Friday, September 26, 2008

News Briefs

Hwy 75 traffic light turns on Tuesday

The Hailey Public Works Department has installed a traffic light on the corner of Highway 75 and Countryside Boulevard in south Hailey, allowing for easier entry from Countryside Boulevard onto the Highway.

Hailey Public Works Director Tom Hellen said the new signal light will go into operation on Tuesday.

Accident snarls traffic on 75

A two-car accident on Highway 75 south of Ketchum at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday delayed an already slow trip home for many commuters.

The Blaine County Sheriff's Office reported that the accident occurred in stop-and-go traffic as a long line of motorists was heading south toward Hailey. A sheriff's spokesman, working from an incomplete report on the incident, said motorist Rui Medina was issued a citation for following too closely to another vehicle after his white GMC pickup rear-ended the vehicle in front of him. The spokesman said Medina told sheriff's deputies that the accident happened after he glanced at his cell phone to check an incoming call.

No injuries were noted and the vehicles suffered only minor damage, the sheriff's office reported.

The incident brought the commute south out of Ketchum to a halt for about 30 minutes, witnesses reported from the scene.

Sage grouse hunting season open

Hunting for greater sage grouse opened in select areas in Idaho on Saturday, Sept. 20, a news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game states.

In portions of Idaho, the 2008 sage grouse season will last for 23 days and include a two-bird daily limit, with no more than four in possession after opening day. Areas open for the 23-day sage grouse season in Idaho include:

· Southwest Owyhee County.

· Most of the Upper Snake Region, as well as Lemhi County and portions of Custer County.

The remaining areas will only be open for sage grouse hunting for seven days, with a one-bird daily limit and two in possession after opening day:

· Northwest Owyhee County.

· Magic Valley Region, including parts of Blaine County, as well as parts of Custer and Butte counties.

· Parts of Power, Oneida and Cassia counties.

· The Big Desert area west of Interstate 15 and south of U.S. Highway 20.

Hunters are reminded to obtain a mandatory permit to hunt sage grouse in addition to a valid 2008 Idaho hunting license. The permit allows Fish and Game to monitor the harvest of the popular game bird. It costs $1.75 and is available at Fish and Game license vendors.

For more information on the 2008 sage grouse season, go to

Get fire wise

Blaine County Firewise is offering a free barbecue lunch and information on how to protect your home from wildfire today at Ketchum's Town Plaza from 12-2 p.m.

For details, call 309-2006.

Give blood

A Red Cross blood drive will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 30, from noon to 6 p.m. at the Hailey Armory on Fourth Avenue in Hailey.

A donor must weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, be at least 17 years old and be in general good health. A person can donate blood every 56 days. Some types of foreign travel will make a person temporarily ineligible to donate. For more information, call the Red Cross in Boise at (800) 274-4024.

To donate blood in Hailey, call Betsy for an appointment at 622-3416.

Homeowner's tax exemption set

The maximum homeowner's exemption for 2009 will increase to $104,471, the Idaho State Tax Commission reported.

Idaho provides a partial property tax exemption to qualified homeowners for their primary dwelling and up to one acre of land. This law exempts half the assessed value from taxation.

For more information contact (208) 332-6624.

Idaho gas prices dip toward normal

The cost of gasoline in Idaho has dropped this month, bringing it more in line with the national average.

The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in the state fell seven cents to $3.74 in the third week of September, Boise-based AAA Idaho reported.

Meanwhile, the average price in the United States has fallen again after a sudden spike following Hurricane Ike and the damage the massive storm caused to Gulf Coast oil refineries. The national average at the beginning of this week was at $3.73, down more than 12 cents from the previous week, AAA Idaho reported.

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