Tragedy has struck the University of Idaho campus for the second time in three days.
A U of I student, who went missing after leaving a Jan. 19 fraternity party, was found dead Monday afternoon under a bridge five miles from campus.
The body of 18-year-old Joseph Wiederrick of Boise was discovered by members of the Latah County Search and Rescue Team under the Paradise Creek bridge. Law enforcement believes Wiederrick may have slipped into the bed of the creek and sought refuge from the cold under the bridge. He likely died of hypothermia. Moscow Police say Wiederrick walked about five to seven miles in the cold by himself that night, even knocking on several strangers' homes.
The same day that Widderick went missing, another 18-year-old male U of I student was discovered in his dormitory room at the Wallace Complex on the Moscow campus, the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot.
The University of Idaho campus is a rather somber scene this morning.
Campus police confirmed Sunday that an 18-year-old male student died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the Wallace Complex on the Moscow campus.
Moscow law enforcement received a medical call at 8:45 a.m. Saturday, shortly after the student was found dead in his dormitory room. The initial police report indicated that no other students were in the dorm room at the time of the death.If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK.
When Boise Weekly sat down to chat with Dr. John Foltz in January 2011, he was spending a fair amount of time shuttling between Washington, D.C., where he was helping craft a new farm bill, and his home near the University of idaho, where he has been a faculty member since 1991.
Foltz will be spending a lot more time in Moscow now that the U of I has named him the interim dean of the University's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Fotz succeeds John Hammel, who recently returned to the school's faculty after serving as dean for nine years.
"If you look at Idaho's economy, agriculture has always been a stabilizing force," Foltz told Boise Weekly. "While ag may not share in the boom periods, we don't share in the bust periods, either. Idaho certainly has an up-and-comer with the tech sector, but that took a pretty good-size hit when the economy languished. Meanwhile, ag has continued to be solid."
While Foltz fills in as interim dean, the U of I has launched a national search for a permanent dean for the ag school, which serves about 1,200 students between its undergraduate and graduate schools.
A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Boise earlier this week has revealed that a 2011 fire at the University of Idaho caused serious damage to a World War II-era structure, and the State of Idaho is saying members of the U.S. Navy's Reserve Officer Training Corps were responsible.
The Associated Press reports that the U of I's Navy ROTC program was holding a barbecue in the area and dumped smoldering charcoal briquettes into a university flower bed, sparking the blaze.
The suit asks for nearly $1.6 million in damages from the U.S. government.
While Americans nervously look for some sign of compromise in Washington, D.C. as the nation comes perilously close to the so-called "fiscal cliff," the region's universities are doing a bit of their own nail-biting.
This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that the University of idaho would take an 8.2 percent cut to its multimillion-dollar research budget, largely supported by federal agencies.
"Nobody is clear on what's going to happen," Jack McIver, the U of I's vice president for research, told the Tribune after recently returning from the nation's capital, where he said "uncertainty reigns."
While the U of I faces the possibility of millions in initial federal cuts, McIver told the Tribune that he's more concerned about the effects "on the remaining years of many research grants, and the dominoes that may fall as a result."
The chief of the Moscow Police Department says he thinks the discovery of three chemical-filled plastic bottles on the University of Idaho campus was likely "a prank."
This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that a university employee found three sports drink-sized bottles in a recycling bin Monday near the entrance of a dormitory. When the employee opened one of the bottles, the Tribune reports that he set off a chemical reaction.
Emergency crews blocked off part of the campus for approximately one hour while fire crews pierced the remaining bottles with a sharp pole. One of the bottles sounded like a firecracker, according to Moscow Police Chief David Duke.
The chief said the devices likely contained reactive chemicals. The U of I's Environmental Health and Safety Department is conducting tests on the contents of the bottles to determine if they contained any dangerous substances.
The Idaho State Board of Education has given the University of Idaho the green light to move forward with its plans to introduce second-year law classes to Treasure Valley students. The board gave its approval Thursday during its meeting at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston.
U of I officials were looking for $400,000 in state funding to expand its Boise law program, saying that the first phase of introducing classes to third-year students was "a great success." The $400,000 would need approval from the Idaho Legislature and is expected to come up on a 2013 agenda.
The Associated Press Reports that under the U of I's plan, first-year students would still be required to take first-year classes in Moscow, but could wrap up their learning in Boise.
The board approved the proposal by a 4-3 vote.
The Idaho State Board of Education meets today and Thursday, this time at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston. Once again, the board will take up the University of Idaho's proposal to offer second-year law classes in Boise.
In August, the board approved plans for additional funding for the U of I to expand its Treasure Valley law program, but with conditions, including approval for curriculum.
U of I officials are looking for $400,000 for the expansion, claiming that the university's introduction of Boise classes to third-year students was "a great success."
Board Member Richard Westerberg said the funding was contingent on university officials coming back before the state board in October with details of the expansion plan. Today's work session, which includes the U of I presentation, gets under way at 2 p.m. Mountain Time.
The University of Idaho has had more than its share of challenges in the sports arena. Its latest blow came this week, when the Vandals' basketball squad lost its co-leader in scoring last season to indefinite suspension.
The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that 23-year-old Kyle Barone was arraigned Oct. 8 for driving under the influence, following his arrest in Pullman, Wash. The Daily News said Barone was suspended from team activities soon thereafter.
Barone, a senior, is a native of Orange County, Calif., and played in every U of I basketball game for the past three seasons.
The University of Idaho will mark the beginning of another school year Tuesday, Aug. 21, with the dedication of a permanent memorial to Katy Benoit. The dedication is set on the one-year anniversary of Benoit's death, when she was killed by Ernesto Bustamante, a former professor of Benoit, who had a violent and compulsive relationship with the 22-year-old student. Following Benoit's murder, Bustamanete took his own life.
The U of I set new policies in the wake of the tragedy, including a prohibition of student-faculty relationships, improved sexual harassment training, and new reporting requirements for inappropriate activity occuring on campus.
A granite memorial bench has been built under at canopy of trees at the U of I campus. Engraved in granite are the words: "In memory of Katy's journey, her care for others, her willingness to speak up, and her courage to make a difference."
Additionally, the university has announced plans for what it calls the "Katy Benoit Safety Forum," including a host of on-campus activities for the week of Sept. 19-27.