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Person of interest sought in Jerome homicide

JEROME — The Jerome County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a person of interest in a 2018 homicide case.

Ismael Nieto-Duran, 24, is sought in connection to the homicide of Jesus Alejandro Perez Cervantes in February 2018, the sheriff’s office said Monday in a statement.

Nieto-Duran is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and 160 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

Cervantes, 21, was found dead in the middle of the road near 200 East 400 North, northeast of Jerome, on Feb. 5, 2018. The cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds, and police said at the time that there were obvious signs of foul play.

Anybody with information on Nieto-Duran’s whereabouts is asked to call Detective David Olsen with the Jerome County Sheriff’s Office at 208-595-3312 or Detective Thomas Reid at 208-595-3311.

Blaine County parents can take survey

HAILEY — Blaine County School District parents are invited to take a survey by May 17.

The survey is part of Idaho’s new accountability system and results will be shared via an online school report card.

“This survey asks for parent input on several topics to help measure how Idaho schools are doing in meeting parent and student needs,” the school district said Monday in a statement.

The survey asks such questions as the following:

  • Is there one caring adult at school that knows your child well?
  • Does the school invite you to participate in school activities?
  • Does your child’s school tell you how your child is doing in a way that makes sense to you?

If parents have children at more than one school, they can take the survey multiple times by returning to the original link. The survey is available in English or Spanish.

To access the survey, visit blaineschools.org.

Legal filings contend principal sexually harassed students

FRUITLAND (AP) — Two females have filed legal documents against an Idaho school district contending a high school principal sexually harassed them while they were students and district officials failed to act.

One is a former student and the other, who was younger than 18, says the harassment took place last fall. They filed tort claims against the Fruitland School District earlier this month. A tort claim is a precursor to a lawsuit against a public agency.

Mike Fitch resigned last week as principal of Fruitland High School after being charged in February with two counts of sexual battery and one charge of patronizing a prostitute. He has pleaded not guilty.

A school employee filed a separate tort claim involving those charges, contending district officials failed to investigate when the employee reported Fitch behaved inappropriately toward her.

District officials didn’t return a call for comment on Monday.

“Despite the numerous complaints, there was no investigation conducted by the school district and Fitch was permitted to remain principal of the high school,” the tort claims from the two students state.

Fitch’s attorney, Alexander Briggs, didn’t return a call on Monday.

Fitch is scheduled to appear in 3rd District Court on May 3.

Driverless shuttle to ferry passengers in Utah

FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) — Utah transportation officials are testing a driverless shuttle at a Farmington retail hub.

The Standard-Examiner in Ogden reported Monday that the robot vehicle will be operating at Station Park throughout May.

The autonomous vehicle is part of a joint pilot project between the Utah Department of Transportation and the Utah Transit Authority.

The shuttle will go to various communities statewide over the next year. It’s already scheduled to operate at The Canyons Resort in Park City, the University of Utah, a Salt Lake City business park and the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy.

UDOT spokesman John Gleason said in a news release that the shuttle has no steering wheel or pedals. It will travel no more than 15 mph on a pre-determined route.

Man arrested in New Mexico had Oregon criminal conviction

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The man who belonged to a group that was holding immigrants at gunpoint near the U.S.-Mexico border and was arrested on a firearms offense had been found guilty of the same crime in Oregon 12 years ago.

But Larry Mitchell Hopkins fled without serving his sentence.

Klamath County, Oregon, court records show an arrest order for Hopkins was issued in January 2007 for after he failed to meet with his parole officer. Hopkins had been given probation the previous year after pleading guilty to two charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and impersonating a peace officer.

Police said Hopkins, convicted in 1986 in Michigan of a felony, had shown two firearms and a badge that said “special agent” to a group of juveniles.

After Hopkins appeared for only his initial parole meeting but never returned, his parole officer recommended a 20 month prison sentence. An arrest warrant was issued but last year a judge dropped the case because the parole violation was “too old to effectively prosecute.”

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