Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Learn about disaster preparedness
    Blaine County’s disaster preparedness coordinator, Chuck Turner, is the keynote speaker for the Blaine County Republican Women’s monthly gathering, to be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, in the Golden Eagle Club House at 110 Golden Eagle Road, in the mid-valley.
    All are welcome and snacks are included.
Be a weather spotter in your area
    Across southern Idaho, more than 850 volunteer weather spotters and cooperative observers have provided valuable weather reports, which are fundamental in helping the National Weather Service protect life and property. Forecasts are often based on observer data, and warnings for severe weather have been issued based on timely, reliable information received from trained volunteer spotters.
    A special training session on Friday, Dec. 6, from 10-11 a.m. at the Community Campus in Hailey will provide information on becoming a weather spotter. Training includes definitions and climatology of severe weather, cloud and storm recognition, storm hazards and safety tips, weather reporting procedures, and a review of past severe-weather events.
    For more information, go to

Hailey holiday festivities slated
    Many downtown Hailey businesses will stay open late on Thursday, Nov. 21, and Thursday, Dec. 5, from 5-8 p.m., offering discounts throughout town. The festivities will include carolers, raffles and hot drinks.
    There will be a passport that can be picked up at any participating business that once signed and filled can be entered into the raffle for the Santa Stroll on Dec. 5.
    Look for balloons at participating venues.

November Business After Hours set
    The Hailey Chamber of Commerce is inviting business operators and the public to the November Business After Hours, hosted by Wood River Dental Care.  
    The networking event will be held at the new location of Wood River Dental, at 503 N. Main St., from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 21.
    Bring a business card for the raffle and call 788-3484 for additional information.

Travel Council names new chairman
    The Idaho Department of Commerce has announced that Paul Norton, general manager of Silverwood Theme Park, is the new chair of the Idaho Travel Council.
    The council voted on the leadership positions during its October meeting and installed the chair and vice-chair at that time. Norton, who serves as the member-at-large, replaces Jason Jaeger, the north Idaho representative. Bill Code, the representative from southeastern Idaho, was elected vice chairman. 
    Growing Idaho’s economy by increasing visitor expenditures throughout the state is the goal of the Idaho Travel Council and the Idaho Department of Commerce Tourism Team. The Idaho Travel Council is an eight-member, private-sector advisory board appointed by the governor. 

Use beetle-killed trees for fuel?
    MOSCOW, Idaho (AP)—Researchers at the University of Idaho and Montana State University will take part in a study looking at ways to turn trees killed by beetles and other insects into a renewable energy source.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week a $10 million grant to study the issue. The research partnership includes academics, industry and government officials.
    University of Idaho researcher Jay O’Laughlin says the goal of this project is to ultimately create a new industry.
    Since 1996, infestations of pine and bark beetles have impacted more than 42 million acres of federal forests. A changing climate is expected to add to the burden facing forests.
    While beetle-killed trees seem a reasonable source for biofuel production, experts say the study intends to break down barriers to widespread commercial use.

Idaho Power makes case for coal
    BOISE (AP) – Executives for Idaho’s biggest utility say it’s essential to invest $130 million into upgrades at a Wyoming coal-fired power plant.
    Idaho Power Co. Senior Vice President Lisa Grow told state regulators on Thursday that not investing in the Jim Bridger plant would be a great risk for the company.
    Grow also said the company would have to think seriously about any decision by the Public Utilities Commission that rejects reliance on ratepayers to bear the costs of the upgrades.
    The Idaho Statesman reports the upgrades at the Rock Springs, Wyo., facility are need to comply with regional haze rules under the federal Clean Air Act.
    Idaho Power owns a third of the plant, while Pacificorp is the majority owner. Utah and Wyoming have already approved requests for the improvements.

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