Economy http://boisestatepublicradio.org en North Idaho Tribe: State Poker Ban Doesn't Apply http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/north-idaho-tribe-state-poker-ban-doesnt-apply <p></p><p>The Coeur d'Alene Tribe in northern Idaho plans to offer poker after deciding Idaho's constitutional ban on the game doesn't apply to the tribal-owned casino.</p><p><a href="http://bit.ly/1ithcYG">The Spokesman-Review reports</a> the tribe has announced plans to open a poker room on May 2.</p><p>The tribe says it will offer Texas Hold' Em and Omaha.</p><p>Tribe spokesman Helo Hancock says several legal opinions have led the tribe to conclude that poker is exempted from state regulation under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:24:23 +0000 Associated Press 43641 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org North Idaho Tribe: State Poker Ban Doesn't Apply Alfalfa Growers Hope To Rake In More Green This Year http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/alfalfa-growers-hope-rake-more-green-year <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2014/04/041414AK_Alfalfa_web.mp3" class="asset-audio"></a><p>Many Northwest alfalfa growers had a rough year with bad weather last summer.<p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:40:00 +0000 Anna King 43503 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Alfalfa Growers Hope To Rake In More Green This Year Extended Season For Some Northwest Ski Areas, But Profits Scarce http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/extended-season-some-northwest-ski-areas-profits-scarce <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2014/04/041014TB_SkiDoldrums_web.mp3" class="asset-audio"></a><p>Thanks to late-season snow that fell at many area some Cascade ski areas will welcome skiers and snowboarders well past Easter.<p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:07:00 +0000 Tom Banse 43328 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Extended Season For Some Northwest Ski Areas, But Profits Scarce Idaho's Average Hourly Wage Ticks Up, Doesn't Keep Up With National Growth http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idahos-average-hourly-wage-ticks-doesnt-keep-national-growth <p></p><p>Idaho's average wage increased by almost 20 cents last year. But wage growth isn't keeping up with the national average.&nbsp;</p><p>The <a href="http://www.bls.gov/" target="_blank">U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics'</a> Occupational Employment Survey finds Idaho's average hourly wage for all jobs was $18.67 last year, that's up 19 cents from 2012. Still, Idaho's average wage was almost 84 percent of the national average, which is $22.33 an hour.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 22:45:42 +0000 Samantha Wright 42769 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho's Average Hourly Wage Ticks Up, Doesn't Keep Up With National Growth Report: It Takes A 73 Hour Work Week To Pay Rent On Idaho's Minimum Wage http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/report-it-takes-73-hour-work-week-pay-rent-idahos-minimum-wage <p></p><p>An Idaho worker earning the minimum wage would need to work 73 hours per week in order to afford a modest two-bedroom rental <a href="http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/oor/OOR2014.pdf" target="_blank">according to a report</a> from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.</p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 19:11:08 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 42398 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Report: It Takes A 73 Hour Work Week To Pay Rent On Idaho's Minimum Wage The Number Of Idaho Fur Trappers Doubles As Pelt Prices Soar http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/number-idaho-fur-trappers-doubles-pelt-prices-soar <p></p><p>Just four years ago, bobcat fur sold for about $200. Now, that same bobcat pelt can be sold for almost $2,000. Higher prices come from a rise in demand for fur in Asia, and it has led to more trappers in the field here in Idaho.</p><p>Patrick Carney, president of the Idaho Trappers Association, gets calls almost daily from folks who want advice on how to get into commercial trapping.</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 12:45:00 +0000 Jessica Murri 42146 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org The Number Of Idaho Fur Trappers Doubles As Pelt Prices Soar Idaho's February Jobless Rate Drops To Five Year Low http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idahos-february-jobless-rate-drops-five-year-low <p>Idaho's unemployment rate dropped another tenth of a percentage point in February to 5.3 percent, the lowest rate in more than 5 years.</p><p>That decline came as the participation rate - which is the percentage of the population 16 and older working or actively looking for work - fell a tenth of a percentage point to 63.7 percent.</p><p>Idaho's participation rate dropped below 64 percent last October - the first time in over 30 years - and has been gradually sliding since.</p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 17:42:29 +0000 Associated Press 42126 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Legislature Approves Bill Limiting Payday Loans http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-legislature-approves-bill-limiting-payday-loans <p></p><p>A bill seeking to let Idaho dictate how much payday lenders can give borrowers passed the House Monday by only one vote.</p><p>The 35-34 decision came after several lawmakers said they had issues with the bill, which limits loan size and lets borrowers set up interest-free payment plans if they hit a financial snag.</p><p>Boise Democrat Rep. Phylis King said letting borrowers take out loans of up to 25 percent of their monthly income was still too much, suggesting the amount be closer to 5 percent.</p> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 18:47:35 +0000 Associated Press 41856 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Legislature Approves Bill Limiting Payday Loans Boise-Based Albertsons To Merge With Safeway Stores http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/boise-based-albertsons-merge-safeway-stores <p></p><p>Safeway says <a href="http://www.albertsons.com/2014/03/safeway-and-albertsons-announce-definitive-merger-agreement/">it has agreed</a> to be acquired by an investment group led by Cerberus Capital Management, the owner of Albertsons and several other supermarket chains.</p><p>The acquisition is worth about $7.64 billion in cash, and pending other transactions could top more than $9 billion.</p><p>It comes amid ongoing consolidation in the supermarket industry, which is facing growing competition from big-box retailers, specialty chains, drug stores and even dollar stores.</p> Thu, 06 Mar 2014 22:48:06 +0000 Associated Press & Emilie Ritter Saunders 41277 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Boise-Based Albertsons To Merge With Safeway Stores Sun Valley Lodge Closing For 9 Month-Long Remodel http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/sun-valley-lodge-closing-9-month-long-remodel <p></p><p>Sun Valley Resort plans to close Sun Valley Lodge for nine months starting in September for an extensive remodel.</p><p>Resort <a href="http://bit.ly/1iaybwk">officials tell the Idaho Mountain Express</a> that a three-story, 20,000-square-foot spa will also be added to the northerly wing of the lodge near an outdoor swimming pool. Work on the spa is scheduled to start in April.</p><p>The resort in the announcement on Monday says the Lodge Dining Room will be eliminated.</p> Thu, 06 Mar 2014 22:11:14 +0000 Associated Press 41274 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Sun Valley Lodge Closing For 9 Month-Long Remodel Federal Court Approves $311 Million Settlement Involving Micron http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/federal-court-approves-311-million-settlement-involving-micron <p></p><p>Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says Idaho and other states have obtained court approval of a $311 million settlement involving Boise-based Micron Technology and other computer chip makers.</p><p>The court approval announced Tuesday means consumers can start filing claims to recoup the money they overpaid as a result of chip makers engaging in unlawful anti-competitive practices to inflate prices.</p><p>The approval involves the settlement of a lawsuit Idaho and 34 other states brought against 12 makers of dynamic random-access memory, or DRAM.</p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:15:39 +0000 Associated Press 41202 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Federal Court Approves $311 Million Settlement Involving Micron North Idaho Landowner Selling Waterfront Property For Bitcoin http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/north-idaho-landowner-selling-waterfront-property-bitcoin <p>A North Idaho man is selling lake-front property for <a href="http://www.npr.org/tags/171188426/bitcoin">bitcoin, a digital currency</a> that isn't regulated like the U.S. dollar.</p><p>The <em>Coeur d'Alene Press</em> <a href="http://www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_4fd39318-1f57-5e35-a736-9640a1df7d55.html?state=taberU">reports</a> Hayden resident Alen Golub has joined with neighbors to sell 660 waterfront acres. Golub tells the paper he's selling his 50 acres in exchange for bitcoin.</p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 17:41:44 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 41187 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org North Idaho Landowner Selling Waterfront Property For Bitcoin Twin Falls Approves Chobani Expansion http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/twin-falls-approves-chobani-expansion <p></p><p>Twin Falls officials in south-central Idaho have approved a $3.5 million expansion of a Greek yogurt plant operated by Chobani.</p><p><a href="http://bit.ly/Nwn1c0">The Times-News reports</a> in a story on Wednesday that the addition to the $450 million plant will add to its packaging and filling rooms on the east side.</p><p>Company officials say the plant reached full production in December, producing 1 million cases of yogurt a week.</p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 17:39:29 +0000 Associated Press 41188 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Twin Falls Approves Chobani Expansion National Parks Report: Nearby Towns Lost Nearly $500M In October Shutdown http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/national-parks-report-nearby-towns-lost-nearly-500m-october-shutdown <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2014/03/030314JR_NationalParks_web.mp3" class="asset-audio"></a><p>According to a National Park Service report, <a href="http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/docs/Economic2013ShutdownReport_Final_nrss_VSE.pdf">towns around national parks lost an estimated $414 million</a> during the partial government shutdown last October.<p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 00:03:00 +0000 Jessica Robinson 41097 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org National Parks Report: Nearby Towns Lost Nearly $500M In October Shutdown Drought Could Dry Up Nevada Dairy Farmers' Expansion Plans http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/drought-could-dry-nevada-dairy-farmers-expansion-plans When Pete Olsen talks about drought on his fifth-generation dairy farm in Fallon, Nev., he's really talking about the snowpack 60 miles to the west in the Sierra Nevada.<p>The Sierras, Olsen says, are their lifeblood.<p>That is, the snowmelt from them feeds the Truckee and Carson rivers and a tangle of reservoirs and canals that make this desert bloom. Some of the highest-grade alfalfa in the world is grown here. And it makes perfect feed for dairy cows, because it's rich in nutrients.<p>But like much of the far West, northern Nevada is in the grips of a historic drought. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 08:21:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 40933 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Drought Could Dry Up Nevada Dairy Farmers' Expansion Plans Boise Health Insurance Exchange Call Center Lays Off 1,600 http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/boise-health-insurance-exchange-call-center-lays-1600 <p>A Boise call center that helps people sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is laying off nearly its entire work force as the federal exchange open enrollment period ends.</p><p>Maximus Inc. hired about 1,800 people for the Boise facility last year.</p><p>In a letter to employees on Monday, company officials announced that 1,600 employees will be laid off in April because they won't be needed when the federal enrollment period ends. Company officials say some employees may be hired back this fall, in preparation for the next enrollment period.</p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 20:16:30 +0000 Associated Press 40777 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org CBO: Minimum Wage Hike Could Boost Paychecks – And Cut Jobs http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/cbo-minimum-wage-hike-could-boost-paychecks-and-cut-jobs Whatever you already believed about raising the federal minimum wage, you now have more ammo for your argument, thanks to a report released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office, titled <a href="http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44995-MinimumWage.pdf">"The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income."</a><p>Yes, you're right: Raising the wage in steps to $10.10 an hour by 2016 would push employers to cut jobs — about 500,000 of them, says the CBO, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress.<p>And yes, you're right: The proposed raise would lift n Tue, 18 Feb 2014 23:23:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 40403 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org CBO: Minimum Wage Hike Could Boost Paychecks – And Cut Jobs Applesauce-Maker GoGo SqueeZ To Open Idaho Facility Creating 230 Jobs http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/applesauce-maker-gogo-squeez-open-idaho-facility-creating-230-jobs <p></p><p>Applesauce-maker <a href="http://www.gogosqueez.com/company/" target="_blank">GoGo squeeZ</a> says it plans to open an $85 million food processing facility in Nampa, Idaho that will employ at least 230 people.</p><p>The Idaho Department of Commerce announced the company's Idaho investment in a press release Thursday.</p><p>The <em>Idaho Statesman</em> <a href="http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/02/06/3013068/applesauce-company-gogo-sqeez.html">reports</a> the average wage at the new facility will be $16 an hour, more than double Idaho's minimum wage.</p> Fri, 07 Feb 2014 00:15:34 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 39780 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Applesauce-Maker GoGo SqueeZ To Open Idaho Facility Creating 230 Jobs Two Renovated Homeless Shelters Opening In Nampa http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/two-renovated-homeless-shelters-opening-nampa <p></p><p>The Boise Rescue Mission plans to open two shelters in Nampa in the next two weeks.</p><p>The <a href="http://bit.ly/1b1OH3p">Idaho Statesman reports</a> that a men's shelter called Lighthouse Rescue Mission and a women's shelter called the Valley Women and Children's Shelter are scheduled to open.</p><p>Officials say the women's shelter has 60 beds and will welcome women and children who are homeless as well as those displaced by domestic violence. A grand opening is planned for Thursday.</p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 16:58:24 +0000 Associated Press 39665 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Two Renovated Homeless Shelters Opening In Nampa Washington Buyers Boost Idaho Liquor Sales By $10 Million http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/washington-buyers-boost-idaho-liquor-sales-10-million <p></p><p>The head of Idaho's liquor division says state liquor stores had about $10 million in additional sales from Washington customers last year.</p><p>The Spokesman-Review reports Jeff Anderson told lawmakers that the bump was not so much because the stores sold more bottles statewide, but because northern Idaho stores saw an increase in sales of higher-priced premium liquor products.</p> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 21:01:44 +0000 Associated Press 39429 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Washington Buyers Boost Idaho Liquor Sales By $10 Million