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Monday, December 31, 2012

Boise State to Stay With Mountain West Conference

Posted By on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Boise State President Bob Kustra confirmed Monday afternoon that the university would remain in the Mountain West Conference for all MWC sports, including football, forgoing Boise State's earlier pledge to join the Big East.

"The remaining teams in the Big East and those about to join the Big East are fine programs with leadership that I have come to know and value greatly," said Kustra. "But I also appreciate the membership of the Mountain West Conference—many of whom are considered our traditional rivals—and look forward to our continued relationship."

Kustra pointed to a unique television deal with CBS Sports that the Mountain West crafted to entice Boise State to remain with the conference. Kustra said the arrangement "exceeds prior offers and carves our home football games from the conference media package and allows their sale on the market, with Boise State and the MWC as partners in the sale."

In return, Boise State and other MWC teams who may appear on national television (CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN) will be paid a bonus of $300,000 per game, with an additional $200,000 for a Saturday game.

"Finally, the MWC is implementing a system whereby any member whose football performance results in payments from the BCS to the conference will share directly in those revenues on a 50/50 basis with the conference," said Kustra.

The wrangling over which conference to land in has "been an odyssey for Boise State, with all the unexpected turns and changes that terms suggests," he said.

Ultimately, Kustra said the geographic footprint, revenue and national exposure won out in his decison to stay with the Mountain West.

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Your Appendix, Tony Romo, The U.S. Postal System, Kim Kardashian's Marriages: #ThingsThatWorkBetterThanCongress

Posted By on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Tired of hearing about the fiscal cliff as you perfect your plans for New Year's Eve? You're not the only one.

Netizens have taken to Twitter to express their frustration with Congress, using the hashtag: #ThingsThatWorkBetterThanCongress, to let their elected representatives know how they feel.

Here's a collection of the highlights:

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New Year's Eve Forecast: Cold ... Very Cold

Posted By on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Boise is saying goodbye to 2012 after a weekend blast of snow, followed by an even bigger burst of frigid air.

A cold blanket of fog, accompanying single-digit temperatures, is expected to wrap the Boise metro area just before the clock strikes midnight tonight.

New Year's Day is expected to see more patches of fog in the morning, followed by sun and cold temperatures through much of the day.

Mostly sunny days are ahead, with the long-range forecast calling for overnight lows in the teens and daily highs near freezing.

Tonight's fog, along with some local snow flurries, will result in some tricky driving New Year's Eve.

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Congress Avoids Jump Over 'Dairy Cliff' But Long-Term Solution Still Needed

Posted By on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 10:17 AM

It looks like the so-called "dairy cliff" has been avoided ... for now.

U.S. House and Senate leaders are backing a short-term extension of a farm law that lapsed Sept. 30.

"We need to take positive action, put this issue to rest, and make sure that it is clear to everybody in this country that the farm bill policy has certainty and that we will not have $8 or $9 milk," said GOP Rep. Frank Lucas, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

The proposal would extend current law, which also includes disaster aid for farmers and producers affected by 2012's drought. It will also reduce mandatory outlays by $30 million through fiscal year 2022.

If the farm law had lapsed, the nation would have reverted to a policy crafted when Harry Truman was president. Under those rules, the government would buy supplies of a product until its price reached parity with its costs. Adjusted for more than a half-century of inflation, the milk-support price today would be $39.08 per hundred pounds, more than double current dairy futures.

But under a newly revised dairy plan, the government would manage the milk supply by setting milk production limits for farmers who enroll in a market stabilization program

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Boise Police: Alleged Drunken Driver Had Toddler in Vehicle

Posted By on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 10:11 AM

A Boise man and woman probably hadn't planned on seeing the New Year from behind bars, but that's where they landed on Sunday.

Daniel Davis, 22, is charged with meth possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and concealing a weapon.

Boise law enforcement responded to a 911 call from a citizen, saying a man was hiding in the bushes of a neighbor's yard on the 9000 block of West Brookview Court Sunday night. Shortly thereafter, police stopped a man matching the suspect's description, and when they disarmed the suspect of a knife he was carrying, police said they also discovered meth and a pipe in the suspect's possession.

Daniel Davis, 22, of Boise was locked up at the Ada County Jail for felony meth possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a concealed weapon.

Lisa Cresswell, 31, is charged with DUI, driving without privileges and injury to a child.

Earlier Sunday, Boise Police stopped a vehicle near 22nd and Anderson streets and noted that the driver, who appeared to be very intoxicated, had a child under the age of 5 in the car.

Police said 31-year-old Lisa Cresswell of Boise failed several field sobriety tests, and a check through Boise City Records indicated that Cresswell had prior DUI convictions.

Cresswell was charged with felony DUI, driving without privileges and injury to a child.

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Press: Idaho Town Asks to 'Fight Fear With Love'

Posted By on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Three time zones away from Newtown, Conn., residents of Coeur d'Alene stood in sub-freezing elements Sunday night to honor the 27 victims of the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. More importantly, they came to remember that there have been 77 school shootings in the United States since 2000, 27 shootings in the past two years.

But the crimes hit very close to home, according to event organizer Reannan Keenan, who said she hoped Sunday night's event would help "remove the fear that's festering within our community," referring to recent Coeur d'Alene-area schools needing to close in the shadow of rampant rumors following the shootings.

This morning's Coeur d'Alene Press reports that approximately 50 people bundled together Sunday night to offer moments of silence, prayer, music and Bible quotes. There were also plenty of tears.

"I don't have the answers to fix this," said Brad Roberts. "But before we move on, I implore you to remember, we can no longer remain on the sidelines. Next time there's another act of selfish terror, there could be another town mourning for us."

Sunday night's event was dubbed "A Call to Love."

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Daily News: Moscow Next Up to 'Add the Words'

Posted By on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 10:05 AM

The City of Moscow is the latest Idaho municipality to consider new anti-discrimination protections, based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

On Dec. 5, the Boise City Council—in a 5-0 vote—enacted similar protections. Sandpoint also approved its own anti-discrimination ordinance and the city of Pocatello is working toward the same goal.

The efforts came in the wake of the Idaho Legislature's failure to consider so-called "Add the Words" legislation. In fact, the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee, on a strictly party-line vote, refused to even allow a hearing on the matter in February.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that Moscow's Human Rights Commission and the city's Affordable Housing Commission are working to craft a joint recommendation to the City Council in the coming year.

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IBR: Simplot Persuades Idaho Ag Dept. to Exempt Company From New Rules

Posted By on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 10:02 AM

The Idaho Business Review reports that that the J.R. Simplot Company got its way with the Idaho Department of Agriculture, when the state agency backtracked on a commercial animal feed rule.

The ag department unveiled new rules in November, requiring producers and processors to follow higher standards when selling waste products as feed. The feed is required to be labeled and forwarded to the ISDA for approval before making its way into the marketplace.

But the IBR reports that officials with Simplot quickly pushed back and asked for a hearing in late November to argue against the new rules. Simplot officials said the new rules were "very problematic." McCain Foods, which also processes potatoes in Idaho, also argued against the new rules.

And indeed, ISDA reversed its earlier decisions, allowing Simplot and McCain to be exempt from the new standards.

The IBR's Sean Olson reports that the only formal protests against the exemption came from the American Feed Industry Association, National Grain and Feed Association and the Pet Food Institute. Those groups argued that the registration fees that Simplot and McCain would have paid under the guidelines were critical to fund the program, which provides cheap feed for cattle.

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'Major Progress' In Deal to Avoid Fiscal Cliff

Posted By on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 9:56 AM

With scant hours left before the United States plunges over the "fiscal cliff," Senate leaders are racing against the clock to reach a deal that the House and Senate can approve on New Year's Eve.

All hope is not lost, however: Politico is reporting that Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell "engaged in furious overnight negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff," making "major progress" in the negotiations. Biden was called in on Sunday after talks between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and McConnell hit a major setback during weekend negotiations. Though the two planned to reach a deal before 3 p.m. on Sunday, their deadline came and went without agreement.

The Senate and House are expected to reconvene this morning. The House on Sunday positioned itself to vote immediately on any legislation that will pass the Senate, waiving its usual three-day rule to consider a deal from the upper chamber.

The main hurdle remains which income groups will be hit with adjusted tax hikes in the new year. While Democrats proposed raising taxes on people who make more than $360,000 annually, and families who make more than $450,000, McConnell countered with a tax hike for individuals above $450,000 and couples who earn more than $550,000.

The New York Times faulted both parties for the last-minute negotiations:

"Members of both parties have become increasingly addicted to short-term solutions to long-term problems, cobbling together two- and three-month bills and short term extensions to fight over again and again until the string has run out on many major pressing issues."

However, President Barack Obama, speaking in a rare appearance on weekend political talk show Meet the Press, placed the blame squarely on Republicans:

"They say that their biggest priority is making sure that we deal with the deficit in a serious way, but the way they're behaving is that their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are protected. That seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme."

If Congress is unable to make a deal, 88 percent of Americans will see their taxes rise on Jan 1, and approximately 2 million long-term unemployed people will lose their benefits.

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Meet the Press: Obama Shuns NRA's Push to Arm Schools

Posted By on Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 10:10 AM

President Barack Obama pushed back this morning against the National Rifle Association's proposal to put armed guards in schools.

Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press, Obama said that he hopes to get new U.S. gun-control measures passed during the first year of his second term. He's assigned Vice President Joe Biden to lead a task force at the beginning of 2013, following a massacre in which 20 children and six adults were killed by a gunman at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

"I am not going to prejudge the recommendations that are given to me. I am skeptical that the only answer is putting more guns in schools," said Obama. "And I think the vast majority of the American people are skeptical that that somehow is going to solve our problem."

The NRA has blamed violent video games and movies for the massacre and rise in gun violence in the United States. It has also proposed developing and funding a "model national school shield emergency response program” for any school that desires it.

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