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AP - Oregon-Northwest

Here is the latest Idaho news from The Associated Press at 9:40 p.m. MST

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Real estate industry professionals say the coronavirus is one of the likely factors fueling a boom in large ranch sales in the U.S. West. The Billings Gazette reports real estate brokers are experiencing high demand for ranches in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho and Washington. Some real estate professionals say buyers may believe rural areas are safer from COVID-19 or are driven by fear of social unrest mask and social distancing mandates with which the buyers disagree. Those who were already planning to buy ranch property in the future may also be spurred to action by the pandemic.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Supreme Court says state prison officials must turn over information about where they got lethal injection drugs used in recent executions. The high court’s ruling Friday was a win for a University of Idaho professor who studies how the public interacts with the death penalty. She filed a public records request with the Idaho Department of Correction in 2017 seeking execution-related records. The department largely denied the request, later arguing in court that releasing information about the source of lethal injection drugs could make it harder for the state to obtain them for future executions. The Idaho Supreme Court said the records were required to be released under the state’s public records law. 

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — State officials say Idaho’s unemployment rate has dropped to 5.5% as about 5,400 nonfarm workers regained jobs in October. The Idaho Department of Labor said Friday that about 864,000 Idaho residents are employed and that about 50,000 are looking for work as the surging coronavirus pandemic continues hampering the economy. The unemployment rate for October fell from September’s 6.1%. Officials say seven industry sectors saw some job gains, led by leisure and hospitality with an increase of 4.9%. Nonfarm jobs are at about 763,000. Officials say that’s the first time since last spring’s pandemic-related job losses that nonfarm jobs equaled or exceeded levels from the previous year.  

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Boise State Public Radio reports that Idaho has not included claims from jobless residents on federal unemployment programs in its weekly unemployment reports. The story said that anyone who files a claim for the first time is counted as an initial claim. The radio station reports that Idaho residents who only qualify for federal benefits have not been counted in the state’s weekly report of continued claims. The Idaho Department of Labor said in a statement that other states had the ability to set up a new, separate system to handle unemployment claims for the federal programs, one that Idaho did not partake in. 

The Associated Press

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