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Eye On Boise

Fri., May 3, 2013, 6:15 a.m.

Blackfoot woman receives open government award

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Blackfoot woman who helped expose secret school district payments won kudos for making government more open. Joyce Bingham, a substitute teacher, was named Thursday as recipient of the 2013 Max Dalton Open Government Award, for which she'll receive $1,000. Bingham gets the award, awarded annually since 1999 by the Idaho Newspaper Foundation, after making a request under Idaho's Public Records Law to the Blackfoot School District. She'd heard rumors former superintendent Scott Crane got a large payout for resigning. The district denied her request, prompting Bingham to take trustees to court where she eventually won. The documents showed the district paid $210,000 to Crane — and conspired to keep the cash secret. Foundation director Tom Grote says Bingham risked retaliation to ensure important information saw the light of day.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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