River Street Apartments

Construction crews continue to make progress on the several new affordable housing developments in Hailey, even through the recent snowfall.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 1,084 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, but the agency has not updated totals today, observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As of last night, the total case count for the state was 155,554. Of those, officials were monitoring an estimated 82,573 active cases.

The state counted four more coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday and Sunday, raising the death toll to 1,607.

Blaine County gained 25 confirmed cases over the weekend, raising local totals to 1,572 confirmed and 153 probable. Based on the most recent available data, the South Central Public Health District is monitoring 265 active cases in Blaine County.

So far, 50,552 Idahoans have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Of those, 10,166 people have received both doses, according to the state.

As more and more Idahoans receive their second dose of vaccine, the Department of Health and Welfare announced in a Friday news release that it anticipated a 2-5 percent increase in weekly COVID-19 vaccine doses in the coming weeks, amounting to about 950 extra doses each week.

Keep reading for updates on students returning to school, efforts to preserve historic buildings in Ketchum, the “State of the Valley,” and more top news from Monday, Jan. 18.

• The Blaine County School District Board of Trustees is meeting Tuesday night to discuss the possibility of students returning to the classroom full-time in February. A recent report by the acting superintendent and area principals showed that the majority of principals favor maintaining the current hybrid model until school staff have been vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the district announced today that the board is ready to vote to approve a contract for the appointment of a new superintendent on Thursday.

Gretel Kauffman has more here.

• The Ketchum City Council voted unanimously to approve an interim, one-year ordinance to protect historically and culturally significant buildings in the city. The city will now establish a Historic Preservation Commission and begin drafting a more detailed, permanent ordinance.

Greg Foley reports.

• The Hailey City Council gave the go-ahead to Hailey’s first ever “Snow Art” outdoor ice-carving festival, set to take place outside City Hall in early February.

Click here for details.

• The Wood River Women’s Foundation held its annual “State of the Valley” forum at The Community Library last week. Panelists addressed some of the most pressing issues facing the valley as Blaine County gradually approaches the post-pandemic world.

Emily Jones recaps the forum here.

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

Editor's note: The cutline for the photo initially misidentified the pictured building as the Silver River development on River Street in Hailey. The cutline has been amended.

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