March 14, 2017: What to Know? 

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  • Today is critical for nearly 50 school districts across Idaho as voters go to the polls to decide whether they're willing to shoulder bonds or levies to fix schools, build new ones, and manage class size and curricula. The initiatives in at least 46 districts total more than $700 million. The Boise School District has a hefty $172.5 million bond issue before voters today, impacting every school in the state's second-largest district. The West Ada School District—the state's largest—has a $160 million plant facilities levy on today's ballot. Polls will be open until 8 p.m.
  • The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is offering its analysis of the proposed Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with the American Health Care Act—also known as Obamacare Lite or even Ryancare, forever linking it to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Bottom line: The CBO states there would be 24 million fewer people with health coverage a decade from now if the GOP-backed plan becomes reality. Meanwhile, the CBO reports, the AHCA would reduce federal budget deficits by $337 billion from 2017-2026.
  • Girl Guides of Canada, our northern neighbors' equivalent of Girl Scouts, have canceled all of their official visits to the U.S. until further notice. A statement from Girl Guides said the decision was "very difficult" but was a reflection of President Donald Trump's selective travel restrictions to some immigrants and refugees.The Girl Guides said their new travel ban will also include any flights that have a connection through an American airport.
  • Boise police are investigating yet another armed robbery, this time at the Motel 6 on the 2000 block of Airport Way. Detectives said they have reason to believe the suspect in the Motel 6 robbery on Monday afternoon is the same man responsible for a string of other holdups. He's described as a thin black male in his 20s, wearing black and gray clothing with black and white shoes. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 208-343-COPS. The incident Monday was the sixth robbery investigators have linked to the same suspect since February 20.

  • Miners at the Lucky Friday Mine in the northern Idaho community of Mullan are on strike for the first time in 30 years. United Steelworkers Local 5114 confirmed the vote was 230-2 to strike against the Hecla Mining Company after two years of contract negotiations broke down. According to the union, it wants its miners to have a say in their scheduling. Hecla issued a statement that it was "disappointed in USW Local 5114's decision to walk out."
  • A fascinating story in The New York Times reports young Americans are growing less likely to try or regularly use drugs, including alcohol. As a reason for the trend toward sobriety, some researchers are pointing to teens' alternative stimulation from computers and/or phones. The story is headlined: "Are Teenagers Replacing Drugs With Smartphones?"

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