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Idaho Briefs June 6, 2010

| June 6, 2010 9:00 PM

SW Idaho looks to tout wine industry

CALDWELL - Officials in Caldwell in southwest Idaho said the wine industry could emerge as the area's next big agriculture business and it should be developed for both its business and tourism possibilities.Caldwell Chamber of Commerce officials led a tour of wine industry businesses on Friday.

Steve Fultz, director of the Caldwell/Canyon Economic Development Council, said the goal should be to raise awareness of the local wine industry and boost out-of-state sales.

Salmon mayor intends to resign

SALMON - Salmon Councilman Bud Bartlett said Mayor John Miller intends to resign as early as July 1 because of fallout over Miller's push to fire Salmon Police Chief Jim Spain.Miller called an emergency meeting on May 24 to fire Spain citing lack of rapport and trust. But the firing was invalidated because the meeting didn't have proper public notice or other legal requirements.

At a later city council meeting more than 200 residents showed up with most requesting Spain stay on the job and Miller step down.Miller's derogatory comments about Spain and Miller's suggestion that Salmon police avoid arresting drunk drivers angered many residents.

The city council will again consider Spain's employment on Wednesday.

Central Idaho school officials defend meetings

KETCHUM - A newspaper is reporting that the Blaine County School District board of trustees has held seven meetings this year without posting advance meeting notices on the district's Website or alerting the news media.The Idaho Mountain Express reports that the district instead posted hard-copy notices a few days before each meeting at four locations in Hailey.

District Superintendent Lonnie Barber says the school board has not violated the Idaho Open Meeting Law.At one meeting, the board approved the appointment of a new assistant superintendent, the No. 2 official in the district and often the person who later becomes superintendent.

Another meeting involved a sales pitch from an engineering company. The following day the board at a regular meeting approved a $15.1 million contract with the company.

- The Associated Press

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