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Capitol Catch-up: Getting down to the wire with taxes and roads up in the air

MONDAY the state Senate killed, by two votes, a ban on “coal rolling” sponsored by local Sens. Bert Brackett and Michelle Stennett but passed a bill sponsored by Twin Falls Rep. Lance Clow to let people exceed the speed limit by up to 15 mph while passing on two-lane roads with a speed limit of 55 mph or higher. And the Senate Resources and Environment Committee advanced a bill hiking hunting, fishing and trapping fees with instituting a “price lock” for loyal customers and also committing more money to anti-depredation efforts.

TUESDAY the Senate Education Committee killed a bill adding 25 Idaho questions to the high school civics test. The House passed a bill prohibiting local governments or school districts from trying to influence the outcome of a bond or levy election as well as one offering sales tax breaks to data centers.

WEDNESDAY morning started off busy, with the Senate State Affairs Committee killing a bill to standardize early voting times in Idaho (it would have reduced early voting time in a handful of counties) and printing two dealing with legal protections for parents who believe in faith healing. One of the bills would make it easier for the courts to get involved if a child is gravely ill or dies but would not change the exemption from criminal prosecution in the current law, and one, which was introduced by Dan Sevy, who is a member of the Followers of Christ Church and has been working with legislators, would simply recognize other forms of alternative medicine as well as faith healing.

The state Senate killed a bill banning “motorcycle profiling” that had passed the House pretty easily. The House Judiciary and Rules Committee held a four-hour-long informational hearing on getting rid of mandatory minimums but doesn’t plan to act on the bill this year. At the same time, hundreds of people packed into the Lincoln Auditorium to hear climate change experts talk about its impact, an event put together by Boise Democrat Rep. Ilana Rubel after she was blocked from holding a legislative hearing on the topic earlier this year. And the Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee moved on an income tax cut bill that had passed in February but intending to reduce the size of the tax cut by about half.

THURSDAY afternoon things got busy, starting when the Senate Transportation Committee spiked a bigger transportation funding package and went with a smaller one that would borrow $300 million and repay it with federal highway payments.

Then, the full Senate rather than going with the amendments to the income tax bill decided to “radiator cap” it and replace it with a measure eliminating both the sales tax on groceries and the grocery tax credit. This maneuver, where a bill is completely rewritten on the House or Senate floor, doesn’t happen very often. The name comes from the idea that it’s like taking a vehicle and replacing it with a new one but leaving the old radiator cap; it’s a vehicle for something else now.

FRIDAY Senate State Affairs killed a bill brought by Brackett, R-Rogerson, to expand the castle doctrine and to specify that there is no “duty to retreat” in Idaho if you’re confronted violently. People had a mix of concerns, some more technical, some thinking it didn’t go far enough, some thinking it might lead to unintended consequences, and taken together it was enough to kill the bill for the session. Some lawmakers said they intend to work on the issue over the interim and come back with another bill in 2018.

The House State Affairs Committee held a long hearing on a proposed victims’ rights amendment to the state Constitution and plans to vote on it Monday. And the full Senate passed the Fish and Game fee hike bill as well as a bill hiking the sticker fee for out-of-state boaters, the latter of which is meant to raise more money to keep invasive species, particularly quagga and zebra mussels, out of the state.

NEXT WEEK a hearing is expected on Monday on the faith healing bill(s). It remains to be seen if they will hear one or both. The big issues of the week, and what will determine whether things wrap up next week or not, are going to be taxes and transportation. Will the Senate pass the grocery tax repeal? Will it pass the road funding bill before it? And what will happen when both bills get to the House? Stay tuned.

Get your health care questions answered at free boot camp

TWIN FALLS — Do you have questions about health care? This boot camp has the answers to these questions and more.

People of all ages are invited to attend a free “Turning 65 Bootcamp” from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 1 at the College of Southern Idaho Shields Building Room. The boot camp is part of a program offered by the newly formed Patient Financial Navigator Foundation. The boot camp is part of the nonprofit’s first community outreach educational session.

Day Egusquiza, founder of Patient Financial Navigator Foundation, said the boot camp is specifically geared toward those who are turning 65 or older. However, she encouraged people of all ages to attend to learn more about health care, insurance, retirement and social security.

“We are bringing to the Twin Falls area a different type of healthcare outreach,” Equsquiza said. “We are working with the community.”

The boot camp on April 1 will focus on community outreach and feature 15 speakers representing CSI, St. Luke’s, local banking, investment groups, accountants, Medicare, insurance companies and the Office on Aging. Topics will include the cost to retire, tax impact, investment strategies and healthcare buzz.

Equsquiza, who worked in health care for 37 years, said healthcare buzz will teach people what terms like “Medicare voucher” means or “out-of-network” means.

“The idea is to get people aware of all these issues,” she said.

The Foundation has three goals — community outreach, employer outreach and a strategic partnership with St. Luke’s Magic Valley in creating an onsite Navigator Resource Library. This database will allow families to receive one-on-one assistance to understand their insurance, find community resources and follow changes in health care.

Two more boot camps on July 6 and Oct. 28 are scheduled.

“You’re going to be tired,” Equsquiza said. “We are going to work you. It’s not a casual get together. You are going to learn.”

Health district to offer tobacco cessation classes

TWIN FALLS — Free classes will soon be available to help those who are trying to stop smoking.

The South Central Public Health District will begin offering classes April 5 in Twin Falls, and April 24 in Hailey.

“Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and disease today in the United States,” Health Education Specialist Cody Orchards said in a statement. “… Our classes are specifically designed to help those who wish to get rid of their tobacco addiction and take back control of their health.”

More than 440,000 people die each year from smoking or from exposure to secondhand smoke, the Centers for Disease Control reports. And 8.6 million people have a serious illness resulting from smoking or smokeless tobacco.

The adult tobacco cessation program will include Freedom From Smoking classes at no cost at the following locations:

Twin Falls — Wellness Tree, 173 Martin St. — 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays, April 5 through May 3 and May 10 through June 7

Twin Falls — Health district office on College of Southern Idaho campus, 1020 Washington St. N. — 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays, April 6 through May 4 and May 11 through June 8

Hailey — St. Luke’s Wood River Clinic’s Carbonate Room, 1450 Aviation Drive — 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mondays, April 24 through May 22

Stork report: births at Jerome, Twin Falls hospitals

St. Luke’s Jerome

Lillian Aria Wille, daughter of Nicole and Laurence Wille of Jerome, was born March 6, 2017.

Jamilet Hernandez Gonzales, daughter of Maria Dolores Gonzales and Juan Hernandez Villa of Jerome, was born March 8, 2017.

Rose Lene Kent, daughter of Ruth and Robert Kent of Rupert, was born March 11, 2017.

St. Luke’s Magic Valley

Jonathan Nagel Jr., son of Virginia Marie Valdez and Jonathan Shay Nagel of Twin Falls, was born March 7, 2017.

Kashlynn Nova Patten, daughter of Caitlin Diana and Nicholas Quinn Patten of Buhl, was born March 8, 2017.

Layana Brettley Boda, daughter of Alexis Danielle Hoskin and Justin Eugene Boda of Hollister, was born March 8, 2017.

Jensen Elaine King, daughter of Josie Ann and Clifford Charles King of Jerome, was born March 9, 2017.

Scarlett Diane Warth, daughter of Tara Dorise Warth and Brayden Keith Warth of Twin Falls, was born March 9, 2017.

Emme Rayne Holdeman, daughter of Kendra Lynne and Danen Markell Holdeman of Buhl, was born March 9, 2017.

Mikael Ruben Khachatrian, son of Lilya Surenovna Khachatrian and Ruben Yeremovich Khachatrian of Twin Falls, was born March 9, 2017.

Benjamin Lawrence Velasquez, son of Aubrie Lynn and Michael Robert Velasquez of Twin Falls, was born March 10, 2017.

Jaxon Grant Hopkins, son of Kayla Marie Fellows and Jeremiah Grant Hopkins of Carlin, Nev., was born March 10, 2017.

Maximiliano Aguilar, son of Lorena Aguilar and Antonio Aguilar-Andrade of Jerome, was born March 10, 2017.

Jaxton Rain Gonzales, son of Destiny Dawn and Anthony Braxton Gonzales of Twin Falls, was born March 12, 2017.

Sophi Alice Whitesides, daughter of Kodi Dawn and Derek Steven Whitesides of Rupert, was born March 12, 2017.

Rozeli Marie Wise, daughter of Jade Paula and Johnathon McIntire Wise of Jerome, was born March 12, 2017.

Dayla Zuleika Notario-Raddatz, daughter of Aracely Domine-Raddatz and Saul Notario-Felix of Jerome, was born March 12, 2017.

Dreyson John Manjarrez, son of Chelsea Lynn Patterson and Andres Hernandez Manjarrez Jr. of Twin Falls, was born March 13, 2017.

Ridge Collin Armstrong, son of Jessica and Collin Curtis Armstrong of Kimberly, was born March 14, 2017.

Luke Glenn Elliott, son of Estella and John David Elliott of Buhl, was born March 14, 2017.

Nora Marie Packer, daughter of Alanna Marie and Christopher Lee Packer of Twin Falls, was born March 15, 2017.

Reagan Lynn Hase, daughter of Alyson Brooke and Bruce Patrick Hase of Twin Falls, was born March 15, 2017.

Emma Salgado Carrillo, daughter of Diana D Carrillo Chavez and Rogelio Salgado Trujillo of Buhl, was born March 15, 2017.

Nathan K Stanger, son of Leejean and Kip Evera Stanger of Hansen, was born March 15, 2017.

Gabriel Jordan Matthews, son of Elizabeth Danielle Margaret Colon and Kyle Casper Matthews of Jerome, was born March 15, 2017.

Brewer Elwood Harr, son of Erika Rachelle and Logan Leroy Harr of Twin Falls, was born March 16, 2017.

5th District Court News



Quinton Anthony Miller, 26, Bliss; Possession of a controlled substance, $285.50 costs, $1,000 fine, $600 public defender, $60 workmans comp. program fee, $100 DNA, $533.45 restitution, five years penitentiary, two determinate, three indeterminate, 309 days credited, sentence suspended, 100 hours community service, five years supervised probation, sentence to run consecutive to 2010 case.

Dakota James Derrick, 22, Filer; Check, draft, or order drawn on account without funds or credit, $245.50 costs, $500 public defender, $100 DNA, four years penitentiary, one determinate, two indeterminate, credit for time served, sentence suspended, three years supervised probation.

Alan Fredrick Akberdin, 27, Wendell; possession of a controlled substance or possess with intent to manufacture or deliver, $285.50 costs, $100 DNA, $60 workmans comp. program fee, $563.97 restitution, 13 years penitentiary, three determinate, ten indeterminate, six days credited, sentence suspended, 60 days department of corrections, four years supervised probation.

Steven Allen McClain, 62, Twin Falls; DUI 2nd offense felony violation within 15 years, $290.50 costs, $100 DNA, 10 years penitentiary, seven determinate, three indeterminate, 198 days credited, five years drivers license suspension upon release.

Patrick Ray Narcho, 29, Twin Falls; possession of a controlled substance, $285.50 costs, $100 DNA, five years penitentiary, three determinate, two indeterminate, nine days credited, 365 days retained jurisdiction, sentence to run concurrent to 2016 case. Possession of a controlled substance marijuana dismissed.

Reegan Butler, 22, Buhl; possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver, $285.50 costs, $100 DNA, $500 public defender, four years penitentiary, two determinate, two indeterminate, credit for time served, sentence suspended.

Erik David Simas, 19, Twin Falls; Manufacture, deliver or possession of a controlled substance or possess with intent to manufacture or deliver, $285.50 costs, $100 DNA, $60 workmans comp. program fee, four years penitentiary, two determinate, two indeterminate, two days credited, sentence suspended.

Billy Gene Rhodes, 43, Kimberly; Possession of a controlled substance, $285.50 costs, seven years penitentiary, four determinate, three indeterminate, 53 days credited, sentence to run concurrent to 2015 case.


Jesus M. Torres, 43, Centerfield, Utah; DUI excessive, $500 fine, $400 suspended, $202.50 costs, $75 public defender, 90 days jail, 85 suspended, five days discretionary, one day credited, 365 days supervised probation, 12 months supervised probation, attend victim impact panel and court alcohol school.


Leanne Thompson v. Elisha Thompson

Jose Castillo Jr. v. Maria Salinas

Adam Gramkow v. Chelsea Gramkow

Breanne Tellez v. Ricky Tellez

Edith Ruelas v. Jorge Gomez Vidaca

Debbi Merrick v. Dana Merrick

Heather Taylor v. Beau Taylor

Thomas Corey III v. Samantha Anderson

Januka Biswa v. Bhim Gajmer

Chayse Hanson v. Makenzie Hanson

Billy Sparrow v. Edna Sparrow

Kaloni Engel v. Justin Engel

Twin Falls County Most Wanted

Anthony Thomas Baldwin

DOB: 04/14/1987

Height: 5’7”

Weight: 140

Sex: Male

Hair: Black

Eyes: Brown

Race: White

Wanted for: Probation violation and failure to appear on original charge of possession of a controlled substance

Bond: No bond


Average daily flows

Snake River at Heise 15,460 cfs

Snake River at Blackfoot 18,552 cfs

Snake River at American Falls 19,822 cfs

Snake River at Minidoka 19,168 cfs

Snake River at Milner 15,367 cfs

Little Wood River near Carey 1,032 cfs

Jackson Lake is 56 percent full.

Palisades Reservoir is 13 percent full.

American Falls Reservoir is 93 percent full.

Upper Snake River system is at 62 percent capacity.

As of April 21.

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