Here is the latest Idaho news from The Associated Press at 9:40 p.m. MST

By The Associated Press | Updated - Jan. 13, 2020 at 9:40 p.m. | Posted - Jan. 13, 2020 at 1:40 a.m.



BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Emergency crews pulling contaminated water from rivers after such things as tanker trunk crashes is standard cleanup practice in Idaho. But removing that water could be violating the state's strict water-rights laws where water distribution is closely monitored. So lawmakers on Monday voted to hold a hearing on legislation granting an emergency water right when crews are trying to clean up spills in waterways. Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Director John Tippets says the agency will always work quickly to remove contaminated water. But he says the legislation is needed to prevent someone from coming in and saying their water right is being violated due to the emergency cleanup.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A power struggle between the Idaho House and Senate has had ramifications for a relatively unknown state employee who's long toiled in an agency most people didn't know existed. Administrative rules coordinator Dennis Stevenson agreed to stay on past his July 2019 retirement date to help Republican Gov. Brad Little cut the state's administrative rules. Those rules touch on nearly every aspect of daily life, from consumer and environmental protections to hunting and fishing licenses. Little had sweeping authority to make those cuts after the House and Senate failed to pass a measure approving all the rules. Now, lawmakers want Stevenson to help them understand the cuts.

BAKER CITY, Ore. (AP) — Officials say an eastern Oregon man died in an avalanche Saturday while he was snowmobiling in the Elkhorn Mountains. The East Oregonian reported Monday that 33-year-old Richard Stephens was snowmobiling with three others in the northeastern Oregon mountain range when his vehicle was struck and trapped by an avalanche. Baker County Sheriff Travis Ash says a search and rescue team went to the scene, but the North Powder resident died. None of the other riders were injured in the avalanche. According to the Wallowa Avalanche Center, an avalanche warning for the Elkhorns, the Blue Mountains and the Wallowas had been in place since Saturday, and has been extended into this week.

GRANGEVILLE, Idaho (AP) — The screen of a 65-year-old drive-in movie theater in Idaho has been destroyed by high winds and the owner says he hopes to rebuild. First, though, he needs to find someone who can do the specialized work. Chris Wagner, owner of the Sunset Auto Vue drive-in theater in Grangeville, told The Lewiston Tribune the screen has only been damaged by winds twice since it was built in 1955. The last time, in 2007, the manufacturer and repairman was 75 years old. Wagner says it's hard to find people with experience to do the work, because there are now so few drive-in theaters in the United States.

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