Idaho's top news stories of 2017

Posted at 4:15 PM, Dec 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-29 18:20:45-05

The year 2017 began with Snowmageddon. Boise had snow on the ground for well over a month. The winter took its toll on the Gem State, collapsing buildings all over the region, and causing millions of dollars worth of damage. 

As the weather warmed and the snow melted, the reservoirs filled, the rooster tail erupted, and Shoshone Falls raged. All of the water had no place to go and the Boise River rose to record high levels, creating a whole other set of problems for the Treasure Valley and beyond.

From one element to another, fire devastating the lives of local families. 

2017 took the lives of two members of the Idaho National Guard and two children after a holiday weekend house fire near Tamarack. 

Then in September, a home invasion turned deadly when flames took over a residence, killing the intruder and two of the family members who were inside the home. 

But that isn’t the only crime that years ago would have been unthinkable here in the Treasure Valley.

In the past year, a 15-year-old boy was violently beaten and left for dead in a Nampa city park with two other teens arrested. 

The unthinkable happened when a 5-month-old toddler was left to die in a hot car parked at a Caldwell car dealership. The mother’s boyfriend plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the case.

There also was the shocking triple murder with still no answers. The three victims bodies, including a 13-year-old girl, were discovered on a Canyon County property. Police are still looking for the man they believe is responsible, Gerald Michael Bullinger.

2017 did bring closure to a long and divisive story when a military judge ruled that Hailey native Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl would not serve any prison time for walking off his post in Afghanistan.

The sunset literally and figuratively this summer on August 21st when parts of Idaho plunged into total blackness as the Great America Eclipse passed over the Gem State.

Just days later, Cecil D. Andrus, Idaho’s only four-term governor, proud democrat, and secretary of the interior under President Jimmy Carter passed away at age 85.

Idaho also lost another icon this past year, Lyle Smith. Smith, known as the father of Boise State Football, passed away at 101-years-old. The Broncos would honor Smith’s memory with a Mountain West championship, and a victory in the Las Vegas Bowl over the Oregon Ducks. 

As the leaves changed colors, we learned Boise State University President Bob Kustra plans to retire in the new year, while students at another local university made history. Idaho’s first satellite blasted into space thanks to a dedicated team of undergraduates at Northwest Nazarene University.

From outer space to Idaho’s great outdoors came a couple of 6 On Your Side’s most talked about stories of the year. 

A herd of 50 pronghorn antelope found dead in Payette. The culprit; the toxic shrub the Japanese Yew.

Who could forget our viral video of little Joey, a Meridian man’s pet squirrel attacking a would-be burglar in his home. The culprit was caught red-handed when police saw his hands. The squirrely situation made international headlines.