The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 1,429 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 104,734. Of those, health officials continue to monitor an estimated 61,905 active cases.
For the second day in a row, the state's COVID-19 death toll has risen by 31, now to 991. The most coronavirus deaths the state has ever reported in a single day is 35.
The state counted an additional 21 confirmed and three probable cases among Blaine County residents today, raising those totals to 1,229 and 92, respectively. Of those, the South Central Public Health District was monitoring 239 active cases as of last night, though the district has not yet updated that data today.
Keep reading for the latest on the Harriman Hotel development, the Idaho Power transmission line undergrounding debate, Hailey’s distribution of CARES Act money and more top news from Wednesday, Dec. 2.
• Harriman Hotel LLC, the group behind a stalled luxury hotel at the southern entrance of Ketchum, has submitted a tort claim with the city seeking $100 million in damages. The project, headed by Ketchum developer Jack Bariteau, has seen financing come and go since its initial excavation in 2016. Today, it's little more than the foundational pit dug four years ago--though the plan has become a perennial subject of debate in city hall during the intervening years.
• The Hailey City Council voted unanimously to launch a new municipal grant program that will distribute up to $200,000 of federal CARES Act money to Hailey businesses to cover COVID-19-related expenses incurred between June 20 and Dec. 30. Not every business will qualify, however.
• Blaine County Commissioners are tentatively pursuing a partial undergrounding of an Idaho Power redundant transmission line along state Highway 75. This marks the latest chapter in a years-long debate over the power line and its potential impact on the views along the highway.
• Sun Valley Resort kicked off its 85th winter season on Thanksgiving, and praised skiers and staff for adhering to the resort’s several new coronavirus mitigation measures, including mandatory mask wearing and social distancing.
• While officials in Blaine County respond to the rise of COVID-19 cases and deaths with mask mandates and other restrictions, elected leaders in Lincoln County—Blaine’s neighbor to the south and home to a number of Wood River Valley commuters—are taking a different approach. The county’s only practicing physician, though, disagrees with their methods.
For more local and regional news, pick up a copy of today’s Idaho Mountain Express, or visit mtexpress.com at any time.