Friday, November 15, 2013


Study: National Monument
would boost regional economy
    A new study predicts that designation of a Boulder-White Clouds National Monument would result in a 10 to 33 percent increase in tourism spending in the area.
    The study, commissioned by the Idaho Outdoor Business Council, based its conclusions on the economic impacts of other national monuments in the West. It points out that the counties surrounding Craters of the Moon National Monument have seen a 20 percent increase in jobs and per-capita income since it was significantly expanded in 2000.
    The study forecasts that designation of a national monument in the Boulder-White Clouds would generate 47 to 155 new jobs in Blaine, Custer, Butte and Camas counties, and increase the region’s economic output by $3.7 million to $12.3 million per year.

Students join America Recycles Day
    The students and staff of Hailey Elementary School are holding an America Recycles Day event today, Nov. 15. They will bring recyclable items from home to toss into collection boxes in front of the school. After adding their plastic containers, metal food and drink cans or mixed paper to the collection boxes, recyclers are invited to sign their names to the boxes, promising to recycle or to recycle more.
    The 5B Recycles program will also be at the school, providing information about local recycling and handing out pencils made of recycled newspaper.
    The recycling pledge drive wraps up a month of participating in Recycle Bowl, a nationwide recycling competition for schools. Last year, Hailey Elementary won for recycling the most per student in Idaho.
    The pledge drive and participating in Recycle Bowl are coordinated by the school’s Parent-Teacher Association, which will staff the event and take collected items to the Blaine County Recycle Center.  

Community School gets kudos
    The independent Community School in Sun Valley has been awarded a Governor’s Brightest Star Award for “exemplary community service.”
    The top honor in the school category was awarded to the school on Wednesday. According to a news release, students, faculty, parents and board members contributed nearly 25,000 hours of community service last year, both to local and global organizations.
    “For our students, giving is second nature,” stated Head of School David Holmes. “Not only do they have a desire to help others, they have the leadership skills and the motivation to go out and make a difference.”
    Community School senior Taylor Adler was recognized as a runner-up in the student category for his work on establishing a reusable school lunch container system in 2011 and for proposing and developing a Sun Valley Youth Council in 2012.

ITD program seeks to end DUIs
    A pilot initiative to end impaired driving in Blackfoot, Lewiston and Twin Falls was recently launched by the Idaho Transportation Department. The effort, called Courageous Voices, encourages people to speak out to stop others from drinking and driving.
    According to the ITD, more than 40 percent of fatal vehicle crashes in Idaho involve impaired drivers.
    “If people decide to drink and drive, we need to call 911—for their own safety and the safety of everyone else,” said ITD Highway Safety Manager Brent Jennings.
    A recent survey of more than 1,400 people in the three communities revealed that more than nine out of 10 adults strongly agreed that impaired driving is wrong, and that most adults, 85 percent, do not drive after drinking alcohol.

Send Christmas cards to Bowe
    As Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl approaches four and a half years in captivity, the residents of his hometown, Hailey, have launched an international project to send a million Christmas cards to Bowe in care of the White House.
    “This project has been designed to send a message to the White House, Congress and Senate that we want Bowe Bergdahl home where he belongs,” said event co-host Stefanie O’Neill. “In the past, cards sent to Bowe through various levels of government have been ‘returned to sender.’ We are hoping that the Obama administration will have the good sense to not only hear our message but to facilitate a way to get these cards to Bowe through the International Red Cross or other agencies.”
    Sarah Downs, the current Miss Idaho, will help get the message out to the world that cards are needed for Bergdahl.
    “America should always take care of their own, especially those who put their lives on the line for our freedom,” Downs said.
    For more information, contact Debbie O’Neill at 450-9687 or Stefanie O’Neill at 721-8884. People can also visit the Facebook event page by searching One Million Cards for Bowe or emailing

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