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Jordan to challenge Risch for Idaho's U.S. Senate seat

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Former Idaho Democratic gubernatorial candidate and state lawmaker Paulette Jordan has announced she's challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Risch. Jordan announced Friday plans to run against the two-term senator. Jordan in 2018 became the first woman to become the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Idaho but lost in the general election to Republican Brad Little. The 40-year-old Jordan is a member of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe. She’s a former two-term state representative with a long history of working on the tribal council. She'll face a difficult task in red-state Idaho, where the entire Congressional delegation is Republican and all five statewide elected offices are held by Republicans.


Rescues by chopper, front loader as flood hits northwest US

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Residents in northeastern Oregon were plucked from rapidly rising floodwaters by helicopter or rode to safety in the bucket of a front-end loader as relentless rain and melting snow pushed multiple rivers high above flood stage. Severe flooding in communities in the western foothills of the towering Blue Mountains — near where Oregon, Idaho and Washington converge — closed a nine-mile section of Interstate 84, forced evacuations and stranded at least one family on their roof. Other parts of the Pacific Northwest are dealing with flash flooding and landslides. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued an updated emergency proclamation for 20 counties as more rain was predicted into the weekend.


Idaho parks department eyes voluntary trail pass program

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The director of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation says his agency is starting a voluntary trail pass program as part of a long-range goal to raise awareness and eventually money for non-motorized trail maintenance. David Langhorst told the Legislature's budget-setting committee Friday that interest in the 900-mile (1,450-kilometer) Idaho Centennial Trail has been growing. He says motorized trail groups have been effective in persuading lawmakers to tax or place fees on those user groups for trail maintenance. He says non-motorized trail users have been somewhat resistant to those kinds of user fees. He says the voluntary trail pass could help change minds.


Health official: 63.5% of Idaho adults are overweight

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An official with Idaho's public health districts says 63.5% of adults in the state are overweight. Russell Duke also told the Legislature's budget-setting committee Friday that 30% of third graders are overweight and risk early problems with diabetes and high blood pressure. Duke also says 250,000 adults in Idaho smoke, and that vaping has overtaken smoking among young people. Duke was before the committee representing the state's seven health districts. The districts are seeking a budget of about $13 million, about $2.5 million more than recommended by Republican Gov. Brad Little. The districts work to prevent disease, premature death and to promote healthy lifestyles.


Idaho nuclear lab needs 2035 deadline extended for research

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The director of the Idaho National Laboratory says the U.S. Department of Energy and Idaho will need another supplemental agreement involving spent nuclear fuel so the lab can continue its mission past 2035. Mark Peters on Thursday told lawmakers on the House Environment, Energy and Technology Committee that the 1995 agreement between the Energy Department and Idaho could stop nuclear research. The 1995 agreement requires all nuclear waste to be out of Idaho by 2035. Peters said a supplemental agreement allowing spent nuclear fuel past 2035 will be needed for the lab that in recent years has taken the lead in developing micro and small modular reactors.


Panel OKs bill limiting governor legislative vacancy choices

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho governors would have only one choice rather than three when it came to filling legislative vacancies under a measure heading to the House. The House State Affairs Committee on Thursday approved the measure backers say is needed to prevent governors from passing over a local party committee's first choice. Those opposed or uncertain about the legislation said it removed a check and balance between the legislative and executive branches. Idaho governor's typically appoint the top choice put forward but not always. Last month, Republican Gov. Brad Little selected the third choice to replace a northern Idaho lawmaker who had been expelled after being convicted of a felony.

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