Giant Silver Monster

Visitors to the Sun Valley Resort on Saturday faced an unexpected sight: this giant, silver ice skater. The pictured children appear understandably cautious, but in actuality the figure was Portland resident Anthony Darnel, entertaining people on his way to the ice rink.

Idaho gained another 704 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 since Friday, including 221 today. That brings the total to 32,088. Over the weekend, the state counted another eight coronavirus-related deaths, raising that total to 361.

The state confirmed five new cases among Blaine County residents since Friday, including one today, leaving local totals at 588 confirmed and 18 probable.

With no nearby wildfires, hazardous clouds of spoke or major local spikes in coronavirus, today’s news is largely community-focused. Hailey gears up for a new downtown mural, the county commissioners continue discussing an underground transmission line and Mountain Rides makes headway in its pursuit of zero emission e-buses. Read on for more on those and other news from Monday, Aug. 31.

• A new environmentally themed mural will go up on the side of Jane’s Artifacts on Main Street in Hailey over Labor Day weekend. The project represents a collaboration between the Wood River High School W.A.T.E.R. Club, Hailey Climate Action Coalition and Jane’s Artifacts owner Jane Drussel. Students presented their proposal at last week’s Hailey City Council meeting where they received strong support from the council.

• The Blaine County Commissioners will host two stakeholder meetings on a proposed underground Idaho Power line. The first of these meetings will take place Sept. 3 and the second will follow a week later. Though the public is encouraged to attend both virtually, public comment will only be taken at the latter.

The meetings continue a years-long discussion of a 9-mile transmission line set to run parallel to state Highway 75 between Hailey and Ketchum.

• Mountain Rides Transportation Authority has acquired 0.75 acres in Bellevue to house eight battery-powered electric buses. The move comes as the latest step in Mountain Rides’ path to transitioning its entire bus fleet to the more ecofriendly e-bus option in the years to come.

• Though the forecast predicts temperatures in the mid-80s later this week, the National Weather Service has warned of a cold snap in the early hours of Tuesday morning. According to the NWS, Ketchum has a “100 percent” chance of frost between 5 and 8 a.m., potentially harming summer vegetation. Up in Stanley, the projected low is 22 degrees.

• Once it warms back up, pedestrians and cyclists may be tempted to return to the Blaine County Recreation District’s Wood River Trail bike path. Those recreationalists should be aware that between today and Friday this week, the BCRD will be conducting seal coating on the trail between Fox Acres Road and Ohio Gulch.

• In honor of the centennial of the ratification of the 19th amendment, our reporter Gretel Kauffman has been catching up with local female politicians to hear their takes on this momentous anniversary.

For more local and regional news, visit mtexpress.com at any time or look for a copy of Wednesday’s Idaho Mountain Express.

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