Pocatello

Idaho State Police

State police will build a new headquarters in southeast Idaho sometime next year.

The Idaho State Journal reports that the state legislature authorized $5.4 million to construct a new 24,000-square-foot facility in Pocatello.

A recount has confirmed last month's vote by Pocatello residents retaining an ordinance banning discrimination against a person because of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The recount on Friday was done at the request of a group opposed to the city ordinance approved by the Pocatello City Council in June 2013 and backed by voters on May 20.

Bannock County election officials found discrepancies with about a dozen votes but not near enough to change the outcome of the election result.

A group opposed to Pocatello's non-discrimination ordinance retained by voters last month is seeking a recount.

Bannock County election officials tell the Idaho State Journal that Vote Yes Pocatello made the request Monday.

The group wants a recount in 20 of Pocatello's 39 precincts from the May 20 vote, as well as a recount of early and absentee votes.

The city of Pocatello in June 2013 passed an ordinance banning discrimination against a person because of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Aaron Webb / Flickr Creative Commons

Tuesday, voters in Pocatello will decide the fate of a law that’s been on the books for less than a year. Proposition 1 asks whether the city’s ordinance protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents should remain or be repealed. A 'yes' vote would repeal the law.

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The Idaho Attorney General's office has notified an eastern Idaho teacher that the state Department of Education is not going to pursue disciplinary action against her teaching certificate.

The Idaho State Journal in a story on Wednesday reports that Deputy Attorney General Andrew J. Snook notified Laraine Cook the office reviewed her case and found insufficient basis to go forward.

Cook was dismissed as a substitute teacher in Pocatello Chubbuck School District 25 in October over a photograph posted on her Facebook page showing her fiance touching her bikini-clad chest.

Mat79 / Flickr Creative Commons

H.J. Heinz Co. is closing three plants in North America and cutting 1,350 jobs in an effort to operate more efficiently.

The food maker said Thursday that it will close facilities in South Carolina, Idaho and Canada over the next six to eight months.

KPVI reports 410 people will be laid off from the Pocatello, Idaho facility.

Museum of Clean, plungers
Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

An Idaho cleaning entrepreneur's museum celebrating his industry's not-so-spotless history is also green.

The Idaho Division of Environmental Quality gave the Museum of Clean in Pocatello its "2013 Pollution Prevention Champion Award."

The parent company of a polysilicon manufacturing plant in eastern Idaho has filed for bankruptcy in Pocatello federal court.

The Idaho State Journal reports Hoku Corp. made the Chapter 7 filing Tuesday. It put the company's debt at nearly $1 billion.

Hoku Corp. is the parent company of Hoku Materials, which built the $700 million plant in Pocatello.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

After more than six hours of public testimony and debate, Pocatello's city council passed a non-discrimination ordinance early Friday morning. The new law protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender [LGBT] people from housing, employment and public accommodation discrimination.

This makes the eastern Idaho city the latest in a wave of local governments to vote for a so-called "add the words" law, in absence of the state Legislature's inaction. Currently there is no statewide protection of this kind.

Peter Patau / Flickr Creative Commons

Derrick Martinez had been with Blick’s Phosphate Conversion for a year and a half. Blick’s, which is based in Kansas, subcontracts with Idaho’s J. R. Simplot Company in Pocatello to help make a phosphate-based fertilizer. While Martinez was working in his company’s mobile production trailer at the Simplot site last weekend, something went wrong.

A man working at the Simplot fertilizer plant west of Pocatello was hospitalized in critical condition after apparently being exposed to ammonia over the weekend.

The Power County Sheriff's Office says 23-year-old Derrick E. Martinez of Garden City, Kansas, was found unconscious in a Blick's Phosphate Conversion mobile testing trailer on Simplot property Saturday afternoon.

He was taken to the hospital in Pocatello and then flown to a hospital in Salt Lake City, where he was listed in critical condition on Monday.

Efforts to pass more local gay rights laws are moving ahead in Idaho. A city councilor in Coeur d'Alene plans to introduce an ordinance later this month. And in Pocatello, a failed ban on discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender people is getting a second chance.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

An ordinance to ban discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people failed in the city council of Pocatello Thursday night. The close vote was a setback for gay rights advocates.

Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad cast the deciding no vote, making it four against, three in favor. The ordinance would have made it a misdemeanor to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Those voting no said they didn't reach their decision easily.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Thursday, the city council in Pocatello is expected to vote on whether to make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s one of several cities in Idaho that have taken up the cause of gay rights – an issue the Idaho Legislature has so far resisted. But even some gay rights supporters wonder if the local ordinance would change anything.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A city in the heart of Idaho's Mormon country held a four-hour public hearing Thursday night on whether to ban discrimination against gays and lesbians. A growing number of cities in Idaho are adopting local rules that protect sexual orientation and gender identity.

Parents and grandparents spoke about the fears they have for their gay or lesbian family members. Gloria Mayer said she's been hiding her identity for years.

“I am 63 years old ... and I'm gay," she said. "That is the first time I have said that publicly.”

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