Friday, June 15, 2012

News briefs

School District, McKinstry may consolidate lawsuits

Attorneys the Blaine County School District and McKinstry Essention Inc. are scheduled to meet in court on Monday, June 18, to decide whether to consolidate their two lawsuits against each other.

Discussion during a status hearing on Monday, June 11, in 5th District Court in Hailey indicated that the School District might dismiss its suit and argue its case as a response to the McKinstry claim, which was filed first.

The parties disagree over the nature of a contract signed in 2010 to perform engineering and construction management services for geothermal development and heating and cooling improvements at eight district schools or facilities. The dispute involves about $26 million.

The School District maintains that the contract had a fixed price, while McKinstry claims it became a de facto cost-plus agreement.

Fundraiser set for Breezy Seebach

After two months in a hospital following a horse-riding accident, Ketchum resident Breezy Seebach returned to town last week with hefty medical bills. She suffered eight crushed ribs, a broken collarbone, a broken shoulder blade and severe trauma to the head and brain.

"I believe that through all the prayers and well wishes from the valley and all over the country that I was able to pull through. Thank you everyone," she wrote in a memo to the Mountain Express.

There will be a benefit for Seebach on Saturday, June 16, at the Hailey Hotel starting at 3 p.m. There will be bands, food, a raffle and silent auction for donated items. Any donations to help with medical expenses may be sent to US Bank, 512 Soldier Road, Fairfield, ID 83327, or call (208) 764-2277.

Goats to munch knapweed on Wood River Trail

Weed-eating goats are back on the Wood River Trail, continuing a Blaine County Recreation District pilot project aimed at managing noxious weed species like knapweed, leafy spurge and other unwanted plants along the path from Bellevue to Ketchum.

In partnership with the Pesticide Action Network of Blaine County and through a donation from local residents Brian Ross and Susan Reinstein, about 700 goats will be working to eat up the early-season knapweed before it has a chance to go to seed along the 18 miles of trail, without the use of chemical sprays.

Notification about specific goat locations during the six-week project will be available through the Recreation District. In a news release, the Recreation District stated that it encourages everyone using the trail to stop and observe, but to let the goats do their work and refrain from petting them.

For more information, contact Janelle Conners at 578-5453 or visit For more information on alternatives to chemical weed control, contact Kathryn Goldman, Pesticide Action Network of Blaine County, at 721-3108 or visit

Watch out for hemlock

The Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign is warning that poison hemlock is in full growth across the state.

Hemlock can be fatal to humans and all classes of livestock—and it is also the plant from which juice was used by the ancient Greeks to kill Socrates.

"It can kill a horse or a cow within hours of them eating it," said Roger Batt, statewide coordinator for the Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign. "There are documented cases where people have died from eating poison hemlock because they mistook it for some kind of wild parsley, dill or fennel."

Hemlock typically grows in riparian areas, stream banks, canals and ditch banks and pastures. The plant grows 3-6 feet tall with a smooth green stem, spotted or streaked with red or purple. The leaves are finely divided and lacy. The flowers are small, white and clustered, resembling the spokes of an umbrella.


Bellevue Business After Hours set

The newly revitalized Bellevue Chamber of Commerce will hold a get-together "Business After Hours" event at U.S. Bank at 743 Main St. in Bellevue on Wednesday, June 20, from 5-7 p.m.

Business owners are asked to bring a business card to put into the hopper to qualify to win raffle prizes. For more information, call Jeannie Tupper at US Bank, 788-9555.

Firefighter completes paramedic training

Wood River Fire & Rescue member Brian Tuohy graduated with honors from the College of Southern Idaho's Paramedic program last month, completing a two-and-a-half-year training program.

Tuohy is a B-shift or full-time lieutenant paramedic for Wood River Fire & Rescue's Station 1 in Hailey. He received his Associates of Paramedicine degree after completing classroom courses, clinical work and a period of practical, hands-on training.

Tuohy lives in Hailey with his wife, Jenni, and their two children, Owen and Rose.

Hailey Chamber offers promotion plan

The Hailey Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Visit Sun Valley to bring local businesses a chance to promote themselves to participants in the Mountain Bike Nationals being held during the Ride Sun Valley Festival June 29 to July 8.

The approximately 1,500 riders will receive a "goodie" bag at registration. Business owners can market their business by providing a special offer or promotional item. There are several Hailey events during the festival, including the Fourth of July criterium.

Anyone interested should bring their 1,500 items to the Hailey Chamber offices by Monday, June 25, to be included. For more information, call Ramona Duke at 788-3484.

YMCA graduates kids in swim program

This spring, more than 100 third-graders from Hemingway and Woodside elementary schools participated in the Wood River Community YMCA's free Third Grade Learn to Swim program.

"Coming in to the lessons, approximately one-third were deemed nonswimmers when they started, and by the end of the final session, every child could float on their back, perform the elementary backstroke and safely swim across the pool," said Jake DeVries, the Y's aquatics director.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Idaho ranks third in the country for drowning rates. The second leading cause of death in the United States for children between the ages of 2 and 14 is drowning.

In partnership with the Blaine County School District, the Deer Creek Fund, USA Swimming and the Y of the USA, the local YMCA seeks to expand the program to include every third-grader in the Wood River Valley, including both the public and private school systems.

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