Schools chief seeks his largest ever spending hike
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna is proposing a 6.9 percent budget increase to Idaho's public school funding for 2015, the largest spending increase he's proposed in his nearly eight-year tenure.
Luna unveiled his budget Tuesday to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and legislative leadership. But because Luna isn't seeking a third term, the winner of the November election will be tasked with selling the $94 million budget increase to lawmakers during the next legislative session.
The new spending recommendations outline a $1.46 billion education budget that includes an additional $31 million for teacher salaries and benefits as well as an additional $9 million for classroom technology.
The budget is now being reviewed by stakeholders.
N. Idaho oil pipeline rerouted from under river
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) - Portions of an oil pipeline in northern Idaho are being rerouted to eliminate sections that travel under the Coeur d'Alene River.
The Coeur d'Alene Press reports that workers are scheduled to start this week on the project to bury about 9 miles of the Yellowstone Pipe Line in Shoshone County under the Coeur d'Alene River Road.
Phillips 66 spokeswoman Carrie Wildin says rerouting the pipeline from under the river will help protect the environment.
Wildin says the old pipeline will be left in place but will be purged and cleaned, and then permanently sealed.
Work is expected to continue until winter weather halts progress, and then resume in the spring.
The 690-mile pipeline carries oil from Billings, Montana, to Moses Lake, Washington, with delivery points along the way.
POLICE SHOOTOUT-SUSPECT DEAD
Idaho gunman killed in Reno shootout was wanted
RENO, Nev. (AP) - The suspected armed robber killed in a gun battle with Reno police outside a casino resort has been identified as a 42-year-old Idaho man who was wanted on drug charges in southern Nevada and had been living in a Reno motel.
The Washoe County Sheriff's Office says Royal Shawn Bingamen of Nampa was pronounced dead at Renown Regional Medical Center Sunday night shortly after he was mortally wounded in front of the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino south of downtown.
The sheriff's office said in a statement Tuesday that the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office in Pioche had issued a warrant for his arrest for narcotics offenses.
Detectives say Bingamen shot a shopper who tried to intervene during a robbery about 5 p.m. Sunday at a CVS Pharmacy. He fled in a truck and led police on a chase, exchanging gunfire before exiting the truck and heading toward the entrance of the Peppermill before he was shot.
No officers were injured. The shopper was treated and released.
FISH HABITAT PROJECT
Work will improve salmon habitat in central Idaho
KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) - Blaine County commissioners in central Idaho have approved permits what will allow workers to improve fish passage on a key stream for chinook salmon, steelhead and bull trout.
The Idaho Mountain Express reports that commissioners last week approved work expected to start this week on Pole Creek.
The creek is designated critical habitat for the fish.
The stream-alteration and flood plain conditional-use permit means a culvert on private property that impedes fish passage will be replaced with a bridge.
The Salmon Falls Land & Livestock Co. sought reauthorization of its permit to divert water from the creek.
Experts say the culvert during high water constricts stream flow and speeds up the current so that fish can't swim against it.
Two other culverts have already been replaced farther upstream.
FORT HALL KILLING
E. Idaho police identify man killed in stabbing
FORT HALL, Idaho (AP) - Eastern Idaho authorities have released the name of a man stabbed to death in Fort Hall.
The Idaho State Journal reports that 23-year-old Joey Running Horse died in the stabbing that occurred at about 11:15 p.m. Friday.
Fort Hall police say they found Running Horse unconscious a short time later near an intersection with a stab wound on the upper part of his body.
Police arrested two other individuals at the scene after finding alcohol violations.
Running Horse was transported to the Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello where he was later pronounced dead.
The case is being investigated by the Fort Hall Police Department and the FBI.
Group opposes monument overlap with Sawtooth area
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A conservation group says it's opposed to any overlap of a proposed national monument in central Idaho with the rugged Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
The Sawtooth Society in a statement on Monday says national monument status wouldn't increase current protections for the recreation area and could hinder an eventual wilderness designation.
A proposed plan to create three wilderness areas totaling 332,775 acres while also releasing 130,000 acres from wilderness study area to a multiple-use designation has failed to get through Congress.
So some groups are asking President Obama to use his executive power under the Antiquities Act to create a 592,000-acre national monument that includes the rugged Boulder and White Cloud mountains.
Sawtooth Society Executive Director Gary O'Malley says it's too early to abandon the wilderness goal.
Sheep moved away from wolves
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A Stevens County sheep rancher has managed to move about 1,800 sheep to protect them from a pack of wolves that have killed at least two dozen of the animals this summer.
The Spokesman-Review reported Tuesday that Dave and Julie Dashiell decided to move their sheep to safety rather than wait for state wildlife officials to hunt and kill up to four wolves from the Huckleberry Pack, which hunts north of the Spokane Indian Reservation.
The ranchers tried numerous strategies to end the attacks, but none worked.
Wolves were killed off in Washington early in the last century. But starting in the early 2000s, they started moving back into the state from neighboring Idaho and Canada. The state estimates there are about 52 wolves in 13 packs.
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