10:27 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Driver’s License Data Offers Real-Time Clues About Who Is Moving To Idaho

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Idaho is no stranger to population growth. The number of people in the Gem State has steadily grown from about 710,000 people in 1972 to 1.59 million in 2012. That’s a 124 percent increase.

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7:55 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Some Northwest Cities Explore How To Keep Airport Control Towers Open

Some Northwest cities and counties are exploring whether to use local or private money to keep their airport control towers open. By mid-June, the federal government plans to close the control towers at 13 small to medium sized airports across the region.

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Budget Cuts
5:30 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Services For American Indian Tribes In Idaho Hit By Federal Budget Cuts

Credit Courtesy of the Idaho Statesman

It’s been more than a month since the federal budget cuts took effect. The across-the-board spending cuts impact federal agencies including the Pentagon and the FAA. American Indian tribes in Idaho are now beginning to see the impact of those cuts.

Amber Ebarb is a policy analyst at the National Congress of American Indians. She says for many tribes, the sequester could not have come at a worse time. She says there are nearly 18,000 American Indians eligible for services in Idaho.

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2:07 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Coeur d'Alene Mines Leaves Namesake Idaho Home

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:45 pm

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho – Idaho is losing one of its oldest silver mining companies to Chicago. The Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation announced Wednesday it plans to move to the Windy City by the end of September.

The company employs 65 people at its headquarters in Coeur d'Alene in north Idaho. But the firm known as "Coeur" hasn't had any holdings in the state since 2006.

Company spokeswoman Stefany Bales says Coeur managers need easier access to properties in Mexico, Bolivia and Australia.

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StateImpact Idaho
3:55 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Idaho’s Income Gap Continues To Grow

On Wednesday, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis will release personal income data for 2012. In anticipation of that release, StateImpact Idaho pulled together personal income data going back to 1990 and compared it with the U.S. average. The data show a widening gap between Idaho and the country as a whole.

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8:41 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Turkish Company Loses Bid To Trademark ‘Idaho’

Credit Idaho Potato Commission

It looks like Idaho is the victor in an international trademark dispute over its most famous product. Officials in Turkey blocked a move that would have allowed a Turkish company to stamp “IDAHO” on produce, including potatoes.

For the keepers of the Idaho brand name, it's a crisis averted.

According to records on the Turkish Patent Institute's website, the agency has rejected an application to trademark the word “IDAHO”.  Idaho Gov. Butch Otter also received a letter from the Turkish ambassador saying as much.

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Hunger In Idaho
6:00 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Idaho Foodbank Classes Help Stretch Food Dollars

Instructor Jessyca Tyler gets ready for her Cooking Matters class.
Samantha Wright Boise State Public Radio

As of January, more than 231,000 people in Idaho were on food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.  The average Idaho recipient receives about $128 per month.  For many, that’s not enough, and they rely on food pantries and family members for help.  The Idaho Foodbank has a program designed to teach nutrition and food budgeting to those on limited incomes.

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Food Stamps
7:00 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Mapping Food Insecurity And Food Stamp Use In Idaho

In January, 231,647 people in Idaho were on food stamps.  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, helps low-income families.  But in Idaho, 17 percent of people are food insecure.  The hunger relief charity Feeding America says they don’t have access to enough food for an active, healthy life. 

Click on a county to find out how many people are on food stamps, and how many are food insecure.

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4:57 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Mobile Pantry Helps Bridge The Food Gap In Idaho Towns

The Idaho Foodbank's Chico McKinney loads 8,000 pounds of food into the truck headed for Weiser.
Samantha Wright Boise State Public Radio

In Idaho, 17 percent of people don’t have access to enough food for an active, healthy life.  That’s according to the hunger relief charity Feeding America.  The Idaho Foodbank tries to help by partnering with food pantries around the state.  But when there’s no pantry available, residents are left unserved.  That's where the Foodbank's mobile service comes in. 

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1:18 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Tuition Assistance For Troops Suspended

Command Sergeant Major John Troxell
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The Defense Department has suspended a workplace benefit cherished by many soldiers, airmen and Coast Guardsmen. The agency has put tuition assistance on indefinite hold because of the automatic federal budget cuts known as the "sequester."

The paychecks of active duty military are exempt from the across-the-board federal budget cuts. But some of their fringe benefits are not, as we're now finding out.

At Joint Base Lewis-McChord, I Corps Command Sergeant Major John Troxell says the suspension of tuition assistance stings. "This was a benefit, not an entitlement."

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Minimum Wage
2:28 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Oregon's Labor Commissioner Will Testify In Congress To Raise Federal Minimum Wage

Oregon’s Labor Commissioner has been invited to testify before a congressional committee Thursday in support of raising the federal minimum wage.  Oregon’s model could work for the rest of the nation.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. It would now be $10.59 an hour if it had kept up with inflation during the past 40 years. Under Oregon’s voter-approved law, the state’s minimum wage is affected by the consumer price index. It increased to $8.95 at the beginning of this year.

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8:53 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Washington Marijuana Legalization Draws Yale MBAs With Big Ideas

Brendan Kennedy, left, and Michael Blue met at Yale’s business school and are now partners in a marijuana focused private equity firm called Privateer Holdings.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

As the state of Washington moves to legalize marijuana, pot entrepreneurs are lobbying in public forums and behind the scenes. These business interests want to shape the new marijuana marketplace. Among them, a Seattle-based private equity firm called Privateer Holdings. The company has hired a top Olympia lobbyist and is making the case for large marijuana grows to state regulators.  

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Nuclear Energy
8:26 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Idaho Governor Creates LINE 2.0

Idaho National Lab.
Credit INL

Idaho’s Governor created a permanent commission Wednesday to help protect the nuclear industry in Idaho. This was one of several recommendations made by a five member panel known as the Leadership in Nuclear Energy Commission.

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7:54 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Demand For Western Lumber Products Increases, While Log Supply Is Tight

Hundreds of sawmill representatives gathered in Portland Monday for a trade association meeting. Thanks to a recovering housing market, the U.S. demand for lumber is increasing.

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Budget Cuts
4:18 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Regional Airlines Intend To Keep Flying If Control Towers Close

Olympia Airport's contract control tower is one of those slated to close next month.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The control towers at 14 small to medium sized airports around the Northwest will close on April first in response to automatic federal budget cuts. That will mean four airports in Idaho.  That's according to an airport industry association. But regional airlines intend to keep flying to those cities they now serve.

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StateImpact Idaho
11:37 am
Mon February 25, 2013

What Idaho Lawmakers Know – And Don’t – When Making Tough Tax Policy Decisions

Mike Chakarun is tax policy manager for the Idaho State Tax Commission.
Credit Molly Messick / StateImpact

A left-leaning tax policy group recently put out a short little report about the state corporate income taxes paid by IDACorp. That’s the holding company of Idaho’s largest electric utility, Idaho Power. 

The report claims IDACorp paid no state income taxes nationwide from 2007 through 2011.

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StateImpact Idaho
3:07 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Mapping Wealth: Idaho’s Pockets Of High-Income Households

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact

Over the last couple of years we’ve heard a lot about the haves and have-nots. The 1 percent and the 99 percent — that is, the top earners in the United States (the so-called 1 percent) and the rest of us (the 99 percent).

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StateImpact Idaho
9:48 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Boise’s Housing Bust Leaves Unlikely Victims In A Neighborhood That Saw The Worst

Ryan, Scott and Tara Arellano, at home in their kitchen
Credit Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Homeowners, credit intact, still making their monthly mortgage payments.  They’re not who we think of first when we think of the damage brought on by the housing crisis. But in a sprawling, master-planned southwest Boise subdivision called Charter Pointe, they’re a group that has struggled.

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9:17 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Tamarack Muddles Through Extended Limbo

Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The real estate crash triggered some big bankruptcies in the Northwest, but few are as spectacular and convoluted as the foreclosure of the unfinished Tamarack Resort in western Idaho.  The
resort remains in extended legal limbo, but plucky homeowners are keeping it alive until a new buyer arrives.

A foreclosure auction on the courthouse steps is an outcome most people want to avoid.  But in the case of Idaho's Tamarack Resort, the surrounding community and visitors are now itching for a sheriff's sale.  That's because they want a fresh start with a new owner.

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Northwest News
6:26 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Western Idaho Resort Muddles Through Extended Limbo

Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 4:41 pm

DONNELLY, Idaho - The real estate crash triggered some big bankruptcies in the Northwest, but few are as spectacular and convoluted as the foreclosure of the unfinished Tamarack Resort in western Idaho. What was supposed to be the Northwest's newest destination resort remains in extended legal limbo, but plucky homeowners are keeping it alive until a new buyer arrives.

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