Economy

Agriculture
10:18 am
Thu August 28, 2014

USDA Launches New Dairy Insurance Program

Credit CompassioninWorldFarming / Flickr

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says dairy farmers can begin signing up Sept. 2 for a new program that replaces old subsidies.

The program is a kind of insurance that pays farmers when the difference between milk prices and feed prices shrink to a certain level. It replaces a program that paid farmers when milk prices sank too low.

Dairy farmers have struggled in recent years even with good milk prices. Feed costs have risen because of demand for corn from the ethanol industry and recent droughts.

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Wildfire Costs
6:05 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

U.S. Will Likely Borrow Up To $400 Million For Fighting This Season's Wildfires

Credit U.S. Forest Service

The Obama administration is detailing the toll that the escalating cost of fighting forest fires has had on other projects, as it pushes Congress to overhaul how it pays for the most severe fires.

In a new report issued Wednesday, the Agriculture Department said that staffing for fighting fires has more than doubled since 1998.

Meanwhile, the number of workers who manage National Forest System lands has dropped by about a third.

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Energy
10:37 am
Wed August 20, 2014

U.S. Energy Chief Announces $3.7 Million For Idaho National Lab, University Research

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says the United States must adapt all types of energy production to help minimize the negative impacts of global warming.

Moniz spoke in front of a crowded room in Idaho Falls Wednesday at the inaugural Intermountain Energy Summit. Idaho congressmen Jim Risch, Mike Crapo and Mike Simpson also spoke during the conference.

Moniz says the United States isn't shunning coal or oil energy sources, but instead, officials are finding ways to reduce their carbon emissions.

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Jobs
10:03 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Idaho's Workforce Has Shrunk More Than Most States

Idaho's July jobless rate was 4.8 percent, nationally, it's 6.2 percent.
Credit Nancy / Flickr Creative Commons

Fewer Idahoans, nearly 6 percent, are working today than in 2007 before the Great Recession began.

State-by-state analysis of employment data, from calendar year 2007 to fiscal year 2014, show only two other states have seen a greater workforce decline among 25- to 54-year-olds.

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Business
8:51 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Former Wall Street Executive Brings Message Of Gender Equity To Boise

Sallie Krawcheck
Credit Ellevate

A former Wall Street executive is bringing her message of gender equity to Boise. Sallie Krawcheck is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at a conference of small business people Tuesday.

Krawcheck used to oversee the world's largest wealth management company. Today, she champions the cause of diversity in corporate leadership.

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Migration
11:35 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Are You A Native Idahoan? Data Show Most Idaho Residents Aren't

This data viz from the New York Times shows how Idaho's population has changed since 1900.
Credit New York Times screengrab

An interesting take on state-to-state migration from The New York Times illustrates what many Idahoans already knew: a lot of California natives now live in Idaho.

The Times created a data visualization of migration to each state going back to 1900. It's no surprise that at the turn of the 20th century, most people moving to Idaho were immigrants from outside of the U.S., the northeast and the midwest.

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Economy
11:16 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Simplot Delays Idaho Potato Processing Plant Closures

Credit 4435Russet / Flickr Creative Commons

The J.R. Simplot Company has delayed the closure of two potato processing plants in Idaho.

Simplot spokesman David Cuoio told the Capital Press that layoffs at the Aberdeen plant are now expected to happen in September, and the Nampa plant will likely close Oct. 31.

The company initially planned to close both facilities this spring, but decided to keep them open longer after getting more customer orders than expected.

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Consumer Spending
10:56 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Idahoans Spend More Of Their Income On Basics Than People In Most States

Credit Tax Credits / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho residents have among the lowest personal incomes in the nation but spend a higher percentage of their money on basic essentials compared to most others, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Idaho's per-capita consumer spending was $30,190 — just a few dollars higher than the per-capita spending in Utah and Hawaii. Nevada, Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi all came in lower.

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Agriculture
6:00 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Idaho Wheat Growers Impacted By Washington Export Terminal Shutdown

Northwest farmers' wheat is getting stalled at the Port of Vancouver once it leaves their local grain elevator.
Credit Daimon Eklund / Flickr Creative Commons

The Northwest wheat harvest is in full swing, but the export of grain has all but stopped at the Port of Vancouver, Wash. The shipments have been blocked because Washington state inspectors have stopped checking grain for export at the port because they don't want to cross a picket line in a labor dispute.

Farmers are calling for those inspections to resume after harvesting about 40 percent of Washington's wheat. Washington Wheat Growers Association President Nicole Berg farms 21,000 acres near the Tri-Cities.

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Economy
10:47 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Boise Business Leaders Make An East Coast Flight Their Top Priority

Boise is courting Delta to add a non-stop flight to its Atlanta hub.
Credit Courtesy: Delta Airlines

The head of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce says lining up daily, non-stop flights to a major East Coast hub is now the local business community's top priority.

The airport has again applied for a federal grant that, if successful, would be used to help cover costs for an airline if the route proves to be initially unprofitable. The city applied for a similar grant last year but was unsuccessful.

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Economy
4:43 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

St. Luke's Acquisition Of Elks Rehab Could Result In More Than 100 Layoffs

Officials with the Elks Rehab System in Boise have sent letters to local mayors announcing layoffs associated with St. Luke’s takeover of Elks facilities. Elks officials say significant financial and operational challenges are forcing it to hand over its operations to the Idaho healthcare giant. 

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Business
3:50 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Boise Co-op To Open A Second Store

Current Boise Co-op location in Boise's Northend.
Credit boise.coop

The Boise Co-op announced Monday that it would open a second store in the Village at Meridian.

Co-op marketing director Shannon McGuire says two surveys solidified managers goals of opening a second store.

“We asked our shoppers ‘what should we do, where should we go if we considered expansion?’” McGuire says. “And out of that came ‘yes, please do expand and go West.’”

McGuire says survey respondents picked Meridian as their top choice for a second store. The second-most requested store location was Nampa, and McGuire says that could someday become a reality.

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Business
3:22 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Some Business Owners Say Idaho Liquor Laws Hurt Economic Growth

Credit Therese Tjernstrom / Flickr Creative Commons

Some Idaho business owners say the state's laws limiting the number of liquor licenses in each city stunt local economic growth.

The Idaho Statesman reports that Idaho's liquor regulation has resulted in a scarcity of liquor licenses, which in turn has caused business owners to resell licenses at exorbitant costs.

Licenses may be purchased from the state for $750 and in just two years, resold for more than $300,000.

According to Idaho law, each municipality is allotted one liquor license for every 1,500 residents.

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Agriculture
9:44 am
Mon July 28, 2014

USDA Approves Emergency Grazing In Eastern Idaho

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved emergency haying and grazing on land normally used for the Conservation Reserve Program in parts of eastern Idaho.

Officials in Bingham, Bonneville, Fremont, Madison and Power counties requested the emergency access because of drought and crop damage. The USDA's Farm Service Agency in Idaho announced Monday that the requests were approved.

The emergency haying is allowed through the end of August, and participants must leave at least half of each field unhayed for wildlife. The hay can't be sold.

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Business
6:25 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Alaska Air Says It's Holding Its Own Against Delta Onslaught

An Alaska Airlines 737 plane.
Alaska Airlines

The intensifying competition between Alaska Airlines and rival Delta Air Lines in the Western skies does not seem to be hurting the bottom line of either company.

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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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