Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Solid waste finds interim director

Stephanie Thompson, former assistant administrator for the Southern Idaho Solid Waste District, was appointed as the district's interim executive director on Feb. 23.

Thompson now fills the vacancy left by former Director Dave Lore, who resigned his post earlier this month. Lore had been hired in August and shouldered full responsibility for the district in October.

Blaine County Commissioner Larry Schoen, a district board member, said Thompson was chosen in part because of her 18-year tenure at the district.

"She is very familiar with the operations of the district, she knows all of the personnel and all the locations," Schoen said. "It makes sense."

Schoen said the district will begin the search for a permanent director immediately, though no prospective hiring date has been set.

The district includes Cassia, Minidoka, Twin Falls, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln and Blaine counties.

Survey shows grazing support

A statewide poll shows that 89 percent of Idaho residents approve of livestock grazing on public lands.

The poll was conducted by the University of Idaho and was commissioned by the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission in December. Commission officials say the poll was commissioned to understand the perceptions of grazing statewide, and how those perceptions might be evolving.

Public support for livestock grazing on public lands has remained steady over time, the poll found. New Idahoans appear to support public lands grazing just as strongly as native Idahoans, according to the commission.

The university surveyed 618 Idaho households over the phone. The survey's estimated margin of error is 4 percent.

Hailey food company raises $700K

Hailey-based Prosperity Organic Foods announced last week that it raised $700,000 in its first round of financing, securing the funds needed to expand distribution of its debut product, Melt Buttery Spread, to new accounts throughout the western United States. The round was led by several Sun Valley- and Boise-area investors, the company said in a news release.

"The successful closure of our Series A round enables us to move ahead more aggressively with our 2011 plans", said Prosperity Organic Foods CEO Meg Carlson.

Prosperity Organic Foods makes products through innovative uses of healthy fats and oils. Melt is a butter alternative made with organic oils launched in 2009 by founder Cygnia Rapp.

Spiritual healer opens practice

Edna "Juliana" Benziger, integrative medicine consultant, cancer coach and spiritual healer, has started a practice in the Wood River Valley.

Born in Montreal and originally educated as a respiratory therapist and educator at McGill University, Benziger has more than 30 years of combined healthcare, education and administrative experience. In 2001, she started her doctorate studies in energy medicine and spiritual healing. She founded the Endless Energy Center near New York City.

She can be contacted at (914) 319-0692 or by e-mail at

Gas prices continue to surge

Average retail gasoline prices in Idaho rose 10.2 cents per gallon in the week ending Feb. 25, averaging $3.21 per gallon that day. Nationally, prices increased 17 cents per gallon to $3.34, according to the gasoline price website

Including the change in gas prices in Idaho last week, prices Friday were 54.6 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and were 32.3 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average increased 25.3 cents per gallon last week and stood 64.9 cents per gallon higher than one year ago.

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