Idaho

Officials from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare are asking people to take precautions around ground squirrels after a squirrel south of Boise tested positive for plague.

A compromise plan to designate 275,000 acres of wilderness in central Idaho got a much-anticipated hearing in the U.S. Senate Thursday.

It took an extra trip to Boise. But Idaho lawmakers Monday adopted new federal rules on child support after a whirlwind 11-hour session.

The controversial Idaho bill dealing with foreign child support orders is moving ahead in the legislature, despite impassioned opposition on the House floor.

Dozens of countries, including the U.S., have agreed on how to handle child support payments when one parent is in a different country. But the state of Idaho is holding out.

    

A new lawsuit in Idaho claims the same legal argument that paved the way for gay marriage in the state should also make it illegal to refuse to hire gay people.

J.R. Simplot Co.

A major Idaho agribusiness company is seeking federal approval to market a second genetically engineered potato. 

The J.R. Simplot Co. won approval for its first potato late last year. The Innate potato, as it’s branded, is due to be the first genetically engineered spud on the market -- a newcomer that just last month was the center of attention in a spot on comedy news program the Daily Show.

Simplot dubbed it “Innate” because the inserted genes come from other potatoes.

The ping-pong of transportation plans between the Idaho House and Senate promises to make this a long week at the Capitol.

Symic / Flickr

Idaho lawmakers this Monday passed a bill to allow parents to treat epileptic children with an oil extracted from cannabis. Idaho’s House approved it 39 to 30 after more than an hour of intense debate.

Opponents argued the bill legalizes marijuana. The oil has small amounts of the chemical that makes pot users high. Iona Republican Thomas Loertscher said the bill was not about legalizing drug use but about easing children’s suffering.

“This is whether we want to measure what we do here with compassion, or whether we do what we do out of fear,” Loertscher says.

Idaho teachers could start seeing raises as soon as next fall after Governor Butch Otter signed a pay plan known as the “career ladder” into law Thursday.

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