Blaine County

Rachel Cohen/Boise State Public Radio

At a second public hearing on Tuesday, Blaine County Commissioners voted unanimously to move forward with a lawsuit against the Flying Heart Ranch homeowners for restricting access to the Big Wood River. This decision comes after an unsuccessful attempt to resolve parking issues with the HOA.

 

thehungercoalition.org

St. Luke's is partnering with the Hunger Coalition to alleviate instances of food poverty in the Wood River Valley. Idaho Matters talks with Erin Pfaeffle, director of community engagement with St. Luke's and Jeanne Liston, executive director of the Hunger Coalition about these efforts. 

Camp Rainbow Gold

Camp Rainbow Gold, a rustic retreat for young cancer patients, has found a permanent home in Camas County near Fairfield.

The camp is putting down roots in Camas County after a long and complicated effort to secure a site in Blaine County near the Big Wood River. The camp pursued a 260 acre site there – the Camas County location the camp will set up shop at is 172 acres.


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is out with a report examining health in the Gem State. It ranks Idaho’s 44 counties on a variety of factors centering on wellness. Ada, Blaine and Latah Counties are the three overall healthiest. The Treasure Valley’s Canyon County comes in at seventeen.

According to the report, the rankings are intended to help local governments understand what things effect healthy residents and how long people will live.

Indiana Stan / Flickr

A proposal at the statehouse that would have banned municipalities from instituting their own local bans on using cell phones while driving failed to get traction. The legislation’s defeat sets the stage for Pocatello’s prohibition on handheld devices going into effect.

Tyler Jones / Florida Sea Grant

Rain and melting snow has lead to washed out roads and significant repair bills in south central and eastern Idaho.

Blaine County Sheriff / Facebook

After last year’s historic flooding in the Wood River Valley, Blaine County Commissioners are weighing plans to alter the river and restore it to a more natural state.

Camp Rainbow Gold

An Idaho camp for kids with cancer was dealt another setback last week. The Blaine County Commission voted against a proposal last Tuesday that would allow Camp Rainbow Gold to build a permanent location in the Wood River Valley. The camp currently leases space each summer from Cathedral Pines, a Baptist camp in the area.

Camp Rainbow Gold

A nonprofit organization that serves children with cancer was denied the opportunity to develop a camp in Idaho.

Keith Kohl / Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP

Blaine County is attempting to address an issue that plagued the Wood River Valley last winter: feeding elk. County commissioners are looking into an ordinance revising the county's position on private citizens giving food to big game.


Blaine County Sheriff / Facebook

The Big Wood River again rose above flood stage this week. It’s the fifth time since early May. Damage assessments from the devastating flood season are finally set to get underway.

State and federal emergency management officials will meet with county and city leaders in the Wood River Valley the week of June 26 to examine the toll spring flooding took on infrastructure in the region.

Blaine County Sheriff / Facebook

Officials in Blaine County are telling residents water levels in the Big Wood River will rise again.  

Cooler temperatures and a momentary reprieve from flooding in the Wood River Valley are being called “the eye of the hurricane.” Speaking to a group at the Community Campus, Hailey City Councilman Don Keirn invoked the imagery while reminding people there's still plenty of snow yet to melt in the mountains.

Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Wood River Valley residents continued to battle floodwaters over the weekend. Officials distributed sandbags as worried residents moved to fortify their homes throughout Blaine County. 

The Big Wood River continued to rush along at flood-level stages. The river hit a peak level on Friday night, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began reinforcing the Broadford levee in Bellevue. On Saturday, Governor Butch Otter arrived in Hailey to meet with local officials.

Each day, librarian Randy Kemp has seen Warm Springs Creek rise and rise by his Ketchum home.

City of Ketchum

Officials in central Idaho have expanded a flood evacuation order to include about two dozen homes near the resort town of Ketchum.

Blaine County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Holly Carter said the homes are all in a narrow canyon west of town that runs along Warm Springs Creek. Cater says rapid spring runoff and the swollen creek waters have made it impossible to keep the road maintained enough for emergency vehicles to reliably reach the homes.

Idaho Fish and Game

After an emergency declaration was issued for Blaine County Monday by Lt. Gov. Brad Little, the Army Corps of Engineers say they're sending a small group to the region to help with flooding.

The Corps is sending a three person crew to assess flood risks to public infrastructure and help Blaine County emergency management staff. Members of the Army Corps team are experts in both hydraulic and civil engineering. Another task the group will assist with is coming up with contingency plans should a worst case scenario unfold.

Blaine County Suing Errant Elk Feeders

Mar 3, 2017
Cathy / Flickr Creative Commons

As residents of a subdivision in Blaine County continue feeding elk, the county is taking them to court over the rule violations.

A herd of around 70 elk descended on the Golden Eagle Ranch development north of Hailey in December. Driven to lower elevations by the harsh winter weather, the residents of the development said the animals were eating everything from patio furniture to decorative wreaths.

After hearing about increased emergency feeding efforts on the part of Idaho Fish and Game, some residents of the subdivision started feeding the animals.

Camp Rainbow Gold

Camp Rainbow Gold serves kids and families struggling with cancer in Idaho. Currently, the nonprofit leases from two private camps in the Sawtooth Mountains, and camp officials want to build a permanent location near Ketchum to increase the number of kids who can attend.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

A former sheriff's deputy in central Idaho accused of stealing from a police program intended to create positive relationships with local youths has been charged with six counts of felony misuse of public funds by a public employee.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that 40-year-old Chad R. Schiermeier was charged Monday in 5th District Court.

Authorities say Schiermeier stole money from the Blaine County Sheriff's Department on several occasions between 2009 and 2015.

DieselDemon / Flickr Creative Commons

The mayor of the central Idaho town of Hailey says the county's commissioners are obstructing efforts to move the local airport out of the community by refusing to rezone potential replacement sites.

Mayor Fritz Haemmerle says business interests want a close-by airport and are influencing Blaine County commissioners into keeping the current airport and potentially expanding it.

Dave Siddoway / Flickr Creative Commons

More than a dozen elk have died this winter in the Wood River Valley. Biologists think the animals have eaten ornamental yew, a non-native shrub some people have planted in their yards. The bright green plants can be shaped into those intricate topiaries you see in English or Japanese gardens.

Laura Taylor / Flickr Creative Commons

Imagine you’re a parent and your teenager says ‘I want to have a party and I want to serve alcohol.’ Many parents would answer, not just 'no,' but 'hell no.'

But Blaine County’s sheriff says his officers are called to parent-supervised teen keggers a couple times a year. If the adults supplied booze the officers can write a ticket. Sheriff Gene Ramsey wants to be able to cite parents just for knowing about the drinking.

bannokcountymosquito.com

Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare has confirmed the state’s first human case of West Nile virus of 2014. A Blaine County woman in her 20s is recovering from a virus-induced fever. Eight other Idaho counties have found West Nile in mosquitoes this summer, but the Blaine County case is the first confirmed human infection.

Last year, 40 known people in Idaho contracted West Nile and two died. A 2006 outbreak saw nearly 1,000 cases and 23 deaths in Idaho.

Authorities in central Idaho are testing a bat for rabies after it bit a 6-year-old girl.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports the bite occurred Friday while the girl played in her grandmother's yard.

Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey says the grandmother captured the bat and took the girl for treatment at an area hospital.Ramsey says the girl received antibiotics but he's not sure if rabies shots have been started.

He tells the newspaper that medical officials usually wait until they test the animal that made the bite to see if it has rabies.

Blaine County commissioners in central Idaho plan to finalize a resolution supporting a central Idaho national monument by Tuesday.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that commissioners set that date so Commission Chair Larry Schoen can hand deliver the resolution backing a Boulder-White Clouds National Monument in person when he visits Washington, D.C., for a conference in early March.

Transportation, megaload
Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A shipment of nearly a million pounds of oil field equipment resumed its drive Tuesday night toward Canada. The load had been stopped for the past week by bad weather in eastern Oregon.

A spokeswoman for the company in charge of the shipment, Omega Morgan, says the "megaload" started moving again around 10 p.m.  Holly Zander says crews pulled the equipment about 50 miles along Highway 395 before stopping around 4 a.m.

Omega Morgan is expected to be issued the necessary permits to move the load through southern Idaho.

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