Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Briefs


Ketchum to honor veterans

The David Ketchum Post of the American Legion will hold its annual Memorial Day ceremony at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 30, at the Ketchum Cemetery. The ceremony will honor more than 200 veterans in the cemetery. The Rev. Kenneth H. Brannon, rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, will speak at the ceremony.

An honor guard from the Post of Veterans from World War II through the current conflicts will place flowers on the cenotaph and fire a 21-gun salute to fallen U.S. comrades. At the end of the ceremony, A-10 Warthogs from the 124th Fighter Wing of the Idaho Air National Guard will do a flyover. Honor guard commander is Edgar McGowan, and Post Commander Bill Cassell will preside. The public is invited.

KPD to host bike rodeo

The Ketchum Police Department and Sun Valley Adaptive Sports have teamed up to present the second annual Bike Rodeo on Saturday, May 28, at the Wood River Community YMCA in Ketchum.

The event will be held in the south parking lot from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will feature a rider safety course, a bike safety check by area bike shops and helmet fittings. A goal of the program is to help children get ready for safe summer cycling.

Music will be provided by DJ K-Town and fun will be available at the YMCA bouncy house. A bicycle course will be set up so kids can test their riding skills.

Snacks will be provided. A limited number of free helmets will be given away for youngsters who need them.

Home added to community housing

ARCH Community Housing Trust, in partnership with the city of Ketchum, has bought a single-family residence on Sabala Drive in West Ketchum. Remodeling of the three-bedroom house, called the Sabala project, is underway.

"This year our River and Walnut street projects coupled with our Sabala Project will allow over 27 people to continue to call Blaine County home," ARCH Executive Director Michelle Griffith said in a news release.

Once renovations are complete, the home will be sold by the Blaine County Housing Authority. It will be deed restricted.

Also contributing to the project were Whitehead Landscaping, Columbia Paint, Bruce Martin Interiors, Ketchum Councilman Larry Helzel, Bank of America's Isaac Chilcote, several local high school students and ARCH's board members.

An individual or family earning 80 percent or less of area median income can be considered for community housing. Contact the Blaine County Housing Authority at 788-6102 for information.

St. Luke's offers estate-planning talk

The public is invited to a free Brown Bag presentation on estate planning on Thursday, May 26, at St. Luke's Center for Community Health.

"Estate Planning: A Tool for Peace of Mind" is targeted to all income levels and will help people strategize and provide for their heirs. Allan Fisher, an estate-planning professional from Thompson and Associates, and a St. Luke's Wood River Foundation estate planning advisor, will offer insights into the new estate tax laws and give attendees tools for planning.

The session will take place from 12:15-1:15 p.m. at St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center. For more information, call 727-8733.

Snow may delay road openings

Openings have been delayed on many local national forest roads and trails due to snow conditions.

"We've had a long winter with heavy snowpack on most of the forest and although roads are technically open, this does not mean that motorized use is appropriate," said Russ Bacon, North Fork district ranger with the Salmon-Challis National Forest. "We have a great potential for resource and road damage because of snow and wet conditions."

Forest Service personnel will open the seasonal route gates as soon as they can safely gain access to them. Some seasonal motorized routes behind gates will remain closed until route inspections and possible repairs are completed.

Scottish festival to take place in June

The Blaine County Scottish Cultural and Heritage Festival will hold a celebration Saturday, June 18, at Nelson Field in Hailey beginning at 9 a.m. The event will include a "Battle of the Valley" as well as dance, pipe and drum demonstrations. In addition, the event will include kids activities, food vendors and other competitions. General admission is $10.

For details, call 788-3484.

Learn to spot weather warnings

Wondering if those clouds mean a light shower or a severe thunderstorm, or maybe snow, sleet or hail? The National Weather Service is offering a class this week that can show weather enthusiasts how to identify potentially severe weather.

Warning Coordination Meteorologist Vernon Preston from the Pocatello National Weather Service will teach participants definitions and climatology of severe weather, cloud and storm recognition, storm hazards and safety tips, weather reporting procedures and a review of past severe weather. By the end of the course, participants will have received the training required to become an official Service weather spotter.

The class will be held from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 27, at the Community Campus in Hailey. The training is free and open to the public.

For more information, call Chuck Turner, county disaster services coordinator, at 720-5454.

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Weather keeps campgrounds closed

Campers planning on spending Memorial Day weekend in the great outdoors may want to check with the Forest Service before heading out, as the weather has delayed the opening of many popular camping sites.

The Forest Service reported this morning that due to the lingering snowpack, a number of campgrounds, roads and trails will be closed to recreationists. Most of the roads remain snow-covered, wet and soft, while full services are not being offered even at many open campgrounds.

Boundary Campground is open and offering full services, as are the campgrounds along the Salmon River downstream from Stanley.

Campers are encouraged to contact the local ranger district before making Memorial Day camping plans. For more information, call the Ketchum Ranger Station at 622-5371.

Jobless rate drops to 9.6 percent

BOISE (AP)—Idaho's unemployment rate fell in April for the first time in four years.

That's according to the Idaho Department of Labor, which reported Friday that the unemployment rate dropped from 9.7 percent to 9.6 percent. The agency said more people found work in Idaho last month than in any other month since January 2006.

The state put more than 3,000 people back to work in April, which the Labor Department said could be a sign that Idaho's job market is beginning to open up.

The agency reported that 73,200 workers remained unemployed in April, a decrease of 700 from March.

Heritage & Ski Museum to open

The Ketchum-Sun Valley Heritage & Ski Museum will open for the summer and fall seasons on Saturday, May 28. The museum will have an archive sale on opening day from noon 4 p.m. The items for sale will be leftover gift store items, books, artwork from previous art sales that were given to the museum, duplicate posters and other items. Money from the sale will help support the museum.

In addition, the museum will have on exhibition "Silver Creek: Past, Present and Future." The exhibit traces the history of hunting and fishing on Silver Creek with vintage photographs of Ernest Hemingway, Jack Hemingway and Gary Cooper to contemporary photographs of the preserve by Sam Beebe. Also included will be information on how the preserve began, Jack Hemingway's fly-fishing gear and a video of Silver Creek.

As part of that program, people can email their favorite photographs of themselves and Silver Creek. Two digital screens will display the community photographs in the exhibition area. Email images to info@ksvhs.org. For details, call 726-8118.

Bellevue Old City Hall Museum opens

Celebrating 15 years, the Bellevue Old City Hall Musuem will be open to visitors on Saturday, May 28, from 12-4 p.m. The museum will also be open for Memorial Day. On exhibition is a focus on mining in the Broadford area and the people who worked the mines. In addition, there are Bellevue School photos and yearbooks as well as classic historic photos of the city.

For museum hours and information, call 788-3628 or 788-3947.

Festival to present new symposium

"Women Writing and Living the West" will be a new symposium at the 15th annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival, Oct. 7-9. The event will include authors Teresa Jordan, Gretel Ehlich, Linda Hussa, Diane Peavey, Annick Smith and essayist Linda Hasseltrom. The event will take place at Carol's Dollar Mountain Lodge in Sun Valley on Friday, Oct. 7, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $50 per person and includes coffee, light breakfast, a boxed lunch and break. Scholarships are available. For details, visit www.trailingofthesheep.org.

State biologist turns co-editor

Jack Connelly, a wildlife biologist for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, is co-editor of a comprehensive text on sage grouse.

"Greater Sage-Grouse: Ecology and Conservation of a Landscape Species and Its Habitats," was published this year by the University of California Press for the Cooper Ornithological Society. Connelly is principal wildlife research biologist for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and has been researching sage grouse for three decades.

The book relies on the experiences of 38 researchers and describes the bird's population trends, its sagebrush habitat and limits to conservation. The sage grouse, once a symbol of the wide-open spaces of the West, has declined across much of its range, which spans 11 Western states and reaches into Canada.

Co-editor Steven T. Knick is supervisory research ecologist at the U.S. Geological Survey's Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center in Boise.

Designer Showcase to debut in July

ARCH, Blaine County's nonprofit Community Housing Trust, will hold a new summer event, the ARCH Sun Valley Designer Showcase, featuring a newly renovated property in west Ketchum on Wednesday, July 20. The event will include a luncheon. Public tours of the home will follow for two weeks after its unveiling, showcasing the designers' work. For details, call 578-0583 or visit www.archbc.org.

People warned about hantavirus

The South Central Public Health District is reminding the public of the dangers of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a potentially deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents, which in Idaho are likely to be deer mice (distinguished by their white bellies). The virus is contained in their urine, droppings or saliva. Humans can contract the virus by inadvertently breathing it in.

Rodent infestation in and around homes, cabins, camp trailers and campsites can present hantavirus exposure risk.

"Although cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in campers and hikers are fairly rare, we still stress the importance of taking necessary and easy precautions," said Mary Jensen, the district's epidemiology manager.

Precautions include:

(  Before occupying abandoned or unused cabins, open them up to air out.

(  Check for rodent droppings and burrows before sleeping outside.

(  Avoid sleeping on bare ground; use a mat or elevated cot if possible.

(  Store foods in rodent-proof containers and promptly discard, bury or burn all garbage.

Early symptoms of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome include fatigue, fever and muscle aches in hips, back and sometimes shoulders. People may also experience headaches, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

There is no specific treatment, cure or vaccine for hantavirus infection. However, early diagnosis and prompt medical attention usually result in a full recovery.

For more information, call 737-5969.

Reforms nab innovation award

The Idaho Freedom Foundation awarded Gov. Butch Otter and schools Superintendent Tom Luna its annual Education Innovation Award on Thursday, lauding the drafting and passage of a set of three education reform bills earlier this year.

"These reforms are re-empowering our local elected school boards to make the decisions they were elected to make," said foundation Executive Director Wayne Huffman.

The reforms limited collective bargaining rights for teachers and implemented a pay-for-performance system while cutting state funding for teacher salaries to pay for increased classroom technology. Despite overwhelming public testimony against the bills, the reform package sailed through the House and met with limited resistance in the Senate.

The Idaho Freedom Foundation promotes limited government and choice in education.




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