The Times-News from Twin Falls, Idaho on July 17, 1996 · 11
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The Times-News from Twin Falls, Idaho · 11

Twin Falls, Idaho
Issue Date:
Wednesday, July 17, 1996
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T fen P1 II flroMirad Hue valley Backhoe cuts phone line, 911 service TWIN FALLS - A severed phone line at the Twin Falls County Courthouse left many county residents unable to dial emergency services Tuesday morning. The disconnection, which lasted from before 8 a.m. until the line was repaired at 11:30 a.m., would not happen at the regional 911 center scheduled to begin operation later this year, Sheriff Wayne Tousley said. The enhanced 911 system will automatically reroute emergency calls through a microwave communication system if phone lines are cut, Tousley said. Tuesday's problem happened when a backhoe cut through the main phone line at the courthouse while plumbers tried to install a water line for the Judicial Building, Tousley said. Telephones inside the building still worked, but no one could call out or in during the outage. City dwellers in Twin Falls and Buhl were unaffected, because their 911 calls go to dispatch centers in those towns. Calls from some other areas also were automatically rerouted to city police departments. Deputies on the streets experienced some inconvenience, Tousley said. ' "The city's radio remote line is carried by phone line," he said. "There was no main radio antenna, but the portable radios still worked." Buhl stabbing suspect disappears; victim recovering BUHL - Police here say a suspect in a July 4 stabbing that put a local farmworker in the hospital has left the state. Meanwhile, stabbing victim Manuel Espinoza, 21, has been released from the hospital and is recovering, Lt. Richard Floyd of the Buhl Police Department said. The investigation is being complicated by the fact that an arrest warrant can't be issued because the suspect, who went by the name Mario Garcia while staying at the home of Espinoza's brother, has several aliases, Floyd said. "He seems to have vanished," Floyd said. Garcia, an illegal Mexican alien, had been wrestling with Espinoza when the guest grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed Espinoza once in the upper left portion of his abdomen. Floyd said he's not sure what provoked the attack. The suspect is described as about 5 feet, 7 inches tall, 160 pounds, about 21 years old, with dark hair, and eyes and a mustache. He was a farm worker in Buhl. Suspect in Bellevue shooting still missing BELLEVUE - A suspect in the Saturday shooting that seriously wounded a Bellevue man shooting is still at large. Arnulfo Soria Guardado, 38, remains at the Wood River Medical Center in serious condition after Raul Ponce Chavez, 44, also of Bellevue, shot him, said Sheriff Walt Femling. A fight between Guardado and a third man apparently sparked the shooting, Femling said. Chavez fired two shots with a .380 semi-automatic pistol. One bullet entered Guardado's chest and exited his back. Police recovered Chavez's vehicle at Timmerman Hill Rest Area at the junction of Hwy. 20 and Hwy. 75. There is a warrant for Chavez's arrest and he is wanted for. $100,000 bond for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Week-old fire burns timber, brush in wilderness STANLEY - A July 10 fire has burned approximately 75 acres of timber and sagebrush in the Sawtooth wilderness. Rainfall aided firefighters on the South Fork Fire, and the northward sptead of the fire has been stopped. A fireline has been built around 80 percent of the fire. Some active burning remains on the southeast corner in rocky cliffs. Baron Creek Trail has been reopened. The South Fork of the Payette River Trail will remain closed until the fire is under control and firefighters are out of the area. Compiled from staff reports Obituaries B2 Idaho B4 Low fares keep ticket agents hopping By Karen Tolkkinen Times-News writer TWIN FALLS - It sounds like a traveler's dream: For two thin tens and a five, you can fly from Boise to Portland, Las Vegas or Seattle. Air fares at $25? Wait a minute. That's just for one segment, one way. A trip from Boise to Baltimore can quickly add up, at $150 for a round trip with connections in Salt Lake City and St. Louis. Travel plans hatched by news of Southwest Airlines' low fares mark- Fare tips Ways to purchase low-fare tickets. Southwest Internet address: Southwest main reservation number 800-435-9792. Alternative Southwest reservation number 800-533-1222, ext. 1. ing its 25th anniversary can be hampered by "all that stuff that doesn't show up in the advertisements," said Osburn Salisbury, manager of Murdock Travel in Twin Falls. "A lot of people have it in their minds that they can go anywhere they want," he said. Travelers leaving from Boise can reach six destinations for a round trip ticket of $50: Spokane, Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, Reno and Las Vegas. That depends on the number of seats available, (very few), and the dates you want to fly. Major airlines are matching Southwest's prices to many of their common destinations. For at least twice the price, travelers can reach Tucson, San Antonio, New Orleans and Orlando, among other destinations. Reserving a seat may be the hardest part of the journey, however. Southwest's Internet home page is virtually unreachable. Its main reservation telephone number has been swamped, with individual ticket sales nearly four times above normal, according to a Southwest ticket agent. Phones at local travel agencies are ringing off the hooks. Salisbury, who runs one of the few local agencies able to connect Please see FARESB3 New Interstate 84 rest area slated for Malad Gorge Terrell Williams Times-News correspondent and Virginia Garber Times-News writer BLISS - Future travelers on Interstate 84 southeast of Bliss may be able to learn about the Oregon Trail when they stop for a break at Malad Gorge. But they'll have fewer choices for rest stops on this stretch of 1-84 as the state closes three aging facilities near Bliss and Twin Falls. Construction of a new rest area and interpretive center is slated to begin in the fall of 1997 at Malad Gorge State Park - if Congress re-enables the expiring Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. Construction will include new parking areas, a restroom building, an interpretive center building - to tell about local history and geology - landscaping and water and sewer improvements. "I see it as increasing the value of the park," said Malad Gorge State Park manager Kevin Lynott. An easily accessible rest area will draw more travelers to the park, and Malad Gorge will be more of an educational resource, he said. The park's existing picnic area, trail system and interpretive overlooks - developed with federal funds in the 1970s - attract almost 70,000 visitors each year, Lynott said. The new interpretive center would sell souvenirs to help support itself and would tell the history of Malad Gorge State Park -established in 1975 and opened to the public in 1979, he said. ' Lynott said the state probably wouldn't increase its paid staff at Malad Gorge. The Idaho Transportation Department and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation will collaborate on the Malad Gorge project, expected to be paid with $4.45 million in federal ISTEA funds for 1998, said Bob Humphrey, senior transportation planner for the ITD in Shoshone. That's cheaper than repairing and upgrading the state's two 1-84 rest areas north of Bliss and the two north of Twin Falls, Humphrey said. And maintenance of a single rest area between them at Malad Gorge would cost the state about $100,000 less each year than upkeep on the existing four at Bliss and Twin Falls, he said. So three of the rest areas will close permanently sometime after the new center opens, he said. The rest area north of Twin Falls for westbound traffic already was closed and demolished when interstate work made it inaccessible. The state decided in 1992 to dismantle the four rest areas without much public involvement, Humphrey said. But he said Magic Valley truck stops and commercial campgrounds historically have pressured the ITD to stop pulling potential customers off the interstate and into rest stops. "We don't want to be accused of being in competition" with private enterprise, Humphrey said. Managers of several local truck stops said they couldn't comment Tuesday. The Malad Gorge project will involve modifications to the interchange at the Tuttle exit and to the access road into the park, said Susan Riddle of JUB Engineers in Twin Falls, which was awarded a design-consultant contract this month. Riddle said there will be numerous public meetings during the project's design process. Public participation is important, she said, . and comments will be welcome. The design is still in the concept stage. Comments from one youth group in particular will be especially valued, Riddle said. "The Billingsley Creek 4-H Club had previously done some cleanup work on a trail at the park," she explained. "Since they had shown such a productive interest in the project, we decided to make them part of our team." Riddle said the project consultants will visit the park to meet and learn from the 4-H members. Then the club members will be invited to the JUB office to see and take part in the design process. Riddle said she hopes this will give the local youths a sense of ownership of the park and encourage their continued work there. "It may also provide some career ideas for them through a mentoring process," she said. " 1' 11. tk'f J ffCfr-t riV A A MIKE SALSBURYThe Times-News Visitors enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Malad Gorge on Tuesday. A proposed interpretive center could expand the state park's offerings, officials say. Timber! iff y .r ; f Mf& ..! - . --fcaai. "'T' dl'V. El -ili -f-w irnnii-'.-i -' I J f ?; .. .-, & -CT V"! fl $ .--2 IJTT-- . ..... . -1' . ff it ' -v ? MIKE SALSBURYrThe Tlmet-Nevn After strong winds and lightning thundered through the area, Idaho Power employee Rod Lancaster prepares to fix a damaged line on Tuesday near Filer. A weeping willow tree was split by wind or lightning, said Twin Falls County Sheriffs Deputy Matthew Eden. Rain accompanying the storm also flooded some Twin Falls homes, he said. Twin Falls' largest retailer races toward opening day By Virginia S. Garber Times-News writer TWIN FALLS - Construction crews drowned the department-store music, stocking clerks eyed untouched rows of chocolate chips, and cheering apparel employees led coworkers in a fast-paced training game of guess-the-profit-margin Tuesday. They're racing toward the July 31 grand opening of Twin Falls' largest retailer, the Fred Meyer megastore on the old Blue Lakes Mall site. The feeling among new employees' is very optimistic and cooperative, said Lauri Baldwin, one of about 240 locals who netted Fred Meyer jobs. The Jerome 20-year-old talked to The Times-News in the Job Service office just last week, while she was hoping for a retail-sales job. On Tuesday, attending a product-education pep rally at the store, Baldwin said her optimism wasn't dampened by her uncertainty. "I haven't really been explained the job," she said. She starts work Friday. The 164,000-square-foot Fred Meyer store boasts one-stop shopping for both brand-name and discount lines, spokesman Rob Boley said, Facts and figures The new $18 million megastore in Twin Falls is Fred Meyer's 164th store In seven Western states; 108 are multidepartment stores, and the rest are smaller specialty stores. Ten are in Idaho. The Fred Meyer chain also is purchasing 49 more mall jewelry stores. The chain has: Headquarters in Portland, Ore. A total of 27,000 employees. Sales of $3.43 billion in 1995. Fred Meyer is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Source: Fred Meyer's touring the partly stocked store Tuesday. "You can buy most of these products somewhere else in town," he said, just not all under the same roof. And Boley praised a few products he expects to be unusual draws: a new line of New York-style bagels, organic coffee beans, nonfat milk that tastes like 2 percent instead of skim. Wide aisles, 49 cash registers, free baby-sit-' Please see RETAILERB3 Troubled chain's supplier resumes shipments The Times-News and The Associated Press TWIN FALLS - The Ernst Home Center store in Twin Falls will escape the chain's reorganization intact, Ernst vice president Jim Fox said Tuesday. "It's a great market for us - always has been and always will be," Fox said. The Twin Falls store won't close and won't reduce employee numbers, he said. Of nine Ernst stores in Idaho, the chain is closing just one in the Boise market, he said. At least 11 of the 25 Ernst Home Center stores being closed in a reorganization plan are in Washington state. Meanwhile, the chain's chief supplier in the state and its largest creditor, Jensen Distribution Services Inc. of Spokane, has resumed shipments since Ernst filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition Friday in Delaware, At the time, Ernst operated 86 stores in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Wyoming. Fox said Monday that eight stores in the Puget Sound area and one in the Spokane Valley have been closed, and two more in Western Washington are scheduled to be closed.. All closures are subject to approval in U.S.. Bankruptcy Court. "Our focus right now is on the operation of the remaining 61 stores, to become a leaner, more aggressive company," Fox said. Jensen Distribution resumed shipments of merchandise Monday to Ernst outlets, many of which had been running low on goods, company president Mike Jensen said. He estimated full restocking would take two to three weeks. "We feel comfortable that they're going to pay so we're going to support them and get the stores back in stock," Jensen said. r

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