Idaho

Kevin Rank / Flickr

Idaho’s annual legislative session starts next week, but some lawmakers are already at work. Each year, just before the session, a group of lawmakers meets to try and get an idea of what Idaho’s economy will be like in the coming year. They use what they hear to inform their budgeting decisions.

AP Images

Leaders of a marijuana advocacy group launched in Idaho two weeks ago say they have already attracted more than 200 volunteers. New Approach Idaho wants to put a ballot measure before Idaho voters in 2016 to legalize medical marijuana. The group was formed, in part, by members of similar groups who have failed in their legalization efforts. New Approach Idaho co-founder Bill Esbensen says others have struggled with organization.

AP Images

Idaho and Oregon have the highest share of unauthorized immigrants who will benefit from President Obama’s recent executive action. That’s according to a report from the Pew Research Center.

46 percent of Idaho’s and 43 percent of Oregon’s undocumented immigrants are newly eligible for deportation protection. The program Obama announced last month extends protection to people who have been in the country for more than five years and have children born in the U.S. D’Vera Cohn from the Pew Research Center says that describes many of Oregon’s 120,000 unauthorized immigrants.

Idaho A Medical Destination For Canadian Boomers

Dec 1, 2014
Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A hospital in North Idaho is marketing itself to Canadian tourists -- medical tourists, that is.

Most of the patients who come into Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls, Idaho, are from the local area -- plus a few from Washington and Montana.

Boise Interfaith Sanctuary. / http://interfaithsanctuary.org/

There were more than 12,000 homeless children in Idaho last year, according to a recent report from the National Center on Family Homelessness. That puts Idaho in the middle of the pack compared to other states. The report is critical of Idaho’s policies that deal with child homelessness, ranking it 45th among states on policy and planning.

US CPSC / Flickr

Idaho's Department of Health and Welfare said more calls are coming about bright and colorful laundry detergent packets this year, compared to last.

So far this year, 69 Idaho children have been exposed to the packets.  Forty of those went to the emergency room and five ended up in the hospital.

Niki Forbing-Orr is with the health department. She said there’s been a 30 percent increase in calls about the packets in Idaho this year.

Public Domain / Wikicommons

   

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A federal appeals court Thursday upheld gay marriage bans in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan. It’s a break with the trend in most courts.

That could provide a legal opening for Idaho Governor Butch Otter, who has vowed to continue the fight against gay marriage in his state. The issue may have even helped him win re-election.

Campaign

The squeaker in the statewide returns from Tuesday’s election in Idaho was the contest for state superintendent of public instruction. The position rarely makes the holder a household name. But as correspondent Jessica Robinson reports, it's an office that's expected to play a key role in Idaho over the next several years.

Republican Sherri Ybarra’s margin of victory was just over 1 percent. She’s currently the curriculum director in the Mountain Home district. Ybarra says her first step will be getting a crash course from outgoing state schools chief, Tom Luna.

Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr

It’s election week. Here in the Northwest, Washington and Oregon voters will cast their ballots by mail – or drop box. In Idaho, most voters still go to the polls.

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