Wednesday, April 2, 2008

News Briefs

Lawmakers to hold meetings

Local state legislators have set up meetings to talk with constituents this month. Idaho Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, Sen. Clint Stennett, D-Ketchum, and Rep. Donna Pence, D-Gooding, have announced the following schedule of town meetings:

· April 9, noon, Wendell Chamber of Commerce, Wendell City Hall.

· April 9, 2 p.m., discussion on regional solutions to regional concerns with Camas, Gooding, Jerome and Lincoln Commissioners, Gooding County Planning and Zoning Hearing Room.

· April 16, 9 a.m., Fairfield City Hall, drop-in meeting.

· April 17, noon, Gooding Chamber of Commerce, Sally's Office Solutions, Main Street.

· April 17, 1:15 p.m., Gooding City Hall, drop-in meeting.

Jaquet said this is the best time for constituents to meet with their representatives, as they are fresh out of the winter session and ready to discuss decisions that were made and plans for the future.

Do you have a happy heart?

St. Luke's Center for Community Health will host a "brown bag" lecture on "Keeping Your Heart Healthy and Happy," on Thursday, April 3, from 12:15-1:15 p.m. Led by cardiologist Dr. Robert Dueer, the free lecture will take place in the Baldy Conference Room at St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center.

For more information, call the Center for Community Health at 787-8737.

'Girl World' learns to survive

Girls in fourth and fifth grades and their parents can learn about surviving in "Girl World" at discussions hosted by St. Luke's Center for Community Health, either Thursday, April 10, at Hailey Elementary School, or Thursday, April 17, at Hemingway Elementary in Ketchum.

Girls will be led through discussions and activities to learn healthy relationship and communication skills while parents learn about age-appropriate behavior for both boys and girls.

Call 727-8733 to pre-register for either of the classes. The cost is $10.

Now what?

On Thursday, April 3, at 5:30 p.m., the Wood River Community YMCA will host a "live" discussion with broadcast journalist Lynn Sherr and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author Ellen Goodman via satellite from the New York's 92nd Street Y.

The topic of their conversation—directed at Baby Boomers, in particular—will be "What do you do when you've done it all?"

The cost is $10 for Y members and $15 for non-members. For details, call 727-YMCA.

'Tween Nights' slated at Y

The Wood River Community YMCA will hold Tween Nights the first Saturday of every month, for kids 8-12 years old. Kids will swim, rock climb, do arts and crafts, play games and much more. A south valley bus will make a pick up at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Campus in Hailey. The fare is $3. Kids must pre-register for both the bus and the Tween Night.

For more information or to register, call 727-YMCA.

Volunteer awarded Silver Beaver

Hailey scout volunteer Clayton Adams was awarded the Boy Scouts of America prestigious Silver Beaver award last month at the Snake River Council's annual banquet in Twin Falls.

Adams, one of eight Snake River Council scout leaders to receive the award, is the service manager of Sutton and Sons in Hailey and a committee member of Pack 190. A Snake River Council press release states that Adams is a longtime Cub Scout volunteer and is active in community and church activities.

Idaho Power alerts customers to scam

Some Idaho Power customers have received calls from individuals using a name similar to that of Idaho Power, the company said in a news release. The caller speaks quickly and states the consumer is overdue on his or her utility payment and if payment is not received by Saturday the service will be turned off.

After using such scare tactics the caller demands that the customer give a bank account or credit card number immediately to keep service operational.

The company has specific collection procedures in place and if a customer is overdue on a payment a collection notice is sent by mail. No electrical services are turned off on a weekend.

Idaho Power customer service representatives are aware of these calls and urge consumers to call (208) 388-2323 or (800) 488-6151 outside the Treasure Valley.

Idaho potato stocks up

Potato stocks held by growers, dealers and processors in Idaho on March 1 totaled 6.3 billion pounds, or 350 million pounds more than was on hand on March 1, 2007.

Potato processors in Idaho and Malheur County, Ore., used 835 million pounds of raw potato crops from 2007 during the month of February, up 10 percent from February 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistic Service stated in a recent news release. This is the largest monthly processing total since May 2001, according to the service.

Idaho construction still weak

Idaho's construction industry continued to weaken with the start of the new year, according to a report issued by Wells Fargo. Total residential construction valuation was down 34.2 percent in January compared to January 2007, which itself was 41 percent lower than that reported in January 2006.

According to the Wells Fargo report, that equates to a 66 percent drop in new residential valuation during the past two years, with about $70 million in January 2008 compared to $203 million in January 2006.

The decline in the construction of single-family dwellings is the primary factor affecting the overall drop in residential construction and valuation, the report states. In January 2006, Idaho reported 1,096 new single-family starts, compared with 536 new single-family starts in January 2007 and just 258 new single-family starts this past January. That represents a decrease of nearly 50 percent in both 2008 and 2007 and the lowest number of single-family dwelling starts in more than 10 years, the report states.

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