Wednesday, March 18, 2009

News briefs

Wellness Festival announces speakers

The 12th annual Sun Valley Wellness Festival keynote speakers will be Michael Beckwith, founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, Calif., and Robert Thurman, an expert in Tibetan Buddhism. Thurman is also the author of "Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul's Potential."

In addition, the festival will feature Grammy-nominated artist Toni Childs. More than 24 speakers will be in attendance for this year's festival, which will take place Friday, May 22, through Monday, May 25. For details and tickets, visit

St. Luke's to teach car seat safety

St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center will hold a free car seat safety check today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of the main entrance of the hospital near Ketchum. A certified child passenger safety technician will assist with installing a car seat for a newborn baby and for an older child, teach proper installation and check for recalls. For details, call 727-8776.

Regional snowpacks deepen

Snowpacks in the local area have benefited from the past several days of snowfall, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Snowpack statistics reported online by the federal agency indicate the Big Wood basin—all of the Wood River Valley as well as the Camas Creek drainage near Fairfield—was at 84 percent of normal Tuesday. That compares to just under 80 percent of normal about a week ago.

To the east of the Wood River Valley, snowpack in the Little Wood basin was at 89 percent of normal on Tuesday. That compares to an 82 percent of normal reading last week.

Depending on their elevations and locations in the state, Idaho snowpacks generally reach their peak depths sometime between March and mid-April.

Representatives to hold forum

State Rep. Wendy Jaquet, state Sen. Jon Thorson and state Rep. Donna Pence will answer questions on local and state political issues at Zou 75 in Hailey on Saturday, March 28, from 4-6 p.m.

Come early and enjoy free appetizers.

Special Olympians score at Brundage

Local Special Olympians had a blast during the Idaho Special Olympics State Winter Games March 7 at Brundage Mountain near McCall.

Gold medals in alpine skiing went to Jerry Smith (also a silver), Dusty Bugge, Nathan Lago and Micheal Morrel (two gold). Keith Iverson came back with two silvers. Bronze went to Grant Swindle, Bugge and Lago. Eric O'Malley earned two fourth-place ribbons.

In Nordic skiing, Abe Krahn grabbed silver at the 10-meter and 50m distances, while George Meza had gold in the 100 and silver in the 500.

Chess players warm up for Boise

On March 7, 28 local children trained for upcoming state competition during a Spring Warm-up Chess Tournament in Hailey.

Danny Mills ran the tournament as his senior project. He divided the students into two divisions: Kindergarten through fifth grade, and sixth through 12th grades. But awards were given in K-3, 4-5, 6-8 and 9-12 grades.

Placing first were Mills, Chase Hutchinson and Dylan Porth. Second places went to Nick Bruck, Reilly Neel, Anthony Corrales and Wesley Brimstein. In third were Andrew Uriarte, Desmond Porth, Spencer Neel and Jake Whitlock. In a Twin Falls chess tournament the same day, Kitt Conner earned a third place.

Chess advisor Adam Porth, a Wood River High School teacher, said 23 valley kids in the 3-12 grades plan to attend the State Scholastic Chess Tournament in Boise March 14.

4th of July parade theme announced

The Hailey Chamber of Commerce's board of directors announced "Live, Work and Play in the Wood River Valley" as the theme for the annual Fourth of July parade in Hailey.

The parade will be held at noon on Main Street. Applications for floats and entries for the parade are available at or by calling 788-3484. Entry fees are $25.

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