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Eagle man pleads guilty in prescription drug case
A licensed dentist from Eagle has pleaded guilty to obtaining painkillers and anxiety drugs by writing prescriptions to people who weren’t patients or in need of the medicine.Federal prosecutors announced the conviction against Rahil Akhtar, 37, on Nov. 4 on one count of acquiring and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or deception.Under a plea deal filed in U.S District Court in Boise, Akhtar admitted to writing about 93 fraudulent prescriptions between 2011 and 2013 that enabled him to obtain more than 2,500 dosage units of drugs containing hydrocodone and Alprazolam, used to treat patients with anxiety disorders.

Prosecutors say Akhtar wrote prescriptions to people who would get orders filled at a pharmacy and then returned most of those pills to Akhtar, who used the drugs for his own use. In some instances, investigators say Akhtar provided the person filling the prescription with money.

The prescriptions were written without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of a professional dental practice, according to prosecutors. Court records show Akhtar provided not treatment and created no medical records related to the prescriptions, which were intended for his own use.

He faces up to four years in prison and up to eight years of supervised release. Sentencing is set for Jan. 29.

The Associated Press

Judge: 7-day limit on rallies unconstitutional

A federal judge rejected some rules governing protests on state property surrounding the Capitol in Boise, concluding a seven-day limit on rallies as well as possible restriction-waivers for some groups but not others failed to pass free-speech muster.

The “Occupy Boise” protests that prompted this two-year-old litigation vacated the old Ada County Courthouse’s grounds last spring.

Late Friday, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill’s latest decision further clarified how activists can — and can’t — use the Capitol Mall properties.

Though Winmill’s 39-page ruling makes it clear he believes Idaho lawmakers went too far in some areas, he also upheld other limits.

Those include prohibitions on activists’ use of chalk and provisions giving Idaho officials discretion over whether to allow some groups to tap into the state’s taxpayer-funded electrical outlets.

IBR Staff

Meridian Valley Humane Society has moved to a small space on Linder Road

The all-volunteer nonprofit is located at 191 N. Linder Road, between Franklin and Pine. Meridian’s planned expansion of its wastewater treatment facility forced the shelter to find a new home on Sept. 30. Board member Nancy Harvey said volunteers secured the new location in October and are leasing the site of a former electrical business for $800 a month.

“Everyone got together, cleaned it up and made it livable and moved in 12 kennels and other dog supplies,” Harvey said.

Plans for the location include the addition of an outdoor kennel. Harvey said the nonprofit is also seeking donations from area business that might help pay for rent or other dog supplies (the shelter only houses dogs).

Jennifer Gonzalez

Title Financial acquires another Wyoming title company

Title Financial Corp., based in Blackfoot, announced that it acquired Jackson Hole Title & Escrow in Jackson on Nov. 4. Title Financial entered Wyoming in 2012, having also acquired title companies in Buffalo and Gillette.

“Wyoming was a natural next step for us and it fits nicely into our ever expanding footprint in the region,” Tony L. Hale, Title Financial’s chief operating officer, said in a news release.

The company now provides title and escrow services in 56 counties in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Washington. The company runs 19 storefronts in Idaho under the name First American Title Co., serving counties from the Wyoming border to Gooding and Valley counties as well as northern Idaho. The company has no offices in the Treasure Valley. Title Financial has more than 300 employees.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

IBR Staff

Batt: Add human rights protections for gays

A former Idaho Republican governor says it’s time the Legislature updated the state Human Rights Act to include housing and job discrimination protections for gays, lesbians and transgender individuals.

Former Gov. Phil Batt made the comments this week when he was honored with the Idaho Human Rights Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the Human Rights Commission in Caldwell.

Batt, who as a lawmaker in 1960 helped establish the Human Rights Commission, is the first recipient of the award.

At the ceremony Oct. 29, Batt said it makes no sense not to extend protections to gays and lesbians.

He says they shouldn’t have to fear discrimination when seeking somewhere to live, a hotel room or a job.

The Idaho Legislature has rejected adding protections, most recently during a 2012 Senate committee hearing.

The Associated Press

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