[Morning Briefs] Everybody’s Freaking Out

17 Jan

On the left is Anthony C. Litton, arrested for trafficking 6.6 pounds of pot. At right is an Idaho Quest card, which has been used a lot more after food stamps recipients increased by 270 percent since 2007.

Everybody’s freaking out! Idaho State Police have arrested another in their mad rush to keep drugs off the roadways by conveniently pulling over people who happen to be carrying a lot of drugs. Food stamps recipients have increased 270 percent since 2007, leading to a monthly rush at grocery stores across the state. Boise hookah bar owners are trying to figure out what to do with the new anti-smoking ordinance in place. Several big websites are going dark tomorrow in a last-ditch effort to voice their opposition to a new online piracy bill. In other words, everybody’s going crazy trying to figure out how to get through this crazy world of ours! Calm down, everybody!

  • ANOTHER traffic stop drug bust has turned 6.6 pounds of marijuana over to the Idaho State Police. The ISP arrested Anthony C. Litton, 22 of St. Paul, Minn., just before noon yesterday. Litton was driving north on U.S. Highway 91 near Burnside Avenue in Chubbuck when the trooper pulled him over for failing to maintain the lane. He was arrested and charged with trafficking of marijuana. This comes just on the heels of a traffic stop bust that found 4.3 pounds of pot on Saturday. At least the ISP is actually saying why they pull people over before finding pounds of drugs in their cars instead of the usual police strategy of never telling anybody anything.
  • The State Department of Health and Welfare announced yesterday that the usage of food stamps in Idaho has skyrocketed by 270 percent since 2007. The increase has been a problem for supermarkets, who are inundated with customers when the stamps are issued on the first of every month. The regular rush has led some legislators to consider spreading the release dates for the stamps over the first ten days of the month to make things easier on stores. Some are critical of the idea, citing the $220,000 price tag of staggering the release dates. [LN8]
  • The new Boise smoking ban has barred lighting up in bars, restaurants, parks and some streets, but it might also might snuff out the city’s hookah bars.The ordinance exempts retail tobacconists whose sales are 95 percent tobacco and who have no more than four seats or customers. This is a problem for hookah bars, which obviously have a ton of seating. So what will these businesses do? Move, to nearby smoker-friendly cities, of course. It should be noted, however, that none of the lounges actually sought out an exemption from the ordinance, or even testified against it. [ISM]
  • Wikipedia and Reddit are just two of the big-name websites that will go dark Wednesday in protest of the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act bill, more commonly known as SOPA. The controversial bill would allow copyright holders to immediately shut down websites for hosting pirated content, and search engines would be forced to block rogue sites from their search results. Some websites are concerned they could be held liable for their user’s actions. Wikipedia, for example, relies on user submissions for all its content. In addition to Wikipedia and Reddit, blog Boing Boing and the entire Cheezburger network of comedy sites will go dark in protest. [CNN]

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