Landing One Job No Longer Sufficient For Many In Idaho

Dec 31, 2012
Photo by Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Personal incomes took a hit in the economic downturn across the nation. But according to the latest figures, no state has lower median earnings than Idaho. Jessica Robinson reports.

NOAA Asks for Input From NW Salmon Stakeholders

Dec 12, 2012
Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Environmentalists in the Northwest are being offered an expanded role in shaping the long-term recovery plan for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin.

Earthfix reporter Aaron Kunz has more.

Working for Idaho's Extinct Coho Salmon

Dec 7, 2012
Photo by Aaron Kunz

The Northwest’s declining salmon runs have spurred marathon legal battles and inspired billions in spending to save the iconic species.

But Idaho’s coho salmon were never listed as endangered before they went extinct in 1987. Very few people noticed when the fish were gone. But the Nez Perce Indian tribe noticed. And thanks to its extraordinary efforts, coho are once again returning by the thousands to Idaho waters.

Earthfix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

Idaho Task Force Considers Nuclear Waste

Dec 3, 2012
Aaron Kunz / Boise State Public Radio

A task force in Idaho today issued a first draft of recommendations that could include the shipment of spent nuclear waste into the state.

Idaho high school students won't have to take online classes to graduate. The State Board of Education repealed a rule Monday that required them. Voters rejected the Students Come First laws on November 6 but one of those laws had a twist. It required the board of education to set the online class requirement, which it did.

Idaho LINE Commission Delays Recommendation

Nov 19, 2012

An Idaho task force is delaying its release of a draft proposal on ways to strengthen the state’s nuclear energy industry. EarthFix reporter Aaron Kunz was at the task force meeting Friday in Moscow and has the latest.

Idaho teachers who earned bonuses last year will still receive their checks, even though voters overturned performance pay in Idaho. The state attorney general's office made the call in a legal opinion released Monday. Jessica Robinson explains why it got so complicated.

USDA Forest Service

In Portland today, a federal appeals court heard a challenge to Idaho’s roadless rule. Environmental groups argued the rule gives the Forest Service too much flexibility to build new roads.

Salmon the Focus of Northwest Rivers Initiative

Oct 30, 2012
Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Dams, agriculture, urban development -- they’ve all contributed to the loss of quality habitat for Northwest salmon. EarthFix reporter Aaron Kunz recently visited an Idaho river where a historic gold mine has left problems behind for salmon and steelhead. Here’s his report on what’s being done to clean things up.

The Salmon River is one of the longest free-flowing rivers in the Pacific Northwest. The mountains, clean water and abundant fish and wildlife have attracted hundreds of people like Jerry Meyers, who calls this place home.

Idaho’s Secretary of State wants a court to order a group campaigning for Idaho’s ballot referenda to reveal its donors. But making those names public before the election might be difficult. Adam Cotterell has more.

Idaho Voters To Decide Right To Hunt Amendment

Oct 24, 2012
thekevinchang / Creative Commons

Voters in Idaho will be asked next month to make some additions to the state constitution. House Joint Resolution 2 is less than two pages long and adds hunting, fishing and trapping to Idaho’s Constitution.

Lester Public Library / Flickr

A school district in southwest Idaho says the book “Like Water for Chocolate” is inappropriate for high school sophomores. It’s banning the book from the curriculum.

Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

A federal energy regulator sided with wind energy producers in their dispute with Idaho Power. Earthfix Reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

Mining Gold In The Northwest Causes Conflict

Sep 20, 2012
Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

A recreational gold miner in Idaho now has the exclusive right to mine for gold on a stretch of the Salmon River. But the lease process approved by the Idaho Land Board this week raised some questions about the process he will use to get the gold. Aaron Kunz with EarthFix explains.

Mustang Fire Threatens Homes Along Highway 93

Aug 29, 2012

Two hundred fifty homes are threatened by the Mustang Complex Fire north of Salmon. The homes are along Highway 93 near Butcherknife Ridge. The Lemhi County Sheriff announced Wednesday morning that anyone who lives in the area should be prepared to evacuate if the fire moves closer.

Idaho Wildlife Summit Considered A Success

Aug 27, 2012
Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Idaho’s Fish and Game Department told stakeholders this weekend they are losing funding for valuable wildlife conservation programs. This weekend’s public summit was held to get some help from the people they serve. Earthfix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

The annual Sawtooth Salmon Festival brought in many visitors to Stanley in central Idaho this weekend. That’s despite a nearby wildfire that’s brought in smoke to the area.

The festival coincides with the return of sockeye and chinook salmon to the Stanley area. So far 160 sockeye have arrived so far. That’s down from the hundreds that showed up last year.

Annie Morrison is an intern at Idaho Rivers United, which organized the event. She says festival goers got a chance to see salmon spawning.

Law enforcement officers seized more than eleven thousand marijuana plants in Blaine County Idaho Thursday. The illegal grow operation was on public land in the Sawtooth National Forest near Galena Summit. Several agencies were involved.

Trinity Ridge Fire Gets Closer To Featherville

Aug 21, 2012

More than a thousand fire fighters in Idaho are working to protect homes as a massive wildfire moves closer to the mountain communities of Pine and Featherville. Sadie Babits reports.

The Trinity Ridge fire burning 100 miles northeast of Boise remains the state’s number one firefighting priority. That’s because the wildfire continues to threaten hundreds of homes in Pine and Featherville. Mary Christensen – a fire information officer – says thick smoke lifted and now the wildfire has picked up.

Idaho Fire Continues To Threaten Mountain Towns

Aug 20, 2012

Wildfires have burned more land this year in the U.S. than in the last decade. Large fires continue to burn in California, Washington, Nevada and Idaho.

Aaron Kunz / Boise State Public Radio

Restoration work to make a section of Idaho’s Salmon River better for salmon and steelhead is about to get underway. It’s also the focus of a nationwide campaign dedicated to conservation.

Idaho’s Jobless Rate Drops To Lowest Level In Three Years

Aug 17, 2012

Almost 20,000 more Idahoans had jobs this July compared to last. The Idaho Department of Labor reports July’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point from June to 7.5 percent.

South Korea Ban On Fresh Northwest Potatoes

Aug 16, 2012

Starting Friday, fresh potatoes from Idaho, Oregon and Washington can no longer be exported to South Korea. As Capital Press reported earlier this week, Korea’s export ban results from concerns over an insect-borne disease that causes light yellow potato flesh to darken and stripe — the zebra chip.

A billboard in Caldwell, Idaho is getting attention all over the country. It shows a photo of Colorado shooter James Holmes with the words “Kills 12 in movie theater with assault rifle, everyone freaks out.” Next to Holme's picture, is one of President Barack Obama. With his photo - the words “Kills thousands with his foreign policy, wins Nobel Peace Prize.” Adam Cotterell reports.

First Sockeye Reach Idaho's Stanley Basin

Jul 30, 2012
Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

The first sockeye arrived in Idaho’s Salmon River this week -- That’s later than usual. EarthFix Reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

Anonymous Commenter Reveals Identity

Jul 24, 2012
Sandy Clemons

A lawsuit in north Idaho over anonymous comments posted in an online forum attracted national attention. Now, the commenter at the center of that dispute has unmasked herself. As correspondent Jessica Robinson reports, the case reveals a rift within the north Idaho Republican Party.

Despite wildfires burning hundreds of homes in the last few weeks, the Cabinet member who oversees the U.S. Forest Service said [yesterday] Tuesday there have been fewer fires this year compared to this time last year. Tom Vilsack made the comments during a stop in Idaho. From Boise, Scott Graf has more.

In the men’s 800 meter race Monday, Boise-native Nick Symmonds, now of Springfield, Oregon, clocked the fastest time by an American at Hayward Field. As KLCC’s Angela Kellner reports, it earned him a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team.

Northwest News Network

Members of Idaho’s state legislative budget committee are on a fact- finding tour of locations in north central Idaho this week.  The delegation is making the rounds in places like Moscow and Orofino, with the intent being to better understanding issues and budget requests that will come up in the next legislative session.

Idaho Dept. of Corrections

In 1985, a jury convicted Richard A. Leavitt of the brutal first-degree murder of Danette J. Elg a year earlier. Elg of Blackfoot, Idaho had been stabbed more than a dozen times and her body was mutilated. The state will execute 53 year-old Leavitt Tuesday by lethal injection unless there’s a last minute stay. .

Male death row prisoners are housed in the Idaho Maximum Security Institution, or Idaho Max. Guards moved Leavitt to a lone cell last month after the state Department of Correction served him with a death warrant.