Friday, December 2, 2011


District to hold Parent Math Night

In a continuing series of public information meetings, the Blaine County School District will hold another Parent Math Night on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

The event is scheduled from 6:30-8 p.m. at the district-owned Community Campus on Fox Acres Road.

Jonathon Brendefur and other staff from the Idaho Mathematical Thinking Initiative will be in attendance to discuss "Common Core State Standards" and a new math program implemented in the district that emphasizes teaching students conceptual math.

The meeting will be mainly focused on math as it's now being taught to second- and third-graders, but parents of all students and the community in general are invited to attend.

Holiday light display at

Sawtooth Botanical Garden

The Sawtooth Botanical Garden will hold a holiday light display called Lights in the Garden on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from Dec. 3-22, from 5-8 p.m.

A walking tour will be set up, complete with music, warm fires and holiday cheer. Hot drinks and homemade cookies will be served. Cost is $5 per person or $15 per car.

To inaugurate the display, the garden will host a Chef's Series Dinner catered by Sayvour tonight, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. The dinner will feature hors d'oeuvres, a three-course meal and fine wines. Cost is $75 per person. Contact Stephanie at 720-2867 or

The garden is at 11 Gimlet Road, adjacent to state Highway 75 south of Ketchum.


Job vacancy rate remains low

Idaho's latest job vacancy survey confirms that the state's current labor market is still tight, but there are more new jobs being created now than a year ago.

The Idaho 2011 Job Vacancy Survey found 1.7 vacant jobs for every 100 filled jobs, a rate of 1.7 percent for total vacancies statewide of just over 10,000. That compared to a rate of 1.8 percent in the 2010 vacancy survey for about 500 additional openings.

But four of every 10 vacancies were for newly created jobs in 2011. That was nearly double the number in 2010, suggesting employers are beginning to expand payrolls following the worst recession since World War II.

The survey results are based on responses in May through mid-June from about 3,100 of Idaho's 54,000 businesses, which averaged 609,000 jobs during the spring quarter.

Nearly one in three of the businesses surveyed reported having trouble finding applicants with the specific education, experience, training and skills needed for the jobs they were trying fill.

Get heating safety tips

The number of home fires peak during the winter due to increased use of heating equipment, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

"Half of all home heating fires occur during December, January and February, when we are fully utilizing our heating systems," said Lorraine Carli, the association's vice president of communications. "The public can reduce their risk of getting left out in the cold by following NFPA's safe heating behaviors."

The association's report, "Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment," states that heating equipment was involved in an estimated 58,900 home structure fires, 480 deaths, 1,520 injuries and $1.1 billion in property damage in 2009. Stationary and portable space heaters accounted for 32 percent of reported home heating fires, but nearly 80 percent of the home heating fire deaths and 66 percent of associated injuries.

For home safety tips and more information, visit the association's website,

Francis memoir available as e-book

"Bringing Jon Home," the award-winning memoir by David Francis about his son Jon, is now available as an electronic book on Kindle and Nook.

Jon Francis was 24 when he vanished while climbing 9,733-foot Grand Mogul in the Sawtooth Mountains in July 2006. A search was conducted and was unsuccessful. The Francis family then conducted its own, ongoing search for Jon. Eventually, Jon's remains were found on the mountain.

"While searching for my son, I learned much more about him," David Francis said. "Through the eyes and voices of others ... I came to know a remarkable young man who lived joyfully, loved boldly and inspired others."

Sales of the memoir will benefit the mission of the Jon Francis Foundation and its work on behalf of wilderness safety and missing adults.

For more information, go to To buy the book, go to or Barnes & Noble,

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