Wolves run just outside fence of nuclear reactor at Idaho National Laboratory

Wolves recently were spotted outside the north fence of the Advanced Test Reactor Complex deep in the heart of the 890-square-mile Idaho National Laboratory in the Arco desert.

The wolves were spotted near the complex where the 250 megawatt nuclear test reactor is housed. Their presence was reported in an internal INL newsletter that cautioned workers that do field work, walk or jog outside the fence.

Ninth Circuit Appeals Court upholds Idaho national forest roadless rule

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously to uphold Idaho’s national forest roadless rule.

The panel, which included Idaho Senior Appeals Judge Stephen Trott, denied the appeal by the Wilderness Society, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and other environmental groups of the decision in 2011 of U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill upholding the rule.

Water Users get back into fight between Caldwell and Pioneer Irrigation District

The Idaho Water Users Association had decided to get involved in a fight between two of its members in a dispute that’s been building for years at a high costs for the taxpayers of both.

California wolf walks in paw prints of early wolves in Idaho

The male wolf that has made his home in California has caught the imagination of the golden state.

He has been welcomed with far more hospitality that those leaving Yellowstone National Park and walking into Montana and Wyoming these days. The hunting seasons there this year have brought national ire since collared wolves, including a alpha female, known as 832F, called “beloved,” a “rock star” and “the most famous wolf in the world.”

Labrador gets vote for House Speaker, abstains instead of backing Boehner

Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash cast the first vote for House Speaker for Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador.

Labrador, a second term congressman, abstained rather than vote for House Speaker John Boehner. Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson voted for Boehner.

The vote is still going but Boehner is expected to win, defeating Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

11:20 MST Boehner wins 219-193 over Pelosi with 14 other votes.

Simpson defends Boehner for putting off Sandy disaster aid

Rep. Mike Simpson defended House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to delay a vote on a $60 billion aid package for people hit by superstorm Sandy untl this new session that started today.

New York and New Jersey congressmen from both parties angrily called out Boehner and House Republicans for making residents and communities await for funds to clean up and rebuild damaged homes in freezing temperatures. Boehner agreed to schedule a vote Friday for $9 billion in flood insurance and another on Jan. 15 for the remaining $51 billion in the package.

Congress extends wind production tax credit in fiscal cliff deal

All companies that begin construction of wind power plants in 2013 will be eligible for the wind energy production tax credit, which was extended as a part of the fiscal cliff legislation that passed Tuesday.

That’s even more generous than the credit in place in 2012, where developers had to go on line and produce power before they were eligible for the 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour they get for the electricity they produce. That will likely keep the wind development gold rush going nationwide.

Simpson, Labrador split votes on tax cut bill

Idaho’s two congressmen split their vote on the American Tax Relief Act that averted the so-called fiscal cliff.

Republican Rep. Mike Simpson voted for the compromise bill that made the Bush tax cuts permanent for families making less than $450,000 annually. Republican Rep. Raul Labrador voted against the bill that already had passed the Senate with the support of Idaho’s two Republican Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch.

Risch, Crapo both voted for the fiscal cliff compromise

Idaho two Republican Senators supported the "fiscal cliff" compromise that now is before the House.

Here's what Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch had to say in a joint statement about the deal that passed 89-8 in the Senate.

"The compromise that we supported protects 99-percent of all Idahoans from a tax increase and also protects the vast majority of our farm families from a permanent tax increase. This is a victory for working Idahoans, but we must now be very aggressive in finding appropriate spending reductions."

Otter awaiting word from Obama budget office on effects of cliff on Idaho

Back in June, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter asked all agencies to identify how much money they get from the federal government and calculate how they would accommodate a 20-percent reduction in those funds in case the federal government goes over the fiscal cliff.

The 20 percent number was considered high at the time by many. He set a deadline of August for the agencies to report back.

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