StateImpact Idaho

StateImpact Idaho
9:22 am
Fri November 30, 2012

How Obamacare Creates An Insurance Industry Ad Blitz

Credit Sawyer Miller for Blue Cross of Idaho

One of Blue Cross of Idaho’s new television commercials opens with a chirpy jingle.  “You’re protected in the sun, you’re protected when it rains,” the song begins.  The pitch is clear: this is the insurer for you, no matter your lifestyle.

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1:01 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Idaho Gov. Otter Delays Health Insurance Exchange Decision

Governor C.L. “Butch” said in a news release this morning he’ll wait to consult with Idaho Legislative leaders before deciding if the state will create its own health insurance exchange.

Late yesterday afternoon, the  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said it would give states until Dec. 14 to decide if they’ll create a state-based exchange, a federal exchange, or a partnership model.

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Election 2012
4:40 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Map: Voters Overturn Luna's Education Laws, Reject Propositions 1, 2 And 3

Credit Yan Lu / NPR StateImpact

Voters sent a clear message to Idaho lawmakers this week by rejecting all three education propositions by margins of 15 percent or more.

See how each county voted and compare that to support for Tom Luna's 2010 reelection bid.  Click here to explore the interactive map...

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Election 2012
10:12 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Interactive Map: See Who Is Spending For And Against Idaho's Props 1, 2, 3

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

The campaigns for and against Idaho’s Propositions 1, 2, 3 have brought in a lot of money, a lot of it from out-of-state. All told, the two sides have received donations totaling $4.88 million, according to

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StateImpact Idaho
11:17 am
Thu November 1, 2012

NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg, Albertsons’ Heir Donate To Pro-Props 1, 2, 3 Campaign

Propositions 1,2 and 3 have emerged as the focal point of the November elections in Idaho.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A group fighting in favor of Idaho’s controversial Students Come First laws has released its secret list of donors, and it includes some surprises. 

Probably the most surprising name on Education Voters of Idaho’s list is that of New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.  He gave $200,000 in support of Propositions 1, 2, and 3.

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Election 2012
11:24 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Idaho Democrat Nicole LeFavour Works Toward A Congressional Upset

Nicole LeFavour talks with campaign volunteers at a recent event in Burley, Idaho.
Emilie Ritter Saunders StateImpact Idaho

Burley, Idaho is farm country.  About 10,000 people live in the eastern Idaho town, that for many is just a stop off I-84 to gas up.

This is Republican Congressman Mike Simpson’s home turf.  He was born in here. But now, Boise Democrat Nicole LeFavour is making one of the most serious runs at his seat in recent history.

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2012 Elections
11:48 am
Wed October 17, 2012

From Idaho’s Liberal Stronghold Come Diverse Views Of November Election

Molly Messick StateImpact Idaho

There aren’t many places in deep red Idaho where you’re likely to hear the kind of proud introduction Gini Ballou offered up not long after we met.

“I’m Gini Ballou,” she said.  “My mother stopped to vote for John F. Kennedy on her way to the hospital to have me.  And the greatest gift I ever got for my birthday was the ’08 election, when I was given President Obama on my birthday.” 

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StateImpact Idaho
10:47 am
Fri October 12, 2012

As Idaho’s Doctor Workforce Ages, Who Is Stepping Up To Replace Them?

Photos of Dr. Petrie’s kids proudly line her cluttered desk. Their latest drawings hang next to her medical school diploma.
Emilie Ritter Saunders StateImpact Idaho

Many states don’t have enough doctors.  As we’ve been reporting, Idaho has fewer physicians per capita than every state in the nation except Mississippi.

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Dairy Video
4:08 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Animal Rights Group Releases Video, Calls On Burger King To Drop Idaho Dairy

UGA College of Ag Flickr

An animal rights group wants Burger King to sever its ties with Idaho’s Bettencourt Dairies, and force the rest of its suppliers to implement strict animal welfare guidelines. 

The demands from the group Mercy for Animals came Wednesday as it released a disturbing video of animal abuse shot inside one of the Bettencourt dairies near Hansen, in Twin Falls County. 

The video shows workers stomping, kicking, punching and dragging cows.

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StateImpact Idaho
7:15 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Why Idaho's Doctor Shortage Won't Be Easy To Solve

Dr. Jennifer Petrie examines one of her youngest patients Olivia Vandermate.
Emilie Ritter Saunders StateImpact Idaho

Dr. Jennifer Petrie has known since she was a high school student in Lewiston, Idaho, that she wanted to be a rural family physician.

Petrie works at the Emmett Medical Center, less than an hour’s drive north of Boise.  She sees patients four days a week in her small, sparse examining room here and also works the emergency room shift a couple times a month at the neighboring hospital.

Dr. Petrie is a generalist. She didn’t want to choose a high-paying specialty.  For her, seeing all kinds of people was the most appealing thing about being a doctor.

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Election 2012
11:46 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Romney’s 47 Percent Includes A Whole Lot Of Idahoans

Click on the map to enlarge.
The Tax Policy Center

According to the Tax Policy Center Idaho has the 10th largest share of tax filers who don’t pay federal income taxes.

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StateImpact Idaho
8:51 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Idaho Aims For Job Growth Through Gun Manufacturing

This M4 is a weapon commonly used by elite units of the U.S. military.
Molly Messick StateImpact

A few years ago, state leaders got the idea to promote Idaho to the outdoor industry, including gun manufacturers.  After all, Idaho is a more firearms-friendly place than most.  More than half of Idahoans own guns, and state law shields firearms manufacturers from liability.

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Wildfire Season
10:06 am
Thu August 23, 2012

The State's Cost To Fight Idaho Wildfires Has Already Surpassed 5 Year Average

Kari Greer Boise National Forest

As of August 1, Idaho had already spent $9.1 million to fight wildfires this season.  It's a cost sure to increase as fire season continues.  The Idaho Department of Lands says the state pays on average $8.6 million each year to fight fires. 

More than one million acres have burned in Idaho since the wildfire season launched into full swing earlier this summer.  And many of those blazes will continue to burn until snow falls.

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StateImpact Idaho
10:01 am
Thu August 23, 2012

18 Idaho Companies Make Inc. Magazine's Fastest-Growing List

Emilie Ritter Saunders Boise State Public Radio

Inc. Magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies was released this week, and 18 Idaho businesses made the cut.

To qualify, companies apply by providing relevant financials and a general description of their business.

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Department of Correction
5:16 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Idaho Sends First Group Of Inmates To Colorado

IDOC says inmates who have been convicted of serious or violent crimes won’t be considered for a move to Colorado.
Sadie Babits Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Department of Correction flew 130 prisoners to Colorado Tuesday morning in an effort to relieve crowding as Idaho’s inmate population goes up.

“We know how hard this is on the inmates’ families but the fact is we’re running out of room,” Idaho Department of Correction Director Brent Reinke says in a press release.

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7:46 am
Tue August 21, 2012

One Drought, Two Idaho Farmers, Very Different Outcomes

John Peake examines wheat as its delivered to the grain elevators in American Falls.
Molly Messick StateImpact

Some of Idaho’s most fertile farm ground has been hit by the drought that’s crippling crops nationwide.  Farmers who have deep wells and irrigation are faring well.  Those who don’t aren’t.  It’s one indication of the very different economics of dry-land and irrigated farming.

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StateImpact Idaho
1:00 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Idaho Is One Of Two States Where The Jobless Rate Declined In July

Almost 20,000 more Idahoans had jobs this July compared to last. The Idaho Department of Labor reports July’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point from June to 7.5 percent.  That’s a three-year low, and it’s better than the national rate of 8.3 percent.

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12:55 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Why South Korea's Ban On Fresh Northwest Potatoes Won't Have A Big Effect On Idaho

Researchers Godfrey Miles, ARS, (left) and Venkatesan Sengoda, Washington State University, evaluate symptoms in fried chips made from potatoes infected with zebra chip. (USDA)
Peggy Greb USDA

Starting today, fresh potatoes from Idaho, Oregon and Washington can no longer be exported to South Korea.

As Capital Press reported earlier this week, Korea’s export ban results from concerns over an insect-borne disease that causes light yellow potato flesh to darken and stripe — the zebra chip.

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StateImpact Idaho
9:16 am
Wed August 8, 2012

How Traditional Japanese Homebuilding Reversed The Fortunes Of One Idaho Sawmill

Idaho Forest Group’s Mike Henley tells buyer Koji Fujiwara and consultant Paul Owen how the company sorts timber for the Japanese market.
Molly Messick StateImpact

Before the recession hit, the sawmill in the North Idaho town of Laclede was known for its reliability.  It had never seen a shutdown, not in Steve Spletstoser’s nearly 30 years of working there.  Then came 2008.

It was really eye-opening to see,” Spletstoser says.  “Your livelihood is hanging in the balance.”  Day after day, the mill cut lumber, and day after day it piled up.  Very little left the lot.

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Medicaid Expansion
2:37 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Supporters Of Idaho Medicaid Expansion Speak Out, But Costs Remain A Big Question

Members of the governor's Medicaid expansion work group meet in Boise.
Emilie Ritter Saunders StateImpact Idaho

More than 236,000 Idahoans are currently enrolled in Medicaid.  That’s the federal-state funded health care program for low-income adults and children.  If the state chooses to expand eligibility in Idaho to 138 percent of poverty, 100,000 people could join the rolls.

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