A mountain lion pounced on and attacked two dogs in a Southeast Boise backyard in the early morning of May 22, killing one and wounding the other, according to a report from KTVB Channel 7.
Loralee Bafford let her two pups, Buddy and Holly, into her backyard around 5:30 a.m. May 22. She heard a small yelp, she told KTVB, and went outside with a baseball bat to investigate. Bafford managed to scare the cat away by hitting the fence with the bat.
Idaho Fish and Game officers found Holly dead near the backyard. Officers said the bite marks on Holly and Buddy are consistent with those of a mountain lion, but have yet to find the animal.
"It could be anywhere," Evin Oneale of IDFG told reporters.
In May 2012, Boise Police shot and killed a mountain lion near Boise State University, after the cat eluded officials for weeks, frightening residents and taking down a deer near the densely-populated Warm Springs Boulevard.
Election officials in Canyon County will asks voters in Middleton for a do-over.
This morning's Idaho Press-Tribune reports that nearly two dozen voters in Middleton were assigned to the incorrect school zone during the May 21 election. Making matters worse, the unofficial results of a school board election ended in a time between Marc Gunning and Steve Cluff for the district's Zone 2 trustee position. The error surfaced during a review of the ballots May 22.
The number of incorrect ballots was high enough to trigger another election, but when and how to conduct the new vote will need to be decided by the Idaho Secretary of State's office.
Tim Hurst, chief deputy of the election division at the Secretary of State’s office, told the Press-Tribune it was too early to comment on possible next steps.
Responding to a burglary alarm near the 2000 block of N. 34th Street early the morning of May 23, around midnight, Boise Police found two suspects inside a fenced area of a business and attempted to make contact before the pair fled on foot.
18-year-old Brandyn L. Thompson and 20-year-old Joshua L. Thompson, both of Boise, were arrested on felony burglary charges after officers took the pair into custody a short distance away. An investigation revealed the pair planned to burglarize the compound, according to BPD.
Hours earlier, at around 9 p.m. May 22, Boise Police stopped a vehicle after an illegal lane change near S. Orchard Street and the freeway.
"Kamo," a Boise Police K-9, alerted officers the vehicle may contain illegal drugs. After a search of the vehicle, officers found 419 grams of marijuana in zip lock bags, 11 oxycontin pills, scales and pipes, according to a release.
25-year-old Bryan S. Shely Jr., of Veneta, Ore., was booked on felony and misdemeanor possession charges.
It's graduation season.
And one of Boise's most emotional ceremonies will be this evening as 16 young ladies are honored as graduates of the Marian Pritchett School.
You may know it better as Boise's school for pregnant teens and unwed mothers or the Booth Home. The North End school was renamed in 2002 for its longtime social studies instructor Marian Pritchett. Today, through a unique funding agreement between the Salvation Army and the Boise School District, the doors stay open at the school as young women complete their high school educations under the same roof which provides day care and effective parenting lessons. The school boasts a negligible dropout rate and a nearly-100 percent graduation rate.
This evening's ceremony will feature a special presentation for each graduate. Some students read, some sing, a lot of baby pictures are shared and almost everyone cries.
Also on this week's schedule in the Boise School District is the Friday, May 24, graduation ceremony for the Frank Church School and a full slate of graduations are slated for next week.
In addition to electing representatives to school boards, highway districts and sewer districts throughout Idaho, voters went to the polls May 21 to decide on some important local decisions.
Voters in the City of Eagle overwhelmingly approved a 15-year, $1.2 million dollar bond to purchase their City Hall. In October, Eagle's annual lease payment on City Hall is scheduled to increase to more than $240,000. But a purchase, funded through the bond, will carry annual bond payments that will be only about $92,995.
Voters in the Vallivue School District decided to move forward with a $50 million bond which would help fund a second high school. The current Vallivue High School—built in 2000—was designed for 1,200 students, but today nearly 1,800 students attend Vallivue. Some teachers have to cope with as many as 40 students in a class.
In the Wood River Valley, a proposed two-year, $3.5 million tax levy to fund repairs on the Wood River Trail Bike Path was approved by voters.
But in the Salmon School District, voters rejected a school bond and levy that would have helped finance a replacement of two of the district's dillipidated schools. This was the ninth time that voters in Salmon said "no." Because it has been rejected so many times, the State of Idaho is now expected to come in and lend money for a $3.6 million upgrade to the schools. The voters will now have to pay the State of Idaho back through tax increases.
In a little more than two year's time, the entire makeup of the Greater Boise Auditorium District has been upended.
Two years ago, GBAD board members Hy Kloc (who is also the board chairman) and Judy Peavey-Derr were the new kids on the block when they were elected to auditorium district board.
Earlier this year, Peter Oliver, a founding member of Thornton Oliver Keller, was hand-picked to replace outgoing GBAD board member Gail May, who resigned in December 2012. The night of May 21, Oliver was elected to hold on to that seat for another two years. He defeated challenger George Tway by only 19 votes.
But perhaps the biggest surprises of the evening were the elections of newcomers Jim Walker and Steve Berch who grabbed the largest share of votes from a slate of six candidates. Walker—a City of Boise firefighter—and Berch—a former Hewlett-Packard executive—unseated GBAD incumbents Stephanie Astorquia and Rob Perez, who lost by less than 300 votes. Candidates John May and Noah Bard trailed behind, also in losing efforts.
Once the Ada County Board of Elections certifies the vote, the GBAD board will be given a few days to accept the results and the new members are expected to be sworn in sometime in June.
Idaho's per-student spending ranked second to last for a third straight year, according to figures released May 20 by the U.S. Census Bureau, outspending only the neighboring state of Utah in the 2010-2011 school year.
Figures show Idaho spent $6,824 per student during the 2010-2011 academic year, well below the national average of $10,560 per student, and below neighboring state Washington's $9,483 per student.
Spending per student is "an important factor, but it's not the only factor," Idaho State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna told The Spokesman-Review. Luna claimed Idaho's low ranking is influenced by demographics.
From the Spokesman-Review:
“There’s a reason that Idaho and Utah constantly end up at the bottom end … and it’s because we have large families,” Luna said, adding that he has six children. “We have fewer taxpayers per student in Idaho than we have in many other states.”
Read the SR's full report here.
Three Federal Appeals Court judges refused to block the use of helicopters to haze wild bison May 20, according to a news brief filed by the Associated Press.
Ninth District U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges denied an injunction filed by Helena, Mont. conservation group the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, which claimed using helicopters at low-altitudes to haze bison also affects the area's grizzly bear population and should be stopped.
In an appeal to U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell's March ruling, the group asked for the emergency injunction in an effort to block this season's bison hazing by helicopter to drive the animals back into Yellowstone National Park, according to the AP.
But on May 21, Montana Department of Livestock spokesman Steve Merritt said the operation to drive bison back into the National Park, which began in May, was nearing completion, and that the helicopter would likely be grounded for the rest of the operation.
"We're probably done with the helicopter for the year, but we've always felt the helicopter was one of the more expeditious, efficient ways to move bison back into the park," Merritt said.
Idaho's land grant endowment fund assets, including 2.4 million acres of Gem State land, have reached an all-time high of $1.46 billion, up 14 percent from Fiscal Year 2012.
The Idaho Department of Lands reported May 21 that the record level of fund assets was due "to stronger investment returns and 14 percent higher revenues, such as money from timber sales or cash returns on building leases.
The endowment trust lands are managed by the Department of Lands and are tied to specific funds and beneficiaries, the largest of which supports Idaho's public school system. Other beneficiaries include the University of Idaho, state hospitals for the mentally ill, Lewis-Clark State college, state veterans homes, Idaho State University, the Capitol Commission, the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind and Idaho's juvenile corrections and prison systems.
The Idaho Constitution stipulates the lands are to be managed "to produce maximum long-term financial returns to the beneficiaries." Distributions to the beneficiaries are expected to total $47.5 million during the current fiscal year and could rise at least 2.8 percent to $48.8 million in Fiscal Year 2014.
A Boise woman was charged with a felony after Boise Police said she failed to return a lost dog.
Law enforcement were called by the dog's owner who said she was contacted by a woman who said she had found the dog, but gave it to the suspect. When the owner went to retrieve the dog from the suspect's West Boise home, the suspected reportedly told the victim the dog was no longer there. Yet the owner said she could hear several dogs barking inside the home.
When police arrived on the scene, the dog was found and the suspect was arrested.
Because the dog is a toy breed valued at approximately $500, the suspect, 30-year-old Kelly Featherston of Boise, was charged with a felony count of grand theft.
Boise Police also observed a car fail to stop at a red light the night of May 20, instead stopping in the intersection blocking the crosswalk. During a traffic stop, police and a K9 discovered two baggies of meth and an electronic scale.
37-year-old Christopher Johnson of Boise was charged with a felony count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.