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Idaho Briefing – April 9

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for April 9. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at stapilus@ridenbaugh.com.

Major stories coming from an unusual direction this week: The hiring of new presidents at two of Idaho’s major higher education institutions. (On top of putting the UI athletic director on lease.) That work isn’t done yet – the hiring for Boise State University still awaits – meaning that changes for higher ed in Idaho this year could be significant event if the proposed reorganization plan (that the legislature rejected) went nowhere.

Idaho Power is joining seven other electric utilities in the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM), enabling the company to buy low-cost energy from across the region in real time.

University of Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear has been put on administrative leave for 60 days while investigators and university leadership work to better understand process failures in reporting sexual assault complaints in 2012 and 2013, what has been done since then, and what should be done in the future.]

Local health organizations are joining the effort to put closing the coverage gap on the ballot in Idaho. Following another year of legislative inaction, advocates are eager to give the voters of Idaho the chance to decide.

The Bureau of Land Management has begun implementing an experimental targeted grazing project aimed at reducing fuels and associated fire risk and protecting rehabilitation efforts within the Soda Fire zone. Participating local ranchers will be grazing livestock along 36 miles of Owyhee Front roadways from approximately Marsing to Murphy from now through June.

Boise State University officially has begun construction on the $50 million Micron Center for Materials Research.

Representative Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, sharply criticized a federal court decision he contends is forcing the waste of $40 million in hydropower based on dubious scientific grounds in the name of helping salmon.

After nearly 32 years on Kimberly Road the Sawtooth National Forest Supervisor’s Office will be moving. The new Supervisor’s Office will be located at 370 American Avenue in Jerome.

PHOTO The Department of Energy last week officially approved the contract modification that enables a five-year extension for Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA) to manage and operate INL through September 30, 2024. (image/Idaho National Laboratory)
 

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