Friday, April 25, 2014

BRIEFS


Teacher contract talks to begin

     Contract negotiations between the Blaine County School District and the Blaine County Education Association are scheduled to be held in early May.

     The district announced Thursday that four negotiation sessions have been scheduled. All sessions are set to run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the district office at 118 West Bullion St. in Hailey.

     Sessions are scheduled for Thursday, May 1; Friday, May 2; Thursday, May 8; and Friday, May 9.

     Community members may attend since Idaho law mandates that the teacher labor negotiations be held in public.

 

St. Luke’s among top health systems

     Truven Health Analytics has named St. Luke’s Health System as one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems, based on an evaluation of key performance and safety measures.

     St. Luke’s is the only Idaho health system included on the Top 15 list—a list that includes other notable health systems such as the Mayo Clinic and Advocate Health.

     The Truven Health 15 Top Health Systems study evaluates performance in key performance eight areas: mortality, medical complications, patient safety, average length of stay, 30-day mortality rate, 30-day readmission rate and patient surveys. The study has been conducted annually for the past six years.

     “What is so exciting about this recognition is that this is reflective of the efforts we focus on across the system in improving the health of people in our region,” St. Luke’s Health System CEO Dr. David Pate said.

     More information on the study and other 100 Top Hospitals research is available at www.100tophospitals.com.

 

Ketchum to spot-spray noxious weeds

     The city of Ketchum began spot-spraying noxious weeds in city rights-of-way with low-toxicity herbicide on April 21.

     The city will spray only specific weeds identified by the state of Idaho as “noxious.” No entire rights-of-way will be sprayed and notices will be placed in affected areas 72 hours in advance, said Juerg Stauffacher, parks and natural resources superintendent.

     It is safe for humans and animals to come in contact with the spray as soon as it is dry, Stauffacher said. However, signs will be posted suggesting that people avoid the weeds for 72 hours after spraying. A special dye will allow people to see sprayed weeds easily, he said.

     Residents who prefer to pull noxious weeds adjacent to their properties by hand may do so by notifying the city parks superintendent at 726-7820.

     Spot-spraying will continue throughout the summer as required, Stauffacher said.

 

Dairy farmers want to fight challenge of ‘ag gag’ law

     BOISE (AP)—The Idaho Dairymen’s Association is asking a federal judge to intervene in a lawsuit challenging a new law that makes it illegal to secretly film animal abuse at agricultural facilities.

     The industry group filed a motion to become a defendant in the lawsuit late last week.

     A coalition of animal activists, civil rights groups and media organizations sued the state last month, asking U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill to strike down what they call an “ag gag” law. The coalition contends that the law curtails freedom of speech and makes gathering proof of animal abuse a crime with a harsher punishment than the penalty for animal cruelty itself.

     Proponents of the law say it prevents animal rights groups from unfairly targeting agricultural businesses.




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