Headlines for March 4, 2017: What to Know 

  • Bingo Barnes
click to enlarge President Zachary Taylor - NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • A stunning number of historical events occurred on March 4, dating back to 1774, when the Orion nebula was first spotted by astronomer William Herschel. Also on this date, the first U.S. Congress convened, declaring the Constitution to be in effect (1789); the incorporation of the city of Chicago (1837); and the territory of Idaho was established (1863). Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson embarked on their first case, "A Study in Scarlet" (1881); "Happy Birthday to You" was published (1924); the Hindenburg first took flight (1936); then-Princess Elizabeth, later to become queen of England, became a transport service driver at the height of World War II (1945); and Vladimir Putin won a Russian presidential election amid allegations of voter fraud (2012). It was also on this date in 1849 that the United States was without a president. The term of outgoing U.S. President James Polk ended on March 4, 1849, but President-elect Zachary Taylor refused to be sworn into office on a Sunday, waiting until March 5, 1849, to officially become president. He died a little more than a year into his first term.
  • A Boise woman was killed overnight in a one-car crash on Interstate 84 near Caldwell. Idaho State Police reports the vehicle blew a left-rear tire, veered off the right shoulder of the highway and overturned. Three passengers were ejected from the car: the driver, Timothy Ficarro, 38, of Meridian; passenger Jessica Smith, 33; and a 3-year-old child. Ficarro and the child were rushed to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise but Smith was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash is under investigation.
  • At the height of this season's record-breaking snowfall, a debate erupted over who was responsible for keeping Boise's sidewalks clear of ice and snow. Boise officials had long argued it was citizens who should be doing the shoveling, but the Idaho attorney general's office intervened, putting the onus for sidewalk snow removal on the Ada County Highway District. Now, the Idaho Legislature wants to weigh in on the matter. A bill surfaced Friday that would, in effect, exempt highway districts from clearing the snow from sidewalks. The measure appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee, which voted to push the proposal to a full public hearing.
  • Rep. Luke Malek (R-Coeur d'Alene) introduced legislation Friday that would rewrite the way Idaho distributes liquor licenses. The current rule doles out one liquor license per every 1,500 residents of a town or city. Malek's proposal would create a new tier of licenses, to be managed by cities or counties, which would be sold to restaurants or lodging facilities. Malek said his proposal would curtail the growing "black market" of liquor licenses, where much-valued licenses are bought and sold among tavern/restaurant owners with the deepest pockets.
  • This morning's head-scratcher from President Donald Trump includes claims that President Barack Obama had Trump Tower bugged just before Election Day. "Terrible!" Trump tweeted early today. "Just found out that Obama had my wires tapped in Trump Tower just before victory." The tweets came in the wake of claims from Breitbart News that Obama targeted the Trump campaign with "police state" tactics."

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