Monday, September 30, 2013

Labrador Makes Eighth Appearance on Meet the Press

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Raul Labrador appeared on the Sept. 29 edition of NBC's Meet the Press; and if you're keeping count, yes, that's eight appearances since first coming to the U.S. House in 2011.

As expected, Labrador was touted as a Tea Party favorite and became the GOP voice in a roundtable debate swirling around House Republican's efforts to hold up a federal budget by attempting to strip any funding away from the Affordable Care Act.

"The question is: Is the law ready at this time? It's not ready for prime time at this moment," said Labrador. I would completely get rid of the law, but all we're asking in the House is a one-year delay. I don't think that's unreasonable."

But when Meet the Press moderator David Gregory challenged Labrador, saying "[House Speaker] John Boehner doesn't agree with you. He doesn't want to shut down," Labrador pushed back.

"You're saying I want to shut down the government. I don't want to shut it down," said Labrador.

Pressing on, Gregory asked the Idaho Congressman, "When is a law legitimate? Would it be appropriate for the President of the [democratically controlled] Senate to say, 'Let's go back and overturn a Regan-era law?"

"Democrats spent the entire Bush administration trying to repeal the Bush tax cuts," responded Labrador. "It's not as if Republicans and Democrats don't fight about their policies. That's what politics is all about."

But MSNBC's Chris Matthews, another Meet the Press panelist, also challenged Labrador.

"Yes, what you do in politics is fight, but the question is: Do you play by the rules and eventually move forward? Or do you keep going over the old terrain, making non-negotiable demands?"

"If you look at last night's Twitter, there wasn't a single Republican on twitter saying, 'Let's shut down the government,' but every single Democrat was saying, 'The Republicans want to shut down the government,'" said Labrador. "Let's be really honest about this. The other side would like to see Republicans in trouble in 2014. They won't even meet us half way.

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Are You Ready? What's At Risk in Tuesday's Threatened Shutdown

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Since 1977, there have been 17 shutdowns of the federal government, according to the Congressional Research Service, so veterans of federal agencies have a pretty good idea what may in store this week when the U.S. government officially begins a new fiscal year Tuesday, Oct. 1, without a budget in place. Most shutdowns have lasted no more than three days, some lasted less than a day. And most people remember when the U.S. government was shut down for 21 days from Dec. 16, 1995 to Jan. 5, 1996, the longest government shutdown in history.

But it's important to remember who would stay home and who would need to report to work if a stopgap spending measure is not put into place by the U.S. Congress.

Perhaps most importantly the new state-run exchanges for the uninsured will open as scheduled Tuesday, Oct. 2, even if there is a government shutdown. Much like Social Security or Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act is a permanent entitlement that isn't subject to annual funding by Congress.

Seniors will continue to get their Social Security benefits because it is a mandatory spending program.

Unemployment benefits will also continue to be paid as the Employment and Training Administration continues to provide its essential functions, according to the Department of Labor.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, are funded through the Recovery Act and those funds don't expire for another year. However, no money would be available to pay the WIC benefits. But because WIC is administered by states, some state funds might be available.

Federally-backed loans are in jeopardy. President Barack Obama has said federal loans for rural communities, small business owners or families hoping to buy a home would be frozen.

Taxes will continue to be collected but tax refunds are expected to be delayed and taxpayer assistance would come to a halt.

David Cox, the president of the American Federation of Government Employees is estimating that between 800,000 and 1 million federal employees could be furloughed.

That would include the following: national park employees, pesticide regulators, labor statisticians, renewable energy researchers, investigators of health care fraud and abuse, budget analysts, federal auto inspectors, actuaries in the Social Security Administration, trainers at Homeland Security, attorneys at the Department of Justice and public affairs officers at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

And yes, the President would be paid during a shutdown.

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Downtown Boise Street Fight Lands Pair Behind Bars

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 9:48 AM

David Avila, 26 (left), and Francisco Avila, 30 (right), are each charged with aggravated battery and battery. David Avila is also charged with battery on an officer.
  • Courtesy Ada County Sheriff's Office
  • David Avila, 26 (left) and Francisco Avila, 30 (right) are each charged with aggravated battery and battery. David Avila is also charged with battery on an officer.

Two men from Ontario, Ore., are behind bars at the Ada County lockup following a weekend fight in downtown Boise.

Boise Police responded to a report of a fight in a parking lot near Grove and Sixth streets in the early morning hours of Sept. 29. That's where witnesses told police that the suspects had struck a female before bystanders tried to stop the fight. Then, according to statements, the suspects began fighting with the witnesses. One victim suffered a face laceration and other injuries.

According to police, during a search one of the suspects intentionally blew blood and mucus out of his nose onto the officer's face and body.

26-year-old David Avila and 30-year-old Francisco Avila, both of Ontario, Ore., were each charged with aggravated battery and battery. David Avila was also charged with battery on an officer.

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GOP, Dems Mourn Passing of Cenarrusa

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Leaders from both sides of the political aisle are mourning the passing of 95-year-old Pete Cenarrusa, who held elected office in Idaho for more than five decades and died Sept. 29. Cenarrusa had been battling lung cancer.

"He was an Idaho original, and I was among many in state government—on both sides of the aisle—who benefited greatly from his advice, counsel and friendship. It’s hard to imagine Idaho politics without Pete there," said Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter. "He loved the arena—encouraging public involvement, standing firm on his principles, gently nudging us all toward doing the right thing, and keeping us anchored in reality."

Cenarrusa was first elected to the Idaho House of Representatives in 1950, serving nine terms, including three terms as Speaker. Governor Don Samuelson appointed him Idaho Secretary of State in 1967. He stayed in that post until 2003 when he retired.

"Pete was the longest serving elected official in Idaho history and he also was the the most loyal—loyal to his constituents, his Basque heritage, his family, and everyone whose life he touched, including mine," said Boise Mayor Dave Bieter. "I am proud to have worked with Pete to support Basque culture while in the Idaho legislature and to have been his friend. His passing is an enormous loss for Idaho. There will never be another Pete Cenarrusa. My heart goes out to his family."

Cenarrusa is survived by his wife, daughter-in-law Jean Cenarrusa-Jacobson and her husband Greg, two grandsons and two great grandchildren. One of the great grandchildren, a boy, was born Sept. 28, the day before Cenarrusa's death. A son, Joe Cenarrusa, died in an aircraft accident in 1997.

Cenarrusa's body will lie in state, Thursday, October 2 from noon to 6 p.m. and a vigil will be held later that same evening, at 7 p.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church on State Street. A funeral mass is set for Friday morning at St. Mary's, followed by a reception at the Basque Center. Burial is scheduled for Saturday, October 4 at 11 a.m. at Bellevue Cemetery.

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UPDATE: No Survivors In California Jet Crash, Originated in Idaho

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 9:36 AM

UPDATE: 3 p.m. Sept. 30

An official with California-based Morley Construction said its company CEO, Mark Benjamin and his son were aboard the jet that crashed Sunday evening into a hangar after landing at the Santa Monica Municipal Airport. Luke Benjamin was a senior project manager at the firm.

A National Transportation Safety Board official said that officials didn't think there was a flight manifest and the plane could have held up to 10 people.

ORIGINAL POST: 9 a.m. Sept. 30

Emergency responders in Santa Monica, Calif., say they were no survivors of Sept. 29 nighttime crash of a private jet that had taken off from Hailey's Friedman Memorial Airport.

"This was an unsurvivable crash," Santa Monica Fire Dept. Captain John Nevandro told the media the night of Sept. 29, adding that the number of people aboard the jet was still undetermined. The jet was designed to hold eight passengers and two crew members.

The Associated Press reports that that the twin-enbgine Cessna Citation, originating in Hailey, landed at Santa Monica Municipal Airport at approximately 6:20 p.m., Pacific Time, but struck an airport hangar, triggering a huge fire. Eventually, the hangar collapsed in flames around the aircraft.

"It was a total loss,'' Fire Department spokeswoman Bridgett Lewis told the AP.

The jet, a Cessna 525A manufactured in 2003, is registered to a Malibu, Calif., address and its corporate owner, Creative Real Estate Exchange, is based in Birmingham, Ala., and Atlanta, according to FAA public records.

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Mountain Express: $72K for Idaho Wolf Depredation

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 9:35 AM

$72,000 has been distributed to Idaho ranchers who experienced livestock losses due to wolf depredation in 2012.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that the eight-member Idaho State Wolf Depredation Compensation Board, part of the Governor's Office of Species Conservation, made the compensation based on verifications from the federal Wildlife Service agency. The losses included 12 cows, 44 calves, 138 ewes, 66 lambs, two rams and one dog.

The U.S. Congress created the Wolf Livestock Loss Demonstration Project in 2009, which provides for $1 million in annual funds to states and Indian tribes. For 2012, Idaho received $80,000 for loss compensation claims and $50,000 to fund prevention projects. The Idaho board received only $72,000 in loss claims for the year.

The Idaho board is expected to decide on how to spend its prevention funds at a future meeting.

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Mountain Roundup Will Roar Over Treasure Valley, Beginning Today

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 9:33 AM

More than 600 U.S., Canadian and German airmen and ground support will participate in Mountain Roundup.
  • Courtesy: Mountain Home Air Force Base
  • More than 600 U.S., Canadian and German airmen and ground support will participate in Mountain Roundup.

Residents should notice quite a bit more military aircraft over the Treasure Valley in the coming weeks. Beginning today, a multinational combined-joint exercise, dubbed Mountain Roundup 2013, gets underway and will continue through Saturday, Oct. 19.

More than 100 visiting aircraft have already arrived at Mountain Home Air Force Base as more than 300 Germans and Canadians join an equal number of U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force to participate in ground operations, close-air support, convoy operations, basic fighter maneuvers and air-to-air training.

In addition to the F-15E and F-15SG Strike Eagles assigned here, multiple EA-18G Growlers, F-15C Eagles, GR1 and GR4 Tornados, F-16 Falcons, A-10 Warthogs, F-18 Hornets, AV-8B Harriers, KC-135 Stratotankers, KC-130 Hercules, B-1B Lancers, CH-60 and CH-64 Blackhawks, and other NATO-, German- and U.S.-support aircraft will be participating.

“Inexperienced aircrews profit from simply being airborne with 80 to 100 other aircraft; from the extremely busy radios to the complex plans addressing airspace and target area conflicts with other aircraft," said U.S. Air Force Maj. Tapan Sen, 366th Figure Wing Weapons and Tactics Flight commander. “Virtually any contingency operation involving the U.S. Air Force will also involve joint partners and, in all probability, contain coalition partners,” he said.

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Nez Perce to Mega-Load Haulers: 'Make Them Take Us All On'

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 9:31 AM

The three-day meeting of the General Council of the Nez Perce Tribe, held at the tribe's Wa A Yas Commuity Center in Kamiah, considered multiple issues including natural resources and health care, but the ongoing feud about mega-loads garnered the most ire.

"Everything here is ours—it's never been for sale," said Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee Chairman Silas Whitman, pounding a fist on a podium.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that almost the entirety of the September 29 session of the twice-yearly general council meeting centered on strategies to halt future mega-load shipments from rolling across U.S. Highway 12 in north central Idaho, which includes the Wild and Scenic River Corridor. A number of tribal members were arrested in a series of protests in early August as a giant load of equipment crawled through native land.

"We cannot repeat that again," told the general council. "Make them take us all on."

The Tribune reports that "countless tribal members" gave impassioned testimony about the August protests.

Meanwhile the U.S. Forest Service has issued a formal order to block future mega-load shipments across U.S. 12 until the agency can complete an analysis of the impact of the massive shipments on the corridor. The order requires a hauler to either seek another route to gets its equipment to the tar sands oil fields in Alberta, Canada, or to hold tight until its study can be completed.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

One Suspect Arrested in Connection with Break-In, Beating at Eagle Home; Second Suspect Sought

Posted By on Sat, Sep 28, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Duane W. Roche, 46, is in Ada County lockup on felony charges of robbery, aggravated battery and drug possession in connection with a robbery at an Eagle home.
  • Courtesy Ada County Sheriff's Office
  • Duane W. Roche, 46, is in Ada County lockup on felony charges of robbery, aggravated battery and drug possession in connection with a robbery at an Eagle home.

A Meridian man is behind bars today, arrested in connection with the robbery of a home in Eagle on Sept. 27.

Duane W. Roche was arrested Sept. 27 after Eagle police and sheriff's deputies pulled him over on Idaho 44 in Star, driving a pickup truck containing items taken from a home located in the 10000 block W. Claudia Road.

Roche, 46, is being held in the Ada County Jail on felony charges of robbery, aggravated battery and possession of a controlled substance.

Police say Roche broke into the home and attacked a male resident—hitting the man with enough force to inflict severe head trauma and choking him to the point that he almost lost consciousness. Officials added that Roche is known to the victim, who was treated at a local hospital.

As of Sept. 27, a woman who was with Roche at the time of the robbery had been located but not charged in connection with the case. Another man who was with Roche at the time of the robbery is still at large.

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Winning Bid Announced in Snake River Canyon Jump Stunt

Posted By on Sat, Sep 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Big Ed Beckley has almost $1 million that says hell jump the Snake River Canyon.
  • "Big Ed" Beckley has almost $1 million that says he'll jump the Snake River Canyon.

In 1974 iconic daredevil Evel Knievel tried—and failed—to jump the Snake River Canyon near Twin Falls. Now, nearly 40 years later, "Big Ed" Beckley, of Texas, is putting his (sizable) amount of money where his mouth is with a new attempt to succeed where Knievel failed.

Beckley bid $943,000 to the Idaho Department of Lands to secure a two-year lease on a block of more than 1,100 acres of state endowment trust land on the north side of the canyon, where a landing site for his jump attempt will be located.

The winning bid, announced by land managers on Sept. 27, beat out five other contenders. The money from the lease will benefit public schools.

Beckley, owner of Beckley Media, is a longtime motorcycle jumper famous not only for his feats (he beat a Knievel distance jumping record in 1974) but his size—weighing in at just under 300 pounds, Beckley, 62, is billed as the "world's largest motorcycle jumper."

Other applicants included Illinois-based REO Development Group; Ping Pong Productions Inc., of Los Angeles; Adrenaline Nation, of Perris, Calif.; and Twin Falls-based Omega Point Productions, owned by two brothers whose father built the steam rocket that Knievel used in his failed 1974 attempt to jump the canyon. All five competed for rights to use the land—owned by the state endowment trust—in a live oral auction in Boise on Sept. 27.

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