Thursday, November 29, 2012

Press-Tribune: Middleton Mayor Recall Effort Falls Short

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:28 AM

An effort to put a recall election before Middleton voters to oust Mayor Darin Taylor has come up short.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that 519 valid signatures were necessary to trigger a recall election, and while petitioners handed in 583 signatures, only 417 were certified to be valid.

The Press-Tribune reports that 132 of the signatures belonged to people who were either not registered voters or not registered at the time they signed the petition, 23 other signatories lived outside of Middleton, eight signatures were not accompanied by a street address, and three signatures were duplicates.

Those behind the recall effort claim that Taylor has held secret meetings, hired unqualified people at city hall and wasted taxpayer dollars, all of which Taylor denied.

Idaho Code indicates that another recall petition effort can't begin for at least 90 days.

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Update: $1 Million Powerball Ticket Sold in Boise

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:25 AM

UPDATE 1 p.m.

Idaho Lottery officials confirmed that nearly 57,000 tickets purchased in Idaho won a total of $1,344,813.

But $1 million of that total will go the person (or persons) that purchased a ticket in Boise.That ticket matched all five of the winning numbers but not the Powerball number. Two more tickets, also purchased in Boise, are worth $10,000. Those tickets matched four of the first five numbers and the Powerball number. The remainder of the winnings will be spread out to more than 56,900 other players.

Winners have 180 days to claim their prizes form the Idaho Lottery headquarters in Boise.



The big winners in Wednesday night's Powerball drawing were in Arizona and Missouri, each having the exact numbers of 5-16-22-23-29 and the winning powerball number of 6. The winners will be splitting a jackpot of close to $580 million.

But Idaho Lottery officials said one Idaho Lottery player will also be pretty happy. Officials confirmed that at least one lucky player won $1 million in the drawing Wednesday night, though officials haven't yet announced where the winning ticket was sold.

One more time. The winning numbers were:

5-16-22-23-29 and the winning powerball number was 6.

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Mountain Express: Ketchum Mayor Wants to Redouble Effort for Air Tax

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Some Sun Valley officials are certain that the narrow margin in the Nov. 6 vote on whether to introduce a new local-option tax to grow and maintain commercial air service to the region is reason enough to keep the effort alive.

The new tax would have required a 60 percent voter approval, and while Sun Valley voters approved the levy, only 59 percent of Hailey voters said "yes" and 58 percent of Ketchum voters approved.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall wants to regroup in January to continue pursuing the initiative.

"While I'm disappointed the LOT for air didn't pass, I'm happy it got 58 percent," Hall said at a Nov. 19 meeting. "We're going to redouble our efforts to move this ball forward."

The Mountain Express reports that Idaho code requires officials to wait for one year before reintroducing a measure.

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Pullman Mayor Reacts to Rash of WSU Falls: 'There's Stupidity Out There'

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Law enforcement and lawmakers surrounding Washington State University say they want to do more after the rash of falls from campus balconies, but Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson said, "You can legislate, and there's still stupidity out there."

This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that officials at WSU are particularly worried about the risky mix of young men, alcohol and high places.

"This is a challenging age," WSU Dean of Students Melynda Huskey told the Tribune. "Young men in their late teens and early 20s are not always the best assessors of personal risk."

A series of separate incidents began in September, when a University of Idaho student was seriously injured after falling from a frat house roof. Two days later, a WSU student fell three stories from another frat house roof. In early October, another WSU student fell from a third-story balcony at a residential hall, and still another WSU student was critically injured Nov. 25, when he fell from a frat house balcony.

WSU's Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life has been "revisiting safety issues," according to the Tribune.

"You'd tend to think that people in their own fraternity or apartment buildings would say, 'That's stupid, get back in,' or something like that," Johnson told the Tribune.

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Atheists Want Jesus Statue Removed From Ski Mountain

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:17 AM

  • The Jesus statue has been on Whitefish Mountain since 1955.

Boiseans who remember the city's emotional tug-of-war over a public display of the Ten Commandments may take note of a Montana lawsuit from an organization called Freedom From Religion wanting to remove the statue of Jesus at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Whitfeish skiiers are very familiar with the Jesus statue, which traditionally dons a skiier's helmet and holds a ski pole, compliments of recreationists.

But the atheist group doesn't find anything funny about the matter and has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Missoula, charging that the Jesus statue violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The suit names as defendants the U.S. Forest Service and Flathead National Forest, which allows the statue to remain.

This morning's Missoulian reports that Flathead National Forest officials "estimate they received more than 95,000 comments from the public, the bulk of which were in favor the statue."

The statue has occupied the space on Big Mountain since 1955.

The Missoulian reports that the trial is scheduled for March 2013.

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New Research: Now We Decode Our Daily Bread

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:09 AM

  • Idaho's annual wheat production is valued at close to $500 million.

Idaho grain growers will be anxious to read the details of new research—unveiled Wednesday—that unlocks the key parts of wheat's genetic code.

Scientific data from the United States, United Kingdom and Germany—published Nov. 29 in the journal Nature—are expected to help develop more productive and disease-resistant varieties of grain.

Traditionally, more than 100 million bushels of wheat are produced in Idaho each year, playing a critical role in the Gem State economy. The value of Idaho's annual wheat production is close to $500 million and contributes more than 8,500 jobs statewide, according to the idaho Wheat Commission.

Wheat has a complex genome that is almost five times larger than the human genome.

Bread wheat is the world's third most produced food crop after corn/maize and rice, providing about 20 percent of the calories humans consume.

"In the face of this year's wheat crop losses, and worries over the impact on prices for consumers, this breakthrough in our understanding of the bread wheat genome could not have come at a better time,” Douglas Kell, chief executive of the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, which funded the research, told BBC News.

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What's White All Over? GOP House Committee Chairs

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:06 AM


When GOP leaders stepped out of their caucus on Nov. 27, they had named white men to all 19 of the major House Republican committee chairs for next year's 113th Congress.

And while the chairs for the House Ethics Committee and House Administration Committee have yet to be chosen, neither committee has any women or minority members.

Women did make gains in Republican Party leadership positions, but the lack of GOP estrogen on House committees raised some eyebrows.

"Disappointed to see House committee chairmanships in the 113th Congress will not include a single woman. -PM," tweeted Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.

According to the Atlantic Wire, Republicans don't have much diversity to pick from.

There are just 20 female Republicans in the House and even fewer GOP minorities.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nora Carpenter to Helm United Way as Next CEO/President

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Nora Carpenter will take over as CEO/president of the United Way of Treasure Valley in December.
  • Nora Carpenter will take over as CEO/president of the United Way of Treasure Valley in December.

Nora Carpenter, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho, has been selected to be the new leader of the United Way of Treasure Valley.

In its announcement this morning that Carpenter would become its organization's next CEO and president in the next few weeks, United Way officials pointed to Carpenter's local roots. Carpenter, a native of Caldwell and graduate of the University of Idaho, was CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Southwest Idaho before being promoted to senior vice president of the national Council of Better Business Bureaus and her appointment as executive director at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho in 2010.

“I’m excited about this opportunity to continue making an impact throughout the valley," said Carpenter in today's announcment. "But with a different scope involving education, health and financial independence.”

Carpenter will replace Derick O'Neill, who is set to take over the City of Boise's Planning and Development Services department.

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Zoo Boise Fence Reinforced Following Break-In, Monkey Death

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Razor wire installed along the top of the Zoo Boise fence.
  • Andrew Crisp
  • Razor wire has been installed along the top of the Zoo Boise fence in the wake of a Nov. 17 break-in.

Officials at Zoo Boise, still reeling from a Nov. 17 break-in that left a Patas monkey dead, have added razor wire to the facility's perimeter fence.

Prosecutors at the arraignment of 22-year-old Michael Watkins, suspected of attempting to steal the monkey, indicated that Watkins had jumped the fence before breaking into the Zoo's primate building.

Amy Stahl, spokesperson for Boise Parks and Recreation Department, said zoo officials are bolstering the fence in an ongoing effort to improve security.

"We did just go through an accreditation process, and our security measures were considered to be good," said Stahl.

Citydesk asked Zoo Boise Executive Director Steve Burns about the new razor wire.

"All I would say is, the fence is hard to climb over already, and we just made it harder," said Burns.

Stahl previously told BW that Burns planned to review best practices with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums following the break-in.

"It would take some time to do that, and so we're not done," said Burns.

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Drugs, Weapons Seized in Overnight Boise Busts

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Andrew Sandeen, 22, is charged with drug possession and failure to appear on a warrant.

Some tense moments at a Federal Way convenience store prompted Boise Police to physically restrain a suspect, wanted out an outstanding warrant.

Police said as they approached the suspect, he reached into his pockets, and a search revealed two knives. Law enforcement also seized several plastic bags of meth and a glass tube with meth residue.

Andrew Sandeen, 22, of Boise was charged with meth possession, drug paraphernalia possession and failure to appear on a previous warrant.

Patrick Sablan, 33, is charged with drug possession and driving without privileges.

Early this morning, Boise Police K-9 officer Kamo indicated the likely presence of drugs during a traffic stop on West Overland Road. Law enforcement discovered six bags of meth, digital scales and a calculator.

Patrick Sablan, 33, of Boise was booked into the Ada County Jail on charges of meth possession and driving without privileges.

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