Economy

Business
10:07 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Smith Optic's Departure From Central Idaho Will Have Economic Ripple Effect

Credit Manoosh26 / Flickr Creative Commons

The Wood River Valley is bracing for the loss of one of its largest employers. Ski equipment maker Smith Optics is one of the area’s top 10 employers and one of the biggest private-sector employers, according Harry Griffith, director of Sun Valley Economic Development - a nonprofit focused on the Blaine County economy.

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Business
9:55 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Ski Goggle Maker Smith Optics Is Leaving Idaho, Taking With It 85 Jobs

Credit talksrealfast / Flickr Creative Commons

A central Idaho company whose founder invented the double-lensed, vented ski goggle that is now the industry standard is moving operations and 85 jobs out of the resort town of Ketchum.

Smith Optics announced Monday that its design headquarters will move to Portland, Oregon, during the first half of 2015.

Other parts of the company are moving to Clearfield, Utah, or Parsippany, New Jersey, over the next three years.

Robert Earl "Bob" Smith came up with the double-lens goggles in the 1960s and patented his invention. He died in 2012 at age 78

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Business
6:00 am
Wed October 22, 2014

How A Boise Woman Is Turning African-Inspired Handbags Into A College Education

Rita at the sewing machine where she makes her African-fabric inspired cloth purses.
Credit Jodie Martinson / Boise State Public Radio

Rita Thara Yenga shows off two plastic boxes full of women's bags she's sewn. She's preparing inventory for her new store "Thara Fashion." It opened in October at the International Market in Boise.

"I'm so happy to show people my talent," she explains. "It makes me excited."

Rita sells clothes and accessories for American sensibilities, but with a distinctly African twist. 

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Trends
6:30 am
Mon October 20, 2014

See What Your Idaho Zip Code Tells Marketers About You

Credit screen grab from esri.com

Your zip code tells postal workers how to get you your daily pile of junk mail advertisements. Your zip can also tell advertisers what junk mail to send you. That’s the idea behind software company Ersi’s Tapestry Segmentation program.

The tool allows users (marketers) to type in a zip code and get an analysis of the people who live there based on U.S. Census Bureau and market research data.

Boise's North End

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Jobs
12:42 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Why So Many Idaho Journalists Leave News For Public Relations

Former Idaho Statesman journalist Dan Popkey (right) pictured with Idaho First Lady Lori Otter.
Credit Otter For Idaho Twitter

The news business as we know it is in crisis. It's been well reported that revenue has been drying up as advertisers move online, causing newspapers to shrink their staffs. Something that's less-often reported is how much the public relations business has been booming.

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Charity
12:42 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Idahoans Give More To Charity Than People In Most States

Credit Alex Proimos / Flickr

Idaho is a very charitable state. Idahoans gave more of their income to charity than every surrounding state, except Utah. But low-income Idahoans are giving away more of their hard-earned cash than the wealthy.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy used Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data from 2006 to 2012 to find patterns of giving across the country.

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Agriculture
11:35 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Despite A Wrecked Barley Crop, Idaho Craft Brewer Won't Raise Prices

Grand Teton Brewing Company says it has a contract for guaranteed malted barley through 2015.
Credit Marissa Anderson / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho Barley Commission estimates about 40 percent of this year's barley crop was damaged by rain, but that bad crop is unlikely to affect craft beer prices in the near term. Rain-saturated barley crops in other top producing states like Montana and North Dakota haven't fared much better.

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Economy
1:49 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Boise Airport Wins Grant To Help Secure East Coast Flights

The federal government has awarded the Boise Airport $700,000 to help secure direct flights to the eastern U.S.

The airport applied for the Department of Transportation grant over the summer.  A similar application last year was not successful.

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Transportation
9:39 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Ride-Share Service Uber Comes To Boise For Free Trial

Uber is coming to Boise, at least temporarily. The ride-sharing app, which connects passengers with drivers, starts a temporary free trail in the city Thursday.

Uber has been around since 2009 and operates in more than 200 cities worldwide.

It works like this: riders download an app on their phone, plug in a destination, and choose a driver to pick them up. Drivers use their own cars.

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Gas Prices
5:59 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

After Pricey Summer, Idaho's Gas Prices Headed Down

Credit Nathan Feir / Flickr

Gas prices are dropping in Idaho and around the nation. Following a regular trend, Idaho’s prices were higher this summer than the national average, but winter prices tend to be lower. One expert says there are several reasons why.

Idaho had the sixth highest gasoline price in the nation at certain times this year.

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Business
3:49 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Albertsons, Supervalu Disclose New Data Breach

Credit RoadsidePictures / Flickr Creative Commons

The parent companies of the Supervalu and Albertsons supermarkets say they have uncovered another breach of their computer networks, potentially compromising data from consumers.

The companies say that in late August or early September, malicious software was installed on networks that process credit and debit card transactions at some of their stores. Albertsons says the malware may have captured data including account numbers, card expiration dates and the names of cardholders. Supervalu says it believes most of its stores were not affected.

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Wages
5:04 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Idaho Women, Individuals Have Lowest Median Incomes In The Country

Idaho's median household income was $46,783 in 2013.

Census data released by the government this week show individuals and women in Idaho have the lowest median incomes in the country, while household and family median incomes are in the bottom third among states.

The data release is part of the U.S. Census Bureau's 2013 American Community Survey.

Idaho's median household income in 2013 was $46,783, meaning half the residents here earned more and half earned less.

This interactive map is shaded based on median household income.

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Economy
10:17 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Idaho's Jobless Rate Drops As The Workforce Shrinks

Workers talk with potential employers at a Meridian job fair.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's August jobless rate ticked down a tenth of a percent after a slight increase in July. The Idaho Department of Labor reports the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.7 percent declined because 600 workers left the labor force, the second-straight month the workforce has shrunk.

Most workers hired in August filled vacant jobs. The Labor Department reports new hires were lower than August 2013.

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Economy
10:02 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Wilderness Area Accused Of Inhibiting Idaho Town's Economy

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 5:50 am

Copyright 2014 Boise State Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.boisestatepublicradio.org.

Energy Economy
11:27 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Railroad Wants Second Bridge To Handle Increase In Coal, Oil Trains

Credit side.tracked / Flickr Creative Commons

Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad wants to build a second bridge in northern Idaho to handle an expected increase in traffic that includes coal and oil trains.

Railway spokesman Gus Melonas tells The Spokesman-Review in a story on Wednesday that the one bridge at Sandpoint restricts train traffic.

The railway wants to build another bridge about 50 feet west of the existing bridge that crosses Lake Pend Oreille where it meets the Pend Oreille River.

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Tourism
10:34 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Ketchum Says Idaho's Wolf Management Policies Hurting Tourism

Credit visitsunvalley.com

The resort town of Ketchum, Idaho, is asking the state to back off on killing wolves. They say it’s bad for business.

The Ketchum City Council passed a resolution Monday night urging wildlife managers to use non-lethal tactics to control the wolf population.

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Energy
8:16 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Idaho Rejects Oil Company Request To Exclude Feds

Idaho officials have rejected a Texas company's request to exclude federal lands and potential royalties from what is believed to be a profitable natural gas field in the southwest part of the state.

The Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on Thursday voted 3-2 in a decision that went against Houston-based oil company Alta Mesa's petition to omit 187 acres of federal land from a 615-acre drilling unit.

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Jobs
8:24 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

SkyWest Airlines To Build $20 Million Maintenance Center In Boise

SkyWest says it plans to hire 100 people for its new facility.
Credit Aero Icarus / Flickr Creative Commons

SkyWest Airlines has chosen Boise for the site of its new $20 million maintenance facility, a project state leaders tout was made possible by a newly-created tax incentive program.

In June, Boise Mayor David Bieter announced SkyWest would open a maintenance facility at the Boise Airport, using an existing hangar at the Jackson Jet Center. He said then that SkyWest was considering expanding that facility in Boise.

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Agriculture
6:27 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Small Tract Of Northwest Wine-Growing Soil Attracting Big Outside Investment

Gewurztraminer grapes at Kiona Vineyards on Red Mountain. The winery founders were some of the very first to try growing wine grapes in the small southeast Washington appellation.

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 6:39 pm

Wine harvest is underway in a small growing region in southeast Washington called Red Mountain. The dusty wedge of earth has been attracting an increasing amount of investment from winemakers from Napa, Canada and even Italy.

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Economy
4:07 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Share Of Idahoans Receiving Welfare Declines, Rate Still Higher Than Most

Screengrab from Census report.
Credit census.gov

Idaho is one of only six states that saw a decrease in the number of people on public assistance, or welfare, in 2012, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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