Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Reduced speed limit begins Oct. 30
    The Idaho Transportation Department announced Tuesday that a reduced nighttime speed limit on state Highway 75 immediately north of Hailey will be implemented on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
    The speed limit, reduced from 55 miles per hour to 45 mph, will be in effect on a two-mile stretch of highway between McKercher Boulevard in northern Hailey and Zinc Spur Road in the mid-valley.
    ITD reported in a news release that the reduced speed limit will be in effect from dusk to dawn. It is being implemented to reduce the number of accidents involving motor vehicles and deer and elk.
    New speed-limit signs will be installed to designate the beginning and end of the reduced-speed zone.

School board to hold special meeting
    The Blaine County School District board of trustees will hold a special meeting today, Oct. 23, to consider bus service and food.
    The meeting, open to the public, is scheduled to begin at noon at the district office at 118 West Bullion St. in Hailey.
    According to the agenda, the board will consider renewal of a ridership agreement with Mountain Rides Transportation Authority. Also on the agenda is a presentation by the School Food Action Group.

Traffic delays on Dollarhide Summit
    The Sawtooth National Forest began the installation of culverts on Dollarhide Summit west of Ketchum on Oct. 21. The project is expected to last until Nov. 1.
    There will be delays of up to two hours while crews are installing the culverts, project leaders said. The work is being done in the Beaver Creek Fire area on the Ketchum Ranger District.
    Contact the Ketchum Ranger District if you have questions regarding the project: 622-0090.

Owners sell PK’s Ski Rental
    PK’s Ski Rentals in Ketchum is changing ownership. The founders of PK’s Ski Rentals, Baird and Chelle Gourlay, are selling the business to longtime valley residents Ritchie and Maggie Thurston.
    Ritchie Thurston has been manager of PK’s for the last 14 years and a fishing guide for Silver Creek Outfitters. Maggie Thurston has worked and managed at Sturtevants Mountain Outfitters for 12 years.
    “Our core business is service, along with a very strong presence in the kids ski lease market,” Ritchie Thurston said. “There will be small changes that increase efficiencies and attract first-time visitors to the rental/ demo scene at PK’s, plus we plan on upgrading the website.”
    Gourlay will remain a silent partner in PK’s Ski & Sports (the retail shop) with Andy Berman and Brian Webber, but has plans to expand his energy business E=mc2, Gourlay said.

Foundation gives grants to help elk
    The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is providing grants to go toward the reestablishment of healthy elk habitat and populations, and to directly bolster wolf-management practices in Idaho.
    The grants and additional funding total $223,940. The foundation said they will directly affect Bear Lake, Blaine, Bonneville, Boundary, Caribou, Clearwater, Idaho, Latah and Shoshone counties.
    “It’s no secret elk populations and habitat declined over the last few decades in north-central Idaho,” said David Allen, president and CEO. “RMEF is stepping up funding and research efforts and working with our partners to address improvements.”
    In Blaine County, money will go towards prescribed burning on 2,400 acres in the Upper Little Wood River area of the Sawtooth National Forest to improve elk winter range by promoting the growth of large Douglas fir trees, expanding and regenerating aspen stands, and providing a more diverse sagebrush community.

State unemployment figures delayed
    While Congress and the White House have reopened the federal government, the Idaho Department of Labor has been unable to calculate and release the monthly unemployment and employment figures for September 2013 because of the 16-day federal shutdown.
     The temporary closure of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics limits the department’s ability to acquire the national and contiguous state data necessary for calculating and issuing Idaho’s September economic report, originally scheduled for Oct. 18.
    As soon as a release date has been determined, it will be posted at on the 2013 labor market information release calendar page.

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