Friday, November 15, 2013

Twin Falls Times-News: Cat Got Your Tongue?

Posted By on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Twin Falls police have determined that teenagers did not break this orange tabby's leg.
Photo courtesy of Times-News

The story of a man who brought a wounded cat to the Twin Falls Animal Shelter has been called into question by Twin Falls police, the Twin Falls Times-News reports

The man brought an orange tabby cat with a broken leg to the shelter Nov. 7, where he told veterinarians that he saw a group of juveniles kicking the feline.

But Nov. 14, officers from the Twin Falls police contacted the shelter with information that the man had lied about the alleged attack. In fact, he had accidentally injured the cat when he closed a door on its leg.

Originally, veterinarians believed the damage to the cat's leg was so severe that it required amputation but, following a successful surgery, they were able to save the limb. 

When the man dropped the cat off for medical treatment, he signed it over to the shelter. 

"What is true is that there is an injured cat with a broken limb. That's where my job starts. It ends with a proper placement of the injured cat," Debbie Blackwood, the shelter's director, told the Times-News.

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Times-News: Student Jailed After Accessing Bomb Info on Web, Bringing Flare Gun to School

Posted By on Sat, Apr 6, 2013 at 11:00 AM

A student at Hailey's Silver Creek High School was booked into the Blaine County Jail April 4 after police said he violated his probation and carried a flare gun into the school.

This morning's Twin Falls Times-News reports that Colton Turner, 18, of Ketchum, had been disciplined at the alternative high school for what school officials described as accessing inappropriate content through the school's computer network. Law enforcement said Turner had been looking up information on how to build bombs and blow up buildings. Police said they also found synthetic marijuana and a flare gun on Turner's person.

Turner had been previously charged for possession of drug paraphernalia and one of the conditions of his probation was to stay in school. Once he was kicked out of school, he violated his probation.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Probe Into Three Cups of Tea Author Finds Massive Misuse of Funds

Posted By on Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Greg Mortenson, author of the global best-seller Three Cups of Tea and adamant fundraiser for his Central Asia Institute, was lambasted last week for mismanaging millions of dollars in donations. Mortenson has made several fund-raising trips to Idaho to talk about his charitable organization.

Mortenson's troubles began in April 2011, when CBS' 60 Minutes questioned whether Mortenson was personally benefitting from donors' money and even if the inspiring stories in his books were true.

The allegations triggered a yearlong investigation by the Montana attorney general into Mortenson's Montana-based foundation. The probe resulted in a settlement that requires Mortenson to repay $1 million to his charity and make fundamental changes to the institute's structure.

"It's a Wild West atmosphere and it's not just Montana. Donors beware," said Daniel Borochoff of the American Institute of Philanthropy. "Be really careful."

The investigation found that the nonprofit bought and promoted Mortenson's books and spent nearly $2 million to fly him on chartered jets, all without the charity receiving any royalties or any other direct benefits. The report also said unknown sums of money were wired overseas without receipts or supporting documentation and that Mortenson had charged the charity's credit cards for tens of thousands of dollars worth of personal items.

The Montana Attorney General's Office said the investigation was the most extensive probe into a charity that the office has ever conducted.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Embarrassing Letter Tied to Fall of HP CEO

Posted By on Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 10:01 AM

A yearlong series of bad choices and subsequent management shakeup at Hewlett-Packard may be traced to a rather embarrassing letter.

The letter, ordered unsealed and made public for the first time since the scandal shook HP last year, reveals how former CEO Mark Hurd had wined and dined and sought sexual favors from an independent contractor, who later accused him of sexual harassment.

Hurd was booted from HP in August 2010, following the accusations from Jodie Fisher, who said that he had tried repeatedly to "engage" her by asking her to his hotel room, kissing her on the lips and groping her. Fisher retained celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, who sent the letter in June 2010, outlining the accusations.

Hurd's lawyers had fought to keep the letter under seal but a Delaware appeals court ruled this week that it should be public.

You can read the letter here.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Langhorst Named to Tax Commission

Posted By on Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Word from the Guv's office this afternoon is that David Langhorst has been named to the Idaho State Tax Commission.

Langhorst, who has served in both houses of the state Legislature, made an unsuccessful run for Ada County commissioner last year against incumbent Rick Yzaguirre. Langhorst, who's a Democrat, replaces Colleen Grant and joins the bipartisan commission with Democrat Tom Katsilometes, and Republicans Royce Chigbrow, who serves as chairman, and Sam Haws, who serves as vice chairman.

Typically, news of tax commissioners is the kind of stuff that's about as interesting to the public at large as say ... well, anything to do with taxes. That is, it's a yawn maker. The Langhorst appointment is pretty noteworthy stuff, however, given that the the commission is still trying to shake off last year's scandal, in which the commission was accused of favoring big business with excessive tax breaks.

During his time in the Legislature, Langhorst cultivated a reputation for playing well on both sides of the partisan fence. Of his new job, Langhorst says he's looking forward to working with the commissioners "to achieve and maintain a fair, predictable and stable tax system for the people of Idaho.”

Here at citydesk, we'd be willing to bet whistle blower Stan Howland has a few pointers for Langhorst on how that can happen.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Allred responds to Interior ethics scandal

Posted By on Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 4:02 PM

While addressing a crowd of Idaho politicians, officials and business and environmental leaders at the Idaho Environmental Forum this afternoon, Stephen Allred, the former Idaho Department of Environmental Quality director tapped by Department of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to head up the Land, Minerals and Management Bureau said that decisions in Washington are not subject to political pressures.

"I've been totally surprised by the lack of political impacts that people have on department operations," Allred said during the forum. "Now that doesn't mean they don't try, let me tell you."

But earlier Wednesday, a New York Times story described a wide-ranging ethics scandal within the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, now under Allred's direct supervision, that includes blatant political favors, self-enrichment, drug use and sexual misconduct. The story, which details a series of three Office of Inspector General reports (here, here and here) suggests a "culture of ethical failure" within the agency.

The Minerals Management Service is the agency tasked with collecting $10 billion in royalties, mostly for oil and gas extraction. According to the Times, it's one of the federal government's largest sources of revenue.

The allegations predate Allred's tenure at the agency, and he said that the agency itself initiated the investigations.

"Mineral Management Services found or suspected it, asked them to investigate and now the reports are coming out," Allred told citydesk. "What frustrates me is that it took almost two years to get this out."

Allred said that the people implicated in the scandal were isolated as soon as allegations were made and that he leaned on the Inspector General for the past six to eight months to release the report so that the Mineral Service could address the allegations.

The Inspector General spent two years and $5.3 million on the investigation and interviewed  233 witnesses. Chevron refused to cooperate with the investigation, further delaying the final report.

The IEF forum Wednesday featured Allred, Michael Bogert, Kempthorne's longtime attorney who is a key player in a major rewrite of Endangered Species Act regulations now underway, and Jim Caswell, director of the Bureau of Land Management and former head of Idaho's Office of Species Conservation. All three indicated that their jobs are very difficult and will be over come January and a new administration in Washington.

Allred, who met with President George Bush on Tuesday, praised Bush for often being better briefed than his briefers and very interested in energy development, administration of public lands and the fish and wildlife issues at the nexus of the two.

Allred said Bush asked: "What are we doing to make sure we're not impacting wildlife?"

Bogert said Bush has not gotten enough credit for expanding wetlands, boosting National Parks and a bird initiative.

UPDATE Secretary Dirk Kempthorne responded Thursday to the reports:
"I am outraged by the immoral behavior, illegal activities, and appalling misconduct of several former and current long-serving career employees in the Minerals Management Service's Royalty in Kind program ... These individuals have eroded the trust the American citizens deserve to have in their public servants."

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