JUVENILE CORRECTIONS-LAWSUIT RULING
Judge keeps juvenile corrections lawsuit alive
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A federal judge says a whistleblower lawsuit against the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections can move forward in court, but some of the claims must be dismissed.
U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled Thursday that 10 current and former Juvenile Corrections employees raised enough questions of fact in their lawsuit to merit bringing it before a jury.
The group filed the lawsuit last year alleging that some staffers at a Nampa juvenile detention facility sexually abused incarcerated youths, and that agency leaders knew about the abuse but didn't effectively act to stop it. The group also contends that the department is rife with cronyism, wastes taxpayer money and that managers failed to take action when one youth was caught inappropriately touching another.
They also say in the lawsuit that after they complained, they were forced to work undesirable shifts, given "performance improvement plans" and experienced other adverse job actions. The state has denied those claims, and an attorney representing the department told the judge during a hearing Wednesday that the case should be thrown out.
Idaho House votes to pass campus gun bill 50-19
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The House voted Thursday to back a bill that would allow students, faculty and visitors to carry guns on Idaho's college campuses.
The 50-19 decision came after proponents argued the bill would uphold Second Amendment rights and give people on campuses to a way to protect themselves.
The legislation aims to let retired law enforcement officers and people with Idaho's enhanced concealed-carry permit to bring guns anywhere except dormitories, stadiums and concert halls.
Rep. Judy Boyle says giving people the right to be armed and ready even in classrooms will let them act to halt or prevent violence while police are still too far away to intervene.
Boyle countered concerns that requirements for an enhanced permit - which requires applicants be 21 or older, take an eight-hour class and fire at least 98 rounds - aren't enough to prepare a civilian to act in a stressful, high-stakes situation.
Rep. Ken Andrus voted to send the bill forward in the hope it will give students and faculty a way to fend off criminals.
Lawmakers who voted against it skewered the measure, saying it's being pushed through despite opposition from the heads of all eight public colleges and universities in the state.
Several university and college presidents testified at a public hearing that such a law would disrupt the learning environment they strive for and could put people at risk.
SUN VALLEY LODGE-REMODEL
Sun Valley Resort plans major remodel of lodge
SUN VALLEY, Idaho (AP) - Sun Valley Resort plans to close Sun Valley Lodge for nine months starting in September for an extensive remodel.
Plans include a three-story, 20,000-square-foot spa that will be added to the northern wing of the lodge near an outdoor swimming pool. Work on the spa is scheduled to start in April.
The Idaho Mountain Express reports the plans were unveiled Monday by Carol Holding, the longtime co-owner of the resort with her husband, Earl Holding, who died in April at 86. Also taking part in the announcement was her son, Stephen Holding.
Earl Holding's estimated net worth of $3.2 billion made him the 423rd wealthiest person in the world at the time of his death, according to Forbes. His business empire included ownership of Sinclair Oil as well as Sun Valley Resort, which he bought in 1977.
The family didn't say how much the spa addition and renovation will cost. But it's a big investment and was something of a relief for the local business community that's heavily dependent on tourism and wondered what would become of the resort after Earl Holding's death. It's estimated he spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the years on new facilities in Sun Valley Village as well as the resort's golf course and two ski areas.
School epinephrine bill passes Idaho House panel
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A bill allowing Idaho schools to keep emergency medication on hand for life-threatening allergic reactions has won the support of the House education committee.
Under the bill sponsored by Twin Falls Republican Sen. Lee Heider, schools can voluntarily keep epinephrine auto-injectors without prescriptions in case a student experiences an anaphylactic allergic reaction. The bill also says people can't be held liable for using the emergency medication if they believe a child needs it.
Heider told members of the House Education Committee Thursday that it takes an average of just six minutes for an anaphylactic allergic reaction to cause potentially fatal heart or breathing problems. He says not all ambulances carry epinephrine, and having the medication at schools can potentially save lives.
The bill now goes to the full House.
Police: Man arrested after punching officer
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) - An Idaho Falls man police say punched an officer in the chest during a traffic stop has been taken into custody.
KIFI-TV reports that Idaho Falls police arrested 24-year-old Glenn Campbell Wednesday morning.
He faces a felony charge of battery on an officer, inattentive driving and resisting arrest.
Authorities say an officer stopped Campbell about 1:30 am., and that Campbell became combative.
Campbell was listed on the Bonneville County Jail's inmate roster.
Bison-slaughter protester blocks road near park
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Park rangers have arrested a man who chained himself to a cement-filled drum to protest the slaughter of bison migrating from Yellowstone National Park.
Twenty-year-old Comfrey Jacobs was arrested Thursday morning and charged with disorderly conduct, entering a closed area around the park's bison capture facility and interfering with government operations.
Jacobs chained himself to the 50-gallon drum and blocked the road to the Stephens Creek corrals near the park border. The Buffalo Field Campaign advocacy group says Jacobs was attempting to stop the shipment of bison to slaughter.
Park officials looking to reduce the bison population in Yellowstone hold the animals in the corrals.
Spokesman Al Nash says 318 bison have been transferred this winter, including roughly 60 animals to an experimental contraception program and the rest to slaughter.
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