Idaho House expels member convicted of fraud by Texas jury
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho House of Representatives has expelled one of its members a day after he was convicted of conspiring to defraud the U.S. government. The House voted 65-0 Thursday to expel Republican Rep. John Green of Post Falls. Green was convicted Wednesday on charges stemming from helping a wealthy Texas couple hide assets to avoid paying income taxes. Green maintains his innocence. Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke made the motion to declare Green’s seat vacant, and it was seconded by Republican House Majority Leader Mike Moyle. A process to replace Green now begins that requires the involvement of Republican Idaho Gov. Brad Little.
Jerome man dies in avalanche near Ketchum
KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) — Authorities say one person was killed in an avalanche in central Idaho on Wednesday afternoon. The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office says the victim, 50-year-old Kirk Douglas Rongen of Jerome, was snowmobiling with another person near Ketchum when the slide occurred. The second snowmobiler was able to locate Rongen because of his transponder, but Rongen was unable to be revived and died at the scene.
Idaho governor issues orders further cutting red tape
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little issued two executive orders that he says will cut government red tape. Little on Thursday signed an order requiring that every regulation that an agency chooses to keep be justified. He says that going forward, about 20% of administrative rules will be reviewed annually. Little also signed an executive order requiring agencies to clearly state that new guideline documents that clarity existing statutes or regulations are themselves not new law. Little has been in office a little over a year. In his first year he cut or simplified 75% of the state’s administrative rules.
IDAHO PILEUP-DIESEL SPILL
Pileup injures 33, spills diesel fuel on Idaho highway
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Authorities say a fuel tanker and several other vehicles crashed on an Idaho highway, injuring 33 people and spilling diesel fuel. Idaho National Laboratory officials say the crash involved a bus carrying 30 of its employees Wednesday. The fuel tanker, two government vehicles and two private vehicles also were involved. Lab officials say 33 people were taken for treatment, and all the injuries appeared to be minor. The fuel tank was punctured and spilled about 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel on the highway. Authorities worked to clean up.
SAWTOOTH VALLEY-WATER DIVERSIONS
Water users appeal ruling on central Idaho water diversions
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A group of water users is appealing a federal court decision ordering the U.S. Forest Service to consult with other federal agencies about nearly two dozen water diversion projects in central Idaho’s Sawtooth Valley that could be harming salmon, steelhead and bull trout. The Salmon Headwaters Conservation Association on Wednesday filed the appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The group intervened in the lawsuit initially brought by the Idaho Conservation League last year. The environmental group says the Forest Service is violating the Endangered Species Act by failing to complete consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries about the water diversions.
RAMEY MURDER-TRIAL SET
Woman charged in Hope murder case pleads not guilty
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A Coeur d’Alene woman charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of an elderly Hope resident has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to stand trial in June. Police say Judith Carpenter, 57, shot 79-year-old Shirley Ramey at point-blank range in Ramey’s home in 2017. The Spokesman-Review reports Carpenter pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge earlier this week, and a trial has been scheduled for June 9. Bonner County Sheriff’s Detective Phil Stella says investigators have not determined a motive in the case.