Dec. 14, 2017: What to Know 

  • Bingo Barnes
  • The media titan Disney has reached an agreement with Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate 21st Century Fox to purchase its film, television and sports studios for a whopping $52.4 billion, NBC News reports. The deal includes cable channels like FX Networks and National Geographic, more than 300 international channels, more than 20 regional sports channels, a 30 percent share of streaming network Hulu, half of Endemol Shine Group, Star India satellite television and almost 40 percent of European broadcaster Sky. Disney plans to enter the television streaming market with its own sports and entertainment services in 2018 and 2019.

  • The Federal Communications Commission voted today to ending Obama-era net neutrality rules. The vote could have a massive impact on the relationships between websites, internet service providers and consumers. Proponents of scrapping the rules say the move would place more power in the hands of ISPs, allowing them to make their own rules for the data networks they maintain. Opponents say it would turn ISPs from de facto utility companies into gatekeepers capable of blocking, slowing or promoting some websites. The vote was extremely controversial, and was made more so in late November, when Pew Research uncovered discrepancies in public comments submitted to the FCC. Among them: Many of the comments were made using false or misleading personal information, with 57 percent of them using duplicate or temporary email addresses; of the 21.7 million comments, just 6 percent were unique, with the remaining comments being submitted multiple times; and more than 75,000 comments were submitted at the same time on nine different occasions. The seven most common comments were submitted more than half a million times each, and six of those opposed net neutrality regulations.

  • The Ada County Coroner has identified the person found dead under the Broadway Bridge on Dec. 10. The cause of death of James Leland Smith, 60, has not been released. The case is currently under investigation by the Boise Police Department, but no foul play is suspected.

  • A report released Wednesday by the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children shows Idaho families are paying more for childcare than they would for tuition at a state college. "Affordable" childcare is defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as equal to or less than 7 percent of household income, but in the Gem State, married parents pay 10.7 percent of their income for infant care at a care center. For single parents, the cost leaps to almost one-third of their income.
  • click to enlarge The Greek system at the University of Idaho voted to cease all alcohol-related activities. - BY MAX7CC BY-SA 4.0
    • By Max7CC BY-SA 4.0
    • The Greek system at the University of Idaho voted to cease all alcohol-related activities.
    Amid what it called the "growing national crisis" of personal violence and substance abuse at colleges and universities, the Greek system at the University of Idaho instituted a moratorium on alcohol-related activities Dec. 12, which will be lifted when as-yet undetermined "benchmarks" are met. According to U of I President of Communications Jodi Walker, "the moratorium will be in place until those benchmarks are created." The decision to cease those activities was agreed upon unanimously by the 34 fraternities and sororities at the university. In the last several years, there have been numerous deaths related to alcohol at U of I: In January 2013, for example, a U of I student was found dead from hypothermia after getting drunk at a party and wandering for miles off campus, and between September and November 2012, there were five incidents in which students at U of I and nearby Washington State University fell from buildings where alcohol was being consumed.

  • What's on your list of places to take visitors in Boise? That's the question on the tip of people's tongues after The Washington Post published a glowing review of the City of Trees that included a list of 16 choice things to do. It includes the State Capitol, Fork, The Record Exchange, STIL, Freak Alley and more. Is it a solid list? What would you add to it?

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