In Brief


Wolf expert to speak at Community Library

The Community Library will host wolf expert and author Carter Niemeyer at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. The talk is sponsored by Living with Wolves, a locally based nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

Niemeyer, who retired in 2006 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service where he was the wolf recovery coordinator for Idaho, will speak about how wolves are doing 20 years after their reintroduction into Yellowstone and Central Idaho.

Carter’s dramatic evolution from a professional trapper for the USDA Wildlife Services, to a wolf recovery specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, to a wolf conservationist and author, gives him a truly unique and insightful understanding of the issues wolves face today.

Niemeyer will sign copies of his most recent memoir, “Wolf Land,” after the talk.

For more information visit, and click on the calendar of events, or Scott Burton at (208) 806-2621 or

city attorney Adam King settles with Sun Valley over invoices

An Idaho State Bar arbitration panel ruled in favor of former Sun Valley city attorney Adam King last week. The dispute concerned legal fees charged to the City of Sun Valley while King served as its city attorney from 2011 to 2015.

The pay issue arose in spring 2015, when council president Keith Saks questioned why King was billing at $230 an hour, when his contract was reportedly for $205 an hour.

King said former Mayor Wayne Willich had upped his pay to the higher rate in 2011, and the city paid bills for years without objection. Willich appeared before the council to confirm that he had indeed given King a raise.

Willich remembers the occasion clearly.

“During summer of 2011, we were getting ready for budget discussions. While waiting, (former councilman) Nils Ribi mentioned that we should review Adam King’s rate. (Former councilman) Bob Youngman agreed. Dewayne Briscoe, who was then council president, nodded,” Willich said.

Subsequently, King did a review on hourly rates in the Valley and showed the data to Mayor Willich.

“I agreed that a 12 percent increase might be appropriate. His first invoice with that amount was on Oct 11.”

Willich said that in 2012 he spoke about the sequence with the council.

“They had every opportunity to look into rates,” he said, “but they didn’t. We paid him that rate for three years. That’s what is known as within the ‘course of business.’ I have no idea what motivated Saks to peel off this old scab. It’s a done deal. Move on. They forced King to resign.”

Nevertheless, the City of Sun Valley pressed its case after King resigned in January 2016, and the matter went to an Idaho State Bar panel on Sept. 8 in Twin Falls. King won’t have to refund the city $36,000 in legal fees.

“I am very pleased by the decision of the arbitration panel,” King said. “The arbitration panel unanimously ruled that all of my billings were proper and approved, as I always maintained. I am delighted that this matter is favorably put to rest. I am very grateful to my attorney, Fritz Haemmerle, for his excellent representation.”

Make-A-Wish grantee to attend Trailing of the Sheep

Make A Wish Shelby.courtesyMake-A-Wish Foundationparticipant, Shelby Huff, 20, of South Dakota, will attend the Trailing of the Sheep Festival next week. An animal lover, Huff found the Festival online while researching her wish choice. Her wish to attend the Festival is a first for Make-A-Wish Idaho and the Festival.

Huff became eligible to receive a wish due to complications with aplastic anemia (a bone marrow failure disease). She will travel to the Wood River Valley with her mother, sister and grandparents. She was originally scheduled to come a couple of years ago but, due to her health, was unable to make it until this year.

Huff’s initial public welcome will be held at the Festival’s headquarters at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum from 1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 6.

Throughout the Festival’s many events, Huff will be welcomed as a VIP guest, including the Sheep Folklife Fair, For Love of Lamb Foodie Fest, Sheepdog Trials, Wool Fest fiber arts classes, Sheep Tales Gathering, Sheepherder’s Ball and the Trailing of the Sheep Parade.

District to host coffee with the community

Superintendent Dr. GwenCarol Holmes will host “Coffee with the Community” the first Friday of each month in a variety of locations in Blaine County, from Carey to Ketchum. The first was held in September. The next one is scheduled for 8-9 a.m., Friday, Oct. 7, at Starbucks, 491 Sun Valley Rd., in Ketchum.

The events are informal opportunities for conversation with the superintendent. There are no agendas or formal presentations. Participants are encouraged to bring their questions and comments and come and go whenever their schedules allow.

Live broadcasts to begin from the New York Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera will premier its live broadcasts Saturday, Oct. 8, in a new production of “Tristan und Isolde” at Bigwood4 Cinemas in Hailey. Doors will open at 9 a.m. with mimosas and muffins to celebrate the new season. There will be a pre-opera lecture given by Dick Brown. The broadcast will begin at 10 a.m.

Tickets may be purchased at the theatre at any time, for $16. Students and teachers should contact Sun Valley Opera at (208) 726-0991 in advance if they plan to attend.

Temporary trail closures on Bald Mountain

Sun Valley Resort announced temporary trail and ski run closures on Bald Mountain for cat winch mowing, started Monday, Sept. 26. The trail access restrictions are being implemented for the safety off all mountain users.

This is the first year the steeper ski runs can be mowed, due to a new custom-built mower attachment fixed on the front of a winter winch cat. The new attachment will allow Sun Valley Resort to maintain terrain that was too steep to mow efficiently and quickly with earlier equipment setups. Mowing is beneficial as it allows runs to be opened earlier and closed later.

Trails being impacted during the cat winch mowing will follow in sequential order. Closures will be Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the next three to four weeks. This will happen in seven stages in the following order: Greyhawk, Hemingway, Cozy, Race Arena, Limelight, Flying Squirrel and Graduate.

Updates and status of each phase will be posted at the trailheads and base areas of River Run and Warm Springs, along with posts to Sun Valley’s Facebook page and website.

Families invited to BLOCK Fest

Families are invited to learn about early math and science skills at BLOCK Fest, a free educational event from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 at the Community Campus, 1050 Fox Acres Road, in Hailey.

The event is part of former First Lady Patricia Kempthorne’s Twiga Foundation, whose mission is to inspire, promote and maintain family consciousness in the family, workplace and community.

Children ages 3 to 8 years are invited to participate in the event. Families will move through five different educational and hands-on activities, each designed to help children and parents understand how block play is related to later math competence, as well as exploring the physical world.

According to organizers, “Block play supports other aspects of development, including language, as children talk about their structures with the adults and children around them. Blocks also provide opportunities for children’s social and emotional development as they build and share with others. In addition, children are challenged cognitively as they solve the problems that arise in the construction process.”

Space is limited for the event and parents are encouraged to register in advance at or by calling (208) 578-5005.  Registration will open at 8:30 a.m. before the event.

Register in advance at under District News or call Heather Crocker at (208) 578-5005.

Rotarun to hold Ski Swap, seeks donations

Rotarun Ski Club, a 501(c)(3) organization, will host its annual Wood River Valley Ski Swap on Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Community Campus in Hailey.

The general public will be again be able to set up their own equipment and apparel sales stations outside on the grass for $15 and keep 100 percent of what they make from their sales.

Rotarun’s “old school” yard sale helps families team up to sell gear they no longer use while providing others with great deals.

Local shops that specialize in alpine, Nordic and backcountry skis, snowboards, footwear, eyewear and apparel will have stations inside the Community Campus, along with community groups and public agencies that will have information booths.

Rotarun will have a donation drop-off center at Sturtos Hailey from Saturday, Oct. 8, through Friday, Oct. 21. Individuals who don’t want to set up and run their own booth during the swap, or just want to make a donation to Rotarun, may drop off gear any time during the day. Donations are tax deductible and help to raise funds for Rotarun’s affordable skiing and snowboarding programs that especially benefit local youth and families.

The Sensational Silent Auction will include such “prizes” as a Sun Valley Challenger season pass, a Sun Valley 15-day pass, a Blaine County Recreation District Nordic season pass, a Sun Valley Trekking Winter Yurt Getaway, custom-fitted ski boots, a Dollar Mountain lift chair, a private dinner prepared by Michel Rudigoz and Michel’s Christiania executive chef Laurent Loubot, Rossignol classic Nordic skis, fine dining, spa and party packages, and more. Bidding starts on Saturday, Oct. 8, at Sturtos Hailey and continues until 1 p.m. on the day of the swap.

Blaine County School District assesses achievement data

The Blaine County School District is using multiple data points to confirm progress with academic achievement and identify areas for growth among all students. While all groups of students perform above state average in most areas, data consistently shows an achievement gap. A detailed report will be available in October on both the website and during the board of trustees meeting on
Oct. 11.

In math, the district uses the Idaho Standards Achievement Test and the STAR tests. In English language arts, the district uses ISAT, Idaho Reading Indicator, STAR and ACCESS tests. The district monitors growth in the number of students participating and succeeding in advanced opportunities such as Honors, Advanced Placement and Dual Credit courses.

Overall assessment of student achievement in reading shows slight growth. Student achievement in math is stronger at the secondary level than the elementary level in comparison to the state. In response to the sixth-grade data, teachers have revised the curriculum. Although BCSD students perform above the state average in most areas, the achievement gap among Blaine County students is larger than the state.

“The achievement gap exists among students who have disabilities, are learning English as a second language, and come from poverty, which is 42 percent of our student population,” Superintendent Dr. GwenCarol Holmes said. “We’re proud of the fact that these students perform above state average, but it’s not acceptable that they don’t perform as well as their peers.”

The data was shared with educators on Data Day, Friday, Sept. 13.

“After a year using the new STAR Reading and STAR Math assessments, we now understand that there is a strong relationship between our students’ STAR scores and ISAT scores. This data allows us to monitor growth throughout the year and plan instruction accordingly.”

Information is available at under the Educate section of the Blaine County School District Strategic Plan, available at the bottom of the website. For more information contact Grabow at (208) 578-5411 or

Work on three bridges continues

Three bridges crossing the Little Wood River along U.S. 93 near Carey are receiving maintenance work and surface improvements. The work is expected to increase the life expectancy of the structures. All work is expected to be completed by mid-November.

Work will began Monday, Sept. 19 at the three bridge crossings, including two bridges in Carey between the U.S. 20 junction and Airport Lane, and a third about four miles south of town. Work includes removing about 3 inches of the existing driving surface and replacing it with a silica-fume concrete and sealing the deck with waterproofing. Pedestrian handrails at the bridges in Carey will also be repaired. Additional paving approaching the bridges will also be replaced to create a smooth transition from the new bridge surface. The roadway is reduced to one lane through each construction zone, with temporary signals controlling the traffic. Drivers should expect short delays of up to five minutes. A 35-mile-per-hour speed limit will be in effect at each location and a 12-foot width restriction will be enforced.