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Here is the latest Idaho news from The Associated Press

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This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — In an effort to cut down on the use of public defenders in Idaho, a legislative panel introduced several bills that would change some misdemeanor charges to lesser infractions. Most misdemeanor charges include potential jail time, which means that the judge must appoint a public defender.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — New Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra is asking permission to appoint a replacement to chair a board supporting students who are visually impaired or have hearing loss. The House Education Committee introduced a bill that would allow Ybarra to appoint a designee to oversee the eight-person board. Ybarra plans to appoint Charlie Silva, her special education director.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A mining company official says she's optimistic work can start in a little more than three years on a central Idaho mine containing as much as 4 million ounces of recoverable gold. Midas Gold Inc.'s Vice President told lawmakers that the Stibnite Mine Project near Yellow Pine also has about 2 million ounces of silver. She says the company is working on getting permits from the U.S. Forest Service because some work will be on public land.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Independent state evaluators say Idaho has spent $10 million on private legal counsel each year since 2011. The Office of Performance Evaluations told lawmakers that most outside legal work could be provided by the state's attorney general's office. However, limited resources inside Idaho's legal office have hindered how much state attorneys can take on. Evaluators are recommending expanding the attorney general's office.

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