Wednesday, August 12, 2009

News Briefs

Blaine County unemployment drops

Blaine County's unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percent in July from the previous month, according to data released Friday by the Idaho Department of Labor.

The drop, from 7.2 to 6.9 percent, occurred despite a jump in unemployment statewide from 8.4 to 8.8 percent.

The department's estimated that 13,587 members of the 14,600-strong county workforce are currently employed.

Despite the month-over-month decrease in the county's unemployment rate, July's figure is still well above that of July 2008, when unemployment stood at 2.8 percent.

Shoshone County, located in northeast Idaho, had the highest unemployment rate in the state in July at 12.7 percent. Custer County had the lowest with an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent.

Bellevue sets ribbon cutting at park

The city of Bellevue will host a community picnic, barbecue and ribbon cutting for the newly improved Bellevue City Park at Third Avenue and Cedar Street on Friday, Aug. 14, from 6-8:30 p.m.

Burgers, hot dogs, chips and drinks will be provided for this family event, but people are invited to bring additional dishes to share with the community.

The celebration is co-hosted by the Bellevue Park Committee and the local nonprofit organization Building Balanced Communities in Idaho.

Following the picnic will be a showing of "Stop! Look! & Laugh!," a compilation of short films with the Three Stooges.

Street party to benefit fire victims

The Hailey Fire Department will hold a street party and fundraiser Thursday, Aug. 13, at 5 p.m. to support the Burnout Fund, which gives money to victims of fire, flood and other calamities so they can begin to get their lives back in order. The fund is supported only by private contributions and donations.

The party is also a celebration of 125 years of service for the Hailey Fire Department. Beer, hot dogs and soft drinks will be served. The band "Slow Children Playing" will perform. The party will be held on the corner of Croy and Main streets in Hailey.

During the past few years, the Fire Department has given out tens of thousands of dollars from the Burnout Fund to those in need.

Get Wagon Days posters at BAH

The Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau will hold a Business After Hours networking event at Zions Bank in Ketchum on Thursday, Aug. 13, from 5-7 p.m. Co-hosting the BAH will be Penelope's Café.

The event will feature a poster signing by artist Terri Niedrich. Niedrich created the 2009 Wagon Days poster, which will be for sale during the BAH.

Survey work starts on H-75

Survey work got under way this week south of Ketchum for the state Highway 75 expansion project.

The Idaho Transportation Department asks drivers to use caution when survey crews are working along the highway right-of-way.

Work is initially focused on the stretch of highway from Timber Way north of East Fork Road to the Big Wood River Bridge near Hospital Drive.

ITD also announced that design work for expansion of that stretch of highway has been awarded to WHPacific, an Idaho-based engineering firm.

The survey work is being done for right-of-way acquisition for the expansion project. ITD reported that actual construction is still a few years away.

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