DRUNK DRIVING FATAL-SENTENCE
Drunk driver who killed 3 children gets 30-year sentence
HAILEY, Idaho (AP) — A drunk driver who killed three children when he crashed into the back of a vehicle in which they were passengers has been sentenced to 30 years in prison. Forty-seven-year-old Matthew Richard Park of Fairfield received the sentence Wednesday in 5th District Court. He will have to serve at least 17 years before he's eligible for parole. Park pleaded guilty in May to aggravated DUI and three felony counts of vehicular manslaughter. Six-year-old Aneena Lurak, 5-year-old Kya Lurak and 3-year-old Drayka Emyka Rayshell died in the crash in August 2019 in southern Idaho. Their father, Somchai Lurak, suffered a spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic.
BEEF PROCESSING PLANT
Company to open beef processing facility in S. Idaho
JEROME, Idaho (AP) — A beef processing company says it will open a new plant in south-central Idaho and hire 400 workers. Agri Beef on Friday announced plans to build the plant that will operate as True West Beef in Jerome and will be able to process 500 cattle a day. The Times-News reports that the company already owns a mid-sized processing plant in Washington and since 1968 has operated feedlots in Idaho. It owns the Snake River Farms and Double R Ranch brands. The company says its workers make about $52,000 annually. The company says the plant will work directly with livestock producers who will have an equity ownership in the facility.
US: Snake River dams will not be removed to save salmon
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. government says four huge dams on the Snake River in Washington state will not be removed to help endangered salmon migrate to the ocean. Friday's announcement thwarts the desires of environmental groups that fought for two decades to breach the structures.The Final Environmental Impact Statement was issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and the Bonneville Power Administration, and sought to balance the needs of salmon and other interests.The plan calls for spilling more water over the dams at strategic times to help fish migrate faster to and from the ocean.
Idaho suspect in pursuit, shootout appears in court
LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — A former participant in an armed occupation in 2016 at an Oregon wildlife refuge appeared in court this week. He had been arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer during a shootout in northern Idaho earlier this month. The Lewiston Tribune reported that 52-year-old Sean L. Anderson appeared at his initial hearing online from the New Perce County Jail on Wednesday. The shootout occurred after an attempted traffic stop for an apparent equipment violation. Police said the pursuit ended when the vehicle stopped in a residential area and shots were fired. Anderson was injured. No officers were injured. He faces a maximum 25 years in prison if convicted.
BALLOT INITIATIVE-PANDEMIC LAWSUIT
Supreme Court halts Idaho online signatures for initiative
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S Supreme Court has ruled that an Idaho group must stop collecting online signatures for an education funding initiative for the November ballot. The court on Thursday ruled in favor of Republican Gov. Brad Little's request that a district court's order allowing online signatures be stayed until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears the case and makes a ruling. The Supreme Court's ruling ends for now Reclaim Idaho's attempt to collect enough signatures during the coronavirus pandemic for the initiative seeking to raise $170 million for K-12 education. It would raise Idaho’s corporate tax rate and increase taxes on individuals making $250,000 or more annually.
Lawmakers seek special session for liability shield law
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A working group of Idaho lawmakers has approved legislation creating a liability shield for protection against lawsuits during declared emergencies such as the coronavirus pandemic. And they want Republican Gov. Brad Little to call the entire Legislature back into session to consider it. A majority of state House and Senate lawmakers on the Judiciary and Rules Working Group on Thursday voted for the plan, saying such a law is needed to protect government, schools and private businesses. Some lawmakers opposed to the legislation say a liability shield would remove incentives for those entities to take precautions. Little's spokeswoman said the governor looks forward to reviewing the report by legislators.
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