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Our View: Cheers and Jeers to Heritage Academy, Cassia Fair donors and heartless harassing souls

Our View: Cheers and Jeers to Heritage Academy, Cassia Fair donors and heartless harassing souls

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Cheers to everyone who donated at the sale of a 4-H steer that belonged to 12-year-old Sean David Loughmiller, who died in an ATV crash while moving cattle this summer. The sale, at the Cassia County Fair, reminded many that there’s still good in our often-sad world.

After the first person bought the animal, it was donated back and sold again, said Joel Packham, extension educator with the University of Idaho Extension Center in Cassia County

“That happened again and again and again,” he said.

The steer was auctioned 13 times. After the sale ended, the auctioneer continued to take donations by bidders in $1,000, $500 and $100 increments. In all, the event brought in $63,000.

“There was not one crusty old guy at that sale that didn’t have tears in his eyes,” Packham said.


Jeers to whoever made a Migrant Head Start bus driver feel unsafe. Officials with the Community Council of Idaho said a threatening incident last month has led them to make plans to remove and conceal signage on buses it uses to transport local preschool-aged children of farmworkers and Head Start participants.

“It’s really heartbreaking, because they’re children,” Sonnay Alvarez, spokeswoman for the Community Council of Idaho told the Idaho Statesman. “They don’t understand what hate is.”

The council runs 10 Head Start centers for children of migrant workers across the state, including the The Emiliano Zapata Migrant Head Start Day Care in Burley, which won a $5,000 grant to install security cameras. Many centers also want tinted windows at a cost of $3,000 a center. All because some awful people have anger in their hearts toward the children they believe are inside.

Most likely don’t know what a migrant person is anyway. Not that it would make any difference whose children are in those buses and preschools.

“Migrant doesn’t necessarily mean ‘illegal,’” Alvarez said. “Migrant means people move in search of work, which is what our program is. We have people who might move from East Idaho to Caldwell because of the work that they’re in.”


Cheers to Heritage Academy for showing big improvements in student test scores. The Jerome charter school was was criticized by state leaders earlier this summer for poor academic performance. Heritage Academy doubled the number of its students proficient in reading during the 2019 school year, according to results released last week by the State Department of Education.

Only 28.4% of the school’s K-3 students were reading proficient in the fall, but 59.7% scored at grade level or better in the spring on the Idaho Reading Indicator, a biannual state test measuring early literacy.

The results still lag behind the rest of the state, but Heritage serves large populations of students facing barriers to academic achievement. Of its 166 students in K-8 last year, about 96% were low income, 24% were with disabilities and 19% were learning English.


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