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WSU student who died at fraternity identified

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Pullman police have identified the 19-year-old student who died at a Washington State University fraternity Tuesday as freshman Samuel Martinez of Bellevue, Washington.

The Whitman County Coroner has not released the cause and manner of death, but police said Tuesday that a preliminary investigation indicates the death may be alcohol related.

Police say medics and police were called to the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at about 8:35 a.m. Tuesday after Martinez was found unconscious and not breathing. Other fraternity members performed CPR until medics arrived and pronounced the teen dead.

WSU spokesman Phil Weiler said Tuesday all fraternities and sororities at WSU have voluntarily suspended their social activities for the rest of the semester.

The police department is investigating the death with cooperation from the university and the ATO fraternity.


Boise woman gets probation for federal program theft

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Boise woman has been sentenced to five years of probation for misusing money intended for a program supporting veterans on personal purchases, including a trip to Washington, D.C. and more than $1,000 spent at a California resort.

U.S. Attorney Bart Davis announced the sentence against 40-year-old Szilvia Rideg on Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors say Rideg worked as the executive director of the Idaho Veterans Research and Education Foundation from 2015 to 2018, and that in 2016 she began using the foundation’s credit card to make unauthorized charges at places like Sunglass Hut and Victoria’s Secret. Prosecutors say she misapplied over $44,000 belonging to the foundation, and then altered the foundation’s checking account statements to cover up the misuse.

Ridig paid more than $44,000 in restitution before her sentencing for federal program theft, a felony.


Eastern Washington University moves forward with budget cuts

CHENEY, Wash. (AP) — Eastern Washington University is continuing to pursue campus-wide budget cuts while raising money for a new football stadium and routing funds into student-athlete scholarships, frustrating some faculty members who believe the administration is investing too heavily in athletics.

President Mary Cullinan, meanwhile, says the university is collecting donations for all kinds of projects and programs – not just the football stadium – and that the projected budget cuts of $3.5 million will have a negligible impact on students’ educational experience.

The Spokesman-Review reports that aced with declining enrollment and tuition revenue, EWU leaders announced they would undertake a 3% budget “realignment” last spring. Departments were asked to avoid filling vacant positions and limit overtime and travel expenses.


Democrat who narrowly lost in state Senate race to run again

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Jim Bratnober says he will again challenge incumbent Republican state Sen. Fred Martin in Boise's District 15.

Bratnober, a Democrat, lost to Martin in the November 2018 election by 11 votes following a recount of the vote that had Martin initially winning by six votes.

Bratnober in a statement Tuesday says he's running again following the Idaho Legislature's decision earlier this year to add restrictions to voter-approved Medicaid expansion.

Bratnober also says he's concerned about education, public lands and rising housing costs.


Pocatello to pay $1.1 million to lawyers in utility lawsuit

(Information from: Idaho State Journal,

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — A judge says the city of Pocatello must pay $1.1 million in legal fees to the attorneys who represented residents in a class-action lawsuit over illegal utility fees.

The Idaho State Journal reports 6th District Judge Stephen Dunn ruled this week that the city would pay $1.1 million in attorney fees to the winning side, roughly $700,000 less than the attorneys sought.

In the lawsuit, the class-action group said the city collected illegal fees on water, sewer and sanitation services from 2005 until about 2014. In July, the city reached a settlement covering two years of the illegal collections plus interest, and the judge approved the $4.5 million judgment late last month.



Nearly 300 wild horses captured in central Idaho

CHALLIS, Idaho (AP) — Nearly 300 wild horses have been captured in central Idaho as part of a plan by federal land managers to reduce the number of wild horses roaming the area to about 185.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management says that 295 wild horses were rounded up over seven days ending Monday in the Challis Herd Management Area near the town of Challis.

Aerial census flights are planned this week to determine the number of wild horses remaining in the area.

The agency says balancing herd size with what the 260-square-mile (675-square-kilometer) management area can support will help protect habitat for wildlife species such as sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, mule deer and elk.

The agency says mares released back into the management area will be treated with fertility control, and horses not released will be readied for an adoption and sale program.

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