Friday, July 18, 2008

News Briefs

Middle Fork rockslide cleared

A large rockslide that closed a section of the trail along the Middle Fork of the Salmon River near the Simplot Ranch in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness has been cleared and the trail is open again to horse and foot travel, U.S. Forest Service officials report. The rockslide, which occurred July 7, contained about 100 tons of material and completely obliterated a 30- to 40-foot section of the backcountry trail.

A 12-person Forest Service team, including trail crews, a blasting specialist and a fisheries biologist spent 2.5 days blasting and clearing the rocks and debris before rebuilding the damaged trail section, a news release from the Salmon-Challis National Forest states.

The trail parallels much of the Middle Fork and provides hiking and horseback access to the Wild & Scenic River corridor. The slide occurred near the southwest end of the Lower Loon Creek Bridge between the bridge and the river.

Cops to target aggressive drivers

Law enforcement agencies throughout Idaho will be on the lookout for aggressive drivers in a 10-day campaign starting Friday.

The Idaho Transportation Department is funding overtime patrols from July 18-27.

"The increased patrols statewide are an effort to stop aggressive driving and save lives," ITD reported in a press release.

"Aggressive driving is a serious problem in Idaho," said ITD's Pat Beale. "More than half of all traffic crashes are caused by aggressive driving."

Examples of aggressive driving include speeding, not signaling, tailgating, cutting in, not giving room for others, stop sign violations and disregarding signals and signs.

Celebrate Papa's birthday

The Ketchum Sun Valley Historical Society will celebrate Ernest Hemingway's birthday Monday, July 21, The party will be from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Heritage and Ski Museum in Ketchum's Forest Service Park on Washington and 1st Streets. The museum will feature videos on Hemingway's life and time in Idaho and will serve cake and lemonade. For details, 726-8118.

Otter taps Hartgen

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has named Stephen Hartgen, the former editor and publisher of the Twin Falls Times-News to complete the term of Rep. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson.

Brackett, a rancher, was appointed on July 10 to complete the Idaho State Senate term of Sen. Tom Gannon, R-Buhl, who died June 24.

"It has been my pleasure to work with Gov. Otter in various capacities, and I look forward to this new challenge representing the people of District 23 in the Legislature," Hartgen said.

Hartgen, 63, is a native of Maine. He is a past vice chairman of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry. He was the publisher of The Times-News for 14 years and a regional publisher for Lee Enterprises, a national newspaper chain, from 2002 to 2004.

"Steve is among the most accomplished and civic-minded citizens of southern Idaho," Otter said. "He has been involved in so many important issues through the decades—from education funding to criminal justice—that he will be a great addition to the Idaho House of Representatives."

SNRA Rec Report: Salmon fishing now over

Salmon fishing ended Thursday statewide. Anglers have caught the state's share of adult Chinook, according to the Sawtooth National Forest.

Some campgrounds in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area remain closed to camping due to damage from a July 3 thunderstorm. The storm's high winds blew down thousands of live trees. Winds were reportedly blowing in excess of 70 miles per hour. Due to damaged property, blocked areas, and a continuing hazard, Point Beach and Campground as well as Glacier View Campground Loop B will remain closed while crews work to reopen the areas. Most other areas around the lake are open, but it is asked that people obey signs and to allow crews to work to get the remaining facilities open. Please call any of the Ranger Stations or Visitor Centers for the most up to date information.

"The Sawtooth Forum and Lecture Series 2008" held in Stanley, Idaho runs through August 29. Attendance is free and open to the public. All lectures will begin at 3:00 pm and are held at the Stanley Museum. The lectures will be repeated at 8:30 pm at the Redfish Lake Amphitheater. Sponsors are: Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Association, U.S. Forest Service, Sawtooth Society, Stanley Community Library, Idaho Rivers United and Stanley, Sawtooth Chamber of Commerce. Friday, July 18th Raptors of Idaho: Biology and Management with Barb Forderhase. On Friday, July 25th Sawtooth Music Festival Weekend: Historically-Based Songs of the Salmon River Region. On Friday, August 1st Our Public Lands: An American Legacy by Dr. Alfred Runte.

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