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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Lawmakers have approved a new rule designed to ensure secrecy surrounding the source of the state's lethal injection drugs. Like previous versions, the rule forbids the Idaho Department of Correction from disclosing information that the department determines could jeopardize its ability to carry out an execution. The new version also specifically forbids the release of information that identifies the source of lethal injection drugs. It's not yet clear if the rule will interfere with an ongoing lawsuit brought by University of Idaho Professor Aliza Cover, who sued for access to lethal injection documents under Idaho's Public Records law two years ago.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Voters can wait until the last minute to choose a political party to participate in the Idaho Democratic or Republican presidential primaries in March under proposed legislation. The House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday cleared the way for a hearing on the measure. It replaces previous legislation that would have gone into effect with Republican Gov. Brad Little's signature. That would have given Idaho voters a roughly two-week opportunity to change party affiliation. The new legislation would go into effect this summer. Democrats contended the original bill amounted to voter suppression. Republican Rep. Doug Ricks said he decided to change the bill to avoid drama.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A judge has sentenced a former Idaho high school teacher and basketball coach to 15 years in prison for sexual abuse of a student. The Idaho Statesman reported Tuesday that 32-year-old Jeff Ranstrom pleaded guilty in November to sexual battery by lewd and lascivious conduct of a child age 16 or 17. Court officials say he could be eligible for parole after four years. Officials say Ranstrom must register as a sex offender after leaving prison. Prosecutors say Ranstrom was originally charged with three other felony sex crimes, but those charges were dropped in a plea agreement.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — A coyote has bitten a cross-country skier in Yellowstone National Park. The attack happened Tuesday morning on Grand Loop Road in the Canyon Village area. Rangers treated the unidentified 43-year-old for punctures and lacerations on her head and arm. They took her to Mammoth Hot Springs. From there she was taken to medical facility elsewhere. Her condition wasn't immediately available. Park officials say they killed the coyote and are having it tested for rabies. Coyote attacks in the park are rare. Yellowstone wildlife biologist Doug Smith says the young coyote may have been starving because it had porcupine quills in its jaw and mouth.
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