BOISE, Idaho (AP) — State officials have appointed a hearing officer in what will be the first use of a new Idaho law that allows unwilling mineral rights owners to be included in a company's plan to drill for natural gas and oil. The Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission appointed the hearing officer for two areas in Payette County in western Idaho that a Texas oil company believes have profitable reserves. The law says that when 55 percent of mineral rights owners want drilling to go forward, they can ask the state to integrate the other 45 percent.
NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho city has selected a developer to restore its historic public library building. The Idaho Press reports that the Nampa Development Corporation has chosen Mussell Construction to develop the old library. Mussell's proposal is to renovate the building for three different kinds of businesses.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Budget legislation that's speeding toward approval in Congress includes an additional $600 million to fight wildfires next year but no long-term fix to firefighting's havoc on the U.S. Forest Service budget. The Obama administration wants to address the problem by treating wildfires like other types of natural disasters for funding purposes. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, supports a long-term solution, but she says paying for wildfires like the government's response to hurricanes and tornadoes needs more review.
PARMA, Idaho (AP) — Officials are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a barn at a Canyon County goat dairy. KTVB-TV reports that no people or goats were hurt in the fire at Rollingstone Chevre in Parma. Firefighters say the barn is a total loss.
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