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Tdap Vaccinations At Public Health

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Teton County Public Health Department will be offering free Tdap (tetanus and diphtheria with pertussis) vaccine to adults without insurance at the St. John’s Community Health Fair on May 7th, 2016 at the Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation.

The offer comes as Teton County experiences an increasing number of cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, a potentially serious infection that is also occurring in increasing numbers throughout the state and nation.

“We have seen widespread infection represented in both the adult and infant/child populations,” said County Health Officer, Dr. Travis Riddell. Pertussis is a potentially serious illness and can be life threatening for infants.

“We now know that pertussis is now endemic in our community, requiring a heightened need for vaccination and treatment of those presenting with the illness,” Riddell stated.

Seventy doses of the Tdap vaccine will be available at the Public Health booth during the event, while supplies last. The vaccine will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, for those individuals without insurance. Those with insurance can receive their vaccination at their health care provider, local pharmacies, or from Teton County Public Health.

Teton County is experiencing an outbreak of pertussis this year, with 19 cases diagnosed since August 2015. All adults who have not received a booster of the Tdap vaccine in the last 10 years are encouraged to receive one at this time. All infants, pregnant women and those with pre-existing immunocompromised conditions that may be exacerbated by a Pertussis infection are especially at risk and need to ensure their pertussis vaccine is up to date. Parents should also check their child’s immunization records and ensure they are up to date.

Teton County Public Health also encourages those with a cough illness to seek medical care and treatment if indicated. Early symptoms can last for one to two weeks and usually include:

 Runny nose

  •   Low-grade fever (generally minimal throughout the course of the disease)
  •   Mild, occasional cough
  •   Apnea – a pause in breathing (in babies)

Because pertussis in its early stages appears to be nothing more than the common cold, it is often not suspected or diagnosed until the more severe symptoms appear.

After one to two weeks and as the disease progresses, the traditional symptoms of pertussis may appear and include:

  •   Paroxysms (fits) of many, rapid coughs followed by a high-pitched “whoop”
  •   Vomiting (throwing up) during or after coughing fits
  •   Exhaustion (very tired) after coughing fits

Pertussis can cause violent and rapid coughing, over and over, until the air is gone from the lungs and you are forced to inhale with a loud “whooping” sound. This extreme coughing can cause the patient to throw up and be very tired. Coughing fits generally become more common and bad as the illness continues, and can occur more often at night. The coughing fits can go on for up to 10 weeks or more.

For more information or questions about pertussis, please call Teton County Public Health at 733-6401.

Second Accidental Residential Fire

TC-Fire-EMSThanks to a passerby who heard a smoke alarm and took action, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS responders on Friday evening were able to quickly suppress the town’s second accidental residential fire in a week.

The fire was reported at 5:52 p.m. Friday at the Elk Run Townhouses complex, according to fire investigator Fire Marshal Kathy Clay. Approximately 30 Fire/EMS members responded, making a quick attack on the fire, which was located on the bottom floor of the unit in the living room area. No one was in the unit at the time of the fire.

Fire attach crews were faced with heavy black smoke down to floor level upon entry of the unit. The fire was located and suppressed within five minutes. Crews immediately began searching the unit to determine whether there were occupants inside.

“The fire is an accidental fire,” Clay noted. “It appears that ashes were put into a plastic garbage can filled with combustibles under a coffee table in the living room. The ashes contained enough heat to cause ignition.”

Clay reminds everyone to check their smoke alarms monthly to ensure smoke alarms are operational. Smoke alarms should be placed in every bedroom and the hallway outside bedrooms and checked monthly.

“The sound of a smoke alarm kept this fire from getting big,” Clay said, “and it can save your life.”

St. John’s Announces Grammy-winning Band for Centennial


To celebrate the 100th anniversary of St. John’s Medical Center, St. John’s Hospital Foundation is hosting a birthday party open to the entire community on Sunday, July 31st at the Snow King Ballfield. Grammy Award-winning bluegrass band The SteelDrivers is headlining this free, family-friendly event to thank the community for supporting St. John’s Medical Center.

The St. John’s Hospital Foundation is thrilled to bring the 2016 Grammy Award-winning bluegrass band The SteelDrivers to Jackson. After winning a first-time Grammy award for the acclaimed #1 album The Muscle Shoals Recordings, The SteelDrivers are taking 2016 by storm. The group has played to numerous sold-out venues this spring.

“What better way to celebrate one of the community’s most important assets – St. John’s Medical Center – than with a community celebration and birthday party,” said John Goettler, Foundation president. “The Jackson Hole community has been incredibly supportive of St. John’s Medical Center since it was built 100 years ago. We are grateful for the commitment and financial support of our community donors, and this party is a chance for the Foundation to say thank you! We hope that everyone in the community will come and join the celebration.”

Festivities will begin at 4:00 pm with the Hootenanny Allstars, featuring several members of the Jackson Hole Hootenanny. Brent Moyer and Friends take the stage next, with special guest Nashville artist Mike Dowling on guitar. Rounding out the concert program is the Nashville-based band The SteelDrivers, which has been playing to sold-out audiences throughout the country. The music portions of the Centennial Celebration will be produced by Jackson Hole Live.

The Jackson Hole Hootenanny, itself a historic institution, goes back 50 years when Bill Briggs brought artists and musicians together under a bridge in Grand Teton National Park. In the 1990s, the Hoot (as most people call it) moved to Dornan’s Bar in Moose and showcases musicians every Monday night.

Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brent Moyer moved from Jackson Hole to Nashville in 1986, but makes a pilgrimage each year to reconnect with the Jackson music scene. Known to many as the Global Cowboy, which is also the name of his 2008 recording, Moyer has released a total of 13 albums.

Mike Dowling spent more than a decade in Nashville playing sessions, fronting his own band, and writing songs for artists that included Del McCoury, Kathy Mattea, and Emmylou Harris. His engaging voice, self-deprecating wit, and arsenal of elegant interpretations of old blues, swing, ragtime, and original tunes captured the hearts of acoustic music fans.

Complimentary activities at the celebration include birthday treats, face painting, hula hooping, Jackson Hole Public Art’s mobile studio, the strider bike park, giveaways, and tips for healthy living. Food trucks and beverage vendors will be available, as they are for Jackson Hole Live events.

Partners for the event include Jackson Hole Public Art, Friends of Pathways, and the Jackson Hole Recycling Center.

For more information, contact Rachel Merrell at 307 739 7517 or sends e-mail).

Mayor Sara Flitner Will Stand for Re-election


Mayor Sara Flitner announced today that she will seek a second term of service as Jackson’s mayor.

 Flitner will work to continue progress  on community priorities, and sees a lot of community support for moving on “needs, not wants.” She will continue to focus on an approach that is fair and straightforward.

“The community remains the most vibrant, interesting, special place anywhere.  We need balance and long-term vision to ensure that we keep what is special, while planning for inevitable change,” Flitner said.

Since swearing in a year and a half ago, Flitner and her fellow public servants have taken big steps for community priorities of housing and transportation. The Housing Action Plan was adopted, prioritizing rental apartments, redevelopment that incentivizes public-private partnerships and also encourages employee housing that is accessible to transportation. Flitner will continue her focus on solutions for the working families and small businesses who provide the lifeblood for Jackson.

Land development regulations are tedious, but progress there is being made, according to Flitner. “We just took steps to pass regulations that focus on helping the businesses that are here. The new LDR’s provide more predictability for property owners and incentives to build housing.

The face of housing insecurity is front and center for families, business owners who struggle to find employees, and a community that prides itself on quality of life. Solutions must be balanced, collaborative and rational. This remains a focal point for Flitner’s decision to serve.

“I truly believe that our best times are ahead, but we have some very heavy lifting to do to get there. I have spent two decades working with varied opinions and stakeholder groups to solve problems. It’s now time to put that expertise to use for the greatest community anywhere,” Flitner said.

In addition to serving as Mayor, Sara runs a strategic communication and collaborative problem-solving firm, Flitner Strategies, and is wife to Bill Wotkyns and mom to Pete and Silas Wotkyns.

Antler Hunt Has Smooth Start

antler-parkingA new parking plan helped the annual gathering of elk antlers to get off to a good start. The National Elk Refuge and Town of Jackson teamed up this year to encourage that antler hunters not park in local neighborhoods or clog the refuge road.

Over a hundred trucks and horse trailers made the trip to collect the sheds on Forest Service lands beyond the refuge. A young boy from Idaho said he only found one antler, but he was all smiles.




Airport Budget Hearing Today

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 7.17.03 AMJackson Hole Airport brings its budget to the elected officials today. The airport plans to spend over 8,700,000 on operations and take in revenue of about 9,100,000 from rental car contracts and airline payments.

Leftover revenue will be used for future capital projects.

Fees from airlines are the largest revenue center followed closely by fees from rental car companies. The rental car revenue is 33% of income.

Fully 25% of expenses were payroll related.

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Today’s meeting will also include the budgets from Energy Conservation Works and the Travel and Tourism board. It starts at 3pm at the town hall.



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