Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Coin contest adds sheep design entry

The Ketchum Community Development Corp. will expand its Ketchum 50th Anniversary Celebration Coin program to include a sheep-themed coin.

The commemorative coin program already includes five designs emblematic of Ketchum's heritage: skiing, mining, the arts, indigenous animals and the railroad.

Artists are asked to submit their design ideas, which should be simple as well as large and bold images.

All design entries must be submitted in an official entry form, which is an insert in today's Idaho Mountain Express.

For details on applications, call 720-5951 or e-mail

Mountain Rides hires manager

Mountain Rides Transportation Authority announced Monday that it has hired Wendy Crosby as business manager.

According to a news release, the appointment became effective Thursday, Dec. 2. Crosby will be responsible for finances, grant administration and human resources.

"It's great to have someone join our team like Wendy with a unique combination of business and not-for-profit experience," said Mountain Rides Executive Director Jason Miller.

The news release states that Crosby has lived in the Wood River Valley for eight years.

Light Up Bellevue for the holidays

The city of Bellevue will host a tree lighting and holiday celebration on Saturday, Dec. 11, from 3-7 p.m. Bellevue City Council members will stroll Main Street to award a prize for best-decorated business or residence prior to the tree lighting at 7 p.m.

Oak Street Foods will host Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus from 3-4 p.m. with photographer Jerry Hadam on site from 4-6:30 p.m. Pets will also be welcome from 3-4 p.m. Cash donations will be accepted for the Bellevue Library or non-perishable food donations for the Hunger Coalition.

Carolers led by singer Kim Stocking will be at Oak Street Foods from 5-6 p.m. The Bellevue Elementary School choir will sing from 6-6:30 p.m. and the B-Tones will sing at the Christmas tree lighting at the museum from 6:30-7 p.m.

Other activities include a hayride and a bake sale to raise money for the Bellevue Public Library's summer reading program. The Wood River High School Robotics team will sell robotic stocking stuffers to help raise money for their trip to a national robotics competition.

A Christmas tree will need decorations at the library throughout the month. For a $5 donation to the library, decorate an ornament to hang on the library's tree. For details, call 788-2128.

Film highlights human rights

The Wood River High School Amnesty International Club will hold a free screening of "War Dance," a documentary film that chronicles the tale of children living in northern Uganda and the relief from conflict they find through music.

The film will screen on Thursday, Dec. 9, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the high school's Distance Learning Lab in Hailey. "War Dance" has been nominated for an Oscar, and has won more than 15 awards, including the Directing Award and the Documentary Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

The movie will be followed by a brief panel discussion. The event is open to the public.

For details, call 721-0095.

Post offices offer holiday tips

With 15.8 billion cards, letters and packages to be delivered between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, the U.S. Postal Service has some shipping tips to help get gifts delivered promptly and safely during the holiday season.

Tips include:

- Cushion items with bubble wrap, newspaper or "foam peanuts" so they do not shift during transit.

- When reusing a box, make sure previous labels and markings are covered before mailing.

- Mark "perishable" on packages that contain food or other items that can spoil.

- Place an extra address label with the delivery and return address inside the package. This ensures the safe return of an item that could not be delivered should the outside label become damaged or fall off.

The Postal Service recommends the following mail-by dates to ensure your gift arrives on time:

- Dec. 3-20 for international mail (dates vary depending on service selected, call 1-800-ASK-USPS.)

- Dec. 15 for parcel post.

- Dec. 20 for first-class mail.

- Dec. 21 for priority mail.

- Dec. 22 for express mail.

Idaho jobless rate jumps in November

Idaho's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by three-tenths in November to 9.4 percent as the number of workers without jobs rose back over 70,000 for the first time since March.

Overall nonfarm jobs slipped for the second straight month, falling another 1,900 to 606,300. Retail, education and health care were the only sectors to show gains. Total jobs remained 1 percent below the November 2009 levels.

Total employment fell for the sixth straight month, dropping 1,200 to 685,700—the lowest employment level since February. More than $37 million in unemployment benefits—$21 million in federally extended benefits—was paid to an average of 35,000 unemployed Idahoans during November.

The increase in Idaho's jobless rate came as the first 700 unemployed Idaho workers saw benefits end with the expiration of the federal extended benefit program. During the next several months, at least 9,500 jobless workers will exhaust their current phase of extended benefits and will be unable to access any additional phases.

Nationally, unemployment rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 9.8 percent, the highest rate since the year began. Idaho's rate, a tenth below a recession high of 9.5 percent in February, remained below the national rate for nine years and two months.

County, city and metropolitan area unemployment rates for October will be released Dec. 17.

YMCA plans multi-cultural party

On Friday, Dec. 10, from 3:30-6:30 p.m., Wood River families can enjoy an enriching afternoon of free multicultural festivities, treats and fun that includes a bouncy castle, face painting, cake with a prize inside, letters to Santa, cookie decorating, music and dancing, and candy decorating.

Santa will make a special appearance from 4-5:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Danna at 928-6710.

Trust gives to Ketchum museum

The Idaho Heritage Trust board of trustees has made $83,546 in direct grants to historic preservation projects in communities throughout Idaho. The trustees also approved more than $50,000 in architectural, engineering, conservation and archaeological technical advice.

The grants include one of $2,175 to the Sun Valley-Ketchum Historical Society for work on Bonning Cabin, a historic mining-era structure located near City Hall in Ketchum.

The Idaho Heritage Trust was founded in 1989 by the Idaho Centennial Commission to preserve the historic fabric of Idaho through a program of grants and technical assistance.

BLM seeks info on wild horse deaths

BOISE, Idaho (AP)—Federal land managers investigation the fatal shooting of two wild horses in central Idaho are offering a reward for information on the deaths.

The BLM field office in Challis, Idaho says information leading to an arrest and conviction in the late November shootings could be rewarded with $1,000.

The agency say the horses were found the weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday near Spar Canyon Road, about 15 miles southwest of Challis.

Idaho BLM Director Steve Elli says a federal law passed in 1971 protects wild horses on the range. Those who shoot or harass wild animals on federal land face up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

UI: Hispanic jobless rate doubles

BOISE, Idaho (AP)—The University of Idaho says a new report shows the unemployment rate of Hispanics in Idaho climbed to 15 percent during the worst of the recession.

The university announced Friday the findings of the report, which was prepared with help from the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs and analyzed jobless data over a three-year period.

The report says the Hispanic unemployment rate more than doubled from 7 percent in 2007 to 15 percent in 2009, when the Idaho economy appeared to have bottomed out

Idaho's overall unemployment rate at the end of last year was 9.2 percent, the highest it had been since the early 1980s when the jobless rate climbed to 9.4 percent.

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