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Idaho anti-discrimination agency bolsters interpreter staff

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho agency responsible for enforcing state and federal anti-discrimination laws is bolstering its verbal and written translation abilities to make sure individuals with limited English skills have access to services.

The Idaho Human Rights Commission last week launched the Language Access Plan that includes having half of its 10-member staff fluent in both Spanish and English, and available during regular business hours.

The agency also has live phone access to professional interpreters speaking more than 200 languages.

The commission receives about 2,500 inquiries annually with about 500 formal complaints filed.

About 90% of the complaints involve employment. The remaining 10% of discrimination complaints involve housing, education, accessibility and denial of services.


Modular home maker IndieDwell to open Colorado factory

(Information from: The Pueblo Chieftain,

PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — A company that builds energy-efficient modular homes aimed at providing more affordable housing plans to open a factory in southern Colorado.

IndieDwell announced Monday that it will spend $13 million to convert an existing warehouse in Pueblo into a factory that will employ up to 200 workers at full capacity.

The company, which also has a factory in Boise, Idaho, announced plans to expand in September after raising $5.5 million in an initial round of financing. The Pueblo Chieftain reports it makes homes in three sizes ranging from 320 square feet (30 square meters) to 960 square feet (89 square meters).

Pueblo plans to give the company about $1.7 million from its economic development fund because of the jobs it will create. City councilors are scheduled to vote on that Nov. 11.



Couple making Indian war cries evicted from Idaho restaurant

(Information from: The Spokesman-Review,

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — A couple dressed up as Native Americans and making loud war cries were kicked out of a restaurant in Lewiston, Idaho, over the weekend.

The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington, says the two were kicked out of a Shari's restaurant on Saturday because of their offensive conduct and comments to staff members.

Shari's spokeswoman Lisa Amore says the two people were dressed up as Native Americans and were "disruptive and loud" and made "war cries" in the restaurant.

Amore says a restaurant employee asked the couple to stop but they made "offensive comments" to employees, some of whom were Native Americans.

Lewiston is close to the Nez Perce Indian Reservation, one of the largest in Idaho.



University of Idaho pays $200,000 to settle Title IX lawsuit

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Department of Administration says the state paid more than $200,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a former University of Idaho College of Law student against the school.

The settlement between the University of Idaho and the woman was approved by a federal judge last week. Though the financial terms weren't included in the court documents, the Department of Administration said Monday that the state's Risk Management division paid $212,500 to the woman who sued.

In the lawsuit, the woman said the school violated federal law by failing to assist her with reasonable accommodations after she reported that another student sexually assaulted her. The woman said UI officials told her she could transfer to another campus rather than move her attacker to a different class.


Man killed in Oregon helicopter crash; daughter survives

JORDAN VALLEY, Ore. (AP) — Authorities are praising the resilience of a 25-year-old Idaho woman who survived a frigid night in the high desert of southeastern Oregon following a helicopter crash that killed her father.

Malheur County Undersheriff Travis Johnson said Monday that despite being injured herself, Jordan Valentine managed to crawl around the side of the wreck to get out of the wind after the helicopter went down in a remote area southeast of Succor Creek State Natural Area on Friday afternoon. She was lightly dressed and the temperature was in the 20s.

Authorities were notified of the missing helicopter at 2 a.m. Saturday, and radar showed its last contact as being near the park. Search and rescue crews found it at 8:20 that morning.

Fifty-two-year-old Jim Valentine, of Eagle, Idaho, was dead, and his daughter was flown to a hospital with undisclosed injuries. Johnson said she remained in the hospital Monday and that she was able to speak.

Johnson credited Jordan Valentine, saying it took "a very tough and determined person to be able to survive a crash like that and keep her composure through the night."


Signature collecting begins for school-funding initiative

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Backers of a proposed ballot initiative to raise $170 million for K-12 public schools by increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations have started collecting signatures to get the measure on the November 2020 ballot.

Reclaim Idaho spokesman Jeremy Gugino said Monday that the group started the effort over the weekend after the Idaho attorney general's office approved ballot language, and the secretary of state's office late Friday gave the OK to start collecting signatures.

The secretary of state's office says the group must now collect 55,000 signatures from registered voters by April 30, 2020.

The initiative calls for raising the tax rate by 3% to just under 10% on individuals making more than $250,000.

The tax rate for corporations would increase by about 1% to 8%.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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