Monthly Archives: December 2015

Rep. Troy Pushes Road Improvements

Idaho District 5 State Representative Caroline Troy says a better road system will help the economy in north Idaho grow. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (:54)

Listen here:

More than $10 million of the new highway dollars in Idaho are going into Highway 95 between Latah and Benewah Counties, according to District 5 State Representative Caroline Troy, and she says she’s excited about the impact those dollars are having and will have.

But Troy says that when she had the opportunity to go on a south Idaho chamber tour, she couldn’t help but think of north Idaho:

Caroline Troy: “There’s a wonderful road between Pocatello and Lava Hot Springs, and my thought was’Four lane, beautiful highway, and I am thinking to myself– where is that going to?  It’s going to Lava Hot Springs. But, 95 is Idaho’s pipeline between north and south, and it’s frustrating to me that the four lanes stop at Worley.”

Troy says a better overall road system would help the economy grow in this part of the state.

I’m Glenn Mosley.

Posted December 17, 2015




Salmon Recovery Projects Awarded Grants in WA

The Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Puget Sound Partnership have awarded $44.3 million in grants to organizations in 28 counties in Washington working on 141 different salmon recovery projects.

It’s hoped the projects will restore salmon habitat and conserve pristine areas.

“Salmon recovery is an important priority in Washington,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee said in a statement. “These efforts help ensure that our grandchildren will be able to see this iconic species return home every year.

“We are preserving salmon for the families and businesses that rely on them for their livelihoods, their recreational pursuits and their culture or sustenance,” Inslee said. “We also are helping our communities restore lands that will yield other important values like resilience to flooding or habitat for a variety of other species. It’s a smart investment any way you look at it.”

The grants will be used to remove barriers that prevent salmon from migrating, increase the types and amount of habitat for salmon, conserve pristine areas, and replant riverbanks.

Here is a link to the projects awarded grants in Whitman, Asotin, Garfield, and Walla Walla Counties in Washington.

Click to access 151-SRFB-GrantDescriptionsbyCounty.pdf

Posted December 11, 2015


SBOE Gives Go Ahead for U- Idaho Wallace Renovation

The Idaho State Board of Education has given the go-ahead to a University of Idaho project to renovate the Wallace Residence Center in Moscow. Idaho Public Radio’s Meredith Coba reports. (:32)

Listen here:

The twenty-floor Wallace Residence Center was originally built in the mid 1960s, and it has always served as a one of the primary residential complexes for students attending the UI campus in Moscow.

The university says that while some floors have seen work over the years, and some small scale improvements have been made, the complex is now in a declining state and needs to be modernized.

The five million project approved by the State Board of Education Thursday will renovate the remaining twelve floors of the complex.

The project is on a tight schedule, scheduled for the summer of 2016.

I’m Meredith Coba reporting.

Posted December 10, 2015



Northern Idaho Crisis Center Opens

The Northern Idaho Crisis Center officially opened this week to serve ten north Idaho counties. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (1:45)

Listen here:



(The ribbon cutting for Idaho’s second crisis center)

It was a full house in Coeur d’Alene Tuesday at the grand opening of the Northern Idaho Crisis Center, which will be managed by Don Robinson:

Don Robinson: “This will be the second crisis center in the state of Idaho and it’s really going to address a huge gap in the community for either an under-served or un-served population of those folks who are experiencing a behavioral health or substance abuse crisis who really have nowhere else to go.”


(Don Robinson, manager of the Northern Idaho Crisis Center)

Robinson says many of those people, if they’re not suffering in silence, would end up either in an emergency room or perhaps arrested and jailed.

The center will address that need by serving those age 18 and older in Idaho’s ten northern counties, and Jon Ness, the CEO of Kootenia Health, says it’s the result of many organizations coming together to make it happen:

Jon Ness: “To me, one of the best parts of this project has been to see the extraordinary level of regional collaboration to have this come together…universal support for it in our community by all the agencies, local, regional, and state.”


(Jon Ness, CEO of Kootenai Health)

The Northern Idaho Crisis Center is the second such facility to be funded by the Idaho State Legislature; the first opened in Idaho Falls about a year ago. Governor Butch Otter says the north Idaho facility will save lives:

Governor Butch Otter: “So this is the portal, through which folks are going to come, and through which their lives are going to be saved, but their lives are also going to be changed. their lives are going to be changed in such a direction that families come back together.”


(Idaho Governor Butch Otter addresses crowd at grand opening)

Officials say the work done at the Idaho Falls facility in the past year has saved lives and money and freed up law enforcement to focus on other issues of public safety. It’s estimated that the east Idaho facility has served almost 2,000 people and those who have worked to make the Northern Idaho Crisis Center a reality hope to impact lives in the same way.

I’m Glenn Mosley.

On the web:

Northern Idaho Crisis Center

Posted December 9, 2015




“A Christmas Carol” at the Hartung

The puppets of Gabriel Ponti are just one feature of this year’s U- Idaho production of “A Christmas Carol.” Idaho Public Radio’s Meredith Coba reports. (:52)

Listen here:


It’s the fourth year in a row the Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Idaho has put on the play during the holiday season.

Co- director David-Lee Painter say they love to produce “A Christmas Carol” because they love the story:

David- Lee Painter: “I personally am so drawn to Scrooge’s journey from hard-hearted to loving and open.”


Painter says this year the company put on two special matinees so that more than 800 students from nearby communities could see the play:

David-Lee Painter: “It’s my favorite thing. It’s our Christmas gift to our own community. It’s always surprising to me how many students have never seen a play live before. We see everything on our phones, or at home on the computer, and so to have that immediate response to a piece of theatre can be a trans-formative experience.”

“A Christmas Carol” runs at the Hartung Theatre in Moscow through December 13th.

I’m Meredith Coba reporting.

Posted December 8, 2015


Lots of Interest in Search for Next WSU President

There’s been lots of interest in the search for the next president of Washington State University. Idaho Public Radio’s Alyssa Charlston reports. (:50)

Listen here:


The 11th president of Washington State University should advance WSU’s position as a driver of the state’s economy, help to increase access to higher education, and secure the financial resources needed to meet the university’s goals.

Those are among priorities identified by university stakeholders since the search began in July following the death of WSU President Elson Floyd in June. The feedback was gathered at 26 public meetings and on a related web site.


(Dan Bernardo, formerly the university’s provost and executive vice president, is serving as interim president while the search is being conducted.. Photo from student-led Elson Floyd memorial in the summer of 2015)

The priorities are part of a presidential position profile an executive search firm will use to recruit potential candidates. The search firm will identify the pool of candidates during the next few months for the Presidential Search Advisory Committee to evaluate and consider for recommendation to the Board of Regents.

The Regents expect to name a president by the end of spring semester 2016.


This is Alyssa Charlston reporting.

On the web:

WSU Presidential Search–

Posted December 7, 2015


A Call For A New Science

A report released this fall by the National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education promotes a new way of science. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (1:12)

Listen here:

The report says the nation is at an environmental crossroads, as society is facing a wide array of environmental challenges.

Dr. Lilian Alessa, director of the Center for Resilient Rural Communities at the the University of Idaho, is a member of the national advisory committee that developed the ‘America’s Future’ report. She says the new science is designing resilient landscapes, and accommodating a range of possibilities:

Lilian Alessa: “A cross-disciplinary approach, but also a different approach than ‘this is what the future will be’ to ‘this is what the futures might be.’ And we’ve designed with concrete and steel and we put things in there to last a hundred years. But with the rate things are changing, we need to design a landscape that’s going to be very flexible, very responsive.”


(Dr. Lilian Alessa at the University of Idaho on December 1, 2015)

Meaning, for example– if there were to be a very low precipitation year, how would we fix that with our irrigation designs?

Alessa says the new approach also speaks to a different way of doing science by engaging communities on the ground. Adaptation, she says, is concrete actions by individuals in agreement with each other, on the ground, on a daily basis.

I’m Glenn Mosley.

On the web–

National Science Foundation press release:

University of Idaho Center for Resilient Rural Communities

Dr. Lilian Alesssa:

Posted December 6, 2015



Idaho Counties Pushing ‘Healthy Idaho’ Plan

Idaho counties are backing the ‘Healthy Idaho’ plan. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (1:02)

Listen here:

Back in September, the Idaho Association of Counties voted to support the ‘Healthy Idaho’ plan proposed by Governor Butch Otter’s task force.

And now, Latah County Commissioner Tom Lamar says the counties will be bringing that message to the 2016 Idaho State Legislature:

Tom Lamar: “It’s the Governor’s plan, it’s from his commission, let’s put it to use. It’s an Idaho solution to this problem.”

That problem, according to the counties, is that they’re spending millions of dollars a year in property taxes to provide indigent medical care.

Lamar says that in Latah County alone, the figure is $550,000 this year.

Under the ‘Healthy Idaho’ idea, additional federal money would be used, in part, to help those not covered under Medicaid to purchase health care coverage in the private market, while others would gain coverage through a new Medicaid plan that’s based on personal responsibility and accountability.

Lamar says that without the change, Idaho taxpayers will continue to subsidize care systems in other states that have expanded.

I’m Glenn Mosley.

On the web:

Healthy Idaho




Idaho Dist 5 Lawmakers Preview 2016 Session

The League of Women Voters in Moscow hosted Idaho District 5 state lawmakers Wednesday to preview the 2016 legislative session. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (:   )

Listen here:

State Senator Dan Schmidt says that while unemployment in Idaho is low, the state is in a low wage spiral. He says in the upcoming session he’ll be focused on the living wage:

Sen. Dan Schmidt: “Four years ago we gave a tax break to the top earners in Idaho, and I just don’t believe in the trickle down theory, I’m sorry. I think we need to be focused on young people, starting out, they need our help, and that’s where we should be investing in the state of Idaho.”

Schmidt was one of three District 5 state lawmakers who took questions Wednesday at a League of Women Voters forum in Moscow.

Rep. Paulette Jordan said she’s been focusing on energy issues, natural resources, education, and rural issues.

Rep. Caroline Troy said jobs and wages, roads, and education are among the issues she’s been studying leading up to the session.

The 2016 Idaho State Legislature convenes January 11th.

I’m Glenn Mosley.

On the web:

Idaho State Legislature

League of Women Voters, Moscow

Posted December 2, 2015




Idaho Solar Energy Task Force Meets

The Idaho State Legislature’s Solar Energy Task Force met Monday to talk about possible legislation for the legislative session opening next month. Idaho Public Radio’s Alyssa Charlston  has more. (:43 )

Listen here:

The proposed legislation is similar to a bill that never made it out of committee in 2015– the proposal would allow solar energy developers to pay a three percent tax on the electricity they produce instead of paying property taxes.


State Senator Jeff Siddoway, speaking at the end of Monday’s meeting, was concerned about the state over-producing its energy needs:

Sen. Jeff Siddoway: “You know, we can over-produce our energy needs anymore than we can grow too many potatoes and expect to sell them at a profit.”

But Siddoway said he was likely to support the bill if it is introduced in 2016.

The panel heard from tax officials and solar energy developers during Monday’s meeting, but didn’t take any action on the proposed legislation.

This is Alyssa Charlston reporting.

Posted December 1, 2015

Meeting audio via ‘Idaho in Session,’ Idaho Public Television