Friday, December 24, 2010


Idaho personal income up again

Total personal income in Idaho last summer rose for the fifth straight quarter, growing just over 1 percent from the second quarter to an annualized $50.6 billion. It was the eighth fastest growth rate in the nation.

Employee wages and proprietor profits both grew between July and September, the second straight quarter of gains, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Farm profits increased more than enough to offset a fractional decline in nonfarm business earnings, the first since the third quarter of 2009.

Investment earnings declined fractionally.

Overall, personal income was up $521 million from the spring quarter.

The resurgence in personal income that began in spring 2009 followed an unprecedented four straight quarters of decline.

Three sectors reported declining earnings in the third quarter—construction, real estate and utilities—the fewest number of losing sectors since the third quarter of 2006.

Wellness Cup challenges companies

The Wood River Community YMCA and St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center are partnering to bring the Corporate Wellness Cup to the Wood River Valley. All area companies are invited to participate.

The company whose employees most improve their health parameters—weight, body mass index and waist circumference—during the eight-week challenge starting in January will be declared "the most health-conscious company in the Wood River Valley." The company will also be awarded the YMCA Corporate Wellness Cup trophy, and each employee will receive a free 12-week membership to the Y.

This event is designed to encourage lifestyle change among employees and bring awareness about the value of proactive health and wellness among employers. For more information or to sign up, please contact the Y at 727-9622.

Author Jonathan Franzen to speak

Novelist Jonathan Franzen, author of "The Corrections," will be the first speaker in the Sun Valley Center for the Arts' 2011--12 Lecture Series.

Franzen will speak in Ketchum on Oct. 9. Tickets and prices have not yet been determined. For details, visit

ICF awards Hunger Coalition

With continuing economic uncertainty across Idaho, the number of applications for assistance from the Idaho Community Foundation reached record highs this year. From a field of 267 applications throughout the southwestern region, 13 nonprofit organizations and social service agencies from Blaine County received funding.

The Hunger Coalition received a $2,600 grant to provide support for its food-assistance and client-empowerment programs. For details, visit

Red Cross offers training

With the anniversary of the 2009 Christmas blackout, county residents may be wondering how to improve their emergency preparedness. Thanks to Blaine County Disaster Services and the Red Cross, people can learn how to help the community prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters.

An overview class will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 14, at the Calvary Bible Church in Hailey. The class will offer an introduction to emergency preparedness. A longer class, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15, will give participants an introduction to the proper procedures for setting up, running and closing a shelter during a disaster.

The classes are free and open to the public, though registration is required. For more information or to sign up, call (800) 853-2570.

Enter Express 'Valley Pets' contest

Calling all pet owners. The Idaho Mountain Express is holding a "Valley Pets" photo contest centered around the critters that make our lives more enjoyable. Until Jan. 17, the newspaper is accepting photographs for the contest through its web site. The overall contest winner will receive a $50 pet-related gift certificate. Other entrants might have their photos printed in a special Valley Pets section of the paper in February.

To enter, simply snap a photo that represents a pet enjoying their life in the valley. Photos must contain an image of the pet, can contain a person and should be taken somewhere in the Valley or surrounding area. Entry forms and other pertinent information can be found at

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