9:59 am
Fri January 25, 2013

LINE Commission To Deliver Recommendations Next Week

Credit Courtesy of Donald Wall

A year ago, Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter created a task force to examine ways to examining the future of nuclear energy in the state.

The Leadership in Nuclear Energy Commission, more commonly known as the LINE Commission, released an initial list of recommendations in early December.  Next week, the group will make public its final recommendations. 

On Morning Edition Friday, we spoke with EarthFix reporter Aaron Kunz for a preview. 

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9:33 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Phone Companies Asking State Lawmakers To Relax 'No Call' Laws

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Phone companies aim to lift Idaho's 13-year-old restriction forbidding them from cold-calling existing customers, arguing it's crippling their ability to market high-speed Internet.

But Attorney General Lawrence Wasden is already criticizing the push, arguing residents who joined Idaho's million-number "Do Not Call" list shouldn't have to fear erosions of their privacy.

Land-line companies Frontier Communications and Century Link are lobbying for the changes during the 2013 session.

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Fiscal Cliff
3:57 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Payroll Tax Increase Could Affect Idaho’s Sales Tax Revenue

Speaker of the House John Boehner answers questions during a December press conference on the fiscal cliff negotiations.
Credit Speaker Boehner's photostream / Flickr Creative Commons

After the bruising "fiscal cliff" negotiations wrapped up earlier this week, Idahoans will take home less from their first paycheck in 2013.

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Person Income
2:27 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Landing One Job No Longer Sufficient For Many In Idaho

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 6:28 pm

POST FALLS, Idaho - Personal incomes took a hit in the economic downturn across the nation. But according to the latest figures, no state has lower median earnings than Idaho.

A few years ago, James Drennen and his family left Lancaster, Penn., to start a new life in north Idaho.

“We figured we could come out here and live on a whole lot less money and my wife could stay home," he says. "But when we got here, we found out the jobs aren't paying as well.”

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6:23 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Northwest Farmers Look To Congress To Prevent 'Dairy Cliff'


Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 4:34 pm

It’s not just the so-called "fiscal cliff" that Congress is trying to resolve Monday. A tentative agreement on what’s been dubbed the "dairy cliff" is aimed at avoiding a government-induced spike in the price of milk.

Northwest dairy farmers are paying close attention to those negotiations. Without an extension of the farm bill, a 1949 law will kick in, forcing the government to buy dairy products at hugely inflated prices by today's standards. That would create an artificial dairy shortage.

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9:13 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Signs Of The Times Buried In Holiday Trash Heaps

Wrapping paper dominates recycling bins in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Now that presents have been opened, it's time for another tradition of the holiday season: bags upon bags of trash.  One garbage collector in north Idaho says he sees reflections of the economy in this year’s haul.

At the transfer station in Shoshone County, Idaho, signs of the holidays are all around Vince Peterson.

“Mostly the amount of cardboard, plastic," he says.  "Wrapping paper goes wild.”

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5:14 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Chobani Opens Twin Falls Yogurt Facility, But At What Cost To Taxpayers?

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

In November 2011, the New York-based Greek yogurt maker Chobani announced plans to build a multimillion dollar manufacturing facility in Twin Falls, Idaho, with plans to hire 400 people.

Today, 13 months later, Chobani’s Twin Falls facility hosted its grand opening. New numbers show the yogurt maker hired fewer people than expected, and collected more subsidies than first reported.

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Cobell Settlement
6:45 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Idaho Natives Warned Of Financial Scams As Settlement Checks Are Disbursed

Credit Thomas Hawk / Flickr

Close to 6,000 American Indians in Idaho will get a check this week for $1,000. It’s part of a landmark settlement with the federal government over the mismanagement of American Indian land.

Just in time for the holidays, about 300,000 American Indians nationally will receive checks from the $3.4 billion settlement. The settlement is the result of a lawsuit started by Montana Blackfeet woman Elouise Cobell in 1996. Cobell died of cancer during the appeals process in 2011.  

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Jobless In Idaho
9:41 am
Mon December 10, 2012

“Jobless In Idaho” Comes Full Circle: After A Long Search, A Single Mom Finds Work

After a year and a half of searching for a job, Kelly Barker at last got good news.
Credit Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

At this time last year, StateImpact Idaho began a series called “Jobless in Idaho.”  Through those interviews we met Kelly Barker, a single mom from Meridian who was struggling to find work after losing her job as an office administrator in early 2011.

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2:05 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Hostess To Eliminate 133 Idaho Jobs

Credit Thomas Hawk / Flickr

Idaho will lose 133 jobs as a result of the impending Hostess shutdown.  That's according to a spokesman for the snack-cake maker.

Nationally, the Hostess closure will affect 18,000 workers.

The company is in bankruptcy court while the liquidation process moves forward.

In court, attorneys representing the company have asked for permission to spend nearly $2 million to help retain executives to lead the company through its last days.

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9:59 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Housing Rebound Has More Northwest Sawmills Buzzing

Credit Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Sawmills in the Northwest have significantly ramped up production in response to the rebound in construction nationally.  That's according to a market survey by an industry consultant based near Seattle. 

Wood Resources International president Hakan Ekstrom  says the region's sawmills are returning to profitability thanks to a happy coincidence of rising domestic and foreign demand.

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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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