Nov 28, 2021 The Yellow Pine Times

Nov 28, 2021 The Yellow Pine Times – Valley County, Idaho

Reminder: We are still under a boil water order.

Community Calendar:

April 17, 2020 – Boil water order in effect
May 15 – Nov 30 – Firewood Season
Oct 27 – Transfer Station on Winter Schedule
Nov 1 – Winter Mail Delivery Starts
Dec 3 – 10am-2pm Craft-n-Learn Community Hall
Dec 7 – McIntosh’s Xmas Party
Deb 17 – 10am-2pm Craft-n-Learn Community Hall
(details below)

Local Events:

McIntosh’s Xmas Party December 7th

Bill and Loraine will have their annual gathering from 5pm to 7pm. Ham will be provided. Everyone is welcome.
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Craft-n-Learn Dec 3 and 17

From 10am to 2pm we will be opening up the Yellow Pine Community Hall to all interested folks! Bring your favorite crafts and coffee mug and join us for Craft-n-Learn.
You are welcome to bring snacks, your favorite drink mug, and a craft to work on.
Even if you don’t know any craft, come on out and enjoy learning one, or learning a new one.
ALL are welcome! Kat A.

Village News:

Thanksgiving Potluck Nov 25

On Thursday 25 people sat down to a Thanksgiving feast in the Community Hall.

20211125Thanksgiving1-aphoto courtesy DF
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Christmas in Yellow Pine

Yellow Pine Santa’s elves! Time to think about Christmas bags!

– Nik
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Notice – Deadline

In order to have your item posted in that week’s paper you must email it in by Noon on Sunday.

A reminder – if your group or business want an event, photo, minutes, news or advertising posted in the Yellow Pine Times, please write what you want posted in text form (for copy/paste) and send it by email. Remember to include the “who, what, when, where and why.” Images or groups of images must be under 10 megs per email.
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Road News

Hwy 55 closed until at least Dec 5th

photo courtesy Cougar Mountain Lodge (Smiths Ferry)

Link: to current road reports.

Profile Gap, Lick Creek, Elk Summit, Thunder Mountain and Deadwood roads may have snow. These roads have not been bladed and are rough. Travel at your own risk.
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Be Cougar Aware

A big cat has been hanging around the upper part of the village recently. Watch your small pets and do not leave food outside.

Be Bear Aware

* Do not feed them human food
* Secure your trash
* Feed domestic pets indoors
* Make sure your pets are updated on Rabies vaccines
* Small pets could become a snack


While bats are an important part of our ecosystem and most do not carry rabies, CDH offers the following tips to protect yourself and pets:
* Never touch a bat with your bare hands.
* If you have had an encounter with a bat, seek medical attention.
* If you come in contact with a bat, save the bat in a container without touching it and contact your health department to arrange testing for rabies. Whenever possible, the bat should be tested to rule out an exposure to rabies. During regular business hours in Ada, Boise and Elmore Counties, call 208-327-7499 and in Valley County, call 208-634-7194. After business hours in all counties, call 1-800-632-8000.
* Always vaccinate your pets for rabies, including horses. Pets may encounter bats outdoors or in the home.
* Bat-proof your home or cabin by plugging all holes in the siding and maintaining tight-fitting screens on windows. Bats can enter through holes the size of a quarter.
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Yellow Pine US Mail

The 3-day a week mail delivery started November 1st. The Post Office in Yellow Pine is open six days a week year around: M-F 845am-245pm Saturday 9am-245pm. Forever Stamp: 58 cents. Support our local post office and purchase your holiday stamps here.

Attention Mail Route Customers – FedEx Ground has changed their policy, and they will no longer pay for Mail Plane or Truck freight. If you can avoid it, we strongly encourage you to use UPS or USPS to receive packages. If you do order a FedEx Ground package, you will be billed for: Air Freight @ $0.45/lb, or Mail Truck Freight @ $0.05/lb. We are truly sorry this is the case, and are working very hard to make sure you still receive your orders. – Arnold Aviation
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Yellow Pine Transfer Station

Dump emptied Wednesday, Nov 17th.

Dump update October 27th: It was [last] emptied today and we are now in winter mode. When it gets fairly full we will call to have it dumped. Contact Cecil.

Locals have worked hard to clean up the area, please be respectful.

20190429Dump2-bYellow Pine Transfer Station (aka, the dump)

Please do not abuse our Transfer Station or we may lose it. Household trash must be placed in the bins, flattened cardboard boxes can also go into the bins. Do not stack trash in front of the doors. Woody yard debris only for the burn pile. No furniture, appliances, tires or construction debris allowed, those items must be hauled out to the Donnelly station by you.

The Yellow Pine Transfer Station is Valley County responsibility. If it is not kept tidy, use of the Transfer Station may be revoked. That would result in residents having to take all household trash and yard waste to the Donnelly Transfer Station.

If Dumpsters Are Full, Contact Lake Shore Disposal at: (208) 634-7176

Dump Tips

Do you know where your trash goes after it leaves Yellow Pine?

90 tons per week of Valley Co.’s solid waste comes to the Adams Co. landfill. (Valley Co. has a contract with Adams Co.) When Valley Co.’s weekly trash exceeds 90 tons, the rest is then taken to Payette. The more garbage, the more cost in transferring it further away.

Tips to reduce trash:

1. When purchasing groceries refuse plastic bags as they reek havoc at the Adams Co.’s landfill, causing problems with equipment.

2. Garbage: recyclables, compost, trash

If each household would have containers for these three categories this is the place to start.

– B. Dixon

Local Groups


We are still under a Boil Order. Please conserve water.

Oct 11, 2021 Water Update

Warren Drake has been in this week and shut down the summer tank, took samples, and spent time on the winter drip points. He built a small, insulated box from pressure treated wood, around each [trickle] point that will allow better winter access, make it so [he] can use each point for sampling, and also ensure that things don’t freeze.

Yellow Pine Water Users PWS 4430059 BOIL WATER ADVISORY Due to insufficient treatment
We routinely monitor the conditions in the drinking water distribution system. On 4-19-2020 we experienced a period of insufficient treatment due to extreme water demand which exceeded the capacity of the treatment system. A drop in water pressure is a signal of the existence of conditions that could allow contamination to enter the distribution system through backflow, by backpressure, or back-siphonage. As a result, there is an increased chance that the drinking water may contain disease-causing organisms.
What should I do?
Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
* Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites, which can cause nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.
* The symptoms above are caused by many types of organisms. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice. People at increased risk should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.
What is being done?
Efforts are under way to curtail water use. Once water use is diminished, the water treatment system will again be operational and the boil water order can be lifted
We will inform you when you no longer need to boil your water. We anticipate resolving the problem within 180 days.
For more information, please contact Warren at 208-573-6261 or wdrake @
Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
This notice is being sent to you by Yellow Pine Water Users Assoc.
PWS ID #: 4430059 Date distributed: 10-11-21.

YPWUA 2021 Annual Shareholder Meeting July 4, 2021 at the Community Hall at 10am. Link: to 20210704 YPWUA minutes
YPWUA 2020 Annual Shareholder Meeting held July 5, 2020 at the Community Hall 2pm. link: to 20200705 YPWUA minutes

Water Board:
Steve Holloway
Willie Sullivan
Dawn Brown
Stu Edwards
Candy Hardisty
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VYPA News:

Sept 11, 2021 – VYPA Meeting minutes link: (see document at link for attachments)
Aug 14, 2021 VYPA Meeting Canceled (lack of quorum.)
July 10, 2021 VYPA meeting minutes link:
June 12, 2021 VYPA Meeting Minutes link:

VYPA Meetings are the 2nd Saturday of June, July, August, and September at 2:00pm at the Community Hall.

Village Council members:
Deb Filler, Chairman
Josh Jones, Vice Chairman
Ronda Rogers, Treasurer
Hailey Harris, Secretary
Rhonda Egbert, Member at Large

VYPA Bylaws adopted 8/8/2020 (link)
YPAC Corp Bylaws (link)
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YPFD News:

If you have an emergency, please call 911.

To Yellow Pine Residents and Visitors,

November 28, 2021

Should you need to reach the Fire Chief please call my cell 208 738-7986 or the Tavern 208 633-2233 or 911.

If I am out of town, please notify any of those folks who have attended one of our Winter Structure Fire Response Plan Training Sessions held Oct. 17 and Oct 31. Specifically Mike or Cindy Fortin 208 633-2371, Josh Jones 208 633-3300 or Clint Limbaugh 208 685-9589. They will give the appropriate response in my absence.

For liability reasons, specifically if a non-registered and trained volunteer gets injured or causes an injury, or damages any equipment, our insurance will be null and void and the individual will be held personally and financially responsible. So anyone who is not a registered volunteer, and has not attended our training session must not use the Fire Department equipment. You will be trespassing if you do. Cascade Fire Department is also qualified and authorized to use the equipment. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer and you have a valid drivers license you may fill out an application for the “Yellow Pine Fire District Volunteer Firefighter“ located at the Tavern or the Store and see if Mike or Cindy or Josh or Clint could familiarize you to the current location and use of the Fire Department Equipment. Thanks for your understanding.

Your Fire Chief,
Lorinne N. Munn

Hopeless Point After Action Report

Date 11/08/21 Version 1.0 YPFPD Distribution

This After-Action Report (AAR) was created by interviewing volunteers and professional LEO’s that were on site, to capture their experiences and observations. I did not interview Tim Rogers, Ron Basabe, Josh Jones and Hailey Harris as this had already been done by Deb Filler. The people I interviewed for this AAR include the following:

Marshall Haynes, IDFG LEO
Dean Hickman, USFS LEO
Willie Sullivan, YPFPD Responder
Merrill Saleen, YPFPD Deputy Fire Chief
Nikki Saleen, Logistics Expert
Jeff Forster, Rescue Response Expert
Cindy Fortin, Experienced Fire and Rescue Background

Their input has been captured and integrated with Deb Filler’s report to recreate the approximate timeline and the actions that took place during the rescue response.

Phil Jensen
District 2 Fire Commissioner
Yellow Pine Fire Protection District
Link: to full report “Hopeless Point Consolidated AAR Draft.docx”

Chimney cleaning brushes are available to borrow from the YPFD.

Sept 11, 2021 YPFD Budget meeting (no minutes yet.)
Aug 28, 2021 – YPFD Meeting to discuss upcoming election (no minutes yet.)
July 10, 2021 – YPFD Meeting Minutes. Link:
June 12, 2021 – YPFD Meeting Minutes. Link:
May 15, 2021 – YPFD Meeting Minutes. Link:

Sept 30, 2020 YPFD budget meeting. (No minutes yet.)

Also if you are burning any piles of forest litter and debris – please have a connected and charged garden hose that can reach your piles. If your hose cannot reach where you are burning, follow the good advice of having a shovel, axe, and water bucket at the scene. Rake away from anything that could ignite. Stop burning if winds become an issue. Make sure your fire is out before you leave the area. Nothing like getting surprised by an escaped fire in the middle of the night!

Better yet, “Rake It and Take It” your yard waste (limbs, pine needles, brush, etc.) to the burn pile at the Transfer Station on the south end of the turn-around. Remember, keep the pile neat. Woody debris only, no nails, no cardboard and no furniture! The Boise NF will burn the pile in the fall when it is safe.

Yellow Pine Fire Protection District Community Service Notice
The purpose of this letter is to show how you as a Yellow Pine Resident can help protect your structure against a wildland fire by being “Fire Wise.” Click the link: to view 20190724 Yellow Pine Fire Protection mitigation

Valley County Wildfire Evacuation Checklist
A wildfire evacuation checklist that property owners in the Yellow Pine area might find useful. link: Valley County Evacuation Checklist – 2021

link: YPFD Covid-19 SOP
link: Covid-19 EMS

Fire Chief: Lorinne Munn
Deputy Fire Chief: Merrill Saleen
YP Fire Commissioners:
Lorinne Munn – District 1
Phil Jensen – District 2
Merrill Saleen – District 3
Secretary/Treasurer – Nikki Saleen

Biz Listings:

The Corner (208) 633-3325
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Yellow Pine Tavern (208) 633-2233
Winter Hours at the Tavern
Open Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat: 9am-2pm 4pm-8pm
Open Sunday 9am-2pm
Closed Tues & Thurs
Call the Tavern 208 633-2233 or Cell 208 739-7086 for other arrangements
Full Breakfast Menu. Burgers, Pizza, Fajitas, Beer Wine and Pop
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Yellow Pine Lodge (208) 633-3377
Closed for the winter.
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Yellow Pine General Store (208) 633-3300
Store hours: 10am to 5pm, Monday – Sunday. Gas and Diesel now available. The Liquor Store is now reinstated. Now Selling Black Rifle Coffee.
The store is stocked with basic convenience store items such as food, fuel, liquor, beer, wine, tobacco, ice, non alcoholic beverages, snacks, ice cream. New Yellow Pine branded shirts, hats and koozies have arrived. We are going through the process of installing a propane dispenser and bottle exchange service.
For any particular store item requests, please call 208-633-3300 or Email
For room reservations, please call 208-633-3300 or Email for reservations
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Murph’s RV Park and Mary’s Cabins
FB page link
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Knotty Kat Crochet Works – 509-406-2221
FB page link
open Tue – Sat, 9-5
Yellow Pine eggs $3/doz
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Buck Horn Outfitters LLC 208-633-3614
Our Elk & Deer hunts are booked for our 2021 season, we do have a couple openings for our 2022 Elk & Deer hunts. We Also have a couple openings for Mountain Lion hunts December 2021 through February 2022 and Spring Bear hunts May of 2022. Please see our Website site for further details.
Tom & Sarah Lanham
156 Yellow Pine Ave, Yellow Pine Id 83677

Wapiti Meadow Ranch – Johnson Creek (208) 633-3217
or 208-315-3554 – cabin rentals

Big Creek Lodge

Deadwood Outfitters
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Local Fuel Suppliers

Amerigas Phone: (208) 452-4361
Ed Staub & Sons Phone: (208) 634-3833
Diamond Fuel & Feed Phone: (208) 382-4430
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Outside Biz that will service Yellow Pine:

Arnold Aviation (208) 382-4844
Watkins Pharmacy Cascade (208) 382-4204
Cascade Auto (208) 382-4224
Cascade Vet Clinic (208) 382-4590

The Star-News

click to subscribe:
A reminder that those who live in other states can subscribe to the online edition only since the mail can take days for hard copy to reach them.

Rocky Mountain Mechanical – Plumbing – Heating – Air conditioning
(208) 365-PIPE (7473), Emmett, will service Yellow Pine

Garden Mountain Contractors
We would like to extend our services into the Yellow Pine area if there may be a need. We dig a lot of dirt! If you need this give us a shout on our FB page below. – Larry Williamson Garden Valley, Idaho FB Page:
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Follow The Yellow Pine Times on Facebook (updated more often than emails)

Local Observations:

Monday (Nov 22) overnight low of 18 degrees. This morning almost clear, cold and frosty. Jays and pine squirrel visiting. Mostly clear at lunch time and warming up. Warm, mostly clear and light breeze mid-afternoon, high of 51 degrees. Rosy glow to the west at dusk, mostly clear and calm. Looked mostly clear before midnight.

Tuesday (Nov 23) 24 hour low of 18 degrees from Monday morning. This morning big fat flakes of snow falling and low foggy overcast. Pine squirrel, downy woodpecker and a goldfinch in winter plumage visiting. Rain/snow mix after lunch time for a short while, then back to snow. Low foggy overcast (socked in) mid-afternoon and light snow falling (3/8″ so far) and high of 33 degrees. Still snowing at dusk. Not snowing before midnight. Broken clouds after midnight.

Wednesday (Nov 24) overnight low of 17 degrees, yesterday’s snow total 1.5″ (SWE=0.09″). This morning mostly clear sky. Pine squirrel and jays visiting. Mail truck was a little late (came in via South Fork.) Mostly clear and above freezing after lunch time. Mostly clear sky (some haze and a few clouds) mid-afternoon with a chilly breeze and temperature dropping quickly, high of 39 degrees. Likely mostly clear just before full dark. Looked clear before midnight.

Thursday (Nov 25) overnight low of 13 degrees. This morning partly hazy sky, snow depth ranges from 0″ to 1.5″. Heard a flicker calling, pine squirrel and jays visiting. Mostly cloudy by lunch time. Overcast and above freezing mid-afternoon, high of 43 degrees. Looked mostly clear before dusk, cold breeze and just above freezing.

Friday (Nov 26) 24 hour low of 19 degrees from Thursday morning. This morning above freezing and overcast. Pine squirrel yelling from the trees, jays visiting. Light snow fell around 11am for a short time, no accumulation. Gray overcast and light chilly breeze mid-afternoon, high of 39 degrees. Looked mostly clear at dusk, still above freezing. Looked cloudy before midnight.

Saturday (Nov 27) overnight low of 27 degrees. This morning above freezing, overcast and patches of old snow on the ground. Pine squirrel, a hairy and a downy woodpecker and jays visiting. Mostly cloudy at lunch time. Broken overcast mid-afternoon and snow melting, high of 44 degrees. Cloudy and not too cold yet by dusk. Looked cloudy and still above freezing before midnight. Rain during the night.

Sunday (Nov 28) 24 hour low of 33 degrees. Trace of rain in the gauge. This morning mostly cloudy. Pine squirrel chasing a hairy woodpecker, jays and a downy woodpecker visiting. Mostly cloudy at lunch time. Warm with chilly breezes and broken overcast mid-afternoon, high of 54 degrees. Mostly cloudy at dusk (lots of pink), and light breeze.

Idaho News:

ID55 slide was in finished section

Highway at Smith Ferry closed at least through Monday

By Max Silverson The Star-News November 24, 2021

The rockslide that closed Idaho 55 at Smith Ferry was on a section of a construction project that had been finished, the Idaho Transportation Department said.

The highway at the slide will remain closed at least through Monday at the project, which is straightening curves on a section of Idaho 55 north of Smith Ferry.

On Sunday, crews began work to remove boulders and mud from the hillside and build a temporary rock wall about 20 feet tall and 500 feet long, Idaho Transportation Department Chief Communication Officer Vince Trimboli said.

“Once the wall is built to reinforce the slope, a temporary road will be constructed around the slide to safely allow traffic,” Trimboli said.

The goal is to clear the road as soon as possible while ensuring the safety of construction workers and the public, he said.

A scheduled closure from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. last Thursday was in effect when the slide came down, Trimboli said.

Crews were not working in the area when the slide occurred and no one was injured, he said.

The slide was about 250 feet long and extended about 200 feet up the slope from the road and was estimated to be contain between 30,000 and 50,000 cubic yards of rock and dirt, Trimboli said.

No trigger for the rockslide had been identified as of this week.

“It was ready to go,” Trimboli said of the completed section. “Obviously Mother Nature had other ideas.”

U.S. 95 is the only alternate route around the slide area until the temporary road is built.

The two-year project focuses on straightening and improving about a mile of road between Smiths Ferry and the Rainbow Bridge.

The slide occurred on a hillside just south of the site of a rockslide that closed the same section of road for 10 days in March. That slide was caused by a large rock that broke loose.

Last week’s slide was larger and on a less stable hillside made up of sand, dirt, cobblestones, boulders and decomposed granite, Trimboli said.

The area where the March rockslide came down has since been secured with dozens of anchors drilled into the rock face.

The section where last week’s slide occurred is too loose to effectively secure anchors or install protective metal netting, he said.

Anchors and protective netting have been installed where possible throughout the project and rocks and boulders that could tumble onto the roadway were removed.

About 178,000 cubic yards of rock has been excavated in the project so far.

Trimboli was confident that the slide would not delay the project’s scheduled completion in Fall 2022.

The project is about 60% completed with seven of nine cliffside excavations almost completed.

Construction had been scheduled to be suspended for the winter in December.

source: © Copyright 2009-2021 Central Idaho Publishing Inc. All rights reserved (used with permission.)
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Highway 55 closure impacting nearby businesses: ‘It’s basically shut our businesses down’

After a rockslide near Smiths Ferry, Highway 55 is closed through at least November 29.

Shirah Matsuzawa November 24, 2021

As many people hit the road to spend Thanksgiving with loved ones — or just get away for a long weekend — here’s a reminder: because of a recent rockslide near Smiths Ferry, Highway 55 will remain closed through at least Monday, November 29.

“It’s an inconvenience for travelers from the valley to come up to Cascade or McCall,” said Patrick Willis, the owner of Cougar Mountain Lodge.

Willis told KTVB it’s a lot more than just an inconvenience for the people who live or work in the area, like himself. To get to Smiths Ferry from Cascade, he has to go north on 55 instead of south, then head down U.S. 95 from New Meadows toward the Treasure Valley before heading back up 55 to Smiths Ferry.

“For me to come to work, it adds 200 miles onto my commute that would normally be 17 miles,” Willis said.

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Hwy 55 Update #7: 3:30 P.M. 11/28/2021

Idaho State Highway 55 between Smiths Ferry and Round Valley Road will remain closed another seven to 10 days depending on weather. Construction crews made significant progress today (November 29) shoring up the rockslide area near the Rainbow Bridge about 20 miles south of Cascade, Idaho.

The crews completed construction of a rock structure, known as a buttress, approximately 20 feet tall and 400 feet long to stabilize the base of the slide. The next step is to remove slide debris, install drainage systems above the buttress and widen the roadway to two lanes before the winter.

“We have made very good progress and stabilized the slide area. This allows crews to remove excess rock from the hillside and begin building a two way road around the slide area,” said Jason Brinkman, ITD District 3 Engineering Manager. “Our goal is to finish the work as quickly as possible while also focusing on both the safety of the construction team and the public once the road reopens.”

Until the highway is reopened, travelers can use U.S. Highway 95 as an alternate route.

The public can receive direct project updates by signing up for text or email alerts on the project website, (link), or visit Idaho 511 before leaving on a trip to learn the latest highway conditions.

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Valley County sees new cases increase to 27 in week

By Tom Grote The Star-News November 24, 2021

New cases of COVID-19 in Valley County increased in the last week as reported by the county’s two hospitals.

A total of 27 new cases were reported for the week by St. Luke’s McCall and Cascade Medical Center. That compares to 11 new cases reported the previous week and nine new cases the prior week.

The two hospitals have reported 1,616 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic started in March 2020. That is a reduction from the total reported last week due to a change in reporting methods by St. Luke’s McCall.

A total of 11 deaths confirmed from COVID-19 and two probable deaths from the virus have been reported among Valley County residents, according to Central District Health.

Clinics & Tests

Cascade Medical Center will hold a vaccination event from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Cascade American Legion Hall.

The clinic will provide the Moderna vaccine as well as booster shots for those over age 18 who received their second dose of the Moderna vaccine more than six months ago.

Also offered will be the Pfizer vaccine for youths age 5 to 11.

St. Luke’s Clinic – Payette Lakes Family Medicine is offering the Pfizer vaccine for youths age 5 to 11 by appointments through MyChart.

Parents should create a MyChart for eligible children and set up proxy access. Instructions are available at

Appointments also can be made by calling St. Luke’s Connect at 208-381-9500.

St. Luke’s McCall and Cascade Medical Center have take-home COVID-19 tests available. The saliva-based test offers results for COVID-19 in two to three days.

The tests can be picked up at the main entrance to St. Luke’s McCall at 1000 State St. in McCall or at the clinic at Cascade Medical Center at 402 Lake Cascade Pkwy in Cascade.

St. Luke’s McCall offers walk-in COVID-19 vaccines for adults age 18 and older for initial doses from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at St. Luke’s Clinics – Payette Lakes Family Medicine, 211 Forest Street, McCall.

Appointments also can be scheduled online through St. Luke’s myChart or by calling 208-381-9500 or 208-634-2225.

Booster shots only for the Pfizer vaccine are available by appointment through Payette Lakes Clinic to those who have a compromised immune system. Patients should schedule the booster shots through their MyChart account.

Cascade Medical Center offers a walk-in vaccination clinic from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The Moderna vaccine for those age 18 and older is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays along with the Moderna booster.

The Pfizer vaccine for those age 12 and older, is available on Wednesdays as well as the Pfizer booster.

full story:
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COVID-19 Updates: 570 new Idaho COVID-19 cases, 8 new deaths

November 24, 2021 Local News 8

Idaho officials reported 570 new COVID-19 cases and 8 new deaths Wednesday.

That brings the total confirmed and probable cases reported since March 2020 to 305,133.

The state said 86,216 people have received one dose of a two dose series, and 206,021 people have received an additional or booster dose. 1,723,127 total doses have been administered. 854,178 people are fully vaccinated.

The age group with the most cases is 18-29 with 70,684 cases.

The state said 33 new hospitalizations have been reported bringing the total number to 13,376, and 5 new cases have been admitted to the ICU bringing the total to 2,256.

8 new deaths were reported bringing the total recorded deaths to 3,891.

full story: [Valley County 1558 cases, 13 deaths.]
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Cascade Medical Center Begins Planning for New Hospital

Press Release November 19, 2021 from CMC

At its November 17, 2021 board meeting, the Cascade Medical Center Trustees voted to begin planning a new healthcare campus. The existing hospital, built in 1974, is out of room, out of date, and can no longer keep up with the growing health care needs of the community. “This building has served Valley County well for half a century, but it’s too small and out-dated to take us any farther” says George Greenfield, Chairman of the CMC Board of Trustees. “The communities we serve are growing and our patients deserve a health care facility that meets the current standard of care” commented Medical Director, Dr. Ron Ellsworth.

CMC serves several thousand local residents and visitors each year. Its current facility is approximately 12,000 square feet – about half the size needed to care for its patients by today’s standards. Plans for the new facility call for a 30,000 square foot building.

Over the next few months, the hospital will work on details of the expansion. Those details will be presented to the public in various forums to obtain more input. Ultimately voters in the tax district will decide whether or not to support funding the $33 million project. If approved, the new hospital could be ready in 2025.

Until we have a new facility, our staff will continue to provide great care for our patients and community at our current Lake Cascade Parkway location.
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Cascade Medical Center – New Hospital FAQs

Why does Cascade need a new hospital?
We’re out of room. Given our current patient base and volumes – we have half the space we need to provide the medical care according to current care standards.

The existing facility is nearly 50 years old and lacks certain expected hospital features, such as in-wall medical gasses, ADA bathrooms, and a safe room. The building has electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems that cannot be readily repaired or replaced. In some cases, parts can no longer be found to fix certain issues. This creates a less-than-comfortable environment for patients and staff and makes adding new or updated medical equipment and technology much more difficult and expensive. Several areas do not have adequate ventilation, heating and cooling, making climate control a frustration for patients and staff alike.

Why not do a renovation and small expansion at the current hospital now?
Renovation and expansion in a hospital setting is expensive and disruptive to patient care. A hospital must be able to maintain 24×7 operations to serve its community, honor its license granted by CMS and the State of Idaho, and meet its mission. Closing during construction is not an option. Any money spent prolonging the life of the current hospital hampers our ability to prepare a new campus that will serve our community for future generations.

Why can’t the current hospital be renovated?
Much of the current facility was constructed in such a way that replacing critical infrastructure simply cannot be done, short of demolition. Known asbestos content makes demolition more difficult. The cost and disruption of renovating the existing buildings make a new facility, in a new location, a much better option for our community.

Adding a new building on the same site is not feasible due to our limited space (2.6 acres split down the middle by a public road). With required set-backs, there is simply not enough space to expand or build a hospital large enough to meet the community’s needs beyond 10 years. Even parking is a problem, with only 40 spaces which are further reduced when snow piles up.

What are the biggest problems with the current facility?
CMC simply does not have enough space to meet the needs and demand for medical services at current health care standards. CMC operates in a space that is approximately HALF of what is needed to meet patient needs – and that doesn’t even consider future growth which our community is already experiencing. Climate control in each season is a big frustration. Even concrete is beginning to break down. Basic accessibility requirements are not met, including public stair and ramp slope and ADA bathroom requirements. There are other issues with plumbing and electrical systems that are simply not sustainable. The use of multiple outbuildings is inefficient.

Why do we have to move the location of the hospital?
In 2020, CMC hired Wipfli to assess the ability of our existing hospital to meet the community’s needs. (Wipfli is an independent company with expertise in strategic planning and financial auditing of rural hospitals.) Over several months they conducted detailed audits and interviews to reach an opinion in a 76 page report. In summary, Wipfli concluded that “The existing site is extremely constrained and expansion zones are limited by topography and the public street; any growth will displace parking which is already tight on campus. The existing site cannot accommodate needed expansion to serve the hospital over the next 10+ years.”

The existing hospital seems just fine, why change it?
Our incredible hospital and clinic staff has done a great job providing high quality medical care in this building for several decades. They continue to do so today but it is becoming more and more difficult as health care changes and our community grows. In its facility assessment, Wipfli stated that there are “major facility and operational issues.” Departmental space issues and challenges were documented in every single department. Even with renovation, we are simply bursting at the seams.

How much space is needed to build a new hospital?
The existing hospital sits on 1.6 acres, with an adjacent helipad and empty lot of 0.6 acres separated by a public street (Lefever Drive). Wipfli recommends at least 10-15 acres for new Critical Access Hospitals to allow for growth and expansion. Currently at 12,000 square feet, the new hospital needs to be roughly double that size to meet TODAY’s needs, with the ability to expand further to meet the future needs of our community and support the growing retirement and tourism activity.

Where will the new hospital be located?
We are still finalizing that decision. The new location will be in or near the City of Cascade so that we can continue to serve our current community while positioning ourselves to care for an ever growing population who desire to receive health care close to home.

Why do we have to do this now?
The process for planning, funding, and building a new hospital takes years. By starting now, we can open the new hospital in 2025. The current facility will be over 50 years old by then and its mechanical systems will be at their limit. Waiting will require further renovation and replacement of equipment and systems which will nickel and dime the health district and its tax payers while only postponing the inevitable replacement of the medical center. We are already seeing accelerating growth in the area and new residential developments are coming on line from Clear Creek to Donnelly and from Cascade to Tamarack. Improved access to the area once the canyon’s road construction is complete will create even more interest in our area by the time the new hospital opens in 4 years.

Why not sell out to one of the large health systems and have them pay for expansion?
In 2020, Cascade Medical Center polled its community and received over 400 responses. Two-thirds of those surveyed asked that we remain independent. While we enjoy excellent relationships with other health providers, including St. Luke’s, Saint Al’s, and the University of Utah, independence has its advantages. As an autonomous provider owned by the taxpayers, we can be laser-focused on the needs of the people who live in our area. We get to make decisions and invest in resources that make the most sense for people living in the west central mountains. Our local control allows us to move quickly and make decisions locally.

Why not simply rely on the medical facilities in McCall?
Having local access to health care is an important quality of a vibrant community. Without Cascade Medical Center, many of our patients would need to drive another 15 to 30 miles to see a provider or receive physical therapy. For time sensitive emergencies, having a local hospital with 24×7 ER service is literally a life saver. Our patients enjoy receiving care close to home and continuing their care relationship with our providers to maintain wellness and improve their quality of life.

Will the new hospital offer additional services?
The primary goal is to assure continuity of existing services: primary care, family medicine, 24×7 emergency care, inpatient and rehabilitative services, mental health, and physical therapy. A larger footprint will allow us to consider new services, including specialties like cardiology, eye care, foot care, dermatology, urology, ENT, and digestive health. We will continue to look for ways to serve our local communities so they can receive as much health care locally as possible.

What is the current financial status of the hospital?
The hospital has achieved a positive bottom line each year for the past 5 years. This is the result of prudent financial management, public support of the medical center through property taxes, and partnership with the hospital’s Foundation and Auxiliary. This solid financial standing will help CMC secure bond or loan funding at attractive interest rates to support construction of the new hospital and clinic.

How many people are seen in the Clinic annually, and where do they come from?
Our volumes have been growing steadily. From 2018 through 2020, the family medicine clinic saw an average of 5,275 patients each year and this year we saw over 5,500 patients. Approximately 70% of our family medicine patients live in Cascade, 10% in Donnelly, 10% in McCall, and 10% from other communities. In addition, almost all of Cascade’s 4,000 plus physical therapy sessions this year were with patients who live locally.

How many residents are treated annually in the current hospital’s emergency room, and where do they come from?
The CMC ER treats 1,400 patients per year, of whom 56% live in Cascade, 25% in the Boise area, and 8% from other Valley County communities. The remaining 11% live elsewhere in Idaho or out of state.

How is the emergency department staffed?
The ER is staffed 24×7 by board-certified Physicians and Physician Assistants. A new hospital facility will provide the environment and appeal needed to retain providers and support staff as well as recruit additional health professionals as we grow.

How much will the new hospital cost?
The entire project is estimated at $33 million. To be on the safe side, we have included over $6 million in contingency and inflation factors in that amount, given the uncertainty of the economic and construction trades environment. The Board is forming a project management committee that will examine project details and dig deeper into the budget in order to validate these preliminary estimates.

How will we pay for it?
Hospitals routinely face the challenge of renovating, expanding, and replacing their infrastructure. As an independent Critical Access Hospital and Rural Health Clinic, Cascade has several good options. Federal agencies such as USDA have programs specifically to support hospital building projects. A combination of public and private loans and grants will be sought in addition to the operating funds surplus that the hospital has been able to accumulate over time. The hospital’s Foundation is readying a capital campaign to raise funds. Finally, a temporary property tax increase will be requested of voters to help service the debt necessary to build a new hospital.

How much will this add to my taxes?
This is still being determined. Over the next few months, we will narrow our funding options, which will then tell us how much help we need from property owners.

Will the projects generate new jobs?
In addition to short-term construction jobs, the new medical center is projected to increase the hospital’s workforce as we add new capacity and services.

What accommodations have been made for future pandemics or large-scale community disruptions?
The new hospital is being planned and designed with the capability to quickly convert beds to handle a higher number of inpatients, with rooms that provide negative pressure systems when the need exists. Emergency power systems will also be available in both the hospital and clinic, allowing for ongoing needs without interruption.

What would happen to the old hospital facility?
There are a range of possibilities for the future use of that property, but nothing has been decided. While it is out of date as a hospital, the building and grounds can be repurposed in many ways once the medical center moves into its new home.

Was a needs assessment conducted in considering a new hospital and clinic?
Thorough market and financial assessments were conducted, as well as a space analysis based on current use and future projections of patient volume. The proposed sites under consideration are being carefully studied by an experienced healthcare architectural firm based on factors such as access, topography, helipad location, zoning, building orientation, parking, site amenities, traffic, neighborhood, and environmental issues.

How long will construction take?
If voters approve the project in May, the new medical center could open in 2025.

Why should I support this if I don’t use the hospital?
The medical care provided for our growing communities should be considered in the same light as police, fire, schools, parks, public infrastructure and other essential services that are supported by tax dollars. Even if you don’t personally use such services, they are necessary and valuable. Maintaining a state of the art medical facility is key to improving public health, retaining local talent, and growing our economic base. Our medical facilities are available 24×7, to everyone.
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Tamarack winter operations ‘on hold’ pending more mountain snow

By Meredith Spelbring Nov 24, 2021 KIVI

Full Tamarack Resort winter operations are “on hold” until the mountain gets more snow.

The Resort will delay the official season kickoff and full opening until more snow arrives, according to a news release. Officials at the resort will evaluate the snow conditions on a weekly basis to determine when the full mountain will open.

Snow making at the base of the mountain will allow the Discovery Chair to open free to the public Nov. 26-28. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and guests can pick up their free ticket at Tamarack Outfitters skier services area, according to the release.


Public Lands:

Payette National Forest Seeking Comments on Plans for Three Recreation Projects

McCall, ID, November 23, 2021 – The Payette National Forest is seeking public input on three recreation projects near McCall, Idaho on the McCall Ranger District. Comments are requested by January 3, 2022. Information about each project, as well as on how to provide input, can be found below.

Bear Basin Area Trails The Forest is reviewing existing routes in order to designate a sustainable trail system in the Bear Basin area which is approximately 3 miles west of McCall. Currently 5.6 miles of unauthorized trail are proposed to be added to the National Forest Trail system with two small reroutes of approximately 0.3 miles. Additionally, as part of this process, unauthorized routes not identified to become part of the National Forest Service Trail system would be decommissioned. Decommissioning could include between approximately 3 and 8 miles of unauthorized routes. More information can be found on the project webpage: (link)

Payette Lake Trail – East Side The Forest is considering a request from Central Idaho Mountain Bike Association to construct a 3.2-mile non-motorized trail on the east side of Payette Lake. Approximately 0.7 mile of this trail would be located on National Forest System lands, with the remainder on state endowment lands managed by Idaho Department of Lands. The trail would connect the Silver Gate Road with the Fall Creek Loop Trail (#107). More information can be found on the project webpage: (link)

Little Ski Hill Lighting Improvements The Forest is reviewing a request from Payette Lakes Ski Club to install additional lighting at Little Ski Hill on the Outback and Race Run trails, as well as on lower slopes in front of the lodge. In total, 40 new, 25-foot light poles and 65 new light fixtures would be installed. This project would double the area currently available for night skiing at Little Ski Hill to 30 acres. More information can be found on the project webpage: (link)

How to Comment These projects are being considered under categorical exclusions from detailed analysis (36 CFR 220.6). There are no additional designated public comment periods for categorical exclusions; therefore this “scoping” phase is the best opportunity for public input. A webform comment link can be found on each of the project websites.
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USDA Forest Service Payette Lake Trail – East Side Update

Nov 23, 2021

The McCall Ranger District is considering a request from the Central Idaho Mountain Bike Association to construct a 3.2-mile non-motorized trail on the east side of Payette Lake. Approximately 0.7 mile of this trail would be located on National Forest System lands, with the remainder on state endowment lands managed by Idaho Department of Lands. The trail would connect the Silver Gate Road with the Fall Creek Loop Trail (#107).

This project would be categorically excluded from documentation under 36 CFR 220.6(e)(1). As a categorical exclusion, there are no additional designated public comment periods so this “scoping” phase is the best opportunity for public input. Comments are requested by January 3, 2022. More information, including a map of the proposal and webform comment link, can be found on the project website: (link)
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USDA Forest Service Little Ski Hill Lighting Update

Nov 23, 2021

Payette Lakes Ski Club has proposed to install additional lighting at Little Ski Hill on the Outback and Race Run trails, as well as on lower slopes in front of the lodge. In total, 40 new, 25-foot light poles and 65 new light fixtures would be installed. This project would double the area currently available for night skiing at Little Ski Hill to a total of 30 acres.

This project would be categorically excluded from documentation under 36 CFR 220.6(e)(3). As a categorical exclusion, there are no additional designated public comment periods so this “scoping” phase is the best opportunity for public input. Comments are requested by January 3, 2022. More information, including a map of the proposal and webform comment link, can be found on the project website: (link)
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USDA Forest Service Lucky Ben Road Access Update

Nov 23, 2021

The Payette National Forest is considering permitting the owner of two private parcels approximately 2 miles west of Warren in Idaho County, Idaho, to construct approximately 550 feet of new road, and to maintain and use approximately 1 mile of existing routes on the National Forest that are not open for general public use, to access their inholdings. Construction and maintenance would include improving drainage on the existing routes and new construction would be in accordance with applicable Forest Service engineering standards. Additionally, a redundant unauthorized route along a tributary to Arlise Creek would be decommissioned to improve watershed conditions. The term of the permit would be 20 years.

The purpose of this project is to respond to a permit application for long-term motorized access across National Forest System (NFS) lands. The project is being evaluated as a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act as provided in 36 CFR 220.6(e)(3) – Approval, modification, or consideration of special uses that require less than 20 acres of National Forest System lands.

As a categorical exclusion there are no additional designated public comment periods for this project so this “scoping” phase is the best opportunity for public input. Comments are requested by January 3, 2022, and may be submitted via the project webpage at: (link)
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USDA Forest Service Bear Basin Area Trails Update

Nov 23, 2021

The Payette National Forest is reviewing existing routes in order to designate a sustainable trail system in the Bear Basin area located approximately 3 miles west of McCall. Currently 5.6 miles of unauthorized trail are proposed to be added to the National Forest Trail system with two small reroutes of approximately 0.3 miles. Additionally, as part of this process, unauthorized routes not identified to become part of the National Forest Service Trail system would be decommissioned. Decommissioning could include between approximately 3 and 8 miles of unauthorized routes. More information can be found on the project webpage: (link)

This project would be categorically excluded from detailed analysis under 36 CFR 220.6(e)(1) and (e)(20). As a categorical exclusion, there are no additional designated public comment periods so this “scoping” phase is the best opportunity for public input. Information on how to comment can be found on the project website.

Critter News:

Idaho creates chronic wasting disease management zone

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will allow emergency hunts to kill up to 1,000 deer to determine the extent of the disease.

Associated Press November 23, 2021 (KTVB)

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has designated a chronic wasting disease management zone in north-central Idaho, allowing hunts to kill up to 1,000 deer to determine the extent of the disease.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that the decision Monday allows Fish and Game Director Ed Schriever to establish the emergency hunts that will target a mix of whitetails and mule deer of both sexes.

Planning for the hunts is in progress. The hunts are designed to help wildlife officials determine the prevalence and geographic area of the disease. The hunts aren’t intended to contain the disease, though the commission could in the future authorize such hunts.


Fish and Game News:

Fish and Game officers seek information about a wasted elk near Anderson Ranch Dam

By Terry Thompson, Regional Communications Manager
Monday, November 22, 2021

Conservation Officer’s seek the public’s help in learning more about a wasted cow elk near Anderson Ranch Dam.

On the morning of November 12, 2021 Fish and Game officers received a tip through the Citizens Against Poaching hotline of a wasted cow elk. The elk, which was left intact, was found approximately 40 feet off Anderson Ranch Dam Road in Unit 44 approximately half a mile south of the 134c Forest Service road.

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DHW, Fish and Game officials urge caution after Chronic Wasting Disease found in Idaho deer

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Supervisor
Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Hunters are encouraged to have their deer, elk or moose tested for CWD

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and Idaho Fish and Game are encouraging hunters to take precautions when handling deer, elk or moose due to recent detection of Chronic Wasting Disease. Fish and Game announced the first detection of Chronic Wasting Disease in Idaho in two mule deer taken by hunters during October.

CWD is a fatal disease caused by a prion, a type of infectious protein, that affects the nervous system of deer, elk, reindeer, and moose. The prion protein is primarily in certain tissues in the animal, including eye, brain, spinal cord, and lymph nodes. Animals may not appear ill early in the infection.

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Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) are different, and here’s how they differ

By Roger Phillips, Public Information Supervisor
Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The EHD outbreak that occurred over summer and fall has likely ended, CWD has been detected for the first time in Idaho

Idaho had an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) during summer, mostly in white-tailed deer in the Clearwater and Panhandle areas. The EHD outbreak killed deer throughout the summer and fall. Idaho Fish and Game also received positive tests for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) from two mule deer bucks taken by hunters in Unit 14 north of Riggins during October. These were the first CWD-positive animals ever detected in Idaho. These are two separate and unrelated diseases.

Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal and contagious disease that affects the nervous systems of deer, elk, moose and reindeer. CWD is believed to be caused by abnormal, misfolded forms of the prion protein accumulating within brain cells, which causes progressive damage to those cells and brain damage.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, to date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infecting people. However, hunters are encouraged to have their animals tested for CWD, and not consume any animal that tests positive for CWD.

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MK Nature Center’s Holiday Bird Seed Sale is Dec. 3-4

By Connor Liess, Public Information Specialist
Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The MK Nature Center will host its 15th annual bird seed sale on Dec. 3 and 4. Come and stock up on food for your favorite backyard birds. Proceeds from this event benefit educational programs and day-to-day operations at the MK Nature Center.

High-quality bird seed, including black-oil sunflower, dove and quail mix, nyjer thistle and other varieties are provided through partnership with Wild Birds Unlimited of Boise. Wild Birds Unlimited is a long-time supporter of this event, helping make sure that the bird seed sale is one of the nature center’s most successful and popular fundraisers.

The MK Nature Center Gift Shop will have many nature-themed holiday items for purchase. Come check out these items for the nature lover on your holiday gift list.

COVID-19 Procedures: We are encouraging everyone to wear a mask.

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More F&G News Releases


Crazy Critter Stuff:

The Cincinnati Zoo is at it again with a load of Fiona cuteness!

In an adorable video posted to Facebook, Fiona swam along with her mother in playful gestures as they bobbed in and out of the water.

continued: w/video
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Baby Hippo Fiona’s Year 4 Highlights

Cincinnati Zoo


Seasonal Humor: