Economy

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

An explosion at Micron Technology in Boise injured seven people Tuesday.  The injuries were minor and damage is limited to a utility room. 

The call for emergency crews came in at about ten Tuesday morning.  A piece of equipment at Micron’s campus exploded.  Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan says the accident happened in a utility room underground, below where semiconductors are fabricated. "It did move a concrete wall.  It was a fairly significant explosion down in that room."

Scentsy Becomes A Multimillion Dollar Business

Mar 26, 2012
Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Many Idaho companies issued a fair number of pink slips during the recession.  But Meridian-based Scentsy didn’t.

Instead, the wickless-candle maker grew.  It’s ranked among the country’s most promising companies by business magazines like Forbes and Inc.com.  In just seven years, Scentsy has become a multimillion dollar enterprise.

Idaho’s Jobless Rate Falls To 8.0 Percent

Mar 23, 2012
job fair, Meridian, unemployment
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Department of Labor reports February’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has fallen for the seventh straight month to 8.0 percent.

The 85-cent ATM fee that JPMorgan Chase charges Washington welfare clients could soon be a thing of the past. The state hopes to have a deal by the end of the month with JPMorgan on a new, lower cost contract for electronic benefits. 

We first reported on the 85-cent fee because JPMorgan Chase wasn’t disclosing it at ATM machines. Now the fee is disclosed. But critics say it amounts to a tax on the poor.

Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Boise resident C.K. Haun has this routine down.  He may live in Idaho, but he’s a senior engineer at Apple.  Long before the sun is up, he arrives at the Boise Airport, to catch his regular flight to San Jose.  “I can do this by autopilot now,” he says. “Most of the TSA people know me, and we smile and say hi.  Every Monday morning, week in week out!”  Continue reading...

 

BOISE, ID – Three years ago the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation’s infrastructure a D grade.  This year, a local branch of the organization says Idaho does slightly better than the U.S.

Think report card.  Idaho would get a C minus overall for its infrastructure.  Things like bridges, state highways, and public transit.  Idaho did worst for upkeep of bridges and highways – a D plus.  Seth Olsen is a Boise civil engineer.  He helped put this report together.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

BOISE, ID – Three years ago the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation’s infrastructure a D grade.  This year, a local branch of the organization says Idaho does slightly better than the U.S.

Think report card.  Idaho would get a C minus overall for its infrastructure.  Things like bridges, state highways, and public transit.  Idaho did worst for upkeep of bridges and highways – a D plus.  Seth Olsen is a Boise civil engineer.  He helped put this report together.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The Idaho Department of Labor estimates there are at least 63,000 people in the state without work.  That doesn’t include thousands more who are underemployed or have stopped looking for a job.  This is the latest story in StateImpact Idaho's “Jobless in Idaho” series, that follows several Idahoans in their search for work.

Boise, ID – More than half a trillion dollars worth of goods flowed into U.S. Foreign Trade Zones during fiscal year 2010.  Companies use these zones because it saves them money when they bring products into the country.  Idaho has one in Eastport near the Canadian border.  Another will open in Caldwell in a few weeks.

A foreign trade zone sounds glamorous, but the reality is a bit mundane.  The one opening in Caldwell is really an industrial park with new office buildings that quickly give way to farm fields:

INL Plans More Lay-Offs

Feb 9, 2012

BOISE, ID – Idaho National Laboratory officials announced today they plan to lay off up to 185 people.  Mark Holubar directs Human Resources at Battelle Energy Alliance.  That’s the company that runs Idaho National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy.  Holubar says, “This is obviously a very difficult situation for us and any time that we are talking about the possibility of eliminating somebody’s job it’s not an easy thing.”

Garden City Gets Second Brewery

Feb 8, 2012

BOISE, ID – When it comes to beer, Idaho ranks 12th in the country for the number of breweries per person.  A new one will open its doors later this month in Garden City.

Crooked Fence Brewery will be the second to open in Garden City in less than a year.  It joins Payette Brewing Company and several wineries within a few miles of each other.  Kelly Knopp markets Crooked Fence’s beer.

Kelly Knopp:  “When we started looking at places we, obviously, checked out some Boise spots, some Eagle spots.  And really, there just seemed to be less hoops and ladders with Garden City.”

Changes To Idaho’s Next Execution

Feb 6, 2012

BOISE, ID – Idaho Department of Correction officials have made some changes to how they handle executions.  This comes nearly three months after the state executed convicted murderer Paul Ezra Rhoades.

In the months since Rhoades’ execution, the Idaho Department of Correction analyzed the 34 page document that details each step in the process.  It’s now 35 pages long.  Brent Reinke directs the Department.  He says the biggest change now allows a single drug cocktail for lethal injection.

Brent Reinke:  “So we have two, three-drug protocols and two, single drug protocols.”

BOISE, ID – Most farmers markets around Idaho are closed for the winter including Boise’s. But that could change for the capital city’s public market. There’s an effort to turn it into a year-round one.   It would cost at least $6 million to develop.

The Capital City Public Market on a warm summer’s day brings people who love to taste and buy locally produced foods.  Like many shoppers we spoke with last summer, Janel Kewley was intrigued by a year-round market.

BOISE, ID – Agustin Victor Casasola founded the first photojournalism agency in Mexico one hundred years ago.

The Mexican Consulate in Boise opened in 2009.  It serves people throughout Idaho, Montana, Northern Nevada, and Eastern Oregon.  It’s the 49th Mexican Consulate to open in the United States.  Before it opened, Idaho and Montana were served by the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City.

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