Printed on: September 22, 2013

Idaho news briefly

2 schools to teach dairy cow care

TWIN FALLS (AP) -- Following an undercover video showing Idaho dairy workers mistreating cows, state schools are teaming up with the industry to offer classes on how to handle animals.

The University of Idaho Extension and the College of Southern Idaho will be offering the program beginning in October following pilot testing.

Its first phase focuses on animal care, milking, calf raising and feeding dairy animals

In January, a former employee at Bettencourt Dairies' Dry Creek Dairy in Hansen pleaded guilty to misdemeanor animal abuse after the video shot by an animal rights group showed workers stomping, dragging and beating cows.

Bettencourt Dairies is among Idaho's largest, with 60,000 cows.

Terry Patterson, College of Southern Idaho instructional dean, says he's excited about the chance to provide training to current and future dairy employees.

Ex-guard charged with inmate sex

BOISE (AP) -- A former Idaho Department of Correction prison guard has been charged with having sex with an inmate at a maximum security prison south of Boise.

Pamela Lynn Thomson, 43, was arrested Thursday after prosecutors charged her with two counts of felony sexual contact with a prisoner.

Corrections spokesman Jeff Ray said in a prepared statement that Thompson was hired March 25 and fired from the department Sept. 6 after an investigation by the department's professional standards team.

Thompson was scheduled to appear in court Friday afternoon. She was being held on $250,000 bond.

Major fruit company coming to Idaho

TWIN FALLS (AP) -- A major fruit processing company says it will expand into Idaho.

The Times-News reports that Zentis, which claims to be the leading fruit processor in the U.S. and Europe, announced Wednesday it is looking to buy an existing plant in Idaho. But the company didn't say exactly where it was looking within the state or when it would start operations in Idaho.

Zentis has manufacturing plants in Gardena, Calif.; Plymouth, Ind.; and Philadelphia. The company makes jams, jellies, marzipan and chocolate specialties, as well as fruit preparations for the baking and dairy industries.

Family sues state over inmate suicide

COEUR D'ALENE (AP) -- The family of a northern Idaho man who committed suicide at a state psychiatric hospital is suing the state over his death.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports that Steven Ferry Sr. was being held involuntarily at State Hospital North in Orofino when he electrocuted himself Sept. 18, 2011. Steven Ferry Jr. filed the lawsuit in Kootenai County's 1st District Court, contending the hospital failed to provide Ferry with a safe environment and didn't adequately supervise him, resulting in his death.

According to the lawsuit, the state filed an application to have Ferry placed in involuntary treatment after he attempted suicide, and examiners found him to be mentally ill, likely to injure himself and unable to make informed decisions about his own care.