ACLU: Idaho Capitol security video should not prompt access restriction, urges public comment

A security video showing a man inspecting representatives' desks, taking photos of desktops and reaching into a waste bin for a document does not justify changes in public access to the Capitol, says the ACLU of Idaho.

1359482898 ACLU: Idaho Capitol security video should not prompt access restriction, urges public comment Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Back from national speakers conference, Bedke reports Idaho's Newcomb still lionized for term limits repeal

A decade after Idaho became the first state to repeal term limits, then-House Speaker Bruce Newcomb is warmly remembered for leading the repeal effort, reports Idaho's new Speaker Scott Bedke.

"We are looked upon by other states as an example in several areas, including the issue of term limits," Bedke said Monday, after a four-day trip to Austin, Texas, for new speaker orientation sponsored by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation.

1359472810 Back from national speakers conference, Bedke reports Idaho's Newcomb still lionized for term limits repeal Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Idaho House hails Olympic gold medalist Armstrong

Two Boise Democrats praised Boise's two-time Olympic gold medalist in a brief debate before the House unanimously approved House Concurrent Resolution 4, honoring Kristin Armstrong's accomplishments.

Tuesday is deadline to RSVP for Ben Ysursa roast benefiting Catholic Charities of Idaho

It's a family affair as GOP Secretary of State Ben Ysursa submits to the jibes of two brothers and a cousin Saturday night at the 6th annual "Loaves and Fishes Gala and Roast" at Boise State's Stueckle Sky Center.

Ysursa's roasters are his Democratic activist and lawyer brother from Illinois, Bernard Ysursa; Jess Asla, a half-brother who is chief operating officer at North Star Biofuels, a joint venture with Idaho's AgriBeef; and cousin Dave Skinner, a celebrated history teacher at Bishop Kelly High School and Ysursa's partner in the booth for radio coverage of BK football.

1359417604 Tuesday is deadline to RSVP for Ben Ysursa roast benefiting Catholic Charities of Idaho Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Idaho State Police: Armed man who dug through trash in House chamber committed no crime

Idaho State Police Capt. Sheldon Kelley says ISP is not seeking to question an unidentified man whose Jan. 10 appearance on an 11-minute security video alarmed lawmakers and prompted short-term security changes.

A number of comments on our Sunday story about tightened Capitol security asked about a law enforcement response.

1359395805 Idaho State Police: Armed man who dug through trash in House chamber committed no crime Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Obama's new deputy national security advisor is nephew of former Idaho US Senate nominee

President Barack Obama announced seven top appointments for his second term Friday, including chief of staff and a new deputy national security advisor, Antony Blinken.

Blinken is the nephew of Alan Blinken, a former ambassador to Belgium who lives in Ketchum and was the Democratic candidate who unsuccessfully challenged GOP Sen. Larry Craig in 2002.

"He is my nephew and a great guy," Blinken confirmed to me today is a quick email.

1359149543 Obama's new deputy national security advisor is nephew of former Idaho US Senate nominee Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Otter's education task force meets for five hours today, budget pressure looming

Gov. Butch Otter's 33-member Task Force for Improving Education will meet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

On Thursday, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna joined Otter in calling for $34 million left over after repeal of their Students Come First K-12 reform plan to be apportioned as recommended by the task force.

Idaho's former chief economist -- thorn in Otter's side -- to speak to League of Women Voters Feb. 16 in Meridian

Mike Ferguson, Idaho's chief economist for 25 years, got Gov. Butch Otter to admit last month that the state probably wasn't meeting its constitutional obligation to “maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools.”

1359048929 Idaho's former chief economist -- thorn in Otter's side -- to speak to League of Women Voters Feb. 16 in Meridian Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Legislature steps toward naming Idaho Capitol auditorium for Abraham Lincoln

Rep. Linden Bateman, R-Idaho Falls, and former Lt. Gov. and Attorney General David Leroy, propose naming the nearly 400-seat auditorium for Lincoln to mark the 150th anniversary of Idaho Territory.

Lincoln's signature established the territory in 1863.

"This is an occasion for celebration," Bateman told the House State Affairs Committee Thursday. "We need to talk about this event and not just let it slide by."

Skating on thin ice? Late start for Tom Luna's K-12 budget request

Freezing rain kept Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna on the road for over an hour from his home in Nampa Thursday, making him late for his 8:00 a.m. appearance at the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.

"The Superintendent is on his way," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, said at the top of the hour. "He indicates he's been on the road for over an hour. Hopefully, he'll be here in a few minutes."

Luna arrived at 8:05 a.m., and the meeting convened a minute later.

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