Ketchum police say ride the bus
Ketchum Police Chief Steve Harkins is urging people who drink alcohol on New Year’s Eve to catch a Mountain Rides Transportation Authority bus for a safe ride home.
Harkins reported in a press release that the Mountain Rides Blue Route, which runs to Warm Springs Village and through Ketchum and Sun Valley to Elkhorn Village, will offer late-night service for New Year’s Eve until 2:15 a.m.
Harkins stated that police will be out in force that evening looking for intoxicated drivers.
“Take a Mountain Rides bus, a taxicab or ask a sober friend to drive you home,” he stated. “Drink responsibly and don’t risk it. You will be caught.”
Virtual visit rescheduled
Blaine County commissioners have rescheduled their virtual visit of a senior care facility in Kansas for Monday, Jan. 7, at 9 a.m. The tour was originally scheduled for Jan. 2.
The tour will be open to members of the public, who can attend by joining the commissioners in the old County Courthouse in Hailey.
The visit is meant to give the commissioners an idea of what the proposed Croy Canyon Ranch would look like if built. The facility, The Plaza Health Services at Santa Marta in Olathe, Kan., is managed by the same consultants who would manage Croy Canyon Ranch.
Nurse practitioner to open clinic
A nurse practitioner has announced her plan to bring affordable health care to Ketchum, at least for everyday aches, pains and prescriptions. Caroline Cogen, an advanced registered nurse practitioner, will open Caroline’s Walk-in Clinic at 680 Sun Valley Rd. on Jan. 3.
Cogen said the clinic will be set up to accept quick, lunch-time visits for people who need a fast check-up or a new prescription. She said she will offer walk-in appointments for $50.
If a patient requires more in-depth care, such as X-rays or emergency attention, Cogen said, she will refer him or her to a physician at St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center or to an ambulance.
According to the Nurse Practitioners of Idaho website, Idaho became the first state in the U.S. to give legal recognition to an expanded role for nurses in 1971. At that time, advanced registered nurse practitioners were required to practice under the supervision of an associate physician. In 2004, the requirement for physician supervision was eliminated, making clinics such as Cogen’s possible.
Cogen received her nursing degree from Seattle University in 2006. She currently works as a nurse practitioner in mental health at St. Luke’s Canyon View Behavioral Health Services in Twin Falls. She has worked at the emergency department at St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center in Twin Falls and has also provided medical care at the Blaine County jail.
Cogen said her clinic will not accept health insurance. The clinic will be open Thursday through Sunday.
School seeks senior project panelists
Members of the public are invited to serve as panelists for Senior Project Day at Wood River High School on Thursday, Jan. 17.
Panelists review three senior project presentations and give feedback to students according to a predetermined rubric.
Senior projects are self-directed endeavors that represent personal and academic growth for every student in the public school system. According to a press release from the School District, serving as a panelist is a great way to see how the county’s schools prepare students for college and careers.
Senior Project Day has the following schedule:
( Noon to 1:30 p.m.: open house, everyone welcome.
( 12:15-12:50 p.m.: lunch for panelists.
( 12:45-1:45 p.m.: optional orientation and practice presentation.
( 2-3:45 p.m.: senior project presentations.
( 3:45-4:30 p.m.: cake and reception with seniors, panelists and staff.
Panelists do not need to attend the open house, lunch or orientation and practice session. The minimum time commitment for panelists is 2:15-3:45 p.m.
For more information, contact Heather Crocker at 578-5000.
Idaho population growth stays low
For the second straight year, Idaho’s population grew just 0.8 percent between mid-2011 and mid-2012 as more people continued to move out of the state than the number of U.S. residents who moved in.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimated Idaho’s population at 1,595,728, up just 11,984 from the downwardly revised 2011 estimate of 1,583,744. It was the first time since 1989 that Idaho’s population grew by fewer than 12,000.
The state remains the 39th most populous in the country. Idaho’s modest growth rate ranked 24th nationally after the state ranked in the top five during the boom of the mid-2000s.
Nationally, population grew 0.7 percent, led by 2.2 percent in North Dakota, where an oil boom is under way.
Among Idaho’s border states, Montana and Oregon both recorded similar percentage increases to Idaho’s, but the other four all posted increases well over 1 percent.
According to the Idaho Department of Labor, the state’s slow growth reflects its sluggish economic recovery for the past three years.
Two New England states—Rhode Island and Vermont—reported actual declines in population while West Virginia, Ohio and Maine had only negligible increases.
5-1-1 service provides road conditions
Idaho’s 5-1-1 Program, a service of the Idaho Transportation Department and the Idaho Department of Commerce, is designed to help travelers access information about travel conditions and road closures, weather and tourism information via the phone (dial 5-1-1 or 888-432-7623), the web (www. HYPERLINK "http://www.511.idaho.gov/" "_blank" 511.idaho.gov) and mobile web applications.
Information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at no cost to users.
ITD introduced new options to the 511 Traveler Services program this year that allow drivers to tailor reports to their needs. At www. HYPERLINK "http://hb.511.idaho.gov/main.jsf" "_blank" 511.idaho.gov, drivers may register for a free account and will have the option of receiving direct reports for preferred routes through email, text messages or Twitter. They can also choose a statewide option that delivers information about road blockages or closures and active Amber Alerts.
When 5-1-1 users select the Tourism Information option (option five in main menu), they are routed to the Idaho Tourism Office and will be assisted by staff during business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visitors to the website will find two bandwidth options: the low-bandwidth site that may be best for users who access the web through dial-up connections or a high-bandwidth version for high-speed Internet users.
A mobile website is available for customers using smartphones. Type 511.idaho.gov in the address bar and the website automatically redirects all phones to the mobile website.
Bridge games and lessons offered
Bridge lessons and games will be available five days a week in the Wood River Valley starting Jan. 2.
Jo Murray and Chuck Abramo will teach three series of bridge classes. Bridge Basics, designed for people who have never played bridge or those who played years ago and want to learn modern methods, will be held on Wednesdays from 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Murray and Abramo also will teach classes for intermediate players on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3-5 p.m. Robert Prosbasco will offer one-hour lectures for advanced players on Thursdays from 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Abramo, Murray and Prosbasco are all certified both as teachers and as bridge club directors by the American Contract Bridge League.
Duplicate bridge games will be held Mondays and Thursdays from 3-6:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Fridays from 3-5 p.m. and Wednesdays from 7-10 p.m. The Tuesday and Friday games are designed for novice players or long-time social bridge players who would like to try a duplicate game, in which players compete against other people with the same cards.
The Tuesday game will be at the Wood River YMCA, 101 Saddle Rd. in Ketchum. All other activities will be in the community room of Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church, 206 Sun Valley Rd.
To make reservations or for additional information, contact Murray at HYPERLINK "mailbox://C:/Users/editor/AppData/Roaming/Thunderbird/Profiles/8775zthc.default/Mailfirstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com or 720-1501 or go to www.sunvalleybridge.com or HYPERLINK "http://www.woodriverbridge.com" www.woodriverbridge.com.
Boise Zoo gets replacement monkeys
BOISE (AP)—Two female patas monkeys have arrived at Zoo Boise to replace a male that died following a break-in last month.
The Idaho Statesman reports that 23-month-old DJ and 15-month-old Kibibi arrived on a Delta Airlines flight on Wednesday. Zoo Director Steve Burns said DJ and Kibibi will spend a month separated from other zoo animals before joining Incas, the surviving adult male patas monkey. He said that if all goes well, there could be offspring.
Police say 22-year-old Michael J. Watkins broke into the zoo on Nov. 17 and tried to steal a male patas monkey named Cratey but ended up beating the monkey to death with a tree branch. Watkins has been charged with felony theft and burglary.
Tamarack case moves through court
BOISE (AP)—Tamarack Resort’s indicted former suitor will go before a federal judge next month in an attempt to mediate his case, but federal prosecutors aren’t budging on an undisclosed plea agreement, The Associated Press reports..
Matthew Hutcheson is scheduled for mediation in U.S. District Court on Jan. 10.
Hutcheson, an independent fiduciary who once offered $40 million for Tamarack, faces charges that he raided retirement funds of some $5 million to fix up his home and help finance his now-failed resort acquisition.
In October, Hutcheson’s attorney, Dennis Charney, was allowed to withdraw from the case after differences over strategy.
That’s the same month that federal prosecutors say they offered Hutcheson a plea deal. Just what those terms are isn’t public, but the government isn’t willing to make Hutcheson a better offer as they head toward trial next year.
Parents invited to take school survey
Parent of recent graduates from Carey School, Silver Creek High School or Wood River High School are invited to take a short survey to provide feedback on how well the Blaine County School District prepares its graduates for college and careers.
The district stated in a press releases that with many recent high school graduates home during the holidays, it hopes the timing of the survey will enable parents to base their responses on conversations with their children.
“It’s important to the administration and the board of trustees that we have information about our effectiveness in preparing students for lifelong learning,” Superintendent Lonnie Barber said. “It will help the Blaine County School District improve the quality of education in our community.”
Parents who have not received the survey via email can obtain one by contacting Communications Director Heather Crocker at 578-5000. The survey closes on Monday, Jan. 7.
For more on the Blaine County School District, go to HYPERLINK "http://www.blaineschools.org/" www.blaineschools.org.
Legal help offered on foreclosures
Idaho Legal Aid Services has received a $120,000 appropriation from the Legislature to provide free legal help to low-income homeowners threatened with foreclosure. The funds are part of the state’s share of the national foreclosure settlement, paid as a result of illegal lender practices in the foreclosure process.
Funds can be used to:
( Interpret loan documents.
( Review foreclosure case files.
( Help homeowners understand their foreclosure rights and options.
( Negotiate home loan modifications.
( Obtain home loan deficiency waivers.
( Nullify unlawful foreclosure rescue agreements.
( Guide homeowners through mediation.
( prepare housing-related legal documents.
Those who think they could benefit from these services can contact Idaho Legal Aid Services at 866-345-0106. For Spanish, call 866-954-2591. The line is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.
Idaho Legal Aid Services is a statewide nonprofit law firm that serves the legal needs of low-income Idahoans. The Hotline staff will determine if the caller is financially eligible.
Blaine County is served by the firm’s Twin Falls office.
Magazine honors Trailing of the Sheep
The winter issue of Wild Fibers magazine dedicated nearly the entire issue to the 16th annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival, Sun Valley history and Idaho. The cover shot is of sheep on Main Street in Ketchum and it’s titled “Gridlock in Sun Valley, Idaho.”
There are stories about the local towns and their history, as well as the sheep-ranching Peavey family. The magazine contains dozens of photographs of the festival and the surrounding area.
Linda Cortright, editor and publisher of Wild Fibers, was in the area for the festival in October.
People can see the cover by connecting with this link: HYPERLINK "http://www.wildfibersmagazine.com/" www.wildfibersmagazine.com/.For more information, contact festival Executive Director Mary Austin Crofts at 720-0585.
NOAA seeks new salmon solutions
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has sent a letter to more than 200 Columbia Basin stakeholders announcing that it is seeking input on ways to restore endangered wild salmon and steelhead in the region. But Idaho Rivers United said it is concerned about NOAA’s apparent lack of urgency.
The letter, signed by NOAA Deputy Regional Administrator Barry Thom, states that the process kicked off today will inform decisions in 2014 and beyond.
“This is an opportunity for people to work together on the shared goal of restoring our endangered salmon,” said Idaho Rivers United Executive Director Bill Sedivy in a press release. “Such direct and inclusive stakeholder engagement hasn’t been tried for Columbia Basin salmon.”
Sedivy said parties involved should include anglers, farmers, utilities, energy consumers, shippers, sportsmen and conservationists.
However, Sedivy said, “our salmon returns are projected to be down in 2013, and we’re still operating under an illegal biological opinion that’s scheduled to be rewritten by January 2014. We’re ready to participate in this process, but our salmon are in trouble now.”