Transform Solar

A Nampa-based solar company partly owned by Micron Technology will close its doors and lay-off about 250 people over the next three months.

Transform Solar was a joint venture between Boise-based Micron Technology and Australian energy company “Origin.” The company launched in 2009, making high-tech solar cells.

Ton Banse

Washington retailers are getting ready for the 78-year-old state monopoly on liquor sales to end this Friday. It’s not yet clear what privatization will do to the price of alcohol in Washington. One entity with a big stake in the matter is the state of Idaho.

Some of Idaho’s most profitable state-run liquor stores just happen to be along its northwestern border.

West Coast Gas Prices Higher Than Other Regions

May 28, 2012
tinatinatinatinatina / Flickr

Gas prices nationwide have been dropping but not in the Northwest. In fact, this Memorial Day weekend, the region's gas prices are among the highest in the nation.

Gas in Washington and Oregon is selling above $4.20 per gallon. It's cheaper in Idaho. But all three states are well above the national average of $3.68 per gallon.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Jim Risch (R-ID) want the federal government to be more aggressive in opening the market for U.S. potatoes in Mexico.  They joined seven other senators Thursday in urging federal trade and agriculture agencies to push Mexico on the issue.   

Hewlett-Packard confirmed today it will cut about 27,000 jobs, or 8% of its total workforce, by October 2014.   HP’s Boise operations employ fewer than 3,500 people.  HP execs say every business unit and region will be cut, but it’s unclear yet how many Boise workers may be affected.

A clever poster depicts the Boise area’s high-tech industry as clusters of galaxies.  At the center of one is HP.  Hundreds of stars orbit the HP galaxy, symbolizing businesses related to the company, or founded by ex-employees. 

Matt Rissell is cofounder and CEO of local tech company TSheets.  He also chairs the Idaho Technology Council’s Software Alliance.   Rissell says, "Because HP carries so much weight in the area - when they do something - when HP sneezes, you know, there is a ripple effect."

Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

You might not guess it, if you happened to pass through, but tiny Rockland, Idaho, population three hundred eighteen, is a place of distinction.  Continue reading.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

A labor dispute in seven Rocky Mountain states has an impact in Idaho.  Unionized sales workers at Dex One Corporation in Boise and Twin Falls are on strike.  The main issue isn’t about salary or benefits. 

Mapping Migration: Where Idahoans Go

May 17, 2012
Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

As StateImpact Idaho reported this week, Idaho’s population has grown more than 20 percent in the last decade.  But just as new people move to the state, some Idahoans are moving out.

Mark Herren

Workers laid off from the Clearwater Paper sawmill in Lewiston could be eligible for re-employment services through the Idaho Department of Labor.

Mapping Migration: Who Moves To Idaho

May 16, 2012
Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Chances are you’re more likely to meet a Floridian than a North Dakotan in Idaho. From 2009 to 2010, Idaho’s seen more than 1,000 people come from the Sunshine State.

In the last decade, Idaho’s population has grown by more than 20 percent.  U.S. Census Bureau data show nearly 275,000 people moved to the Gem State from 2000 to 2010.  Idaho’s rate of growth outpaced the national average which saw its population go up by about 10 percent in the last decade.

Idaho Lags Behind Nation In Percent Of People With A College Degree

May 15, 2012
Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

There are fewer people with college degrees in Idaho than in many of its neighboring states and the nation.

U.S. Census Bureau data from 2010 shows 24.4 percent of Idahoans aged 25 or older have a bachelor’s degree or higher.  The national average in 2010 was 28.2 percent.

Travel Loans Jeopardize Success For Idaho Refugees

May 10, 2012
Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

The weak economy has exposed shortcomings in a little-known program of the U.S. State Department.  Each year, tens of thousands of refugees arrive in the U.S.  Most take out federally-funded loans to cover the cost of travel.  Continue reading

Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Thursday, we’ll air a broadcast story on a program you’ve probably never heard of.  It’s called the International Organization for Migration U.S. Refugee Travel Loan Program.

What is it?  In short, it covers the cost of transportation for nearly all refugees resettled in the United States.  (For this year, that could be as many as 76,000 people.)  Click here to continue reading...

Jonathan D. Eisenback / Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (from USDA's website))

Three more Idaho potato fields are coping with the pale cyst nematode this year.  That brings the number up to fifteen since the pest was first found in 2006. 

The pale cyst nematode is about the size of a pinhead, but its effects can be devastating.  It attacks the roots of potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants. The nematode can also reduce plant yields by as much as 80 percent.