Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Key Bank Gets Unexpected Drive-Thru Following Car Crash

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Boise Police are investigating a bad two-car wreck that occurred Tuesday afternoon, resulting in one of the vehicles crashing into the Key Bank building on the northwest corner of Capitol Boulevard and Idaho Street.

BPD said they received reports of a Honda running through several red lights in Downtown Boise before driving through a red light heading westbound on Idaho Street. The Honda collided with another vehicle, before careening toward the building. Two elderly people were hospitalized. No one inside the bank was injured.

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Virginia Senate Approves Controversial Ultrasound Bill

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 3:52 PM

The Virginia Senate approved a watered-down version of a bill that would mandate ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. A similar measure was introduced in the Idaho Legislature by Meridian Republican Sen. Chuck Winder on Monday.

The Republican majority of the Virginia Senate, voting mostly along party lines, passed the bill with a 21-19 vote.

The Washington Post reports that the bill requires women seeking an abortion in the first trimester to undergo an abdominal ultrasound. The bill was amended to remove a provision that that would have mandated a so-called "transvaginal" ultrasound, which uses a vaginal probe.

Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell initially supported the original bill, but when it came time to sign it, backed away from the measure, saying, "Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state."

Virginia Democratic Sen. Janet Howell said the bill, as it stands now, is "still an assault because it's an unwated touching" and the woman is "coerced" to undergo the procedure in order to have an abortion.

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Hy Kloc Announces Campaign for Idaho House Seat 16

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Hy Kloc, current chairman of the Greater Boise Auditorium District, has formally launched his campaign to represent West Boise District 16 in the Idaho House. The seat is currently held by Rep. Elfreda Higgins, who is stepping away from the Legislature and throwing her support to Kloc.

This year's reapportionment has shifted District 16 to include sections of Districts 15 and 19.

Kloc, board member of the Idaho Humane Society and former development director for Boise State Public Radio, was elected to the GBAD board in May 2011.

"These are difficult times," said Kloc. "If we are to survive and thrive, we must learn to put aside our differences and work for the common good."

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2011 Boise Crime Stats: Overall Crime Rate Down

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson stood before Boise City Council members this afternoon to unveil the city's crime statistics for 2011. You can read the full report here: 2011_yr_end_BoiseCityStatisticalSummary.pdf

The news was mostly good, indicating a continuing downward trend in the overall crime rate. The report indicated that major crime decreased, including drops in burglary (down 4.4 percent) and theft (down 3.8 percent). Murder was down (with the only incident reported in 2011) but robbery remained steady (60 reports).

Reports of rape were down 20 percent, but reports of forcible sexual assault saw a dramatic increase of more than 47 percent. So-called non-forcible sexual assault (defined as incest and statutory rape) was down slightly. Police also reported an increase of arrests involving pornographic or obscene material (up 70 percent).

Masterson said the city's graffitti continues to "skyrocket," indicating a 34 percent increase in 2011, following a 2010 increase of 39 percent.

Another concern for BPD were suicidal threats. Today's report revealed a steady increase of people threatening suicide. Suicidal threat calls have jumped 39 percent since 2008. Reports of individuals overdosing has also seen a steady increase. You can read that report here: Suicide_MentalHolds_2004_to_2011_Qtr4_1.pdf

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Video Preview: The Elephant in the Room

Boise Weekly previews the Idaho Republican caucuses.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Once Republican presidential contenders clear tonight's races in Arizona and Michigan, they'll set their eyes on the prizes of Super Tuesday, when Idaho joins nine other states for a one-night mega-contest across five time zones (including Alaska).

With all four of the GOP's top contenders visiting Idaho this month, Republicans are expected to turn out in robust numbers at caucus locations in each of the Gem State's 44 counties.

But the real winner of Super Tuesday caucuses will be the Idaho Republican Party, which will register tens of thousands of citizens as Republicans just in time to participate in the May primary, where the GOP will select its candidates for Statehouse elections.

[ Video is no longer available. ]

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Magic Valley Rancher to Challenge Cameron and Darrington for Idaho Senate

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Yet another candidate has tossed his hat into the ring in what could be 2012's most hotly contested Idaho State Senate race.

The Twin Falls Times-News reports that Oakley rancher Douglas Picket will run against incumbent Republican Sens. Dean Cameron and Denton Darrington in the newly reapportioned District 27, covering Cassia and Minidoka counties.

Cameron and Darrington are the Idaho Senate's two longest-serving members—Cameron since 1991 and Darrington since 1982. They both slid into the same district when the state's new legislative boundaries were re-drawn earlier this year.

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California Lt. Gov. Wants F&G Chief to Resign For Killing Idaho Cougar

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 9:54 AM

California's lieutenant governor wants the president of his state's Fish and Game Commission to resign for killing a mountain lion in Idaho.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, critics fumed when California F&G President Daniel Richards "boasted about his cougar kill (during an Idaho hunting trip) and posed smiling with it." While the kill was legal in Idaho, mountain lions have been protected in California since the passage of Proposition 117 in 1990.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom joined 40 Democratic Assembly members on Monday calling for Richards to resign. Newsom said the incident was a distraction that interfered with commission issues.

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Final Three Mega-Loads (At Least For Now) Roll Tonight

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Tonight marks a milestone in the saga of the Idaho mega-loads.

In early 2010, BW first began telling you about ExxonMobil's plans to haul giant rigs of oil equipment across the Pacific Ocean from South Korea, up the Columbia River, through the Port of Lewiston and slowly across Idaho highways hugging the Clearwater and Lochsa rivers along U.S. Highway 12.

When most northern Idaho citizens first got wind of the plans in June 2010, they began pushing back, taking big oil and the Idaho Department of Transportation through legal tussles in front of District Courts, the Idaho Supreme Court and lengthy IDOT hearings.

Eventually, ExxonMobil changed its plans by breaking down the giant rigs into "scaled-down" versions of mega-loads so that they could take an alternate route, along Highway 95 through Lewiston, Moscow and Coeur d'Alene before heading east and then north to the Kearl Oil Sands Project in Alberta, Canada.

Tonight, ExxonMobil sends the last of its planned (at least for now) shipments from the Port of Lewiston.

The environmentalist group Wild Idaho Rising is expected to protest the shipments as they roll through north Idaho this evening.

Tonight's three loads are approximately 15 feet tall and weigh more than 200,000 pounds each.

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Occupiers Celebrate Partial Victory, Make Plans for Future

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Occupier Shavone Hasse delivers a speech on Monday at the Occupy Boise rally.
  • Occupier Shavone Hasse delivers a speech on Monday at the Occupy Boise rally.

On Monday morning, a judge ruled that the four-month-long Occupy Boise vigil could remain at its current site in front of the Old Ada County Courthouse, with a few stipulations - Occupiers cannot sleep, cook, or start any fires there.

To celebrate what some were calling a “win,” and others a “victory,” a group of about 60 Occupy Boise members gathered at the encampment for a modest rally.

“Today’s rally is to show that we’re still here and we’re not going away,” said Occupier Dean Gunderson. “The activities and the intended action of the legislators really backfired on them, and it’s just making us stronger.”

Prior to the ruling, Occupiers were mandated to leave the vigil site by 5 p.m. on Monday. After the judge’s decision, Occupiers are lawfully allowed to keep their tents and hold assemblies on the property.

Continue reading »

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Video Update: State Can Ban Camping But Not Occupiers

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 4:32 PM

[ Video is no longer available. ]

ORIGINAL POST 11:00 a.m.

Occupy Boise won a partial victory this morning from U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill's ruling on the encampment that has been in place on the grounds of the Old Ada County Courthouse since November 2011.

In a 16-page ruling, Winmill agreed that the State of Idaho could prevent camping, open fires, cooking and storage of personal property. However, Winmill also said that the state cannot prevent a round-the-clock presence by Occupiers, protected by First Amendment rights. The state was also prohibited from seizing any camping equipment or personal property until Friday, March 2.

Occupiers have scheduled a General Assembly for noon today to discuss their future options.

Read the full ruling.

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