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Idaho governor signs into law anti-transgender legislation

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little has signed into law two anti-transgender bills, making Idaho the first among states that introduced some 40 such bills this year to enact them. The Republican governor on Monday signed a bill that prohibits transgender people from changing the sex listed on their birth certificates, and another that bans transgender girls and women from competing in women’s sports. The birth certificate legislation ignores a 2018 federal court ruling that a past Idaho law barring transgender people from making the birth certificate changes was unconstitutional. The Idaho attorney general's office said it could cost $1 million if the state had to defend the ban again and lost.


Idaho to hold May primary by mail only due to coronavirus

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney say the state primary will be held on May 19 as planned, but it will be conducted by mail with no in-person voting due to the coronavirus. The Republican governor is urging all Idahoans eligible to vote to request an absentee ballot. The state primary includes a U.S. Senate seat, both U.S. House seats, and all 105 seats in the Legislature. Idaho held its presidential primary on March 10, with President Donald Trump winning among Republicans and former Vice President Joe Biden for Democrats.


Yellowstone slaughters wild bison to shrink park's herds

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Yellowstone National Park has rounded up nearly 550 wild bison and most have been sent to be slaughtered as part of a bison population control program. Park officials say 442 of the hulking beasts were consigned for slaughter. The meat will be distributed to American Indian tribes. Another 270 or so bison were killed by tribal hunters and 105 are being held for potential relocation to other sites, according to figures released Friday. The culling happens under an agreement between federal and state officials to prevent the spread of the livestock disease brucellosis to cattle. Officials want to reduce Yellowstone's bison by 600 to 900 animals this year.


Idaho officials observe 57 mountain goats in Selkirk range

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Idaho biologists have counted 57 mountain goats in the Selkirk Mountain Range this year, the first survey of the animals in the range since 2001. The Spokesman-Review reports the Idaho Department of Fish and Wildlife made an aerial observation of the goats in February in the mountain range along the Idaho and Washington state border. The count of 57 goats was an increase from 34 in 2001. A state biologist says the figure indicates the goat population has held steady despite an expanding human population. Idaho implemented a conservative management plan in 2019 to set limits on hunting the goats.


Justices decline challenge to Seattle 'democracy vouchers'

SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to Seattle's first-in-the-nation “democracy voucher” program for public financing of political campaigns. The high court issued its denial Monday in a challenge brought by two local property owners who said the program forces them — through their tax dollars — to support candidates they don’t like. Seattle voters decided in 2015 to tax themselves $3 million a year; in exchange, each receives four $25 vouchers that they can donate to participating candidates in city elections. The Washington state Supreme Court has already unanimously upheld the program.


Caldwell man critically injured in officer-involved shooting

CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) — A Caldwell man who reportedly fired a shot at his wife, held his neighbors at gunpoint and fired a shot at a passing vehicle was critically injured in an officer-involved shooting, Caldwell Police say officers responded to a report of shots fired shortly after 9 p.m. Saturday. When they arrived, police said Shane Farwell began shooting at them. Officers returned fire and Farwell was critically injured. Investigators later learned of the rest of the incident involving Farwell, who had apparently argued with his wife earlier in the evening. Four Caldwell officers will be placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

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