Economy

Travel Loans Jeopardize Success For Idaho Refugees

May 10, 2012
Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

The weak economy has exposed shortcomings in a little-known program of the U.S. State Department.  Each year, tens of thousands of refugees arrive in the U.S.  Most take out federally-funded loans to cover the cost of travel.  Continue reading

Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Thursday, we’ll air a broadcast story on a program you’ve probably never heard of.  It’s called the International Organization for Migration U.S. Refugee Travel Loan Program.

What is it?  In short, it covers the cost of transportation for nearly all refugees resettled in the United States.  (For this year, that could be as many as 76,000 people.)  Click here to continue reading...

Jonathan D. Eisenback / Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (from USDA's website))

Three more Idaho potato fields are coping with the pale cyst nematode this year.  That brings the number up to fifteen since the pest was first found in 2006. 

The pale cyst nematode is about the size of a pinhead, but its effects can be devastating.  It attacks the roots of potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants. The nematode can also reduce plant yields by as much as 80 percent. 

Photo by Hecla Mining

Work crews are ahead of schedule on safety improvements at the north Idaho mine where two men died last year. That’s the update today from the Hecla Mining Company, which owns the troubled Lucky Friday Mine. The federally mandated improvements have taken a bite into Hecla’s profits.

Federal inspectors ordered Hecla to make a whole stack of safety improvements at its north Idaho silver mine. The biggest task is a top-to-bottom scrubbing of the mine’s main shaft. Inspectors found loose cement on the wall of this 6,000-foot conduit that takes ore and people in and out of the mine.

Jobless In Idaho: Promise Of Work In The Oilfields

May 9, 2012
Courtesy Allen Brown

Idaho’s economy is moving in a positive direction, but it still hasn’t made up for the jobs lost during the Great Recession.  Allen Brown got his layoff notice in the fall of 2011.  Now, at 44-years-old, he’s waiting to start a new career.  We check in with Brown for our continuing series Jobless In Idaho.

Hecla: Safety Improvements On Track At Mine Where 2 Died

May 8, 2012
Hecla Mining

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho - Work crews are ahead of schedule on safety improvements at the north Idaho mine where two men died last year. That’s the update today from the Hecla Mining Company, which owns the troubled Lucky Friday Mine.  The federally mandated improvements have taken a bite into Hecla’s profits.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

The Reuters news agency reported earlier this week Micron Technology bid $2.5 billion to negotiate exclusively for a bankrupt Japanese company.  One semiconductor analyst thinks the benefits of a potential deal outweigh the costs. 

Small Business Owners Rank Idaho ‘Friendliest’ State

May 8, 2012
Thumbtack.com

A new survey out today from Thumbtack.com, an online job service, and the Kauffman Foundation finds Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma and Utah are the friendliest states for small businesses.

What Some States Do To Disclose Tax Incentive Info

May 4, 2012
Pew Center on the States

A recent report from Pew Center on the States lists Idaho among 26 states ‘trailing behind when it comes to evaluating tax incentives.  That is, having a mechanism in place to take a closer look at the state-specific incentives and exemptions on a regular basis, and to evaluate if they’re doing what they were intended to do.  In most cases, that’s spurring economic growth and

Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has signed off on more than $5.5 million in grant awards to Idaho communities.

Otter followed the guidance of the Idaho Economic Advisory Council in his decisions, approving all 18 grant proposals that the council recommended for funding.

Twin Falls will receive $500,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant dollars to upgrade its water system.  Continue reading...

Magic Valley Dairymen Eager For Expansion

May 3, 2012
Dave Young / Flickr

Idaho dairy farmers have been struggling with high feed costs and low milk prices for years.  The Times-News reports dairymen in the Magic Valley are optimistic about expanding and new producers in the area, namely Chobani.  Continue reading...

Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

The state of Idaho will give up an estimated $845 million this year in the form of tax credits and exemptions.  And only a select few at the Idaho Tax Commission know exactly where that money goes.

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.   

Jobless In Idaho: Ten Weeks To Find Work

Apr 30, 2012
Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Idaho’s economic picture has begun to brighten, but the state has yet to make up the jobs it lost in the downturn.  Many in Idaho have watched their months of unemployment add up.  Single mom Kelly Barker is one of them.  She just reached an anniversary she’d rather not observe.  It has now been a full year since she lost her job.  After several months of temp work, Barker is back to the full-time job search, and back to unemployment benefits. Continue reading.

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

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