Monday, March 31, 2014

Idaho Man Sentenced to 25 Years For Shooting at White House

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for a November 2011 shooting incident.
  • Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for a November 2011 shooting incident.

An Idaho man who admitted to firing an assault rifle at the White House in 2011 while President Barack Obama was away on business was sentenced Monday to 25 years behind bars.

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, originally from Idaho Falls, had a background of legal problems and "a history of aberrant behavior," according to federal prosecutors. He had been reported missing for nearly a month by his family prior to the Nov. 11, 2011, incident when he shot at the White House with a semi-automatic weapon.

Ortega-Hernandez had criminal records in Idaho, Texas and Utah, including drug usage, underage drinking, domestic violence, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.

He had originally pleaded not guilty and his lawyers argued in January 2013 that their client had been coerced into making comments to law enforcement shortly after his arrest.

In a federal courtroom Monday, prosecutors had asked for Oretega-Hernandez to spend 27 years in prison, while Oretega-Hernandez's lawyers argued that their client had been suffering from depression and mental stress at the time of the shooting before asking for a 10-year-sentence.

Ultimately, a federal judge sentenced Ortega-Hernandez to spend 25 years in a federal prison.


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UPDATE: Bad Car vs. Motorcyle Accident on Overland, West of Curtis

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 3:37 PM

UPDATE: March 31, 2014 3:30 p.m.

Boise Police said a male motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet when he crashed into a SUV at the intersection of West Overland Road and South Biggs Street just before the noon hour. The SUV was traveling east on Overland and turning north onto Biggs when it crashed into the motorcycle which was traveling west on Overland.

The motorcyclist was rushed to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Although investigators said the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision, police found a helmet strapped to the back of the motorcycle.

ORIGINAL POST: March 31, 2014 1:30 p.m.

The Boise Police Department's crash reconstruction team has been on the scene through much of the afternoon, following a bad vehicle versus motorcycle crash that restricted traffic on Overland Road down to one lane in each direction.


A male motorcyclist has been taken to a local hospital, where his injuries are life-threatening.


Police said the motorcyclist collided with a sport utility vehicle at the intersection of Overland and South Biggs Street, just west of South Curtis Road at approximately 11:51 a.m.


Additional information was not immediately available, but the on-scene investigation continues.



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Police Blotter: Nightclub Drug Bust and Restaurant Employee Charged With Battery on Police

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 2:15 PM



Tuc Huynh, 29, is charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting and obstructing.

A Garden City woman is behind bars, charged with a felony count of battery on a law enforcement officer. Boise Police say they were summoned to a restaurant in the 7300 block of West State Street March 29. That's where a victim told police that they had been assaulted by an employee of the restaurant after complaining about poor service. Police said they observed that the victim had suffered a bruise to the jaw, allegedly coming from a hit to the face.

When police went to speak with the restaurant employee, they say the suspect grabbed a butter knife and "stepped back into a fighting stance, verbally challenging the officers." After being handcuffed, police said the suspect kicked an officer twice in the leg.

Tuc Huynh, 29, of Garden City was booked into the Ada County Jail on charges of battery on law enforcement and resisting and obstructing.


Cutler Christensen, 18, is charged with possession of marijuana, hydrocodone and darvocet with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.

  • Courtesy Ada County Sheriff's Office
  • Cutler Christensen, 18, is charged with possession of marijuana, hydrocodone and darvocet with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Boise Police also report that In the late evening hours of March 28, they were called to a night club near North Collister Drive and West State Street for a report of possible drug sales at the business. Witnesses told police that a male suspect had been attempting to sell marijuana.

Police say when they questioned the suspect, the found the man to be possession of seven different packages of marijuana, 27 hydrocodone pills and 27 darvocet pills. He was also reportedly in possession of a glass smoking pipe.

Cutler Christensen, 18, of Meridian is charged with felony counts of marijuana possession with intent to deliver, and possession of hydrocodone and darvocet with intent to deliver. He was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.


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WCA and Two Men and a Truck Collect Goods for Mother's Day

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 10:58 AM

WCA Executive Director Bea Black and Two Men and a Truck Marketing Manager Lynda Bruns kick off a collection drive for Mother's Day with the help of moving mascot "Trucky." - JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri
  • WCA Executive Director Bea Black and Two Men and a Truck Marketing Manager Lynda Bruns kick off a collection drive for Mother's Day with the help of moving mascot "Trucky."


Bea Black, executive director of the Women’s and Children’s Alliance, had a warm smile when she talked about the community support for victims of domestic violence.

“The fact that someone who they don’t even know cares about them, that’s huge for them,” Black said. “It helps their sense of support and their self confidence.”

For this coming Mother’s Day, that support will come from moving company Two Men and a Truck. The Boise franchise set up 20 boxes at local businesses around town to collect dishes, silverware, robes, slippers, toiletries and bedding for women staying at the WCA shelters. Two Men and a Truck will collect the boxes on Thursday, May 8, and deliver the goods to the shelter. They call the drive Movers for Moms.

“When they’re ready to move, these women can take these items with them to use in their own place,” Black said. “It’s an important way to help them start over.”

Corporate Pillars Manager for WCA Lisa Uhlmann said WCA’s relationship with Two Men and a Truck started in the summer of 2012, only months after the franchise opened in Boise.

“They were the only moving company that answered,” Uhlmann said. “They’ve never said no to us.”

Two Men and a Truck participate in a $3,000-$5,000 corporate sponsorship, where the company picks up furniture donated to WCA’s thrift shop and shelters, stores WCA’s supplies in their warehouse and helps women move from the shelter into new homes at discounted prices. A non-discounted residential move costs $500 on average.

This spring marks Two Men and a Truck’s second year of Movers for Moms in Boise, and the seventh year nationwide. Last year, the company collected more than 210,000 donated items across 30 states.

The WCA houses an average of 20 women and 20 children at two shelters, as well as offering legal help, case management, counseling and a hot line. Donated goods can be dropped off at D.L. Evans Bank locations, Nature’s Childcare, Silverstone Library, Meridian Library, The Learning Garden and Bank of the Cascades.
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Cable One Says It's Ready to Add BBC, Sundance, if Viacom Pulls Plug on Comedy Central, Nickelodeon

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Facing a midnight deadline when the current contract between Cable One and Viacom expires, Cable One is already dangling out a number of other channels that it may add to its lineup if Viacom pulls the plug on its 15 networks—including BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodoen, Spike, TV Land and VH-1.


Cable One CEO Tom Might insists that his company has been negotiating diligently with Viacom, but "despite our best efforts, Viacom is still asking for a rate increase greater than 100 percent to continue carrying all 15 of their networks, even though the ratings are down since 2010 on 12 of their networks."


Meanwhile, Viacom Executive Vice President Carole Robison said Cable One was "continuing to stall our conversations rather than work collaboratively and quickly toward a compromise."


If indeed Viacom's networks disappear from Cable One, the cable provider says it is considering adding a number of higher-rated channels that viewers have requested, including BBC America, Sprout, Hallmark Channel, National Geographic, Sundance and others.



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KBOI-TV: Meridian Paramedic College Closes, Owner Blames Obamacare

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 9:29 AM

A number of students, only weeks away from graduating with certification to become paramedics, have been left in the lurch after the Guardian College announced last week that it would be shutting its doors in Meridian and not graduating the current class of would-be paramedics.


KBOI-TV reports that the school was shuttered March 25 due to what owners called "changing federal regulations with students loans," pushing enrollment down.


"You want to know the real reason why I had to close the school? It was because of Obamacare," school owner Laralei Sterkle told KBOI-TV. "They took away private student loans that you would go to Wells Fargo to get, you wouldn't have to pay until you finished your classes."


The current class of paramedics, which had begun in September 2013 and was slated for graduation in early May, is scrambling and the owner insists that she's working with the Idaho Department of Education to "try to work out a way to get students refunds and to find a school that would let her students finish out their work," according to KBOI-TV.


Meanwhile, the owner said she would make sure that the students receive a copy of their current transcripts.



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Mega-Loads Set to Visit Idaho Panhandle Next

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 9:20 AM

With previous mega-load shipments rolling through every other corner of Idaho, it may soon be Bonner County's turn to see oversized shipments, as plans are under way to move three massive pieces of equipment across the Panhandle to a refinery in Great Falls, Mont.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that permits are being developed by the Idaho Transportation Department, which could allow three 1.6 million pound hydrocracker segments. Hydrocracking units upgrade low-quality gas oil into high-quality jet fuel, diesel and gasoline.

The preferred route would see the loads enter Idaho near Lewiston, travel on U.S. 95 through Moscow and Coeur d'Alene, but then do some creative maneuvering around Sandpoint. The mega-loads are too big to travel on sections of U.S. 95 near the Bonner County community, and therefore, they would need to roll through the city's business loop before accessing Highway 200 and traveling east.

The mega-loads would travel between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., seven days a week.


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Oregon Aproves Licenses For 22 Medical Pot Shops; More to Come

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Oregon now has 22 medical marijuana shops, all licensed with the state's blessing.

Oregon Senate Bill 1531, signed into law by Gov. John Kitzhaber earlier this month, gives cities and counties until May 1 to block any medical marijuana stores that set up shop. Otherwise, the Oregon Health Authority was licensing pot to be packaged in child-proof containers and sold over the counter.

And as of this morning, the Oregon Health Authority had approved 22 locations—14 dispensaries given the OK late Friday, on top of eight others approved last week.

The Associated Press reports that the city of Portland has the most shops (nine), followed by Eugene (five). The cities of Bend and Salem have two each, and there is one medical pot shop each in the cities of Corvallis, Hermiston and Springfield. An additional shop declined to have its location disclosed.

Additionally, 41 applicants have been granted provisional licenses until their security systems are in place.

And presumably, there are more to come—the agency said it had processed 102 of 301 applications submitted since the beginning of March.


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Thousands in Exchange 'Waiting Room' on Final Day of 2014 Open Enrollment

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Thousands of visitors had already been put into virtual waiting rooms early today, to ease the crush of visitors to HealthCare.gov on this, the final day of open enrollment to secure health insurance via the online Obamacare exchange. But facilitators are doing everything they can to turn those "visitors" into "enrolees."

But the website is finishing its first open enrollment period much like it began last fall—with technical problems. At one point, early today, visitors to HealthCare.gov were told that the system "was down for maintenance" and to "please try again later." Officials pushed back, saying the website was typically down for maintenance during the early morning hours, but because of some technical problems, that down-time was extended an additional three hours.

Meanwhile, the White House says interest was "surging" as the deadline neared, with nearly 2 million visitors this past weekend.

And for those who have begun, but not completed, the process of enrollment, there's good news. HealthCare.gov or a call center representative will be able to continue the process after tonight's deadline passes.

President Barack Obama said March 27 that more than 6 million people had enrolled through federal or state health exchanges, a goal projected by the Congressional Budget Office to ensure the system is sustainable.


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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Journal: Idaho Auditorium District Partnering With Urban Renewal Agency to Bond Event Center

Posted By on Sun, Mar 30, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Officials at the Greater Boise Auditorium District—one of the few taxing entities outside of state of Idaho, counties and local municipalities—will be keeping a close watch on a unique bonding arrangement to fund an Eastern Idaho event center.

The Idaho State Journal reports that the Pocatello/Chubbuck Auditorium District secured judicial confirmation from Sxith District Judge Stephen Dunn that the district could pay off bonds in order to have full ownership of the land and facility rather than having another entity build the facility and lease it back to the district.

But the bonding will need the help of a third party because Idaho law doesn't allow larger auditorium districts, which already collect hotel-motel room taxes, to bond on their own. So the Pocatello/Chubbuck Auditorium District needed to reach out to the Chubbuck Development Authority, their region's urban renewal agency, to serve as a conduit to secure the bond in order to fund construction.

The State Journal reports that the Eastern Idaho auditorium district plans to build a 40,000-square-foot facility that will primarily host athletic events. Construction bid packages are expected to be ready by mid April.


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