Idaho

Tom Banse

A passel of daredevils is aiming to succeed where the king of stunt performers once famously failed. They want to attempt Evel Knievel's jump over the Snake River Canyon.

But first, one of the modern stuntmen has to secure the rights to both a launch and a landing spot on opposite sides of the canyon near Twin Falls, Idaho. That has the potential for another wreck in the making, a bureaucratic one that involves the wooing of the Twin Falls City Council.

Idaho is starting to see the education gap narrow for Latino students. That's according to the state's Commission on Hispanic Affairs. Latinos are the fastest growing segment of Idaho’s school system.

The commission's director Margie Gonzalez told a legislative panel the days of double digit drop-out rates for Hispanic kids are gone. More Latinos are enrolling in college. And last month, a national assessment of vocabulary showed huge gains among Hispanic students in Idaho.

Agriculture is a tremendous force in shaping the Idaho economy, according to John Hammel, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Idaho. Hammel told state budget writers Wednesday that the industry’s strength comes from its diversity.

“It is tremendously diverse, with over 150 commodities grown statewide, and has a growing livestock sector, which is led by dairy production. This diversity minimizes the impact to Idaho from a downturn in any particular agricultural sector,” says Hammel.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The rockburst that injured seven miners in north Idaho last week registered as a 2.2 seismic event according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That contradicts earlier reports about what could have caused the collapse. The mine remains closed while federal officials investigate the incident.

It's a matter of cause and effect. Did an earthquake trigger the rockburst at the Lucky Friday Mine ... or was the shaking caused by the collapse a mile underground?

Crews have rescued seven miners after a collapse at the Lucky Friday Mine in north Idaho. It’s the third major accident there this year. The Lucky Friday’s owner says the silver mine has been evacuated until further notice.

A rockburst occurred Wednesday evening nearly 6,000 feet underground near Mullan in Idaho’s Silver Valley. Local law enforcement and the mine’s rescue crew were called in. Twenty-five people were working in the vicinity at the time.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

With the year-end approaching, your letter carrier likely delivers at least one or two fundraising letters with each day's mail. You're not alone if you toss some of those pitches straight into the recycle bin. It's a tough fundraising environment right now for charities here on the heels of the great recession.

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden is hosting a series of meetings in north Idaho to promote better understanding of the state’s laws regarding access to public records and open meetings.

Wasden says citizen participation in government is critical and that without it our system of government fails. However, he says that to participate fully citizens need access to their government.

Idaho is the first state outside of Alaska to regulate a trapping season for wolves. It came after the animal was removed from the Endangered Species List this spring. Trappers who are hoping to snare a gray wolf are required to take a mandatory class.

If anyone can tell you how challenging it is to trap a wolf, it’s Rick Williamson.

Williamson is a carnivore biologist with Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game. He recently retired from his position as a wolf management specialist with the federal government. He’s is teaching a class of about 25 people how to set a foothold trap.

Nearly 70,000 people in Idaho don’t have jobs. That’s according to estimates from the Idaho Department of Labor. That figure doesn’t take into account the thousands of people who are underemployed or who’ve given up the search.

Justy Thomas was 34 years old then, and like so many in her situation, was at a crossroads. When Thomas lost her job four years ago she decided to college.

Thomas: "I wanted to do a reset. I wanted to change my career"

She says going to college also seemed like a necessity.

Voters in a small Idaho town have defeated what would have been the state's first ban on plastic grocery bags. The measure in Hailey, Idaho went down with only 42 percent in favor in Tuesday’s election.

It was a group of local teens that collected the signatures to get the bag ban on the ballot. Lex Shapiro is co-president of the high school environmental club. She says her group’s campaign was out-funded by the plastic bag manufacturer Hilex Poly, which owns a nearby plastic bag plant.

An Idaho commission is declining to commute the death sentence for convicted murderer Paul Ezra Rhoades. Rhoades received life in prison for one murder, and the death penalty for brutally killing two other women in 1987. He's scheduled to die by lethal injection on Nov. 18 outside of Boise.

Idaho is among a handful of Western states using their gun-rights cred in this tough economy to attract jobs in the firearms industry.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

This week we're taking a look at what police say is a resurgence of gang activity - especially in rural areas. In part four of our series "Living In Gangland" we learned how one Idaho man got out of a gang - and stayed out.

The head of the Coeur d'Alene tribe in North Idaho is demanding an apology from Fox News. Today he learned he won't get one.

Last week on the morning show "Fox & Friends," Fox Business anchor John Stossel questioned the need for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

"There's no Bureau of Puerto Rican Affairs or Black Affairs or Irish Affairs. And no group in America has been more helped in by the government than the American Indians. Because we have the treaties, we stole their land. But 200 years later, no group does worse," says Stossel.

The nuclear crisis in Japan could have repercussions for a proposed nuclear enrichment plant in Idaho. A Congressional subcommittee will hear testimony on nuclear safety, just as other countries re-examine their policies on nuclear power.

Pages