Idaho Needs New Open Records Laws 

Idaho needs new open records laws. OK, no news there. But two recent events are bringing that to light even more.

First, we had to decline an appeal to our own open records case recently, and not because we think we could lose. But the financial truth hurts: Throwing thousands of dollars at an appeal is not something a responsible small business gets to do every day. So in the case of Intermountain Hospital vs. Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare, with BW as an intervenor, it's "case closed," for now.

Misery loves company, even if it's weird: I noticed that the same district judge, Michael McLaughlin, knocked back an Idaho Statesman open records case for the tax records of Cabela's, the hunting store-turned online retailer that's making a killing on Idaho's lax tax laws. Say that three times fast.

So in between martinis at MilkyWay, BW's editorial team marched off to the Idaho Press Club's annual awards ceremony.

We're proud to pick up a few top honors: Nicholas Collias snagged first place in environmental reporting for "The $6 Million Watershed." Collias also picked up a second place for his headline writing. In investigative reporting, Collias and I took third and second, respectively. Nick's "Red State, Meet Blue State" is still a hot mention online.

BW's Rachael Daigle picked up an honorable mention in the Serious Features category, for her story "Raising Idaho" that we ran last year. We tip our hat to our own Ed Rabin, writer of "The Antidote" for his second-place finish in the specialty column category. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. In political reporting, BW picked up first and second place for two stories: "Blue Bites Back" and "A Paper's Trail," both by the writer of this column. Thanks for the votes, judges. See you next year.

Shea Andersen

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