Economy

Technology
5:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Consumers May Start Seeing More Secure 'Chip' Credit Cards In 2014

U.S. consumers could soon start seeing a new generation of credit cards
EMV-Connection.com

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 9:48 am

Northwest banks say 2014 may be the year consumers start to see a new generation of credit cards that are less prone to fraud.

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Jobs
8:14 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Jobless Benefits Wind Down For 2,500 Idahoans

Idaho's share of the now-expiring extended federal unemployment benefit program is ending at $800 million in payments, with the last 2,500 long-term unemployed workers in the state getting their final cut this week.

Congress didn't renew the extended benefit program that began in 2008, just after the recession began, to ease pain of escalating unemployment amid the housing bubble's burst and deep dip of the stock market.

But the extended program is just a share of money paid out to jobless people since 2008.

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Transportation
11:21 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Oil Equipment Megaload Crosses Into Southern Idaho

A megaload of oil refinery equipment headed to Canada has arrived in Idaho.

The 380-foot, 450-ton load left Vale, Ore., Sunday night, traveled across the border and was parked Monday at the junction of U.S. Highway 95 and Idaho Highway 55.

It took three weeks for the load to travel 315 miles through Oregon.

The Idaho Department of Transportation issued a permit Friday to Omega Morgan.

It will be allowed to travel in Idaho only between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and it will not be allowed to travel at all from Monday evening until Wednesday night.

Agriculture
10:34 am
Sat December 21, 2013

In Oregon's Wine Country, Family Holds Onto Oak Tradition

Sarah and Ben Deumling stand beneath one of the many oak trees on their 1,300 acre property northwest of Salem.
Devan Schwartz Northwest News Network

The Northwest wine industry has grown tremendously over the last few decades. That’s had a big economic impact but has also changed the region’s landscape.

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Transportation
3:36 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Expect Travel Delays, Idaho Issues Megaload Permit For Southern Route

The massive shipment will cross 84 bridges in Idaho and travel mostly on backroads.
Credit Idaho Department of Transportation

This post was updated at 5:15 p.m.

Snow has delayed a 450-ton shipment of oilfield equipment from moving into Idaho as it rumbles toward the tar sands oil development in Canada.

The company hauling the megaload had expected to cross the border from Vale, Ore., into Idaho on Friday night.

Spokeswoman Holly Zander says they will have to wait for better weather, and hope to try again Saturday night.

Meanwhile, the state of Idaho has issued a permit for the megaload to use highways crossing the southern part of the state on its way to Montana.

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Economy
1:21 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Idaho's Jobless Rate Falls To 6.1 Percent In November

Idaho's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by a record sixth-tenths of a percentage point to 6.1 percent in November.

The state Labor Department said Friday the rate matches the post-recession low posted last spring and the decline is double the previous record one-month swing of three-tenths of a percentage point.

The agency says about 3,800 more Idahoans were at work in November, with total unemployment dropping to 47,300, the lowest level since last spring.

In November 2012, Idaho's unemployment rate was 6.5 percent with over 50,000 people out of work.

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Transportation
9:14 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

North Idaho Homeowners Uneasy About Lakeside ‘Megaload’ Route

The proposed route would take three megaloads on Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive, known for its lakeside homes and popular recreations areas. The loads would travel at night.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

The huge piece of oil equipment wending its way through eastern Oregon is expected to cross over into Idaho early Saturday.

Meanwhile, another so-called “megaload” project has emerged farther north. The proposed extra-heavy haul is making some homeowners nervous in north Idaho resort town of Coeur d’Alene.

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Unemployment Benefits
5:58 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Long-Term Unemployed Scramble As Loss Of Benefits Looms

Job seekers look for work at the Worksource Oregon office in Salem.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

About 45,000 people in the Northwest will face the new year without the unemployment benefits they've come to rely on.

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Payday Loans
12:08 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Caldwell, Idaho Limits Payday Loan Shops

Officials in a southwestern Idaho city have passed new rules limiting where payday loan businesses can open shop.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports the Caldwell City Council unanimously passed an ordinance this week limiting new payday loan businesses to manufacturing and light industrial zones. The rules mean that if a payday loan company wants to open a storefront in a populated area, it will have to get a special use permit first.

Fraud
5:58 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Holiday Shoppers May Hit Snags As Banks Try To Curb Fraud

File photo.
Michael Kappel Flickr

An unprecedented rash of credit card fraud in one corner of the Northwest is forcing banks to put limits on card purchases – just in time for the busiest shopping season of the year.

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Lawsuit
10:20 am
Fri December 13, 2013

4 Miners Injured At Lucky Friday Mine Sue Hecla

Credit Photo by Hecla Mining

Four miners who were injured and trapped by a rock burst at a northern Idaho mine two years ago are suing Hecla Mining Co., alleging mine mangers sent them into unsafe working conditions while assuring them the area was safe.

The Spokesman-Review reports Ronnel E. Barrett, Gregg Hammerberg, Eric J. Tester and Matthew Williams are seeking more than $1 million for injuries, medical treatment and lost wages.

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Agriculture
6:38 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Washington State Sees Big Jump In Use of Temporary Foreign Farmhands

File photo.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Northwest farmers hired significantly more foreign guest workers this season under a special immigration program.

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Transportation
12:43 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Megaload Back On The Road As Blaine County Expresses Concern Over Shipment

A megaload is expected to cross into Southern Idaho from Oregon.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A shipment of nearly a million pounds of oil field equipment resumed its drive Tuesday night toward Canada. The load had been stopped for the past week by bad weather in eastern Oregon.

A spokeswoman for the company in charge of the shipment, Omega Morgan, says the "megaload" started moving again around 10 p.m.  Holly Zander says crews pulled the equipment about 50 miles along Highway 395 before stopping around 4 a.m.

Omega Morgan is expected to be issued the necessary permits to move the load through southern Idaho.

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Economy
9:44 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Greek Yogurt Maker Chobani To Expand Twin Falls Production

Credit TBiley / Flickr Creative Commons

Greek yogurt company Chobani says it is increasing production at its Twin Falls plant and adding production of a new "light" yogurt called Simply 100.

Chobani officials tell The Times-News the $450 million plant is running at optimal production capability for the first time since it opened a year ago. When the plant opened, it made about 100,000 cases of yogurt per week running three or four production lines. It is now running 12 production lines and producing up to a million cases of yogurt a week.

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Agriculture
6:27 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Northwest Wine Grape Growers Brace For Cold Damage

Snow partially covers the groud at Pepper Bridge vineyard nearr Walla Walla, Wash.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 3:50 pm

Northwest wine grape growers expect this week's cold weather to do some damage to their vineyards. But it’s not clear yet how much of next year’s fruit might be affected.

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Economy
7:45 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Idaho Void Of "Super Zips," State's Most Elite Zip Codes Are Near Boise

Three of Idaho's four most elite Zip codes, shaded in green, are in the Boise-metro area.
Credit Washington Post

A Washington Post analysis of elite Zip codes in the United States shows Idaho doesn’t have a so-called Super Zip. These are high-end neighborhoods where the median annual household income is $120,000 and 7 in 10 adults have a college degree.

The Post analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data and plotted their findings on this interactive map. There are 650 Super Zips in the country, with the largest concentration of wealth and education in Washington, D.C.

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Ag Lawsuit
6:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Why A Group Of Idaho Potato Growers Is In Court Over Alleged Price-Fixing, "Cartel Behavior"

Credit thebittenword.com / Flickr Creative Commons

A set of lawsuits winding its way through federal court in Idaho combine a couple phrases you might not expect to find together: "massive international cartel" and "potato."

According to a group of grocers, the innocuous looking potato on your plate got there through a conspiracy involving price-fixing, coercion and aerial surveillance. But potato growers counter there is no cartel. Just a co-op.

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Black Friday
4:30 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Northwesterners Join In National Walmart Protest

Protesters in front of the Albany, Oregon Walmart.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

As the Christmas shopping season gets into full-swing, Black Friday was a day of protest for some in the Northwest.

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Agriculture
4:09 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Northwest Cranberry Growers Wish You’d Eat Their Product Year-Round

Northwest cranberry growers are trying to get more of their product into the supermarket produce section. These berries are for sale at a Salem, Oregon grocery store.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 4:16 pm

One out of every five cranberries grown in the U.S. is eaten Thanksgiving week, according to industry giant Ocean Spray.

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Agriculture
4:08 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Small Northwest Winemakers May Have More Juice To Work With This Year

Northwest winemakers expect an abundance of high-quality juice this year.
Trey Busch Sleight of Hand Cellars

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 9:23 am

Early crop reports from farmers say Washington and Oregon’s wine grape harvest appears to be up a tick for 2013.

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