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Rubio visits Idaho, speaks at Melaleuca headquarters

Rubio visits Idaho, speaks at Melaleuca headquarters(Courtesy BizMojo Idaho) Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., made his first visit to Idaho Wednesday morning, dropping a strong hint that he will be soon making his candidacy for the White House official. Speaking to an audience of about 400 people at Melaleuca world headquarters, near Idaho Falls, Rubio gave his positions on immigration, foreign affairs, […]

Zions Bank names new president for eastern Idaho

Zions Bank names new president for eastern Idaho(Courtesy BizMojo Idaho) Zions Bank has named Merri Johnson its Eastern Idaho region president. Johnson joined Zions in 2001 as a customer service manager in the Idaho Falls Downtown Financial Center and later was promoted to operations manager for the region. She has served as financial center manager, commercial loan officer and consumer loan officer. […]

District 25 appoints interim superintendent

District 25 appoints interim superintendentPOCATELLO — The search for a new superintendent in Pocatello/Chubback School District #25 ended this week with the promotion of one of its own. Doug Howell, the district’s director of human resources, will become interim superintendent effective July 1. He was given a 2-year contract. Howell replaces superintendent Mary Vagner who is retiring after some […]

Lawmakers praise Ybarra’s push for federal waiver

Lawmakers praise Ybarra’s push for federal waiver(Courtesy Idaho Education News) BOISE — State superintendent Sherri Ybarra drew glowing reviews from the House Education Committee Monday after briefing lawmakers on her efforts to seek flexibility from federal education laws. Ybarra spoke for nearly an hour about her meetings last week with the Council of Chief State School Officers in Washington, D.C., where […]

Japanese restaurant opens in Teton Spectrum

Japanese restaurant opens in Teton Spectrum(Courtesy BizMojo Idaho) IDAHO FALLS — Fuji Japanese Hibachi & Sushi has opened at 2625 S. 25th East, in the Teton Spectrum where Game World used to be. Based in Little Rock, Ark., the chain typically seeks out smaller markets for its restaurants — places like Grand Island, Neb., and Rapid City, S.D. “We have […]

BYUI announces commencement speaker

BYUI announces commencement speaker(Courtesy Brigham Young University-Idaho) REXBURG ­— Elder Robert C. Gay, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will address 1,937 graduates at Brigham Young University-Idaho’s winter commencement on Friday, April 10. The event will be held at 5:45 p.m. in the BYU-Idaho Center. The […]

JFAC calls for 7.4 percent school funding increase

JFAC calls for 7.4 percent school funding increase(Courtesy Idaho Education News) BOISE — Legislative budget writers Friday voted to increase K-12 spending by 7.4 percent and boost teacher salaries by $33.5 million next year. Under the 2015-16 proposal, the state would increase school funding by $101.2 million next year and fully fund the first year of the teacher salary career ladder. The […]

Mural produced for 1964 World’s Fair finds home at BYUI

Mural produced for 1964 World’s Fair finds home at BYUI(Courtesy Brigham Young University-Idaho) REXBURG ­­­— A mural originally produced for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair now has a permanent home at Brigham Young University-Idaho. Titled “The Purpose of Life,” the mural has been installed on the ground floor of the BYU-Idaho Center. A […]

Mitt Romney talks family, treating blindness, Evander Holyfield fight

Mitt Romney talks family, treating blindness, Evander Holyfield fightNEW YORK – Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has an unassuming member of his family helping him prepare to fight retired boxer Evander Holyfield. Romney spoke about the fight, his family, and his desire to treat blindness on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon Wednesday night. Fallon and Romney have become friends over the […]

IFPD officers honored for saving man

IFPD officers honored for saving manIDAHO FALLS – Two Idaho Falls police officers were honored at City Council meeting for saving a mans life. Officers Jason Miller and Steven Avery responded to a cardiac arrest call on December 11, 2014. When they arrived, they found a man who was not breathing, unconscious, and without a pulse. Miller and Avery performed […]

Pocatello continues crack sealing project

Pocatello continues crack sealing projectPOCATELLO – The City of Pocatello will continue crack sealing streets next week. From March 30, 2015 through Friday, April 3, 2015, crews will focus on the following streets: Agate Drive; Emerald Drive; Garnet Drive; Jade Drive; Quartz Drive; Onyx Drive; Roy Street; Tanner Street; Sterling Street; Jessie Clark Lane; Avis Court; Dustin Circle; Jordyn […]

Rigby woman arrested for burglary

Rigby woman arrested for burglaryIDAHO FALLS – A Rigby woman is facing burglary charges after she allegedly stole items from Macys at Grand Teton Mall. Twenty-five‐year‐old Whitney Zahrn was arrested Thursday night. Idaho Falls police officers responded to assist Bonneville County deputies with Zahrn at Kohl’s around 10:15 p.m. According to police, Zahrn had nearly $650 worth of stolen […]

Idaho Falls woman admits to stealing dead mother’s benefits

Idaho Falls woman admits to stealing dead mother’s benefitsPOCATELLO – An Idaho Falls woman pleaded guilty Thursday to theft of government funds. Wendy Banks, 55, admitted that between June 2009 and January 2014, she stole over $29,600 of her deceased mother’s monthly social security benefits. After her mother’s death, investigators say Banks maintained the joint bank account she had shared with her mother. […]

Second Sears thief sentenced in Rexburg

Second Sears thief sentenced in Rexburg(Courtesy Rexburg Standard Journal) REXBURG —Sherri Fullmer, the owner of Sears in Rexburg, appeared in court again for the sentencing of the second Sears employee charged with stealing from her. Fullmer read another victim impact statement that outlined her history with Brady Clements, 22, who had worked with her for nearly three years. Clements was […]

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Describes Brutal Conditions of His 5-Year Captivity

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Describes Brutal Conditions of His 5-Year Captivity

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- For the first time, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has described in his own words the brutal conditions he endured as a Taliban prisoner for five years, a time during which he said he was kept in constant isolation. Bergdahl also claims he attempted to escape about a dozen times, including once when he was able to evade his captors for nine days before being recaptured.Bergdahl walked away from his unit's outpost in eastern Afghanistan in June 2009 and was held captive by the Taliban until last May, when his freedom was secured in a controversial prisoner swap for five former Taliban leaders being detained at Guantanamo.On Wednesday the Army charged Bergdahl with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy; he could face life in prison for the latter charge.Bergdahl’s account of his captivity was included in a statement provided to reporters by his attorney Eugene Fidell, who told ABC News it details “the really atrocious conditions in which he was held” and the worsening treatment after his escape attempts. “I think those are important facts that decision makers will take into account when they figure out how this case should be disposed of,” said Fidell.“I was kept in constant isolation during the entire five years, with little to no understanding of time, through periods of constant darkness, periods of constant light, and periods of completely random flickering of light, and absolutely no understanding of anything that was happening behind the door I was held behind," wrote Bergdahl in the single-spaced, two-page statement.He said that in the first three months of his captivity after his two escape attempts, “I was chained to a bed spread-eagle and blindfolded.” He remained constantly blindfolded except for the few times a day when he was allowed to eat and use the latrine.As his muscles atrophied and it became difficult for him to walk, his captors allowed him to sit chained on the bed. He eventually developed open wounds on his ankles “that looked like the staph infection I had had earlier that year.”He also began to develop what he called a “growing internal sickness" that made it difficult for him to eat for the rest of his captivity and led to a dramatic weight loss.After a year of captivity he was placed in a cage with his hands in chains except for the few times when he would wash or change clothes. For a year his feet were chained to the cage every night, though that ended “because of the acute pain my feet and legs where [sic] in.” He claims that pain had developed into a “freezing numbness that continues to the present, as both feet have neuropathy.”He would spend the rest of his captivity in the cage, but unshackled only because it was placed over plumbing that allowed him to relieve himself.His captors would routinely play mind games with him, telling him he would be executed one day, “told I would leave the next day, and the next day told I would be there for 30 years.”Bergdahl claims he attempted to escape from his captors about a dozen times, the first one taking place just hours after he was captured in 2009 in eastern Afghanistan.Taken to a village, he claims a Taliban fighter began punching him each time he evaded his questions. Blindfolded with a blanket over his head, “I believed I had a chance to run for it and did.” But he was soon brought down by a large group of men who repeatedly punched him, including one who used the butt stock of a broken AK-47.He twice was able to escape beyond the buildings where he was being held -- the first time during his first week in captivity, when he escaped for 10 to 15 minutes “and after recapturing me and putting chains back on they took turns beating me with a length of thick robber [sic] hose.” Bergdahl said the escape attempt led to his being taken to a more secured compound.His most daring escape occurred at the end of his first year of captivity, when he was able to evade his captors for nine days. “Without food and only putrid water to drink, my body failed on top of a short mountain close to evening.”He was recaptured a short time later by a large Taliban search group that proceeded to beat him severely. “One tried to rip my beard and hair out, but from what I could sense they where [sic] more worried about getting me out of that area as quickly as possible.”

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Hitt Road single lane closures and detours

Hitt Road single lane closures and detoursIDAHO FALLS — Effective today, road construction on 25th East (Hitt Road), from Sunnyside Road south to 49th will result in periodic night traffic restrictions consisting of single lane closures or detours throughout the remainder of the project. City officials said the improvement project is scheduled for completion in July. Access will be maintained for […]

Hotel on the Falls reopens today

Hotel on the Falls reopens today(Courtesy BizMojo Idaho) IDAHO FALLS — The Hotel on the Falls, an Idaho Falls landmark for almost 40 years, is back in business today, with a new owner and refurbished rooms. The 85-room, eight-story building at 475 River Parkway, which dates back to 1978, when it was known as the Westbank Tower, was sold at […]

Idaho teacher salaries took an unexplained dip in 2013-14

Idaho teacher salaries took an unexplained dip in 2013-14(Courtesy Idaho Education News) BOISE — The average teacher pay in Idaho dropped by more than $200 from 2012-13 to 2013-14 — a decrease that the state’s teachers’ union can’t explain. On average, only two states pay their teachers less than Idaho. A March 10 hearing on a teacher career ladder bill drew dozens of […]

Bowe Bergdahl charged with desertion, lawyer says

Bowe Bergdahl charged with desertion, lawyer says

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- American soldier and former Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl has been charged with desertion for allegedly walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009, Bergdahl's attorney told ABC News Wednesday.Bergdahl was freed after five years in Taliban captivity in a controversial deal last year in which the U.S. agreed to release five mid- to high-level Taliban figures from detention in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. President Obama called it a "good day" when Bergdahl was freed, but critics, including some high-ranking Republicans, loudly denounced the deal, likening it to negotiating with terrorists. Also, lawmakers complained that Congress had not been consulted about the exchange, as they said the law requires.After Bergdahl's dramatic return to the U.S., the Army launched an investigation into whether the soldier willfully left his post in Afghanistan before he was taken by the Taliban in 2009, as some Afghan war veterans alleged.

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Little scientists at Lincoln Elementary

Little scientists at Lincoln Elementary(Courtesy Rexburg Standard Journal) REXBURG — The Lincoln Elementary School library was full of scientists Thursday, examining the tiny skulls and skeletons of rodents and birds. The best part? Those scientists were third- and fourth-graders. This activity was the last after-school science session for the year at Lincoln Elementary, news that made the students say, […]
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