Friday, June 22, 2007

News Briefs

Fourth Street bike path to open

The new bike path along Fourth Street in Ketchum is set to open Saturday.

Paving started today on the street, but vehicle traffic won't be allowed on the new surface until June 28, said Ketchum Police Sgt. Dave Kassner.

But hikers, bikers and other bike path users can try out the new route a week earlier. Kassner said signs will be posted along bike paths in Ketchum and Sun Valley directing users to the new route.

ERC hike to tackle Baldy

Are you ready to hike? The Environmental Resource Center summer hiking series seeks out local peaks to explore. These are excellent opportunities to learn more about the mountains immediately surrounding the Wood River Valley and a valid excuse to get out of the office on the last Friday of each month.

The first hike will tackle Bald Mountain, on Friday, June 29, beginning at 9 a.m. at the ERC in Ketchum.

The hike is considered difficult, with an elevation gain of over 3,000 feet and a total hiking distance of 10 miles. The hike will be a daylong affair. Wear hiking shoes and bring water, a lunch, sunscreen and a great attitude. No pets are allowed.

For more information and to reserve a spot, call 788-2117.

Special Olympics gets federal money

Congress has appropriated $3 million for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games, to be held in Idaho.

The money represents the federal contribution to the Games' $23 million budget and will be used for housing, meals, security, communications, education, facility rentals and transportation for the international event.

"There is so much that Special Olympics offers beyond promoting physical and mental fitness, pride and dignity for the athletes," said Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, honorary chair of the games. "From inspiring civility to training volunteers to supporting families of athletes, the benefits we see from Special Olympics is just the tip of the iceberg. Idaho is proud to host these games, and we are striving to ensure that the 'little things' are taken care of so that the athletes, coaches, families, and friends can focus on the Games and all they stand for."

Tree trimming to affect traffic

Beginning Monday, June 25, at 8 a.m., Idaho Power tree-trimming crews will work on state Highway 75 between Elkhorn Road and Weyyakin Drive to reduce interference with power lines.

On Monday afternoon and Tuesday, the crews will move to Warm Springs Road between East Canyon Run and West Canyon Run.

On Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday, they will move south on Highway 75 to Deer Creek, just north of Hailey.

Lane closures and traffic delays are expected.

Regional council to hold meeting

The Blaine Regional Leadership Council will hold its second meeting on Wednesday, June 27, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the upstairs meeting room at the Old County Courthouse in Hailey. The council was recently formed to address countywide issues and is composed of elected officials from county government and every city in Blaine County.

All of the county's mayors have confirmed they will attend.

Agenda items include formalizing the council, regional economic development, Blaine County Housing Authority representation from cities and a consolidated building-permit process. The public is invited to attend the meeting.

Local student on 'Today Show'

Community School ninth-grader Jon Atkinson, who won his division of the Young Naturalist Awards, sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History, will appear on the Today Show in New York City on Friday, June 22.

Atkinson is one of two ninth graders in the nation to win this award and one of 12 students in the United States. The award came as a result of his 18-page analytical paper "Barn Owls on the Side of the Road."

"I have always liked nature and always enjoyed being outside," Atkinson said. "It's really interesting to be able to connect things in nature."

Atkinson found a strong correlation between dead barn owls and their proximity to granaries, dairies and towns.

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