Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Sun Fest set for sunset of ski season

The end of the winter season at Sun Valley will be celebrated with a Spring Sun Fest at the bases of Bald and Dollar mountains.

Festivities will take place Saturday and Sunday, April 7-8, on Dollar Mountain, then continue at Baldy on Sunday, April 15.

Dollar Dayz includes a Family Cross Race at 10 a.m., on Saturday, April 7, sponsored by the Sun Valley SnowSports School. A Junk Yard Rail Jam is also set for Dollar Mountain. Both events are free.

On Sunday, April 8, the last day of skiing on Dollar, the Sun Valley Ski Patrol will hold the third annual Pond Skim. Costumes are encouraged. There is no fee but entrants are limited to one run.

Music and barbecues are offered both days.

The Baldy Spring Sun Fest, on Sunday, April 15, includes races, great deals, music and barbecues. Entertainment will be provided at River Run and Warm Springs.

River Run festivities begin at 11 a.m., Sunday, April 15, and include BOGO, (buy one lift ticket and get one free), the Balderdash fun races, kids adventures in the Adventure Trail Park, a costume contest, music by Old Death Whisper and DJ McClain and food.

State unemployment rate down

BOISE, Idaho (AP)—The Idaho Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate has dropped to 8 percent for February, the seventh straight monthly decline and the lowest rate since September 2009.

Businesses hired more than 11,000 new workers for the third month in a row, exceeding February hires by 2,000 to 3,000 for the previous three Februarys.

Idaho's total employment was 715,000 in February, marking the eighth month in a row that employment numbers have risen.

The national unemployment rate held steady at 8.3 percent in February.

In Idaho, just over 35,000 workers were paid $35.3 million in state and federal unemployment benefits during February, a 20 percent decline from February 2010 when 44,500 jobless workers received $44.7 million in benefits.

Idaho's unemployment rate peaked at 8.9 percent in late 2010.

Cougar killed near Indian Creek

A mountain lion was killed by a hunter last week on Sawtooth National Forest land east of Indian Creek, north of Hailey.

Idaho Fish and Game Conservation Officer Lee Garwood said the 110-pound male cat was legally killed and wasn't near any homes, and that the hunter had been tracking it on foot without hounds.

"That's a pretty unique way to kill [a cougar] but he got it done," Garwood said.

That mountain lion was only the fourth killed this year in Fish and Game's Magic Valley region. Garwood said the low-snow year may have contributed to the low kill numbers, as it's harder to track the cats without fresh snow.

The department is also investigating an alleged spear-fisherman who was ordered out of the Big Wood River by officers last week.

Garwood said he could not comment on the case while it is under investigation, but he did say that spear fishing is legal only for non-game fish and bullfrogs. He said more details will be available in a few weeks.

Airport officials to meet with FAA

Representatives from Friedman Memorial Airport will meet with the Federal Aviation Administration on Monday, April 2, to discuss improvements at the existing airport site.

Airport Manager Rick Baird and consultant Dave Mitchell from T-O Engineers will meet with managers from the FAA's regional office.

Topics of discussion may include improvements as well as the possibility of allowing regional jets to fly into Friedman. The latter would involve a risk management study, which has already been launched by the FAA.

Friedman Memorial Airport Authority board members will not attend.

Grants for 'better world' ideas

Local nonprofit organization Wild Gift is recruiting its new class of better-world entrepreneurs. Wood River Valley residents ages 21-30 are encouraged to apply.

New recruits are provided grants of up to $8,000.

The Wild Gift program consists of four components:

- A wilderness experience in the Idaho backcountry connecting recruits to the natural world.

- Professional mentoring to help shape project proposals.

- Financial support.

- Membership in Wild Gift's growing network of like-minded people with opportunities for collaboration and strategizing through annual forums.

The Coffee Grinder and Gallery in Ketchum will host a question-and-answer session about the program with Wild Gift staff on Tuesday, April 3, at 5 p.m.

Application forms are due April 29 and are available at For more information, contact Knapp at 208-471-5091 or

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