Author Archives: idahopublicradio2014

Idaho Travels to South Alabama

Idaho football opens Sun Belt plat on Saturday. Idaho Public Radio’s Kavita Battan has more. (:44)


Idaho football is coming off a loss to Western Michigan last week, but coach Paul Petrino says he was proud of the team’s effort:

Paul Petrino: “You know, I was really proud the way our team went up there and just competed there. I thought they played really hard. I thought we made great strides between our second and third game. You know, that’s the team that played in the Cotton Bowl last year that was leading USC. I just thought we over-achieved with great effort and attitude. We did it for three quarters but we weren’t able to sustain that overachievement.”

Idaho begins Sun Belt Conference play Saturday at South Alabama. The Jaguars opened the season with losses to Ole Miss and Oklahoma State, while picking up a win against Alabama A&M.

Kick-off Saturday is at 11:00 a.m. PT.

I’m Kavita Battan reporting.

Posted September 21, 2017



Idaho Football Moves on to Western Michigan

Idaho Football lost to UNLV last Saturday, but hopes to rebound against Western Michigan this week. Idaho Public Radio’s Olivia Heersink has more. (:33)


Idaho is 1 and 1 on the season, and coach Paul Petrino says the team didn’t play as well as it was expecting to play last week against UNLV:

Paul Petrino:

Western Michigan has opened the season with road losses against USC and Michigan State. Saturday is Western Michigan’s home opener.

I’m Olivia Heersink reporting.


(Audio via Sun Belt Sports Teleconference, September 11, 2017)

Posted September 14, 207


Idaho Hosts UNLV Saturday at the Kibbie Dome

Vandal Football and UNLV played last season in what many consider the win that turned the season around for the Vandals. the two teams meet again Saturday. Idaho Public Radio’s Melanie Leija has more. (:46)



Idaho won its season opener against Sacramento State and now hosts UNLV at the Kibbie Dome Saturday.

UNLV lost its season opener last week, but Idaho coach Paul Petrino says he knows UNLV will be ready to play this week:

Paul Petrino: “You know, they played a lot better in that game when you watch it on film than all the publicity that was given to ’em. Their new quarterback, Rogers, made a whole bunch of plays, played really well. their receiver, Boyd, had a good game. Lexington Thomas at running back had a great game. They did a lot of good things in that game.”

Idaho has won six games in a row, including the final five games of the 2016 season. It is Idaho’s first six-game win streak since 1994, and tied for the sixth-longest winning streak in program history.

I’m Melanie Leija reporting.

Posted September 7, 2017

Audio via Sun Belt Sports Teleconference, September 4, 2017



Phase-Out of DACA program

Idaho leaders today are reacting to news from the White House that President Trump has ordered a phasing-out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which has offered protections to young, undocumented immigrants.

“I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents,” President Trump said in a statement. “But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.”

U.S. Capitol

President Trump urged Congress to replace it before the phasing out begins March 5, 2018.

“Officials from 10 States are suing over the program, requiring my Administration to make a decision regarding its legality,” Mr. Trump said. “The Attorney General of the United States, the Attorneys General of many states, and virtually all other top legal experts have advised that the program is unlawful and unconstitutional and cannot be successfully defended in court.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement from the Department of Justice. “I am here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded,” Mr. Sessions said.

President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order in 2012 to establish the program. About 788,000 people received protections under the program.

Idaho was one of the ten states that urged the federal government to phase out DACA and threatening to sue if it wasn’t. Idaho Governor Butch Otter was the only governor who joined the ten state attorneys general.

“I appreciate the Attorney General’s recognition of the constitutional problems with the Obama Administration’s executive action,” Mr. Otter said in a statement today. “I also support the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to phase out the DACA program in a way that will minimize the impact on current DACA beneficiaries. In the meantime, I call on Congress to redouble its efforts to restore the effectiveness of and public confidence in our nation’s immigration system.”

“I’ve long held that DACA was created through an unconstitutional executive order because – under the Constitution – the responsibility of creating immigration policy falls squarely on Congress,” Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said in a statement. “However, the root of this entire issue is Congress’s failure to pass a law that takes into account the needs of everyday families, especially those families whose ties cross international borders.

“This announcement from the administration paves the way for our federal lawmakers to finally step up and deal with this very important issue once and for all,” Mr. Wasden said.

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador, Chairman of the House Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee, said, “I have consistently opposed DACA because it’s an unconstitutional program that undermines the rule of law. President Obama did not have the authority to create DACA; only Congress could establish such a program.

“I applaud President Trump for respecting the Constitution and keeping a campaign promise,” Mr. Labrador said.  “Through his action today, President Trump is creating leverage for larger immigration reform, which should include border wall funding and stronger interior enforcement. As Chairman of the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee, I will continue working with my colleagues and the Administration on fixing all aspects of our broken immigration system.”

Idaho U.S. Senator Mike Crapo said, “The appropriate treatment of children brought to the United States illegally at a young age is one of the key issues we must deal with in immigration reform legislation. However, the DACA program was created unconstitutionally without the public accountability and deliberation provided by an act of Congress.  There is urgent need for Congress to enact rational, comprehensive immigration policy.  To ensure widespread confidence and long-term sustainability, reforms must be done through a public process that includes the American people, Congress, and the Administration. Today’s announcement by the Administration returns the decision-making for immigration policy, including the DACA program, to the people’s representatives in Congress for action.”

The ACLU of Idaho said in a statement today that “Our nation is strongest when every one of us can contribute and share ideas, and when everyone’s basic rights and dignity are respected. The DACA program does just that, enabling young Dreamers to fully participate in their education, work, and family life, and to contribute to our nation’s social fabric and economic engine.

“The President failed in taking moral leadership to protect the lives of nearly 800,000 young aspiring Americans living in the United States under DACA status.  DACA served as the lifeline for immigrants who came here as children seeking a better future, and now the threat of deportation hangs over their heads.”


Posted September 5, 2017


Idaho Opens 2017 Football Season

Idaho football opens its 2017 season Thursday night in Moscow. Here is Idaho Public Radio’s Bailey O’Bryant with more on that. (:40)


It’s a weeknight opener for Vandal football at the Kibbie Dome tonight, and coach Paul Petrino says he likes Thursday night games:

Paul Petrino:  “It’s great for recruiting because everyone’s at home watching the game. I think it’s nice because you get a couple of extra days to prepare for the next game. And, our guys are really excited. Hopefully, we get the dome filled, be loud, and it’ll be a real fun night.”

Idaho comes into this season with high hopes after winning six of its last seven games and a bowl game in 2016. Petrino says the team had a good fall camp and has a four-year starter at quarterback in Matt Linehan and a fast and talented defense.

Game time at the Kibbie Dome tonight is 6:00 p.m. pacific time.

I’m Bailey O’Bryant reporting.

Audio via Sun Belt Conference Teleconference, August 28, 2017

Posted August 28, 2017


Here Comes the Total Solar Eclipse

Here comes the total solar eclipse– Monday, August 21, 2017.

“People travel all over the world to see solar eclipses, and this one will happen right here in our area,” University of Idaho Department of Physics Professor Jason Barnes said. “It’s not necessarily a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but it’s close.”

In Moscow a partial eclipse begins at 9:12 a.m. The maximum eclipse will be at 10:27 a.m. The partial eclipse will end at about 11:47 a.m.

“What’s remarkable is that the sun and the moon are almost the same size as seen from Earth,” UI Physics Professor Matt Hedman said. “The eccentricity of the moon’s orbit means that the moon’s distance to Earth goes up and down by about 5 percent. And that 5 percent is enough to change from not quite covering the sun to just barely more than covering the sun, a total eclipse. But since it is only just barely covering the sun’s disk, it allows us to see the sun’s corona.”

The ‘Path of Totality’ runs right through Idaho.

“Several places in Idaho – Weiser, Cascade, Idaho Falls, Rexburg – lie inside the band of totality,” Barnes said. “But everyone in the state will see a large part of the sun obscured. It will be 94% covered from Moscow and 98 to 99% covered from Boise. It’s 59% even in Maine – over 50% of the sun will be covered from every location in the continental US.”

Researchers from the UI College of Natural Resources developed a map that shows the likelihood of clear viewing of the solar eclipse coming Monday.  The map was developed using 16 years of satellite observations from the MODIS sensor onboard NASA’s Terra Satellite.


Safe viewing tips from NASA Goddard:

The challenge of the August 21 date for Idaho fire managers and land managers is that it is in the middle of wildfire season. Resources have been deployed in the event of a wildfire, but the Idaho Transportation Department offered these tips:

  1. Before leaving, look under your car and check for hanging parts. Mufflers often get knocked loose and can hang low to the ground.
  2. If you are towing a trailer or camper, ensure safety chains are fastened and not dragging.
  3. Don’t drive or park on tall grass.  Contact with dry grass can easily start a fire.
  4. Don’t throw out lit cigarettes.

Posted August 19, 2017.


Idaho Higher Education Task Force: “A Big Job in Front of Us”

Bob Lokken, the co-chair of Idaho’s Task Force on Higher Education, told the task force Friday that “We have a big job in front of us.”

The task force has been working for several months now on the challenge of increasing the rate of Idaho residents who go on to further their education after high school.


(The task force met June 9, 2017 in Boise. Screen grab from Boise State University Television)

“There are roughly 100,000 students in our higher ed system today,” Lokken said in opening today’s meeting at Boise State University. “Assuming that we get a little bit more efficient at producing degrees and lessening drop-out rate, we’re probably talking around additional 40,000 students enrolled in higher ed at the point we get to 60%. That’s effectively two more Boise State Universities.”

What would that system look like in Idaho, delivering education to 40,000 more people than it does right now?

When Idaho Governor Butch Otter announced the state’s Task Force on Higher Education back in January, he said, “We seek to make more rapid progress toward our “Go On” goal of 60 percent of Idahoans between the ages of 25 and 34 attaining a postsecondary degree or certification by 2020. We know that Idaho’s future economic prosperity depends on our ability to develop a more skilled and educated workforce.”

On February 1, Otter announced the 36 members of the task force and said it would be co-chaired by Lokken, CEO of WhiteCloud Analytics Inc. and chairman of the Idaho Business for Education board of directors, and Dr. Linda Clark, vice president of the State Board of Education.

Lokken said Friday that the numbers are significant. He said the state is spending about $1.1 billion on higher education, and if the state is going to increase degrees by 50%, “it’s hard for me to imagine how we’re going to grow the budget by 50%.”

Lokken said one-third of that budget comes from tuition, one-third comes from state fees, and one-third from grants. “The magnitude of the problem we’re dealing with is starting to take shape,” he said.

Among the issues the task force is looking at is the demographics of the 40,000 people not continuing their education in some way– what are the needs of that group, in addition to the needs of the 100,000 people already in?

Some members also talked about achieving the 60% goal in 2025.

Task force members said today they had been talking about the perception of the value of education beyond high school, college and career advising, dual-credit classes, online education, the academic rigor during the senior year of high school, post-secondary recruitment and retention, marketing, and the cost of education.

“Today education is facing a huge technology change, just as agriculture did,” Idaho State Board of Education President Emma Atchley said. “We must embrace it and we must go forward with it.”

One task force committee discussed online and digital learning as a new delivery system, designed specifically to address “the access and affordability problems inherent in the geography bound group of people who are not getting on to secondary education.” Committee members discussed an online portal system to improve access to people who can’t move to a campus to continue their education.

Another idea that came up during conversation is a 24/7 coaching center to get information to people as they need it, to improve recruitment and retention.

What’s needed, Lokken said, is a realistic road map. The task force has to come up with recommendations that have a viable chance of getting acted upon and have a viable chance of getting the state to the 60% goal.

“When you look at the scope of the 60% goal,” Lokken said, “I think we as a task force have a choice we’re going to be making over the next couple of months. We’re either going to have to go bold, and have a shot, even though we don’t know how maybe all the pieces would come together in the final game, or we’re going to go modest, and we might score some victories, but it’s unlikely we would get to 60%.”

Posted June 9, 2017