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Argyros Thanks Health Care Workers. Memorial Day Muted. Transition Looks Promising
Friday, May 8, 2020


The Argyros Center for the Performing Arts has found a unique way of honoring frontline healthcare workers.

The Center’s board has raised funds to purchase 250 gift cards for future performances and are donating them to St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation to be given to health care workers. The gift cards can be used for any of the Argyros’ future performances.

“As the Argyros remains dark until we all feel comfortable to sit with friends and enjoy another performance, the board members wanted to show their support to the community,” said Board Member Sally Onetto.

“Until we reopen with performances, we have taken a step back from the donation asks from the valley, allowing those more in need to have priority,” she added. “We did receive a Paycheck Protection Program loan enabling us to retain all our staff and are trying to plan future performances, which can only be confirmed once our patrons feel comfortable sitting together safely.”


The Hailey Memorial Day Ceremony is the latest victim of COVID-19 pandemic. It will not be celebrated in a community gathering as it has been the past 18 years, said Geegee Lowe.

Instead, members of the Hailey Memorial Day committee are encouraging individuals and families to honor those whose lives were lost during war in their own personal way.

The Hailey Cemetery will be decorated from dusk Friday, May 22, to dusk Monday, May 25, with 420 American flags and carnations placed on every known veteran’s gravesite. The flag will be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon on Memorial Day, then raised to the top of the staff in honor of the nation’s heroes.

People will be welcome to visit the cemetery on Memorial Day and flags will be available to place in remembrance surrounding the veteran’s portion of the cemetery.


JMcLaughlin is holding another Sip & Shop today—this time to benefit the therapeutic riding program at Swiftsure Ranch south of Bellevue.

Shoppers are invited to grab their favorite beverage and check out the spring and special equestrian collections. See something you like? Place your order at between noon and 5 p.m. Call at 208-471-5287. Or, stop by in person since the shop just reopened.

It’s located at 520 E. 4th Ave. N. in Ketchum.

Fifteen percent of the proceeds will benefit the Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center. The shop is offering curbside pick-up, home delivery or shipping.


Idaho reported 20 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday and one new death--Nez Perce County's 19th. The state has had 2,178 confirmed and probable cases and 67 deaths due to COVID-19. Blaine County continues to hold steady with 499 cases--just two new cases in the past week.


Idaho is currently on pace to make the transition into Stage Two of the governor’s Rebound Idaho plan on May 16, according to the Idaho Statesman.

Under Stage Two, restaurants, gyms, hair and nail salons, barbershops and other businesses such as massage therapy and acupuncture are allowed to open. Gatherings of fewer than 10 people are allowed.

To make the transition, the state must show a downward trend or low numbers of COVID-19-like illness patient visits as tracked by emergency departments since May 1. The state currently averages 8.8 emergency visits per day, down from 14 between April 17 and 30.

Emergency admissions are averaging 0.4 per day, compared with 1.9 admissions per day from April 17 through 30.

The third criteria is a downward trend in new coronavirus cases or fewer than 20 patients per day on average. Idaho is averaging 24.3 new cases per day, compared with 29.1 new cases the last two weeks of April.

Hospitals report they have the capacity to treat all patients right now and they currently have adequate supply of available ventilators, ICU beds and supply of N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, gowns and gloves. That’s at least 50 ventilators and ICU Beds and a 10-day supply of personal protective equipment.

Currently, an average of 2.3 health care workers per day have COVID-19, compared with 4.79 health care workers during the latter part of April.


The State of Idaho is offering Idaho Rebound Grants—economic relief grants up to $10,000 for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. If you received less than $10,000 in Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan funds, your business may be eligible. Visit for more information.


The Deer Creek area west of Hailey is being temporarily closed beginning Monday, May 11, but not because of the coronavirus! The Ketchum Ranger District is finishing the final phase on the Deer Creek road realignment project as part of the watershed restoration.

Beginning May 11, the road will be closed at the junction of Wolftone Road and the main Deer Creek Road to all vehicle and pedestrian or bicycle traffic because of heavy equipment working. The project is expected to be completed by Thursday, May 14, but may require additional days the following week.

The Ketchum Ranger district will reopen access over the weekend if additional time is required to complete the project.


Company of Fools is beginning to sell tickets for its 25th anniversary season. The season features five productions, starting with “Educating Rita” Sept. 9 and concluding with “The Gun Show” March 10-21, 2021. (See Eye on Sun Valley’s May 6 story “Company of Fools Pushes ‘Educating Rita’ Back as it Readies Pandemic Theater” for more information about the individual shows.)

25th Anniversary Season Passes for all five productions are available for $180. Individual tickets are available for $40 each (with special member, group, educator, senior and student pricing). Each production will offer Pay What You Feel previews, Educator Nights, Post-Show Chat Backs and 6 for $10 (six first row balcony sets sold for $10 each night).

To purchase tickets, visit


The Attic is now accepting donations as it readies to open on May 15 under the governor’s Rebound Idaho plan. Donation hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays. Quality furniture pickups may be scheduled by calling 208-578-0340.

When it reopens, the number of people in the store will be limited to 10 at a time, staff will wear protective face masks and customers will be required to do so, as well.

Cash registers will be cleaned throughout the day, as will fitting rooms, doors and donation area. Aisles have been designated one-way to provide for safe physical distancing.

The Attic is located at 12 W. Carbonate St. in Hailey. Proceeds support the work of The Advocates, which offers safety and refugee for those suffering form domestic violence and other trauma.


The resort town of McCall is asking visitors to abide by protocol set up by local businesses when travel opens under the governor’s plan. That includes wearing face masks, abiding by the number of people allowed in a building at one time, and using physical distancing of at least six feet in all areas, including trails.


Idaho inmates say overcrowding at the state prison puts them at risk of coronavirus. Cells meant to hold two are now holding four or more, they say. Idaho has 8,970 inmates spread among state-run prisons, county jails and private prisons, including one in Texas. Forty-seven inmates have been tested for COVID-19 and, so far, all have been negative.


Bishop Kelly High School in Boise has reopened school, setting up ten 6-foot tables for students to use voluntarily for two- to three-hour sessions three days a week. The school is providing sanitized computers for students who need one.

Students are encouraged but not required to wear face masks.


Washington State scientists have spotted the Asian giant hornets in the state, particularly in Snohomish County, and they have no idea how they got there.

 Gov. Jay Inslee has issued an emergency proclamation saying the infestation endangers the agricultural and horticultural industries and seriously threatens the economic well-being and quality of life of those who live in the state.

While its sting can be excruciating, it’s a big threat to honeybees as it crawls into hives and rips off the heads of bees—hence, the name murder hornet. It’s the biggest hornet in the world, a female worker growing an inch and a half.

 None have been sighted so far in Idaho. But they have been seen as far north as British Columbia.

 The good news: They’re a traditional delicacy in rural areas of Japan, able to be fried on skewers for added crunch, preserved in jars or steamed with rice. And their venom even gives liquor a kick, says the New York Times.


Researchers now believe that travelers from New York in early March fueled outbreaks of the coronavirus in Idaho, Louisiana, Texas, Arizona and states up and down the West Coast two weeks before physical distancing guidelines were imposed.

Geneticists tracked signature mutations of the virus, travel histories of infected people and models of the outbreak by infectious disease experts to determine that New York was the primary gateway for the rest of the country, says an article in the New York Times.

By March 1, when the first coronavirus case was confirmed in the Big Apple, the city probably had more than 10,000 detected infections. Viruses spreading from New York, which were linked to European outbreaks, are believed to account for 60 to 65 percent of the infections identified across the country.

Researchers say travel from an early outbreak in Seattle seeded infections linked to China in more than a dozen states. But it resembled a squall in the face of New York’s storm. And, despite, Idaho’s proximity to Seattle, samples taken in Idaho carry distinct mutations that can be traced back to viruses introduced into New York.


It used to be flat feet would keep you out of the military. Now the Defense Department is barring would-be military recruits who have been hospitalized for the coronavirus. A military official told CNN that corona survivors are not being accepted because so little is known about the long-term effects of the virus.


Bryce Canyon National Park has partially reopened. Entry fees are waived for the time being.

~  Today's Topics ~

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