Entries in Idaho (11)


California Amber Alert Suspect Killed; Hannah Anderson Safe

iStockPhoto/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The suspected kidnapper of 16-year-old Hannah Anderson was killed in Idaho’s Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness by FBI agents on Saturday afternoon, according to San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore. 

40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio had been spotted with Anderson in Idaho on Friday night, prompting a manhunt that included local and federal authorities. 

DiMaggio is also suspected of killing Anderson’s mother and brother.

The kidnapping was first reported by a state-wide Amber Alert last Sunday night.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Idaho Inmates Sue Booze Companies, Blame Them for Being in Jail

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Five inmates at a jail in Boise, Idaho, have filed a billion dollar lawsuit, claiming they wouldn't be behind bars if it wasn't for booze.

The Idaho Statesman reports Cory A. Baugh, Jeremy J. Brown, Keith Allen Brown, Woodrow J. Grant and Steven J. Thompson -- who all were sentenced to jail for crimes ranging from murder to selling drugs -- say manufacturers like Miller Brewing Company and Anheuser-Busch, as well as wine makers like E. and J. Gallo, should have warned them their products can be addictive.

The inmates, who don't have a lawyer, are asking for warning labels on alcohol products, and a billion dollars in damages.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Idaho Woman's Mysterious Sleepwalking Twice Lands Her in River

Alyson Bair(BURLEY, Idaho) -- Alyson Bair was having a nightmare that she was drowning. When she woke up, she was actually drowning.

"I thought I was dreaming, but then I realized I wasn't and I was scared," Bair told, recalling the night she woke up in the river outside her home in early August. "It was deep and I couldn't touch anywhere and I was getting tired. I had to keep turning around and floating on my back."

She was eventually able to crawl onto a river bank and take cover until someone found her in the morning.

Bair, 31, is a wife and mother of two who lives in Burley, Idaho. She loves photographing her family, camping, reading and bowling. But she is also battling a mysterious nightmare and sleep walking problem that has terrified her and her family.

"It's definitely scary and it worries me," she said. "I haven't tried to drive or anything yet, but it just scares me what I could do. We've locked up all my medicines and made sure that our guns are locked up. Everything I could harm myself with is put away because I don't know what I'm going to do when I'm sleeping."

Two weeks after the near-drowning, Bair suffered a similar episode.

On Aug. 20, her husband Cody Bair, 34, woke up around 1 a.m. to use the bathroom and everything was normal. At 2 a.m., one of the couple's two children woke him up and needed attention. At that point, he noticed that his wife was not in bed and that the sliding glass door that leads outside was open, according to a police report.

The door is usually barricaded so that Alyson Bair cannot get out, but the couple had left the door and windows open that night because of the heat.

After searching the house, Cody Bair woke up his wife's parents and they all began searching the area around the home. The family called the Cassia County Sheriff's Office for help. A neighbor got on a jet ski to search for Alyson Bair and her husband took his canoe up the river to search for her.

Around 7:30 a.m., Bair was found on the riverbank about a quarter of a mile from home, according to police. She was wet and suffering from hypothermia. She was taken to the hospital and subsequently released.

Alyson Bair does not recall leaving her house or getting in the water, but she has cuts and bruises on her feet from the episode.

"I felt like I had nightmares, but I don't remember what it is and then I ended up sleepwalking and going back down to the river," she said. "I haven't been injured seriously besides the hypothermia, thank goodness…I'm just worried about what could happen."

In the past few months, Bair has woken up in various places in her home and in the street near her home.

"I just get up and go barefoot in my pajamas and I don't bring my glasses or I don't get anything," she said.

Her husband has installed a bar on the sliding glass door that prevents it from opening and put alarms on two other doors in the house for which Alyson Bair does not know the password so that if she breaches the alarm, it will ring until someone else in the house gets up.

The couple has two children, an 8-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl. It was the couple's son that discovered his mother was missing the first time she sleepwalked out of the house.

Bair had sleepwalking episodes and suffered from night terrors as a child. She said the sleepwalking and talking have recently been worse, which she believes is due to stress.

She was diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, a chronic auto-immune disease in which a person's white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands, according to the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation.

Bair said that before the diagnosis she was "really healthy" and was depressed when she was diagnosed. She found herself limited in some of the things she could do and said the syndrome has caused her a lot of joint pain, fatigue and some mild kidney problems.

She takes two medications for the Sjogren's, but does not take any sleep medication. She recently started taking medication for her nightmares.

Her doctors do not believe that the medications are related to her sleepwalking, pointing to stress as the culprit.

But Dr. James Wyatt, director of the Sleep Disorders Service and Research Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, does not think that stress alone could be the cause of the sleepwalking.

"There's a long list of factors that can increase the severity of sleepwalking episodes and the likelihood of having one including alcohol, sleep deprivation, jet lag, sleeping in a strange environment, high daytime stress levels. But I think it could be extremely unlikely that stress alone was at play here," Wyatt told

Wyatt would recommend that Bair undergo a sleep study "immediately." During a sleep study, a trained sleep technician watches the patient overnight. A variety of sensors record factors including brain wave activity, heart rate rhythms and respiration as the person goes through the stages of sleep.

He said the sleep study would determine if there are indications that Bair has another sleep disorder or if sleepwalking is the only problem.

"If somebody is sleepwalking in a manner that presents danger…that raises the stakes dramatically for how quickly and thoroughly it must be treated," Wyatt said.

Wyatt said that doctors would also closely examine Bair's family history and medical history, including any medications she takes, to determine any other potential sources for the problem.

Most people experience sleepwalking episodes as children, but quickly grow out of them, Wyatt said.

"The majority of kids will have a sleepwalking episode at some point," Wyatt said. "For most children, by the time they're reaching approximately junior high age, the sleepwalking is gone. It's very rare that it persists into adulthood and even rarer that it progresses to the point of being dangerous."

Bair hopes that by sharing her story she might be able to help others who struggle with sleepwalking and potentially find more help for herself.

"I'm just worried about what could happen," she said. "I've got my family to take care of and be with and I love them very much. So if there's any way I could help others by my story, just to bring awareness to how serious this could be, and talk about what steps we've taken and find out if there's anything else we can do, I'd like to do that."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bigfoot Spotted In Idaho?

ABC News(POCATELLO, Idaho) -- A group of high school students may have come close to Bigfoot during a class project in the Idaho wilderness.

A dark, mysterious creature was caught on tape for a few seconds near Mink Creek before it retreated into the treeline.

“It just didn’t look human-like. I don’t know what that is, it’s not a bear, it’s not a moose or anything. It was big and bulky and black,” said the student, who did not want to be identified on camera, to ABC News’ Idaho affiliate.

The students climbed to where they saw the potential Sasquatch and photographed the large footprints it left in the dirt.

“I’m not going to say yes it was a Bigfoot or no it wasn’t, because I don’t know, and nobody knows,” the student told the news station.

The Animal Planet show Finding Bigfoot plans to visit Pocatello, Idaho in June to investigate claims that Bigfoot could be in the area.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


California: Top Official Poses with Dead Mountain Lion

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) – A photograph of the California Fish and Wildlife Commission president smiling and holding up a dead mountain lion that he shot has ignited controversy in the state, where hunting the creatures has been illegal since 1990.

Dan Richards, however, shot the animal in Idaho, where hunting the cats is legal.

Richards isn’t supposed to bring it back to California, though, and it was unclear if he had.

California’s Prop. 117, which banned the hunting of mountain lions, also made it illegal for residents to bring dead mountain lions into the state.

“Californians sort of trust the Fish and Game Department and their commission to be the protectors of our wildlife resources, and this person is showing that he really doesn’t care,” Tim Dunbar, executive of the Mountain Lion Foundation, told ABC News affiliate KABC.

One state legislator is even calling for Richards to be ousted.

“He’s thumbing his nose at California law,” Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, told the San Jose Mercury News. “He’s mocking it. Frankly, I think he should face the music and step down. He’s done something that’s a disgrace to his position and to responsible hunters in California.”

Richards did not respond to ABC News’ request for an interview.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Seven Miners Injured After Rock Burst at Idaho Mine

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MULLAN, Idaho) -- Seven miners were injured Wednesday evening following a rock burst at a mine in Mullan, Idaho.

The incident occurred around 7:50 p.m. at the Lucky Friday Mine.  The mine's owner told ABC News a rock burst -- or a spontaneous fracturing of rock -- 5,900 feet underground was to blame, not a collapse as had previously been speculated.  She said the burst was caused by a seismic event and was not related to mining activity.

A representative from the mine said that all of its employees -- 20, according to ABC News affiliate KXLY-TV in Spokane, Wash. -- were out of the mine and have been accounted for.  Seven were taken to nearby hospitals, six with non-life threatening injuries.  The other injured miner was moved to a larger hospital.  That miner's condition is not yet known.

The Lucky Friday Mine has since been closed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Idaho Family Flees 'Snake House'

Courtesy of Amber Sessions(REXBURG, Idaho) -- Even in this economy, a picture-perfect five bedroom rural home that lists for just over a $100,000 might seem like a real deal.  Except for the fact this home is known by locals in Rexburg, Idaho as the "snake house" because it apparently sits on a nest of non-poisonous garter snakes.

The home has had a fraught history of owners leaving in haste.  Now owned by Chase bank, it was on the market briefly in January and then taken off again.

In September 2009, it seemed like the ideal home for the growing Sessions family.  Ben and Amber Sessions got it for what seemed like a steal, paying less than $180,000.  But soon after moving in, they found snakes slithering inside the residence and all around the property.

"After we moved in, it was really horrible," Amber Sessions told ABC News.  "There were snakes in the walls. We could hear them and then our water tasted like how they smell."

Sessions said they trusted their real estate agent, who, she claimed, told them the snake problem was "made up" by the previous owners so that they could leave their mortgage behind.  He assured them that every precaution was made to keep the snakes away, she said.

But shortly after they moved in, Amber Sessions saw eight snakes in one day.  She texted her agent, she said, and he told her he was going to help them take care of it with traps.

The problem just kept getting worse and three months after they moved in, Amber Sessions, who was pregnant at the time, had enough of what seemed like the serpent house of horrors.  She said she got so scared about coming across a surprise snake in the house that she was worried she would miscarry.

"One day, we caught 43 snakes in total and that was it. The next morning I almost stepped on one in our house and I had enough, we can't do this anymore," she told ABC News. "I don't know how we stayed there as long as we did."

The Sessions family eventually abandoned the home in December 2009, a day after their daughter was born and three months after they moved in.

Real estate experts say the Sessions' story is a hard-learned lesson in the importance of due diligence when searching for your dream home.

"This is a buyer beware nation," New York City broker Brian Lewis told ABC News.  "You have to do your research because if you don't do your research, you end up with a house full of snakes."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Crews Recover Idaho Miner's Body

Simon Baker-Pool/Getty Images (File)(MULLAN, Idaho) -- Search crews on Sunday found the dead body of a miner who got trapped in an Idaho mine which collapsed on April 15.

The Hecla Mining Company (HCM) issued a news release saying that the body of Larry Marek was recovered on Sunday afternoon by crews. The company says the next step is to conduct an in-depth investigation into how and why the tragic incident occurred.

Earlier Sunday, company officials said they believed Marek was killed in the incident as he was “under the fall of ground” when the mine collapsed. Marek became trapped when part of the Lucky Friday mine in northern Idaho collapsed on April 15.

In a statement posted on the company’s website, HCM said, “Words cannot express the deep sorrow we feel at the tragic loss of our friend, colleague and 30-year veteran of the mining industry. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, loved ones and friends.”

Marek was employed with HCM for more than 12 years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Trapped Idaho Miner Believed to be Dead

Simon Baker-Pool/Getty Images (File)(MULLAN, Idaho) -- A miner trapped in an Idaho mine which collapsed on April 15 is now believed to be dead, according to officials from the Hecla Mining Company (HCM).

The company issued a statement Sunday saying that officials believed that the miner, Larry Marek, was “under the fall of ground” when the collapse occurred, and that he is deceased. The company said crews spent days working to rescue Marek, and will continue to work to recover his body. Officials said they were not sure just exactly how long the recovery effort would last.

Marek became trapped when part of the Lucky Friday mine in northern Idaho collapsed on April 15.

In a statement posted on the company’s website, HCM said, “Words cannot express the deep sorrow we feel at the tragic loss of our friend, colleague and 30-year veteran of the mining industry. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, loved ones and friends.”

Marek was employed with HCM for more than 12 years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Idaho Mine Collapses; One Missing

Simon Baker-Pool/Getty Images (file)(MULLAN, Idaho) -- Mine officials tell ABC News they'll be working around the clock to rescue a miner who went missing Friday after a collapse at the Lucky Friday silver mine in Mullan, Idaho.

According to officials, the collapse happened around 5:30 p.m. Friday, blocking a portion of the mine. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration confirmed Saturday that one miner was missing. The miner's identity was not released.

Lucky Friday Mine is one of two silver mines owned by the Hecla Mining Company, which describes itself as the oldest U.S.-based precious metal mining company.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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