Official: COVID-19 variants likely spreading across Idaho
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho official says concerning coronavirus variants are likely spreading across the state, intensifying pressure to speed up vaccination efforts. Bureau of Laboratories Director Christopher Ball says the variants first discovered in the United Kingdom and California have been detected in every region of Idaho. The Post Register reported that COVID-19 vaccines currently being distributed are believed to be effective against the strains. Health officials have said variants accounted for four of the more than 100 residents who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks after receiving their final vaccines. Around 320,000 people are fully vaccinated in Idaho, while some 172,000 have received at least one vaccine dose.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-TEACHING BLACK HISTORY
Students lead US push for fuller Black history education
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Many educators in the U.S. say they’ve heard a demand from students for fuller Black history lessons beyond what was already offered. Lawmakers and states have passed or begun implementing legislation calling for more inclusive instruction. The trend follows the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and related protests. The previous generation of courses focused on cultural awareness. But now schools are finding that students still have blind spots. Connecticut now requires high schools to offer courses on Black and Latino studies. And New Jersey has enacted a law requiring school districts to incorporate instruction on diversity and inclusion.
AMMON BUNDY-TRESPASSING ARREST
Anti-government activist Bundy arrested at Idaho Statehouse
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Anti-government activist Ammon Bundy was arrested on suspicion of trespassing twice in two hours at the Idaho Statehouse. Police said he returned to the Capitol buildng Thursday shortly after bailing out of jail on the first arrest. The Emmett, Idaho, resident known for leading a 2016 armed standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge has now been arrested four times on trespassing allegations at the Statehouse since August, and has been banned from the building for a year. It wasn’t immediately clear why Bundy was at the Capitol on Thursday. Video taken by an onlooker showed state troopers wheeling him out of the building on a large hand-cart.
Biden halts sale of National Archives center in Seattle
SEATTLE (AP) — The Biden administration has halted the sale of the federal archives building in Seattle, following months of opposition from people across the Pacific Northwest and a lawsuit by the Washington Attorney General’s Office. Sen. Patty Murray said in a news release Thursday that the federal Office of Management and Budget had withdrawn its approval for the sale, which would have forced the transfer of millions of records to facilities in Kansas City, Missouri, and Riverside, California. A federal judge had already blocked the sale. Among the records at the center are tribal, military, land, court, tax and census documents.
IDAHO BALLOT INITIATIVES
Bill to make Idaho ballot measures tougher heads to governor
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation making it more difficult to get initiatives or referendums on ballots is heading to the governor, who has hinted of a possible veto. The House voted 51-18 on Wednesday to approve the measure backers say is needed because the current process favors urban voters. It passed the Senate last month. Opponents say the measure would make it nearly impossible to get initiatives on ballots. The proposed law would require the signatures of 6% of registered voters in all 35 Idaho districts. Republican Gov. Brad Little vetoed similar legislation in 2019 out of concern a federal court could find it unconstitutional and dictate Idaho’s ballot initiative process.
FATAL CRASH-NYE COUNTY
Arizona man to face DUI, drug charges in fatal Nevada crash
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Authorities say a 32-year-old Arizona man will face multiple felony driving under the influence and drug charges in a head-on crash on a Nevada highway that killed three members of a Victor, Idaho family and left two children injured. The Nevada Highway Patrol said Wednesday that Tyler Kennedy of Tolleson, Arizona remained jailed in Nye County pending a court appearance on charges also including reckless driving resulting in death or serious injury. The crash occurred March 27 when the NHP says a Ford F-150 pickup traveling north crossed the center line of U.S. 95 and hit a Toyota SUV headed south near Scotty’s Junction.