Economy

Wildfires
2:35 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

How Wildland Firefighters Deal With Triple-Digit Heat

A portable, temporary air monitor was placed on the roof of the high school in Entiat and has been collecting samples since Thursday. Note the ground-hugging wildfire smoke in background.
Credit Courtesy of Chelan County Emergency Management

Fire crews across the Northwest are dealing with sizzling hot temperatures not just from flames, but also a general heat wave.

You can't wear shorts and a T-shirt to a firefight. So how do you stay cool and functional on the fire line when the thermometer is pushing triple digits? U.S. Forest Service spokesman Joe Anderson says "the main thing is to stay hydrated" and pace yourself.

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Energy
8:24 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Idaho Inventor Pushes Solar Panels For Roads, Highways

This is a graphic rendition of what solar roads would look like.
Credit Graphic Artist: Sam Cornett / Solar Roadways Indiegogo

The solar panels that Idaho inventor Scott Brusaw has built aren't meant for rooftops. They are meant for roads, driveways, parking lots and, eventually, highways.

Brusaw is the head of Solar Roadways, a company that proposes using solar panels to pave the nation's roadways.

The electrical engineer from Sandpoint, Idaho, says the hexagon-shaped panels can withstand the wear and tear from vehicles and inclement weather while generating electricity.

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Business
4:35 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Ready For A Cold July 4th Beer? Data Show You'll Have No Trouble Finding Idaho Brews

Credit Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr Creative Commons

Just in time for the holiday weekend, the U.S. Census Bureau confirmed Idaho's love of beer.

New data show a national surge in breweries between 2007-2012, with the number more than doubling from 398 to 869. New jobs were created in the industry despite the Great Recession, and shipments of the cold brews climbed more than 33 percent in the five-year span.

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Poverty
9:52 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Census: Idaho’s Poverty Concentration Has Tripled Since 2000

Even though Idaho's poverty concentration saw one of the biggest percent increases between 2000 and 2010, 30 states and the District of Columbia had higher overall concentrations than Idaho in 2010.
Credit U.S. Census Bureau

More than 15 percent of Idahoans live in poverty according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s a little higher than the nation as a whole. Now, a new census report shows that Idaho’s poor are becoming increasingly concentrated.

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Business
1:25 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

6 Unique Things You'll Find At The Boise International Market

Habiba Abdullah prepares a Somali meal. Abdullah owns a grocery store in the market and her sons co-own the restaurant Taste of Africa.
Credit Photo Courtesy International Market

The Boise International Market is set to open its doors sometime in August. It will start out with 17 micro-businesses selling products from around the world. Developers hope to add more vendors soon after it opens.

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Trends
10:15 am
Thu June 26, 2014

How Madison County, Idaho, Became The Youngest Place In America

About 25,000 people live in Rexburg, Idaho. This is a view of downtown.
Credit Ken Lund / Flickr Creative Commons

New federal population figures out Thursday show the nation’s youngest county is in the midst of eastern Idaho's potato country. Madison County, Idaho.

To give you a comparison, the median age of the United States is almost 38. The median age of Madison County is 23-years-old. That’s the lowest in the country. And there’s one big reason.

Madison County is home to Brigham Young University-Idaho.

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Business
12:06 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Boise Entrepreneurs Hope Their Diverse Market Brings Idahoans Closer To Global Cultures

By day, Miguel Gaddi is an architect, and Lori Porreca, a planner But their passion is their side business, the Boise International Market.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A construction crew is busy renovating a dilapidated strip mall on the Boise bench. It’s just a big empty space with torn up floors, but by August this will be the Boise International Market. Lori Porreca is building the market along with her partner Miguel Gaddi.

The market will be home to many small businesses, each in stalls. There will be 17 when it opens and more added later. As Gaddi stands in the main entrance of his construction project, he describes what it will be like.

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Business
1:28 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

How Saving One Small Town Idaho Bookstore Might Hurt Another

Credit Kate Ter Haar / Flickr Creative Commons

A Ketchum bookstore will stay in business thanks to donations from its community. Last month, we told you ago about Iconoclast Books owner Sarah Hedrick and her Indiegogo campaign to save her store.

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Economy
4:09 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Idaho Revamps Often-Criticized Worker Training Program

Idaho's Labor Dept. Director Ken Edmunds highlights details of the revamped program with Gov. Otter at his side.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Acknowledging Idaho's economic development "sins of the past" Tuesday, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter unveiled a revamped business incentive program that was once touted as a job creator, but Otter now wants it viewed as a way to train workers for high-skill jobs. 

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Agriculture
6:27 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Northwest Wheat Harvest Could Be Down This Summer

Farmers in Oregon, Idaho and Washington are expected to harvest less wheat this summer. The weather forecast has a lot to do with it.

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Economy
10:57 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Idaho's Jobless Rate Hits 6 Year Low

Credit OSJOBFAIR / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho’s jobless rate has dipped below 5 percent for the first time in almost six years. 

The Idaho Labor Department reports May’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 4.9 percent, that's as total employment grew by 1,000 jobs from April to May.

In May of 2013, nearly 50,000 Idahoans didn’t have jobs. This May, about 38,000 people were out of work.

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Boise
2:38 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Boise Mayor: New Jobs Coming To Airport, Pitches New Fire Bond

Credit Dave Bieter's Facebook Page / City of Boise

Boise Mayor David Bieter announced Friday that SkyWest Airlines is opening a maintenance facility at the Boise Airport.

During his annual State of the City speech, Bieter said the facility will use an existing hangar at the Jackson Jet Center. “While we’re not sure yet the total number of jobs, we do know they will be able to service three large planes every night,” Bieter says. “And the wages they will pay will serve a family well.”

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Taxes
3:17 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Use This Calculator To Figure Out Your Idaho Property Taxes

Credit liz west / Flickr Creative Commons

Property values in Ada and Canyon Counties went up substantially this year. Chances are, if you own a house here you’ve received a letter from the county assessor saying your home is worth more. In Ada County the average increase was 18 percent.

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Housing Market
2:51 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Data: See The Change In Ada County Property Values

Click on the chart to enlarge the image.
Credit Data: Ada County Assessor | Chart: Adam Cotterell

Property values in Idaho's most-populated county went up between 2013 and 2014 in a big way. This is the second year in a row Ada County's property values increased. Of course those increases are on the heels of four-straight years of decline after the housing bubble burst.  

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Jobs
1:16 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Idaho's Chobani Plant Laying Off Workers

Credit TBiley / Flickr Creative Commons

Greek yogurt maker Chobani is laying off workers at its south-central Idaho plant.

Chief Marketing Officer Peter McGuinness tells The Times-News the lay-offs include temporary workers as well as some regular workers.

He declined to say how many workers are being let go, but he says about three-quarters are temporary workers.

He says the plant has hit its production target and is making shift changes Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Housing Market
12:04 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

As Ada County Home Values Go Up, Assessor Doesn’t See A Bubble Looming...Yet

Credit Paul VanDerWerf / Flickr Creative Commons

If you own a home in Ada County, you may have received a letter in the mail last week from the county assessor’s office. And that letter probably said your property value had gone up, maybe even substantially.

That's good news for those wanting to sell their house or those who’ve been underwater on their mortgage. But the increases could mean higher taxes, and it could actually be bad news for the economy. 

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Jobs
2:07 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

$4.2 Million Available For Displaced Idaho Workers

The federal government is providing $4.2 million of federal assistance to workers recently laid off at the J.R. Simplot Company and an Idaho Falls call center.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday that $2.6 million will be available for the 435 workers who were laid off from August 2013 to April of this year at J.R. Simplot facilities.

Another $1.6 million will be allocated to the nearly 200 workers who were affected by a March 31 closure at Center Partners call center in Idaho Falls.

Business
9:55 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Boise Company BMC Announces It's Leaving for Atlanta

A Boise-based construction supply and services company says it's moving its headquarters to Atlanta because it wants access to a larger population and better airline service.

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Business
12:53 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Ketchum Bookstore Asks Community To Save It From Bankruptcy

Inside Iconoclast
Credit Sarah hedrick

Ketchum’s Iconoclast Books has been a fixture in the community for 20 years. But next month, the store will permanently close its doors unless owner Sarah Hedrick can raise $85,000 to pay off debts.

Hedrick and her late husband Gary Hunt were partners in their bookstore. They each had different jobs. Hedrick says she had all the fun ones.

“Buying and merchandising and finding new lines, that kind of stuff,” Hedrick says. “And he was definitely the person in the office.”   

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Airports
11:08 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Central Idaho Airport Runway Opens On Time

Hailey, Idaho
Credit Hailey, Idaho / Flickr

Runway work at a central Idaho airport that serves the resort area of Ketchum and Sun Valley has been completed.

Friedman Memorial Airport officials in Hailey tell the Idaho Mountain Express that the runway opened Thursday.

The work involved moving a taxiway 70 feet away from the runway.

Workers shut down the runway on April 22 as part of a $34 million project intended to meet Federal Aviation Administration safety requirements. Most of the cost is being covered by a series of federal grants.

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