Molly Messick

StateImpact Broadcast Reporter

Molly Messick is StateImpact Idaho's broadcast reporter. She was a reporter and host for Wyoming Public Radio from 2009 until 2011, producing stories focused on energy and the environment, state politics, and a range of social issues.  She regularly files stories for NPR, and has won a top reporting award from the Public Radio News Directors association.  Molly grew up in Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. A graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she earned her bachelor's degree in Public Policy and American Institutions from Brown University.


StateImpact Idaho
9:55 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Bottom Rung: Why Building A Strong Idaho Economy Takes Public Investment

Wells Fargo representative Josh Plummer talked to dozens of would-be call center workers at this week's job fair
Credit Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Bob Lokken, CEO of Boise-based WhiteCloud Analytics, is three years into building his new company. It designs software for health care professionals with the aim of allowing doctors and others to interrogate vast amounts of health care data. Lokken founded it after his previous company, ProClarity Corporation, was bought by Microsoft.

Recently, he showed me around the downtown office where software developers work intently behind large computer screens. I wasn’t there to talk about better health outcomes through guided data analysis; I was there to talk about Idaho’s workforce.

Read more
StateImpact Idaho
10:41 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Bottom Rung: The Workforce Shift That’s Costing Idaho Good-Paying Jobs

A Steelhead Construction worker measures siding for a new home west of Boise.
Credit Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Not long ago, you could hear the buzz of power saws all over the Treasure Valley. It was punctuated by the steady rhythm of hammers and nail guns. More than 10,000 homes went up in Ada and Canyon counties in the two years before the recession hit. Then, the sound stopped.

“’08 and ’09 were really hard,” says Aaron Wright of Steelhead Construction. He founded the siding and remodeling company as Idaho’s housing boom took hold. At the peak, Wright employed more than 30 people. When the market crashed, he scaled back to three.

Read more
StateImpact Idaho
9:39 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Bottom Rung: Two Idaho Workers Talk About Life On Low Wages

John was an IT director 10 years ago. Now he spends his workdays behind the register of a Boise store.
Credit Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Wages are lower in Idaho than in nearly ever other state. That’s often chalked up to Idaho’s rural nature and low cost of living. But recently, the state has lost ground.

Read more
StateImpact Idaho
11:41 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Mental Health, Preventive Care, And The Debate Over Medicaid Expansion In Idaho

Mitch Ponting is grateful he's doing well, and building relationships with his family.
Credit Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

When the 2013 legislative session wraps up, a big policy question will remain: Will the state make Medicaid available to a greater number of Idaho’s poor? The federal health care law encourages that move. It’s a debate that involves potential costs and savings, along with patient well-being. And it turns quickly to chronic conditions, like mental illness.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:18 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Hard-Hit Boise Subdivision Lacks Owner-Occupied Homes

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 11:02 am



The housing market is recovering in much of the country, not so much in Idaho. Home prices dropped by 46 percent in the Boise area during the financial crises. Forty-six percent. Today's business bottom line takes us to the home of a family that rode out the crash and are still waiting for better times. Here's Molly Messick of Boise State Public Radio.

Read more
StateImpact Idaho
11:37 am
Mon February 25, 2013

What Idaho Lawmakers Know – And Don’t – When Making Tough Tax Policy Decisions

Mike Chakarun is tax policy manager for the Idaho State Tax Commission.
Credit Molly Messick / StateImpact

A left-leaning tax policy group recently put out a short little report about the state corporate income taxes paid by IDACorp. That’s the holding company of Idaho’s largest electric utility, Idaho Power. 

The report claims IDACorp paid no state income taxes nationwide from 2007 through 2011.

Read more
News Contest Entries
3:38 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Molly Messick

Justin and Chris Black, outside the rustic home that serves as Chris Black's cow camp.
Credit Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

  A Rancher, A Logger, And Economic Fate In Rural Idaho

July 11, 2012

By Molly Messick

In Idaho, the timber and ag industries are heavy hitters.  They play big roles in the state’s history and identity.  But the recession has dealt them different hands, dividing rural Idaho into winners and losers.  StateImpact Idaho takes a look at two industries, two counties, and two economic fates.

Read more
News Contest Entries
4:28 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Election 2012

Grinde's Diner in Mountain Home is a local favorite.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Voter’s Voices: Mountain Home Diner Dishes Up Politics

October 10, 2012

By Samantha Wright and Frankie Barnhill

Mountain Home, southeast of Boise is a microcosm of a military town.  Many of the 14,500 people who live there are connected to Mountain Home Air Force Base.  Four-thousand military serve there and some of them come to Grinde's Diner in Mountain Home to eat and talk politics.

The windows at Grinde’s are covered in patriotic paintings like the statue of liberty, a bald eagle and the liberty bell. 

Read more
News Contest Entries
3:38 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Remembering Micron CEO Steve Appleton

Steve Appleton became Micron's CEO in 1994.


Micron CEO Appleton Guided Company Through Ups and Downs

February 3, 2012

By Emilie Ritter Saunders

Boise-based Micron Technology CEO Steve Appleton died this morning in a single-engine plane crash at the Boise airport.  Appleton was 51.

Read more
StateImpact Idaho
9:48 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Boise’s Housing Bust Leaves Unlikely Victims In A Neighborhood That Saw The Worst

Ryan, Scott and Tara Arellano, at home in their kitchen
Credit Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Homeowners, credit intact, still making their monthly mortgage payments.  They’re not who we think of first when we think of the damage brought on by the housing crisis. But in a sprawling, master-planned southwest Boise subdivision called Charter Pointe, they’re a group that has struggled.

Read more
StateImpact Idaho
11:32 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Nixing Personal Property Tax Would “Devastate” One Eastern Idaho County

Power County Hospital is funded in part by taxpayer support. A good deal of those taxpayer dollars will disappear if lawmakers eliminate Idaho's business personal property tax.
Credit Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

This week, we’re devoting some time to understanding Idaho’s business personal property tax. Ending that tax is a priority for the governor and some of the state’s biggest businesses. But it generates millions for local government.

Read more
StateImpact Idaho
11:12 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Explaining Idaho’s Personal Property Tax, With A Little Help From A Boise Candy Store

Debbie and Joe Giordano, of Powell's Sweet Shoppe in Boise
Credit Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and many of the Idaho Legislature’s Republican leaders are in agreement: something has to happen on the personal property tax this session.  And by “something,” they mean a plan to get rid of it.  But there’s a problem.  The tax generates $140 million dollars each year for local government.  In this story, we start at square one: explaining this thing called the personal property tax.

Read more
StateImpact Idaho
3:06 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Map: Who Benefits Most If Idaho’s Business Personal Property Tax Is Eliminated

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

In 2011, more than 53,000 Idaho companies paid the business personal property tax. Half of those businesses paid less than $90.

Read more
9:05 am
Tue January 22, 2013

The Gender Pay Gap In Idaho’s State Workforce: Why Do Women Earn Less?

Vicki Tokita is Idaho's human resources division administrator.
Credit Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Year after year, Idaho gets slapped with an unwelcome designation: It's one of the states where women earn the least compared to men.

A recent study of the “gender wage gap” came from the National Women's Law Center, and found the typical woman worker in Idaho earns 75.2 cents for every dollar earned by her male counterpart.

Read more
Affordable Care Act
4:33 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Republican Gov. Otter Opts For An Idaho-Based Health Insurance Exchange

Credit State of Idaho

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is opting for a state-based health insurance exchange.

The Republican governor’s office distributed that news late this afternoon in a release that criticizes Obamacare, but says the state must assert its “commitment to self-determination” and fulfill its “responsibility to the rule of law.”

The decision is subject to the Idaho Legislature’s approval.

Read more
Personal Property Tax
9:59 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Idaho County And City Leaders Brace For Personal Property Tax Debate

The Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry's Alex LaBeau is the face of the effort to eliminate Idaho's personal property tax.
Credit Idaho Statesman

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and prominent state legislators have lined up behind the idea of eliminating or scaling back Idaho’s personal property tax.  The issue was high on the agenda as local government leaders came together at an Association of Idaho Cities meeting on Friday.

Read more
Jobless In Idaho
9:41 am
Mon December 10, 2012

“Jobless In Idaho” Comes Full Circle: After A Long Search, A Single Mom Finds Work

After a year and a half of searching for a job, Kelly Barker at last got good news.
Credit Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

At this time last year, StateImpact Idaho began a series called “Jobless in Idaho.”  Through those interviews we met Kelly Barker, a single mom from Meridian who was struggling to find work after losing her job as an office administrator in early 2011.

Read more
StateImpact Idaho
9:22 am
Fri November 30, 2012

How Obamacare Creates An Insurance Industry Ad Blitz

Credit Sawyer Miller for Blue Cross of Idaho

One of Blue Cross of Idaho’s new television commercials opens with a chirpy jingle.  “You’re protected in the sun, you’re protected when it rains,” the song begins.  The pitch is clear: this is the insurer for you, no matter your lifestyle.

Read more
StateImpact Idaho
11:17 am
Thu November 1, 2012

NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg, Albertsons’ Heir Donate To Pro-Props 1, 2, 3 Campaign

Propositions 1,2 and 3 have emerged as the focal point of the November elections in Idaho.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A group fighting in favor of Idaho’s controversial Students Come First laws has released its secret list of donors, and it includes some surprises. 

Probably the most surprising name on Education Voters of Idaho’s list is that of New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.  He gave $200,000 in support of Propositions 1, 2, and 3.

Read more
2012 Elections
11:48 am
Wed October 17, 2012

From Idaho’s Liberal Stronghold Come Diverse Views Of November Election

Molly Messick StateImpact Idaho

There aren’t many places in deep red Idaho where you’re likely to hear the kind of proud introduction Gini Ballou offered up not long after we met.

“I’m Gini Ballou,” she said.  “My mother stopped to vote for John F. Kennedy on her way to the hospital to have me.  And the greatest gift I ever got for my birthday was the ’08 election, when I was given President Obama on my birthday.” 

Read more