Economy

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

Shutdown
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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Technology
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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Shutdown
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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Economy
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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Economy
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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Economy
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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Land
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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Agriculture
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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Economy
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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