BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The coronavirus is one of the likely factors fueling a boom in large ranch sales in the Western United States, according to real estate industry professionals.

Serving Challis School District students healthy, tasty meals this year has been riddled with frustrations, according to district Food Service Director Sara Jones.

CUBA, N.M. — The midday arrival of a school bus at Cyliss Castillo’s home on the remote edge of a mesa breaks up the long days of boredom and isolation for the high school senior.

When two lightning strikes damaged the new lighting system at the Challis Airport in late August, Mayor Mike Barrett said he and city workers expected the worse when it came to replacing it.

All students in fourth and fifth grades across the United States are now eligible for the Forest Service’s Every Kid Outdoors program, which provides them with free access to forests and grasslands this school year.

Blue Mountain Refuse President Wendell Gohn met with Custer County commissioners Nov. 9 meeting seeking to change how performance bonds are handled for the transfer stations he operates in the county.

Challis school board members officially made completing a senior project a requirement for 2021 graduates at their Nov. 10 meeting after State Board of Education partially waived the requirement for seniors across Idaho.

With the exterior of the new Challis fire hall complete, a $175,000 community development block grant from the Idaho Department of Commerce could be the final key to finishing the project.

With $8,000 worth of signs ready to be installed, Challis city workers will replace street, stop, yield and other signs in the city before Thanksgiving.

Daybell Disappearance

Angie Dodge archive

As Custer County returned to the low-risk transmission level for the coronavirus, Mackay school board members considered requiring face masks in the low, green level of their response plan.

Custer County Sheriff Stu Lumpkin was re-elected to the post with 1,372 votes in the Nov. 3 general election.

Exploration work at First Cobalt’s Iron Creek cobalt-copper site in Lemhi County has resumed, First Cobalt President and CEO Trent Mell said.

BOISE — Limiting local government budgets. Authorizing impact fees for schools. Raising the homeowner’s exemption. Taxing government property that’s leased to private entities.

With winter creeping closer, Wellard Constructors workers have finished the groundwork for a handicap-accessible bathroom, parking spaces and a path connecting them at Challis city park.

With winter approaching and people using their chimneys, North Custer Rural Fire Chief Larry Garey reminds people that maintenance is key to preventing fires.

Stanley Mayor Steve Botti and several conservation groups last week requested a contested hearing with Idaho Land Board members related to a proposed 195-foot AT&T cellphone tower that would be placed on state land in the Sawtooth National Recreational Area.

In spite of the decision by the Idaho State Board of Education to waive the senior project requirement for graduation this school year, seniors in Custer County should be prepared to complete their projects.

Deadline for the Tuesday, Nov. 10 issue of the Messenger is 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5

People have until Nov. 16 to submit written comments about a surface water point of compliance issue associated with Jervois Mining’s Idaho Cobalt Project in Lemhi County.

As his students ripped miniature whiffle balls across the Challis High School football field with golf clubs earlier this month, physical education teacher Ed Gregory made sure rules were being followed.

Set your clocks back one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 1

With input from parents and staff, Challis school board members adjusted the COVID-19 athletic events plan during a special board meeting Oct. 21.

In the face of students’ lackluster response to the current face coverings requirement within the Challis School District, board members chose to loosen the rule, among others, in their COVID-19 response plan at a special Oct. 21 meeting.

The first seven exploration drill holes at Revival Gold’s Lemhi County property indicate that mineralization extends beyond the current known resource, Revival President and CEO Hugh Agro said in a news release.

While a virus surge infects more eastern Idahoans, sends more to the hospital, and kills more, regional health officials are trying to get more people to voluntarily comply with public health guidelines and mandates.

People have until Oct. 26 to submit comments on possible changes to how the Forest Service manages electronic bike use on national forests and grasslands.

Kirsten Faith Richardson said if she wins the Nov. 3 election and becomes the Idaho District 8 state senator, one thing she will focus on is limiting the governor's emergency powers.

Bill Sifford of McCall said the main reason he threw his hat into the ring for the District 8 state Senate race is to protect public lands.

If he's re-elected to the Idaho Senate on Nov. 3, Steven Thayn said one of his priorities will be capping health districts' influence over politics.

The Heart of Idaho Animal Sanctuary received two grants in recent weeks — one which allows 20 cats to be adopted at no fee to the adopters and the other to pay for a new sign at the sanctuary’s entrance.

With federal and state coronavirus relief money, several accounts used to keep the Challis School District operational during the pandemic received approval at an Oct. 13 school board meeting.

A small workshop on Sixth Street and a modular house on Apex Lane received the Challis City Council’s stamp of approval for construction at an Oct. 8 meeting.

The Grand Mogul bridge across the Redfish Lake Creek inlet has been replaced through a cooperative venture of Redfish Lake Lodge, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and the Sawtooth Society.

With nearly $50,000 given to him by Custer County commissioners, Sheriff Stu Lumpkin last month ordered two new pickups for deputies.

After a busy summer responding to injured hikers, Custer County Sheriff’s Deputy and Search and Rescue Coordinator Shade Rosenkrance said it’s always appreciated when an easy rescue comes along.

After being appointed to the Custer County prosecuting attorney position in 2016, Justin Oleson said his affinity for county residents drove him to run for the office this year. 

A desire to help Custer County residents, and be a good resident himself, led Challis resident Jason Mackrill to pursue a write-in candidacy for the Nov. 3 county attorney election.

The coronavirus response plans adopted by the Challis and Mackay school districts have been adjusted now that school has been in session for several weeks.

University of Idaho Extension Educator Sarah Baker told Custer County commissioners that people are welcome back in her Challis office after a long closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

When Challis City Council members found out someone dragged a large rock into the bathroom at city park and smashed the toilet with it, they became upset.

BOISE — Idaho’s economic rebound following a shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic is third-best in the nation based on the unemployment rate. But the tradeoff has come with the worst positive COVID-19 test rate in the country and a grim milestone: more than 500 dead. As of Sunday nig…

With three new potential board members signing up to help run the Heart of Idaho Animal Sanctuary after last week’s open house, Treasurer Michelle Christianson deemed the event a success after only 30 minutes.

The visitor center at the Land of the Yankee Fork State Park is now operating on its reduced winter schedule, park Manager Joni Hawley said.

In conversations with Custer County residents in the last four months during his write-in campaign for the county sheriff's post, Challis resident Scott Drexler said an issue that comes up a lot is how the Sheriff’s Office spends money.