Prison Riot, Immigrant DL & Dogs

Unimpressive prison riot video shown to budget committee raises hackles. But a growing number of counties appear to be looking at building larger newer prisons with the hope of taking some state business housing offenders. Transportation Department drivers license bill first reported on is headed to full House for a vote. Dog fighting felony bill will get a hearing, global warming, not so much. And Obama to swing through Boise this weekend. In today’s Newsrack…

Budget committee views video of September prison riot. Sureños upset that leader got solitary. A couple of them busted up the place. Prison officials want more space for secluding prisoners with rising gang affiliation. Russell in the Spokesman. Video at LMT.

Idaho Co. looks at “big jail.”. Commissioners took pitch from Ketchum-based Rocky Mountain Corrections. Also a proposal in Latah Co. (And perhaps Canyon…) Idea is to build more jail than they need and lease space to the state. Kathy Hedberg in the LMT [subscrip].

Bill would make it tougher for immigrants to get drivers licenses. HB 366 passes House Transportation Committee on voice vote with three Democrats voting no. Limits expiration dates on DL to time allowed in country, but immigration attorney says that’s not so easy to determine. Popkey in the Statesman.

NW Senators protest new Canadian border crossing requirements. Plan to normalize crossing, i.e., show a passport, to go into effect. Could create hassles, long lines. AP in the State Journal.

Lewiston lawmaker wants payday loan outfits to inform customers about credit counseling. Joh Rusche says short time loan industry back proposal. Typical borrower pays $793 on $325. Ferguson in the LMT [subscrip].

Back to drawing board for climate change bill. Senate resources fails to print bill on greenhouse gas reduction study; not enough parties were consulted. Sen. Kate Kelly:”We have to do a little more outreach.” Druzin in the Statesman.

Stennett taking leave for surgery. Senate minority leader needs to reduce brain swelling but expects to be back before end of session. Asks that former Sun Valley Mayor Jon Thorsen fill in. Statesman.

Idaho 50th state for number of psychiatrists. Three have quit the state hospital in Blackfoot in the past month citing dangerous conditions. Doc: “This is not a personnel issue, this is a political issue.” Health and Welfare considering job ads in outdoor magazines to attract doctors. Davidson in the Post-Register [subscrip].

Obama to visit Idaho on Saturday. Campaign tight lipped on venue, format. C of I political scientist Jasper LiCalzi: “Every state matters, and I think it’s not that hard to stop off here on the way to California or something like that.” Druzin in the Statesman. Likely first mention on blog.

Fish and Game memo: politely avoid talking to Marvel. Head of Hailey-based Western Waterhsheds Project accused of shoving Commissioner at December meeting. Marvel declines comment. Christensen in the Times-News.

Idaho in the middle of the pack on foreclosures. 3,640 properties on the block in 2007. 20th in nation. Estrella in the Statesman.

Aresnic levels in Twin Falls, elsewhere, alarming. EPA changed allowable exposure to the cancer causing substance, putting TF County at risk. Owyhee County even higher. No consensus on what to do about it. Poppino in the Times-News.

Abe Lincoln: Started the Statesman. Sort of. Appointed the judge to the Idaho Territory who later became first editor. See for yourself at the Lincoln in Idaho exhibit. Opens Friday at the State Historical Museum in Julia Davis Park. $4Statesman.


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