Snowplow Galena 75

Despite recent snowfall, much of Blaine County and the surrounding area is currently under "extreme" drought conditions, possibly foreboding of a dry spring. Read below for more on that.

Another Blaine County resident has died of COVID-19, one of three coronavirus-related deaths statewide today, according to the state Department of Health and Welfare. To date, 1,806 Idahoans have died of the virus, including 16 in Blaine County. 

The latest death was a woman in her 90s, Brianna Bodily, spokeswoman for the South Central Public Health District, told the Express. She was in a long-term care facility, Bodily said, though it isn't known whether she had underlying conditions, or if she was hospitalized before her death.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 462 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 167,945. Of those, an estimated 90,300 have recovered.

Since the health department last updated its COVID-19 dashboard on Saturday, Blaine County has gained 13 confirmed and five probable cases, leaving those totals at 1,922 confirmed and 202 probable. The Health District is monitoring 402 cases in Blaine County.

To date, 67,723 Idahoans have received both doses of coronavirus vaccine and a further 123,978 have received one dose and are awaiting their second.

Keep reading for news of drought conditions in Blaine County, Senators Risch and Crapo weighing in on the impeachment verdict, BCSD’s discussion of in-person learning and more top news from Tuesday, Feb. 16.

• Idaho Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo both voted against convicting former President Donald Trump during the weekend’s impeachment trial. Crapo described the impeachment effort as “unconstitutional,” and Risch explained that with Trump no longer in office, the Senate had “no jurisdiction over a private citizen.”

Gretel Kauffman reports.

• The National Integrated Drought Information System signaled “extreme” drought conditions across northern Blaine County, despite recent snowfall. These conditions could indicate a drier spring with below-average runoff.

Emily Jones has the details.

• The city of Shoshone has disbanded its police department and laid off all its officers, citing staffing issues and recent challenges in covering shifts. From now on, Shoshone will contract with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement.

Read more here.

• Idaho’s state health insurance exchange will open for a special enrollment period in March in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The enrollment period will allow uninsured Idahoans to sign up for health insurance coverage.

Learn more here.

• A reminder that the Blaine County School District Board of Trustees is meeting tonight to discuss the possibility of increasing in-person learning for middle and high school students.

Click here for details.

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

Load comments