Wednesday, October 22, 2008

News Briefs

'Scout your Route' set for Thursday

Mountain Rides Transportation Authority will host an open house on Thursday, Oct. 23, to introduce proposed winter routes for Around Town bus service.

The event, titled 'Scout your Route,' will be held on-board a newly painted Mountain Rides Around Town bus, which will be parked on Fourth Street near Atkinsons' Market from noon to 5:30 p.m.

Business owners, citizens and visitors are encourage to step on board and take a look at the redesigned route maps and to talk to Mountain Rides representatives. Refreshments will be served.

Highway aerial survey begins

Aerial surveys began this week for the long-awaited state Highway 75 expansion project.

The Idaho Transportation Department announced that field crews from Aero-Graphics of Salt Lake City began placing targets along Highway 75 between McKercher Boulevard in Hailey and Elkhorn Road near Ketchum. The targets will be used to guide aerial photography and will be removed after photography is completed.

ITD is obtaining the aerial surveys and mapping for the Timmerman-to-Ketchum reconstruction project. Construction is expected to begin in 2012.

Sun Valley/Ketchum BAH set

Wells Fargo Bank, along with Desperado's restaurant, will host April's Business After Hours on Thursday, Oct. 23, from 5-7 p.m. at 411 Main St. N. in Ketchum.

The Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau encourages local businesses to use the monthly event as a networking opportunity.

Give cyclocross a try

Ketchum-based Scott USA will have 16 cyclocross bikes available for free demos on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 24 and 25, during the annual Crosstober event at River Run.

The bikes will be available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for anyone interested in racing in the event or trying out an increasingly popular style of bicycle.

Similar to road bikes, but with wider, knobby tires and different brakes, cyclocross bikes have become more prevalent for training and commuting during fall and winter months.

To demo one of the bikes, the user must have a helmet and fill out a waiver, which can be picked up at the Scott expo in front of River Run Lodge.

Auction on for Little Sister Fund

A silent art auction at Golden Elk in Hailey held through Saturday, Nov. 1, will benefit the Little Sisters Fund in Nepal. Hailey resident Hanna Curran organized the auction for her senior project at Wood River High School.

Started by Ketchum native Trevor Patzer, the Little Sisters Fund provides long-term scholarships for economically disadvantaged girls in Asia.

On Saturday, Oct. 25, at 6 p.m., Curran will hold a reception at Golden Elk to include food, drinks and a screening of the Little Sisters Fund film that was a part of the Sun Valley Film Festival.

Artists whose work will be shown include Mary Ann Chubb, Kristine Curran, Lauren Prentice, Sue Dumke, Marjolaine Renfro, Renee Kuross, Betty Ervin, Addy Mason, Kirk Anderson, Sue Jacobsen, Tina Cole, Piper Loyd and John Caccia.

Donations may be sent to Little Sisters Fund, c/o Hanna Curran, 213 N. Hiawatha, Hailey, ID 83333.

TSC students receive honors

Two students at The Community School in Sun Valley have received academic honors from the National Hispanic Recognition Program.

Eddy Albarran was acknowledged by the organization as an Outstanding Hispanic Student. Lucas Vorsteveld was recognized as a Commended Scholar.

To be eligible, students must be at least one-quarter Hispanic/Latino as defined by the National Hispanic Recognition Program, meet the minimum PSAT/NMSQT cutoff score for a state, and achieve a minimum grade-point average requirement.

The awards are based on grade-point averages and test scores.

Prescribed burn planned for Soldier

The U.S. Forest Service plans to conduct a prescribed burn in the Soldier Mountain area nine miles northwest of Fairfield as soon as conditions permit.

"The burn is scheduled for this fall and could be implemented as soon as this weekend," a news release from the Sawtooth National Forest states. "Prescribed fire operations must be ignited under certain weather conditions and it is difficult to determine exactly when ignitions will occur."

Approximately 200 acres are scheduled to be burned in the Phillips Creek drainage to help reduce hazardous fuels in the vicinity of Soldier Mountain and Soldier Creek drainage.

To ensure public safety, trails and the immediate area may be closed to public entry and use for one or two days during the exercise. Trails that will be affected include: Free Gold/Phillips Creek Trail No. 185 and sections of the South Fork Soldier Trail No. 087. Closed areas will be reopened "when it is safe for visitors to enter," the Forest Service announced.

INL to keep its contractor until 2014

The U.S. Department of Energy has decided to retain the contractor charged with running the Idaho National Laboratory nuclear and research complex near Arco.

INL officials announced Monday that the DOE has determined it will allow Battelle Energy Alliance to complete the duration of its 10-year contract to run the federally owned complex through September 2014.

The decision was made pursuant to a special assessment mandated by Battelle's 2004 contract. A clause in the contract required the DOE to review the contractor's performance by Sept. 30 and then decide whether to reduce the term of the contract.

"The department takes this evaluation very seriously and a lot of work went into evaluating the lab performance of the past three years," said Beth Sellers, manager of DOE's Idaho Operations Office.

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