Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Briefs


YMCA offers health discussion

A free discussion on health and wellness will be held at the Wood River YMCA in Ketchum today, July 11, and Thursday, July 12, at 10 a.m. in the YMCA Roy Hunt Community Room. Titled "Be Well, Stay Well: Ten Things that Matter Most," the discussion will be led by Dr. Michael Scott, director of complementary and alternative medicine at PinnacleCare, a private health advisory firm.

"Living well is truly so much more than just the absence of disease," said Stefan Zachar, PinnacleCare's senior vice president. "But the information and misinformation available is overwhelming and confusing. I'm very proud to offer this discussion on 10 steps that people can take for a real impact in their quality of life. We'll discuss organic foods, sleep, stress and other important topics, during a highly engaging and interactive session."

Anyone interested in attending should email Zachar at SZachar@PinnacleCare.com to RSVP.

City gets grant to hire firefighters

The city of Ketchum has been notified that it will receive a $509,000 federal grant to hire three firefighters for two years.

The grant will allow it to fill two vacancies in the Fire Department and to add a third firefighter to enhance fire prevention programs, Chief Mike Elle said. The vacancies have occurred due to attrition over the past four years, and the shifts have been covered by paid, on-call firefighters.

The program is scheduled to begin this fall. Under Fire Department policies, only current paid, on-call firefighters will be considered for the jobs, Elle said.

According to the department, Ketchum and the Sagle Fire District in northern Idaho are the only two fire departments in Idaho to receive this type of grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security this year.

Ketchum aces flood insurance audit

Ketchum residents who participate in the National Flood Insurance Program are now paying 10 percent less in their premiums due to an improvement in the city's rating.

Ketchum Planning Manager Joyce Allgaier briefed the City Council on the city's Community Rating System score improvement subject during its July 2 meeting.

The National Flood Insurance Program offers federally backed insurance to cover building and personal property damage in the event of a flood. Ketchum has 215 households participating in the program. Insurance through the program provides a total of $53,831,700 in coverage, or $250,380 per participant.

Ketchum also participates in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Community Rating System, an auditing system that allows cities to lower their flood insurance premiums if they go beyond the minimum flood preparedness and prevention efforts required. Ketchum has participated in the rating system since 1992 and is audited about every five years.

On June 6, Ketchum received the preliminary results of its most recent audit: a recommendation that the community improve from a Community Rating System class 8 to a class 6. The scale goes from 1 to 10, with 1 being the best. Every point drop lowers the community's premium rate by 5 percent.

According to an October 2011 publication from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the only other city in Idaho achieving a rating as low as 6 is Boise.

Depression screenings offered

St. Luke's Center for Community Health in Hailey will hold free, private depression screenings on Tuesday, July 17, from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

According to a news release from the center, the National Depression Screening program provides increased awareness of the signs and symptoms of depression and mental health resources in the community. The one-hour appointments will be with a licensed mental-health counselor, and are available in Spanish.

St. Luke's Center for Community Health is at 1450 Aviation Drive, Suite 200. Call 727-8733 for an appointment.

Stanley seal-coat project to start

To preserve the new surface applied last year to state Highway 75 through the Stanley Basin, crews will begin to seal coat the same stretch of roadway beginning Thursday, July 12, the Idaho Transportation Department announced.

The seal coat will be applied to the same area that received an asphalt overlay last August between Valley Creek in Stanley and Frenchman Creek near the base of Galena Summit. Work begins on Thursday with a process of applying an asphalt coating, known as a fog coat, to the shoulders and turnouts. The contractor will begin applying the seal coat on Monday.

The contractor will extend the seal coat farther south of the project onto the north slope of Galena Summit to use any remaining gravel chips that were crushed for this project.

Drivers are urged to use caution in all areas of seal coating. Observing posted speed limits and increasing the distance between vehicles will reduce the risk of windshield damage caused by loose gravel. The work zone will be managed with flaggers and a pilot car.

Wilderness property protected

An 80-acre private property just downstream from the Boundary Creek put-in on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River has been added to the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.

The Trust for Public Land worked with the landowners and the U.S. Forest Service to protect a portion of the Morgan Ranch, a private homestead dating to the late 1800s.

The Forest Service bought the property for $570,000, which came from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the federal government's main source of money for protecting land. It is funded by royalties paid by energy companies in exchange for oil and gas extraction from federal offshore leases.

For more than 20 years, The Trust for Public Land has been helping the Forest Service acquire privately owned property within the Frank Church wilderness, including the 722-acre Thunder Mountain property, sold in 2005.

"We are delighted to once again protect a gem in the wilderness," says Deb Love, Northern Rockies director of The Trust for Public Land. "This is our ninth conservation project in the Frank Church, one of the wildest places left in our country. We're happy to help keep it wild."

At 2.3 million acres, the Frank Church is the country's second-largest protected wilderness area.

The Morgan Ranch property is about 35 miles northwest of Stanley.

Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has helped protect more than 3 million acres in 47 states, including more than 600,000 acres throughout the Northern Rockies. For more information, visit www.tpl.org.

Dress Club recruiting new members

The Little Black Dress Club will host a membership recruitment social event on Thursday, July 12, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Green Antelope Gallery in Bellevue. Any interested women are welcome to attend to find out more about the group or to join. The club has 75 members and is working to have at least 100 people involved.

The club was created in 2009 to support nonprofit organizations in Blaine County. Members are required to donate $300 a year in one payment or monthly installments. Donations are pooled and granted out twice a year through a competitive grant application process.

Over the past two years, the club has granted a total of $40,181 to 20 organizations.

More information can be found on the group's website, lbdcwr.org.




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