Economy

Rhodes International

The owners of a Caldwell frozen bread and cinnamon roll plant will pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency more than $84,000 for hazardous chemical violations.  

The EPA announced Monday that Rhodes International stored large amounts of anhydrous ammonia at its Caldwell facility without proper reporting to public safety officials.  The chemical is a toxic gas that can cause serious injury or death. 

USTR

Wednesday marks World Trade Day in Idaho.  Companies throughout the state sold nearly $6 billion worth of exports last year.   That’s about 10% of everything Idaho produces.  As part of the day’s events, Boise State hosts a top U.S. trade negotiator.  Ambassador Isi Siddiqui will highlight international trade and American jobs.   

Tests results this week confirmed mad cow disease in California.  This announcement could have an economic impact on Idaho’s beef industry. 

Updated Monday, April 23, 2012:  Idaho National Laboratory suspended some work last week at a complex where nuclear fuel and other research takes place.  This comes after a small roof fire and a crane accident at its Materials and Fuels Complex.  Over the past few months,  a number of safety incidents have occurred there.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

The lead up to the opening of a Nordstrom Rack in Boise last week turned into a mash-up of gift cards, cocktails, and social media. Twitter traffic was high and it raised questions over whether Nordstrom and tweeters followed Federal Trade Commission guidelines on endorsements.  There’s a lot of fuzziness when it comes to these guides.

Buzz is good in the public relations and marketing world.  High Twitter traffic and Facebook likes are to social media gurus what candy is to that clichéd baby.

Sadie Babits / Boise State Public Radio

Southern Idaho ski areas are wrapping up their seasons.  Bogus Basin and Sun Valley have closed their lifts.  Brundage has one more weekend, possibly more, if the snow holds.  This ski season has been a trying year for them.   

Even In Down Economy, Northwest Draws New Residents

Apr 13, 2012
Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The Northwest has long been a draw for people moving here from other parts of the United States. That continues to be a key driver of the region’s economy. Despite high unemployment rates, Oregon and Washington still lure folks from the Midwest and elsewhere. And they bring in new money and job skills.

Ted Layman lives in Oregon. He almost didn't end up there, though. He almost moved to Chicago.

"Great place to visit and enjoy," Layman says. "But the noise, the congestion of people …"

401 K / Flickr

April 17th marks Equal Pay Day.  It symbolizes the 23 percent pay gap between men and women in the United States.  Women must work from January 1st last year to April 17th this year to match what men earned in 2011 alone.  Women in Idaho would have to work even longer, as the state  ranks 43rd in the nation for this type of wage disparity.

Session Wrap: Democrat’s ‘IJOBS’ Fails, Again

Apr 5, 2012
Betsy Russell / Spokesman Review

Democrats in the Idaho Legislature again offered a slate of bills they said would boost economic growth and add jobs to the economy.

They dubbed it ‘IJOBS’, and it’s not the first time they’ve attempted to get similar measures through.  Democrats introduced the first round of IJOBS bills back in 2010.  They all failed.

Derek Jensen / Tysto-Wikimedia Commons

Gas prices are on the rise throughout the United States.  In Idaho, it costs on average about $3.80 a gallon.  That’s up from $3.00 a gallon at the start of this year.   One reason for this spike has to do with future bets on oil prices.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

Gas prices in Idaho continue to climb, so people are looking at other ways to commute.  They walk, bike, bus, or take a public van.  Ada County Highway District runs one of the oldest vanpool programs in the nation. Commuteride  started in the 1970s.  

Horizon Air

Editor's Note: This story has been updated with additional information. The original story stated that by the end of the summer, Horizon Air's nearly 900 pilots and flight attendants would also call Boise, Idaho, Medford, Oregon and Spokane, Washington home. We've clarified this to say that by the end of the summer 300 of those 900 flight crews will be based in Boise, Medford and Spokane. 

Session Wrap: What Passed, What Flopped

Apr 3, 2012
Tom Kelly / Flickr

The 2012 Legislature adjourned late last week, accomplishing its only constitutional duty, which is to pass a balanced budget.  StateImpact Idaho’s Emilie Ritter Saunders has watched the budget process closely.  Saunders told Samantha Wright there weren’t many surprises this session, but there were a couple of things that didn’t pan out, including creating a state health care exchange.

TRANSCRIPT

Courtesy Bob Shaper / Northwest News Network

Angel Flight is a group of volunteer pilots. They fly people with medical needs from small towns to big cities where major hospitals are.

During the down economy the last few years, requests for these missions have nearly doubled. So far the group has managed to keep up, but the growing number of patients needing a ride doesn’t seem to to be slowing down.

Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Boise resident C.K. Haun has this routine down.  He may live in Idaho, but he’s a senior engineer at Apple.  Long before the sun is up, he arrives at the Boise Airport, to catch his regular flight to San Jose.  “I can do this by autopilot now,” he says. “Most of the TSA people know me, and we smile and say hi.  Every Monday morning, week in week out!”  Continue reading...

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