Session Wraps, E-School & Wolves

The Times-News had a decent weekend story about rapid growth in online charter schools in Idaho… and the fact that the State Department of Education does not know how the schools utilize a large portion of their funding.

The big papers all had legislative wrap-ups over the weekend… most imply that the session was not very productive.

Lots of Lenore Barrett quotes, Lewiston Trib does an expose on judicial races and Clintobama in Montana in today’s Newsrack…

Legislative session wraps. Do nothing? Druzin in the Statesman. Tale of two sessions: pre and post tax receipt downturn. AP in the Press Tribune. Missed opportunities at Idaho Reports

Otter on legislators: “We talk a lot, but we don’t communicate very much.” LiCalzi: “It was like a perfect storm – everything seemed to go wrong.”Russell in the Spokesman Review. N. Idaho delegation on hits and misses. Ferguson in the LMT [subscrip]. $36 million short at the end of Jan. Phil Davidson in the Post-Register [subscrip].

Education Department not tracking funds to virtual schools. $4.58 million of the money sent to four online public schools intentionally unaccounted for. SDE spokesperson: “We do not compare online charter schools to traditional schools or charter schools to traditional schools, etc., because every school is different.” Andrea Jackson in the Times-News.

Canyon County considering alternatives to emissions testing. Fuel efficient county vehicles, vapor traps, smog dogs, etc. DEQ: “You can’t bank on voluntary programs.” Barker in the Statesman.

Far East Idaho divided over Teton Dam. Legislature approved funds for a study to rebuild the dam. Locals remember its catastrophic failure. Jeanette Boner in the Teton Valley News.

Lenore Barrett writes. Challis lawmaker’s legislative wrap-up focuses on… taxes. “Every Tom, Dick and Harry on the planet feels “entitled” to the sweat of another man’s brow. The legislature, struggling to fund necessities, had no problem voting a $3 million dollar donation to the Special Olympics. That is not the proper role of government, and is only one of many spending excesses.” Column in the Island Park News [free registration].

Popkey: Otter is patient. Gov. is not solely to blame for transportation funding gridlock. Sen. Brad Little: “There were representations from both chambers that, yeah, we’re going to do this. We were all saying transportation was on our going-home list. But then the House said, we just don’t have the votes. And the Senate said, well, let’s wait till next year. And that was it. All three of us could have handled it better.” Popkey in the Statesman.

NewWest has a mess of Clinton/Obama news out of Montana, where both candidates were over the weekend. Missoula Mayor on Obama: “He could be a Missoulian.” Clinton: “Who said there aren’t a lot of Democrats in Montana?” Wrap by Matthew Frank and more here.

Headline: Battle for the Bench. Of 42 district judges only six ran for office. Rest are political appointees. John Bradbury for State Supremes: “When you have a system and a culture that circumvents the entire electoral process for the judiciary how can (judges) be credible?” Joel Horton, incumbent: “I deal with a lot of folks – and not just lawyers and I’ve never heard anyone express to me a belief that judges are out of touch simply because they don’t frequently face contested elections.” Hedberg in the LMT [subscrip]. Judicial ballot: lists incumbent twice.

Rammell makes religious pitch. Senate candidate says Lt. Gov. Risch pandering to Mormon voters. Risch: “Those comments don’t rise to the level of deserving a response.” Davidson in the Post-Register.

Related: Mormon Church to meet with gay LDS group. Group: ”Affirmation has tried 5 or 6 times over the past 31 years to meet with church leaders. This is their second response.” AP in the newly redesigned Idaho State Journal.

Kuna grows by 50 percent. City annexes land to the south at behest of developer. in the Kuna Melba News. Scott McIntosh, Kuna-Melba News.

Wolf shot in Wyo. had a name. Well, a number at least. 253 had gone as far as Utah and was returned to Wyoming. Was known to Yellowstone wolf watchers. Kauffmann in the Mtn. Express.

More gems from Barrett: “Government wants to dictate your diet, filet your fat and send you to college whether you’re college material or not” and channelling Mother Goose: “There was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many children she didn’t know what to do; so, she fed them some broth without any bread, spanked them all soundly and sent them to bed!”

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