipment along a highway that traces a winding, federally protected river corridor in Idaho. Last week, 2nd District Judge John Bradbury put a temporary halt on the oil company’s plans to ship the massive coke drums along the 175-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 12.
The Idaho Transportation Department failed Thursday to disqualify the judge in the U. S. Highway 12 giant truck shipments case, and he in turn delayed an injunction hearing from today to Monday. John Bradbury of Idaho’s 2nd District rescheduled the hearing for 11 a.m. Monday in Lewiston. He also granted a motion from ConocoPhillips, whose oil refinery equipment shipments are on hold because of the lawsuit, to intervene in the case and participate in Monday’s hearing.
BOISE – An Idaho judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked ConocoPhillips from hauling four giant loads of oil refinery equipment over U.S. Highway 12 from the Port of Lewiston to Montana. Judge John Bradbury of Idaho’s 2nd District issued a temporary restraining order preventing the Idaho Transportation Department from issuing permits for the loads, which are so wide they would take up both lanes of the two-lane highway. A motion for a preliminary injunction will be heard on Friday at 9 a.m. in Grangeville.
BOISE – Residents opposed to giant truck shipments of oil equipment through Idaho’s scenic Clearwater/Lochsa river canyon filed suit Monday, just a day before Idaho planned to issue permits for the first four loads. Meanwhile, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter announced that he’ll impose a new requirement for a $10 million bond from the two oil companies that want to move the massive equipment, and both agreed to put up the bonds. Without the new bonding requirement, they would have only been required to pay state fees of $1,000 per load for the oversize loads.
BOISE - Lawyers for fired Idaho Transportation Director Pam Lowe are pushing for a decision in her favor on most of her key claims, based on a long string of cases they’ve identified that back Lowe’s argument that she wasn’t an "at-will" employee, as the state contends.
Fired Idaho Transportation Department director Pamela Lowe is seeking damages from the state, alleging improper termination and gender discrimination.