Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The Defense Department has suspended a workplace benefit cherished by many soldiers, airmen and Coast Guardsmen. The agency has put tuition assistance on indefinite hold because of the automatic federal budget cuts known as the "sequester."

The paychecks of active duty military are exempt from the across-the-board federal budget cuts. But some of their fringe benefits are not, as we're now finding out.

At Joint Base Lewis-McChord, I Corps Command Sergeant Major John Troxell says the suspension of tuition assistance stings. "This was a benefit, not an entitlement."

Oregon’s Labor Commissioner has been invited to testify before a congressional committee Thursday in support of raising the federal minimum wage.  Oregon’s model could work for the rest of the nation.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. It would now be $10.59 an hour if it had kept up with inflation during the past 40 years. Under Oregon’s voter-approved law, the state’s minimum wage is affected by the consumer price index. It increased to $8.95 at the beginning of this year.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

As the state of Washington moves to legalize marijuana, pot entrepreneurs are lobbying in public forums and behind the scenes. These business interests want to shape the new marijuana marketplace. Among them, a Seattle-based private equity firm called Privateer Holdings. The company has hired a top Olympia lobbyist and is making the case for large marijuana grows to state regulators.  

Idaho Governor Creates LINE 2.0

Mar 7, 2013

Idaho’s Governor created a permanent commission Wednesday to help protect the nuclear industry in Idaho. This was one of several recommendations made by a five member panel known as the Leadership in Nuclear Energy Commission.

Hundreds of sawmill representatives gathered in Portland Monday for a trade association meeting. Thanks to a recovering housing market, the U.S. demand for lumber is increasing.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The control towers at 14 small to medium sized airports around the Northwest will close on April first in response to automatic federal budget cuts. That will mean four airports in Idaho.  That's according to an airport industry association. But regional airlines intend to keep flying to those cities they now serve.

Mike Chakarun
Molly Messick / StateImpact

A left-leaning tax policy group recently put out a short little report about the state corporate income taxes paid by IDACorp. That’s the holding company of Idaho’s largest electric utility, Idaho Power. 

The report claims IDACorp paid no state income taxes nationwide from 2007 through 2011.

Wealth Map
Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact

Over the last couple of years we’ve heard a lot about the haves and have-nots. The 1 percent and the 99 percent — that is, the top earners in the United States (the so-called 1 percent) and the rest of us (the 99 percent).

Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Homeowners, credit intact, still making their monthly mortgage payments.  They’re not who we think of first when we think of the damage brought on by the housing crisis. But in a sprawling, master-planned southwest Boise subdivision called Charter Pointe, they’re a group that has struggled.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The real estate crash triggered some big bankruptcies in the Northwest, but few are as spectacular and convoluted as the foreclosure of the unfinished Tamarack Resort in western Idaho.  The
resort remains in extended legal limbo, but plucky homeowners are keeping it alive until a new buyer arrives.

A foreclosure auction on the courthouse steps is an outcome most people want to avoid.  But in the case of Idaho's Tamarack Resort, the surrounding community and visitors are now itching for a sheriff's sale.  That's because they want a fresh start with a new owner.

DONNELLY, Idaho - The real estate crash triggered some big bankruptcies in the Northwest, but few are as spectacular and convoluted as the foreclosure of the unfinished Tamarack Resort in western Idaho. What was supposed to be the Northwest's newest destination resort remains in extended legal limbo, but plucky homeowners are keeping it alive until a new buyer arrives.

New York Stock Exchange

Boise Cascade LLC is again trading publicly on the New York Stock Exchange.

CEO Tom Carlile rang the opening bell at the exchange this morning, and then watched his company’s stock jump throughout the day.

RICHLAND, Wash. – A group of Northwest farmers plans to bring in thousands of legal Mexican guest workers to their fields and orchards this year. Last season many farmers were scrambling to pick their crops because of a worker shortage.

The federal H-2A guest worker program is so cumbersome and expensive, that most farmers haven’t wanted to use it. Employers have to pay for transportation, approved housing and usually more money than the going wage for workers already in the U.S.

Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

Idahoans will have a chance to weigh in on whether the state should create its own health insurance exchange today at the Capitol.  

Tom Banse

The Northwest is on the verge of becoming a gateway for crude oil. Three different developers have plans to use docks on Grays Harbor, Washington to transfer crude oil from trains to ships. Other projects are getting off the ground in Tacoma, Vancouver, BC and on the lower Columbia River. There was a huge turnout Wednesday night at an introductory public workshop in Aberdeen, Washington. 

Anna King / Northwest news Network

Idaho farmers and ranchers had a strong year financially in 2012 but this year they could face challenges. That’s according to a new study from economists at the University of Idaho. 

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Northwest winemakers are trying to whet-the-whistle of China's emerging middle class. Demand for wine is growing significantly there. And that’s drawn Chinese business delegations, restaurateurs and tourists to the region. 

Google Maps

Researchers say the economic benefits of prisons often don't materialize for rural communities. That's according to a new paper by Northwest sociologists. In fact, they found communities with private prisons fare worse than they did before.

Idaho Gas Prices Creep Back Up But In Line With Region

Jan 28, 2013
J. G. Park / Flickr Creative Commons

If you’ve noticed Idaho’s gas prices edging up in the past week, you’re not alone. After hitting a low of $2.94 earlier this month, AAA Idaho reports the average price per gallon is now $3.06. But even though the rise in prices may not be welcome, it's not surprising.

Mine Safety and Health Administration

The high price of silver is bringing one of the Northwest's oldest silver mines back online. The Sunshine Mine in north Idaho is known for one of the worst mining disasters in the nation’s history. It will resume production in late 2014.