Sun Valley Road

Extreme windy conditions persist throughout much of Blaine County, where today the National Weather Service and the County Sheriff's Office advised drivers take extra care on the roads.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 559 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide over the weekend, raising the total to 179,763. Of those, an estimated 100,522 have recovered.

The state coronavirus-related death toll rose by three since Friday to 1,957.

Blaine County gained 12 confirmed and two probable cases over the weekend, leaving local totals at 2,041 confirmed and 211 probable. The South Central Public Health District continues to monitor 43 cases in Blaine County.

A total of 266,687 Idahoans are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A further 159,758 state residents have received the first dose of a two dose vaccine and await their second. In Blaine County, those numbers are 5,953 and 3,546, respectively.

County Prosecutor Matt Fredback released a statement today confirming that Jared Murphy killed Ashley Midby and himself in a murder-suicide in Bellevue last October. Read on for more details and other news from Monday, March 29.

• Following a report from Idaho State Police investigators, the Blaine County Prosecutor has concluded his review of the October deaths of Bellevue residents Jared Murphy and Ashley Midby, determining that Murphy perpetrated the confirmed murder-suicide, killing Midby and then taking his own life.

Read more here.

• As of today, Idahoans aged 16-44 with a medical condition now qualify to receive COVID-19 vaccination. In a week from today, on April 5, all state residents 16 and older will be eligible to receive a vaccine.

Greg Foley has the details.

• The Blaine County School District Board of Trustees will meet tomorrow to discuss the possibility of returning middle and high school students to a five day school week. Two weeks ago, the school board voted to return elementary students to that fully in-person learning model. Older students are currently attending the classroom four days a week.

Gretel Kauffman reports.

• Gusts topped 50 miles per hour overnight, and heavy winds have continued throughout the day, especially in southern Blaine County, where a National Weather Service wind advisory remained in effect for most of the day.

Emily Jones has more here.

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