Wednesday, June 5, 2013

News Briefs

Idaho ranks 24th for senior health
    Idaho ranked right in the middle of the pack for senior health in the U.S., but nearly last in community support for seniors, according to a recent report commissioned by the United Health Foundation.
    The Minnetonka, Minn.-based foundation’s so-called “America’s Health Rankings Senior Report: A Call to Action for Individuals and Their Communities” lists the Gem State’s strengths as having a low rate of hospital re-admissions (second in the U.S.) and a low prevalence of preventable hospitalizations (fourth). However, it states that Idaho’s weaknesses are pain management (49th) and community support for seniors (46th).
    “Minnesota leads the nation for senior health, followed by Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Iowa,” the report states. “Mississippi ranks 50th, preceded by Oklahoma, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Arkansas.”
    The report states that Americans are living “longer but sicker lives” and that the nation’s senior population is poised to grow more than 50 percent between 2015 and 2030, making senior health a timely and critical national issue.

New parking for equestrians
    New parking spaces for equestrians have been created at the Greenhorn and Fox Creek trailheads. 
    According to a news release from Sawtooth Backcountry Horsemen, this is the culmination of five to six years of work spearheaded by the group’s president, Jo Heiss, in collaboration with the Ketchum Ranger District, with $1,000 donations each from the Idaho Horse Board and The Horsemen Education Foundation of America.
    The parking areas have signs for horse parking and for “packing out poop.”
    The annual meeting of Sawtooth Backcountry Horsemen will be held Tuesday, June 11, at 5:30 p.m. at Heiss’ home, 101 Cottonwood Circle in East Fork.  Call Heiss with any questions: 788-3802.
Odd Fellows give scholarships
    The Wood River Odd Fellows & Rebekahs Scholarship Fund has awarded two new scholarships for the 2013-14 academic year to the following students:

  • Catherine Henry, who will graduate from Wood River High School and plans to attend Boise State University.
  • Bryan Vilacapoma, who will also graduate from Wood River High School and plans to attend the College of Southern Idaho.

    Both were awarded $2,000 for their first year of college.
    According to a news release from the organization, its Scholarship Selection Committee chose those two recipients because the committee believes they will give back to their communities.
    The endowment fund for the scholarship was established in 1996 by the members of Alturas Lodge No. 13, I.O.O.F. (International Order of Odd Fellows) and the Snowdrop Rebekah Lodge No. 71, with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their Ketchum meeting hall.
    The scholarships are renewable throughout a recipient’s undergraduate, technical or vocational education as long as the recipient continues to meet the eligibility requirements.
    In 14 years of granting scholarships, the Scholarship Fund has been able to award $137,000 in scholarships.
    The Odd Fellows and Rebekahs organized in the Wood River Valley 130 years ago to care for the elderly, visit the sick, help those in distress and educate the young.

URA appoints new commissioner
    The board of the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency on Monday unanimously appointed Tim Eagan, president of Ketchum-based Eagan Real Estate, to the agency’s board.
    “I come from a long tradition of service,” Eagan said in an interview after the appointment, which is a volunteer position. “That’s how I was raised.”
    Eagan said he previously served as the chairman of the Blaine County Housing Authority board for about two years. His experience in real estate convinced the URA commissioners to chose him over four other applicants.
    “I’d like to see some representation from the real estate community,” said Commissioner Michael David, also a city councilman. “I think we’re lacking that a little bit.”
    Eagan will fill a board seat vacated in December by the resignation of former URA Commissioner Nina Jonas, also a city councilwoman. She said in an interview before the appointment that she resigned to focus more on City Council work, to separate the URA board from the City Council more and to leave the seat open for someone with more real estate experience.
    The term ends in January, at which point Mayor Randy Hall and the City Council will appoint Eagan, or someone else, for another term. According to URA attorney Stephanie Bonney, the board is responsible for making mid-term appointments, whereas “new” appointments are made by the mayor and council.

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