Wednesday, April 10, 2013


SkyWest to increase flights

Beginning June 1, SkyWest Airlines will increase its number of daily flights between Sun Valley and Delta’s Salt Lake City hub from three to five, probably through the rest of the year, and to seven daily departures from Sun Valley during the peak summer months.

SkyWest serves Friedman Memorial Airport as Delta Connection using the 30-passenger Embraer EMB 120 turboprop aircraft. 

“This is great news for the valley’s local travelers, the business community, our visitors and second homeowners,” Friedman Memorial Airport Manager Rick Baird said.

Baird noted that the airport and Fly Sun Valley Alliance have been working with SkyWest and Horizon airlines to expand service because better access is a key to jumpstarting a weak economy for the entire region. 


Suit filed against Mountain Rides

A former Hailey man has filed a lawsuit against Mountain Rides Transportation Authority claiming that he lost a leg due to an accident that occurred when a wheelchair that he was in fell off the lift gate of a Mountain Rides bus in early January.

Gary Winder filed the suit in 5th District Court in Hailey on April 3. His complaint states that he paid Mountain Rides to take him from his then home in Hailey to the Hailey Medical Clinic on Jan. 3. He claims that as he was being lowered on the lift gate in his wheelchair, he fell onto the sidewalk and the chair landed on top of him. He states that he had already lost a leg, and his other leg was amputated as a result of the accident.

The suit claims that the accident was due to the negligence of Mountain Rides Transportation Authority and seeks unspecified damages, though it does state that damages exceed the Magistrate Court limit of $10,000.

Mountain Rides Interim Executive Director Wendy Crosby declined to comment on the merits of the suit. She said the organization has liability insurance, but she said she did not know whether it would cover Mountain Rides entirely for an incident such as this one. 


Sun Valley bans discrimination

The Sun Valley City Council has unanimously approved an amendment to the city’s personnel policy that protects employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The council voted on the amendment at a meeting on Thursday, April 4.

The council has also given the city’s staff the green light to draft another amendment to the policy. According to City Administrator Susan Robertson, that amendment would provide an avenue outside of the organization for employees to lodge complaints against the city or other city employees. Robertson said in an interview that it would better protect potential whistleblowers from any retaliation they might face for “raising issues.” She said the draft would likely be ready for council review and possible approval at the council’s next scheduled regular meeting on May 2.


Annual cholesterol screening offered

St. Luke’s Wood River will offer its annual Heart of the Matter cholesterol testing service on two days this month.

On Saturday, April 13, the hospital will offer the test at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum from 7-10 a.m. On Thursday, April 18, it will do so at the Community Campus in Hailey at the same time. Prices start at $10.

A hospital news release states that the $10 screening includes a blood cholesterol test for HDL and LDL, triglyderides and glucose level, and a blood pressure test. For an additional $6, the hospital is offering a hemoglobin A1C blood test, a first this year. That test measures the long-term control of glucose for diabetics.

The release states that all participants must fast for at least eight hours prior to testing and should drink lots of water. The hospital will serve heart-healthy breakfast snacks to participants after their tests.

For more information, call the hospital at 727-8733.


High school gets national award

Wood River High School has received a 2013 Top AFS School award for its participation in international student exchange.

AFS-USA reported in a press release that “schools honored with this inaugural award have partnered with AFS in a variety of ways to foster global citizenship through intercultural learning, both inside and outside of the classroom, from hosting international students, sending students abroad and working with AFS-USA to incorporating intercultural and experiential learning opportunities into their curriculum.”


Early melting prompts trail closures

 Earlier than usual snowmelt has prompted the Forest Service to enact seasonal travel restrictions on popular Ketchum Ranger District roads and trails until dry conditions prevail.

Forest roads affected by the seasonal restrictions are closed to all wheeled vehicles and trails are closed to all uses. The closures are put in place each spring and are enacted to minimize erosion during runoff.  They will be lifted as individual trails and roads dry out. Violators may be cited and fined.

To view a Ketchum Trail and Road Report, go to  HYPERLINK ""  or contact the Ketchum Ranger District office at 622-5371.  

The Ranger District has also partnered with the Blaine County Recreation District to help keep trail users up to date on current trail conditions on an interactive website:  HYPERLINK "" The website lists all trail closures in the Wood River Valley and will be updated each Thursday afternoon throughout the summer.


Learn about shoulders, rotator cuff

Dr. Anthony Buoncristiani, a sports medicine and shoulder fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon, will lead a discussion of anatomy and function of the shoulder, common shoulder injuries and an update of the best prevention and treatment options on Thursday, April 11, from 12:15-1:15 p.m. at St. Luke’s Wood River’s Baldy Rooms.

All Brown Bag lectures are free and no pre-registration is required. Call St. Luke’s Center for Community Health for information on this or other educational programs at 727-8733.


Local rancher wins state award

Picabo Livestock owner Nick Purdy was honored by Gov. Butch Otter last week with a Governor’s Award for Excellence in Environmental Stewardship.

Award recipients were selected from applications submitted by agriculture agencies, organizations and individuals from across Idaho.

The accompanying bio states that Purdy began managing the Lava Lake Ranch at age 16. After graduating from the University of Idaho, he became the driving force behind the Picabo Livestock Co. Most of the land owned by the company borders the Silver Creek Nature Preserve, and Purdy donated a 3,500-acre conservation easement to The Nature Conservancy in 1995.


WRHS students display artwork

Students in Betty Ervin’s studio art class at Wood River High School are displaying their art at the Bigwood 4 Cinema in Hailey. Student works of recent “film art” can be seen in the movie theater foyer.

An opening reception was held Monday evening.

Ervin explained in a press release that she is working with theater management for future student art exhibits at the cinema.




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