The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported an even 500 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 for the state today. That would have been a joint-record single-day increase with Friday’s numbers had Saturday’s rise not surpassed both with a whopping 577. That leaves the statewide total of 11,402, an increase of 1,474 new cases since Friday. Over the weekend, one more person died with the virus, leaving Idaho’s death toll at 102. As of Monday evening, 3,262 people have recovered, according to the state.
The weekend saw four new confirmed cases among Blaine County residents, leaving local totals at 538 confirmed and 13 probable. Every other county in the South Central Public Health District except Camas County (which still only has one case total since March) also saw their numbers increase of the weekend.
Locally, the only coronavirus news comes from Bellevue, but bears, helicopters and construction crews keep the north busy. Read on for the top news stories from Monday, July 13.
• The Bellevue City Council is meeting tonight to review a plan to seek state COVID-19 relief funding to cover 10 months of payroll for public safety employees. There's a tradeoff tied to the money, though. In exchange, the city would agree to waive its typical 3 percent increase on property taxes in 2021.
• The Ketchum Planning & Zoning Commission is also meeting tonight, reviewing a number action items. The most notable of the five on tonight’s agenda is a proposal for a two-story mixed-use building on the corner of Fourth Street and Walnut Avenue. The space is currently occupied by three buildings, including Maude’s Coffee and Clothes, Premier Cleaners and a multi-use office building.
• The federal government has withdrawn legal claims made against Sawtooth Mountain Ranch owners David Boren and Lynne Arnone after a low-flying helicopter allegedly harassed U.S. Forest Service trail crews. The injunction was dropped after the helicopter pilot, Boren’s brother Michael Boren, filed a statement in court saying that he did not intend to harass the crew and will not fly over the site again.
• The Sawtooth National Recreation Area has decreed that campers and day users alike must store attractants in locked cars or bear-proof containers to prevent bears from becoming nuisance animals. Violating the order is punishable with a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual and twice that for an organization.
According to SNRA Ranger Kirk Flannigan, the food storage order will prevent unnecessary harm to both bears and people.
• The Sun Valley Museum of Art's annual Wine Auction begins on Wednesday. The event is a major fundraiser for SVMoA, and will carry on digitally this year. Click here to learn how to take part.
For more top news stories, visit mtexpress.com at any time or look for a copy of Wednesday’s Idaho Mountain Express.