Cheer

The Twin Falls Police Department this week hosted a forum for the city’s religious leaders to talk about guns in church. The forum comes after a gunman killed 26 people inside a church in the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history, and another shooting at a church in California.

The chances of that happening here are slim to none. But, Capt. Matthew Hicks said, “The people in the church in Texas thought the exact same thing.”

So what are we to do? Arm worshipers? Hire security?

That’s a decision each church will have to make on its own. The Twin Falls Police are here to work with churches whatever actions they may take, police said.

We commend the police department, especially Chief Craig Kingsbury, for getting ahead of the issue and reaching out to the religious community.

As churches consider what to do next, we urge them to proceed with caution, especially if they’re considering urging worshipers to carry guns to services. There’s something unsettling about deadly weapons in a house of God, regardless of who is carrying them.

“What I would caution you on … If you are carrying a concealed weapon, there comes a lot of responsibility with that. It’s not just ‘cool’ to carry a gun,” the chief said. “As police officers and many people know, once you pull that trigger, you can’t bring that back.”

Jeer

Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney made a big deal earlier this summer about protecting Idaho voters’ privacy. A special commission on voter fraud set up by the Trump administration — in part because of the president’s absurd and unfounded claims about voter fraud — asked each state for information about its voters.

At the time, Denney said he’d never release voter info to the feds unless it fell under Idaho’s public information law.

Turns out Denney had been feeding the data to the commission’s chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, all along.

As the Idaho Statesman first reported, Idaho has continued to participate in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, also overseen by Kobach, despite concerns from other states that the voter information could be hacked or compromised. In fact, Denney has been submitting voter information like birthdates and partial Social Security numbers for four years to the program, meant to allow states to compare voter rolls to spot fraud.

That’s not what he told voters this summer.

Denney should immediately apologize for misleading voters, whether he did so intentionally or not. And the state should also reconsider Idaho’s participation in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, if Denney is actually serious about protecting voters’ personal information.

Cheer

Congratulations to mayors across the Magic Valley who helped raise money in October for the Mayor’s School Walking Challenge, a fundraiser that challenges mayors to walk at least 10,000 steps a day to help promote fitness.

These Magic Valley mayors met the goal: Nina Jonas, Ketchum, 738,305 steps; Dave Davis, Jerome, 635,511 steps; Cleo Gallegos, Heyburn, 595,688 steps; Shawn Barigar, Twin Falls, 407,547 steps; Dan Pierson, Shoshone, 363,205 steps; and Scott Marolf, Fairfield, 326,828 steps.

Schools also got in on the fun by challenging students to get their steps in during the school day. Among the top 50 schools were Immanuel Lutheran School, Twin Falls; Dietrich Schools; Shoshone Elementary; Carey Elementary; Valley Elementary, Hazelton; Heyburn Elementary; Acequia Elementary; Rupert Elementary; Summit Elementary, Jerome; Oregon Trail Elementary, Twin Falls; Sawtooth Elementary, Twin Falls and Pillar Falls Elementary, Twin Falls.

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