P&Z debates Life Church move
The Blaine County Planning and Zoning Commis-sion will consider a request by the Life Church in Hai-ley to build a larger facility on property north of Al-bertsons.
The church has been located on Main Street in Hai-ley. The new 8,500-square-foot facility would be on River Street on a six-acre parcel owned by the church. Before building, however, the church must obtain a conditional-use permit from the county, as the area is zoned residential.
The commission began the hearing on June 30, but continued the hearing due to time constraints. Neigh-bors have expressed concern about the use the church would make of the other four acres it owns north of the city limit.
Other churches in the county operating under con-ditional-use permits are the Calvary Bible Church and the Light on the Mountains Spiritual Center.
The commission will consider the church's request on Thursday, July 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Old County Courthouse in Hailey.
ITD asks drivers to stop speeding
Excessive speed is a leading cause of motor-vehicle crashes resulting in serious injuries or deaths on state highways, so the Idaho Transportation Department is partnering with law enforcement agencies to "stop speeding before it stops you."
An aggressive statewide education and enforcement campaign is planned for July 15-26. Law enforcement officers will be watching for drivers speeding on all roads in Idaho.
Speeding is an aggressive driving behavior that con-tributes to more than one-third of all fatal single-vehicle crashes across the state, according to ITD. One-fifth of all serious injuries are a result of speed-related crashes.
Safety messages will be on billboards, radio, Inter-net advertising and television. A high-visibility en-forcement effort and educational outreach also will be part of this summer's safety effort.
The education and enforcement campaign is funded by a federal grant administered by ITD.
Take precautions around bats
A bat from southeast Idaho tested positive for rabies last week, prompting public health officials to warn people throughout the state to take precautions around bats and make sure that their dogs, cats and horses are adequately vaccinated against rabies. This is the first report of a rabid bat in the state this summer.
While most bats are harmless and do not carry ra-bies, they are the only animal in Idaho to naturally carry the virus. In many other states, skunks, raccoons and foxes also frequently carry the virus. Every year, Idaho averages more than 15 rabid bat reports.
Rabies causes a fatal viral illness in humans and other animals. Most animals, including household pets, can become exposed to the virus by contact with sick bats that can no longer fly. This is why it is impor-tant for people to make sure that their animals are vaccinated against rabies, state officials said.
To protect yourself and your pets, the Idaho De-partment of Health and Welfare offers the following tips:
- Do not touch a bat with your bare hands.
- If you have had an encounter with a bat, seek medical attention immediately.
- If you come in contact with a bat, if possible, put the bat in a container without touching it and contact your district health department to arrange testing for ra-bies. This is a free service.
- Always vaccinate your pets.
For further information, call the district health de-partment in your area. Information on rabies can be found at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/.
Blood drive set for end of July
A Ketchum community blood drive has been sched-uled later this month in an effort to increase supplies of type-O-negative blood.
The supply of type-O-negative blood at the American Red Cross has dropped to critically low levels, accord-ing to a news release issued by St. Luke's Wood River. Type-O-negative blood is always in high demand be-cause it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations. While all blood types are needed during the summer months, the Red Cross is issuing an urgent call for eligible people with O negative blood type to donate blood.
People aged 17 or older, in good health and weighing at least 110 pounds may be eligible to donate blood. To see eligibility requirements and to get more informa-tion on the blood donation process, visit the American Red Cross website at www.redcrossblood.org.
The blood drive will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 26, at the LDS Church on Sun Val-ley Road in Ketchum. Donors must bring valid identi-fication to their appointments.
Schedule your appointment online at www.redcrossblood.org, using sponsor code "Ketchum."
For more information, call Jennifer at 309-0479.
St. Luke's offers depression screening
St. Luke's Center for Community Health is taking appointments for free, confidential one-hour depres-sion screenings.
Licensed mental-health counselors will provide screenings by appointment only from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, July 19, at the center offices at 1450 Avia-tion Drive, Suite 200, in Hailey. Appointments are available for English- or Spanish-speaking individuals.
This is part of the national depression screening program for those who think they may be suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety or post-traumatic stress.
Language skill program starts Monday
Want to enjoy the summer evening while improving your language skills in a beautiful outdoor classroom?
Starting Monday, July 18, The Hunger Coalition will host Language in the Garden, a language and culture exchange bringing English- and Spanish-speaking community members together weekly in the coalition's Hope Garden.
Operating on the principle that secondary language skills need constant attention and upkeep, Language in the Garden enjoyed a successful first season last year and will expand to two sessions this summer.
Participants will engage in light garden work while talking on a variety of pre-determined topics.
The program not only helps keep up language skills, but also helps to bring wholesome, organically grown produce to local families facing hunger. This season's anticipated 1,800-pound harvest of vegetables, herbs and fruits will be distributed weekly through the Mo-bile Food Bank during the summer and early fall.
The first session will be July 18 through Aug. 1 and the second from Aug. 8--22. The Hope Garden is located at the corner of Walnut Street and First Avenue in downtown Hailey.
Interested participants are asked to complete a reg-istration application, available online at: www.thehungercoalition.org, and commit to attend three consecutive sessions on Mondays from 5:30--7 p.m. Maximum class size is 12 people.
Those interested should call 788-0121 or submit a completed online application no later than July 15.
Trails portal fully launched
The Blaine County Recreation District has launched its Summer Trails & Pathways Portal, which can be found at www.trails.bcrd.org or on the district's main website, www.bcrd.org.
The site offers detailed trail descriptions, a commu-nity trails blog, dynamic Google-based topographic maps, Google Earth trail "flyovers," available trail GPS files and extensive trail photography and video.
Another feature is the ability to show "trail status," both through the trail color indicated on the map and also through text on individual trail pages. This status is updated every few days.
Information also is available for specific parts of each trail, including the location of valley sheep bands or trail obstructions or construction.
Users can share feedback or even their favorite pho-tographs or content by emailing email@example.com. More information on the portal is also available by contact-ing Greg Martin at the BCRD or visiting trails.bcrd.org.
The portal is made possible through partnerships with the Sawtooth National Forest, the Bureau of Land Management and various local trail groups.
Got a little black dress?
The Little Black Dress Club is hosting a member-ship recruitment social event Thursday, July 14, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Green Antelope Gallery in Bellevue. Any interested women are welcome to attend the event to find out more about the group and/or join.
Founded in 2009, tyhe Little Black Dress Club is a philanthropic giving circle created to support non-profit organizations in Blaine County. The club's mis-sion is to introduce women to philanthropy and to in-spire positive changes in the community through charitable giving.
Members are required to donate $300 a year in one payment or monthly installments. Donations are pooled and distributed twice a year through a competi-tive grant application process. In the past two years, the club has granted a total of $22,931 to 11 organiza-tions.
More information about the club can be found on the group's website at www.lbdcwr.org.
Giacobbi remodel extension granted
The Ketchum Planning & Zoning Commission has approved a second, one-year extension for improve-ments to the loading and parking area at Giacobbi Square.
Applicant representative Matt Engel, with Engel & Associates real estate company, appeared before the commission July 11, saying the area at Fifth Street and Leadville Avenue will be cleaned up and visually en-hanced.
Commissioners added conditions to the design-review application and unanimously granted the ex-tension.
"I think we're taking a step in the right direction," said Commissioner Steve Cook.
Design-review approval was granted in 2009. The applicant was given a one-year extension last year.
The site also is undergoing other internal and ex-ternal remodeling and enhancements.
Trailing of the Sheep receives grant
The Idaho Commission on the Arts has announced a $5,000 grant to support the 15th annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival.
The award is made possible by the Idaho Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA's funding was reduced this year but the support of Idaho legislators was strong.
"We need to let our legislators and Congressional delegates know how important their support is to each and every one of us and to our communities as a whole," said Dick Springs, president of the Trailing of the Sheep Cultural Heritage Center. "Everyone is en-couraged to send a quick email to decision makers."
To find names and addresses of legislators, visit www.votesmart.org.
The annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival will be held Oct. 7-9. MSN Travel has honored the festival as one of the top 10 fall festivals in the world.
The festival celebrates the century-and-a-half-long tradition of moving sheep from mountain summer pas-tures south through the Wood River Valley to tradi-tional winter grazing and lambing areas.
For a complete schedule, see the website, www.trailingofthesheep.org.
Idaho celebrates beef
In recognition of the summer outdoor barbecue sea-son and the contribution Idaho's cattle ranching fami-lies make to the state, Gov. Butch Otter has declared July to be Idaho Beef Month.
Today's U.S. farmer feeds about 144 people here and abroad each day, compared to 46 in 1960.
For healthy grilling, the Idaho Beef Council recom-mends selecting beef with less than 10 grams of total fat per serving. This includes top sirloin, New York strip and T-bone steaks. Use marinades with little or no sugar, instead bringing out the meat's flavor with acidic ingredients such as citrus juice or balsamic vinegar.
The council also warns against pressing or flatting meat while on the grill. This causes the juices to run out, taking the flavor with them.
Dollar Tree stores help military kids
Operation Homefront, an advocacy group for mili-tary families, has announced its 2011 Back-to-School Brigade program to provide backpacks full of school supplies to local children of military personnel. Dona-tions can be made through July 25 at Twin Falls Dollar Tree stores or online at OperationHomefront.net.
The effort is part of the fifth annual nationwide campaign by Operation Homefront to save military families a major education expense.
Dollar Tree has three stores in the Twin Falls area. Contributions can be made online at OperationHome-front.net.
In 2010, the Back-to-School Brigade program raised more than $2 million in school supplies nationwide through its partnership with Dollar Tree.