Clean Sweep

Ketchum residents Martha Pendel and Cal Hebert joined in the Environmental Resource Center's Clean Sweep this weekend, helping to clean up litter before the snow buries it. "Idaho is too great to litter," Cal said.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 882 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 60,923. Of those, 31,785—more than half—are considered active cases. Health officials consider coronavirus a contributing factor in 585 total deaths, five more than yesterday.

The state counted another three confirmed and one probable case among Blaine County residents today, leaving those totals at 823 and 42, respectively. As of last night, the South Central Public Health District was monitoring 108 active cases in Blaine County.

Keep reading for updates on a missing hiker, Hailey’s health order and more top news from Tuesday, Oct. 27.

• The search for missing hiker Fern Baird is ongoing, according to the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office. Baird was last seen on Oct. 19 after signing in at the Prairie Creek trailhead north of Ketchum around 1 p.m. According to Chief Deputy Will Fruehling, wintry conditions hampered weekend search operations, as higher elevations in the area accrued four inches of snow. So far, Fruehling said, officers “haven’t found any sign of her,” but they’re “not ready to give up yet.”

• The Hailey City Council held a meeting last night to review its recently revised health order and seek public comment. Mayor Martha Burke scheduled the hearing after several business owners expressed displeasure with the new order, which requires them to enforce strict capacity limitations and face covering requirements. Burke asked to hear comments from business owners who disagreed with the capacity restrictions, but no one spoke up. Without sufficient comment from business owners, the council decided to maintain the health order as is. Councilmembers will again review the order on Nov. 9.

• Idaho Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo joined nearly their entire party to confirm President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, on Monday. Both Crapo and Risch, who are Republicans, praised Barrett’s legal acumen and qualifications. Risch’s opponent in next week’s election, Democrat Paulette Jordan, disagreed.

• Health officials confirmed Blaine County’s seventh COVID-19-related death last week. County Coroner Russ Mikel shared with the Express that the patient was a Ketchum man in his sixties, and he had no identifiable comorbidity conditions. Further details of his identity will not be shared for privacy reasons.

• Three bull moose were illegally killed in Idaho in October, the state Department of Fish and Game reported. One was poached west of Smiths Ferry. The other two were accidentally killed by hunters in separate incidents in Valley County. The hunters mistook the animals for elk.

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

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