Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Washington retailers are getting ready for the 78 year old state monopoly on liquor sales to end this Friday. It’s not yet clear what privatization will do to the price of alcohol in Washington. One entity with a big stake in the matter … is the state of Idaho.

Some of Idaho’s most profitable state-run liquor stores just happen to be along its Northwestern border.

Jared Tatro: “And when we went up to visit those stores, we look at IDs, we’re looking at license plates,  they’re coming from Washington.”

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

The Associated Press and other news agencies sued the state of Idaho yesterday to view prisoner executions from start to finish. Reporters want to be able to observe and report any complications that might come up.

AP reporter Rebecca Boone is among those fighting to see the entire execution.

Rebecca Boone: "This is the most powerful action that the courts and government can take, it’s killing a person. So if we don’t know what happens for half of that process, then it’s impossible to have an educated and vital debate about it."

Boise Police Kill Cougar On Boise State Campus

May 22, 2012
Photo credit: Wikimedia user Mike Searson / Wikimedia Commons

Early Tuesday morning a Boise police officer shot and killed a mountain lion on the Boise State University campus.

Idaho Fish and Game Senior Conservation Officer Matt O’Connell says it’s likely the same cat that was first spotted in an east Boise foothills neighborhood Friday and seen several times Monday morning near downtown. O’Connell says police responded to calls from Boise State staffers who saw the lion eating from a dumpster near the student union building.

He says that’s unusual behavior for this species.

The University of Idaho is reevaluating its options in football, with the emphasis on staying in Division 1 and protecting its Football Bowl Subdivision status. The statement from University of Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear came following announcements from colleges last week that make the future of the Western Athletic Conference unclear.

Idaho's Rare Earth Minerals On The Radar

May 2, 2012

China’s stranglehold on the world’s rare earth mineral supply has re-ignited interest in Idaho. The state’s rare earth minerals run through environmentally sensitive lands. Bonnie Stewart has the story.

Artist Finds Niche Business In Glass Recycling

Apr 25, 2012
Photo by Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A fledgling business in Sandpoint, Idaho is giving locals a place to finally take their glass bottles – besides the landfill, that is. North Idaho is one of the few corners of the Northwest that doesn’t have glass recycling. As Jessica Robinson reports, the business is barely up and running, and already has more glass bottles than it can handle.

Two-Headed Trout Spur Scrutiny Of Mine Pollution

Apr 19, 2012
Photos courtesy J.R. Simplot / Idaho DEQ

Here’s an image you usually don’t see without the help of Photoshop: two-headed fish. Pictures of deformed baby trout with two heads show up in a study of creeks in a remote part of southeast Idaho. The study examined the effects of a contaminant called selenium. It comes from a nearby mine owned by the agribusiness giant, J.R. Simplot. Critics say the two-headed trout have implications beyond a couple of Idaho creeks. Jessica Robinson reports.

Idaho Lawmaker Is Tax Crusader To Some, Tax Dodger To Feds

Apr 13, 2012
Photo credit: Idaho House of Representatives / Northwest News Network

ATHOL, Idaho -- Tax evasion will get you into hot water with the IRS. But in north Idaho, it won’t necessarily spell the end of your political career. A Republican state legislator who believes the federal income tax is unconstitutional is battling charges of tax evasion, even as he seeks reelection.

The federal government says Phil Hart owes more than $500,ooo in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties. The U.S. Justice Department is threatening to foreclose on his home near Athol, Idaho if he doesn’t pay up. Meanwhile, Idaho tax collectors say Hart owes the state another $53,000.

MOSCOW, Idaho -- The actor Bill Fagerbakke is perhaps best known for his comedic roles on the television series Coach and Spongebob Squarepants. But in Moscow, Idaho, last week, he was also talking about serious issues, like the role of the arts in our culture. Northwest Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports.

Hunters And Trappers Take 372 Idaho Wolves This Season

Mar 30, 2012
U.S. Fish & Wildlife / U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Wolf hunting ends Saturday in most of Idaho. Hunters have bagged 372 animals since the season began in August, according to the latest count. Idaho Fish and Game officials are pleased, while wolf advocates find the high total worrisome.

Photo by Glenn Mosley / Northwest Public Radio

UPDATED Tuesday 10:20 AM: Area streams and rivers are now receding, although a flood warning continues for the Palouse River near Potlatch.

UPDATED Tuesday 5:55 AM: Flood warning continues for the Palouse River near Potlatch, and also for urban areas and small streams. 

UPDATED Wednesday 10:15 PM: The flood warning has been canceled for the Palouse River (South Fork) at Pullman, but remains in effect for the Palouse River near Potlatch. See updated NWS statement at the end of this post.

Idaho House of Representatives

Religious beliefs and contraception collided today in the Idaho House of Representatives. a majority of state lawmakers voted to send a message to the President and U.S. Congress to reject a new birth control policy.

Texting While Driving May Soon Be Banned In Idaho

Mar 20, 2012
Wikimedia user: WhisperToMe / Wikimedia Commons

Idaho lawmakers are one step closer to signing off on a bill that would ban texting while driving.

For years state lawmakers have tried to pass legislation that would make it illegal to text and drive. This year may be different because Tuesday the House agreed to a bill that would make texting while driving an infraction. Supporters say this would send a strong message to drivers, especially teenagers, that it's dangerous to text and drive.

Photo by Eric Hunt / Wikimedia Commons

BOISE, Idaho – A new investigative project ranks Idaho 40th out of 50 states for government accountability and openness. The Gem State fails six categories outright, including ethics enforcement agencies. As Scott Ki reports, The study comes out Monday as state senators investigate one of their own.

Schools May Have To Do More To Help Bullied Students

Mar 16, 2012

BOISE, Idaho -- Idaho’s public schools may have to do more when it comes to stopping bullying. The state Senate approved legislation Thursday that would require schools to give tools to teachers on how to spot and stop bullying. It also says school employees must intervene if bullying happens.

Democratic Senator Nicole LeFavour told her colleagues there was a real need for this bill.

Whats Next for Wolves After Court Decision

Mar 15, 2012

BOISE - The wolf hunt in Idaho will continue through June in part of the state. That’s because the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday upheld Congress’s decision to strip federal protection for wolves in Idaho and Montana. Aaron Kunz has reaction to the decision.

Photo credit: Wikimedia user Elwood J Blues / Wikimedia Commons

BOISE – Idaho lawmakers signed off Wednesday on a plan that limits local control of oil and natural gas development. Even supporters say this legislation isn’t perfect.

Idaho Lawmakers Weigh In On National Contraception Policy

Mar 14, 2012
Photo by Mark Kobayashi-Hillary / Wikimedia Commons

BOISE, Idaho -- Some Idaho lawmakers are weighing in on a national debate over whether religious institutions should be required to provide birth control coverage to employees. Samantha Wright reports.

Smooth Sailing For Idaho GOP At First Caucus

Mar 7, 2012
Graph credit: Gage / Wikimedia commons

BOISE - Idaho Republicans held their first presidential caucus Tuesday. Mitt Romney won big and it was mostly smooth sailing.

Romney Takes Idaho, Helped By Mormon Vote

Mar 7, 2012
Photo by Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho - Mitt Romney took the state of Idaho Tuesday in the state’s first-ever presidential caucus. The former Massachusetts governor won with 61 percent of the vote. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has more.

Photo by Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

BOISE, Idaho -- Super Tuesday didn’t deliver the string of decisive victories candidate Mitt Romney surely hoped for. But here in Idaho, there was no contest. Romney took more than 60 percent of the vote. He far outpaced Ron Paul, who finished second. Like Romney’s Idaho victory, the state’s first ever Republican caucus appears to have gone off without a hitch. Molly Messick has this view of how the day unfolded at the largest caucus, in Ada County.

Photo by: Glenn Mosley / Northwest News Network

Two campaign stops by GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul are being credited with energizing republican voters in the college town of Moscow, ID. They turned out in big numbers for the historic Idaho Republican Caucus.

Photo credit: Jessica Robinson] / Northwest News Network

SANDPOINT, Idaho - Republican presidential contender Ron Paul paid a visit to north Idaho Monday on the eve of the state’s Super Tuesday caucus. Political analysts expect Mitt Romney to do well in Idaho. But Paul’s campaign say their loyal supporters could garner a good share of Idaho’s 32 delegates.

Landowner Caught In Middle Of Wind Moratorium

Mar 5, 2012
Photo by Aaron Kunz / Northwest News Network

BOISE, Idaho -- Wind energy is facing some tough opposition in one Northwest state. Idaho lawmakers are hearing concerns that utilities and their customers are paying too much for power because of subsidies for wind energy. But on the other side of the argument, there are some who benefit from wind. Aaron Kunz reports.

Photo Credit: Robbie Giles / Wikimedia Commons

After years of severe budget cuts, better days may be on the horizon for higher education in Idaho and Washington.

Photo by: Eric Hunt / Wikimedia Commons

BOISE, Idaho -- Some Idaho legislators are concerned about a bill that reduces county control over the oil and gas industry.

The Senate Resources and Environment Committee grilled industry leaders and stakeholders Wednesday over legislation that gives the state control to regulate the natural gas industry.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

BOISE, Idaho — A controversial bill that would stop the wind energy industry for two years has narrowly passed an Idaho House panel.

The House Local Government Committee passed the measure late Wednesday. The vote followed nearly four hours of testimony from supporters and opponents.

This bill doesn’t do away with government subsidies for wind farms. But it does put the brakes on an industry that has seen tremendous growth over the past several years.

Photo credit: Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

SPIRIT LAKE, Idaho - Idaho is one of only three states that don’t consider animal cruelty a felony. That would change under a bill now in the Idaho House. The measure allows up to a year in jail and a $9,000 fine for the worst types of abuse. Yet the measure hasn’t drawn cheers from animal rescue groups.

Photo credit: Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho - Newt Gingrich was in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Thursday night to fund raise and rally voters before the state’s Super Tuesday caucus.

Newt Gingrich: “Barack Obama is, in national security terms, the most dangerous president in our lifetime.”

Gingrich called it “disgraceful” that President Obama apologized to Afghan authorities for Qurans accidentally burned on a U.S. military base.

Correspondent Jessica Robinson talked to voters at the north Idaho event … and found that for many, the race for the Republican presidential nomination is between two candidates.

Photo courtesy University of Idaho

MOSCOW, Idaho -- The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival is back for another year at the University of Idaho in Moscow. Now ten years after the death of its namesake, the festival, like many such celebrations, is challenged by a changing jazz industry. Northwest Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports.