Blaine County

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.

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.

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