Eminent domain bill may make state pay court costs
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A plan to provide financial relief for Idahoans who successfully fight the government's seizure of their land under eminent domain is headed to the Senate floor.
Under the bill proposed by Boise Republican Sen. Chuck Winder, the government agency that changes the terms of the land seizure or ends the litigation would be on the hook for the landowner's court costs.
That can include attorney's fees and costs related to hiring engineers and expert witnesses.
Winder says it's only fair that the owner not be penalized for trying to dispute the government's claim to their land.
Eminent domain cases are often subject to prolonged courthouse wrangling.
Lawmakers are seeking to add an amendment before the bill goes to a debate, mandating the state pay in a reasonable amount of time.
House ed committee passes parental rights bill
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Members of the Idaho House Education Committee have approved a bill that says parents have both a right and an obligation to participate in their child's education.
Republican Rep. Janet Trujillo of Idaho Falls sponsored the bill, saying it was important that state law reinforce parental rights. Several parents also testified in support of the bill on Tuesday, with some saying they wanted more control over what their child does and doesn't do in school.
Emilee Murdoch, whose four kids attend school in the Blackfoot School District, told the committee that she wanted the power to opt her kids out of standardized testing and she feared the bill didn't go far enough.
The committee sent the bill to the full House with a do pass recommendation.
Idaho gay rights activists jailed after protest
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Twenty-three gay rights activists have been arrested after blocking the entrance to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's office inside the Idaho Statehouse, the latest in a string of arrests related to protests over attempts to add anti-discrimination protections to Idaho law.
Police say four were charged with trespass, 18 with unlawful assembly and 1 with resisting arrest.
The arrests started Tuesday morning after protesters refused to leave.
The group wants protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation included in the Idaho Human Rights Act, but Republican leaders have declined to hold a hearing on the issue.
Activists have held multiple silent protests in the Capitol this year, leading to more than 140 arrests.
Coeur d'Alene man sentenced to 25 years
(Information in the following story is from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com)
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — A Coeur d'Alene man will spend at least 25 years in prison for sexually abusing two children.
The Spokesman-Review reports that 32-year-old Justin Shawn Wheeler was sentenced Monday in Kootenai County District Court.
First District Judge Fred Gibler cited Wheeler's "ongoing predatory conduct" in handing down a sentence that could potentially keep him behind bars for the rest of his life.
Wheeler pleaded guilty last October to two counts of lewd and lascivious conduct and sexual battery of a minor under 16.
CAR HITS HORSE-FATAL
Officials ID woman killed after car hit horse
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Ada County officials have released the name of a 43-year-old Emmett woman who died after her car struck a horse on Idaho Highway 16 northwest of Boise.
Coroner Erin Sonnenberg says Alma Sanchez died Monday morning of a head injury. He says her car was eastbound at about 5 a.m. when it struck a horse, veered off the road, through a fence and into a field. It crashed through another section of barbed-wire fence and went over a dirt driveway before hitting a rock wall.
Two passengers in her car were taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries.
Another vehicle hit the horse's carcass in the road, causing the car to flip over. One of the two people in that car was injured.
TWIN FALLS JAIL LAWSUIT
Inmates sue Twin Falls jail over care
(Information in the following story is from: The Times-News, http://www.magicvalley.com)
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Two inmates are suing the Twin Falls County jail saying they have not received adequate mental health care.
The Times-News reports Chad Allen English and Ronnie Manuel Preal filed a complaint in federal court on Feb. 25.
English said he was denied his psychiatric medication for three months and placed in solitary confinement when staff mistakenly believed he was suicidal. He said Preal was put in solitary and at one point made to strip naked because jail staff believed he was suicidal.
English and Preal have also filed a related lawsuit against the jail's consulting psychiatrist while English has a separate lawsuit that names the psychiatrist and the jail nurse. Those lawsuits also allege poor mental health care.
County Prosecutor Grant Loebs said Tuesday the claims have been turned over to the county's insurance carrier.
Nampa woman pleads guilty to killing boyfriend
NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — A 34-year-old Nampa woman has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for the October stabbing death of her boyfriend during an argument.
The Idaho Press-Tribune reports Susana Cordoba Quijano (kee-HAH'-noh) also pleaded guilty to use of a deadly weapon in the Oct. 12 death of Santiago Delgato Pineda. He died of a single stab wound to the heart.
Quijano was arrested the next day. She was initially charged with second-degree murder.
Court records say Quijano told investigators she stabbed Pineda because she suspected he was seeing another woman.
Sentencing is set for April 22 before District Judge Juneal Kerrick.
New president to focus on enrollment
(Information in the following story is from: Lewiston Tribune, http://www.lmtribune.com)
MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — New University of Idaho President Chuck Staben has only been on the job for four days, and his initial focus is on boosting this fall's enrollment.
The Lewiston Tribune reports Tuesday that Staben during his first university address says he expects to see strong efforts put toward recruitment for the Moscow campus, particularly of Idaho students.
The State Board of Education selected Staben as UI's 18th president in November to replace Duane Nellis, who left campus last year to lead Texas Tech University.
The 55-year-old Staben took the reins at Idaho on Saturday.
Staben says he also plans to look at Idaho's research and opportunities the institution has to participate in high-end research as a land-grant university.
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