Peace Banner Hailey

In a telltale sign of the season, a "Peace" banner hangs across Main Street in Hailey. Locals prepare for an unusual holiday as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to surge. Read on for more on that. 

Another Blaine County resident has died of COVID-19-related illness, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The local death toll is now 10, including three this month.

Over the weekend, the state counted another 18 confirmed and three probable cases among Blaine County residents, raising local totals to 1,371 confirmed and 114 probable. As of the most recent available data, the South Central Public Health District was monitoring 251 active cases in Blaine County.

Idaho gained 2,607 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus statewide over the weekend, including 1,038 today, according to the state Department of Health and Welfare. Today's rise leaves the total since March at 122,217, of which health officials continue to monitor an estimated 73,526 active cases.

State health officials considered the virus a factor in the deaths of 42 Idahoans since Friday, raising the death toll to 1,194.

Keep reading for updates on the BCSD superintendent search, tonight’s Hailey and Bellevue City Council meetings, proposed traffic changes to Ketchum and more news from Monday, Dec. 14.

• After an initial round of interviews last week, the Blaine County School District has narrowed its search for a new superintendent down to just two candidates: James Foudy, current superintendent of the McCall-Donnelly School District in McCall; and Heather Sanchez, Executive Director of Schools for Washington’s Bellevue School District. Both candidates will visit Blaine County in January to meet with the community and BCSD staff.

• The Hailey City Council will meet tonight in part to discuss the distribution $200,000 in small business grants. So far, the city has received 31 grant applications, more than 25 percent of which are from restaurants.

• The Bellevue City Council is also meeting tonight. Agenda items include the audit report for the 2020 fiscal year, final plat discussion for the Strahorn subdivision and more.

• The city of Ketchum is seeking public comments on a draft transportation master plan, which recommends improvements to roadways, intersections and bicycle travel to be rolled out over the next 20 years. Among the recommendations are a potential reconfiguration of Main Street and the introduction of a “dog bone” roundabout on Warm Springs Road.

• Tomorrow night is the deadline to enroll in 2021 health-insurance coverage through Your Health Idaho, the state insurance exchange.

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

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