Economy

Election
5:42 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Sun Valley Tax Votes Shine Spotlight On Challenges Facing Small Town Airports

File photo of planes waiting for a take off slot at Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, Idaho.
Credit DieselDemon / Flickr Creative Commons

A ballot measure in the Sun Valley area is emblematic of the challenges facing small airports across the West. Residents of Hailey and Ketchum, Idaho decide Tuesday whether to raise city taxes to subsidize commercial airline service.

Voters in the neighboring Idaho resort towns are being asked to raise the lodging and rental car tax, and in the case of Ketchum add a 1 percent retail sales tax, although groceries and gas would be exempt from the higher tax.

Read more
Economy
5:48 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Federal Food Stamp Cuts Take Effect

File photo of a woman using her EBT card in Portland, Ore. to purchase food.
Brian Duss Bread for the World

Northwest residents who rely on food stamps will have to pinch their pennies even more. Starting Friday, federal food assistance benefits are being cut.

Read more
Housing
8:18 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Rejuvenated Housing Market Gives Giant Development North Of Boise A Needed Boost

The idea for the Avimor planned community north of Boise was first conceived in 2002. The project went dark during the recession but building has increased as the housing market recovers.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

When the idea for a planned community north of Eagle first came about in 2002, the housing market was strong. But final approval for the 35 square mile project known as Avimor didn’t come until 2008. By then, home sales in the Treasure Valley had tanked.

Read more
Economy
5:00 am
Wed October 30, 2013

More Idahoans Sign Up To Be Realtors As Boise's Housing Market Picks Up

Credit Data: Ada County Association of Realtors | Chart: Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Nearly every seat at the Ada County Association of Realtors classroom is taken during a recent training session. The 50 people in attendance are here to become realtors. ACAR director and class teacher Marc Lebowitz  says as the Treasure Valley's housing market picks up, more people are signing up to become realtors. 

“We’re going to go over so much stuff today, it’s going to make your head spin,” Lebowitz tells the class.

Read more
Business
5:34 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Acquisition Of Boise Inc. Complete, Impact On Local Jobs Unclear

It's unclear what will happen to Boise Inc.'s downtown Boise headquarters.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Boise Inc., the Boise-based company that makes cardboard products was officially purchased by Packaging Corporation of America late last week

Read more
Housing
5:45 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Why A Brand New Home Might Be Harder To Find As The Treasure Valley Housing Market Improves

New home construction in the Treasure Valley was hit hard when the housing bubble burst. Despite increased home sales since, homebuilding remains mostly stagnant. This subdivision near Eagle is one area where new homes are getting built.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

The Treasure Valley housing market is coming off its hottest summer in years. In July, Ada County home sales were up nearly 40 percent over July of 2012. The average price was up by about 20 percent.

The stats all points to a market that’s recovering from the housing bust of just a few years ago. But there’s one aspect of the industry that hasn’t been quick to recover: new home construction.

When the housing market was at its worst, a glut of new homes made it a buyer’s dream.

Read more
Transportation
11:27 am
Mon October 28, 2013

GE Will Find A New Route For Its Megaloads Or Scale Back The Over-Sized Shipments

Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A subsidiary of General Electric says it’s looking for alternative options for moving huge water purification equipment from the Northwest to Alberta, Canada.

A route through the middle of Idaho turned into a legal battle with the Nez Perce Tribe, but the alternatives are limited.

Resources Conservation Company International, the GE subsidiary, decided to withdraw a federal appeal that sought to re-open Idaho's Highway 12 to so-called “megaloads.” A judge had ordered the Forest Service to close the wild and scenic corridor to the shipments.

Read more
Housing Market
10:05 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Data: How Idaho's Housing Market Has Changed Since 2006

The average Ada County home price in July 2013 was $239,194, in July 2006 it was $279,391.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise housing market is coming off the strongest sales period the region has seen since before the housing bubble burst in 2008. Low interest rates and relatively low demand helped drive home values higher this summer.  

Read more
Transportation
8:12 am
Fri October 25, 2013

GE Subsidiary Drops Megaload Battle

Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A General Electric Co. subsidiary has given up its legal fight to haul the second of two huge loads of water purification equipment through the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest and will find another way to get the equipment to the Canadian oil fields.

The Lewiston Tribune reports Resources Conservation Company International filed documents Thursday saying it was dropping its emergency motion to stay an injunction that prevented it from using the U.S. Highway 12 route.

Read more
Economy
5:20 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Alaska Airlines' Alliance With Delta Evolves Into 'Frenemies'

File photo of Alaska Airlines jets at SeaTac Airport.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

You've probably heard this phrase before when discussing a messy relationship: "It's complicated." Those are the words the president of Alaska and Horizon airlines used Thursday to describe the state of the alliance between the Seattle-based carriers and Delta Air Lines.

Read more
Shutdown
4:58 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Payback Time: States Want Refunds From Furloughed Federal Workers

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 5:50 pm

Washington and Idaho want recently furloughed federal workers to repay unemployment benefits. But a quirk in Oregon law means affected workers there will get to keep whatever they received.

Read more
Agriculture
3:03 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Ranchers Wonder If U.S. Sheep Industry Has Bottomed Out

The changing landscape of of agriculture is leaving many sheep farms in the dust. Farms are larger and technology makes crops more economically attractive and sheep herds less.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Meida/KUNC

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:37 pm

Over the last 20 years, the number of sheep in the U.S. has plummeted by half. The sheep industry has actually been declining since the late 1940s, when it hit its peak.

The sharp drop in production has left ranchers to wonder, "When are we going to hit the bottom?"

Some sheep are raised for their wool, others primarily for food. Consumption of both products — lamb meat and wool — have been declining in the U.S.

Read more
Economy
11:02 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Twin Falls Gives Clif Bar $25 Million To Land New Facility

One of Clif Bar’s main competitors, PowerBar also has an Idaho presence with a facility in Boise.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Food maker Clif Bar plans to build a $160 million baking facility in Twin Falls. The California-based company says it will employ 250 people and begin production in late 2016.

City manager Travis Rothweiler says the impact of Clif Bar coming to town will be huge. He's excited about the new jobs, and he thinks Clif Bar will be an excellent corporate citizen. Rothweiler says the company treats employees well and likes to be involved in communities where it operates.

Read more
Business
4:58 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Energy Bar Company Plans Bakery With 250 Jobs In Twin Falls

Credit Richard Thomas / Flickr Creative Commons

A California-based energy food bar company is planning to break ground on a new baking facility in Twin Falls early in 2015.

Clif Bar company officials joined Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Twin Falls leaders Thursday in announcing the plans. The company anticipates creating 250 jobs when the facility is up and running in late 2016.

Company officials say they intend to invest $160 million into the new facility, with $90 million slotted for the first phase.

Read more
Economy
4:13 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Idaho Jobless Figures On Hold Due To Shutdown

Anyone waiting to learn about unemployment in Idaho for the month of September is just going to have to be patient.

The monthly jobless report was supposed to be released Friday.

But the 16-day partial federal government shutdown has put that deadline in jeopardy, and state labor officials say they have no idea when the latest unemployment figures will be ready for public release. State officials say the lack of federal staff has made calculation of jobless claims and other data impossible.

Read more
Government Shutdown
9:56 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Three Out Of Four Idaho Congressmen Vote Against Bill To End Shutdown

Credit Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

Update, Oct. 17, 9:23 a.m.

Associated Press:

Three of four of Idaho congressional members cast votes in opposition to the hard-fought legislation that ended the partial 16-day government shutdown and averted a potential federal default.

U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch voted against the bill late Wednesday, as did Rep. Raul Labrador when the House took up the compromise measure.

Read more
Economy
1:36 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Idaho Gas Prices Well Above National Average, AAA Blames Utah Refineries

Credit Hakan Dahlstrom / Flickr Creative Commons

Grumbling about price is a perennial gas pump activity, but right now Idahoans really do have something to complain about. Idaho’s average gas price is at $3.62 per gallon. That’s 27 cents higher than the national average. Idaho's prices are also higher than they were this time last year, while most of the country has gone the opposite direction. Why the difference?

Read more
Food Stamps
3:33 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Why Idahoans Can Expect A 5 Percent Decrease In Food Stamp Benefits Next Month

Credit beancounter / Flickr

A temporary increase in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, expires at the end of October. That means 47 million Americans, including 221,717  people in Idaho, will see less money each month for food.

Read more
Agriculture
10:23 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Farmers Harvest More Sugar Beets, But They're Not As Sweet

Credit drhenkenstein / Flickr Creative Commons

Officials with Amalgamated Sugar Company say yields from Idaho's sugar beet crop were higher than expected, but the beets have a disappointing sugar content.

The Times-News reports the sugar beet harvest is still underway in southern Idaho. Amalgamated Sugar Company district manager Dave Scantlin says normally beets have around 15 percent sugar content at the beginning of harvest, but the beets harvested so far have been lower than the average.

Read more
Business
10:12 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Auction Set For Defunct Hoku Plant In Southeast Idaho

An auction for the Hoku Materials Plant is set for Oct. 23 and 24 in eastern Idaho.

The Idaho State Journal reports in a story on Friday that San Diego, Calif.-based Heritage Global Partners has been contracted as the seller for the auction.

The company on its website touts global interest in the $600 million facility that can either be purchased by the piece or in its entirety.

Pages