5:29 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Shutdown Halts Logging On Northwest's National Forests

  Loggers are packing up and leaving timber sales uncut across the Northwest. It's another effect of the partial government shutdown. Timber companies say even if a deal is reached soon at the nation's capitol, the effects from the logging hiatus could be felt all the way into next spring.

Timber companies received letters from the Forest Service telling them to cease operations. That's because the employees who oversee and inspect timber sales were furloughed.

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5:17 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Seattle Company Partners With UW To Build One-Of-A-Kind Submarine

Rendering of manned deep sea sub in development in Seattle.
Courtesy of OceanGate

 A commercial submarine operator is teaming up with the University of Washington to build a new, manned deep sea sub. The five passenger mini-sub could be available for charter by oil companies or researchers beginning in 2016.

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4:17 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Idaho's Furloughed Federal Workers Begin Applying For Unemployment

All national parks have been closed since Oct. 1, including the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Credit NPCA Photos / Flickr Creative Commons

The Times-News reports at least 1,100 furloughed federal workers have applied for unemployment benefits in Idaho since the government partially shutdown Oct. 1.

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3:01 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Feds To Consider State Funding To Reopen National Parks

An autumn scene in the canyon known as "The Subway" in Zion National Park in Utah, which is now off-limits to hikers and other tourists due to the government shutdown.
Wanda Gayle NPR

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 4:27 pm

With economic impacts mounting and one Utah county threatening to take over national parks, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says she will "consider agreements with governors" to allow state funding of national parks so that some can reopen to visitors.

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11:00 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Report: Parks Shutdown Saps $750 Million In Visitor Spending

A hiker gazes 3,000 feet down to the Colorado River at Toroweap Overlook in Grand Canyon National Park. A parks advocacy group says the Grand Canyon region has lost 120,000 visitors and $11 million in visitor spending since the government shutdown began.
Courtesy of Wanda Gayle

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 12:28 pm

An estimated 7 million people have been shut out at 12 of the busiest and biggest U.S. national parks, costing parks and nearby communities about $76 million in lost visitor spending for each day the partial government shutdown drags on.

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10:34 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Idaho Revenue In September Jumps Ahead Of Forecast

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho saw a jump in tax revenue in September, a month when collectors raked in $16 million more than forecasts and put the state's finances ahead of schedule amid a steadily recovering economy.

Total monthly receipts were $263 million, or 6.4 million more than forecasts.

The Division of Financial Management reported Tuesday that Idaho's tally three months into fiscal year 2014 is just over $700 million, or about 1.6 percent more than forecasts.

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4:34 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Familiar Idahoans Make List Of America's Largest Private Landowners

Among Simplot family property is this construction sight in downtown Boise. The building going up is called JUMP, short for Jack's Urban Meeting Place. The Jack is family patriarch J.R. Simplot.
Credit Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

The magazine The Land Report, targeted at people who own a lot of land, published its list of America’s largest landowners last week. Media tycoons John Malone and Ted Turner  top the list of 100 with more than 2 million acres apiece.

And it's no surprise that some familiar Idaho names appear on the list. 

Here's how they stack up.

#18 The Simplot Family

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5:48 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Northwest Craft Breweries Keep Pouring Into The Market, But Is There A Bubble?

Anna King Northwest News Network

Northwest farmers are wrapping up this year’s hop harvest at a time when the craft beer industry is seeing huge growth.

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3:04 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Idaho Gets An F When It Comes To Economic Security And Leadership Roles For Women

States in shades of green earned the highest scores while states in orange and red have the lowest.
Credit Center For American Progress screengrab

Economic success stories and leadership roles for women in Idaho are few and far between, at least that's according to a new report by the Center for American Progress.

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2:02 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Dutchmen RV Manufacturing Plant Closing In Idaho

Credit Courtesy Dutchman Manufacturing Inc.

A recreational vehicle production plant in Burley is closing next month and moving its work to Pendleton, Ore.

The Times-News reports Indiana-based Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. announced last week the Burley RV plant will close on Nov. 15, affecting more than 160 employees.

Dutchmen Vice President David Thomas says the employees who work in production have been offered the opportunity to relocate to Pendleton.

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4:39 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Tribal Casinos Move Into New Territory: High-End Luxury

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Tribal casinos are trying to appeal to a new kind of customer – one who may not even gamble at all. 

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10:44 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Idaho's August Jobless Rate Increases To 6.8 Percent

Job seekers talk with potential employers at a Meridian, Idaho job fair.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Idaho's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point in August to 6.8 percent.

The Department of Labor says the state's jobless rate has risen seven tenths of a percentage point since April, one of the largest rate increases among the states in the past four months. Still, the rate is down from 7 percent last August.

The number of Idaho workers without jobs was nearly 52,300, the highest total since September 2012.

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10:09 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Packaging Corp. Buying Boise Inc. For About $1.27 Billion

Boise Inc.'s Nampa facility makes corrugated cardboard for boxes.
Credit Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Packaging Corp. of America is buying Boise Inc. for about $1.27 billion, acquiring additional containerboard needed to support its growth.

Boise Inc., a maker of packaging and paper products, is based in Boise, Idaho. If the deal is completed, Packaging Corp.'s containerboard capacity will rise to 3.7 million tons from 2.6 million tons.

Lake Forest, Ill.-based Packaging Corp. will pay $12.55 per share, a 26 percent premium to Boise Inc.'s 9.96 Friday closing price.

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10:12 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Idaho's Potato Crop Shrinks, Quality Spuds Expected

Credit Kris Krug / Flickr Creative Commons

With about 5 percent of Idaho's potato crop harvested, experts are predicting a good-quality crop with average yields.

University of Idaho Extension Educator Lance Ellis tells the Post Register that adequate water storage helped with drought conditions in many parts of Idaho.

The 315,000 acres planted with potatoes this year in Idaho is down from the 340,000 planted in 2012.

Idaho Potato Commission President Frank Muir says the decline is the result of an overabundance of potatoes last year.

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6:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

One Boise Startup Joins The Crowded Subscription Box Market

Rachael and Joe Bunt mailed their first Crafters Crate in March 2013. They have nearly 200 monthly subscribers.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

At a mostly empty, metal-sided warehouse near the Boise Airport, Rachael and Joe Bunt are organizing hand-made craft kits into a small assembly line. They're putting together September's Crafters Crate that will be mailed to subscribers this week.

“This is like Pinterest in real life," Joe Bunt says. "I’m always wanting to create something new.”

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Rural Issues
9:41 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Avery, Idaho Struggles To Keep Its Remaining 25 Residents And Its Spot On The Map

The town of Avery, Idaho, once reached a population of 1,100 people. It’s now down to its last 25
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Take a drive down any highway in the Northwest, and you'll pass signs for dozens of small towns. There are more than 700 cities under 10,000 people in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Many of these towns came about because of railroads or timber or mines and now they’re trying to figure out what comes next.

It's nearly 2:15 in Avery, Idaho. The mail has arrived. And the post office is about to become the busiest place in town.

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8:16 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Yellowstone National Park Visitation Tops 2.5 Million

A herd of bison wander through Yellowstone's Lamar Valley.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Yellowstone officials say they have seen increased traffic this summer at most entrances at the national park.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that in August, the number of recreational visits to the park surpassed 2.5 million, with more than 2 million visitors to the park during the three summer months.

Yellowstone has recorded nearly 2.6 million recreational visits so far this year, and the total number of vehicles was up 4.37 percent from the same time period in 2012.

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9:51 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Sun Valley Adds Direct Flight To San Francisco

With business suffering from a big wildfire, the Idaho resort region surrounding Sun Valley finally has some good news: An air carrier will add high-season flights, something officials hope will boost the region's tourism-dependent economy.

United Express, operating through regional carrier Sky West, will fly the daily connection between Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, Idaho, and San Francisco starting Dec. 12 through March 30 and again from July 2 through Sept. 23.

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9:31 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Locals Left Behind In Sun Valley Worry About Economic Impact Of The Beaver Creek Fire

Lightning started the Beaver Creek Fire near Sun Valley, Idaho, on Aug. 7. It's grown to more than 100,000 acres.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Not everyone fled Sun Valley, Idaho, when the huge Beaver Creek wildfire threatened the swanky resort area. Many locals remained in the surrounding communities and kept the stores, restaurants and gas stations open.

Now, firefighters are gaining the upper hand. The smoke is clearing. But without the return of vacationers, many locals worry the real disaster is economic – and that one is just beginning.

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12:54 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Idaho's Jobless Rate Continues To Climb

Job seekers talk with potential employers at a Meridian, Idaho job fair.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked up two-tenths of a percentage point in July to 6.6 percent. The Idaho Labor Department reports this is the third-straight month the jobless rate has increased.

Total employment was down by 800 jobs, falling to 723,100. That's the lowest total employment figure reported since Oct. 2012.

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