Small Fire at Barnes & Noble

Idaho Falls, ID – At 6:20 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, the Idaho Falls Fire Department was dispatched to Barnes & Noble, 2300 E. 17th Street for a report of a structure fire.

Two engines, two ambulances, one ladder truck, a Battalion Chief and a Safety Officer responded.

While en route, it was reported that a store employee was notified by a patron that the trash receptacle in the women’s restroom was on fire and had been extinguishing by an employee.

Engine 4 crew arrived on scene and entered the building to investigate. The crew found smoke in the room, checked for extension and overhauled the receptacle and towel dispenser.  Engine 1 crew assisted with ventilation and air monitoring to ensure habitable air for patrons and employees.

Ladder 1 crew arrived to investigate the cause. Fire investigators determined the fire was due to a malfunction with the battery-operated towel dispenser.

Crews remained on scene until the area was completely clear of smoke.

Media note: For additional information, call Captain Wynn Whitmeyer at (208) 201-1567.

Emergency Alert Testing Scheduled for Tomorrow

Idaho Falls, ID:   Bonneville County Emergency Management will be conducting a test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) sirens throughout Idaho Falls and Ammon on Wednesday, November 30, 2016, at 10:00 a.m.  The sirens will sound for approximately 45 seconds, simultaneously.

This is ONLY a test.  There is no need to call emergency services with this activation.  In the event the EAS sirens are used in a real event, you should tune in to your local news source for information and instructions regarding the disaster and/or emergency that may be occurring.

The sirens are an outdoor warning system intended to prompt those who may not be near a radio, television or other news source during a real emergency to seek out the reason(s) for the activation.

For additional information, you may contact the Bonneville County Office of Emergency Management at (208) 529-1220 or 529-1223, or tlenderink@co.bonneville.id.us .

Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon.

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About Idaho Falls:  Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous national park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, science & technology, shopping and entertainment, Idaho Falls is an attractive location for small and large businesses alike. Idaho Falls consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more on our website.

2nd Annual Festival of Lights at Freeman Park

Idaho Falls, ID: Gather your family and friends and head out for a festive, magical and memorable light display experience that’s sure to delight all ages.

The Idaho Falls Department of Parks and Recreation is proud to announce the return of Festival of Lights at Freeman Park. The light display will be open to the public seven days a week from 6-10 p.m., Friday, Nov. 25-Dec. 24, 2016.

Festival of Lights at Freeman Park is a drive-thru display that features more than 100 animated holiday scenes, light color changing trees, music and so much more! A new feature this year is the holiday book reading by local author, Brett Parson, Mondays and Fridays only from 6-8 p.m.

While there, visit with Santa in the heated pavilion or relax on a horse-drawn wagon (Fridays & Saturdays only for no extra cost) while you ride around the enchanted winter wonderland.

Festive holiday snacks and hot cocoa will be available every night, except Sunday, beginning November 28th.

Tickets can be purchased upon entry into the park. The entrance fee is $10 per carload or $15 for oversized or commercial-sized vehicles. An active military discount is available at $5 per vehicle with a military ID. Wagon rides and visits with Santa are included in the price. Credit cards and cash are accepted. Checks are not accepted.

Last year more than $9,000 of the proceeds from the event was raised for the City’s parks capital improvement fund.

For a map of the route, see our webpage or visit us at the Recreation Center at 520 Memorial Drive.

Do you have a favorite light display? Take a picture and share it on the Festival of Lights at Freeman Park Facebook page. Don’t forget to tune into 93.5 FM for festival music.

Freeman Park will remain open to sledding for the duration of the festival. The river walk adjacent to the Snake River will also remain open.

The event is sponsored by HK Contractors, Western State CAT, Westmark Credit Union, Idaho Central Credit Union, Riverbend Communications and KIFI Local News 8.

Fall and winter recreation enthusiast can now learn about a multitude of recreation activities and facilities that are available throughout our community in the recently released 2016 Fall/Winter issue of the Discover Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Activity Guide.  Guides can also be found in local businesses and in our FREE distribution racks located in most city parks and facilities. 

Media Note: Parks & Rec representatives will be available for interviews at Freeman Park on Friday, November 25 from 6-7 p.m. For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon.

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About Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation: The mission of the City of Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation Department is to provide quality parks and recreation opportunities based upon cost efficiency and community needs. Learn more on our website.

Section of Elm Street Closed Tomorrow Morning for Repairs

Idaho Falls, ID – Elm Street from Yellowstone Avenue to Eastern Avenue will be closed tomorrow, November 17, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Union Pacific Railroad will be replacing damaged crossing panels at the railroad crossing on Elm Street immediately east of the Broadway & Yellowstone Avenue intersection.

Motorists should plan alternate routes such as the railroad crossing at Cliff Street & Yellowstone Avenue, “D” Street & Yellowstone Avenue or Pancheri Drive & 17th Street.

The roadway is anticipated to reopen before noon tomorrow.

Please watch for equipment and workers, follow all traffic signs and flaggers, and reduce speeds to posted limits.

Additional information on City of Idaho Falls construction projects can be found on the homepage of the city’s website or by clicking HERE.

Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon.

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About Idaho Falls:  Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous national park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, science & technology, shopping and entertainment, Idaho Falls is an attractive location for small and large businesses alike. Idaho Falls consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more on our website.

City Seeks Input from Community on Independence Day Events

Idaho Falls, ID – Following last month’s announcement by Melaleuca to relocate their annual Melaleuca Freedom Celebration and fireworks show, the City of Idaho Falls is taking this opportunity to survey community members on several Independence Day events that are held in Idaho Falls on the 4th of July.

The information obtained will assist city leadership when planning for city services and facilities needed to support such events. The deadline for input is December 1.

The purpose of the online survey is to gather public input on not only the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration, an event currently located on the west side of the Snake River that concludes with a fireworks show, but on the three other major events that the city supports on the 4th of July.

These events include: The Military Affairs Committee FireKracker 5K Fun Run which travels the parade just prior to the start of the parade; the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce’ Independence Day Parade on 4th Street and S. Boulevard; and the Chamber’s Liberty Festival on the Falls which is the festival located along Memorial Drive that runs from noon to 10:00 p.m.

The survey can be completed online by clicking on the links in this release. A link to the survey can also be found on the homepage of the city’s website, and a hard copy can be completed by visiting the Mayor’s Office inside City Hall at 308 Constitution Way during regular business hours. (Note that city offices will be closed on November 11 in observance of Veteran’s Day.)

City Council will review the results of the survey and discuss options at a work session on December 12 at 3:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers located inside the City Annex building at 680 Park Avenue.  City Council meetings are also archived on the city’s website. The link to City Council meetings can also be found by clicking here.

Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon.

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About Idaho Falls:  Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous national park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, science & technology, shopping and entertainment, Idaho Falls is an attractive location for small and large businesses alike. Idaho Falls consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more on our website.

17th Street & Hitt Road Public Meeting

Idaho Falls, ID –  The City of Idaho Falls Public Works Department would like to invite the community to a public meeting regarding the 17th Street and 25th East (Hitt Road) intersection improvement project. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at Eastern Idaho Technical College (EITC).

Short project presentations will be given on the hour at 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Displays will be set up, and the design team will be available to discuss the project and answer questions.

The project, jointly sponsored by the City of Idaho Falls and the City of Ammon, includes widening of the 17th Street/25th East intersection to add a second left-turn lane on all four approaches and dedicated right-turn lanes on the northbound, southbound, and eastbound approaches. Median improvements will also be constructed on 25th East between 17th Street and 25th Street and on 17th Street between Ashment Avenue and 25th East.

The entire existing roadway surface will be milled and a new asphalt overlay constructed throughout the project area. Design activities are scheduled to be complete in December, with construction anticipated to begin in early spring 2017.

In addition to the work jointly sponsored and funded by the two cities, the City of Idaho Falls will fund the extension of the milling and overlay work on 17th Street westward to Woodruff Avenue.

Additional information is available on the City of Idaho Falls website at www.idahofallsidaho.gov by clicking on the Construction Projects link in the lower right corner of the homepage.

Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon.

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About Idaho Falls:  Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous national park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, science & technology, shopping and entertainment, Idaho Falls is an attractive location for small and large businesses alike. Idaho Falls consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more on our website.

Chimney Fire

Idaho Falls, ID:  On November 9, 2016 at 10:01 a.m., the Idaho Falls Fire Department was dispatched to 11331 N. 75th E. for a report of a structure fire in a single family home.

The occupants had evacuated the home prior to the arrival of the fire department.

Engine 2 arrived to find a fire that had extended from the wood burning stove in the basement to the masonry chimney and into the attic and walls of the home.

Engines 1 and 2 aggressively exposed and attacked the hidden fire in the void space, while ladder truck 1 cut a ventilation hole in the roof to release the smoke and heat in the attic space.

Firefighters were able to keep the fire confined to the area immediately around the chimney from the basement to the attic. A total of 15 firefighters were on scene.

The cause of the fire was reported to be due to the fire from the wood burning stove escaping the masonry chimney to the structure of the home.

The damage to the home was estimated at $75,000.

Homeowners are reminded to have their chimneys inspected regularly to ensure they remain intact and in proper working order.  Additional information on fire prevention and safety can be found at http://www.nfpa.org/public-education.

For additional information on this incident, contact Battalion Chief Cody Anderson at (208) 612-8495.

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About Idaho Falls Fire Department:  The mission of the Idaho Falls Fire Department is to protect the lives and property of the citizens and visitors of Idaho Falls by providing the highest possible levels of service through fire prevention, public education, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and mitigation of the effects of natural and man-made disasters consistent with the resources provided as desired and dictated by the citizens and elected officials of the City of Idaho Falls. The department serves the City of Idaho Falls and the Bonneville County Fire Protection District. In 2015, the department provided an unmatched level of service at 4,011 engine responses and 8,666 ambulance calls.  Learn more on our website.

Idaho Falls Zoo Ends the Year on a Record-Breaking High Note

Idaho Falls, ID – The staff and volunteers at the Idaho Falls Zoo are excited to announce several record-breaking attendance numbers at the zoo this year, including numbers from the most recent Boo at the Zoo event.

The 2015-16 total fiscal year attendance was reported at 132,615, exceeding the 2009 record by 2,906 visitors.

April’s opening day saw a record-breaking attendance of 2,196. The month of April was also the zoo’s overall best attendance at 11,587, with a previous record of 9,386. July, which is normally the highest-attended month at most zoos (including the Idaho Falls Zoo), was this season’s record-breaking month at 28,266. That number was up from a previous record of 27,900 in 2010.

Over a six-month operational period, the newly created Quarters for Conservation program brought in an impressive $35,801.10. When the program was first introduced during the 2014-15 fiscal year, $11,281 was raised over a four-month period.

Finishing off the zoo’s outstanding season, Boo at the Zoo, reported a remarkable number of guests at 10,458 over a three-day period which includes a record-breaking night on Saturday of 5,316 guests.

The Tautphaus Park Zoological Society, which hosts Boo at the Zoo, wishes to thank everyone who helped with this year’s event for their time, energy and talent. All funds raised from the event go toward future improvements at the zoo.

David Pennock, Zoo Superintendent stated, “The increased visits are attributed to the amazing and passionate staff and volunteers at the zoo.  This group has worked so hard to make our zoo the best it can be by improving community outreach, taking excellent care of animals and zoo grounds, fundraising and continuing essential animal conservation measures,” adds Pennock.

According to a patron survey conducted in 2015, 63 percent of zoo visitors came from outside of Idaho Falls. From April 9 to July 19, 2016, the zoo hosted more than 7,700 school children from 31 communities in 12 counties across Idaho and from cities in southwestern Montana and western Wyoming.  A previous independent study from 2009, using visitor surveys, concluded that the zoo adds $3.54 million annually to the local economy.

Nationally, attendance at zoos continues to increase. On average, 86 million people visit zoos and aquariums each year, with an astounding number of overall visits estimated at around 186 million.

Although the zoo is closed to the public until April 2017, the zoo will continue to host education programs such as outreach presentations at schools, monthly toddler classes for ages 2-5, and winter and spring break classes for ages 6-13.   Learn more about Idaho Falls Zoo education opportunities by clicking here.

Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with zoo staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon.

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About Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park:   With more than 330 individual animals representing 130 species from all around the globe, the Idaho Falls Zoo has the largest collection of animals in the state of Idaho and is considered the “Best Little Zoo in the West.” Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the zoo participates in 44 national Species Survival Plans. Learn more on our website.

 

Removal of Traffic Signal at 1st Street & Freeman Avenue

Idaho Falls, ID –  The Idaho Falls Public Works Department will be removing the span-wire traffic signal at the intersection of 1st Street & Freeman Avenue the morning of Thursday, November 10, 2016.

1st-freeman-avenue-interesection

Photo: 1st Street & Freeman Avenue Intersection

The removal of the signal was discussed at a City Council work session on November 7. The structure poses an immediate safety hazard due to failure of the aging poles that support the signal.

The traffic signal does not meet traffic warrants and therefore will be replaced with stop signs on the minor street (Freeman Avenue) approaches. The stop signs will have blinking LED lights around the border for greater visibility.

City Council meetings are archived on the City of Idaho Falls’ website for public viewing. To review the meeting mentioned above or other Council meetings, click HERE.

Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon.

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About Public Works:  The Public Works Department consists of six divisions. The Engineering Division provides Survey, Design and Project Management services to the rest of Public Works and other city divisions. The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Division coordinates Mapping and Informational Services with other city divisions.  The Sanitation Division provides solid waste collection and disposal. The Sewer Division provides sanitary sewage collection and treatment for the city and areas in Bonneville County; and storm water collection and treatment for the city.  The Street Division maintains the streets, bridges, alleys, and public parking lots. The Water Division provides and distributes potable water.

Traffic Detoured at Grandview Drive & Foote Drive

Idaho Falls, ID – Traffic at the intersection of Grandview Drive and Foote Drive will be detoured Tuesday, November 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for paving work.

Foote Drive traffic will be detoured west on Grandview Drive, then north on Skyline Drive and east on Sawtelle Street.

This work is part of the widening and reconstruction project on Grandview Drive from Skyline Drive to Saturn Avenue.

The reconstruction and widening of Grandview Drive from Skyline Drive to Saturn Avenue began August 1.  This federally-funded project will provide roadway improvements including the reconstruction of the roadway, widening of Grandview Drive to five lanes, a 12ft wide shared use pathway on the south side of the roadway, and a sidewalk on the north side of the roadway between Skyline Drive and Saturn Avenue.

Motorists should watch for equipment and workers, follow all traffic signs and flaggers, and reduce speeds to posted limits.

For questions, call Public Works at (208) 612-8250.

Additional information on City of Idaho Falls construction projects can be found on the homepage of the city’s website or by clicking HERE.

Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon.

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About Idaho Falls:  Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous national park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, science & technology, shopping and entertainment, Idaho Falls is an attractive location for small and large businesses alike. Idaho Falls consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more on our website.