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Latest Idaho news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. MST

PLANE CRASH-SOUTH DAKOTA-THE LATEST

The Latest: Company: South Dakota crash kills 9 in family

CHAMBERLAIN, S.D. (AP) — An Idaho-based company says its two founders and seven of their relatives died in a weekend plane crash in South Dakota.

Travis Garza, president of the wellness company Kyani, said in a Facebook post that the crash near Chamberlain on Saturday afternoon killed founders Jim and Kirk Hansen. Garza says the wreck also killed Jim Hansen’s father, Jim Hansen Sr.; Kirk Hansen’s children, Stockton and Logan; his sons-in-law, Kyle Taylor and Tyson Dennert; and Jim Hansen’s son, Jake, and grandson, Houston.

Three other extended family members were hospitalized with injuries.

The Hansens were executives with Kyani, as well as with Conrad & Bischoff, a petroleum products distributor, and KJ’s Super Stores.

The East Idaho News, citing relatives, reported that the family had been on a hunting trip.

LAKE MANAGEMENT

Little calls for third-party review of lake water quality

(Information from: Coeur d’Alene Press, )

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — Gov. Brad Little is calling for a third-party review of Lake Coeur d’Alene water quality, as the Coeur d’Alene Tribe has expressed frustration with management plans.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reports for the past two decades, the state and tribe have worked to track toxins and compile plans showing to reduce pollutants.

Phil Cernera, who directs the tribe’s lake management department, cited inaction and a seeming unwillingness by the state to act to clean up the lake as reasons for the tribe leaving the process.

Agriculture, leaking septic systems and municipal sewer plants add phosphorus into the water.

Heavy metals on the lake bottom are from mining. The toxins become part of the water column when oxygen is low.

Little says a third-party assessment would help inform the state’s response.

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BOISE-TREE LIGHTING

Lighting ceremony in Boise delayed after evergreen topples

(Information from: Idaho Statesman, )

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in downtown Boise has been delayed because the tree fell over.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the 45-year-old evergreen toppled sometime Thursday night. The ceremony, which brings a crowd to the Grove in Downtown Boise every year, had been set for Friday night.

The Downtown Boise Association says it will reschedule the event and that more information will be available next week.

It’s not clear why the tree fell.

Separately, the annual Idaho Capitol Christmas tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for Monday between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. in front of the Capitol building.

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IDAHO POWER-LAWSUIT

Idaho utility will dismiss lawsuit against EPA over dams

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho utility will voluntarily dismiss its lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency involving relicensing of the company’s hydroelectric project where federally protected fall chinook salmon reproduce.

Idaho Power in documents filed earlier this week in U.S. District Court says the EPA in response to the lawsuit has approved allowing warmer water temperatures in the Snake River below the Hells Canyon Complex on the Idaho-Oregon border.

The National Marines Fisheries Service says the change is not likely to jeopardize salmon or their critical habitat.

Idaho Power says allowing warmer water below the dams could reduce the cost of electricity and save customers up to $100 million over 50 years.

The company says the Hells Canyon Complex generates about 70% of its hydroelectric power supplied to customers.

GYPSY MOTHS-SPRAYING

Washington plans to spray for gypsy moths

(Information from: Capital Press, )

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Two small areas of northwest Washington likely will be sprayed with an insecticide to stop an outbreak of gypsy moths, including a type native to Asia never before detected in the U.S.

The Capital Press reports the Washington State Department of Agriculture said it tentatively plans to release Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki over a small city on Puget Sound called Woodway, and an Everett neighborhood called Boulevard Bluffs.

Officials say a Hokkaido gypsy moth trapped in Woodway this summer was the first Hokkaido moth caught in the U.S.

Three hybrid Asian gypsy moths were caught in Boulevard Bluffs.

Gypsy moths native to Asia are more mobile than European varieties and are considered more of a danger to spread.

Before finalizing plans to spray next spring, the department will conduct environmental reviews and consult agencies including the USDA.

Washington has sprayed for gypsy moths most years since 1979.

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COLD CASE TRIAL-SUSPENDED

Cold case trial suspended, defendant in poor health

(Information from: Post Register, )

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — A judge has suspended a cold case trial after concerns about the mental and physical health of the 86-year-old defendant.

The Post Register reported Thursday that Magistrate Judge James Barrett found Walter Mason lacked fitness to proceed in the trial.

Court officials say the decision delays a case that was on hold for about 40 years.

Officials say Custer County prosecutors charged Mason with murder in September 1980 days after authorities suspect he fatally shot a man over a relationship dispute.

Mason was arrested October of this year in Texas.

His attorney David Cannon didn’t return a request for comment.

Officials say Mason is in custody at the state Department of Health for up to 90 days.

Mason could face up to life imprisonment or be given the death penalty.

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The Associated Press