Fairfield Inn Ribbon Cutting

After a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning, the new Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites in Hailey officially opened for business. Owner Rusty Landon spoke to the crowd at the ceremony, thanking the city of Hailey, the builders, the hotel staff and management.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 1,085 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide, raising the total to 148,258. Of those, health officials continue to monitor an estimated 82,197 active cases.

The state counted another six coronavirus-related deaths today, raising Idaho's death toll to 1,523.

Locally, Blaine County gained 10 confirmed and three probable cases today, according to the state, raising its totals to 1,474 confirmed and 131 probable. Based on the most recent available data, the South Central Public Health District is monitoring 184 active cases in Blaine County.

As of Friday evening, 28,194 doses of vaccine had been administered among 26,806 different Idahoans.

Keep reading for Idaho congressmen’s responses to Wednesday’s events at the U.S. Capitol, Rep. Muffy Davis’ lawsuit against the Idaho State Legislature, Blaine County’s COVID-19 risk, and more top news from Friday, Jan. 8.

• All four of Idaho’s congressional condemned the actions of the riotous mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday, delaying the certification of the results of the presidential election. Sen. Mike Crapo described the events as “wholly unacceptable.” He, Rep. Mike Simpson and Sen. Jim Risch, all Republicans, voted to certify the election results, finalizing President-elect Joe Biden's win. Fellow Republican Rep. Russ Fulcher filed an objection.

• Meanwhile, at the State Capitol, Rep. Muffy Davis, D-Ketchum, joined Rep. Sue Chew, D-Boise, in filing a lawsuit against the Idaho State Legislature and House Speaker Scott Bedke, asking to work remotely during the upcoming 2021 legislative session and use a self-contained office in light of the health risks of COVID-19. Davis, a paraplegic who uses a wheelchair, told the Express she filed suit after she reached out to House leadership multiple times, including via an official Americans with Disabilities Act request, but received no response.

• After a week in the “moderate” risk category on its own COVID-19 risk assessment scale, Blaine County has moved back into the “high” risk category, based on data from Dec. 27 to Jan. 2.

• The Idaho Transportation Department is moving forward with a plan to transfer ownership of a 3.6-mile stretch of Sun Valley Road to the cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley, with the eventual goal of bringing multi-million-dollar repairs to the high-profile street. ITD will take public comment toward the end of the month.

• Beginning Monday, Jan. 11, the Idaho Mountain Express will require subscriptions to read most of its online material. Readers will be able to access five free stories a month, and some areas of the website—including breaking news, COVID-19 updates (such as this Roundup) and obituaries—will remain free. The Express Board of Directors made this decision in response to technological changes and high demand for local news, according to Publisher Pam Morris. The print paper will remain free.

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

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