Media Advisory – 4th of July Press Conference

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho:  Mayor Casper invites members of the media to attend a press conference regarding the 4th of July festivities. The conference will be held on Tuesday, July 1 at 11:00 a.m. in Council Chambers at the City Annex Building, 680 Park Avenue, Idaho Falls.

The following representatives will give remarks and will be available for questions and interviews following the press conference:

  • Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper
  • Frank VanderSloot, CEO, Melaleuca
  • Damond Watkins, Vice President of Corporate Relations, Melaleuca
  • Sgt. Dave Frei, Idaho Falls Police Department
  • Cpt. Eric Day, Idaho Falls Fire Department
  • Kerry McCullough, Public Information Officer, City of Idaho Falls
  • Dana Briggs, Programs & Events Coordinator, Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City of Idaho Falls Contact:
Kerry McCullough
Public Information Officer
Office: (208) 612-8122
kmccullough@idahofallsidaho.gov

Idaho Falls Zoo to Undergo Accreditation Inspection

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho:  The Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park will start its Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) inspection today.

Over the next two and a half days, zoo professionals will review all aspects of zoo operations.  “While the inspectors do have a heavy focus on animal care and health, they also look at the grounds, the facilities, education programs, conservation programs, graphics, guest services, safety and long-term plans for the zoo,” says Beth Rich, zoo superintendent.

Zoos that are members of the AZA are inspected every five years. Of the 2,500 zoos that are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and open to the public, less than 250 of them are accredited by the AZA.  “Achieving accreditation is very difficult, but very important,” states Rich. “Because we are accredited, we work cooperatively with other zoos and have many of the public’s favorite animals including African penguins, snow leopards, Amur tiger, sloth bears, red pandas and all the primates.  Should we ever lose our accreditation, we risk losing availability to those species,” adds Rich.

Beyond having the animals to show to the public, accreditation also lets the public know that the Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park has the very highest standards of animal care and welfare. “The AZA standards for animal care are very stringent. We have to demonstrate policies, procedures and practices that show we have appropriate enclosures, diet, feeding practices, enrichment, training, vet care and staff with the knowledge to care for their assigned species,” states Rich.

This is not the first time the Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park has undergone an accreditation inspection.  The zoo first became accredited in 1998, with subsequent inspections in 2003 and 2009.

At the end of the inspection, the inspectors will meet with the zoo staff to go over any concerns.  Zoo staff will address the concerns and file follow-up reports, if needed.  The zoo will find out if they officially pass inspection in September of this year at the AZA National Conference in Orlando.

Admission to the Idaho Falls Zoo is just $7 for adults 13-61 years old, $5.50 for seniors 62 and older, $4 for children 4-12 years old and children 3 and under are free.  For more information visit the zoo online at www.idahofallszoo.org.

For more information on our education programs or to register for classes, visit our website www.idahofallszoo.org and click on Education Programs or contact the Zoo Education Department at (208) 612-8453 or zooeducation@idahofallszoo.org. Visitors are always welcome to visit the gift shop for additional information, open daily from 9am-4pm.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City of Idaho Falls Contact:
Kerry McCullough
Public Information Officer
Office: (208) 612-8122
kmccullough@idahofallsidaho.gov

Congressman Simpson Set to Tee Off at Sand Creek Golf Course

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho:  Congressman Mike Simpson will help introduce The First Tee program to Idaho Falls by playing one hole of golf with junior club participants on Wednesday, July 2 at Sand Creek Golf Course in Idaho Falls. The event is also in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

The First Tee of Idaho is a non-profit organization that provides youth, ages 7-17, with access to affordable educational programs regardless of race, ethnicity or economic circumstances. The program teaches life skills and values that are inherent to the game of golf in a fun, safe environment.

“This new program teaches more than just golf – it teaches valuable life and character building skills. It’s an excellent addition to our junior golf program, and we are excited to be partnering with Congressman Simpson and the program organizers to bring it to our community,” states Greg A. Weitzel, director, Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation.

The event will kick off at 2 p.m. with remarks made by John Graham, PGA head professional at Sand Creek Golf Course; Pete Stickney, executive director, The First Tee of Idaho; Laurel Sayer, executive director, Idaho Coalition of Land Trusts; and Congressman Simpson.

The First Tee was started by LGPA (Ladies’ Professional Golf Association), Masters Tournament, PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) of America, PGA TOUR and USGA (United States Golf Association) with founding corporate partner, Shell Oil in 1997.  The First Tee currently has 9 million participants in 200 chapters throughout 50 U.S. states and four international locations.

The First Tee of Idaho started in 2005 at Pierce Park Greens Golf Course in Boise, and has been adopted by Meridian, Nampa, Star, Kuna and now Idaho Falls. The program is funded by private and corporate donations, as well as grants and sponsorships. Grant funding in the amount of $4,700 was provided by LWCF, and supported by Congressman Simpson, for the Idaho Falls program.

The First Tee of Idaho will be offered at Sand Creek Golf Course as a six week program every Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., beginning July 9. The cost is $40 per participant, ages 17 and under. Scholarships are available for those who cannot afford to pay. Registration is now open by calling (208) 612-8115. Clubs are provided, if needed, and participants will receive golf instruction, a T-shirt, food and beverage. The program will be taught by PGA Professional John Graham and Assistant Professional Kevin Kavran.

In 1972, a $388,308 federal LWCF grant was utilized by the City of Idaho Falls to develop Sand Creek Golf Course.  In the 1990’s, population growth in Idaho Falls exerted pressure for new housing in the neighborhood adjacent to the Sand Creek Golf Course.  The city traded parcels from the original golf course with the developer to provide a neighborhood park, bicycle path and new housing opportunities.  The solution was beneficial to the city and outdoor recreationists while providing new housing opportunities for area residents.

Media note: For additional information about the The First Tee of Idaho, contact Pete Stickney at (208) 938-3411.  For information regarding the event at Sand Creek, contact City PIO, Kerry McCullough.

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 still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

About LWCF: LWCF operates without relying on taxpayers as it utilizes a portion of the nation’s revenues from outer continental shelf oil and gas leases.  The LWCF programs protect natural resource lands, outdoor recreation opportunities and working forests at the local, state and federal levels.  Its diverse array of conservation tools allows farmers and ranchers to continue acting as stewards of the lands that sustain their livelihoods.  LWCF has protected many of Idaho’s most prized landscapes such as the Sawtooth Valley, South Fork of the Snake River, Boise Foothills, City of Rocks, Henry’s Lake and Hells Canyon.

Additional Resources:

http://www.golfif.com/sandcreek-golf-course/, http://www.thefirsttee.org/Club/Scripts/Home/home.asp, http://www.thefirstteeidaho.org/club/scripts/public/public.asp, http://www.lwcfcoalition.org/idaho.html

 

Re-striping Holmes at 14th Street

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho:  The Idaho Falls Public Works Division will be making a striping change on Holmes Avenue at 14th Street next week.

The purpose of the re-striping is to provide a left turn bay for northbound traffic turning left onto 14th Street.  This will remove left turning traffic from the through lane of traffic, improving the safety and efficiency of northbound traffic flow on Holmes Avenue.

Space for the added turn lane will be provided by holding southbound traffic to one lane through 14th Street and opening up to two lanes at 15th Street.  Currently, southbound traffic opens up to two lanes at 14th Street.

Work on this change will begin on Tuesday, June 24 and will be completed no later than Thursday, June 26.

For more information contact the public works division at (208) 612-8256.

Idaho Falls Public Library Summer Reading Program

Idaho Falls Public Library’s (IFPL) Summer Reading Program is in full swing. With programs for kids, adults and teens, the library had over 4,000 participants sign up the first week!  Participants can sign up for the program by visiting the Summer Reading desks on the 1st and 3rd floors.

The Kids Program is for ages 0-12. Kids make a weekly reading goal of their choice with the help of their parents, then record their goal and books read on their reading logs.  Each week they earn Reading Rewards – sponsor coupons (23 area sponsors providing coupons worth over $130,000) and Book Bucks (for choosing from over 90 different prizes in the Summer Reading Store).  Kids can read whatever books they want and can earn prizes for up to 10 weeks.

The Teen Program is open to those entering grades 7-12 in the fall.  Teens read books and record them on their reading log.  Teens earn prizes and Book Bucks as well. The more they read, the more they earn! Book Bucks are used to bid for prizes at the Teen Summer Reading Auction, which is scheduled for Aug. 23 at 6:30 p.m.  Teens can earn extra Book Bucks by visiting the library every week, writing short book reviews and reading different book genres.

The Adults Program is open to all readers over 18 years old. Adults read or listen to books and record them on a reading log.  Each book read earns a drawing slip for the weekly prize drawings.  Visiting the library each week earns participants a grand prize drawing slip.

Acting for Kids is a fun, interactive theater experience for ages 5 and up.  Held on Wednesday afternoons at 4 p.m. through June and July, the program introduces kids to mythology, Shakespeare and improvisational theater.

Crafternoons are back for teens! Join us on Wednesdays at 2 p.m.  Space is limited and teens are required to sign up for each Crafternoon one-week prior to the program. Classes are listed below:

June 25: t-shirt bag – Make a personalized, one-of-a kind bag with crayons, sandpaper and a t-shirt!

July 9: catch-all can – Upcycle an empty can with some glass marbles and hot glue and turn it into a cute and useful holder for all your things!

July 23: paper-bead bookmarks – With mere paper and glue, beads can be made to embellish a bookmark that any booklover would love in their book!

August 6: bottle cap magnets – We have the bottle caps, magnets and glue… you bringthe papers of your choice, and together we will make some of the best magnets ever!

August 20: smashbooks – Again, we’re going to take an old book and upcycle it into a “smashbook” to smash all of your favorite things together in one spot! Feel free to bring patterned paper, tickets, pictures, memorabilia, etc. to really make this a piece of personalized and FUN-ctional art!

Summer Science Days is a six-week workshop series on Thursday afternoons, starting June 26. Kids ages 6-8 meet at 2 p.m., and kids ages 9-12 meet at 4 p.m. Age limits are strictly enforced.  Each week focuses on a new set of scientific principles. Space is limited and kids are required to sign up for each workshop one week prior.

Families can party through another Awesome August at Idaho Falls Public Library!  This year, our theme parties are celebrating favorite book characters “Pete the Cat” and “Harry Potter,” as well as fairy tales with princesses, knights, dragons and superheroes.  August parties are held on Wednesdays at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. and are open for kids of all ages and their parents. Registration begins July 14 and is required.

For more information about the library and all the programs, see our website at www.ifpl.org, call us at (208) 612-8460 or visit us at 457 W. Broadway, Idaho Falls.

2014 Beautification Award Nominations

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho:  The City of Idaho Falls Beautification Commission is now accepting nominations for the 2014 Beautification Awards for business and residential properties.

The purpose of the Beautification Commission is to promote and recognize private and public beautification efforts within the City of Idaho Falls.

Nominations must be exterior street observations that meet the criteria of being within city limits and adhering to city ordinances, codes and related standards. The general effect of the property and the overall value to the community will also be evaluated.

Nominations must be submitted by July 11.  A link to the application can be found on the home page of the city’s website at www.idahofallsidaho.gov. Before and after photos of the properties are encouraged, and submitted photos will be the property of the City of Idaho Falls.

Completed nomination applications should be submitted to City of Idaho Falls, 2014 Beautification Award Program, P.O. Box 50220, Idaho Falls, ID 83405-0220. Applications can also be submitted by fax at (208) 612-8520 or email at dpetty@idahofallsidaho.gov.

The 6th Annual Beautification Awards will be presented at Community Night Out on Aug. 6, at 6:30 p.m. on the Greenbelt near the Memorial Drive roundabout.

For questions, contact the Planning and Building Division at (208) 612-8276.

City of Idaho Falls Contact:
Kerry McCullough
Public Information Officer
Office: (208) 612-8122
kmccullough@idahofallsidaho.gov

Airport Simulation Drill Scheduled for Wednesday

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho:  Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IFRA) will hold an emergency disaster drill on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in order to test their Airport Emergency Plan in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements.

The primary purpose of the drill is to combine a series of emergency events that are designed to fully test the airport’s emergency response protocol as well as the emergency command and control functions.

The FAA requires IFRA to conduct a mass casualty drill every three (3) years to test for emergency preparedness in the event of an actual aircraft incident.

A live fire simulation will be take place on the south end of runway 17/35 located on the north east side of Skyline Drive. Smoke grenades will be activated at 11 a.m. to test the response time and the ability of the on-airport fire department to extinguish the blaze within 3 minutes from the initial call that an aircraft accident has happened.

Approximately 40 volunteer victims from Dr. Slaughter’s and the Eastern Idaho Technical College (EITC) Nursing Program will participate in the exercise, many of whom will be transported to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) for additional emergency protocol exercise.

“We would like to thank the volunteers from the EITC Nursing Program and Dr. Slaughter’s, as well as the staff at IFRA, Idaho Falls Fire Department, Idaho Falls Police Department, EIRMC, Teton Stage Lines, American Fabrication, Aeromark and Air Idaho. It took a lot of time to plan and coordinate this drill, and we appreciate the cooperation we received from all entities involved,” states IFRA Director, Craig Davis.

Media Note:  This is only a drill.  Please make sure your viewers who may call in about the exercise understand this is only a drill.

Zoo Seeks Education Volunteers

Zoo Seeks Education Volunteers

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho:  The staff at the Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park is seeking volunteer educators for their summer season.

Volunteer educators perform a wide variety of functions both on and off zoo grounds including taking animals to schools for programs, leading tours on zoo grounds, handling animals and sharing the animals with the public. They also help with special events.

“If you like inspiring people to take conservation action, sharing information about wild, endangered animals and giving back to your community, then we would encourage you to consider becoming an education volunteer at the zoo,” states Zoo Superintendent, Beth Rich.

“The education volunteers are an incredibly important part of zoo operations,” says Alyssa Rod, education curator. “They reach over 3,200 school children a year with outreach programs and tours, and they give added value to visitors by answering questions and sharing information about the animals and the zoo,” adds Rod.

Applicants must be 18 years or older, and applications are due by June 18. The education curator will then review applications and schedule interviews. If accepted into the program, the mandatory, two-day training for new education volunteers is on June 21, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and June 24, 6 p.m.-9 p.m.

Volunteer applications can be downloaded from the zoo’s website at www.idahofallszoo.org. The Zoo Education Department can be reached at (208) 612-8453 or zooeducation@idahofallszoo.org. Visitors are always welcome to visit the gift shop for additional information, open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Spend a Wild Night at the Zoo During an Overnight Safari

Spend a Wild Night at the Zoo During an Overnight Safari

Animals are amazing at the zoo during the day, but even cooler at night!

Get an up close look at the animals during a special Animal Encounters show – a journey through the zoo in the dark on a nighttime flashlight tour.  And then wake up to the sound of the zoo’s natural alarm clock – the Kookaburra. There’s so much to see, and hear, at the Idaho Falls Zoo!

Families, scout troops and other youth groups can spend the night at the zoo on Saturday, June 21, from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. the next morning.

This is a group event, and one adult is required for every 5 kids. The registration deadline is Wednesday, June 18, 2014. t miss your chance to spend a wild night at the zoo!

For more information on the sleepover, other education programs or to register, visit our website www.idahofallszoo.org and click on Education Programs or contact the Zoo Education Department at (208) 612-8453 or zooeducation@idahofallszoo.org. Visitors are always welcome to visit the gift shop for additional information, open daily from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

New City Treasurer Appointed

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho: Kenneth B. McOmber was appointed as the new city treasurer at the City Council meeting this evening. His first day with the city will be June 30.
McOmber replaces Craig Rockwood who was appointed as the City’s Municipal Services Director back in January 2014 after then director, Craig Lords, announced his retirement. Rockwood worked as the city treasurer for 28 years.
McOmber received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Finance from BYU-Idaho in 2007. He started working for Idaho Treatment Group (ITG) in 2009 as an accountant. He was promoted to project controls engineer in 2012 where his duties included the oversight of a $456 million project.
“Having lived in this area most of my life, I know what a superb place Idaho Falls is to live, work and raise a family. It is exciting to be taking a seat on Mayor Casper’s team to help ensure that the city’s financial system is sound. I’m humbled to be following Craig Rockwood, and I’m eager to begin learning from his years of experience,” states McOmber.
Mayor Casper states, “Mr. McOmber’s professional experience and education, combined with his upbeat attitude, make him a perfect fit for this position. I look forward to the energy he will bring to City Hall.”
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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 still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications. Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

Office of the Mayor