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Idaho Businesses Are Beginning To Reopen Despite Gov. Little's Stay At Home Order


The pushback against Gov. Brad Little’s (R) stay-at-home order is beginning to simmer after he recently extended it through the end of the month.

On Friday, Rathdrum Police in north Idaho cited Christa Thompson, who, along with her husband Paul, was hosting a yard sale at their home. The case appears to be one of the first citations issued in the state for violating the governor's order, which is punishable by up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine. Police wrote the misdemeanor ticket after giving three prior warnings over several days, they said.

In a Facebook post, her attorney, Edward Dindinger, said that Rathdrum Police “omitted” facts relevant to the case in its press release. Dindinger said Thompson’s late father-in-law had left them items in multiple storage units that would cost them “thousands of dollars per month” in fees and they were trying to dispose of them.

She contacted police and was told a yard sale was allowed under Little’s order, according to Dindinger. Thompson’s first court appearance is scheduled for May 8 in Kootenai County.

It’s unclear how many violations police have been handed out in Idaho since Gov. Little first issued his order nearly a month ago. Little’s office doesn’t track that information, nor does Idaho State Police. They also haven’t issued any citations.

It’s also not being enforced by all agencies. Police in Boise, the state’s largest city, are told by the city’s legal team to direct complaints to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Last week, hundreds of people protested at the state capital, urging people to disobey the order – and momentum seems to be growing.

The owner of Middleton Fitness, who spoke at the rally, reopened his business Monday morning. Idaho Cheer, a gym tailored to cheerleaders, is holding outdoor classes limited to 10 people, according to an email sent to parents advertising the new classes. No one from the company responded to requests for comment regarding the email.

And Slick’s Bar in Nampa wrote on its Facebook page that it would follow distancing guidelines when it reopens on Saturday so it can avoid going “extinct due to government overreach.”

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!