Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Wolf hunt to proceed

Idaho wolf hunts went forward as scheduled on Tuesday, after a request for an injunction to stop the hunt was denied.

The U.S. Ninth District Court of Appeals denied the motion filed by Alliance for the Wild Rockies late Friday. The group sought to stop the hunts until an appeals case regarding a congressional budget rider that removed wolves from federal protection could be decided. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy ruled early this month that the rider was constitutional, though the wording of the opinion made it clear that Molloy disagreed with the previous court rulings that formed the basis of his ruling.

The same court also partially granted a motion from the Center for Biological Diversity to expedite its decision. Opening briefs are set to begin in mid-September.

Postal Service to close Twin Falls processing center

A letter posted in Ketchum and going to Hailey will soon be routed through Boise before reaching its destination. A news release issued last week announced a decision to close the mail processing center in Twin Falls, a move expected to save $623,000 each year.

Officials said local mail delivery will not be affected by the change. Letters mailed to local addresses are still expected to arrive the next day.

The Postal Service stated that it expects the transition to be completed by October.

Volunteers clean up Salmon River

Fifty-three volunteers got outside, got dirty and had some fun on Aug. 20, cleaning about 90 miles of the Salmon River for National Public Lands Day.

The BLM's Salmon and Challis field offices and the Salmon-Challis National Forest hosted the river cleanup day, which covered the area from the Challis boat launch to Pennal Gulch and from Elk Bend to Spring Creek boat launch near the town of Salmon.

The amount of trash found along the riverbanks and at the boating access points was estimated at close to a ton. The heavy debris included dozens of tires, large chunks of metal, waterlogged cans and plastic chunks. Most of the shoreline and all the access points were cleaned up by boaters and volunteers who combed the riverbank from the road.

Organizers said they hope to make the cleanup an annual event.

Hailey Library helps students

As students head back to school this September, the Hailey Public Library wants to make sure that children have a library card.

The library provides students with free access to databases of news articles, encyclopedias and test preparation materials, as well as to homework help and resources. In addition, the library has free Internet access, an important resource for families without access at home when 96 percent of school districts require students to use the Internet to complete their homework.

For more information on how to sign up for a library card, visit the Hailey Public Library in person or visit the library online at

Cancer support group to meet

St. Luke's Center for Community Health will hold the next Cancer Support and Networking Group on Thursday, Sept. 1, from 10-11 a.m. in the River Run Rooms at St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center.

The group is open to all 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.

Highway work to be suspended

Work that may impact travel will be suspended on all Idaho Transportation Department highway construction projects statewide for the Labor Day weekend, except in special circumstances.

"Like most of us, contractors have very little interest in working over the holiday," said ITD Chief Engineer Tom Cole. "Most would probably take these days off even if it was not already required."

Fun Run to benefit Meals on Wheels

The second annual Fun Run to support the Wood River Valley's Meals on Wheels program will be held Saturday, Sept. 17, at 10 a.m.

The event includes a barbecue lunch, a raffle for $500 in groceries from Atkinsons' Market, $300 cash, $200 cash, brunches for four at the Sun Valley Lodge and at Gretchen's and lots more prizes. Anyone with a family member who can't run can buy a meal for $6.

For more information, call Kim at 720-3897, ext. 4 or see or visit the Senior Connection on Facebook.

USDA to help Wyoming grouse

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Monday that the department will spend $21.8 million to help eligible farmers and ranchers in Wyoming conserve critical greater sage grouse habitat. According to a department press release, its support aims to keep farmers and ranchers in Wyoming working on their land while maintaining the land's economic viability.

Over the past two years, the USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Service's Sage Grouse Initiative has obligated $112 million to conserve sage grouse in 11 Western states.

AG issues consumer alert

The Idaho Attorney General's Office has received reports regarding phone calls and text messages claiming to be from various financial institutions, including Wells Fargo Bank, Boise Federal Credit Union and Home Federal Bank. The calls and texts state that recipients' credit or debit cards have been compromised, and instruct them to call a phone number to provide information and reactivate the card.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden warned Idaho consumers not to respond to these fraudulent messages.

"Your bank will never contact you to ask for your account number," Wasden said. "Your bank already knows your account number. These messages are 'phishing' attempts by people trying to steal your account information so they can steal your money."

He said consumers who did respond and gave out an account number or PIN number should contact their financial institution immediately. People can use the customer service number on their most recent statement or look up the number in the phone book. They should not use the phone numbers provided in text, phone or email messages.

Although this type of scam has been around for years, Wasden said, the recent surge is alarming.

Wells Fargo is investigating the phishing scams and requests that consumers forward suspicious messages using Wells Fargo's name to

The Attorney General's Office publishes an identity theft manual to help consumers whose personal information has been stolen. For more information, visit or call the Consumer Protection Division at 800-432-3545.

CSI gets grant for adult education

College of Southern Idaho's Blaine County Campus has received a $2,000 grant from the Deer Creek Fund of the Idaho Community Foundation. The funds will be used to promote access to adult education through scholarships and new programming.

In particular, the grant will build a scholarship pool to help low-income adults participate in classes to develop marketable skills such as those related to computers and communication. The grant also will support the development of a special cultural program series in conjunction with the CSI Refugee Center in Twin Falls.

For more information, contact Jenny Emery Davidson, director of the CSI Blaine County Campus, at 788-2033 or

Bridge lessons offered for kids

Bridge lessons for students ages 8 to 11 will start Sept. 19 as part of the Blaine County Recreation Department Hub After School Program. The lessons will continue for eight weeks each Monday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. and will give students the opportunity to hone their logic, thinking, competition and social skills.

To register for the free classes, call the Blaine County Recreation Department at 578-2273, or stop by the FitWorks office at the Community Campus in Hailey and register for the Hub After School Program.

The teacher will be Chuck Abramo, who is certified by the American Contract Bridge League. He teaches adult bridge classes in cooperation with the Wood River Bridge Club, and said he is excited to bring the opportunity to learn a new skill to a young audience.

Abramo said research has shown that children who play bridge have improved math and reading skills, and are more focused and attentive.

"Bridge encourages decision-making skills, and is very goal-oriented," Abramo said. "It is distinct from other card games because it relies on logic rather than luck. It is distinct from other logic games such as chess because it allows you to be social and work with a partner."

The American Contract Bridge League will provide books, T-shirts and tournament trophies to all participants in the program.

To learn more about bridge classes in the Wood River Valley with instructors Abramo and Jo Murray, visit Information about duplicate bridge is available at

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