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Local Idaho schools to receive grant funding for technology programs

Local Idaho schools to receive grant funding for technology programs

Fifteen Idaho schools will receive part of a $3 million technology grant, according to State Superintendent Tom Luna, four of them right here in the inland northwest.

The goal is for the schools to pilot innovative technologies that, if successful, can be duplicated in schools across the state to give teachers the tools they need to help raise academic achievement.

Currently Idaho has the lowest rate of high school graduates heading directly to college, at just over 45 percent. A study also found that over 60 percent of fourth grade students are not proficient in math and reading.

The Idaho State Department of Education reviewed applications from 99 schools across the state, totaling over $26 million in requests for grant funding. The applications covered a broad cross section of schools, made up of varying grade levels, demographics and regions of the state.

Controversy over delegates at Idaho GOP convention

A dispute over the number of delegates counties will be awarded is one of the biggest controversies facing Idaho's Republican convention.

Delegate numbers are critical as established candidates face off against tea party members over control of the party's agenda. Each side is vying for supporters as Republicans vote Friday on adding platform amendments, along with voting on a new state party chair.

One area of contention is how much representation Ada County - which holds one-sixth of the state's voters - will get.

Chairman Barry Peterson says he never received the committee assignments, forcing him only to appoint only four Ada County members to the committees, when it is allowed 34 members to participate on the panels. Ada County isn't the only region to be shorted delegates.

In a committee list obtained by The Associated Press, nearly 25 counties were shorted committee delegates. Meanwhile, another seven were given extra delegates.

Huckabee kicks off Idaho Republican convention

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is kicking off Idaho's Republican convention in front of hundreds of state delegates charged with selecting a new state chairman and amending the GOP platform.

The convention is taking place in Moscow, Idaho, over the next three days.

Huckabee received a warm welcome from the GOP delegates attending the event Thursday

The 2008 presidential contender's speech focused on limiting the federal government and strengthening states' rights.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will speak later at the convention. Paul is known for his libertarian views and is rumored to make a possible run in the 2016 presidential election.

Gem State gubernatorial debate mocked across country

Gem State gubernatorial debate mocked across country

It may have seemed like a Saturday Night Live sketch, but it really was a debate between the men who want to be Idaho's GOP candidate for governor in an event that is now being mocked across the country.

The GOP primary is Tuesday and, according to candidate Harley Brown, Idahoans will choose between, "a cowboy a curmudgeon or a normal guy."

That so-called normal guy Brown referred to is State Senator Russ Fulcher, who is making the rounds before voters hit the polls.

The debate lasted almost an hour, but the most popular highlight reel, just a few minutes long, is what the whole world is watching and it is not a good look for the Gem State.

Two of the candidates, dark horses to put it mildly, are Harley Brown and Walt Bates, provided the entertainment in the forum.

"I am about as politically correct as your proverbial turd in a punch bowl," Brown said during the debate.

"Our forests are like growing tomatoes, well they are pretty red don't pick 'em," Bates said during the debate.

Fulcher said he's not impressed with the spectacle the debate turned into and added he wasn't surprised.

Two candidates removed from Lewis County Primary Election

Two potential candidates for offices in Lewis County have been removed from the Primary Election because both filings indicated a party affiliation that was not supported by a prior affiliation or an Idaho Political Party Affiliation Declaration Form.


This is a new requirement this year, according to Chief Elections Officer Cathy Larson, who says it was brought to her attention that her office erroneously accepted candidate filings for the Lewis County Clerk of the District Court and Commissioner District II positions.

Victims' families angry with Inslee death penalty decision

Victims' families angry with Inslee death penalty decision

Washington Govenor Jay Inslee's decision to suspend executions of death row inmates has prompted a new senate bill, introduced by State Senator Steve O'Ban of Tacoma that has gained the support of the families of murder victims whose killers are on death row.

Three of the nine men on death row are from Spokane: Byron Scherf, who killed prison guard Jayme Biendl, Spokane serial killer Robert Yates, who killed 13 people, and Dwayne Woods, who beat two Spokane women to death.

Families of their victims are joining O'Ban to show Inslee his decision is not in favor of the victims. The bill will require Inslee to gather input from the state clemency and pardons board before signing a reprieve that would halt executions.

"Everyone here sees a name, but they don't get faces. This is Telisha," Sherry Shaver said.

Shaver is Telisha Shaver's mother; Telisha was one of two women beaten to death in 1997 by Dwayne Woods. She addressed the Senate Law and Justice Committee pleading on behalf of her daughter.

House Ethics Committee looking at McMorris Rodgers

House Ethics Committee looking at McMorris Rodgers

The House Ethics Committee is considering an investigation of the No. 4 ranking member of the House Republican leadership, congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state.

Just last week McMorris Rodgers delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union address.

McMorris Rodgers serves as chair of the House GOP Conference and is the House GOP's highest-ranking woman. Her lawyer, Elliot Berke, says McMorris Rodgers is aware of the potential investigation and has cooperated with the Office of Congressional Ethics.

The OCE is an outside organization that can refer cases to the House Ethics Committee. The subject of the potential investigation isn't being disclosed.

The Ethics Committee chairman, Michael Conaway, and its ranking Democrat, Linda Sanchez, say they have received a referral from the OCE about McMorris Rodgers.