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A long-running court case over the adequacy of education funding in Washington state has ended, with the state Supreme Court on Thursday lifting its jurisdiction over the case and dropping daily sanctions after the Legislature funneled billions more dollars into public schools.

The court's unanimous order came in response to lawmakers passing a supplemental budget earlier this year that the justices said was the final step needed to reach compliance with a 2012 state Supreme Court ruling that found that K-12 school funding was inadequate. Washington's Constitution states that it is the Legislature's "paramount duty" to fully fund the education system. The resolution of the landmark case in Washington state comes as other states like Arizona, Oklahoma and Kentucky are now responding to calls for more money to be allocated to education.

The state had been in contempt of court since 2014 for lack of progress on that ruling, and daily sanctions of $100,000 — allocated specifically for education spending— had been accruing since August 2015.

"Reversing decades of underfunding has been among the heaviest lifts we've faced in recent years and required difficult and complex decisions, but I'm incredibly proud and grateful for all those who came together on a bipartisan basis to get this job done," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a written statement.

Over the past few years, lawmakers had put significantly more money toward education costs like student transportation and classroom supplies, but the biggest piece they needed to tackle to reach full compliance was figuring out how much the state must provide for teacher salaries. School districts had paid a big chunk of those salaries with local property-tax levies, something the court said had to be remedied.

In November, the court said a plan passed by the Legislature last year — which included a statewide property tax increase earmarked for education — satisfied its earlier ruling, but justices took issue with the fact that the teacher salary component of the plan wasn't fully funded until September 2019. This year, lawmakers expedited that timeframe to Sept. 1, 2018.

Democratic House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan said that the court's order was a relief, though he noted that legislative debates over education funding aren't over. Sullivan said there is more work to be done on areas like special education, as well as recruiting and retaining teachers.



Lawyers representing nearly 200 Democrats in Congress plan to argue in federal court Thursday that President Donald Trump is violating the Constitution by accepting foreign state favors without first seeking congressional approval.

The case argues that the president has received foreign government favors, such as Chinese government trademarks for his companies, payments for hotel room stays and event space rentals by representatives of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and proceeds from Chinese or Emirati-linked government purchases of office space in Trump Tower.

Ethics experts say the constitutional emoluments clause was created by the Founding Fathers to ensure that government officials act with the interests of the American public in mind instead of their own pocketbooks. Since then, it has been applied to the lowest of government of officials up to the president without a court challenge.

"This argument on Thursday will essentially put to the test the proposition that no one is above the law, not even the president," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat who is leading the effort. "He's thumbed his nose at the plain text and in doing so he's thumbed his nose at the American people."

Unlike prior presidents, Trump chose not to divest from his assets and he remains the owner of the Trump Organization, a sprawling business empire with 550 entities in more than 20 countries that include branded hotels, golf courses, licensing deals and other interests. His Washington, D.C., hotel just steps from the White House has become a magnet for foreign governments, including groups tied to Kuwait, Bahrain, Turkey, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.


woman drove her car onto a baseball field in Maine during a game, striking and killing him.

Screaming bystanders and ballplayers fled as Carol Sharrow, of Sanford, Maine, drove through an open gate onto the field Friday night, police said. Video shows the car driving around the infield, turning over home plate and then heading toward the stands behind third base.

Douglas Parkhurst, of West Newfield, was near the park's main gate before he was hit and Sharrow sped away, police said. Parkhurst died on the way to the hospital and no one else was hurt.

"It was awful," said Sanford resident, Karyn Bean, who said she saw Parkhurst being struck. "A car driving through the gate hitting a man who was pushing kids out of the way, then her driving up the road easily doing 50 to 60 miles per hour past us.

"It felt awful because we couldn't do anything."

Sharrow was scheduled to appear in court later Monday to face a manslaughter charge. She was to have an attorney appointed to represent her then.

Sharrow has two previous drunken driving convictions in Maine and New Hampshire, according to Sanford police Det. Sgt. Matthew Jones. Authorities have declined to say whether alcohol was involved on Friday.

Parkhurst was never charged in the hit-and-run death that killed Carolee Ashby on Halloween night in 1968. The statute of limitations had long run out when Parkhurst walked into a police station in 2013 and confessed after two interviews with investigators.

In his four-page confession obtained by the Syracuse Post-Standard during its reporting about the case, Parkhurst said he and his brother had been drinking before he hit the girl. He said his brother was passed out in the back seat.


A new court program has opened in Dona Ana County that focuses on the substance abuse and mental health issues facing military veterans who have been charged with non-violent crimes.

Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the first hearing in the 3rd Judicial District Court's Veterans Treatment Court program was held on Wednesday.

It's the first veterans court program in southern New Mexico

The judicial district already has other "problem-solving courts," such as a drug court for juveniles and adults that tries to help rehabilitate repeat offenders whose offenses are driven by substance abuse.

Veterans participating in the new program will be given individualized treatment and counseling programs that run an average of 14 months or longer.



The driver of a school bus that collided with a dump truck on a New Jersey highway last week, killing a student and a teacher and injuring more than 40 others, is due in court.

Hudy Muldrow Sr. faces two charges of vehicular homicide. He's scheduled for an initial court appearance in Morristown on Friday.

A criminal affidavit released Thursday alleges Muldrow missed a turn and tried to make a U-turn on Interstate 80 westbound on May 17 while carrying a group of fifth-graders and chaperones on a field trip.

Ten-year-old Miranda Vargas and 51-year-old teacher Jennifer Williamson died in the crash. Muldrow's son told CBS this week that his father said he didn't make a U-turn.


Gov. Dennis Daugaard says he will appoint circuit court Judge Mark Salter to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

The governor said Thursday he will name Salter, of Sioux Falls, to replace Justice Glen Severson, who will retire in June after nine years as a member of the high court.

Salter has been a judge in the 2nd Judicial Circuit since 2013. He is the presiding judge for the Minnehaha County Veteran's Treatment Court.

Salter will be the 51st member of the South Dakota Supreme Court. Daugaard says Salter is a "brilliant legal mind."

The 49-year-old Salter was born in Huron and got his law degree from the University of South Dakota School of Law in 1993.


A former Deere & Co. factory manager cannot sue the company under the Iowa Civil Rights Act because he worked and lived in China when he was disciplined for having sexual relationships with two Chinese woman also employed by the company, the Iowa Supreme Court said Friday.

The ruling establishes for the first time that the Iowa Civil Rights Act does not apply to circumstances that occur outside the state even though the parties involved may have some Iowa connection. The decision means the lawsuit filed by Matthew Jahnke will be dismissed.

Jahnke, who began working for Deere in 1998, took a job with the company in Harbin in the northeast part of China in 2011 to oversee the construction of a new factory and to manage it once completed.

In April 2014, Deere received internal reports that one of Jahnke's employees had "procured several very expensive luxury cars" for Jahnke, and helped Jahnke "find beautiful women" in exchange for favorable performance reviews. The reports prompted an investigation that revealed Jahnke had sexual relationships with two Chinese women who also worked at the Deere Harbin factory.

The company concluded that Jahnke violated its code of business conduct because he failed to timely disclose sexual relationships with women he managed.

The Deere employee responsible for the initial investigation concluded in his report that Jahnke, a 60-year-old man involved in a sexual relationship with a 28-year-old woman, could cause embarrassment and negative perception for the company and "there could be the obvious perception of an oldish factory manager abusing his influence/position—and create (sic) some possible exposure for the company."


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