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BLACKFOOT â€” Thanks to generous donations and willing volunteers, the Blackfoot Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign raised more than $5,000 and exceeded expectations this year.
The campaign, which runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas, raised $800 more than last year and is nearly double the amount raised in 2009.
The Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency's Bingham County office is the local Salvation Army service extension. SEICAA coordinates volunteers for the kettles and collects and distributes the funds to the local community.
BLACKFOOT â€” A wet and warm storm system is forecast to pass through the region today through Saturday, bringing wind, rain and some snow to the area, according to the National Weather Service.
The system will also bring warmer temperatures with a high near 42 degrees today and 47 degrees Thursday. Overnight lows are forecast to stay at or above freezing through Friday.
Today there is a 40 percent chance of precipitation coupled with sustained winds of 14 miles per hour and gusts up to 22 mph. Wind and rain are forecast to increase overnight and continue Thursday and into Friday.
BLACKFOOT â€” The Blackfoot Education Association hosted an open forum with Rep. Dennis Lake and Sen. Steve Bair Tuesday night to allow teachers and others in the community to openly discuss issues prior to the start of the 2012 Idaho legislative session.
"We wanted an opportunity to visit with them, remind them of our concerns," said organizer Bekki Mangum, who teaches at Mountain View Middle School.
The forum turned into a roundtable discussion with teachers expressing their concerns about education including budget cuts, education reform, pay for performance and online classes.
FIRTH â€” Firth High School students presented 18 bereavement kits to the director of the Women's Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls Thursday.
These kits will be given to families whose baby died before birth, said Janice Anthony, the Family and Consumer Science teacher at FHS.
Included in each kits is a kimono, a nine-patch blanket and a knitted hat. The kimonos are sewn in varying sizes for the different sizes of the babies.
Students in Anthony's Fashion Design classes made these kits and used looms to knit 43 hats.
BLACKFOOT â€” Earlier this week a jury in Bannock County and Idaho's Sixth Judicial District found two former employees of Premier Technology guilty of violating the Idaho Trade Secrets Act.
In a case dating from late 2007, Chadd Orr and Jeff Schutte were accused of conspiring with Petersen, Inc., an Ogden, Utah-based competitor to Premier Technology, to damage Premier's customer base in an effort to devalue it and eventually buy it.
BLACKFOOT â€” Family and friends of Chris Gardner gathered at Blackfoot High School Thursday afternoon for the dedication of the new gym in his honor.
Gardner, who died in 2010 in an ATV accident, was a teacher, coach and principal in the Blackfoot School District before retiring in 2008. He also officiated high school football and basketball games for 30 years.
BLACKFOOT â€” Students in the Ridge Crest Limited English Proficiency (LEP) after school program celebrated Posadas with their families and teachers Wednesday evening. The Posadas, a Christmas tradition in Mexico, includes a reenactment of the procession into Bethlehem, culminating with a fiesta.
Approximately 25 students participate in the LEP after-school program Monday through Thursday. They receive help with their homework, work on special projects and get extra support from bilingual staff.
THOMAS â€”Â Russell Hammond, superintendent of the Snake River School District, is retiring July 31, 2012.
District trustees have begun searching for his replacement. The application period began Dec. 1 and runs through Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. Applications must be received by the February date. To date, one application has been received.
"Are we working under a deadline?" asked trustee Steve Reader.
"Yes, you probably want someone in place by July 1," Hammond said.
BLACKFOOT â€” The Blackfoot City Council hired a subcontractor to assist with engineering responsibilities in the Public Works department at its meeting Tuesday night.
The city solicited three bids for engineering services from Harper-Leavitt Engineering, Keller Engineering and Fred Davies, a retired engineer.
Davies submitted the lowest bid of $24,960 annually. The position is part-time, at-will and has no benefits. Davies is a licensed engineer.
The city has been without a Public Works engineer for more than two years.
BLACKFOOT â€” As she sat at a table at St. Bernard Catholic Church's parish hall on Saturday, Gerry Mathias signed and sold a few copies of her newly published children's book, "Cookies for Frankie."
"This has been a three-year process," Mathias said of publication of her book. She said she decided to publish it after entering it in an Idaho Writer's League contest and earning second place.
"I decided maybe this was worth it," she said. She noted it is the true story of how a set of cookie cutters which have been in her family for nearly a century came to be made.