Monday, November 15, 2010 From the Coeur d’Alene Press Zero tolerance applies evenly (Editorial) From the Spokesman-Review Research center cleared by state From the Moscow Pullman Daily News (password required) UI: Feds may be looking into CAMBR OUR VIEW: Stop passing the buck on facilities lawsuit (Editorial) From the Lewiston Tribune (password required) UI graduates walk the walk Audit clears Post Falls research center CSI searches for hatchery water ISU graduates collect diplomas College of Western Idaho looks to the future Officials chart path toward vision School districts start to face sanctions under landmark law Fears of violence fill school IDEA to hold meetings for prospective parents Search committee for C of I finalized From the Idaho Statesman Meridian school considers common dress policy Students embrace future, traditions with cookbook Group calls for fewer kids in each Boise classroom Thousands graduate from U of I, ISU Saturday Dan Prinzing: Wiesenthal's 'Sunflower' inspired charter school students to paint mural (Commentary) From the Twin Falls Times-News Nursing needs Students receive GED certificates at CSI CSI searches for fish hatchery water replacement Time for CSI to move out of the shadows? (editorial) Graduation day From the Idaho State Journal (password Required) Degrees of success ISU involved in engineering society Head Start teacher performs balancing act between home and school ISU professor awarded third honor Finishing up degree Students raise funds for statue ISU graduates-to-be go through arch Student arrested in tensions over flag issue From the Idaho Falls Post Register (password required) No new education news stories today. FROM THE COEUR D‘ALENE PRESS Zero tolerance applies evenly (Editorial) Posted: Sunday, May 11, 2008 - 08:37:38 pm PDT Most of us don't know what it's like to be a teacher in a modern-day classroom. Even as parents, we never reared 30 children at a time. Overseeing a classroom day in and day out is not just beyond most people's experience; it is at times beyond most people's imagination. We can only begin to feel the frustration that must mount, particularly near the end of a long school year. This much we do know: • Discipline in the classroom today is, by most accounts, nowhere close to what it was when many of us were younger. The splintering of families, poor student diet and sleep patterns, and many other factors have been blamed on disintegrating student self-control. • Corporal punishment has been abolished in public schools, and that is absolutely a good thing. • In spite of the difficulties for teachers in sometimes chaotic environments, physical resolution should never be tolerated unless it's in self-defense. Twice last week The Press received reports of teachers who responded physically to what they perceived as unacceptable behavior from students. One of the teachers was in Coeur d'Alene; the other in Post Falls. While we sympathize with what is likely high stress levels in both cases, we believe any teacher who crosses the line and inappropriately touches a student in any way -- again, with the sole exception of self-protection or protecting other students -- should never be permitted in a classroom again. Public schools have adopted zero-tolerance policies against possession of drugs and weapons of any kind, even toy ones. It is supremely hypocritical to teach kids that they can be kicked out of school for violations such as these while teachers who are out of control are permitted back in the classroom. FROM THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW Research center cleared by state NASA probing how UI office used grants What is CAMBR? The Center for Advanced Microelectronics and Biomolecular Research handles research of computer chips and microprocessors that routinely go into space on major NASA projects. Shawn Vestal Staff writer May 11, 2008 The Idaho attorney general's office has concluded that researchers at a University of Idaho center in Post Falls broke no state laws in blending the interests of the university and two private companies that benefited the researchers. But investigators with the space agency NASA, which provides a large share of funding for the Center for Advanced Microelectronics and Biomolecular Research, are still probing how the center's officials handled federal grants over the years, according to an attorney involved in the case. In the meantime, the UI has reorganized its staff at the center, bringing in a new director and allowing the former director, Gary Maki, to focus on leading the research. And grants coming to the center are booming, said UI Provost Doug Baker – CAMBR has attracted about $4.4 million in the last few months for research into cancer detection, and low-energy electronics for military use and spaceflight. "We're focused on doing good science, and they're doing a great job," Baker said. CAMBR and Maki were the subject of a university audit in 2005 that found the center's officials deliberately and improperly used university resources to "further private business interests" – namely, two businesses formed by CAMBR researchers and run in close alignment with the center. The audit concluded company work was done on university time, university employees had a profit-sharing arrangement with one company and university resources were used for company business, such as testing products. The audit said the conflicts violated university policy and possibly state law. Defenders of the center have argued that it handled the relationships with companies appropriately and such conflicts of interest are a natural part of the modern research environment, with universities pushing scientists to transfer research into the marketplace. The conflicts are managed by careful disclosure and oversight, and CAMBR supporters say that happened in this case, disputing the auditor's conclusions. CAMBR researches computer chips and microprocessors that routinely go into space on major projects like the Hubble Space Telescope. The center has brought in more than $17 million in grants since setting up in Post Falls in 2002. A former researcher at the center and former CAMBR staffer have sued the UI, saying they were punished for raising questions about conflicts of interest. The Idaho attorney general's office opened a criminal investigation into the audit findings in 2006. Officials there would not comment on the case this week. However, attorney Christine Weaver, who represents Kenneth and Martha Hass in their lawsuit against the UI, said Tuesday that she was notified in March by the attorney general's office that it had concluded its investigation and decided there was no violation of Idaho law. "However, our investigation continues as an adjunct to the federal investigation that is still ongoing," according to an e-mail from an attorney in the office to Weaver. "Information developed during the state's criminal investigation has been forwarded to federal authorities who are investigating other issues related to the federal funding aspect of CAMBR." Other sources have confirmed being told the same thing by officials within the office. Weaver said the federal agency investigating the situation is NASA's Office of the Inspector General. Messages left with the agency's office were not returned this week. Baker said the UI has not been notified of the status of the state investigation, and that he wasn't aware of any federal inquiry into CAMBR. Weaver said she and her clients were interviewed for both the state and NASA investigations more than a year ago. She said NASA investigators asked questions about how finances were directed between the university operation and the businesses. "It all had to do with how Maki's handling the money and whether things were benefiting his private companies rather than NASA," she said. Weaver said they were not asked about a letter sent to NASA by Maki after Hass began cooperating with the UI auditor. The letter raised questions about whether Hass had breached national security or provided sensitive information to "unauthorized sources" or "foreign agents." Maki sent the letter to a NASA official with a long-standing relationship with CAMBR and asked her to sign and represent the letter as her own "close to the way it is," according to records filed in the lawsuit. He said he wanted to take the letter to UI President Tim White. Others affiliated with CAMBR have accused Hass of spying on Maki's computer and accessing sensitive information on center computers in the course of the audit – accusations he has denied. Asked about those accusations Thursday, Baker said he couldn't speak about the case in detail because of personnel issues, but the UI had concluded the audit was conducted appropriately. "Things that were identified in that audit … were appropriately investigated and have been addressed," he said. "We took that audit seriously." Baker said recent grants received at CAMBR include a federal grant of $2.3 million to help develop low-power electronics for military uses in combat and a $1.3 million award for electronics for a NASA mission to study weather patterns and provide continuous climate data. Hass has left CAMBR and been hired as a professor in Moscow. The lawsuit filed by him and his wife – a former staffer at CAMBR – is expected to be scheduled for trial soon, Weaver said. FROM THE MOSCOW PULLMAN DAILY NEWS (PASSWORD REQUIRED) UI: Feds may be looking into CAMBR Trail says agency investigating Center for Advanced Microelectronics and Biomolecular Research By Tara Roberts, Daily News staff writer Posted on: Saturday, May 10, 2008 A federal agency may have taken a lead role in the investigation of the University of Idaho's Center for Advanced Microelectronics and Biomolecular Research. CAMBR, which is in UI's research park in Post Falls, has been under investigation since 2005. Employees Kenneth and Martha Hass reported concerns about the center's operations to the UI's internal auditor. A resulting audit report revealed irregularities such as conflicts of interest and misuse of university funds. Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas asked the Idaho Attorney General's Office in 2007 to conduct an investigation of the issues in the CAMBR audit. The attorney general's office still is investigating the center, but state Rep. Tom Trail said he is confident a federal agency has taken over. Trail said he was talking to an attorney general's office official about another matter when he decided to ask about the CAMBR investigation. "I asked the question, 'How are things going?' And the response was, you know, the feds are taking over the lead on the investigation with the Idaho State Attorney General's office in a supporting role," Trail said. Trail said he did not know which federal agency was involved. He speculated it could be the Department of Justice or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which provided a large amount of grant funding to CAMBR. Department of Justice spokeswoman Laura Sweeney declined comment. NASA representatives had not returned requests for comment as of press time. Idaho Attorney General's Office spokesman Bob Cooper said he could not confirm whether a federal agency is involved. The office does not comment on ongoing investigations. "All we can say is that it's an open investigation," Cooper said. Trail said a federal investigation "raises some increased concerns that hopefully won't hurt the university." He said he has been concerned for some time that the CAMBR situation would cause problems for the university. He and local legislators Rep. Shirley Ringo and Sen. Gary Schroeder met with UI President Tim White and other administrators in December 2006 to talk about CAMBR. "President White told us at that time that the university had conducted a thorough internal investigation, there had been some minor auditing problems and money management matters that had been rectified, and as far as the university was concerned, everything had been taken care of," he said. "We left the meeting feeling, you know, case closed." UI spokeswoman Tania Thompson said she doesn't know anything about a federal agency taking over the investigation. She referred to a September 2006 memo from White to UI employees about CAMBR. The memo outlined things the UI was doing to bring CAMBR into compliance. The memo stated the university would conduct periodic follow-up audits "to ensure that the changes we have implements are working and to identify additional room for improvement." The Hasses also have an ongoing lawsuit against the UI. They filed the suit in February 2007, alleging that former CAMBR Director Gary Maki retaliated against them for causing and participating in the audit and attempted to defame Kenneth Hass. Records revealed in June 2007 that a letter believed to have been sent by a NASA official to the UI criticizing Kenneth Hass appears to have been drafted by Maki in an attempt to discredit Hass. Maki was removed from his position as CAMBR director that month. He remains a professor and researcher for the UI. Tara Roberts can be reached at (208) 882-5561, ext. 234,or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. OUR VIEW: Stop passing the buck on facilities lawsuit (Editorial) Posted on: Friday, May 09, 2008 There are those who felt the lengthy school facilities lawsuit was settled when a district court judge ruled Idaho was constitutionally obligated to provide the money to districts to build and maintain safe school facilities. Many held their breath when the inevitable appeal process started and finally held out hope when the case went to the state Supreme Court. Bupkis, nada, zero. That's what Idaho taxpayers received. Now, a federal judge wants to take another look at his recent ruling in the case. His decision will do little to settle the case that's taken too long already. The lawsuit was filed in the last century and now is 18 years old. Someone born the year it was filed would be graduating this spring from one of the schools with inadequate facilities. We don't expect the wheels of justice to spin fast. Thoroughness is greatly appreciated, but taking so long to determine how to fix the funding problem since the case was decided at the district level is a blatant example of buck passing. In 2005, the case arrived at the state Supreme Court. The justices sided with the districts, and most of us thought the case was finally settled and lawmakers would set about what they should have been doing for years - funding school buildings. Wrong again. The justices offered no road map to fix the problem. In June, the districts filed suit against the high court asking for the remedy phase in the case. In February, U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill sort of decided in favor of the districts when he refused a request by the Supreme Court to dismiss the case. Last week the good judge announced he will reconsider his ruling. He then said whatever he decides, the case will end up in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. What began as a question of constitutional interpretation has turned into a political hot potato. Between the courts and the Legislature, the ongoing dispute should be settled soon. Idahoans cannot be expected to endure facilities lawsuit, the next generation. - Murf Raquet, for the editorial board FROM THE LEWISTON TRIBUNE (PASSWORD REQUIRED) UI graduates walk the walk By Jodi Walker Sunday, May 11, 2008 MOSCOW - A book on Eastern Orthodox theology tucked under his arm, Joshua Bousman, of Tacoma, said he hoped to get in a little reading during Saturday's commencement ceremony at the University of Idaho. The heavy reading is his passion as the former Vandal linebacker prepares to enter the workforce with a degree in philosophy and a minor in religious studies. His goal is to attend seminary in New York and become an Eastern Orthodox priest. His goal Saturday was to stay awake and fed, he said, taking a drink of his coffee while balancing an apple precariously on his book. "I was going to bring a book," said Lisa Dillman, 23, of Wilsonville, Ore. "Actually I was going to put a backpack under (my gown) to put an iPod and a book." Instead, the philosophy graduate looked forward to the ceremony without any distractions. She was unlike many of her peers, as students uniformly dressed in black caps and gowns held cell phones to their ears or quickly pounded out text messages to people other than the thousands of graduates standing around them. Dillman said finishing her degree means taking a break. "I started going to school when I was 3." After six years at UI, one of those years spent studying in Chile, she is taking a year off before heading back to graduate school in Oregon. The break will be shorter for Jennifer Moss, 23, of Jerome, Idaho. The public relations and communications studies double-major has several job interviews in a couple of weeks. For now, her colorfully decorated mortarboard reflects her mood. "We gotta do the laid-back thing," she said. Few caps and even fewer costumes stood out from the sea of black gowns as the students filled the Campus Commons area early Saturday morning. It was so early, in fact, Anthony Patterson, 22, of Twin Falls, was devising his plan for the ceremony. "I'm thinking maybe a little nap," he said. His classmate, Travis Zmak, 21, of Lewiston, agreed. "Yeah, maybe I can lay my head on your shoulder and you can lay yours on mine." Along with their fellow business majors, they took up a spot at the end of the long line of graduates. None were too eager to participate in the hours-long graduation ceremony. "I didn't even stay for all my three-hour classes, let alone a three-hour ceremony," Zmak said. "But mom said 'I paid for it, you'll walk.' " Taking a long drink of coffe, Kristin Wick, 21, of Coeur d'Alene, agreed "My mom told me I had to walk. If she paid for me to be here, I can do that," she said, shrugging her shoulders. It's the second year the university has held one large graduation ceremony rather than handing out diplomas in smaller college ceremonies. As the graduates began making their way into the Kibbie Dome, parents and friends filled the grassy areas along the sidewalks, searching out familiar faces and snapping photos. "It's been a good place for him," said Janice DeVoe of Silverton, Idaho, as she waited for her son, Dustin, to emerge from the line of graduate students. He has been at UI for eight years, obtaining first his bachelor's and then his master's degree. Despite their efforts, the engineering student's mother and mother-in-law, Mary Beaubelle of Orange County, Calif., missed him and decided to head into the dome to watch the ceremony. Inside, commencement took on a different tone as keynote speaker Kirstin Larson drew attention to her age. "I bet you were expecting someone older up here." Larson, a 1991 UI grad, is not yet 40, but has amassed an impressive resume. She has worked at Microsoft and is now an art consultant in the Seattle area. Her advice to 2008 graduates was simple: be persistent, get a sense of humor and get a life. On the first, she described her tenure at Microsoft - a gig that ended nearly as quickly as it began. "I took a gamble on Microsoft because I loved their mission." Her job was outsourced three months later. What came next was a better opportunity though. The company hired her to do international marketing, a job in which a sense of humor was crucial. Her first face-to-face meeting with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, her idol, came when he screamed at her that a presentation she helped create was the worst one he had ever seen. "It makes me laugh every time I think about it," she said. But her point was clear. "If you're not making mistakes, you're probably not learning." Her entire focus changed with the birth of her daughter. There was no business plan and no model to follow. She had to learn to be more than a Microsoft executive. She encouraged each graduate to find and pursue their passion. "You are not your resume." --- Walker may be contacted at email@example.com or (208) 848-2275. FROM THE IDAHO-PRESS TRIBUNE, NAMPA Audit clears Post Falls research center POST FALLS (AP) — Researchers at a University of Idaho center broke no state laws in blending the interests of the university and two private companies, the Idaho attorney general‘s office concludes. But an attorney involved in the case says the Center for Advanced Microelectronics and Biomolecular Research still faces an investigation into how federal grants were handled over the years. ―Information developed during the state‘s criminal investigation has been forwarded to federal authorities who are investigating other issues related to the federal funding aspect of CAMBR,‖ the attorney general‘s office wrote in an e-mail to attorney Christine Weaver. The Spokesman-Review reported Sunday that NASA‘s Office of the Inspector General is investigating how the federal space agency‘s grants were handled by CAMBR officials. Messages left with the agency‘s office were not returned this week, the newspaper reported. In the meantime, the UI has reorganized its staff at the center, bringing in a new director and allowing the former director, Gary Maki, to focus on research. Grants coming to the center are booming, UI Provost Doug Baker said. CAMBR has attracted about $4.4 million in the last few months for research into cancer detection and low-energy electronics for military use and spaceflight. ―We‘re focused on doing good science, and they‘re doing a great job,‖ Baker said. CAMBR and Maki were the subject of a university audit in 2005 that found the center‘s officials deliberately and improperly used university resources to ―further private business interests.‖ CSI searches for hatchery water TWIN FALLS (AP) — The College of Southern Idaho says it is searching for more sources of water for its Rock Creek Canyon fish hatchery. The college has had to supplement oxygen in recent years to keep fish from suffocating because Twin Falls Canal Company tunnels are drying up. CSI professor Terry Patterson says farmland sold for housing developments means less irrigation and more foreign material getting into the tunnels. Twin Falls County has a well drilling permit system to protect the tunnels and landowners are required to use surface water before drilling more wells. The city of Twin Falls and others have researched ways to recharge the aquifer. ISU graduates collect diplomas EDUCATION: Commencement marks achievement of goals for 1,670 who walked Saturday By Casey Santee Idaho State Journal POCATELLO — After four years of balancing school, work and family, Jason Benedict finally saw the fruits of his labor at Idaho State University on Saturday. The married father of four graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree. He was one of 1,670 graduates to walk the stage at Holt Arena during the annual commencement ceremony. The university also honored three distinguished faculty members. ―It‘s good to be finished,‖ Benedict said afterward. ―I‘m just grateful for my family. It‘s for them.‖ Standing outside the arena in his cap and gown, Benedict was flanked by his wife, Tiffany, and his children, as his father snapped pictures. The kids held signs reading, ―Way to go Grad.‖ Benedict, of Idaho Falls, worked full-time as a loan officer at Zions Bank in Rigby while attending mostly night classes at University Place. When classes weren‘t available in Idaho Falls, he commuted to the Pocatello campus. During a short speech at Saturday‘s ceremony, student body President Jennifer Brown congratulated her fellow graduates. She noted that all had worked hard to finish their degrees and that many took sizable student loans to do so. She encouraged them to strive for success. ―I hope you will create a great vision for yourself and believe in that vision,‖ Brown said. ISU President Arthur Vailas, Provost Robert Wharton and others also spoke. Bethany Schultz Hurst was named distinguished ISU teacher of the year, Willis McAleese was given the Distinguished Public Service Award and Susan Swetnam received the Distinguished Researcher Award. Benedict, who graduated with honors, said he will continue to work for Zions Bank doing commercial and agricultural lending, but he is thankful the sleepless nights filled with class and homework are over. College of Western Idaho looks to the future EDUCATION: Leaders of the Treasure Valley‘s new community college envision a different kind of place to learn By Christin Runkle firstname.lastname@example.org TREASURE VALLEY — As the framework for the College of Western Idaho begins to crystallize, the five-member board of trustees is making decisions that will shape the institution's future. The new community college is set to open in January 2009 with around 2,500 full-time students. Board Chairman Jerry Hess says that CWI will be a ―21stcentury, student-friendly, economically viable institution.‖ If Hess had had any expectations that it would be otherwise — namely a ―traditional, rootbound educational model‖ following the pattern of traditional community colleges — he never would have accepted a position as board trustee, he said. But what exactly is the 21st century model Hess envisions for the College of Western Idaho? Finding a model Late last month Hess, along with trustees MC Niland and Guy Hurlbutt, CWI President Dennis Griffin and other top administrators, visited Rio Salado College in Tempe, Ariz. Rio Salado has more than 61,000 students, 28,000 of whom take classes online. With its 88 percent rate of student completion, 1 percent staff turnover and $65 per credit hour fee, Rio Salado caught Hess' eye. The 30-year-old institution offers free tutoring for students and access to services is available 24 hours a day on the Web. It has starts every Monday of the year. ―Why not have that here?‖ Hess asks. But realizing the vision will take careful planning, and Hess has asked his fellow board members several times to slow down and look carefully at every option before making a decision the school will be stuck with far into the future. When employee benefit packages came before the board, Hess cautioned his fellow board members not to approve the benefits simply because they were what BSU and other colleges had given. While the trustees approved vacation, holiday, sick leave and retirement packages in April, they decided to look into private health insurance options before buying into the state's insurance plan. ―My biggest fear is that we will continue to evolve, adopting existing policies, procedures and practices that may be huge barriers to greater flexibility downstream,‖ Hess said. ―Getting it right … is severely important.‖ What if that doesn't happen? ―We'll have a good, functional community college, one which will serve the population well and fulfill its mission,‖ Hess said. ―Probably people won't realize what they missed until other (colleges) start to eclipse (CWI).‖ But, Hess went on to say, ―there's such impelling evidence for the 21st century model.‖ ―It's simply irresponsible not to explore all options available to us as an institution.‖ ‗Change is difficult‘ During the process, Hess has felt some resistance to change, which he thinks has been a result of the ―overwhelmingness of simply trying to get (CWI) up and going.‖ CWI trustee MC Niland said that transferring the successful Selland College of Applied Technology from Boise State University to the College of Western Idaho has produced some ―fear of the unknown.‖ ―Change is difficult. It's difficult for everybody,‖ she said. ―I think there's a fear of change, but I think it's something we need to embrace.‖ But for the most part, college officials support the vision. ―Our staff is on board with it,‖ Griffin said, ―and our board is on board with it.‖ Hatch Barrett, a CWI trustee who didn't visit Rio Salado, said he doesn't yet know enough about the model. He's interested in online education but was cautious about its implementation — a virtual university ―can't do everything,‖ he said. ―I agreed to serve as a trustee to establish a comprehensive community college, and that in my opinion includes all forms of education and presentation,‖ he said. ―(Hess) certainly is an advocate of online education, and nobody's going to challenge him,‖ Barrett said. ―It's just to what degree.‖ Officials chart path toward vision TREASURE VALLEY — College of Western Idaho officials don't have very much time to decide what their course of action will be: Officials hope to offer some academic courses this fall before the school's formal opening in January 2009. The Selland College of Applied Technology will transfer from Boise State University to CWI in July 2009. CWI Board Chairman Jerry Hess said he knows time is of the essence. But he also said that CWI's opening won't be delayed as the trustees ponder their next moves. To figure out precisely what educational model they'll implement, the trustees are hiring specialists in 21st century educational models to advise them. Hess said they also want to determine why ―underserved citizenry is not being served‖ and figure out a way to reach those potential students. A committee made up of 10 community leaders began meeting this month and will explore ways to best serve the Treasure Valley. Hess is aware that CWI won't look in January exactly the way he dreams it will one day look, largely because the college initially won't have the money or resources to feature every desired element right away. The school can ―adopt only that which makes sense with our staff and resources,‖ he said. ―This is the ultimate vision, but we've got to be realistic and modify those portions that can be accomplished (give our time and resources),‖ Hess said. So what is most important now? Having class starts every week isn't possible now, Hess said. And while keeping tuition low is important to the trustees, $65 credit hours aren't feasible at this point, either. The college's present model calls for $118 credits, still far less than Boise State's tuition fee of $238 per credit for parttime students. But having a rigorous training process for staff, as Rio Salado does, is not only a possibility early on — it's a necessity, Hess said. That kind of training will be one of the first things developed so ―our foundation is deep and wide.‖ Rio also attracts about 2,000 job applicants each year, Hess said. He hopes to create an exciting and elite culture like Rio Salado‘s that will prompt instructors to want to be part of the Canyon County-based college. The Arizona community college has one main building, but classes are offered at locations around the Maricopa County area. That's something CWI can do right away, too, Hess said. Because Rio Salado has already created the model Hess envisions, he and CWI President Dennis Griffin hope to partner or co-brand with the Arizona school to provide certain services to local students from the first day. Griffin wants to provide online education, but he knows that CWI won't have the capabilities for doing so immediately. ―Initially, I think the way to go is to partner with someone who has that,‖ Griffin said, adding that one possibility is to partner with Rio Salado. Building a college with features like those at Rio Salado will be costly — just how costly no one knows. Hess hopes to defray costs by raising money from those who want to invest in a successful school. ―We've got to build the right foundation and model to warrant that kind of (investment),‖ he said. School districts start to face sanctions under landmark law FAILING: Many California campuses don‘t meet ‗No Child Left Behind‘ goals By Juliet Williams The Associated Press THERMAL, Calif. — At Las Palmitas Elementary School, nestled between rundown homes and fields of grapes, peppers and dates in Southern California, 99 percent of students live in poverty and fewer than 20 percent speak English fluently. Las Palmitas and other schools in the Coachella Valley Unified School District are just the type policy makers had in mind when Congress passed the federal No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 to shed light on the disparities facing poor and minority children. Nineteen of the district‘s 21 schools — including Las Palmitas — have not met the federal law‘s performance benchmarks for four years. Now the entire district faces sanctions for the first time. ―We have hardworking, dedicated, trained teachers like everybody else. They‘ve got to teach a language, they‘ve got to teach the content, and they‘ve got to counter poverty,‖ said Foch ―Tut‖ Pensis, the district‘s superintendent. ―We are the poster child for NCLB.‖ California has 97 school districts that failed to meet their goals under the law for four years, more than twice as many failing districts as any other state so far. Kentucky has the next highest number facing sanctions, with 47. Nationwide, 411 school districts in 27 states now face intervention. Over the next few years, hundreds more districts are destined to enter the next phase that California already has begun. The state has ordered districts to undergo everything from reporting how they are implementing the federal law to having a team of specialists assess every aspect of their operations. In the most extreme cases, California dis tricts could be subject to a state takeover. How California and the other states will turn around those struggling districts is unclear. ―No one, on a large scale, has figured out how to solve the achievement gap,‖ Pensis said. ―Everybody‘s looking for that answer.‖ If they need better teachers and administrators, it‘s not apparent where they will come from. Some federal money is available, but it‘s unlikely it will be enough to cover all the failing districts. Many states already are losing revenue due to the sliding economy. California‘s budget deficit for the fiscal year that begins this summer is projected to be anywhere from $15 billion to $20 billion. No Child Left Behind sought to shine a light on inequality in the nation‘s education system, where schools have been accused of setting lower expectations for poor and minority children. Nationwide, black and Hispanic students consistently lag behind their white and Asian peers in performance, a chasm referred to as the achievement gap. The law also set tough goals for districts to demonstrate steady improvement. U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings says California is taking the right steps. It is the first state to take widespread action against all its districts that have failed to meet the achievement target set by No Child Left Behind. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state‘s elected Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O‘Connell, proposed the sliding scale of punishment for the 97 districts — which are responsible for educating nearly a third of California‘s 6.3 million students. Fears of violence fill school SOCIAL ISSUES: Many students stay home from southern Idaho campus after flag incident prompts rumors, racial tension By Rich Greene The Times-News RUPERT — A male student was arrested for ―threatening violence‖ at Minico High School in southern Idaho on Friday as rumors, fear and racial tension prompted widespread absenteeism. School and Minidoka County authorities would say little about the student, who was still being held Friday night. Minidoka County Sheriff Kevin Halverson said the threat, which he declined to describe, was made by one student to another on school grounds. According to a brief statement released Friday morning, sheriff‘s deputies responded to the school after a ―report of a possible school shooting that may take place.‖ Halverson said deputies were already at the school at 8 a.m. to monitor a peaceful protest by about 50 Latino students and adults, many of whom waved Mexican flags. He said the protest started on school grounds, but moved across the street to the parking lot of KFTA-AM, a Spanish-language radio station. The sheriff said the threat and arrest were unrelated to the protest. Word of the arrest sent shockwaves through the 1,100-student school and through Rupert. Minidoka County Prosecutor Nikki Cannon said many parents reported receiving text messages about ―white kids with guns at the school,‖ but said the reports were unfounded and no weapons were found. Parent Lisa Radabaugh of Burley called the South Idaho Press newspaper office Friday looking for information, and said she has not let her ninthgrade son, Steven Edens, attend school since Wednesday because she fears for his safety. ―At Columbine they had no notice. They have notice here,‖ she said, adding that she is considering home-schooling her son. Minidoka County Schools Superintendent Scott Rogers said attendance was normal Friday morning, but did fall off over the course of the day. Raymond Rodriquez, a Minico ninth-grader, said his thirdperiod class consisted of just three students. While there was no reported violence at the school, rumors abounded in the wake of racially charged incidents that began Monday, when teacher Clint Straatman confiscated a student‘s Mexican flag during a gym class and put it into a garbage can. The student, who has also accused Straatman of making racially offensive comments, had brought the flag to school to mark Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday. Following that incident, another teacher, Dan Luker, reportedly desecrated an American flag in the office of a school administrator in protest. Both teachers have been suspended for the remainder of the school year. The incidents became public Tuesday when Ben Reed, a KFTA-AM radio personality and community activist, covered them in his broadcast and called on Latino students to take Mexican flags to school and to wear Mexican national colors in protest on Wednesday. Latinos make up about a third of the school‘s enrollment, and many participated in the silent protest. Reed said he was not involved in organizing Friday‘s protest. Student Steven Edens said he has both Latino and Anglo friends at the school, and that relations were fine until this week, when the school split and verbal altercations became common. ―Everything went down hill from there,‖ Edens said. He said teachers would not talk about the incidents during class, and that he knows of a student who replaced a classroom American flag with a Mexican flag, but was not reprimanded by the instructor. Edens said he believes the teacher was afraid of being punished if they said anything. Ninth-grader Nes Ramirez said he was part of the morning protest but later returned to class. Ramirez, who was born in Mexico, said that before this week students might have made occasional childish racial jokes or comments, but it was no different than words exchanged by school jocks and geeks. But this week some students have been bringing Confederate flags to school, Ramirez said, prompting him to become concerned. ―I don‘t want to go to school and get in a fight,‘‘ he said. ―We don‘t want to fight nobody at all.‖ Mid-week, Ramirez began carrying an American flag and Mexican flag together. ―I love this country just as much as I love Mexico,‖ he said. Rodriquez expressed disappointment that a friend was not in school. In his circle of friends, he said, he is the only Latino. ―If they like me I‘m their friend. If they don‘t, they‘re not a friend,‖ he explained. Rodriquez said his grandmother urged him to focus on education this week and that he has shied away from taking part in the protests. ―I‘m hoping over the weekend it will calm down,‖ Rodriquez said. ―On Monday people are still going to remember what happened. Everyone‘s going to remember until next year, but I‘m hoping people will let it drop.‖ IDEA to hold meetings for prospective parents TREASURE VALLEY — The Idaho Distance Education Academy, a K-12 statewide charter school that delivers public school curriculum and professional guidance to home educators, will hold three meetings for prospective parents in May. Meetings will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13, and from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20, at the Boise Resource Center, 8620 Emerald St. #190. A third meeting will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21, at the Hispanic Cultural Center, 315 Stampede Drive in Nampa. For more information contact Kathi Manning at kathimanning@ idahoidea.org or 585-7244, or Jill Call at email@example.com or 585-7390, or visit www.idahoidea. org. Search committee for C of I finalized CALDWELL —The College of Idaho Presidential Search Committee has been finalized and will hold its first meeting Monday. State Sen. John McGee, a C of I trustee and alumnus, will chair the committee. Members are Brian Bava, director of admission; James Bewley, alumnus; Candy Dale, trustee and alumna; Mary Jo Hayes, assistant controller; Don Hendrickson, trustee and alumnus; John Klockentager, vice president of enrollment management; Jasper LiCalzi, political economy professor and department chair; Don Mansfield, biology professor and department chair; Ray Melville, trustee and alumnus; Jim Mertz, trustee; Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas; Bobby Powers, ASCI president elect; Sue Schaper, associate English professor; Jeff Shinn, alumnus; Steve Tobiason, parent of a student; Martine Troy, student. Communications director Jennifer Oxley will serve as an ex-officio member. The presidential selection committee, which is the college‘s governance committee, is reviewing proposals from several national search firms. The firm will be announced once a decision has been made. FROM THE IDAHO STATESMAN Meridian school considers common dress policy School officials think the code will help students focus on learning and not each other's clothes. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION SCHOOL BOARD MEETING Meridian School District will discuss the Meridian Middle School dress code proposal at its Tuesday meeting. 7 p.m. at Mountain View High School, 2000 S. Millennium Way, Meridian. SCHOOL DRESS CODES Several Boise Schools have uniform policies: South Junior High West Junior High, beginning next year Jefferson Elementary The new Frank Church High School doesn't permit V-neck tops for girls and low-riding or tight pants for boys. No logos or emblems will be allowed. BY BILL ROBERTS - firstname.lastname@example.org Edition Date: 05/12/08 Students at Meridian Middle School could be wearing khaki pants or skirts along with polo shirts in white, black, yellow, navy or gray by next fall. And some kids aren't too keen on that idea. The school, with 1,130 students, is considering a common dress code that outlines a few items of clothing that students would be permitted to wear to school. Lisa Austin, school principal, will go before the Meridian School Board Tuesday night to update trustees on the proposal. She is sending out a ballot to parents this week. She's hoping for an 80 percent return of the ballots and says she won't ask the board for a policy change unless at least 70 percent of those voting parents support it. School officials think a common dress code will eliminate distractions over what students are wearing so they can focus instead on how well they are learning their lessons, Austin said. Meridian Middle School is in its fourth year of not meeting state benchmarks in academic performance under the federally mandated No Child Left Behind. "We are looking at any available means to improve student performance," Austin said. Meridian Middle isn't the first district school to adopt such a policy. Several of the district's alternative academies have similar dress codes, said Linda Clark, district superintendent. A number of parents think a dress code makes sense. "I think it is a great idea because the kids will focus more on school rather than all the peer pressure that goes along with that stuff," said Heather Swift. But LeQuaya Hines, her seventh grade daughter, said students will lose their individuality. "The teachers and everyone are always saying be yourself," Hines said. "What you wear shows your personality. They think everyone going into uniforms will help our (test) scores go up. I don't think a change of clothes is going to help that." Bill Roberts: 377-6408 Students embrace future, traditions with cookbook Moms and moms-to-be at Boise's Pritchett school also are planting a garden to learn about food production. ELSEWHERE Want to help a teacher with a good project? ADDITIONAL INFORMATION GET A COPY OF 'BY MOMS FOR MOMS' Proceeds from cookbook sales will go to the Marian Pritchett school's "Pay it Forward" scholarship, that helps students pay for secondary education. For more information or to buy it, contact the school at 854-6830. YOU CAN HELP Send donations to the Salvation Army, attn: finance department, 1904 W. Bannock St., Boise, ID 83702. Specify that you want your donation to go to "Booth girls' programming" or "Booth daycare programming." SALVATION ARMY PINCH THREATENS STUDENT SERVICES A drop in donations and a changing student body threaten some of the services that Marian Pritchett School staffers think are key for their students - all pregnant and parenting teens from around the region. Though the Boise School District provides the academics at the school, the Salvation Army provides onsite day care, counseling and social work services. But it is getting harder for the Salvation Army to provide those services. "We have a combination of factors that have really hit this program hard," Salvation Army program coordinator, Rhonda Murray, said. When the school's residential dorms, paid for by the Department of Health and Welfare, closed in 2005, the school also lost its right to bill Health and Welfare for a whole range of programs from day care to counseling, parenting education, drug education, personal banking, birth control and more. The Salvation Army has been filling in the gaps, but its coffers are also in trouble. Micki Hempsmyer, who writes grants for the agency, said more local youth programs are competing for donations than ever. Over the past couple years, the girls' programs at the home have seen a reduction of around $50,000 in donations from foundations, Hempsmyer estimated. Family structures are also changing. Thirty percent of the young women enrolled at the school - particularly among its refugee population - are married. Others are living with the fathers of their children or have enough household income that they don't qualify for Health and Welfare's Idaho Child Care Program, which helps low-income families pay for child care. Others may qualify, but because they're full-time students, they can't afford the ICCP co-pay. The Salvation Army has been filling those gaps as well, Murray said. "I think public perception is that these are girls who have come from rough backgrounds and have made mistakes. The public isn't empathetic," Murray said. Students' situations are varied and complicated. Some are in healthy relationships. Others are at the school because of rape or molestation. "And wealthy families use our services, too," Murray said. Since the Boise School District pays for the academic part of the program, the school is not in danger of closing - just of losing some key services. "The girls would always be able to go to school, but child care would not be an option," Murray said. Anna Webb: 377-6431 BY ANNA WEBB - email@example.com Edition Date: 05/12/08 The young women at the Marian Pritchett Booth Memorial Campus, a school for pregnant and parenting students in Boise's North End, are finishing their school year by publishing their own cookbook - "By Moms for Moms." "This project is about the whole process. From seed to table," teacher Maura Goddard said. The students have researched, compiled, written and edited the almost-finished book themselves. Many of the school's 46 students have contributed favorite recipes for what they hope will be a practical guide for when the students cook for their own children, while celebrating the school's multi-cultural population and family traditions. Tortilla presses and lists of the staples found in Somali kitchens - like cassava, found in Asian groceries - appear, Goddard said. Some recipes, handed down through generations, have had their ingredients measured and formally written down for the first time. Many of the favorite recipes, it seems, celebrate cream cheese - and stand as reminders that despite their imminent steps into parenthood and adult responsibilities, the authors are teenagers. Destiny Taylor, 17, contributed her grandmother's cream cheese and marshmallow fluff dip for apple slices. Daliaana Clark, 16, contributed her mom's recipe for cream cheese and green beans. And soon, the apples and green beans for those recipes may come straight from a garden the students are planting on the school grounds. The cookbook is part of a bigger project to teach students about food production, construction, self-sufficiency, and history. The garden hearkens back, Goddard said, to the "victory gardens" Americans grew during World War II to provide for their families. So far, the students have measured and built the wood fence and gate that surround the garden plot. They've pulled weeds and started seedlings for carrots, radishes and tomatoes. The students who already have given birth dug the holes to plant fruit trees and three kinds of berries. Goddard got donations from the community, Lowe's and Chf Home Furnishings to build the garden, produce the cookbook and upgrade the appliances in the school's kitchen - a room so "historic" it has a radiator on the ceiling. More than $900 for ink and paper came from the Web site www.donorschoose.org, which connects classroom teachers with donors across the country. Goddard said the donations surprised her students. " 'People out there actually care about what we're doing?' they said. I told them, 'absolutely.' " Students in her leadership class, many of the same ones working on the cookbook, raised money themselves for Kiva, an organization that makes micro loans to small businesses in developing countries. "We raise money for people who need it more than us," Goddard explained. "People with more than we have, help us. That's how it works." The $10 price of the book will go to the school's "Pay it Forward" scholarship that helps students pay for secondary education, head teacher, Deborah Hedden-Nicely, said. Daliaana Clark, who is seven months pregnant, wants to go to college and become a registered nurse. Since transferring to the Pritchett school, which follows the same curriculum as other Boise School District secondary schools, her GPA has risen from below a 2.0 to a 3.8. "I actually just like coming here," she said. She knows she is having a baby girl and has already named her, Heaven Trinity Rose. Clark likes to cook and she likes to organize. "I already have all of Heaven's things in piles. All of her diapers are in one pile. Her pants, her sweaters, her onesies, are all in their own piles," Clark said. Her job has been writing the table of contents for "By Moms for Moms." Destiny Taylor, whose baby is due in July, said working on the cookbook "is the biggest thing I've done." She has edited some of the recipes, and found a blueberry crisp to include. Everyone hopes the school garden will produce its own blueberries some day. Taylor wants to be a cosmetologist and used to style her friends' hair in Mountain Home before school dances. Her specialties: twists and cornrows and French braids. Taylor also was responsible for one of the cookbook's more challenging recipes, a Twinkie-and- Oreo shake she found online. "We tested all the recipes that went in the book," Goddard said. "We made the shake and it was gross." The students experimented, cutting down on the Twinkies, adding a banana, until they got a mixture they liked. "They had a hands-on experience of how to fix things," Goddard said. "A lot of our girls don't do that when they run into an obstacle. This recipe was a lesson about adjusting basic ingredients you like. You don't throw something out because something isn't quite working right." Anna Webb: 377-6431 Group calls for fewer kids in each Boise classroom The district says classes are among the smallest in the state, but the watchdog group says some are 'maxed out.' RELATED DOCUMENTS P/CAC's recommendation for smaller class size in elementary schools in Boise. ELSEWHERE Boise Schools Board of Trustees: Agenda U.S. Dept. of Education: Class sizes ADDITIONAL INFORMATION SUPERINTENDENT STAN OLSON ON CLASS SIZES "The thing the district really needs to pay attention to, relative to the suggestion coming from PCAC, is to continue to do what it always does, and that is to review the composition of classes and the ability of the teacher to deal with the diverse classroom. Sometimes 10 students to one teacher is too many, if we get a difficult combination of students and a teacher that's not equipped to deal with those issues. "Are there instances in the district where we have some classrooms that are bigger than we'd like them? Yes. And we do everything we can to mitigate that. And if we've learned anything from the (PCAC) report, it's make sure you pay attention to the size of classrooms, and the quality of instruction in the classroom as it relates to the size." Monday's meeting The Boise School Board meets about twice a month during the school year. Monday's meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Edward L. Davis District Services Center, 8169 W. Victory Road. BY ANNE WALLACE ALLEN - aallen@idahostatesman Edition Date: 05/11/08 To Gale Zickefoose, principal of Horizon Elementary School in west Boise, less is more when it comes to class size. "There's research out there that says the best ratio is one adult to one student," said Zickefoose, who used to teach sixth grade. "So the closer you get to one-to-one, the better." Large class sizes are well known in districts such as Meridian, which has seen a population and enrollment explosion in the past few years. But it also is a problem in some classes in Boise, where guidelines allow for even more students in a class. Monday, a community group that monitors the Boise School District will ask the School Board to set new guidelines. The Parent-Community Advisory Council wants the district to limit classes to just 20 students in kindergarten through grade three and to 26 for grades four through six. That is what the state Department of Education recommends. Right now, Boise's guidelines call for no more than 23 students in kindergarten and first grade, 26 in grades two and three and 32 in grades four through six. Some classes are larger than that. But Boise district officials maintain Boise's classes are smaller than most in the state. "What we want is more classrooms and more teachers," said Tani Theiler, president of the 80- member PCAC. "There are definitely schools that are maxed out." PCAC chose class size as its highest priority for policy change this year. The group did extensive research on class sizes around the nation. In a report, the group said almost half the states in the country have recently reduced class sizes to increase educational quality. About five years ago, the Boise School District estimated it would cost $30 million to $35 million to reduce class sizes to 22 for grades K through sixth grade, Curriculum Director Don Coberly said. PCAC didn't calculate the cost of meeting its recommendations. "We understand it's a budget issue at this point," Theiler said. "We're just asking the trustees to go out and look at it and review the policy, walk in those classrooms and see what is going on." Almost a decade ago, Congress authorized $1.2 billion to reduce class sizes around the nation. Now some states mandate class ratios as low as 15 students per teacher, PCAC said. PCAC didn't find problems with class sizes in Boise's upper grades. But at some elementary schools, teachers have too many students to teach effectively, Theiler said. "That's the way Longfellow is this year," said Theiler, whose son is in sixth grade at that North End elementary school. "She is an awesome teacher but you can't even move in that room without tripping every time you go in there." The increasing ethnic and economic diversity of Boise's student body complicates matters, said PCAC Vice President Megan Reichle, who has two children at Trail Wind Elementary School in southeast Boise. The number of non-English-speaking students grows each year, and Boise's low-income population has doubled in the past decade, increasing the challenges in the classroom. Superintendent Stan Olson doesn't see class size as being as much of a problem PCAC does. In presentations to PCAC, district officials have said Boise started the school year with an average of 23 children in each elementary classroom. "The reality is our class size, if it's not the smallest in the state, is among the two or three districts that have the smallest," Olson said. But Theiler said that number hides the fact that some schools, such as Longfellow and Horizon, have classes of 32 while several others have plenty of extra room. Whittier Elementary in central Boise has only 18 in its sixth grade class this year. "That doesn't happen every year," Whittier Principal Debby Bailey said. Zickefoose has a gifted and talented classroom at Horizon with just 11 students, and three fifth- grade classrooms with 32 students each. Many gifted and talented classes are smaller than regular classes. The four highly gifted classes at Collister Elementary in Northwest Boise have between 11 and 15 children each, said Principal Bruce Herron. Olson said district policy is to bus students to other schools if the classes at their school exceed the limits. But few families want to make that change. "What we're asking for is, when you reach 32, hire another teacher and get another classroom," Theiler said. "Maybe you'll only have two classrooms of 18 for a while. Don't bus those kids away from where they want to be." Parents seem to agree with PCAC that smaller is better. Reichle will bring a petition with 66 signatures from her school to the board meeting Monday. But Olson said teacher quality, not class size, is crucial. "It's much more a discussion of teacher preparation and support than size," he said. "That's honestly been played out in 75 years of research around the country with minor, minor exceptions." Reachael O'Harra said there are just 17 children in her first-grader's class at Maple Grove in Southwest Boise. Like Zickefoose and PCAC, she thinks smaller is better. "The teachers have more opportunity to deal with the different needs of individual students," she said. O'Harra said she would be willing to pay higher taxes to reduce class sizes. But, she added, "I have kids in school. My neighbor that doesn't have kids, I'm sure they're going to say no." Anne Wallace Allen: 377-6433 Thousands graduate from U of I, ISU Saturday Statesman staff - Idaho Statesman Edition Date: 05/10/08 Thousands of college students graduated from two Idaho universities Saturday. More than 1,400 University of Idaho students at the Moscow campus applied for degrees this spring. Statewide, about 1,840 students were eligible for graduation this month, including 1,301 seeking baccalaureate degrees, 95 law degrees, 68 doctoral degrees, 23 specialist degrees and 353 master‘s degrees. Idaho State University in Pocatello awarded degrees and certificates to 1,670 graduates Saturday, including more than 100 doctorates, 267 master‘s degrees, 982 bachelor‘s degrees, 247 associate degrees and 143 certificates from the College of Technology. Other Idaho colleges held commencement earlier. Northwest Nazarene University held commencement May 4. The class of 2008 included 290 undergraduate students and 188 graduate students. Brigham Young University — Idaho in Rexburg held commencement April 7, graduating 1528 students and awarding 1,102 bachelor's degrees and 437 associate's degrees. The College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, a two-year school, held commencement Friday, awarding 968 academic and technical degrees and certificates. Other spring commencements yet to come include: Æ Boise State University: 10 a.m. Saturday, May 17. Æ College of Idaho, Caldwell: 10 a.m. Saturday, May 31. Æ Boise Bible College: 7 p.m. Friday, May 16 at Eagle Christian Church. Æ Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston: 6 p.m. Friday, May 16. Dan Prinzing: Wiesenthal's 'Sunflower' inspired charter school students to paint mural (Commentary) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION About the mural The Idaho Human Rights Education Center's mural, painted by ANSER Public Charter School students under the direction of Boise artist Ward Hooper, will be unveiled at 3 p.m., Wednesday, May 14, during the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial Open House and Art Auction. The center is at 777 S. 8th Street, Boise. BY DAN PRINZING - Idaho Statesman Edition Date: 05/11/08 The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Downtown Boise is a world-class educational park inspired by Anne Frank's faith in humanity. It was built to promote respect for human dignity and diversity. Designed and constructed to engage our highest ethical and spiritual values, it reminds us of the terrible costs of failing to act when action is required. That message guides the work of the board, staff and volunteers at the Idaho Human Rights Education Center as we are often reminded of Anne words, "How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world." The center is charged with developing educational programming that complements the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in order to sustain ongoing awareness in Idaho of human rights issues. The programming includes a Scope and Sequence of Human Rights Lessons for the Classroom - authored by Idaho teachers, an annual K-12 art contest, the administration of a civic education program that engages students in examining community issues and problems by monitoring the role of government in implementing public policy, and teacher workshops and community presentations by national and international promoters and protectors of human rights. Supported by private donations, foundation grants and corporate contribution, the center relies upon a broad network of state employees, educators, business and community leaders, artists, activists, students, interfaith leaders and professionals who are dedicated to delivering our message and implementing our mission. Such is the case when students from ANSER Public Charter School approached the center about painting a mural based on their reading of Simon Wiesenthal's "The Sunflower." Imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, Wiesenthal was taken one day from his labor brigade to a hospital at the request of Karl, a mortally wounded Nazi soldier. Tormented by the crimes in which he had participated, the SS man wanted to confess to a Jew. Wiesenthal left the room in silence but remained intrigued by the issues the man's request raised about the limits and possibilities of forgiveness. Written by the students of ANSER Junior High: "We are not a school of artists, we are not famous and we do not pretend to fully understand the atrocities of the world. We are a group of committed students who had a vision to inspire an entire community to reflect upon the question of forgiveness. "We used the gray-scale background of the sunflowers to show that forgiveness is not always black or white, but multiple shades of gray. The barbed wire stands for the pain and sometimes the grief we have to overcome in order to forgive. It is the state of mind where you are caught between the forgivable and the unforgivable. The sunflower is a symbol of growth, change, and the possibility of forgiveness and peaceful reconciliation. To show that forgiveness frees you from the constraining barriers of oppression, we placed the sunflower and the word forgive outside of the barbed wire. The underlined give in forgive symbolizes a second thought, as if someone later saw the deeper meaning in the word. The graffiti underline gives voice to our generation." Dan Prinzing is the education director of the Idaho Human Rights Education Center. FROM THE TWIN FALLS TIMES-NEWS Nursing needs Position policies vary at Magic Valley schools By Sven Berg Staff writer For some school districts, nurse positions have become the first casualty of budget crises. Those districts and others go about addressing a need for nurses in a variety of ways - some as creative as the students they teach. Cassia County School District outsources its nursing needs to South Central Public Health District (SCPHD), which provides 200 hours of service per year. The agency is willing to continue providing those services as needed but would rather see the district hire at least a part- time nurse, said SCPHD Community Health Director Maggi Machala. She said Cassia County students currently average 2 1/2 minutes of nurse time per year. But recommended annual exposure is one hour and 40 minutes. "That's the ideal," Machala said. "And of course that's not what everybody has." Machala said school nurses do a lot more than just patching up scrapes. Their responsibilities include writing care plans for students with special needs, supervising the administering of medication and teaching maturation classes. Cassia County Super-intendent Gaylen Smyer said having an in-district nurse would be ideal, but the "bottom line" is money. "There's no question that a nurse would be beneficial," he said. "While it's important, it's not a priority for this district." The cost for a full-time school nurse is roughly compatible to a teacher's salary. For Debbie Critchfield, chairwoman of the district's board of trustees, sacrificing a teacher to pay for a nurse would undermine the trustees' efforts to keep class sizes small throughout the district. "It's one of those things that are sacrificed to the budget," she said. "Unfortunately, the nurse is one of those positions that you hope that one day you'll have the money, but right now we don't." Beyond money, Critchfield said, the pure size Cassia County might limit the effectiveness of just one nurse. Twin Falls County School District has managed to engineer a system that provides nursing services. Thanks to a partnership with St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center, the district has a full-time nurse for elementary schools and a part-time nurse - 10 hours per week - for secondary schools, but pays just half the salary of the full-time nurse. Superintendent Wiley Dobbs said the arrangement is as close to ideal as his district could expect. Unlike districts that pay for nurses via state and federal grants, Twin Falls can reliably budget for its nurses without worrying about its funding stream drying up. "We've been burned with grants in the past," he said. "With this particular route that we're going with here, we feel like we'll be able to sustain the program and possibly even better it." So far, grants have been nothing but a blessing in Minidoka County School District. The district is now in its second year of a three-year state grant that pays $80,000 annually for nurses, and it has used the program to hire two registered nurses. "We are blessed. We have two RNs (registered nurses) that are very well respected," Superintendent Scott Rogers said. "There are districts that don't have nurses. There are districts that can't find them even though they have the money because there's a health care shortage." Rogers recognized grant money now used for nurses may not be available after the next school year. But he said he believes district trustees will place a priority on nurses and make room for them in the budget. He said constraints have already cost the district counselors at elementary schools. "We're committed to having the school nurses," he said. "I'd love to have elementary counselors, but if push came to shove we'd still want to have our nurses." Machala said some studies have shown a school nurse position can pay for itself by increasing the number of days students attend school and, therefore, the amount of money received from the state. Rogers said nurses' impact goes beyond the money they make. "If you have the nurse, then the teacher doesn't have to do what the nurse would do," he said. "I think it frees the teacher to focus on academics." Sven Berg may be reached at 208-677-8764 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Students receive GED certificates at CSI By Damon Hunzeker Correspondent At Saturday night's graduation ceremony, held in the College of Southern Idaho Gymnasium, 155 students essentially dropped back into school to receive their GED (General Educational Development) certificates. As the graduates entered, they were greeted by about 1,200 people, whose festive hoots and hollers were often punctuated with comments such as "there he is" and "I see her." Mystique Jiminez, one of two students who addressed the graduates, said, "After dropping out of high school when I had my son, everything was overwhelming. Then I found out about the GED program and that there was still a chance." Jiminez praised the CSI faculty and said, "These teachers will not let you fail." Stasia Parra, the other student to address the graduates, couldn't hold back her tears when she spoke. "I'm a wife and mother of two children," she said. "I wanted them to watch their mommy walk out and graduate ... I will continue my education and become a nurse, something I've always dreamed of." CSI Autobody Instructor Tim Pierce said that vocational training can still lead to many job opportunities. "At the age of 14, I dropped out of school after the death of my father," he told the graduates. "At the age of 23, I decided I'd had enough of part-time, dead-end jobs and went back to school. Two years ago, I replaced an instructor in the autobody department who had taught me." But it was comedian Danny Marona's commencement address that inspired the assembly. He reminded the graduates - despite not having any kind of doctorate degree - "I'm proudly the recipient of a GED." Marona dropped out of school in the ninth grade but achieved a prosperous career in comedy. "I was sure I was equipped with the skills I needed to go out and arrive at stardom," he said. "I was anything but a good student. I used to sit in study hall and do Hawaiian nose-humming." Marona proceeded to demonstrate the art form, which sounded like a cross between an angry cat and a rusty wheelbarrow. He eventually returned to South Pasadena High School and received his GED. He reminded the audience, however, that a formal education isn't required to be successful. Instead, he said, success requires imagination, common sense and courage. "I remember a teacher who said, 'You can't make a living telling stupid jokes.' Well, actually I did make a living telling stupid jokes," he said. "If you're good at what you do and stick to it," Marona said, "eventually, they'll give it to you, because you can only be denied so long." Letty Trevino-Salinas, who graduated Friday from CSI's registered-nurse program, watched her brother, Romeo Trevino, graduate Saturday. "Danny Marona was full of information," she said after the ceremony. "If he was able to do this, these kids can look up to him and fulfill their dreams." As the graduates exited, one reminded the audience that the ceremony was a non-traditional event by throwing away his cap and gown ï¿½ï¿½" revealing long hair, an eyebrow ring and a Black Label Society t-shirt. Damon Hunzeker may be reached at 208-420-4697 or email@example.com. CSI searches for fish hatchery water replacement TWIN FALLS, Idaho - The College of Southern Idaho says it is searching for more sources of water for its Rock Creek Canyon fish hatchery. The college has had to supplement oxygen in recent years to keep fish from suffocating because Twin Falls Canal Company tunnels are drying up. CSI professor Terry Patterson says farmland sold for housing developments means less irrigation and more foreign material getting into the tunnels. Twin Falls County has a well drilling permit system to protect the tunnels and landowners are required to use surface water before drilling more wells. The city of Twin Falls and others have researched ways to recharge the aquifer. Information from: The Times-News, http://www.magicvalley.com A service of the Associated Press(AP) Time for CSI to move out of the shadows? (editorial) The bus may not stop here much longer. And maybe that's metaphor enough for a change in the Magic Valley's long and checkered relationship with Idaho's three universities. Idaho State University may soon end its 20-year practice of operating a student commuter bus from Twin Falls to Pocatello, saying the service is losing money. Riders pay for the 14-hour round-trip to Pocatello, but the service ran up a five-figure deficit in the fall and spring semesters as rider numbers fell and fuel costs jumped. So ISU plans to more than double the cost to students. If at least 28 don't sign up by Aug. 1, the service will end. Which begs the question: Isn't it time the Magic Valley stopped depending on the kindness of strangers to provide a four-year college education for folks who live here? The College of Southern Idaho has some of the best distance-learning facilities in the Pacific Northwest, soon to be enhanced when the Health Sciences and Human Services Building opens and the universities take over its former office space. It's now possible - although not always easy - for a Magic Valley resident to earn a variety of four-year degrees without leaving home. So why don't we remove the remaining obstacles - most of them bureaucratic? Doing so would certainly set off alarm bells among the universities and on the State Board of Education, which are wary of CSI's ambitions. But truth to tell, CSI doesn't have to become the University of Southern Idaho - a fourth full- service institution in a state that struggles to support three. CSI doesn't need to be a research institution or a football team - it's all about teaching. One approach would be to make CSI equal to Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, where students can earn the same kind of technical certificates and associate's degrees now offered at CSI,plus a BA or BS in a limited range of majors. Or CSI could simply deepen its partnership with one or more of its current university partners to offer enough upper-division courses and degree programs so that students wouldn't have to move or commute to get a diploma. But CSI doesn't have the money or the mandate - those must come from the Legislature and the State Board of Education. Either approach would require more financial support from the state, but it's clear that tightly- run, efficient CSI could meet the valley's modern needs in the most cost-effective way possible. The Magic Valley has grown and changed since farsighted community leaders launched CSI. It's time once again to challenge the status quo - to do what the late Sen. Robert Kennedy advised back when CSI was on the drawing board: "There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why?" Kennedy said. "I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?" Graduation day 42nd annual commencement packs CSI gym By Andrea Jackson Staff writer Bleachers were packed Friday at the College of Southern Idaho gymnasium for its 42nd annual commencement ceremony. About 968 students had applied for academic and technical degrees this year, a steady increase from recent years, according to an April press release from the college. One of those graduates was CSI Student Senate President and Twin Falls High School graduate Alexia Scanlon, who made a speech during the event. "I want to thank my friends and family for believing in me â€- I didn't always believe in myself," she said. "You have all taught me so much." Scanlon told the large crowd that she especially wanted to congratulate non-traditional students - such as those with children and jobs. "You made the best study partners," she said, saying non-traditional students have time management strengths. "You are amazing." Last year's school shooting tragedy at Virginia Tech struck a chord, Scanlon said, and so a candlelight vigil was held at CSI for the students who died. "We had to overcome fear," she said, looking out at a crowd of her classmates. But Scanlon said students had to overcome other fears, too, to succeed in college - such as entering the math lab, dealing with a professor or changing classes. "Our own personal journey in life will continue to be different," she said. "I have faith in us all." CSI President Jerry Beck was absent Friday from the event, because he was attending a graduation ceremony for his daughter in Moscow, said Alan Frost, CSI School Board trustee. "We gave him the night off." Standing on a large stage before a backdrop of white pillars, Frost recognized faculty retiring this year. Combined, they served CSI students for about 233 years, he said. "We're entering a new era." Groundbreaking will be held Friday for a $21 million, 72,000 square-foot, state-funded Health and Human Services building on North College Road. Andrea Jackson can be reached at 735-3380 or Andrea.Jackson@lee.net FROM THE IDAHO STATE JOURNAL (PASSWORD REQUIRED) Degrees of success ISU graduates look ahead following commencement BY CASEY SANTEE firstname.lastname@example.org POCATELLO — After four years of balancing school, work and family, Jason Benedict finally saw the fruits of his labor at Idaho State University Saturday. The married father of four graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree. He was one of 1,670 graduates to walk the stage at Holt Arena during the annual commencement ceremony. The university also honored three distinguished faculty members. ―It‘s good to be finished,‖ Benedict said afterward. ―I‘m just grateful for my family. It‘s for them.‖ Standing outside Holt Arena in his cap and gown, Benedict was flanked by his wife Tiffany and his children, as his father snapped pictures. The kids held signs reading, ―Way to go Grad.‖ Benedict, of Idaho Falls, worked full-time as a loan officer at Zions Bank in Rigby while attending mostly night classes at University Place. When classes weren‘t available in Idaho Falls, he commuted to the Pocatello campus. During a short speech at Saturday‘s ceremony, student body President Jennifer Brown congratulated her fellow graduates. She noted that all had worked hard to finish their degrees and that many took sizable student loans to do so. She encouraged them to strive for success. ―I hope you will create a great vision for yourself and believe in that vision,‖ Brown said. ISU President Arthur Vailas, Provost Robert Wharton and others also spoke. Bethany Schultz Hurst was named distinguished ISU teacher of the year, Willis McAleese was given the Distinguished Public Service Award and Susan Swetnam received the Distinguished Researcher Award. Benedict, who graduated with honors, said he will continue to work for Zions Bank doing commercial and agricultural lending, but he is thankful the sleepless nights filled with class and homework are over. ISU involved in engineering society BY IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY POCATELLO — The College of Engineering at Idaho State University has played a major role in the leadership of the 110,000-member American Society of Mechanical Engineers during the past several years. The current dean of engineering, retired dean of engineering and a doctoral student in the College of Engineering are involved. This year the organization will be led by Jay Kunze, Ph.D., who retired from the College of Engineering. He has served in the ASME for the past 20 years. This year he chairs the division, with overall responsibility for the 16th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, which will be May 11 to 15 in Orlando, Fla. Doctoral student Dick Schultz, who works as a senior engineer at the Idaho National Laboratory, was chair of the nuclear engineering division. He played a key role in the 15th annual conference, which was a joint effort between the Japanese Society of Mechanical Engineers and ASME. Richard Jacobsen, Ph.D., current dean of the ISU College of Engineering, served as vice president in the ASME. He is still active in the organization and currently serves as chair of the board on Research and Technology Development. He is a member of the joint ASME/AICHE Committee on Thermophysical Properties and ASME Research and Technology Committee on Water and Steam in Thermal Systems. Head Start teacher performs balancing act between home and school BY YANN RANAIVO POCATELLO email@example.com Karma Wiederrick, 35, is a mother both at home and work. When she is not cooking dinner or making sure her children get their homework done, she is at Tyhee Elementary dealing with more than a dozen preschoolers. Wiederrick teaches a satellite Head Start class at Tyhee from Monday through Thursday. Every week for two years she has interacted with Head Start parents who she said usually earn low- income wages, just left incarceration or are in school themselves. Some of the preschoolers who enroll in Head Start are either underprivileged or at-risk children. When Wiederrick gets to meet some of the preschoolers‘ parents, she said she can relate and understand some of their hardships. ―A lot of times we would find underemployed parents,‖ she said. ―We‘re meeting people with two or three jobs who still can‘t make ends meet.‖ More than eight years ago, Wiederrick, herself, was a participant in the Head Start program. Both her son and daughter went through the program when the family was receiving assistance for child care. Adding to her challenges, Wiederrick said her daughter Jasmine, 14, is autistic, while Devin, 11, has faced some sociability challenges. ―It‘s a big commitment and for some parents it gets really hard,‖ Wiederrick said about having to raise at-risk children while trying to earn a decent salary for her household. Although Wiederrick contends her family is now better off, she‘s found having to assume a second motherly identity at Tyhee can at times be demanding. ―Head Start really demands a lot of my time. Sometimes I get really exhausted, especially during the (parent conferences on Friday),‖ she said. ―It‘s supposed to be six hours a day, but I end up doing eight and a half hours at times.‖ When Wiederrick arrives at home after a busy day at work, she tends to Devin and Jasmine. Jasmine, an eighthgrader at Irving Middle School, takes college preparatory courses at Idaho State University. Being a mom both at Tyhee and in her own home can be hectic, but Wiederrick said she always makes the best of the family‘s time during the summer vacation. During the break, she has tried to teach her children some Spanish. She‘s also taken them to historic destinations such as the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. ―Honestly, being a preschool teacher doesn‘t really leave you. It‘s just like being a mom,‖ she said. ―With Head Start, you‘re being a mom to kids who don‘t always have a positive role model. Some kids don‘t transition very well and have to adjust to other people. Some kids even call me ‗Mom‘ at school, but that‘s good because they learn to trust somebody outside of their home.‖ ―With head Start, you‘re being a mom to kidS Who don‘t alWayS have a poSitive role model. Some kidS don‘t tranSition very Well and have to adjuSt to other people. Some kidS even call me ‗mom‘ at School, but that‘S good becauSe they learn to truSt Somebody outSide of their home.‖ — Karma WiederricK, Head Start teacHer and motHer ISU professor awarded third honor BY ANDY TAYLOR Idaho State University Relations POCATELLO — Susan Swetnam, Idaho State University professor of English, has become the first University faculty member to be awarded all three of ISU‘s highest faculty honors: Distinguished Teacher, Public Servant and Researcher. ―Dr. Swetnam represents the type of excellence that truly enhances the recognition of Idaho State University and brings significant benefit to our students,‖ said ISU President Arthur Vailas. Swetnam was honored Saturday at the Idaho State University commencement ceremony as the 2008 Distinguished Researcher. She was honored as Distinguished Teacher in 1988 and as Distinguished Public Servant in 1996. ―I‘ve been calling it my ‗hat trick,‘‖ Swetnam joked, referring to the term hockey and soccer players use for scoring three goals in one game, but she then grew earnest. ―The three really do go together well,‖ she continued. ―Because I believe faculty members need to do all three things. I also feel incredibly honored to be the first one to receive all three, considering all the amazing faculty members we have at this University.‖ The research award has been especially gratifying. ―I‘m thrilled with the Researcher Award because I am engaged in humanities research, and I‘m also a writer of creative nonfiction,‖ she said. ―Creative writing isn‘t always recognized as ‗legitimate research,‘ but it is every bit as hard to get a piece of creative writing published in a national publication as it is standard scientific work. It may actually be harder, in a good journal.‖ She has written or has in publication seven books, ranging in topic from ―Lives of the Saints in Southeast Idaho: An introduction to Mormon Pioneer Life Story Writing‖ to ―Home Mountains: Reflections from a Western Middle Age.‖ Swetnam has written numerous articles, chapters and introductions for books, and she has published creative nonfiction essays and magazine articles in a variety of national and regional publications, from ―Gourmet‖ magazine to ―New Works Review,‖ in which she is currently a featured writer. She is a noted food writer and historian. Her first book-length essay collection won an Idaho Library Association prize; her second was published last year by Loyola, Chicago. Her scholarly research and publications focus on Western American culture and literature. She has worked to dispel myths and bring a wide range of writers, especially women writers, to public awareness. In a soon-to-be-published book, Swetnam explores historical support for books and reading in the region, correlating vocation and colleagues; she loves where she lives; and a lot of exercise doesn‘t hurt, either. She was complimentary of her department, saying ―we have a lot of camaraderie; we work hard and take teaching students seriously.‖ Swetnam also said she was especially grateful for the atmosphere at Idaho State University, which has allowed her research and writing to evolve. ―This has historically been a place of intelligent and widelycurious generalists, as opposed to other universities where you can be pigeon-holed into one narrow area,‖ she noted. The professor, who lives in the Mink Creek area south of Pocatello, said she fell in love with the landscape of southeast Idaho upon her arrival in 1979. ―All this sky is spectacular. I can leave campus at 4 p.m. on a summer day, go home and walk up to Crystal Summit or Porcelain Pot (hiking areas on the Caribou National Forest near Pocatello) and just drink in the quiet, and be home before dark,‖ she noted. ―You can‘t do that everywhere.‖ She runs regularly, hikes and skis in the local mountains often, and lifts weights weekly. ―Energy makes energy,‖ she said, referring to her exercise routine. Swetnam also draws inspiration from one other important source, her late husband, former ISU faculty member and Distinguished Teacher Ford Swetnam, who died in 2002. ―My creative writing really took off after he died,‖ she said. ―He was a world-class poet, and I feel like I‘m now drawing on his creative energy along with mine in a way that I can‘t explain.‖ grass-roots interest in Carnegie libraries with local social and political values. Teaching is central to the suburban Philadelphia native‘s life. ―I love teaching, and I can‘t imagine life without it,‖ said Swetnam, who for most of her 29- year career at Idaho State University has carried a ―three and three‖ load, teaching three classes per semester. Her public service work is varied, from being a former Girl Scout troop leader and member of a volunteer fire department, to extensive work for many years with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Idaho Humanities Council. ―We joke with Susan, calling her ‗road scholar‘ for all the work she has done lecturing throughout Idaho, doing a lot of work for the Idaho Humanities Council,‖ said Rick Ardinger, executive director of the IHC. ―She has really taken the humanities off campus and reached out into rural communities, furthering the mission of the Idaho Humanities Council.‖ Swetnam earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in English from the University of Delaware and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Michigan. She credits her success to a number of things: she loves her Finishing up degree 79-year-old graduates from ISU today BY YANN RANAIVO firstname.lastname@example.org POCATELLO — Being a full-time college student might seem like an unusual endeavor for a 79-year-old retiree, but for William Cullen, it‘s never too late to try something new or complete a goal which he started working on 60 years ago. Cullen will walk in the graduation ceremony today at Holt Arena with hundreds of other students and receive his bachelor‘s degree in anthropology. Cullen said he decided to complete his college education because he wanted to accomplish something and not sit idly in his retirement. ―What are the three things you can do when you‘re old and retired?‖ Cullen said. ―You can sit at a bar and out-lie everybody, you can stay at home in front of the TV, or you can get a degree. ―Going back and being able to work with these 20-year-olds shapes your mind.‖ Upon his return to his hometown six years ago, Cullen took notice of Idaho State University and considered taking courses there. Two years later, he took the plunge. Cullen said he was probably one of the more non-traditional undergraduates given his age. When he stepped into the classroom for the first time, fellow students mistook him for the professor. ―They didn‘t know what to say for a few days,‖ he said. Cullen has previous experience as an ISU undergraduate. After graduating from high school in the mid-1940s, Cullen enrolled at ISU in 1947 with hopes of becoming a doctor. ―But that was a dream that was never going to happen,‖ he said. The student population burgeoned with WWII veterans attending under the GI Bill. He said the soldiers were generally more mature than the average college student and were given deference because of their war experience. He said he felt out of place in the environment. ―It was a totally different world,‖ Cullen said. Cullen quit school and spent the next 20 years working for the railroad. He returned to college in the early 1960s to complete some courses so he could work in a professional capacity with the Boy Scouts of America, a short-lived career he opted out of after a few years. Cullen relocated to Boise where he worked in construction and other professions. His jobs took him across the Western United States, but he maintained a home in Boise. In 2002, he made Pocatello his hometown once again. ―I had nothing in Boise that I wanted,‖ Cullen said. In 2004, he decided to hit the books once more. It was not an easy transition. In addition to being several generations removed from the majority of his classmates, the college system had modernized considerably. One of the more daunting aspects was the requirement to use computers, a skill Cullen was not versed in. Cullen stuck to his guns and used a typewriter until a couple of years ago, when he finally surrendered and started to learn to use a personal computer and the intricacies of word processing programs. ―So I finally reached a truce with the computer,‖ Cullen said. Eventually, Cullen adjusted to his new college life and even developed relationships with his professors, many of whom were closer to his age. ―I‘ve thoroughly enjoyed school since I‘ve been back,‖ he said. Cullen considers earning a degree at 79 an accomplishment, and is equally proud of finally finishing something begun more than 60 years ago. Cullen likened earning an anthropology diploma to closing one door and opening another. He is thankful that no one tried to talk him out of going back to college because of his age. ―My brothers, sisters and kids told me, ‗If that‘s what you want to do, why not?‘‖ he said. Students raise funds for statue Event brings in about $850 BY JOHN O‘CONNELL email@example.com POCATELLO — Pocatello High School Principal Don Cotant had never heard any of that ―modern‖ music, let alone played it. No matter. He jammed like a rock star before a crowd of cheering students from all three local high schools, and he beat out Century High School Principal Jim McCoy and Highland High School Principal David Ross in an April 18 ―Guitar Hero‖ challenge of administrators. Students from the three high schools also competed in the wildly popular video game during the collaborative Bring the Chief Home Dance. Admission for the event raised about $850 toward community efforts to build a Chief Pocatello statue, which will be erected between Fourth and Fifth avenues by the city‘s visitors‘ center. The statue‘s unveiling remains on schedule for July 26. The white, rock sculpture is almost completely carved and awaits the addition of a protective coating. Site preparation is in progress. The cooperative dance was among the many ways the community‘s youths have gotten involved in the effort to honor Pocatello‘s namesake. The check from the high school students will be presented to Valley Pride, the civic organization leading the effort to build the statue, at 4:15 p.m. Monday in the basement of Varsity Contractors, 311 S. Fifth Ave. The ―Guitar Hero‖ game requires players to quickly press keys on replica guitars corresponding with the keys that flash on a television screen. When done correctly, players get points for adequately performing guitar riffs from popular songs. ―Mr. McCoy from Century and I were really battling it out until the end,‖ Cotant said. ―When we were watching the kids do their point output, oh, they had to quadruple us. It was amazing to see the skill level they had compared to our skill level.‖ The top student rock stars at the event participated in an NCAA-style ―Guitar Hero‖ tournament, which started prior to the dance with competitions at the individual schools. The overall winner of the student competition was Calen Burch, and A.J. Manda was the runner up. They both attend Highland. Cotant said the schools plan to continue hosting an annual joint fundraiser based on the success of the dance. It marked the first time the schools‘ student governments worked together on a project. ―Togetherness like we did there, this is the first time I can remember in a long time,‖ Cotant said. ―We‘re hoping we can do something similar to that again. I‘m sure there are worthy causes out there, something similar to that.‖ All of the students who attended the dance will have their names added to the ―Book of Feathers,‖ which will include the names of all statue contributors who donate at least a dollar. Valley Pride hopes to get 50,000 names in the book. ―I think that this is a great opportunity for us to come back and commemorate an outstanding Indian chief in this area,‖ Cotant said. ―Here‘s the city named after this honorable person, and you look back at the history of Pocatello itself, we‘re pretty proud to think we live in a Native American area.‖ Donors who give $500 or more will have their names etched into one of two granite arrowheads that will be displayed with the statue. Larger font sizes of names will be awarded for larger donations ranging up to $5,000. ―We have several $5,000 donations already. That includes in-kind or cash,‖ said Tim Forhan, head of Valley Pride‘s External Affairs Committee. At the elementary school level, students will write essays to help with the project. Valley Pride is seeking to get local businesses to sponsor local schools. Participating businesses will be asked to donate $1 for every child in the school of their choice who writes an essay on Chief Pocatello, why Pocatello is a great place to live or doing a good dead. Each student who writes an essay will also be included in the ―Book of Feathers.‖ So far, Forhan said five businesses have agreed to sponsor seven schools. The area‘s junior high students have been assigned to write a marketing jingle for the statue campaign. The total cost of the project will be nearly $100,000. ―We really wanted to bring more attention to the namesake of the community but also do it nice enough that people would get off the highway and also see the visitors‘ center and learn more about community,‖ Forhan said. ―It‘s become a broad-based community effort, broad in the sense of going all the way from Inkom up to Fort Hall.‖ ISU graduates-to-be go through arch Students brave cold weather to participate in tradition BY YANN RANAIVO firstname.lastname@example.org POCATELLO — For some recent graduates, passing under the Swanson Arch at Idaho State University offers a brief opportunity to recapture memories of sleepless nights and never-ending papers. About 250 soon-to-be graduates braved the brisk winds early Friday as they formed a single- file line in front of the arch. Passing through has marked the end of college and the entrance into the real world for ISU graduates for the past eight years. The arch is all that remains of the former Swanson Hall, which was torn down in 1973 and has become a symbol to honor all ISU alumni. ―You should be proud of yourself ... and have done this in the face of pain,‖ said Lee Krehbiel, the interim vice president of student affairs, as he spoke to the crowd of eventual graduates before the march through the arch began. ―So congratulations for finishing the marathon.‖ ISU graduates filed in line and stepped through the arch one by one as they were showered with camera flashes and shouts of ―congrats.‖ Some were overwhelmed by the moment and summed up their college experiences in few words. ―It‘s like a feeling of, ‗Thank you,‘‖ said Teresa Esparza who is graduating with a major in general business and international studies. ―I believe ‗grateful‘ is the word you would say right now.‖ As Krehbiel instructed before the graduates passed under the arch, Esparza thought about the countless credit hours and school work she‘d done to make it to that point. ―I think it was a great feeling because yesterday when I went to go get my cap and gown, I cried,‖ she said. For others, college was not just a collection of years filled with late-night study sessions and seemingly endless lectures. Alicia and Drew Whittier, a married couple who are graduating today, had been in and out of college for almost eight years. ―It feels fantastic, and it‘s been a long journey,‖ Alicia said. Student arrested in tensions over flag issue Authorities say they have arrested a student and bolstered security at a southern Idaho high school stressed by racial tensions this week. Vic Watson, Chief Deputy for the Minidoka County Sheriff Department, says the student was arrested for threatening violence on the grounds of Minico High School. The school became the center of racial tension after a student accused a teacher of throwing away a Mexican flag the student brought to school to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. That action sparked a series of protests by Hispanic and non-Hispanic students. 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