Wednesday, August 27, 2008

News Briefs

Fewer travelers expected for holiday weekend

High fuel costs and a weak economy are expected to lead to fewer travelers for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, according to AAA Idaho.

The travel organization predicted in a press release that U.S. travel for the holiday will be down .9 percent from last year, a number that translates to 320,000 Americans not going anywhere for the weekend.

"The drop, while not significant in size, does signal the impact this summer's expensive gas and higher airfares are having on travelers," said AAA Idaho spokesman Dave Carlson.

AAA Idaho also predicted that gas prices will continue to decline from a high in July when a barrel of oil was going for $147. Recent weeks have seen the price decline to $113-$120 per barrel, AAA Idaho reported.

Matsiko Choir to bid farewell

The Matsiko Children's Choir, which has captured the hearts of the Wood River Valley residents, will leave the area on its way to Nebraska early Friday morning. The choir has preformed at area schools throughout the week.

This last show will be a special farewell from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28 at the Wicked Spud in Hailey.

More than 100 people from the valley are now official sponsors of other children in Uganda and elsewhere through the International Children's Network.

Small non-profit boasts new mission

To date, Peter DeBaun, a fishing guide with Silver Creek Outfitters, and founder of the non-profit Fishing for Life, has raised to date some $400,000 for the Mapalo Orphanage in Ndola, Zambia.

It started four years ago as a small attempt to help the kids who were crammed into a small room with one teacher and little food. What DeBaun and his fellow fishing guides realized was that what they were paid for a day of guiding would feed 300 kids for a month. So they donated one full day to the orphanage. The orphans now have a new registered school, uniforms, books, desks, a staff of seven trained teachers, a full-time director, a care taker and a cooking staff to run the newly completed kitchen and dining commons.

"Our goal this year is to raise $100,000 to finish and install a brick-making business to support our annual operations expenses," DeBaun said. "The long-term goal is to raise $12,000,000 to put 1,000 children through college or the equivalent."

A tax-deductible gift can be made Fishing for Life's parent organization, Hope for Life. For more information visit

Public TV to take 90-sec test

On Friday Sept. 5, at 6:58 p.m. Idaho Public television (channel 10) will run a 90-second test. Announcements will alert viewers about what is happening. Viewers watching the digital channel will notice no difference as the systems five digital transmitters continue to operate. Most cable and satellite viewers will also not see any interruption.

Local Dems to host potluck

The Blaine County Democratic Party will host a potluck get together at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 28, at the local party headquarters at 313 N. Main Street in Hailey. The purpose of the event will be to listen to Sen. Barack Obama accept the party's nomination for U.S. President.

People attending are asked to bring snacks or a picnic dinner. Wine and soft drinks will be provided. The gathering is open to the public. For more information call (208) 726-6423 or (208) 928-6918.

Idaho fire code available online

The Idaho Fire Code is now available in an online format, a news release from the Idaho Department of Insurance states.

The fire code book was made available online through a joint effort of the department of insurance, the Idaho State Fire Marshall's Office and a licensing agreement with the publisher.

The Idaho Fire Code sets forth the minimum fire standards related to buildings in the state of Idaho. Idahoans can now access the Idaho Fire Code from the Fire Marshall's Web site at

Nader-Gonzalez file to be on Idaho ballot

Supporters of independent U.S. Presidential candidate Ralph Nader submitted petitions to the Idaho Secretary of State's office on Monday to place Nader and running mate Matt Gonzalez on the November 2008 election ballot. A news release from the Nader campaign states that Idaho will be the 39th state in which the campaign has filed for a ballot line since Nader announced his intent to run on Feb. 24.

To qualify to appear on the Idaho ballot, state law requires the names of 5,985 registered Idaho voters to be submitted to the secretary of state's office, the news release states. The campaign has submitted more than 13,000 signatures, the news release goes on to say.

Roark attends DNC

The Democratic National Convention is underway this week in Denver, and that means Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Keith Roark, a Hailey attorney, is busy working with Idaho's cadre of delegates.

Roark is one of four super delegates sent by Idaho. He waited longer than all others to announce his preferred presidential candidate, finally announcing he would support Barack Obama.

"After several months of careful consideration, I am announcing today that I will cast my vote this August at the Democratic National Convention for the next President of the United States, Senator Barrack Obama. I have not come quickly or easily to this decision. Democrats are blessed to have two outstanding candidates vying for our party's nomination at this defining moment in American history.

"I have no doubt that Senator Obama will run the stronger race. The unprecedented enthusiasm Senator Obama has generated here in Idaho is unlike anything I have seen in the past 31 years of active political participation in this State. He has captured the imagination and mint fresh optimism of young voters from Couer d'Alene to Caldwell, from Murphy to Montpelier. I firmly believe that the critical process of rebuilding the Idaho Democratic Party will receive a once in a lifetime boost from Senator Obama's candidacy."

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