Here is the latest Idaho news from The Associated Press

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials in Idaho in a battle with a Texas oil company over what is believed to be a profitable natural gas field in Payette County plan to offer five parcels for competitive leasing by April. The proposed lease sale will offer 6,350 acres to potential drilling in southwest Idaho. The BLM concluded an environmental assessment earlier this month that found no significant impact with the leasing.

CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) — The College of Idaho has received a $2.45 million grant spread over five years for biomedical research. The school in southwest Idaho says that about a third of the money will be used to investigate the medical properties of sagebrush. The school says the rest of the money will be used for other research projects.

CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) — Canyon County officials in southwest Idaho have created an alternative sentencing program that's intended to reduce the number of inmates at the Canyon County Jail. The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that commissioners announced that local judges will have the option of assigning community service rather than jail time to some misdemeanor offenders. A lawsuit on jail overcrowding limits the number of inmates, but Canyon County voters have rejected jail bond proposals.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A 22-year-old Boise man authorities say is connected to a double homicide in Boise is in custody. The Idaho Statesman reports Anton Raider is facing a charge of accessory to first-degree murder. Police say a white cargo van used on the night of the killings was registered in Raider's name.

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