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A BASE jumper comes down from the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho.

The College of Southern Idaho wants to build a 3-story dorm

TWIN FALLS — The College of Southern Idaho is moving forward with plans to build a new dormitory, which could open in two years.

The topic came up during a July board of trustees meeting and again Oct. 13 during a strategic planning meeting.

CSI is seeking a change to its on-campus height restriction with the city of Twin Falls to allow for a three-story residence hall with apartment-like suites. The project is part of an effort to encourage more students to live on campus and get plugged in with college activities.

The new dorm will be on CSI’s Twin Falls campus near the existing 240-bed Eagle Hall dormitory — currently, the only residence hall. CSI also manages the off-campus Northview and Eagle View apartments.

In the new dorm, the college wants to build up to 50 feet high instead of its current 35-foot limit.

“We want to align with the city’s height restrictions,” CSI vice president of administration Jeff Harmon said Friday. The amendment process typically takes several months.

Another step for the project: The college will work with financial advisers on how to issue bonds. Harmon said he doesn’t have an estimate yet of what the dorm project will cost.

“It all depends on how large we go,” he said. “We haven’t started putting a price tag to anything yet.”

The new dorm will also include the main commercial kitchen for CSI’s campus, instead of in the Taylor Building’s cafeteria.

Once a new dorm opens, CSI plans to pursue a renovation of the existing Eagle Hall into a more contemporary layout with apartment-style suites.

Dean of Students Jason Ostrowski wasn’t available to comment Friday afternoon. An Eagle Hall housing coordinator, who’s new on the job, said he wasn’t involved with the project.

During an Oct. 13 meeting, CSI officials also gave the board of trustees a report about the college’s long-term master plan for other future building projects, but nothing’s in the works yet.

The next possible project after a new dorm will likely be remodeling the Evergreen Building and considering moving the art program into that space.

Buildings in the art complex are nearing the end of their lifespan, Harmon said, with the exception of one white brick building. Also, once the new dorms are finished, they’ll infringe on the art complex and crowd out that area.

Another topic of conversation is bringing back the veterinary technology program to campus.

“It’s just a matter of when,” Harmon said. Currently, it’s in a leased space in downtown Twin Falls.

But for all of the facility proposals beyond the new dorm, they’re just goals at this point. There aren’t any plans or timelines.

Said Harmon: “These are all just very conceptual.”


Resident assistant Shakalah-le Brown, left, gives a tour to Ian Hill, center right, and his family as Hill moves into Eagle Hall in August 2016 at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls.

If you do one thing

If you do one thing: Bingo will start at 2 p.m. at the Moose Lodge, 835 Falls Ave., Twin Falls. Doors will open at 1 p.m.

Photo by Steve Conner  

Bliss’s Steven Rubio (10) collides with Weiser goalie Dylan Miranda (00) in the first half of the 3A boys soccer state championship game Saturday afternoon at Middleton High School. Rubio would not return to the game after the hit.

Jacquelyn Martin 

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., speaks to reporters as he heads to vote on budget amendments, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Twin Falls mother charged with murdering baby


TWIN FALLS — A Twin Falls mother has been arrested in the death of her 20-month-old baby.

Police issued a statement Saturday saying 22-year-old Amanda Dunlap was apprehended Friday and booked into the Ada County jail early Saturday morning. She’s facing charges for felony murder and injury to a child.

The investigation began Oct. 8 when police were called to St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center about a baby in distress. The child was flown by helicopter to Boise. It died a week later, on Oct. 14.

In their statement, police said they’d release no more information at this time because they’re continuing to investigate.

Here is the city’s statement, in full:

“October 8, 2017, the Twin Falls Police Department responded to St. Luke’s Magic Valley in regards to a 20-month-old child in distress. The child was life-flighted to Boise. The Twin Falls Police Department, with assistance from the Boise Police Department, immediately started an investigation.

On October 14, 2017, the child subsequently succumbed to the injuries. On October 20, 2017, 22-year-old Amanda Dunlap, from Twin Falls, Idaho, was arrested on a warrant for murder and felony injury to a child. Dunlap was booked into the Ada County Jail early Saturday morning.

No further information will be released by our Department at this time as this remains an active investigation. Any further media inquiries should be directed to the Twin Falls County Prosecutor’s Office.”

Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs said it’s too early in the investigation to confirm many details to the media. “It’s very early,” Loebs said. “She was just arrested this morning.”

Asked about the baby’s cause of death, the prosecutor said “I wouldn’t know how to answer that.”

Loebs said authorities may make more information available next week, depending on the progress of the investigation.

Tillerson's Mideast aim: Saudi-Iraqi axis against Iran

DOHA, Qatar — As U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits the Middle East this weekend, he’ll hope to achieve something that has eluded top American diplomats for a generation: sealing a new alliance between Saudi Arabia and Iraq that would shut the doors of the Arab world to neighboring Iran.

While the United States strives to heal the rift between the Gulf Arab states and Qatar, and resolve civil wars in Yemen and Syria, Tillerson is the Trump administration’s point man on an even more ambitious and perhaps even less likely geopolitical gambit.

U.S. officials see a new axis that unites Riyadh and Baghdad as central to countering Iran’s growing influence from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea, particularly as the Iraqi government struggles to rebuild recently liberated Islamic State strongholds and confronts a newly assertive Kurdish independence movement.

History, religion and lots of politics stand in Tillerson’s way. He arrived in Riyadh on Saturday and planned to visit Qatar on Monday.

The effort to wean Iraq from Iran and bond it to Saudi Arabia isn’t new, but U.S. officials are optimistically pointing to a surer footing they believe they’ve seen in recent months. They’re hoping to push the improved relations into a more advanced phase Sunday when Tillerson participates in the inaugural meeting of the Saudi Arabia-Iraq Coordination Committee in Riyadh.

Tillerson will seek Saudi financial generosity and political support for Iraq, its embattled northern neighbor. Two U.S. officials said Tillerson hopes the oil-rich Saudis will contribute to the massive reconstruction projects needed to restore pre-IS life in Iraqi cities such as Mosul and lend their backing to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. He is treading delicately among a host of powerful countries on Iraq’s borders which are increasingly trying to shape the future of the ethnically and religiously divided nation.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to publicly preview Tillerson’s plans.

Shiite-majority Iraq and Sunni-led Saudi Arabia, estranged for decades after Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, have tried in recent years to bridge their differences.

Nevertheless, the relationship is still plagued by suspicion.

Saudi Arabia reopened its embassy in Baghdad in 2015 after a quarter-century, and earlier this year unblocked long-closed border crossings. But the emergence of arch-Saudi rival Iran as a power player in Iraq continues to gnaw at Riyadh and Washington.

Iran’s reported intervention in Iraq’s semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region, following last month’s much criticized vote for independence in a referendum, has deepened the unease.

President Donald Trump wants to see “a stable Iraq, but a stable Iraq that is not aligned with Iran,” H.R. McMaster, his national security adviser, said this past week. He suggested Saudi Arabia could play a pivotal role.

The U.S. view is that the alternative may mean more conflict in Iraq, which endured years of insurgency after the U.S.-led 2003 invasion and ethnic warfare when the Islamic State group rampaged across the country in 2014.

“Iran is very good at pitting communities against each other,” McMaster said Thursday at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “This is something they share with groups like ISIS, with al-Qaida. They pit communities against each other because they use tribal and ethnic and sectarian conflicts to gain influence by portraying themselves as a patron or protector of one of the parties in the conflict and then they use that invitation to come in and to help to advance their agenda and, in Iran’s case, I think is a hegemonic design.”

Trump and his national security team have framed much of the Middle East security agenda around counteracting Iran, which they see as a malign influence that poses an existential threat to Israel and other American allies and partners in the region. They also accuse Iran of menacing the United States and its interests at home and elsewhere in the world.

Shortly after taking office, Tillerson identified improving Saudi-Iraqi ties as a priority in the administration’s broader policy to confront and contain Iran. Officials say he has devoted himself to the effort.

On his second official trip abroad, Tillerson in February canceled a planned “meet and greet” with staffers at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City to focus on the matter, according to one of the U.S. officials.

Tillerson’s decision to skip that gathering was widely criticized at the time as a sign of disengagement with his employees, but the official said Tillerson adjusted plans to speak by secure telephone to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on the Iraq rapprochement.

Tillerson, according to the official, implored al-Jubeir to visit Baghdad as a sign of Saudi goodwill and commitment to the effort to defeat IS, which then still held about half of Mosul.

Al-Jubeir agreed. Two days later, he made a surprise trip to the Iraqi capital. He was the first Saudi foreign minister to do so in 27 years.