[Morning Briefs] Bad News, Idaho

7 Mar

Mitt Romney riles up a crowd in Idaho Falls last week. On Tuesday, he easily won Idaho's Republican caucus. (TBA file photo)

Mitt Romney won lat night’s Idaho Republican caucus, which is great news for all your Mittheads out there. But as the state moves on from the temporary political moment in the sun, we all have to face the harsh reality of some not-so-great news. For example: A burglar got away with some cash at a Pocatello business, and police couldn’t catch him—even with the dogs! Idaho Power is looking to hike their residential rates, despite touting rate decreases last month. And state legislators might have to stay in Boise longer, as they can’t agree on the federally-mandated health insurance exchange. Reality can be harsh, folks.

  • Police are investigating a burglary at Intermountain Beverage in Pocatello, but the suspect has already eluded officers once in the case. Pocatello Police officers responded to an alarm activation at the beverage distributor on Garrett Way Tuesday night. When they got there, they saw a person dressed all in black leaving the building. That shadowy figure ran and officers gave chase, but they just just couldn’t keep up. They later dispatched a K-9 unit to find the suspect, but the trail of footprints ended at a set of tire tracks. Upon inspection of the crime scene, it looks like a bank bag may be missing from an unlocked drawer, said police. The investigation is still under way.
  • How’s this for a kick in the teeth? Idaho Power is looking to hike residential customers’ rates by $3.56 a month, just a few weeks after they announced they wanted to lower bills by 67 cents a month. What gives? The hike would pay for a new natural gas power plant that’s almost complete. Idaho Power filed the request with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday, and the request will have to endure some public hearings before it’s approved or denied. That plant is the $391 million Langley Gulch power plant in southwestern Idaho. Idaho Power has also filed for a revenue-sharing deal, which would help offset the hike somewhat. [LN8]
  • After months of controversy, Idaho legislators are now saying a bill establishing state health care exchange probably won’t happen. The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, requires states to set up exchanges by January 2013, or else the federal government will make one for them. The exchanges allow individuals and small businesses to compare insurance policies. But Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill and House Speaker Lawrence Denney said Tuesday that the bill is hopeless. Denney said the issue isn’t with the bill itself, but with the idea of passing legislation to build a system for which the rules are still being written. In other words, a lot of Idaho legislators are banking on the health care act being struck down legally or overturned. If they don’t pass legislation, however, they could stay in Boise longer than planned. [TN]
  • Mitt Romney walked away with a win at Idaho’s Republican Presidential caucus last night, making his haul for the night a total of six states and about 224 delegates. Rick Santorum won three states while Newt Gingrich won one, meaning Romney still hasn’t entirely secured the nomination. Still, those couple hundred delegates won’t hurt his chances; many pollsters are once again predicting an inevitable Romney nomination.
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