Boise native Clay Carley, who owns the Old Boise Sixth and Main development, has purchased the Owyhee, a downtown Main Street landmark since 1910.
"We have two major objectives," Carley told Citydesk this morning. "No. 1, to bring a lot of the original architecture back to life, and No. 2, and perhaps more importantly, to activate and energize the entire hotel."
Carley told Boise Weekly that the Owyhee's prime restaurant space, home to the now-shuttered Gamekeeper, is a "critical component to the revitalization."
"I will carefully scrutinize the candidates who want to operate our restaurant space," Carley said, who confirmed that he's expecting the first restaurant proposal in the next few days.
Carley said today's announcement is in concert with his seeking a joint venture partner for the project, but he closed on the sale on Nov. 28.
The Owyhee will continue to operate as Carley begins his strategic planning for the landmark in early 2013.
"The Owyhee Plaza is a cultural icon in this community," he said. "We'll respect and build upon its heritage while making significant investments to revitalize the properties."
Boise Police say they busted up a trio of suspects attempting to break into vehicles in a parking lot near South Latah and West Alpine streets this morning. An eyewitness said he witnessed the suspects check the doors of several vehicles and rummage through one of the cars. A short time later, another witness said he spotted the trio breaking into another vehicle on the 800 block of Maple Grove.
Dylan Reeder, 21, and Chase Erickson, 21, both of Eagle, were charged with felony burglary, while 21-year-old Samuel Terry of Star was charged with felony burglary and faces additional charges of DUI and probation violation.
Boise Police said they also busted 26-year-old Braden Tanikuni of Nampa overnight. Customers of a bar on the 100 block of South Sixth Street said Tanikuni flashed a knife in front of a number of people at the bar, and when employees approached Tanikuni, they said he pulled the knife out "in a threatening manner." An employee managed to wrestle the knife away and detain Tanikuni until police arrived. Tanikuni was charged with felony aggravated assault.
Following a week of frosty mornings, Treasure Valley motorists were greeted with warmer temperatures today. But don't let that fool you. A series of storms feeding off of tropical moisture from the south Pacific are crawling toward the region, promising four straight days of precipitation and lower temperatures.
The National Weather Service office in Boise is forecasting no flooding for mainstem rivers but significant rises are expected to occur on the Weiser and Payette rivers, and there is a potentital for flooding of small streams in the west-central mountains and the Boise Mountains through Sunday.
The region's ski resort operators are anxiously awaiting the precipitation.
"People are excited, and I just don't think they're buying the idea that we'll have two terrible years in a row," Mike DeBoer, owner of inIdaho.com and president of Brundage Mountain's board of directors told Boise Weekly. "People are booking for Christmas right now, and I can tell you, that's a pent-up demand."
And Brundage President and General Manager Rick Certano told BW that his staff has "the plan" to activate the resort's 7,600-feet-high operations.
"They get the core people, and we build from there," said Certano, who employs 100-120 staff at season's peak. "We don't want to hire any sooner than two weeks before we open. I just tell my staff, 'Be ready.'"
Citizens of Sun Valley are beginning to get a fuller picture of a forensic audit, outlining the shenanigans that have defined Sun Valley city government between 2008 and 2011.
A summary of the audit, obtained by the Idaho Mountain Express, unveils a string of what auditors said was misuse of public funds, including more than $23,000 of "inappropriate charges" on a credit card issued to the Sun Valley Fire Department. Auditors found that the Sun Valley Fire Department used the credit card to pay for shoes for the fire chief and his son and refurbishing a snowmobile belonging to the chief's family.
More importantly, auditors discovered little to no oversight of expenses.
"During the course of the investigation we discovered that certain individuals responsible for reviewing and approving expenditures at the department level refused to sign off on the [expense reports] because they did not believe certain expenditures were appropriate or related to City of Sun Valley business. Not withstanding, those expenditures were processed and approved for pavement without sign-off by the department head or department manager."
The audit also found:
-EMT firefighters recording more hours than they had worked.
-Time cards lacking dates or description of activities.
-A "severe lack of control" with respect to credit card usage in the fire department.
-Evidence of suspect "fuel ups" within a short period of time on a gas credit card.
The former chief of the Sun Valley Fire Department, who had been with the department for 38 years, resigned from the department in late October. His wife and son, who also worked in the department, resigned as well.
The assistant chief of police in Sun Valley is set to face a jury trial on Jan. 22, but a key piece of evidence, the blood alcohol test, has been ruled to be inadmissible because police botched the standard operating procedures.
This morning's Idaho Mountain Express reports that Blaine County Magistrate Judge Jason Walker ruled that police did not follow appropriate procedures in administering the BAC. Hailey police had initially reported that Sun Valley Assistant Chief Michael Crawford's BAC was .18 on Aug. 11, more than twice the legal blood-alcohol limit for driving in Idaho.
Crawford is charged with backing into a parked vehicle three times on Aug. 11 before being stopped, failing three field sobriety tests and tested with a breathalyzer.
The Mountain Express reports that Crawford remains on active duty with the Sun Valley Police Department.
Lewiston police said things got a bit out of hand Thursday in the parking lot of the Lewiston Center Mall.
This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that the incident began when 30-year-old Swan Mandujano discovered 33-year-old Greg Elwell drinking alcohol in her car. She told police that when she confronted Elwell, he grabbed Mandujano by the hair and struck her face against the car several times. Elwell is also accused of throwing one of two children into the car. Police said, Mandujano then got into the driver's seat and allegedly ran Elwell over at least two times with the car. But police also said Elwell got into the car and drove away with Mandujano. They were stopped by police at a nearby Kmart parking lot.
Both Elwell and Mandujano were locked up, with Mandujano facing felony aggravated battery and injury to a child and Elwell facing charges of domestic battery, injury to a child and drug paraphernalia possession.
The Tribune reports the two children were turned over to family members.
Federal agents say they have locked up one of three remaining ecoterrorists wanted for a series of fires across the West. The FBI suspected that the trio had been hiding in Canada.
On Thursday, 39-year-old Rebecca Rubin turned herself in to the FBI at the Canadian border in Blaine, Wash. Feds said Rubin spent a decade as "an international fugitive from the largest ecoterrorism investigation in U.S. history."
The Associated Press reports that Rubin was sought on conspiracy and arson indictments in connection with fires at the Vail ski resort in Colorado, wild horse corrals in eastern Oregon and Northern California, and a lumber mill office in Medford, Ore.
Rubin was dropped off at the U.S.-Canadian border by her mother. She is expected to face trial in Eugene, Ore.
A total of 10 people pleaded guilty in 2007 in connection with the arson. Two others remain at large.
A Washington woman who was released from the Idaho Women's Correctional Center in Pocatello in September after serving time for a 2007 grand theft conviction may be heading back to prison.
In September, we reported that 54-year-old Linda Lakes had mailed at least five letters from prison that contained threats to injure and/or kill a man thought to be her abuser. FBI agents discovered a drawing depicting a battered stick figure alongside the phrases "No Tears," "No Hiding" and "No More You."
"One stick figure appeared to be lying down with his face smashed. The baseball bat was lying nearby with damage that appeared to be consistent with its use on the first stick figure. The second stick figure appeared to be walking away with a smile," wrote FBI agent Kyle Wright in a court document obtained by the Associated Press.
The AP reports that Lakes pleaded guilty to a felony that carries a sentence up to five years in prison and fines. Her sentencing is scheduled for February 2013.
The so-called BANDIT (Boise Area Narcotics and Drug Interdiction Task Force) unit of the Boise Police Department busted up a marijuana trafficking operation early this morning, when they served a search warrant on a house on the 5200 block of Fairmont Street.
Law enforcement seized more than 9.6 pounds of pot—much it packaged in separate bags—96 grams of hash, five marijuana plants, five firearms and more than $20,000 cash.
Christopher Redd, 32, and Elaynea Robinson, 23, both of Boise, were charged with manufacturing and trafficking marijuana.
The BANDIT task force also busted 26-year-old Joshua Morris of Boise on charges of selling marijuana to an undercover officer on two occasions.
The former chief financial officer for Bodybuilding.com is scheduled for a January 2013 court hearing in Custer County, where he'll face two charges of battery stemming from an August company rafting trip near Stanley.
Custer County prosecutors said two Bodybuilding.com employees reported that Michael McClane "touched, pushed, grabbed, pinched and shook" them on a bus ride on Aug. 23, part of a company leadership team trip.
McClane has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and a Bodybuilding.com spokesperson says McClane is no longer affiliated with the company.