iSTARS lite, Crapo on Craig & Gangs

New teacher merit pay plan is out, eliminating the tradeoff in teacher contracts. Companion bills would eliminate some steps in firing teachers. But merit pay would still be largely dependent on test scores, something the teachers’ union opposes.

Sen. Crapo told an Idaho Falls crowd that Sen. Craig is getting along fine with his colleagues and that the Senate Ethics Committee jumped the gun. In other news, Craig moved to file an enlarged brief Tuesday.

A quiet Treasure Valley program is putting away gang members in federal prison, Jerome County is all cow all the time and Tamarack filed for bankruptcy… in today’s juicy Newsrack.

iSTARS lite. Superintendent of Schools comes up with scaled down teacher merit pay. No messing with teacher contracts and the cost to the state is much less. It’s paired with legislation that makes it easier to fire teachers. Bedke: “Now the plan’s biggest enemy is the budget shortage.” Allen in the Statesman. Also asking for 1 percent base pay raise. Union holding out for more. Miller, AP in the Press Tribune. No professional development offered. Russell in the Spokesman.

Three Canyon County teens sent to California prison. Special prosecutor in the Treasure Valley is filing federal gang charges. 44 this year. Prosecutor Christian Nafzger: “Essentially this was designed to bring more gang members to court with enhanced penalties and longer jail sentences.” Rodine in the Statesman.

JFAC cuts ISP budget request. Won’t get $9 million funding shift that Otter wanted or money for forensics. Russell in the Spokesman.

Bill would allow domestic violence victims to hide addresses. Moscow shooting victim may have left husband if she could have hid. Bill killed last year, new hearing Thursday. Attorney General would be their P.O. box. Ferguson in the LMT [subscrip].

Lewis withdraws, endorses Grant. Candidate for 1st CD Rand Lewis withdraws from race, endorses Larry Grant. Press Tribune.

Crapo says Senate Ethics Panel rushed to judgement. Let Craig have his day in court, Crapo tells Idaho Falls City Club. And no one is shunning Craig in the Senate. Corey Taule in the Post Register [subscrip].

Jerome County cowshed. County is sued over dairy near Minidoka, sued for CAFO moratorium and considering new dairy rules. Christensen in the Times-News.

‘Rack on the rack. Tamarack Resorts files Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Loan to pay off other loans did not come through. Blame it on the French. Could be layoffs, but having best season yet. Dey in the Statesman.

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