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Distracted-driving bill eyes cell use by Idaho motorists

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation prohibiting local Idaho governments from passing laws restricting cellphone use by motorists but also expanding the state's distracted driving law to cover such activities has been introduced. The House Transportation and Defense Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to hold a hearing for the bill lawmakers say will make Idaho roads safer. Lawmakers say Idaho has a hodgepodge of local ordinances restricting cellphone use by motorists that makes it tough for drivers to know whether or not they're breaking the law. If the bill become state law, all those local ordinances would become null and void on July 1.


Case of 2 missing kids grows to include deaths, cult rumors

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Confusion is growing around a series of mysterious deaths and the disappearances of a 7-year-old boy and 17-year-old girl that tie back to a couple who have since vanished themselves. The twisted tale spanning Idaho and Arizona has revealed the deaths of both their previous spouses, the couple's doomsday beliefs and children who slowly slipped away from relatives who are desperate to find them. The children haven't been seen since September, and the couple never reported them missing. Authorities are searching for all four. Investigators also are looking into the recent deaths of the man's previous wife, the woman's previous husband and her brother.


Idaho exchange enrollment dips due to Medicaid expansion

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — State officials say fewer people signed up for health insurance under the state's insurance exchange program following Medicaid expansion. Officials with Your Health Idaho said Wednesday that nearly 90,000 Idahoans signed up for coverage ahead of the Dec. 16 deadline. Officials say that's down about 14,000 participants compared to last year. Voters approved Medicaid expansion for low-income residents in 2018, and coverage began Jan. 1. About 53,000 people have so far signed up for Medicaid under the expanded coverage. State officials say of the 90,000 people participating in the state insurance program, 75% are renewals and 25% are new customers.


1 skier still missing after deadly avalanche at Idaho resort

KELLOGG, Idaho (AP) — One person remains missing at an Idaho resort near where an avalanche on Tuesday killed two skiers and injured four others. The Silver Mountain Resort near the town of Kellogg was closed Wednesday to focus resources on the search. The resort says it received a call Wednesday morning from a concerned family member of the missing skier. Resort officials say the ski patrol, aided by dog units, conducted a search and has not found the missing skier. The avalanche happened Tuesday on Wardner Peak, an area of the resort where the ski runs are rated at the highest difficulty level.


Sheriff: Suspect shot, wounded after shooting at police

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — Authorities say a man who was shot and wounded by Pocatello police after exchanging gunfire with officers Monday evening is in critical condition at a local hospital. The Idaho State Journal reports the shooting occurred Monday evening after the federal, state and local law enforcement carried out a drug enforcement operation at a Pocatello hotel. The suspect fled and officials said he fired multiple shots at law enforcement officers while he tried to get away. The Bannock County Sheriff's Office says several officers returned fire outside a Sizzler restaurant, wounding the man and taking him into custody.


Boise State assistant coach on leave, sued for misconduct

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Boise State University officials in Idaho have placed the college's assistant women's basketball coach on administrative leave after discovering he faces a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse and harassment of a player at his previous job. The Idaho Statesman reported Tuesday that assistant coach Cody Butler was sued in May by a former women's basketball player at Yakima Valley College in Washington state. The woman was not named, but was on the college basketball team when Butler was the assistant coach and co-head coach. The lawsuit alleges he made inappropriate comments and physical contact. All allegations were denied. A request for comment from Butler and his representative were not immediately answered.

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