Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Transportation plan released by county

Blaine County Road and Bridge will present its plan for updating county roads and bridges over the next five years at a meeting on Sept. 11.
The plan was originally presented at a budget hearing for Blaine County Operations, and is also available online for viewing at
The plan is an outline of projects to be completed by the county, including fixing roads and repairing bridges.
Funding for the plan is proposed to include raising vehicle licensing fees and property taxes or a voter-approved levy with some funding coming from existing county funds.

West Nile vaccine recommended for horses

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture recommends taking precautions to protect horses, mules and llamas.
  Cases of the virus in humans and horses have been confirmed in 10 southern Idaho counties. 
Animals affected with West Nile virus cannot transmit the virus to another horse or human. 
The most common sign of West Nile virus in horses is weakness, usually in the hindquarters. Weakness may be indicated by a widened stance, stumbling, leaning to one side and toe dragging. In extreme cases, paralysis and inability to stand may follow.  Fever sometimes is evident, as are depression and fearfulness. Additionally, lip-smacking, chewing movements and fine muscle tremors may be noticed.
Since the introduction of vaccines, the number of horses reported with West Nile infections has decreased dramatically nationwide, from 15,000 horses in 2002 to 1,100 in 2005 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Although the vaccines are not a 100 percent guarantee, they are the best way to help prevent West Nile infection in horses,” said Dr. Marilyn Simunich, a veterinarian with ISDA.  “More vaccine choices are available now. Horse owners should have their veterinarian determine which is best for each horse.”

OHV course required for youths

As the result of a law passed this year, all unlicensed operators under 16 who want to operate an off-highway vehicle on national forest roads are now required to take a safety course. The free courses, offered by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, are recognized by all neighboring states that also have mandatory OHV education requirements. 
OHV riders age 15 and under must be supervised by a licensed adult, 18 or older, when they are on roads.
The course includes home study, active rider training and a written test. To register, visit and check out the courses and registration materials under ATV/Motorbike. 
People may also take an online safety training course for $30. Upon completion of the online test, riders are required to participate in a short skills test. To register for the online safety training, visit
To schedule a skills test or for more information about classes, contact Rich Gummersall at 208-514-2414 or

St. Luke’s offers free immunization

St. Luke’s Clinic in Hailey will give free immunizations to children on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Children must meet Idaho’s requirements to attend school. To make sure your kids are up to date on all their vaccinations, visit and check out an easy-to-follow immunization chart.
Bring updated immunization record. No appointment is necessary. For more information, call 788-3434.

Idaho agriculture exports up 15 percent

Export data recently released show that Idaho food and agriculture exports for the first six months of the year are up 15 percent. The result is especially significant since 2011 was a record-setting year. 
More than 25 percent of Idaho’s agriculture products are exported to foreign markets.  
The state’s top agricultural export sector is dairy, which is up 10 percent over the first six months of 2011. Dairy accounts for more than 35 percent of Idaho’s total agriculture exports.
  Top export markets for Idaho food and agriculture are Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and South Korea. 
  Several factors have contributed to growth in these key markets, including a favorable exchange rate, trade agreements that reduce tariffs and export barriers, growing consumer demand and strong commodity prices.  In addition, the Idaho State Department of Agriculture has had a comprehensive market development effort to assist agribusinesses with expanding international sales. 

Learn more about trapping amendment

Ketchum gallery owner Andria Friesen will have a station set up on the plaza in front of her business Friday night to educate voters about a proposed amendment to the Idaho Constitution called HJR 2.
In November, voters will be asked to decide whether rights to hunt, fish and trap should be made part of the Constitution.
Those stopping by the gallery from 5-8 p.m. at 320 First Ave. N. and who donate $20 or more will receive a spike (trap-like) lighted bracelet, which Friesen said she hopes will represent opposition to the amendment.

Idaho awarded veteran training funds

The Idaho Department of Labor was one of 11 entities across the country awarded grants to provide training services to veterans in high-demand industries.
Tuesday’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Labor awarded $750,000 to the Idaho Department of Labor to provide training in information technology, truck driver CDL, hazardous materials removal, pharmacy technicians, medical records and health information technicians, physical therapist aids, software developers, web developers, computer network support, hybrid automotive mechanics and culinary arts.
Details of when the Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program will be up and running to offer services to Idaho’s veterans are not yet available.

New school year prompts warning for caution

The Idaho Transportation Department is encouraging motorists to be careful when driving through school zones, encountering school buses on the highway or while delivering and picking up children.
Drivers who fail to slow down to school zone speeds (generally posted at 20 mph or slower) pay enhanced fines as a result of legislation passed in 2008. State law requires a minimum fine of $75, plus $41.50 in court costs for school-zone violations. Local jurisdictions have the authority to establish higher fines.
Unless otherwise posted, school-zone speed limits do not apply on non-school days.
Drivers who have grown accustomed to traveling unimpeded through the zones during the past three months will need to renew their vigilance. They also will need to watch for inattentive children stepping from curbs, meandering bicycles straying into the traffic lane and buses stopped for student loading and unloading.

US Bank Supports the Y Kids Club

The Wood River Community YMCA has received a $5,000 grant from the U.S. Bancorp Foundation to help fund its Y Kids Club, an after-school program offered for kindergarten through fifth-grade students in Hailey and Ketchum to provide working families a safe place for young children to go at a reasonable cost.
Each week the Kids Club staff focuses on many facets of youth development, including physical development through organized games and play, swimming, and sports. Emotional development is taught through group learning, and social responsibility is instilled through community service projects. In addition, kids receive homework help, learn about art, music, and nutrition.

Traffic to be delayed at Saddle Road on Thursday

Drivers are advised to watch for traffic delays and lane closures while crews work on the traffic signal at the intersection of state Highway 75 and Saddle Road during the day Thursday, the Idaho Transportation Department announced.
Crews will be installing updated hardware and traffic detection cameras. The cameras are being installed in preparation for a roadway resurfacing project expected to begin in mid-September. The overhead detection cameras will replace the underground system of magnetic detection “loops,” which will be removed during the paving project.

Bellevue to create two lighted crosswalks

The Bellevue City Council last Thursday authorized $17,900 in expenses for materials to build lighted crosswalks across state Highway 75 at the corners of Spruce Street and Broadford Road.
The crosswalks are expected to be functional by Oct. 1.

Boise police field more mental-health calls

(AP) Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson says Idaho’s lack of help for people needing mental-health care has resulted in police being called more often.
The Idaho Statesman reports that over the past two years, police in Boise have responded to 13,000 mental health-related calls, ranging from welfare checks to attempted suicides and overdoses.
Boise Bench Patrol Officer Gary Wiggins, a 20-year veteran, says responding to mental health-related calls is a daily occurrence.
He says police spend so much time helping people find services that officers do more social interventions than crime-fighting.
Masterson says a network of services needs to be set up to help people and follow up after a crisis.
The Speedy Foundation ranks Idaho 47th in spending on mental-health care.

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