Idaho News


BOISE, Id – A group of lawmakers got together Thursday to consider what would happen if Idaho set up a health insurance exchange.  The Federal Health Care act requires states to implement some sort of exchange program by 2014.

The definition of a health insurance exchange was first up for the House Health and Welfare Committee.  Matthew Ellsworth looks at it this way.

What the Industry Thinks of State Insurance Exchanges

Sep 29, 2011


Boise, ID – On the same day Idaho lawmakers took up health insurance exchanges, another group of healthcare industry experts met to talk about the future of healthcare in Idaho.  Many at that meeting support the exchange idea. Scott Kreiling is president of Regence Blue Shield of Idaho, one of the state’s largest insurance providers. Kreiling compares exchanges to the magazine Consumer Reports.

BOISE, ID. – Idaho gas prices on average are higher than the nation’s.  The difference is nearly thirty cents per gallon.  A fire at a Stinker refinery in Wyoming is responsible according to Dave Carlson of AAA Idaho.  He says, “The very limited supplies that we already have in this region were constricted even further because you have one of the major refineries not producing anything for four weeks.”  Carlson thinks gas prices should begin to settle in the next couple of months when that refinery gets back up to speed.

Copyright 2011 Boise State Public Radio

The final large group of the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team touched down in Idaho today.  120 soldiers came back to Boise, Twin Falls, and Idaho Falls from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington.  In addition, about 40 Idahoans remain at JBLM in the U.S. Army’s Warrior Transition Unit.  Those soldiers will stay there attending to medical needs for as long as necessary, although most should be back in their Idaho homes in the coming weeks.  The soldiers spent nine months in Iraq.

BOISE, ID. – Animal rights activists claim responsibility for a fire that broke out near Caldwell this morning.  Jerry Vlasak is a spokesman for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office.  They received an anonymous communiqué about the fire and why the person or group set it.

Economic Impact of Idaho Non-Profits

Sep 23, 2011

BOISE, ID. – Agriculture, manufacturing, and construction – those are some industries one typically thinks of as contributors to Idaho’s economy.  But there’s another that’s oftentimes overlooked.  A preliminary study points to non-profits as a valuable jobs and income generator for the state.

Steve Peterson is a University of Idaho economist.  He says he’s written sixty economic impact studies over the years.  His latest focuses on Idaho’s not-for-profit organizations.

BOISE, Id –Saturday marks the 24th Annual Idaho Veterans Olympics.  Every year, veterans and more than 700 volunteers take over the grounds of the Veterans Home off Fort Street.  Phil Hawkins is the Volunteer Activities Coordinator at the Idaho State Veterans Home.  And he’s chairing the Olympics.   Hawkins says the day starts with a Parade of Athletes and the lighting of the torch.

Boise, ID – The Boise Weekly’s George Prentice just got back from the Toronto International Film Festival, also known as TIFF.  It’s one of the largest film festivals in the world.  It turns out Prentice is something of a movie buff, and Emily Schwing wanted to get his take on some of the newest films to hit the silver screen.

West Nile Found in Payette County Mosquitoes

Sep 22, 2011

BOISE, ID. – Mosquitoes trapped in Gem County tested positive for the West Nile virus last month.  Now, mosquitoes caught in Payette County harbor the disease.

Mosquitoes trapped Monday in the Killebrew area between Payette and Fruitland are infected with West Nile.  Annabel Martinez manages Payette County’s mosquito abatement program.

Annabel Martinez:  “Near the trap, we actually have a slough that runs really close to it.  And this seems to be a habitat that could potentially be a breeding site for this type of mosquito.”

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – A 21-year-old soldier from Boise has pleaded guilty to unpremeditated murder of an unarmed Afghan civilian. Private First Class Andrew Holmes entered his plea Thursday as part of an agreement with prosecutors. The deal spares him a possible mandatory life sentence. In an interview with correspondent Austin Jenkins, Holmes expressed remorse for his involvement in the killing of a young Afghan non-combatant in January of 2010.

Boise Defers Fees for Commercial Development

Sep 21, 2011

BOISE, ID. – Bankers, developers, and city officials announced plans earlier this week to fill the Hole in downtown Boise.  The news overshadowed the Mayor’s launch of a fee deferral program for commercial developers.

Boise Mayor David Bieter chose the Zion’s Bank project as the first to take advantage of the city’s new program.

Mayor David Bieter:  “For the next six months, any commercial project that comes to us, we’ll defer those fees to the end.”

The Airport Just Can't Get Off the Ground

Sep 21, 2011

Boise Idaho - Residents of the Wood River Valley have known since the mid-90s that their airport would soon be too small for their growing communities.  But what to do about that has been a sticky issue there just as long. Progress toward a replacement airport encountered some turbulence last month. Community members now are coming together to talk about what to do next.

John Strauss moved to Hailey three years ago. He runs a small flight school called Glass Cockpit Aviation. Strauss says he found himself in the middle of a long debate. It’s about building a new airport.

Boise, ID – You’ll get a chance to find out what it takes to become a NASA astronaut as part of Boise State’s NASA Day.  Barbara Morgan helped organize the event. She was NASA’s first educator astronaut in space. Now she’s an educator in residence at the university. Emily Schwing recently talked with Barbara Morgan and asked her what it means to be a part of NASA Day at a time when the space agency is going through change.


Sep 20, 2011


NASA experts will be on Boise State’s campus to give students and faculty a glimpse of what it takes to be an astronaut.  This is all part of NASA Day at the university.  Barbara Morgan was NASA’s first Educator in Space.  Now, she works with the university.  She says NASA and Boise State have a close relationship when it comes to sharing research and ideas.

“We’re both all about the future,” she says.  “And we’re looking ahead to great partnership in many, many areas including biology engineering, chemistry and history.”

BOISE, ID. – The ACLU of Idaho and the Corrections Corporation of America settled a potential class action lawsuit today.  Prisoners at the Idaho Correctional Center called it “Gladiator School.”  That’s because they alleged staff failed to prevent inmate-on-inmate violence.  The Idaho facility is state-owned but privately run by CCA out of Tennessee.  Monica Hopkins, Executive Director of the ACLU of Idaho, says, “They (CCA) agreed to investigate and prepare reports on all inmate-on-inmate assaults with findings and conclusions to determine the causes of each incident.

Idaho Unemployment Drops Slightly

Sep 16, 2011


BOISE, ID. – Idaho’s U.S.


BOISE, Id – Three hundred forty three firefighters died at the World Trade Center on September 11th.  That’s a number firefighters anywhere around the country are familiar with.  The number 343 came up often during Samantha Wright’s recent visit to Boise’s Fire Station 7 near the airport.  We hear from local firefighters who remember that day ten years ago.

Copyright 2011 BSPR

Eagle Mayoral Race Could Be Contentious

Sep 15, 2011


Homedale Wins Blue Ribbon Award

Sep 15, 2011



On September 14th, 2001, communities around the U.S. held a day of remembrance for those who died in the September 11th terror attacks. It was on this day that University of Idaho professor Gary Machlis stood before an auditorium full of fellow faculty members and students and shared his thoughts about what 9-11 meant.  Here is an excerpt from Machlis’ speech:


Bronco Football Tickets Go Fast

Sep 14, 2011

BOISE, ID. – Bronco football tickets went on sale to the general public Wednesday.  But many passionate fans are shut out due to high prices and lack of seats.

About two dozen fans wait in line to buy tickets to Bronco home games.  Some are willing to shell out as much as $75 a person.  Julie Houston says she loves attending home games. 

Julie Houston:  “You know, when the crowd, ‘BOI-SE! STATE!’ You know, just the enthusiasm and everything. I can’t pick one thing because everything is just so exciting – the crowd, even riding the bus.  I mean everyone’s so hyped up.”


BOISE, Id – This week we’re looking at how the ten year anniversary of September 11th changed Idaho. One of those changes has been on the law enforcement front especially when it comes to training people how to handle terrorism events.  In fact, 9-11 was the catalyst for one Idaho man to launch a private company that does just that.  Chadd Harbough is the President of the Eagle-based Government Training Institute.He told Samantha Wright he got the idea for the company while he was a police officer in Garden City.

Remembering 9/11: Idaho Statehouse Security

Sep 13, 2011

BOISE, ID. – This week we’re looking back at what happened in Idaho right after September 11th.  Ten years ago security around the state tightened, especially at the Idaho Capitol.  But it’s a different story today.

Today, you can walk right through the doors of the Capitol without going through a metal detector or a bag search.  But right after September 11th, Idaho’s then Governor Dirk Kempthorne beefed up security to protect the state against terrorism.

BOISE, ID. – The National Collegiate Athletic Association cited Boise State University for violations in its football, tennis, track and field, and cross country programs today.  Gregory Sankey, a member of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions, says this was a major case, “I think the extent of the report indicates the number of allegations.  They occurred in five sports, exceeding five years, and exceeded 75 either prospective student-athletes or student-athletes involvement.”