Wednesday, October 2, 2013

NEWS BRIEFS


Festival to honor Pete Cenarrusa
    The annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival will honor longtime public servant Pete Cenarrusa, who died Sunday in Boise.
    “Pete has been a loyal friend of the festival since its beginning as a widely respected and beloved sheepman and a generous spokesperson for the Basque community,” said festival board president, sheep rancher and friend John Peavey. “He has also been one of Idaho’s greatest statesmen for over five decades. “His knowledge and wisdom of the history of sheep ranching and the amazing men and women it produced was unsurpassed. Pete will be greatly missed every day.”
    The festival board and organizers are planning a tribute to Cenarrusa during the upcoming festival parade on Sunday, Oct. 13.
    “A horse with an empty saddle will lead the parade and a moment of silence will be observed as the horse passes,” said Mary Austin Crofts, executive director of the festival.

Wake Up Hailey set for Oct. 8
    The Hailey Chamber of Commerce will host the monthly Wake up Hailey event from 9-10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, at Hailey Coffee Co., located at 219 S. Main St., in Hailey. Visit proprietor Carrie Morgridge and her staff at the coffee shop, hear the latest updates of events in Hailey, network with fellow community members and enjoy refreshments and light breakfast fare.
    For more information, call the Hailey Chamber at 788-3484.

Intermountain Gas to raise rates
    For the first time in five years, customers of Intermountain Gas Co. will see an increase in the rates they pay for natural gas.
    The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has approved the company’s application to increase rates an average 4.15 percent effective Oct. 1. For a customer who uses natural gas for space and water heating, the increase is about $1.85 per month. For customers who use natural gas for space heating only, the average monthly increase is 68 cents. For commercial customers, the increase is about $14.18 per month.
    The money Intermountain Gas collects for the surcharge can go only toward meeting gas supply and related expense. The surcharge does not increase company earnings.
    “The increase this year is primarily due to an increase in transportation costs billed the company by the Northwest Pipeline and an increase in the weighted average cost of gas,” a news release from the commission states. “Recent improvements in the economy and increased use of natural gas-fired electric generation have increased demand and driven up costs for natural gas, despite increased production from shale gas reserves.”
    Intermountain Gas serves about 320,000 customers in 74 communities throughout southern Idaho. 

AG to discuss public records law
    Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Idahoans for Openness in Government, with the Idaho Mountain Express, will  host a workshop on Idaho’s Open Meeting Law and Public Records Law Monday, Oct. 14, in Hailey. The event  will run from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Old Blaine County Courthouse, 201 Second Ave. S.
     The workshop is free and is designed to educate local government officials, journalists and the public. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP.
    Call 726-8060, ext. 117 or email akindred@mtexpress.com to sign up for the event.

Idaho jobless payouts drop
    The Idaho Department of Labor paid just over $1.5 million in regular unemployment benefits during the final full week of September, $10,000 less than was paid during the same week in 2007.
    It was the first week in six years that the regular benefit payout was below pre-recession levels.
    Just under 6,100 workers received benefit payments during the week, only 30 more than in the same week in 2007.
    Regular state unemployment benefits are the basic insurance payments to idled workers. Federal extended benefits are paid after a worker has exhausted the state benefit allotment. Those federal payments totaled $595,200 to 2,600 workers during the week.
    There were no federal extended benefits in 2007. Extended benefits expire at the end of 2013.
    The average weekly benefit was $248 compared to $250 during the final week of September in 2007.
    Compared to 2012, the total payout for the week was down 21 percent, and the number of claims paid was 24 percent lower.

Chamber to unveil new sports store
    The Hailey Chamber of Commerce will host a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at Baldy Sports from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3.  Baldy Sports is located at 312 S. Main St., Suite. B, in Hailey.
    Baldy Sports is a new and used sporting goods store owned by Sondra Van Ert and Aaron Blaker. The store will buy, trade or consign lightly used gear.
    The event will offer beverages and hors d’oeuvres. For more information, call 788-3484.

Sustain Blaine to host conference
    The business advocacy group Sustain Blaine will host an economic summit Tuesday, Oct. 8, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Limelight Room of the Sun Valley Inn. The conference will examine what defines the region’s quality of place, and how the community can measure, improve and market its assets in order to promote a healthy and sustainable economy.  
    The keynote presentation will be by Michael H Shuman, author of “Think Local, Invest Local.”
     A cocktail reception will follow from 5-7 p.m. in the Lobby Lounge of the Sun Valley Inn. Admission is $45 (includes lunch). Visit www.sustainblaine.com/summit for an agenda and to register.

Volunteers sought for yard cleanup
    The Sawtooth Botanical Garden and the Senior Connection will be partnering for the third consecutive year of Growing and Giving, an event to provide free fall lawn cleanup to community members in need. 
    The event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19, from 9 a.m. to noon. The organizations hope to provide the service for at least eight residences chosen by the Senior Connection. Volunteers are needed. Each team of volunteers will be led by a professional landscaping crew. Crews will be raking, pruning and planting a few spring bulbs.
    Lunch will be served by the staff of the Sawtooth Botanical Garden, at the garden, after the event for all volunteers and participants. Those interested in volunteering for Growing and Giving should contact Stephanie McCord at 720-2867 or 726-9358.

F&G Commission to discuss elk hunt change
    The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet via a telephone conference call at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, to discuss a boundary expansion of elk Controlled Hunt Area 48-3, which was affected by the Beaver Creek Fire west of the Wood River Valley.
    The call is an open public meeting and will originate from Fish and Game headquarters at 600 S. Walnut St. in Boise.
    Individuals with disabilities can request meeting accommodations by contacting the director’s office at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (208) 334‑5159 or through the Idaho Relay Service at (800) 377‑2529 (TDD).

Learn about combating stress
    St. Luke’s is offering a free, four-week series designed to provide individuals with research-supported tools to identify and conquer even the most subtle signs of stress, understand and reverse the effects of stress on relationships, cultivate effective relaxation strategies, and achieve a long-term plan for more life balance.
    The remaining sessions will be on Tuesdays, Oct. 8, 15, and 22, from noon to 1 p.m. in the River Run rooms at St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center.
    Call St. Luke’s Center for Community Health for information on this or other educational programs at 727-8733.




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