News

President Joe Biden

Biden administration drops vaccine-or-test workplace rule

BY: - January 25, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced Tuesday it will withdraw an emergency mandate that would have required employees at large businesses to get the COVID-19 vaccine or test regularly for the virus. The decision from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which will take effect Wednesday, follows a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court earlier […]

Voters enter an elementary school

States weigh how to shield election officials from threats, harassment

BY: - January 25, 2022

Following the turmoil of the 2020 election, a photo of Washington state Election Director Lori Augino marked with crosshairs, her address, and the words “your days are numbered” was posted on a website alongside photos of numerous other state election officials described as “enemies of the people.”   Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman said in […]

Idaho was the 50th state to legalize industrial hemp. Now eight farmers are ready to produce it.

BY: - January 25, 2022

Amid years of historic drought and a push for more sustainable resources to lower carbon emissions, industrial hemp legalization may have come along at just the right time for Idaho agriculture. Hemp is believed to be one of the earliest cultivated crops in modern human history, but it only became legal to grow in Idaho […]

Idaho Supreme Court

Idaho Supreme Court hears arguments in challenge to new congressional district boundaries

BY: - January 24, 2022

Idaho Supreme Court justices spent an hour Monday hearing arguments over whether the new congressional boundaries drawn by the state’s bipartisan redistricting commission should be declared illegal and thrown out. With just five weeks to go before the candidate filing period opens ahead of the 2022 primary elections, the case took on a new sense […]

Photo of Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise

Today in Idaho hospitals and COVID-19 (updated 1/24): Patients, ERs, ICUs

BY: - January 24, 2022

Editor’s note: The Idaho Capital Sun publishes this daily update on Idaho hospitals on weekdays. It took barely two months for Idaho to revert back to crisis standards of care, as hospitals once again fill with COVID-19 patients and grapple with staffing shortages. Idaho Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen activated crisis standards for the […]

A health care worker helps a patient at Saint Al's

Idaho hospitals are in crisis, again. This time, it’s more complicated.

BY: - January 24, 2022

Idaho is once again in a health care crisis. The state’s health and welfare director on Monday announced he re-activated Idaho’s “crisis standards of care” rationing protocol that morning. Saint Alphonsus Health System requested the activation last week, and Idaho Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen convened the Crisis Standards of Care Activation Advisory Committee […]

Sign at a business that says "sorry we're closed"

What happens when thousands of Idahoans get sick? Business takes a hit.

BY: - January 24, 2022

Schools shut down in Nampa. Hospital staff and clinic workers calling out sick. “Out of stock” at restaurants and stores. Limited hours at some Boise city buildings and the Pocatello public library. Idaho has stayed “open” for nearly the entire pandemic. Then omicron arrived; some parts of Idaho’s economy are now struggling to stay open […]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Vice President Mike Pence

With voting rights stalled, some senators mull an update to the Electoral Count Act

BY: - January 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators is exploring legislation to overhaul how Congress counts Electoral College votes, but backers of stalled voting rights legislation are lukewarm on the effort as a substitute. The Electoral Count Act is an obscure law that has come under recent scrutiny, a year after the Jan. 6 attack on […]

Door to the Office of the Attorney General at the Idaho State Capitol building on March 23, 2021.

Have you gotten a letter about unpaid taxes? Make sure it’s not a scam, Idaho officials warn

BY: - January 24, 2022

The Idaho State Tax Commission and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden are warning the public about a scam targeting taxpayers that is meant to intimidate and steal money from residents, according to a press release. Taxpayers have reported receiving threatening letters from the “Tax Processing Center” or “Tax Processing Unit” claiming the state will seize […]

An empty kids classroom

Children encouraged to pen unique story for Idaho Public Television’s KIDS Writers Contest

BY: - January 24, 2022

Kids in Idaho have a chance to pen a story to be judged for uniqueness, language skills, creativity and even illustrations in a contest announced last week by Idaho Public Television. For the 28th year, Idaho Public Television is hosting the Idaho PBS KIDS Writers Contest. The three regional stations across the state — KUID […]

Idaho State Capitol

Legislatures across country back off pandemic protocols

BY: - January 21, 2022

As Dr. Jennifer Bacani McKenney walked the halls of the Kansas Statehouse on opening day of the legislative session this month, she was taken aback by what she saw. In the hallways, where “people are chatting and hugging and all that stuff, there were probably less than half of the people wearing masks … You […]

offshore drilling rig

Expansion in Gulf of Mexico drilling splits U.S. House panel along party lines

BY: - January 20, 2022

As the Biden administration’s move to scrap new oil and gas leases remains in unsettled legal territory, Democrats and Republicans on a U.S. House panel sharply disagreed about the merits of new energy development in the Gulf of Mexico. Democrats on the House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, including Chairman Alan Lowenthal of […]