So close, but so far away, that’s the theme this morning. Two local skiers had their lives cut short after an avalanche buried them in Wyoming. A Pocatello woman died just before her 112th birthday. Police ALMOST had a fugitive, but now he’s on the run. In the state House, legislators returned money cut from Medicaid, but it’s nowhere near the amount they initially cut.
- Jackson Hole is grieving after the deaths of two local skiers in an avalanche Thursday. Steve Romeo and Chris Onufer were found Buried in Waterfalls Canyon in the northern end of the Teton range. According to friends, the two were on a backcountry skiing trip to Ranger Peak. The two, both in their early 40s, were reported missing Wednesday night. Teton County Search and Rescue did a search by helicopter Thursday morning, when they found the avalanche and the two bodies. Friends remember the two as good, solid guys. [LN8]
- Police are looking for a fugitive and want the public’s help finding him. The fugitive is 30-year-old Chris Hudson, who is wanted on a $250,000 felony drug warrant. Officers already tried to catch Hudson at his Idaho Falls home on Eve Drive on Thursday afternoon, breaking in through the window when people inside barricaded the door, but Hudson had already fled on foot. This isn’t the fugitive’s first run-in with police. He also ran from authorities back in July 2010 in Ammon. That time, he hid in the garage of a nearby home, but it happened to be the garage of a section supervisor with the Idaho Department of Correction. [LN8]
- Legislators in the Idaho House have backtracked on some of last year’s severe cuts to Medicaid funding. The House voted 65-0 Thursday to restore three cuts amounting to $1.5 million of the $35 million cut from Medicaid programming. The restored funding all goes to patients with developmental disabilities. One cut previously forced patients with both developmental disabilities and mental illness to choose which they wanted treated. Another took away funding for preventative dental care for developmentally disabled adults, while the third imposed a “tiered” budget on such patients that forced big cuts in some people’s care. The bill to remove all those cuts now goes to the Senate. [SR]
- A mere nine days from her 112th birthday, a Pocatello woman passed away Thursday afternoon. Mersene Zohos was a fresh 111, making her the oldest woman in Idaho at the time of her death, which officials say was due to natural casues. Zohos was fewer than four years shy of the oldest living woman in the world, Georgia’s Besse Cooper, who is 115 years old. [ISJ]