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Lawmaker proposes wolf-free zones in southern Idaho

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Some areas in Idaho would be declared wolf-free zones, and other areas where the animals have killed livestock would have increased wolf-killing opportunities under proposed legislation. The Senate Resources and Environment Committee voted Wednesday to clear the way for a hearing on the measure. Republican Sen. Bert Brackett introduced the legislation and is a rancher in the area designated for wolf-free zones. State officials don't have an estimate on the number of wolves in Idaho. About 460 wolves were killed in 2019 with hunting, trapping and the killing of wolves that preyed on livestock.


Idaho man fined, banned for guiding illegal Alaska hunts

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Alaska say an Idaho man who illegally guided Alaska bear and moose hunts was fined $20,000 and ordered never to hunt in the state again. U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason on Wednesday also sentenced 52-year-old Paul Silvis of Nampa to six months of home confinement, to be followed by five years of supervised release. Silvis in October pleaded guilty to two felony violations of the Lacey Act, which bans illegal wildlife trafficking. U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder says Silvis from 2009 to 2016 repeatedly violated state and federal law by providing guided hunts in the Noatak National Preserve in northwest Alaska.


Property tax, grocery tax relief introduced in Idaho House

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho residents would get a break on property taxes and grocery sales taxes under proposed legislation. The House Revenue and Taxation Committee on Wednesday voted to clear the way for hearings on four measures. The state's grocery tax credit that can be deducted from taxes would jump by $15 for seniors and $35 for everyone else, to $135. Growth in property taxes would be capped at 3% annually under one bill, and another would impose a one-year freeze on increases. The fourth measure would require taxing districts to get public approval to hold onto extra money if they collect the maximum allowed but budget less.


Idaho lawmakers hear divisive testimony on science standards

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A panel of Idaho lawmakers heard contentious testimony on the state's education standards for science. Republican Rep. Dorothy Moon testified against the standards because she said they don't paint logging, mining or other natural resource-based industries in a positive enough light. A science teacher and co-chairwoman of the committee that worked on the standards says they give teachers the flexibility to tailor lessons to their communities. She also says they ensure kids learn by actually doing science, not just memorizing facts. A vote on the standards in science, English language arts and math could come Friday.


Idaho governor extends paid family leave for state employees

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little has issued an executive order increasing paid leave for parents in the executive branch to eight weeks. The Republican governor signed the Families First Act on Wednesday that he says encourages strong families and will help retain employees in state government. The order applies only to the 25,000 workers in the executive branch. In the last three years, the executive branch has seen about 450 births annually involving an employee or the spouse of an employee. State employees generally earn less than their counterparts in private industry.


Idaho police say son fatally shot mother before killing self

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho authorities say an adult son likely shot and killed his mother before turning the gun on himself. Idaho State Police say the shooting around 12:15 a.m. Tuesday stemmed from a domestic dispute between Helen Beckwith and Joshua Beckwith at their shared home near Garden Valley. State troopers say they believe Joshua Beckwith shot his mother and then shot himself in the community north of Boise. Authorities say two other adults and a juvenile in the home were able to leave safely. Police say they are continuing to investigate events leading up to the shooting.

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