Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Flu reports increase

Idaho health officials are beginning to get reports of flu-like activity from around the state, prompting them to remind Idahoans to get vaccinated against the flu.

"While unpredictable, flu seasons often peak between January and March," said Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Leslie Tengelsen. "We are now hearing increasing reports of influenza infections and hospitalizations. If you haven't already been vaccinated against the flu, now is the time to protect yourself and your family."

A record amount of flu vaccine is available this season—an estimated 160 million doses nationwide. Flu vaccination is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months. Infants are too young to be vaccinated, but are at high risk for flu complications, so all family members are strongly encouraged to help protect them by getting vaccinated.

Tax help is available

People who need help with their income tax returns should visit to get tax forms, find answers to tax questions or make payments. They can also call the Idaho State Tax Comission at (800) 972-7660 from 8 a.m. top 5 p.m.

The deadline for submission of tax returns this year is April 18, later than normal due to a holiday.

CPR class starts Jan. 20

St. Luke's is offering its monthly AED Heartsaver CPR class on Thursday, Jan. 20, from 6-9 p.m. in the River Run Conference Rooms of St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center. People can learn how to use the automated external defibrillator, in addition to taking the American Heart Association course on recognizing and responding to emergency situations involving infants, children and adults.

Cost is $50 and pre-registration is required. Call St. Luke's at 727-8487.

Support group for cancer victims

St. Luke's Center for Community Health will hold the next Cancer Support and Networking Group on Thursday, Jan. 20, from 10-11 a.m. in the River Run Conference Rooms of St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center.

The cancer support group is open to patients, survivors and caregivers of people dealing with any type of cancer.

For more information on this or other community outreach programs, contact Erin Buell at 727-8737.

Learn about 'Brain Power'

Annie Warberg, supervisor of special education programs for the Blaine County School District, will share her knowledge of brain-based education, brain functions and cognitive therapy with a focus on the developing teenage brain today, Jan. 19, from 12:15-1:15 p.m. at St. Luke's Hailey Clinic. The session will discuss how the environment impacts brain activity and will provide strategies for gaining control over the ups and downs of life.

The lecture is free and no pre-registration is required. Call St. Luke's Center for Community Health for information on this or other educational programs: 727-8733.

3 businesses to host January BAH

This month's Hailey Chamber Business After Hours networking and social event will take place Thursday, Jan. 20, from 5-7 p.m., hosted by Fireplaces Etc., Resilient Body Pilates Studio and Gluten Free Pantry. Attendees will be able to enjoy great food and tour the building at 515 N. River St.

People should bring their business card for the BAH raffle. Call 788-3484 for additional information.

Avalanches close Warm Springs Road

Warm, rainy weather boosted the local avalanche danger to "considerable" Monday and contributed to two snow slides across Warm Springs Road. Both slides occurred near Bassett Gulch, beyond the point where the road's pavement ends west of Ketchum.

Road crews were returning from clearing one slide across the road when a call came in about 11:45 a.m. reporting a second slide. The road was cleared and residents of the area were again allowed to travel on the road.

Power deal protects habitat

A deal between the state of Oregon and the Bonneville Power Administration will protect 16,880 acres of wildlife habitat, meant to help protect terrestrial wildlife as well as salmon and steelhead.

The agreement was signed in October, and is meant to mitigate the impacts of 13 dams on Willamette tributaries. The Willamette is home to 13 populations of Chinook salmon and steelhead, both of which are listed under the Endangered Species Act.

The agreement provides funding for conservation easements and other acquisitions meant to protect a variety of habitats in the Willamette basin. The Willamette River is a tributary of the Columbia River, which brings salmon and steelhead from the Pacific Ocean to Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

RNC has new chair

Former Wisconsin Republican Party state Chair Reince Preibus has been elected chair of the Republican National Committee. Preibus replaces former Chair Michael Steele, who visited Ketchum in June and urged Idaho Republicans to take back the state and District 25 in the November elections.

Priebus was general counsel under Steele and was his campaign manager for RNC chair in 2009.

Norm Semanko, Idaho's Republican chair and general counsel, said he is looking forward to working with Preibus, even as he lauded Steele for his efforts.

"During his tenure, the Idaho Republican Party received unprecedented financial and logistical support," Semanko said.

He also thanked Steele for his "strong leadership.

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