Land Board chief named

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- A Montana natural resources official was selected Aug. 23 to take over the Idaho Department of Lands, which is grappling with increased interest in natural gas drilling, how to dispose of property and pressure to boost investment returns.

Thomas Schultz, 42, a Montana Department of Natural Resources administrator, was selected by the Land Board to run the Idaho agency that oversees lake cottage sites, timber and grazing ground and downtown Boise commercial property.

Farm Bureau official charged

KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) -- A former secretary for the Blaine-Camas Farm Bureau office in Bellevue is charged with embezzling more than $35,000 from the organization over a four-year period.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports 59-year-old Judith G. Shurtz was arraigned Aug. 22 in 5th District Court on a felony charge of grand theft by embezzlement. She pleaded not guilty and a trial is set for January 2012.

Blaine County prosecutors charge she fraudulently wrote about 90 checks to herself between February 2006 and May 2010. An internal audit by the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation discovered the alleged thefts.

The case was investigated for about a year before Shurtz was charged in May. She remains free on $5,000 bond.

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