9:27 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Ski Season Arrives In NW; Slopes Hope For Better Year

Credit Sun Valley Resort

The ski season is officially underway. Mountains in Idaho, Oregon and Washington are now open for business. And ski slopes are hoping for a better season than last year.

The long Thanksgiving weekend is the time when many slopes open. Besides the northwest, mountains in Colorado, Utah, Montana and Wyoming are welcoming skiers over the long holiday weekend.

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Black Friday
7:36 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Gun Shops Could Set Sales Records This Black Friday

Credit National Shooting Sports Foundation

Gun stores are among the retailers expecting more sales than usual this Black Friday. 

A national trade group that represents the gun and ammunition industry says Black Friday could set a record for the number of background checks performed.  Those are required by the FBI for gun purchases. 

On the day after Thanksgiving last year, the number of background checks set an all-time high. 

Mike Bazinet is a spokesman with the National Shooting Sports Foundation.  He says there are several reasons why gun stores will be busy. 

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6:30 am
Fri November 16, 2012

As Whole Foods Opens, Boise Co-op Ready To Take On The Competition

Doug Bolles works in the produce department at the Boise Co-op. The Co-op has been preparing for competition with Whole Foods.
Frankie Barnhill Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s first Whole Foods Market is now open. The much-anticipated new store features an array of organic foods, and an upstairs bar with only local beers on tap.

Jillian Vaughan works in the bakery. She is handing out bread samples.

“Organic whole wheat flour and organic seed mix,” says Vaughan. “So pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, organic poppy seeds, and it’s sweetened with honey and it has sea salt and yeast.”  

Vaughan is a Boise State student. And she’s one of the 175 Whole Foods employees from the Treasure Valley.

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2:06 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Northwest Wineries Latch Onto Online Amazon Sales

Northwest winemakers may be able to expand their customer base now that Amazon is shipping wine to more than a dozen states.
Credit nerissa's ring / Flickr

This holiday season, Northwest winemakers are hoping to expand their customer base with a new sales venue. Seattle’s online shopping giant is now shipping wine.

Tom Hedges is co-founder of Hedges Family Estate on Red Mountain in southeast Washington. He says his family has only been selling wine on for about a week. It will take a few months to truly see if selling bottles through the site will actually pencil out.

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Whole Foods opens
6:30 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Whole Foods Opens In Boise, Provides 175 Local Jobs

Dan Dolenar arranges produce at Whole Foods Market. The company's first retail store opens in Boise this morning.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Correction:  In the original version of this story, we incorrectly reported that sales for organic and natural retailers totaled $36 million in 2010.  According to the organic foods research group NewHope360, sales totaled more than $36 billion.  We apologize for the error.

Idaho’s first Whole Foods Market opens in Boise today. The Austin, Texas-based natural foods store has hired and trained 175 people from the local community to run the store.

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3:03 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Live Blog: Battleground

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 12:11 pm

**Refresh this page often for the latest updates.**

A quick head's up on what this is. The Battleground is an aggregation of NPR member stations' content produced during election night. It's curated by the staff at NPR Digital Services, including Eric Athas, Teresa Gorman, Will Snyder, Kim Perry and Erin Teare Martin. The list of participating stations and states is posted at the bottom.

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StateImpact Idaho
11:54 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Boise Loses One Direct Flight To Portland, Fear Not, One Still Remains

Credit Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

If you tried to book a spring break direct flight from Boise to Portland on Southwest Airlines this week, you’d notice it’s no longer an option.  Southwest released its April and May flight schedule this week, and that direct connection is absent.

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StateImpact Idaho
10:47 am
Fri October 12, 2012

As Idaho’s Doctor Workforce Ages, Who Is Stepping Up To Replace Them?

Photos of Dr. Petrie’s kids proudly line her cluttered desk. Their latest drawings hang next to her medical school diploma.
Emilie Ritter Saunders StateImpact Idaho

Many states don’t have enough doctors.  As we’ve been reporting, Idaho has fewer physicians per capita than every state in the nation except Mississippi.

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12:51 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Experts Say Rumors Of Pork Shortage Are Hogwash

Scott Graf Boise State Public Radio

A group of British pork producers recently sent fear into the hearts of bacon lovers worldwide by predicting an impending pork shortage.  They say drought will make it too expensive to produce pork, so farmers will sell off herds.  But here in the U.S., agricultural economists say the notion of a bacon shortage is hogwash.

Remember that part in Forrest Gump where Bubba Gump names a seemingly endless list of things a person can make with shrimp?  Well, consider John Berryhill the Bubba of bacon.  He lists things he makes with bacon.

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Ski Season
1:05 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

NW Skiers Bank On Early Forecasts Being Wrong

A light dusting of snow fell on Oct. 2 at Schweitzer outside of Sandpoint, Idaho.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort

Weather forecasters say the current dry spell in the Northwest may turn into a dry winter. But the region’s ski areas aren’t buying it. They’re banking on enough snowfall for winter sports.

John Livingston is the chief meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Spokane. He says the key to the Northwest’s winter lies in ocean surface temperatures between South America and Indonesia. That’s where patterns are developing that seem to point to a warmer “El Nino” year.

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StateImpact Idaho
7:15 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Why Idaho's Doctor Shortage Won't Be Easy To Solve

Dr. Jennifer Petrie examines one of her youngest patients Olivia Vandermate.
Emilie Ritter Saunders StateImpact Idaho

Dr. Jennifer Petrie has known since she was a high school student in Lewiston, Idaho, that she wanted to be a rural family physician.

Petrie works at the Emmett Medical Center, less than an hour’s drive north of Boise.  She sees patients four days a week in her small, sparse examining room here and also works the emergency room shift a couple times a month at the neighboring hospital.

Dr. Petrie is a generalist. She didn’t want to choose a high-paying specialty.  For her, seeing all kinds of people was the most appealing thing about being a doctor.

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StateImpact Idaho
10:22 am
Fri September 21, 2012

After The Wind Boom, A Fight Over Idaho’s Energy Future

Molly Messick StateImpact Idaho

If you look at a map of where wind development has taken off in Idaho, you’ll notice an area near American Falls. There, surrounded by rolling agricultural land, Edith Kopp stands on a high hillside.  She gazes out with satisfaction at more than a dozen turbines, turning steadily. 

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Dangerous Jobs
10:03 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Idaho Industries Among Deadliest Jobs

Molly Messick StateImpact Idaho

Some jobs are more dangerous than others. New federal data shows which occupations are the most deadly. Some of them are common in Idaho.

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1:47 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Oregon's Unemployment Increases

Since reaching a peak of about 11.5 percent during the recent recession, Oregon's unemployment rate had been falling - albeit very slowly. 

But since May, it's been climbing again from a low of 8.4 percent to now 8.9 percent. 

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9:50 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Northwest Marijuana Growers Get Creative

Marijuana found growing on public land during Operation Mountain Sweep
U.S. Forrest Service

This month growers across the U.S. are harvesting illegal marijuana plants.  The number of plants seized by law enforcement has dropped nationwide, but Northwest growers aren’t backing down.  In fact, they’re just changing tactics.  Lt. Mark Brogan is with the Washington State Patrol.

“We’ve found several this season, which usually is the month of August, early part of September, and late July," Brogan says.  "We’re finding grows, I would say almost daily.”

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StateImpact Idaho
8:51 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Idaho Aims For Job Growth Through Gun Manufacturing

This M4 is a weapon commonly used by elite units of the U.S. military.
Molly Messick StateImpact

A few years ago, state leaders got the idea to promote Idaho to the outdoor industry, including gun manufacturers.  After all, Idaho is a more firearms-friendly place than most.  More than half of Idahoans own guns, and state law shields firearms manufacturers from liability.

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StateImpact Idaho
10:01 am
Thu August 23, 2012

18 Idaho Companies Make Inc. Magazine's Fastest-Growing List

Emilie Ritter Saunders Boise State Public Radio

Inc. Magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies was released this week, and 18 Idaho businesses made the cut.

To qualify, companies apply by providing relevant financials and a general description of their business.

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7:46 am
Tue August 21, 2012

One Drought, Two Idaho Farmers, Very Different Outcomes

John Peake examines wheat as its delivered to the grain elevators in American Falls.
Molly Messick StateImpact

Some of Idaho’s most fertile farm ground has been hit by the drought that’s crippling crops nationwide.  Farmers who have deep wells and irrigation are faring well.  Those who don’t aren’t.  It’s one indication of the very different economics of dry-land and irrigated farming.

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StateImpact Idaho
9:36 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Some Idaho Farmers Suffer, Others Succeed In Summer’s Drought

Molly Messick Boise State Public Radio

In Idaho’s arid, high desert, the drought has a mixed effect.  There’s a big divide between farmers with deep wells and irrigation, and those without.

Hans Hayden is a rare find: a talkative farmer.  He likes to explain things.  But when it comes to the wheat he planted this spring, there’s not much to say.  This field needed rain it didn’t get. 

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StateImpact Idaho
1:00 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Idaho Is One Of Two States Where The Jobless Rate Declined In July

Almost 20,000 more Idahoans had jobs this July compared to last. The Idaho Department of Labor reports July’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point from June to 7.5 percent.  That’s a three-year low, and it’s better than the national rate of 8.3 percent.

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