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Associated Press File  

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter pauses in his office April 6, in Boise.


Local
'American Idol' finalist performs Twin Falls benefit concert Friday

TWIN FALLS — “American Idol” finalist Colton Dixon will perform a concert for the price of a new toy at 7 p.m. this Friday at Amazing Grace Christian Fellowship, 1061 Eastland Dr. N., Twin Falls. He will be singing Christmas favorites, as well as some of his own songs.

Admission is one new toy per person — to be distributed through the Salvation Army to children across the Magic Valley.

“During the Christmas season, 400 to 500 families will request the Salvation Army to help to make a merry Christmas for their children,” Lieutenant Troy Cook of the Twin Falls Salvation Army said in a statement.


Ap
At a glance

Man who killed Boise State student gets life in prison

BOISE (AP) — A 62-year-old man who killed an 18-year-old Boise State University student and dumped her body in a creek has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Bruce Marchant received the sentence Wednesday in 4th District Court after prosecutors argued Marchant will be dangerous for the rest of his life.

Marchant in September pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in a deal with prosecutors who agreed to drop rape and kidnapping charges.

Boise State University student Sierra Bush was reported missing September 2016. Her body was found south of Idaho City, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) northwest of Boise, the following month.

The Boise county coroner said Bush died from asphyxiation.

Marchant was arrested in New York City in December 2016 and extradited to Idaho in April.

County issues disaster declaration for town without water

GRANGEVILLE (AP) — County officials approved a disaster declaration for a western Idaho town so it can apply for emergency state funding after losing its water wells.

The Lewiston Tribune reports the water wells in the town of White Bird stopped working late last month, causing Idaho County commissioners to approve the declaration on Tuesday.

Town officials say a cause has not been determined for why the wells suddenly quit functioning. Officials say seismic activity may have contributed to the loss.

The town declared a state of emergency, and it began providing water resources to residents at what officials say is an unsustainable cost.

The town has applied for emergency funding from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development agency has committed to helping the town.

N. Idaho hunter shot by partner who mistook him for an elk

MOSCOW (AP) — Authorities say a 60-year-old northern Idaho man is recovering after being shot in the buttocks with a .50-caliber muzzleloader rifle by his hunting partner who mistook him for an elk.

The Latah County Sheriff’s Office tells the Moscow-Pullman Daily News that the Moscow man was shot Monday near Deary by a 72-year-old Potlatch man.

Officials say the injured man was transported to a hospital and was in stable condition Tuesday.

Grazing returns to federal lands affected by 2015 wildfires

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Ranchers in Idaho and Oregon have begun grazing their cattle again on some of the nearly 280,000 acres burned in wildfires in 2015.

The Capital Press reports the Bureau of Land Management has allowed grazing to resume on 48 of the 84 pastures on allotments affected by the fires in southwest Idaho and southeast Oregon.

Bureau officials say they expect a decision to be made on the remaining 36 pastures by the end of December.

The bureau closed off the land for grazing for two growing seasons under a restoration plan following the fire.

Officials say the bureau plans to make the land more resilient to fires by maintaining 30 miles of targeted grazing fuel breaks, which creates buffer areas on each side of roads.

Elko judge recuses self from bomb threat case

ELKO, Nev. (AP) — A court appearance has been postponed for an Elko County man accused of making a bomb threat against the Elko District Court after the judge recused himself from the case.

The Elko Daily Free Press reports 34-year-old Casey Overacker of Spring Creek was scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, but Judge Al Kacin recused himself because he was working at the courthouse the day police say the suspect called in the bomb threat in June.

Kacin says he doesn’t think he can be fair and impartial because the threat disrupted proceedings in his courtroom, which made him angry.

The judge said that if the bomb threat had occurred on a day he wasn’t there, he might have been able to preside over the proceedings.

Overacker’s attorney, Jeff Kump, said he understood. A new court date was pending.


Crime-and-courts
Police: Burley man stabbed woman, got her toddler son to help

BURLEY — Police say a man stabbed a woman and goaded her 2-year-old son into kicking and stabbing her.

David James Gifford, 36, is charged with felony counts of domestic battery, injury to a child and attempted strangulation.

Deputies were called about 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving to a mobile home on East 16th Street in Burley where they found Gifford running from the home. After a brief chase, deputies lost him.

A woman at the house took deputies to the victim, who was lying on a couch in the living room with stab wounds on her back, marks on her neck and face and fresh blood on her clothing.

She told police Gifford grabbed her hair and was pulling her around, tried to choke her, kicked and punched her and stabbed her with a knife.

The woman said Gifford also told her 2-year-old son to kick her and to stab her with the knife, which the boy did.

Gifford told her that he was going to have her 2-year-old “kill her.”

Police say the boy stabbed her twice on her right shoulder. The woman also had bruises along her arms and legs, around her eye, nose and her throat.

The woman who answered the door said Gifford had called her asking for a ride to the bank so he could stay at a local motel.

Inside the home, the television screen was broken a light bulb shattered and scattered on a bathroom floor and food had been thrown all over the kitchen.

Felony domestic battery can be punished by 20 years in prison, felony injury to a child up to 10 years and felony attempted strangulation by 15 years.

Gifford was charged Nov. 29 and a preliminary hearing is set for Friday in Cassia County Magistrate Court.


Local
The YMCA’s new CEO will share his plans during a community meeting next week

TWIN FALLS — The Magic Valley YMCA‘s new chief executive officer will share his plans for improving the nonprofit at a community meeting next week.

The meeting is 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Y, 1751 Elizabeth Blvd. in Twin Falls.

Randy Wastradowski started as the new CEO in September. He replaces Gary Ettenger, who resigned in March 2016 amidst financial problems.

Wastradowski has 27 years of experience with the YMCA and was previously CEO of two YMCAs in Indiana.

Most recently, he was a branch manager of the YMCA of El Paso in Texas for eight years.


jwootton / COURTESY PHOTO  

Wastradowski