Bruce Marchant has accepted a plea deal in the killing of Sierra/Simon Bush.
Bruce Marchant, the man charged with the kidnapping, rape and murder of Boise State University student Sierra/Simon Bush, has accepted a plea deal with prosecutors, The Idaho Statesmanreports. Marchant, 62, plead guilty to first-degree murder Sept. 5. According to Bush's stepfather, Bart Green, the family met with the Ada County Prosecutor's Office prior to the office offering Marchant a deal. Marchant faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, and as part of the agreement, he has waived his right to appeal his conviction. Bush went missing in September 2016, and the student's body was found in a creek near Idaho City the next month.
The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has extended a statewide air quality advisory, prohibiting all campfires, recreational fires, weed control and residential burning. The proscription against outdoor fires will remain in effect until 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 8, when IDEQ will reassess air quality in each Idaho county. Air quality in Boise ranges from "moderate" at Boise Fire Station #5 to "unhealthy" at St. Luke's on Eagle Road.
More than 60 local school districts, the State of Idaho and a host of "education providers" have reached a $3.5 million settlement with the Federal Communications Commission over the collapse of the controversial Idaho Education Network. IEN provided internet services linking every high school in Idaho, but Syringa Networks successfully challenged the $60 million state contract with Education Networks of America and West Communications (now CenturyLink) to set up the program. The state's settlement with the FCC involves the state using e-rate funds—a special tax on telephones—to pay for much of the program.
The total fallout from the IEN disaster could be huge for Idaho taxpayers: The FCC denied Idaho $13.8 million in funding requests in August 2016, and shortly thereafter, informed the state it must return the $14.1 million it received in e-rate funds between 2009 and 2012. On top of the $3.5 million settlement Tuesday with the FCC—paid with money from the Legislative Legal Defense Fund—Idaho also paid an additional $3.5 million to vendors following the collapse of the IEN contract.
Four Boise businesses have been officially added to the ranks of "Bicycle Friendly" businesses by the League of American Bicyclists. The businesses are Boise Co-op, Drake Cooper, Just Eat Local—the umbrella corporation that includes Bittercreek Alehouse and Red Feather Lounge—and the Shandro Group insurance agency. To receive recognition through the program, businesses must fill out applications that show they "engineer" for bicyclists, including installation of bike racks or showers and changing facilities for bike commuter employees; educate about bicycling; evaluate the results of their efforts; and encourage employees and customers to ride to work or do business. So far, 51 Boise businesses have received the designation.