Friday, August 17, 2012


Airport discussion set for Tuesday

The Friedman Memorial Airport staff will hold a "Coffee Talk" on Tuesday, Aug. 21, from 7:30-9 a.m. at Starbucks in Ketchum.

Airport Manager Rick Baird said the talks are simply chances for members of the public to chat with airport staff, express concerns and find out more about potential changes to the current airport.

"It's one-on-one, have a cup of coffee and ask whatever questions you have," he said. "It's a way to get up close and personal."

Baird said that similar meet-and-greet events were held during the airport's feasibility analysis in 2005. Airport Public Relations Director Candice Pate will join him at Starbucks.

Aging fire truck to be repaired

An aging aerial ladder fire truck co-owned by Ketchum and Sun Valley will be out of service from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2 for extensive maintenance.

Repair costs to the ladder's hydraulic system will total $10,000 to $20,000, to be split evenly between Ketchum and Sun Valley.

Both the Ketchum and Sun Valley city councils have elected to pay rising maintenance fees on the truck rather than split the cost of buying a new one. A new truck would cost about $1.2 million and would most likely need to be financed through a bond issue.

The fire truck, a 1987 Sutphen SL100 with a 100-foot ladder, is tested every year for safety compliance and performance.

"The truck failed its test this year," Sun Valley Acting Fire Chief Ray Franco said at a Sun Valley City Council meeting Aug. 9. "The bottom line is we need to get it repaired."

While the Ketchum and Sun Valley truck is out of commission, Wood River Fire & Rescue's Hailey-based, 75-foot ladder truck will be deployed to the north valley if need be.

Franco said that the Wood River Fire & Rescue truck "could respond in time" to emergencies in the north valley.

Sign up for Girls on the Run

Registration is under way for the fall season of Girls on the Run, beginning Sept. 17 and ending Nov. 21.

Programs will be conducted at Hemingway, Hailey, Woodside and Bellevue elementary schools. Online registration is available at

The Girls on Track program for middle-school girls also will begin Sept. 17 at Wood River Middle School. The program will include discussions about eating disorders, tobacco and alcohol use, and personal and Internet safety.

Full or partial scholarships are available. For additional information, call 788-7863 or email

Library offers iPad classes

The Community Library in Ketchum is hosting two iPad classes this month.

An advanced class will be held on Wednesday, Aug., 22, at 2 p.m.

Teachers will be Paul Zimmerman, library resident expert technology coach, and Buffy McDonald, reference librarian. Attendees should bring their own iPads. The advanced class will cover how to set up and use email on the iPad, how to take and email pictures, how to use the photo gallery, and how to use FaceTime for video chats.

A basic iPad class will be held on Aug. 29 at 2 p.m. for those interested in learning tablet computing from step one.

Admission is free, though registration is required since space is limited. To register, contact McDonald at 726.3493, ext. 110, or

Vet wins 2012 Royal Canin award

Randall Acker, D.V.M., an alumni of Colorado State University, received the 2012 Royal Canin award at the American Veterinary Medical Association's annual convention.

The award recognizes a veterinarian whose work within the preceding five years in either clinical research or the basic sciences is judged to have contributed significantly to the advancement of the field.

After graduation from Colorado State University in 1979, Acker moved to Sun Valley to start a career with the Sun Valley Animal Center. His focus has been in canine surgery, with a particular emphasis on canine orthopedics.

State unemployment payments fall

The Idaho Department of Labor made 9,645 weekly unemployment insurance benefit payments last week, the first time the weekly total has dropped below 10,000 since November 2007.

The number of payments was down more than 400 from the previous week and 4,000 from the same week a year ago. At the peak of the recession, the department made more than 41,000 payments during March 2009.

Although the decline in regular state benefit payments was another indication of an improving employment picture, there were still about 8,000 workers on federally financed extended benefits.

Regular state benefits totaled slightly more than $2.2 million, with an average benefit of $228.39 last week. That compared to more than $11 million during the weeks of March 2009.

Another $1.8 million was paid in federal extended benefits, which will stop at the end of this year.

Idaho's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped from 8.9 percent in July 2010 to 7.7 percent this June.

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