VIRUS OUTBREAK-IDAHO-SCHOOL CANCELLATION
No class Monday in West Ada district due to teacher shortage
NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — A school district in Idaho has canceled school next Monday due to a teacher shortage after hundreds called out in sick in protest of in-person instruction during the pandemic. The West Ada School District in the Boise metropolitan area made the announcement on Friday and said too many teachers called out to cover with substitute teachers. The announcement says that out of 2,145 classroom teachers, 652 have called in sick, leaving the school district with 500 unfilled positions. West Ada Education Association President Eric Thies had said Thursday that teachers would perform a ‘sickout’ demonstration if the district did not revert to full remote learning. The district is currently in a hybrid model for middle school and high school students.
WOMAN BITES OFFICER
Police say Idaho woman bit officer during arrest
OGDEN, Utah (AP) — A Twin Falls, Idaho, woman is behind bars after a traffic stop turned violent. Amanda Yarbrough was charged with third-degree felony assault by a prisoner and misdemeanor assault on a police officer. The incident occurred Tuesday after a Weber County Sheriff’s Office deputy saw a car run a stop sign and pulled it over. As the deputy attempted to handcuff Yarbrough, she allegedly struggled with him and bit him on the forearm “with enough force to cause injury.” The officer was treated by paramedics for his injuries. The arrest affidavit said police found methamphetamine and marijuana in Yarbrough’s car.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-SKI SEASON
US resorts adapt to new normal of skiing amid pandemic
DENVER (AP) — Roughly seven months after the coronavirus cut the ski season short at the height of spring break, resorts across the U.S. and Canada are picking up the pieces and trying to figure out how to safely reopen this winter. Resort leaders are asking guests to curb their expectations and to embrace a new normal while skiing amid a pandemic. That could mean skiing with face coverings, socially-distanced lift lines, no dine-in service, sharing lifts only with your group and no large gatherings for an apres drink. Resorts are trying to avoid a repeat of last spring, when many mountain communities were disproportionately affected by the virus.
Oversized loads of windmill parts to travel north
COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — About 300 oversized loads carrying windmill parts will travel from the Port of Lewiston to Alberta, Canada, over the next two months. NexGen Transportation is in the process of delivering the blades and tower sections for 43 windmills. The largest loads measure up to 270 feet long and weigh 240,000 pounds. The loads will depart from the Port of Lewiston every night, except Friday and Saturday nights. They’ll travel north on U.S. 95 to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, before heading east on Interstate 90 into Montana. Weather conditions may impact the schedule. Drivers can expect delays. Seven loads are expected each night.
Man arrested after fight at Idaho haunted house over Trump
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Authorities in Idaho have charged a Boise man with assault after police say he drunkenly pulled a handgun on teens last weekend because they said they didn’t like President Donald Trump. The Idaho Statesman reported Thursday that 37-year-old Joshua Lockner was arrested on six felony counts of aggravated assault and one misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon under the influence. Police responded to a report last Friday that a man pulled out a gun and threatened people at Haunted World in Caldwell. Canyon County sheriff’s deputies said they obtained a handgun and arrested Lockner. He was released after posting bond. His attorney says Lockner felt threatened and was defending himself.
SMALL MODULAR REACTORS
US awards $1.4 billion to help build small reactors in Idaho
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a Utah energy cooperative about $1.4 billion to help build a dozen small nuclear reactors in eastern Idaho. The award announced Friday will pay for one-time costs related to developing and building the commercial reactors. Officials say the money will lower the cost of energy produced by the reactors, making it competitive in the marketplace and reducing the financial risk for Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems. The first-of-a-kind project is part of an effort by the Energy Department to reduce greenhouse gasses. The reactors would be built at the Energy Department’s site that includes the Idaho National Laboratory.