Blackbird Broadford

Clear blue skies complemented this blackbird nicely last weekend over Broadford Road in Hailey. Though the forecast calls for some clouds this weekend, temperatures are supposed to be much warmer, with a high of 68 predicted for Hailey on Saturday.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 284 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 181,181. Of those, an estimated 101,274 have recovered.

The department reported three new coronavirus-related deaths today. The death toll is now 1,966.

Blaine County gained two new confirmed and two probable cases today, leaving local totals at 2,055 confirmed and 217 probable. The South Central Public Health District continues to monitor 43 cases in Blaine County.

A total of 298,650 Idahoans are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A further 167,734 state residents have received the first dose of a two dose vaccine and await their second.

Keep reading for news of Sun Valley’s extended mask order, the new principal of Wood River Middle School, planned improvements to Sun Valley’s roads and paths, and more news from Friday, April 2.

• The Sun Valley City Council voted unanimously last night to extend the city’s mask-wearing order through the end of June. Though Mayor Peter Hendricks noted that more than 50% of Blaine County’s adult population has now received at least one vaccine dose, Councilwoman Jane Conard expressed concern over the area’s itinerant tourist population.

Greg Foley reports.

• In case you missed it earlier in the week, the Blaine County School District narrowly voted against restoring middle and high schools to a pre-pandemic five-day-a-week in-person learning model.

Learn more here.

• In other school news, the district confirmed that Wood River Middle School Interim Principal Robert Ditch will assume the role permanently. Ditch has served as the school’s vice principal for 11 years, and took the interim position after Principal Fritz Peters was named interim superintendent. Peters plans to retire when new superintendent Jim Foudy takes over in July.

Gretel Kauffman has the details.

• The city of Sun Valley is preparing to move forward on more road and path work later this year. This is the fourth year of a five-year program to improve city roads and paved paths, funded by a $17.5 million bond measure approved by voters in 2017.

Click here for more information.

• A group of UCLA student researchers visited the Wood River Valley last week to study the unique Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve, which includes Sun Valley, Ketchum, Stanley and much of the Sawtooth National Forest. Express reporter Emily Jones caught up with them to discuss their research, light pollution and the majesty of the night sky.

Read the full story here.

For more local and regional news, pick up a free copy of today’s Idaho Mountain Express, or visit at any time.

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