Economy

Agriculture
6:38 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Washington State Sees Big Jump In Use of Temporary Foreign Farmhands

File photo.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Northwest farmers hired significantly more foreign guest workers this season under a special immigration program.

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Economy
9:44 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Greek Yogurt Maker Chobani To Expand Twin Falls Production

Credit TBiley / Flickr Creative Commons

Greek yogurt company Chobani says it is increasing production at its Twin Falls plant and adding production of a new "light" yogurt called Simply 100.

Chobani officials tell The Times-News the $450 million plant is running at optimal production capability for the first time since it opened a year ago. When the plant opened, it made about 100,000 cases of yogurt per week running three or four production lines. It is now running 12 production lines and producing up to a million cases of yogurt a week.

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Minimum Wage
12:17 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Son Of Former McDonald's Worker, Raul Labrador Opposes Minimum Wage Increase

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) told reporters Monday he's against raising the federal minimum wage.
Credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, said Monday he's against raising the nation’s minimum wage

During a conference call with reporters, Labrador said he understands why those pushing for pay increases for fast food and retail workers are doing so. But he thinks raising minimum wages will hurt workers instead of helping them.

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Economy
7:45 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Idaho Void Of "Super Zips," State's Most Elite Zip Codes Are Near Boise

Three of Idaho's four most elite Zip codes, shaded in green, are in the Boise-metro area.
Credit Washington Post

A Washington Post analysis of elite Zip codes in the United States shows Idaho doesn’t have a so-called Super Zip. These are high-end neighborhoods where the median annual household income is $120,000 and 7 in 10 adults have a college degree.

The Post analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data and plotted their findings on this interactive map. There are 650 Super Zips in the country, with the largest concentration of wealth and education in Washington, D.C.

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Transportation
12:54 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Megaload Pulls Out Of Northeast Oregon Port Despite Protesters

Cathy Sampson-Kruse is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation. Police arrested her after she laid down in front of the so-called megaload bound for Canada.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 2:25 pm

A massive load of oil equipment is on its way to Canada, along a winding route that began near Hermiston, in northeast Oregon. 

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Ag Lawsuit
6:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Why A Group Of Idaho Potato Growers Is In Court Over Alleged Price-Fixing, "Cartel Behavior"

Credit thebittenword.com / Flickr Creative Commons

A set of lawsuits winding its way through federal court in Idaho combine a couple phrases you might not expect to find together: "massive international cartel" and "potato."

According to a group of grocers, the innocuous looking potato on your plate got there through a conspiracy involving price-fixing, coercion and aerial surveillance. But potato growers counter there is no cartel. Just a co-op.

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Black Friday
4:30 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Northwesterners Join In National Walmart Protest

Protesters in front of the Albany, Oregon Walmart.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

As the Christmas shopping season gets into full-swing, Black Friday was a day of protest for some in the Northwest.

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Agriculture
4:09 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Northwest Cranberry Growers Wish You’d Eat Their Product Year-Round

Northwest cranberry growers are trying to get more of their product into the supermarket produce section. These berries are for sale at a Salem, Oregon grocery store.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 4:16 pm

One out of every five cranberries grown in the U.S. is eaten Thanksgiving week, according to industry giant Ocean Spray.

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Agriculture
4:08 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Small Northwest Winemakers May Have More Juice To Work With This Year

Northwest winemakers expect an abundance of high-quality juice this year.
Trey Busch Sleight of Hand Cellars

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 9:23 am

Early crop reports from farmers say Washington and Oregon’s wine grape harvest appears to be up a tick for 2013.

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Economy
1:42 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Wyden Timber Plan Aims To Bolster Hard-Hit Logging Towns

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber introduces U.S. Senator Ron Wyden during a press conference at the Oregon capitol Tuesday.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 4:10 pm

Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden says his latest proposal to increase logging on Oregon forest land will also respect environmental concerns. 

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Transportation
9:10 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Map: Proposed Megaload Route Will Wind Across Southern Idaho's Backroads

This is a similar over-sized shipment that traveled through Idaho earlier in 2013.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Giant pieces of equipment headed for Canada's oil sands are expected to travel through southern Idaho once the oversized gear makes its way across Oregon.

Omega Morgan, a trucking company hired, was forced to choose a new route for moving its so-called 'megaloads' through Idaho after a judge blocked plans to ship the loads over U.S. Highway 12.

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Economy
8:57 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Idaho Jobless Claims Drop To Lowest Level Since 2006

An employer talks with a job seeker at an Idaho job fair.
Credit Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's unemployment insurance claims dropped to their lowest level since 2006, a year of strong economic growth that preceded the deep recession that began in December 2007.

The Department of Labor said Monday it paid 7,462 regular benefit claims during the third week of November, 14 fewer than that week in 2006.

The amount paid was still 23 percent higher than 2006, however, because the average benefit is $25 higher this year at $255, reflecting benefit increases over the past seven years.

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Taxes
3:03 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Tax Commission Reminds Holiday Shoppers To Pay Their Idaho Sales Tax

Credit 401(K)2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

With Cyber Monday less than a week away, holiday shoppers are busy buying gifts online. But many shoppers don’t realize if they purchase items on the Internet, they still owe the state some money.

It’s called the use tax and it’s been around since 1965. It applies to anything you buy over the phone, mail-order, or the Internet. It’s the same rate as the regular sales tax, 6 percent.

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Unemployment
12:07 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Idaho’s Unemployment Rate Falls Slightly In October

Job seekers speak with potential employers at a Meridian, Idaho job fair.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's jobless rate held steady in September, and dropped slightly in October. The Idaho Labor Department reports the unemployment rate was unchanged from August to September at 6.8 percent. It fell in October to 6.7 percent.

Normally, jobless rates come out once a month. Friday’s two-for-one report was released because of the partial government shutdown over the first two weeks of October.

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Income
12:22 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Data: Personal Income Growth Slows In Idaho

Credit Bureau of Economic Analysis

Personal income growth slowed between 2011 and 2012 across Idaho's metro areas. That’s according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

On average, incomes grew by 4.2 percent across the nation’s metro areas. None of Idaho’s metro areas met or exceeded that average.

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Gaming
9:07 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Creators Of 'Myst' Hope For Comeback With New Fan-Funded Game

Promotion photo from Obduction.
Cyan, Inc.

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 5:26 pm

The Northwest programmers behind the computer game Myst are now trying to write their next chapter.

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Labor Department
3:59 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Twin Falls Businessman, Board Of Education Member To Head Idaho's Labor Department

Edmunds is a businessman from Twin Falls, Idaho.
Credit State of Idaho

A state Board of Education member is shifting roles, after Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter named him to head the Idaho Department of Labor.

Ken Edmunds of Twin Falls will fill the post starting Nov. 25, replacing Roger Madsen who held the job since 1995.

Edmunds is a Twin Falls businessman whose experience includes working as an accountant and controller as well as an executive for the company that operates Cactus Petes casino in Jackpot, Nev.

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Housing Market
10:49 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Post-Recession Home Values Held Firm In Small Northwest Counties

Nick Bastian Flickr

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 6:06 pm

Across the nation, home values plummeted after the U.S. housing bubble burst in 2008. But that was not the case in some of the less populous counties in the Northwest.

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Jobs
3:31 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Heinz To Close Pocatello Facility, Laying Off 410 People

Credit Mat79 / Flickr Creative Commons

H.J. Heinz Co. is closing three plants in North America and cutting 1,350 jobs in an effort to operate more efficiently.

The food maker said Thursday that it will close facilities in South Carolina, Idaho and Canada over the next six to eight months.

KPVI reports 410 people will be laid off from the Pocatello, Idaho facility.

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Trade
8:37 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Idaho Gov. Otter Preps For Trade Mission To Russia

Idaho's largest export sector is semiconductors and industrial, worth more than $3.17 billion in 2012.
Credit Micron Technology

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is getting ready for a nine-day trade mission in Russia.

The Republican governor, his staff and Idaho business leaders will leave Boise Friday.

The trip caps a busy year of international travel for Otter, who has already made official visits to Vietnam, Taiwan and Korea.

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