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Posts published in “Briefings”

Idaho Briefing – May 29

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for May 22. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at

With Memorial Day coming up, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced on May 23 that the Idaho Division of Veterans Services has launched an effort to identify all Idaho monuments and memorials honoring the military and veterans.

The Idaho Water Resource Board has approved spending $109,273 with Ralston Hydraulic Services Inc. of Moscow for the second phase of the Lewiston Regional Deep Aquifer Study.

On May 24 the House Judiciary Committee approved a robust immigration enforcement bill introduced by Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Vice-Chairman Raúl Labrador (R-ID) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). Their legislation, the Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act (H.R. 2431) was approved by a vote of 19-13.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has announced a $33 million multi-state settlement with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson concerning the way they represented certain over-the-counter drugs between 2009 and 2011. Idaho’s portion of the settlement is just over $430,000.

Migration conditions in the lower Columbia River and a late run have challenged Fish and Game's normal process for setting Chinook salmon seasons. Fisheries managers closed the spring/summer Chinook season as a precaution on May 24 on all rivers, except Hells Canyon, due to low numbers of Chinook counted at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.

Representative Mike Simpson discussed important Idaho issues with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell during a hearing held by the House Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee.

PHOTO Idaho State University’s Holt Arena will undergo a $536,000 lighting upgrade this summer, replacing two older lighting systems with 85 LED lighting fixtures. (photo/Idaho State University)

Idaho Digest – May 22

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for May 22. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at

Idaho Falls will be getting a full community college after the election last week, when the voters of Bonneville County decisively approved the proposal.

Lieutenant Governor Brad Little – in his capacity as acting governor – on May 19 signed an executive order today directing a sweeping review of Idaho’s occupational licensing requirements.

Significant drops in the number of unemployed Idahoans and people looking for work pushed the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate down to 3.4 percent in April, narrowing an already tight labor market even further.

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter on May 18 announced that President Donald J. Trump signed a Presidential Disaster Declaration today for eight northern and north-central Idaho counties, triggering the release of federal funds to help communities recover from flooding that occurred March 6-28.

Snake River flows below Minidoka and Milner dams will be decreasing from today through May 18, to end flow passing Milner Dam. The Idaho Water Resource Board suspended Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer recharge operations on May 18, effective immediately.

Anglers should soon know the fate of the 2017 spring Chinook run, and how much longer the spring fishing season will continue. Fisheries managers plan to re-evaluate the season after seeing how many chinook cross Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River, which is the first dam the fish cross that are bound for Idaho.

PHOTO A group of activists stand at the Grove Convention Center in Boise. (photo/United Vision for Idaho)

Idaho Digest – May 15

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for May 15. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at

U.S. Representative Raul Labrador on May 9 filed paperwork with the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office to run for governor in 2018. He joins a field of Republicans which already includes Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, former state Senator Russ Fulcher and Boise businessman Tommy Ahlquist.

Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch on May 8 welcomed the nomination of Idaho District Judge David C. Nye of Pocatello by President Donald Trump to fill the open U.S. District Court judgeship in Idaho.

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry on May 8 and 9 toured the Idaho National Laboratory, visiting a number of facilities at the installation and talking with groups of employees there.

Idaho Power has filed a settlement stipulation with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission related to early retirement of the North Valmy coal-fired power plant and an associated plan for cost recovery.

Acting Governor Brad Little has declared a state of disaster emergency for Custer, Elmore and Gooding Counties as of May 10.

PHOTO Representative Raul Labrador (center, standing) files paperwork at the Idaho secretary of state’s office to run for governor. Here he talks with Secretary of State Lawerence Denney (left), with whom he served in the Idaho House. (photo/Labrador campaign)

Idaho Briefing – May 1

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for April 17. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at

Closed sections of Boise River Wildlife Management Area, will open to public access on May 1. This includes areas impacted by the Table Rock and Mile Marker 14 Fires.

The City of Boise is embarking on a broad “high touch meets high tech” effort to deepen its customer service and enrich its interactions with Boise residents.

The 366th Medical Group at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, will soon begin to make what some may see as drastic changes to the services provided here. The facility will transition from an inpatient hospital to an outpatient clinic by mid-summer.

Blue Lake Rancheria, a century-old Native American reservation in Northern California, has launched its low-carbon community microgrid that is helping power government offices, economic enterprises, and critical Red Cross safety shelter-in-place facilities across 100 acres. In collaboration with Humboldt State University's Schatz Energy Research Center, Siemens, Idaho National Laboratory and additional partners, the microgrid uses decentralized energy resources and intelligent software to provide its residents and economic enterprises with reliable power without interruption.

Salmon fishing seasons are tricky because the run size and fishing seasons vary from year to year based on how many fish return to Idaho and how many hatchery fish are available for sport harvest.

Anderson’s buttercup emerges early taking advantage of native bees & is found in Owyhee Mountains & Bennett Hills. (photo/Bureau of Land Management)

Idaho Briefing – April 23

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for April 17. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at

President Donald J. Trump signed a Presidential Disaster Declaration on April 21 for 11 southern Idaho counties, triggering the release of federal funds to help communities repair public infrastructure damaged by severe winter storms and related flooding from February 5 through March 3.

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.5 percent in March, down one tenth of a percent from 3.6 percent in February.

The University of Maryland will continue operating its Training, Research, Isotopes, General Atomics – or TRIGA – research reactor thanks to lightly irradiated fuel provided by the U.S. Department of Energy site in Idaho.

Soon the Fort Hall Replica, Bannock County Historical Museum, and Pocatello Junction will be under the same umbrella.

On Earth Day, April 22, science enthusiasts joined to show their support for science with a national march in Washington D.C. and satellite events around globe. In Boise, hundreds of supporters will meet at the Idaho State Capitol at 10:30 am for speakers and then march through the streets of downtown Boise. Speakers include professional scientist working in agriculture, medicine, climate, engineering, and education.

PHOTO High revenue levels on the Boise River have damaged parts of the Boise Greenbelt, and parts of its bike path have been closed to public access pending repairs. (photo/Boise Police Department)

Idaho Briefing – April 17

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for April 17. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter on April 11 vetoed legislature which sought to exempt grocery purchases from the state sales tax. He also allowed to become law, without his signature, a measure substantially expanding spending on state highways. The grocery sales tax measure had cleared the Senate on a vote of 25-10 and the House by 51-19.

Idaho Supreme Court Justice Daniel T. Eismann (pictured) said last week that he plans to retire from the court on August 31.

Idaho Republican Party Chairman Steve Yates said on April 10 that he intends to step down as State Party Chairman effective April 24.

Reservoirs are filling across southern Idaho, and fisheries managers are looking forward to the benefits that big water brings.

Idaho Power Company is asking state regulators to approve an average 1.3 percent increase in an annual rate adjustment mechanism that allows the utility to recover its fixed costs of delivering energy when energy sales decline due to reduced consumption.

Canyon County voters in six precincts will have new polling places beginning with the May 16 election.

Idaho Briefing – April 10

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for March 20. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at

With the legislature over, it’s time for bill signings and vetoes – some of each – and, usually, spring. That last is taking its time, as people in some places wait for flood waters to abate.

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter last week plowed through the paperwork following completion of this year’s legislative session, signing dozens of bills and vetoing a few.

In an unusual public statement on April 3, Lieutenant Governor Brad Little asked Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter to sign rather than veto a bill which cleared the legislature, repealing the state’s sales tax on groceries.

Boise Mayor David Bieter and Garden City Mayor John Evans on April 6 ordered the closure of most of the Greenbelt bike and pedestrian path due to dangerous flood conditions on the Boise River. The announcement comes on the heels of yesterday’s announcement of the pathway’s closure in the City of Eagle.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is approving an Idaho Power Company application to slightly reduce the rider customers pay to fund demand-side management (DSM) programs from the current 4 percent of monthly billed amounts to 3.75 percent. The company asked for an effective date of June 1, but the commission made the increase effective April 1.

PHOTO Senator Jim Risch prepares to discuss Syria on camera. (photo/Office of Senator Risch)

Idaho Briefing – April 3

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for March 20. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at

The Idaho Legislature adjourned for the year on March 29. It wound up proceedings with action on transportation and tax legislation.

Mayor David Bieter on March 31 declared a state of local emergency in the City of Boise due to nearly unprecedented flows on the Boise River and the unpredictable impacts those flood waters could have on the city over an extended period of time.

Representatives Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador have introduced legislation to address the routing of the Gateway West Transmission Line, through the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area.

The Treasure Valley saw more than 80 new jobs in the state’s growing solar industry last year, according to a report released today by The Solar Foundation. The Boise’s metropolitan area is now home to 289 solar jobs, an increase of 43% from 2015 figures.

Idaho Fish and Game on March 30 transported about 4,000 adult sockeye salmon from its Eagle Fish Hatchery to its sockeye hatchery at Springfield to ensure the fish remain protected if there’s flooding at the Eagle hatchery.

Boise State University now offers a fully online bachelor of business administration degree in management. The new management degree, offered through Boise State’s College of Business and Economics, gives working adults an affordable, flexible way to finish their bachelor’s degree and advance their careers.

PHOTO Wind blown precipitation fall streaks at sunset over Pocatello. (photo/Jeff Hedges, National Weather Service, Pocatello)

Idaho Briefing – March 13

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for February 6. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and legislative leaders agreed on March 6 to settle all financial claims by Education Networks of America and CenturyLink for their development of the Idaho Education Network broadband system for Idaho’s public schools.

Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today introduced the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act to require federal agencies to analyze the full impact of a proposed regulation on small businesses during the rulemaking process. The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley, who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Jim Risch, who is chairman of the Small Business Committee.

On July 5, American Airlines will begin nonstop service between Boise and Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The new service will operate once daily on a Bombardier CRJ700. The jet will have six first class seats, and 64 coach class seats.

The Bureau of Land Management said on March 8 it has issued a Decision Record for the Soda Fire Fuel Breaks Project, located in Owyhee County, Idaho and Malheur County, Oregon.

The recent collaboration between Boise State University and technical staff at Idaho Power Company on Boise State’s newest computing cluster, R2, enhances both partners’ ability to forecast weather and water supply.

Biologists are focusing these types restoration efforts in the East Fork Potlatch River watershed because they determined steelhead production in this basin is limited by a lack of channel complexity. (photo/Department of Fish & Game)

Idaho Briefing – March 6

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for February 6. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at

The Idaho Office of Performance Evaluations on Marc 2 released a report on state jurisdictions in Indian country. Five tribes are affected by Idaho state jurisdiction. The report noted at the beginning, “State and local government powers are limited in Indian country by federal law and tribal sovereignty. The US Constitution gives Congress exclusive power over Indian affairs, and states have jurisdiction on reservations only with Congressional consent.”

Senator Mike Crapo and Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow are leading a bipartisan effort to end the shortfall of veterinarians in rural areas by reintroducing the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act.

Idaho’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for December 2016 was revised by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to 3.6 percent – one-tenth percent lower than the 3.7 percent first reported.

The Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment on proposed changes to guidance related to grants and loans for drinking water and clean water (wastewater) infrastructure construction projects in Idaho.

(photo) Fire burned 22,000 acres of winter range on the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area in eastern Idaho in 2016. To support elk and deer, and prevent private property damage, Idaho Fish and Game set in motion the largest winter feeding operation in Idaho’s history. (photo/Department of Fish & Game)