10:07 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Smith Optics' Departure From Central Idaho Will Have Economic Ripple Effect

Credit Manoosh26 / Flickr Creative Commons

The Wood River Valley is bracing for the loss of one of its largest employers. Ski equipment maker Smith Optics is one of the area’s top 10 employers and one of the biggest private-sector employers, according Harry Griffith, director of Sun Valley Economic Development - a nonprofit focused on the Blaine County economy.

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9:55 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Ski Goggle Maker Smith Optics Is Leaving Idaho, Taking With It 85 Jobs

Credit talksrealfast / Flickr Creative Commons

A central Idaho company whose founder invented the double-lensed, vented ski goggle that is now the industry standard is moving operations and 85 jobs out of the resort town of Ketchum.

Smith Optics announced Monday that its design headquarters will move to Portland, Oregon, during the first half of 2015.

Other parts of the company are moving to Clearfield, Utah, or Parsippany, New Jersey, over the next three years.

Robert Earl "Bob" Smith came up with the double-lens goggles in the 1960s and patented his invention. He died in 2012 at age 78

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10:34 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Ketchum Says Idaho's Wolf Management Policies Hurting Tourism


The resort town of Ketchum, Idaho, is asking the state to back off on killing wolves. They say it’s bad for business.

The Ketchum City Council passed a resolution Monday night urging wildlife managers to use non-lethal tactics to control the wolf population.

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1:28 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

How Saving One Small Town Idaho Bookstore Might Hurt Another

Credit Kate Ter Haar / Flickr Creative Commons

A Ketchum bookstore will stay in business thanks to donations from its community. Last month, we told you ago about Iconoclast Books owner Sarah Hedrick and her Indiegogo campaign to save her store.

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12:53 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Ketchum Bookstore Asks Community To Save It From Bankruptcy

Inside Iconoclast
Credit Sarah hedrick

Ketchum’s Iconoclast Books has been a fixture in the community for 20 years. But next month, the store will permanently close its doors unless owner Sarah Hedrick can raise $85,000 to pay off debts.

Hedrick and her late husband Gary Hunt were partners in their bookstore. They each had different jobs. Hedrick says she had all the fun ones.

“Buying and merchandising and finding new lines, that kind of stuff,” Hedrick says. “And he was definitely the person in the office.”   

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1:48 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Ketchum City Council Backs Boulder-White Clouds Monument

Credit TheJesse / Flickr Creative Commons

The Ketchum City Council has approved a resolution supporting a proposal to designate a national monument in central Idaho.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports the council voted 3-0 earlier this week to back a plan to create a national monument in the Boulder-White Clouds. One member abstained from the vote.

The Idaho Conservation League, Wilderness Society and others want the Obama administration to create a 591,905-acre national monument in the Boulder-White Clouds using the Antiquities Act.

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Election Results
7:57 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Voters In Hailey And Ketchum Approve Tax Increases To Entice Airlines

Credit BigDubya / Flickr Creative Commons

Residents in Ketchum and Hailey have decided to raise city taxes to subsidize commercial airline service.  

The decision green lights a 1 percent sales tax on lodging and rental cars. Ketchum's vote also adds a 1 percent retail sales tax. Groceries and gas, however, won't be included in this. 

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5:42 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Sun Valley Tax Votes Shine Spotlight On Challenges Facing Small Town Airports

File photo of planes waiting for a take off slot at Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, Idaho.
Credit DieselDemon / Flickr Creative Commons

A ballot measure in the Sun Valley area is emblematic of the challenges facing small airports across the West. Residents of Hailey and Ketchum, Idaho decide Tuesday whether to raise city taxes to subsidize commercial airline service.

Voters in the neighboring Idaho resort towns are being asked to raise the lodging and rental car tax, and in the case of Ketchum add a 1 percent retail sales tax, although groceries and gas would be exempt from the higher tax.

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Light Pollution
10:43 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Why "Dark Sky" Ordinances Are Taking Hold In Northwest Cities

Light pollution over Seattle.
Credit Hiimniko / Flickr Creative Commons

Even though we have had clear skies this week, chances are you can't see the Milky Way at night because the glare from city lights washes out all but the brightest stars where most people live.

A smattering of Northwest cities and counties are taking action by passing new rules for outdoor lighting. It's not all about the stars. And some people take a dim view of light regulation.

Once you're aware of obnoxious lighting, you'll "know it when you see it," says David Ginther. He's the senior planner for the City of Tumwater, Wash.

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Arts & Culture
2:43 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Ketchum's Wagon Days Event To Continue As Planned

Credit Screengrab

Ketchum's annual Wagon Days celebration will go on as planned, despite firefighting efforts on the Beaver Creek Fire.

The news release issued Tuesday says the event is scheduled for Aug. 28-Sept. 2.

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Arts Awards
7:16 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Ketchum Makes List For Best Small Towns For Arts

The Sun Valley Summer Symphony runs Aug. 4th-20th.
Credit Tal Roberts / Visit Sun Valley

Ketchum is known for its recreational opportunities. Hiking, camping and river sports have long been touted as reasons for people to visit the Wood River Valley. But a distinction from a national arts organization could give the small community another claim to fame.

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8:46 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Foster Helps Cap Sun Valley Film Festival

Jodie Foster
Credit NPR

The Sun Valley Film Festival wrapped up Sunday with actress Jodie Foster giving a public talk. Foster says she's excited about the festival because it brings unique films and the movie making process to the Wood River Valley.

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Outdoor Recreation
10:59 am
Sun March 10, 2013

Private Dollars To Fund Land Assessment For Ketchum's Proposed Whitewater Park

Credit IonCats / Flickr

Officials in Ketchum say private supporters of a proposed whitewater park will pay for an environmental assessment on a possible transfer of federal land. That land is needed before the project can move forward. 

Ketchum Parks and Recreation Department Director Jennifer Smith told city councilors last week that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has listed the city's land transfer request as a low priority. Because of budget restraints, the agency won't complete a review in less than three years.

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6:00 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Ketchum Couple's Experience Living With Wolves Revealed In New Book

Jim Dutcher gets close with a wolf from the Sawtooth Pack.
Credit Jim and Jamie Dutcher / The Hidden Life of Wolves

In the 1990s, Jim and Jamie Dutcher set out to study and film a wolf pack. They camped for years in the Sawtooth Mountains living side by side with wolves in a controlled environment.  The couple now has a book, called “The Hidden Life of Wolves,” that was released this week.  

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Winter sports
8:18 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Nordic Skiers Flock To Sun Valley Festival

Participants in a skate ski race in downtown Ketchum.
Credit Nils Ribi / Sun Valley Nordic Festival 2012

This year marks the fourth annual Sun Valley Nordic Festival.  It includes the longest running cross-country race in North America.

The festival illustrates why Sun Valley is sometimes called Nordic Town USA. People get pretty excited about bundling up and cheering on a group of skiers to a snowy finish line.

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1:21 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Ketchum Passes Law To Protect LGBT Residents

Ketchum Ordinance

In a unanimous vote last night, the Ketchum city council added protections for LGBT residents. The new law protects against discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.

Ketchum is the third city in Idaho to pass this kind of ordinance, following Sandpoint and Boise. Currently there is no statewide law protecting against housing and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio

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Arts Organizations
2:00 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Idaho Arts Organizations Combine, Celebrate "Wedding"

Members of the Company of Fools theater group celebrate their merger with Sun Valley Center for the Arts.
Credit Dev Khalsa

A recent merger of two Wood River Valley arts groups has created the largest organization of its kind in Idaho. The merger includes Company of Fools theater company in Hailey and Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Ketchum.

John Glenn is with Company of Fools.  He's thrilled about the merger.

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