Idaho Newsreader - 12.09.08

No politics involved in wolf delisting, says F&G manager • Idaho mortgage loan delinquency rates shoot up • Water Resources board takes a hit under budget cuts • Monkey business in Spokane • Bypass opponent on ITD's case again

No politics involved in wolf delisting, says F&G manager

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's wolf recovery coordinator told the Great Falls Tribune recently that politics are not driving the latest wolf delisting plan, as some environmental groups say.

Ed Bangs denied charges by critics that the latest delisting effort is being rushed to beat the Jan. 20 swearing in of President-elect Barack Obama.

"The president doesn't talk to me, that's for damn sure," said Bangs.

Bangs said the recovery effort has been independent of politics, noting he was hired under Republican President Ronald Reagan, led the successful reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho under Republican President George H.W. Bush and also served under Democratic President Bill Clinton.

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Idaho mortgage loan delinquency rates shoot up

Mortgage loan delinquency rates rose for the seventh quarter in a row, according to a report out on Monday.

The states that saw the biggest increases in delinquency rates were the District of Colombia, up 42.7%, followed by North Dakota, up 22.7%, and Idaho, which saw a 21.7% increase.

TransUnion financial services group says it expects delinquencies to continue to rise in the fourth quarter of 2008 and throughout 2009.

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Water Resources board takes a hit under budget cuts

As part of Gov. Butch Otter's budget cuts, the Idaho Department of Water Resources lost $12 million of a $20 million legislative appropriation it received last session for mapping out a number of aquifers across the state.

However, the Times-News reports that the remaining $8 million should be enough to cover the modeling for at least this year and two more fiscal years.

The paper says officials still have high hopes for a plan aimed at rescuing and repairing the troubled Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer. A plan to do so, which could cost $7 to $10 million a year for the first 10 years, should be presented to legislators by February.

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Monkey business in Spokane

Spokane resident Gypsy Lawson hid a young rhesus macaque monkey under her blouse, pretending to be pregnant when she successfully passed through U.S. Customs after a trip to Bangkok, Thailand, in 2007.

It wasn't until the 29-year-old Lawson took the monkey shopping at a Spokane shopping mall the day after Christmas last year that she was caught, according to the Spokesman-Review.

During the trip home from Thailand, Lawson's mother Fran Ogren sent an e-mail to "NE Washington Witches and Pagans" at a Yahoo account and asked "for last-minute energy" to help them safely smuggle the monkey into the United States.

Yesterday, Lawson and Ogren were convicted by a U.S. District Court jury of federal charges related to smuggling a monkey into the United States.

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Bypass opponent on ITD's case again

The Idaho Transportation Department is denying a Sand Creek Byway opponent's claims that environmental safeguards aren't being followed for work in and around Sand Creek.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports on the latest twist in the ongoing saga that is the attempt to build a bypass around Sandpoint.

Clearly keeping a close eye on the project, Pierre Bordenave asserts a sediment fence was installed backwards when crews put into place a water-filled dam to keep the creek from infringing on the work area and vice versa.

Bordenave also chastised ITD for allowing heavy equipment to remain in the creek during the Thanksgiving holiday.

1. I have no comment about wolves, the name Ed Bangs rocks.

4. Monkey

Monkeeeeeyy

Monkey

Don't you know your gonna Shop With Monkey...

You never thought I'd butcher Peter Gabriel, did you?

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We Are NOT ALONE...

They refuse to fly over here and bail our butts out anymore though.