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AP - Oregon-Northwest

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

VIRUS OUTBREAK-IDAHO

Idaho reports its 1st coronavirus deaths: 3 men over age 60

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — State health officials say three Idaho residents have become the first reported deaths in the state because of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. The officials said Thursday that two of the cases were in Blaine County. One was a man over the age of 60 and the other was a man over the age of 80. It wasn’t clear if either had underlying health issues. The third case was a man over age 70 from Canyon County who had underlying health issues. More than 146 Idaho residents have tested positive for the coronavirus so far. Idaho Gov. Brad Little issued a statewide stay-at-home order for Idaho’s 1.75 million residents on Wednesday.

BURLEY-KNIFE ATTACK

Southern Idaho man charged with attempted murder, mayhem

BURLEY, Idaho (AP) — A southern Idaho man has been charged with attempted murder after a detective said he cut a woman with a kitchen knife. Forty-three-year-old Joseph A. Price of Burley man has not yet entered a plea and could not be reached for comment. A call to his public defender was not immediately returned. Cassia County Sheriff Detective Lieutenant Kevin Horak told The Times-News that deputies who went to the home found a woman severely bleeding with head, face and hand injuries. The woman was taken to the hospital, and Price was arrested a short time later in Twin Falls. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for March 31. 

VIRUS OUTBREAK-IDAHO

Idaho Gov. Brad Little issues statewide stay-at-home order

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little has issued a statewide stay-at-home order as the coronavirus continues to spread. Little announced the order Wednesday and said it will remain in effect for 21 days. Idaho has more than 91 confirmed cases of COVID-19 spread throughout the state. The governor also issued a new “extreme emergency” declaration for the state, a step he said would allow him to take additional steps to expand the capacity of Idaho’s health care system.

AP-WHISTLEBLOWER LAWSUIT-IDAHO

Governor signs bill limiting Idaho whistleblower lawsuits

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Whistleblower lawsuits against Idaho will be limited to $370,000 in non-economic damages under legislation signed into law by Gov. Brad Little. The Republican governor on Tuesday signed the bill that has no limit for economic damages. Economic damages can include loss of income and legal fees. Non-economic damages include such things as pain and suffering, and emotional distress. The measure follows a whistleblower lawsuit the State Police settled in 2019 for $1.29 million. In that case, a whistleblower claimed police retaliated against him because he testified against another officer in a court hearing. Backers of the legislation say the limits on non-economic damages protect Idaho taxpayers. 

MARRIAGE AGE-IDAHO

Idaho governor signs bill setting minimum marriage age at 16

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little has signed into law legislation setting 16 as the minimum age for a person to get married. The Republican governor on Tuesday signed the bill that also limits the marriages of 16- and 17-year-olds to someone not more than three years older. Backers say the legislation is needed to prevent forced or coerced marriages of young girls to much older men. A similar bill failed in the House last year that required a judge to sign off on someone marrying at 16 or 17. The new legislation only requires parental consent.

AP-US-VIRUS-OUTBREAK-RURAL-AMERICA

Rural America watches pandemic erupt in cities as fear grows

DUFUR, Ore. (AP) — The pandemic’s toll in big cities like New York, Seattle and San Francisco has dominated headlines, but large swaths of rural America are also deeply affected. Tiny towns tucked into Oregon’s windswept plains or on Alaska’s arctic tundra might not have a single case of the new coronavirus yet, but these small communities are still wary. They fear the spread of the disease to areas with scarce medical resources, the social isolation that comes when the only diner in town closes its doors and the economic free fall that’s hitting hard in places where jobs were already hard to come by. 

The Associated Press