SPENDING PROBLEMS: Friday’s Gazette report on the alleged misspending involving the 6th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services and the non-profit organization started by the district’s former director, Gary Hinzman, cast even deeper shadows on the situation uncovered by a state audit. Most of the $776,000 identified as misspent was made on behalf of the non-profit, whose programs have been hailed as innovative and effective at helping children who have parents in prison or are otherwise at high risk of getting into deep trouble. One of the problems cited was poor oversight by the boards of the non-profit and the 6th District, which have three common members.
POVERTY INDICATOR: The annual Iowa Department of Education report verified that Iowa’s public school population is increasingly diverse — one in every five students is of color. Not surprising and certainly welcome. But it also noted that 41 percent of all Iowa’s students qualified for free or reduced-price lunches, a common measure of poverty or low-income status, continuing an upward trend of the past decade.
METH STILL HERE: While the number of meth labs in Iowa is about one-fifth that of a decade ago, thanks largely to tougher restrictions on pseudoephredine sales, more high-purity meth is coming to Iowa via Mexican drug cartels, state officials say.
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