2013 in Review: A look at Idaho's biggest newsmakers

Credit: KTVB

In August, kidnapping victim Hannah Anderson was found by horseback riders in the Idaho wilderness.

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by Jamie Grey

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBJamieGrey

KTVB.COM

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 11:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 31 at 11:37 AM

BOISE -- This year in Idaho marked the 150th anniversary of Idaho becoming a territory and a lot of big news stories captured the attention of those in the state, and in some cases, around the nation. This is a compilation of some of the biggest newsmakers of 2013:

In August, kidnapping victim Hannah Anderson was found by horseback riders in the Idaho wilderness. The FBI took down her suspected kidnapper, James DiMaggio, who is also accused of killing Anderson's mother and brother.

Also in August, the wildfire season took a dramatic turn in the state, with huge fires raging throughout the month. The nation's top priority fires were in Idaho by summer's end. Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley faced evacuations and fire danger from the Beaver Creek Fire. Featherville and Pine were also evacuated, as 38 homes and cabins burned in the Elk Complex Fire.

In state politics, after facing public scrutiny, West Boise's District 15 Republican Representative Mark Patterson resigned. Southeast Boise's District 18 Democratic Senator Branden Durst, whose family, as discovered by KTVB, had moved to Washington state, also resigned.

The state-based Health Insurance Exchange opened for business this year, using a national platform for the website. There were some bumps in the road that Your Health Idaho has worked to iron out going in to 2014.

In May, federal agents went to a Boise apartment complex and arrested Uzbekistan-national Fazliddin Kurbanov on terrorism charges. Prosecutors say he had bomb-making materials and an explosive. He is set for trial next year.

Also in 2013, police closed a 15-year-old cold case. Police and prosecutors linked DNA evidence from the 1998 rape and murder of Kay Lynn Jackson on the Greenbelt to inmate Patrick John Zacharias. He later pleaded guilty.

In April, the largest fire in Jerome's history ripped through a downtown apartment building. That fire later caused controversy when the city attempted to bill the building's owner nearly 100-grand for responding, the bill was taken back, and some of those city officials involved later resigned.

In Kuna, a devastating school bus crash with a dump truck took the life of 11-year-old Daniel Cook in December. His father told KTVB: "The thing that made Daniel so special is he was confident, but he was kind."

Also in Kuna's schools, a terrible high school football accident left junior Boone Bartlome with a severe neck injury. In a memorable moment, both teams on the field dropped to pray for the player. While recovery is long, Boone is now making great strides. He stood on his own for a few moments last week.

Bronco football had big shake-ups this year. Quarterback Joe Southwick was sent home from Hawaii before the bowl game, he says because he was wrongfully accused of urinating off a hotel balcony.

Coach Chris Petersen left to coach the University of Washington Huskies, telling KTVB, "When this opportunity was presented, it just felt like the right thing." Coach Bryan Harsin, a Boise native and former Bronco player, was named as Pete's replacement, saying, "There's no place like home. Bottom line."

Another Idaho story people around the country saw this year involved a couple's photo that went viral online. The photo shows Marine Staff Sergeant Jesse Cottle, who was wounded in combat, on his wife Kelly's back. "Having that kind of impact. It's very humbling," Jesse Cottle told KTVB.

Our state celebrated a big milestone this year, with the sesquicentennial, marking 150 years since President Abraham Lincoln created the territory we all know now as the state of Idaho.

In our state's 150th year, Idaho lost a number of influential people, including:

Idaho also lost servicemen, including:

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