Friday, June 29, 2012

More Fourth of July photos, because you seem to like them so much

OK, maybe this is a shameless attempt to get new eyeballs onto BizMojo Idaho, but I want to do an experiment based on something that's happened in the last 10 days.

On June 20, I posted the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce's press release on everything that's happening this Fourth of July. Boilerplate, right? I thought so, but because I like to illustrate everything I post with a photo or an illustration I went to Google Images and found a nice picture from 2011 of a bunch of kids on the curb, ready for the parade. In the caption I gave credit where it came from, a family blog, and I identified the kids as best I could.

I figured that was that. I immediately posted it to Facebook, because I've learned it's imperative to share everything I post to the big social media sites. Let the readers have a part in deciding what the news is.

Today, that post, "Here's a happy family at last year's Idaho Falls Fourth of July parade ..." (;postID=1810990410246958060) is No. 3 on the BizMojo Hit Parade and rising fast. All I can surmise is that people saw the photo and shared it with friends and family members. My numbers exploded. Social Media 101.

On reflection, it shouldn't have come as a surprise. Thirty-two years ago, when I was editor of the Jeffrey City News, I learned that if I wanted a connection with the community the best thing I could do was shoot lots of pictures of kids and run them in the paper. This was good for sales, too, because mom and dad would buy copies for grandma, grandpa, Uncle Bob, Aunt Sally, etc. Today is really no different, except for the fact that you can't clip a Web page and put it in a scrapbook (unless you print it, but how many of us do that?)

So, in the spirit of summer, here are a few more Idaho Falls Fourth of July photos from the past few years. Do you see anyone you know? Feel free to share. And remember the ideals that make us the United States, one of which is the free, unfettered exchange of knowledge and information.

ISU, Idaho Falls company team up to produce medical isotope for use in cancer diagnosis, treatment

Douglas Wells, director of the Idaho State University Idaho Accelerator Center, talks about the custom-built IAC accelerator that will be used to create medical isotopes. (ISU Photographic Services)
The Idaho Accelerator Center at Idaho State University is teaming up with International Isotopes, an Idaho Falls company, to produce Copper-67, a medical isotope that has not been consistently available in the United States.

Copper-67 can be used both for both diagnosis and treatment of people suffering from non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, as well as bladder, colo-rectal and ovarian cancers.

Under the arrangement, the Accelerator Center hopes to create enough pure Copper-67 by mid-summer to provide it to International Isotopes for initial testing. International Isotopes has facilities in Idaho Falls where it can package the materials for use at hospitals and clinics around the nation. In addition to its work at the accelerator center, ISU is providing expertise for chemical processing. International Isotopes has agreed to make an in-kind contribution of equipment for the isotope processing, technical support for packaging and shipping, and supporting safety staff.

Here is the link to the full story:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Two peeks inside soon-to-open businesses

The interior of the Celt Pub (once the Hub Bar), at Broadway and Park Avenue. The pub is scheduled to open the last weekend of July.
Thirty years of journalism will give you a brazen willingness to trespass in the service of others' curiosity. Here are pictures from inside the Marriott Residence Inn and the Celt Pub, both of which are scheduled to open in the next 30 days.
The front desk of the Marriott Residence Inn at lunchtime Thursday. The hotel is slated to open in mid-July.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fuhriman honored by Idaho Association of Cities

Idaho Falls Mayor Jared Fuhriman
Idaho Falls Mayor Jared Fuhriman is this year's recipient of the Harold Hurst Award, given annually by the Idaho Association of Cities to a municipal public official who “demonstrates exemplary performance in city government.” It is named for Harold Hurst, the mayor of Heyburn for 24 years and a past association president. Fuhirman received the award recently at the association's annual conference and banquet in Boise.

Founded in 1947, IAC is a non-partisan, non-profit corporation organized, owned, and operated by Idaho city governments.

“It is a tremendous honor and is deeply humbling to be recognized at this level and I truly appreciate the association’s recognition and support," Fuhriman said. "But the city of Idaho Falls runs on the hard work and dedication of all of our city employees and this award is a direct reflection of the great work all of them do, every single day.”

Ronnow named 'Accomplished Under 40' by Idaho Business Review

Jesse Ronnow
Jesse Dixon Ronnow, vice president of treasury management in Zions First National Bank's Idaho Falls branch, was named to the Idaho Business Review's "Accomplished Under 40" list.

Ronnow, who was honored June 14 in Boise, joined Zions Bank in 2005 after earning a bachelor's of science degree in economics from the University of Utah. Since then, the bank's treasury management department in eastern Idaho has added four employees and expanded its annual gross income by nearly 350 percent.

Ronnow also is chairman of the East Idaho Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Expo board.

This is the 13th year the Idaho Business Review has recognized 40 accomplished men and women under the age of 40. “These talented young professionals represent a generation that is shaping our state, our image and our expectations,” said the Business Review's President and Publisher, Sean Evans.

Participants are nominated and chosen by a panel of their peers. This year, out of 143 nominations, 63 completed the application process. A six-member selection panel comprised of past Accomplished Under 40 recipients scored entries on a scale of 1 to 5 in four categories: professional accomplishments, leadership skills, community involvement and long-term goals.

Bonaventure names marketing director

Bonaventure Senior Living of Idaho Falls has hired Melissa Thayer as its marketing director. She comes to eastern Idaho from Utah, where she has more than 15 years' experience in the health care industry.

Thayer has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Utah State University in Logan, Utah, and an associate degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix.

Monday, June 25, 2012

D&L Cleaners adds tailor to staff

D&L Cleaners has added a professionally trained tailor, Enrique Macias, to its staff. The 51-year-old business, which has five locations, in Idaho Falls, Ammon, Rigby and Rexburg, has had its own in-house sewing and alterations department for more than 40 years. Services include:
  • Shortening and lengthening hems
  • Taking in and letting out waists
  • Shortening and lengthening sleeves
  • Fixing and replacing zippers
  • Patching
  • Seam repair
  • Replacing buttons
Alterations are based out of the D&L location at 1558 W. Broadway, where they do fittings, consultations and quick fixes. For jobs that don't require fitting, however, customers can drop off garments at any of the five locations.

All garments must be clean before alterations or repairs can be done. Repairs and alterations generally require one week to complete. Call 522-0821 for more information. Or visit the D&L Web site:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Daylight Donuts on 17th Street now open

Daylight Donuts on 17th Street, which we learned about last month, is now open. Here's owner Jim Feuling and cashier Colleen Southworth late Friday morning. The store is located on the north side of 17th between Juniper and Ponderosa, near Harbor Freight Tools.

Rush's Kitchen Supply begins carrying Le Creuset cookware

Rush's Kitchen Supply owner Alex Constantino with the Le Creuset cookware he began carrying in May.
When you have died and people are going through your things, a piece of Le Creuset cookware is one thing that will make them say, "Wow, he was serious about cooking."

Don't underestimate the potency of this pitch.

Rush's Kitchen Supply on Lindsay Boulevard began carrying Le Creuset (pronounced la KWOO-say) last month. Store owner Alex Constantino reasoned that if he is going to have the best store he has to have the best stuff.

There are some arguments against carrying a premium brand like this. It's not cheap, so the market is limited. A 5.5-quart Dutch oven costs $265. Moreover, you can buy Le Creuset just about anywhere (Macy's, etc..) for roughly the same price. Since the Internet knocked brick-and-mortar retail sideways, everything has come to have a "minimum advertised price" that's available to anyone willing to do their homework.

Nevertheless, Constantino decided he had to have it. "It's everywhere, but it is the best," he said. "The enamel is more durable, the inside is more stain resistant, it cleans up easier."

One thing he does is replace the ceramic knobs with ones made of stainless steel, a $15 upgrade. "It looks more elegant," he said. But the real sales come from the classes he teaches, where the pots get used and wannabe cooks have a direct experience of what a difference quality cookware makes. They may not buy Le Creuset right away. They may opt for a Chinese-made Mario Batali casserole that costs half as much, and there's nothing wrong with that. But they know about it, and Christmas is always coming.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

NanoSteel wins fifth R&D 100 award from R&D Magazine

NanoSteel's unassuming applications engineering shop on Shoup Avenue, in downtown Idaho Falls.
Nanosteel, a 10-year-old company with its roots in the Idaho National Laboratory, has received its fifth R&D 100 award from R&D Magazine.

This year, the company has been recognized for NPM 3100, a new class of high-strength nano-structured stainless steel in powdered form. Because the steel molecules of this substance are 10 times smaller than the molecules in any other stainless steel on the market, parts made from it are much more resistant to corrosion and wear.

Nanosteel's corporate headquarters are in Providence, R.I., but its research and development and applications engineering take place at two locations in Idaho Falls, one off Hitt Road and the other downtown, across Shoup Avenue from the Frosty Gator. The company was started by Dan Branagan, who took processes and patents he developed at the INL and spun them out for licensing to industry.

Company spokesman Greg Nixon said NPM 3100 is already for sale, but a full product rollout still has to take place. He said it should be particularly useful in the oil and gas industry for pipeline and slurry valves. The company has also been involved in "hard banding" metallic coatings for drill pipes.

NanoSteel employs 13 full-time people in Idaho Falls. "Everything originates in Idaho," Nixon said.

Earlier this week, the company announced it has developed three classes of advanced high-strength steel that will give automakers new ways to safely stretch steel in the design of lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. “Previously, sheet steel made of nano-structures was considered too brittle (no elongation) to form the shapes required for automotive parts," Branagan said. NanoSteel’s materials are based on newly discovered mechanisms to form nano-structures during production which eliminate the cause of this brittleness.”

By using conventional steel processes and avoiding the use of exotic alloying elements, it also should allow the auto industry to continue using the steel industry’s existing infrastructure. This would preserve scale and efficiencies that would be lost by switching to other lightweight materials with higher costs, longer cycle times and limited availability.

Relay for Life approaching; businesses encouraged to 'go purple'

Idaho Falls may notice something different around town next week with the appearance of purple-painted windows, decorations on homes and businesses and banners in support of the Bonneville County Relay for Life.

The American Cancer Society fundraiser is scheduled for July 13 and 14 at Thunder Stadium near Bonneville High School. Teams in our community have been raising funds throughout the year with car washes, garage sales, fashion shows, dinners, "Dancing With the Idaho Falls Stars," etc.

The American Cancer Society is aware that many small local businesses and individual people do not have a lot of money to support Relay For Life. Nevertheless, there are many different ways to get involved at little or no cost.

Paint the Town Purple was created to help generate cancer awareness in fun and creative ways. Businesses and individuals can show support without spending a lot of money but by simply showing some purple pride, said Liza Leonard of Ball Ventures, who is chairing the effort.

Starting Monday, local businesses are encouraged to decorate their offices, shops and restaurants as creatively as they want with the official Relay For Life color, purple. "We are not all personally affected by cancer, but if we come together we can help raise the spirits of those battling with the disease and restore hope for many," Leonard said.

If you have any questions or ideas, call her at 208-201-4133 or email

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Better communication = More sales; want to know more?

What's $15 bucks to you if it will help you turn around a huge sale?

You have until 4 p.m. this afternoon to make your reservation to have lunch and hear from Brent Bean, a communications professor and organizational guru at BYU-Idaho who will be talking to the Idaho Falls Advertising Federation about overcoming barriers, better teamwork, seeing processes differently and communicating more effectively.

"It's a can't miss," said Lisa Fischbach of MCS Advertising, who lined Bean up to speak. "No matter how far you are into your career these types of communication issues can creep up and confound our efforts. I chose this speaker specifically because I need the help, and I hope to see you there."

The lunch is at 11:30 a.m. at the Whitewater Grill, 355 River Parkway. Cost is $12.50 to members, $15 to non-members, $5 for lemonade and learn. RSVP to
Here's a happy family at last year's Idaho Falls Fourth of July parade. According to the caption where we found this photo (, we have (from left) Pooh Bear, Drama, E-man, Roo, The Boss, Grandma Tina and Bea. In back are brand-new cousin Roman with his dad.   
Summer begins this evening, which means the Fourth of July is not far away. As usual, Idaho Falls will offer a lot to do on Independence Day. Much will be very familiar to anyone who's lived here for a year or more, but let's have a look at the schedule.

The Military Affairs Committee will start the day with the Firecracker 5K Fun Run, 7:15 a.m. at Tautphaus Park. Registration forms can be found at

(Personal note: Last year, I did this in slightly more than half-an-hour. This year, I need to do some serious roadwork in the next two weeks if I hope to finish at all.)

Once the run is over, South Boulevard will be cleared for the State of Idaho's largest Fourth of July parade. Beginning in the Idaho Falls High School parking lot, the route goes down Fourth Street, left on South Boulevard and all the way to Tautphaus Park.

At 9 a.m., classic cars and Idaho Falls Police Department will start the parade, the theme of which is "Pride in Patriotism.” There are 106 floats signed up, and more 50,000 people are expected to line the route. The chamber is excited to announce the return of the El Korah Kart Kore, the Mountain River Ranch Shootout, Snake River BMX Bike Club and D.A.R.E./Dr. Slaughters.

This year’s marshals include Officer Malin Reynolds and Capt. Mark McBride (City of Idaho Falls Police Department); Corp. Peter Sibus (Idaho State Police); Sgt. Jeff Edwards (Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office); Tyler Weddle (Idaho Falls Fire Department); Mark Pitcher (Idaho Falls Emergency Medical Technician); and Tami Lords (Air Idaho Rescue). There will be helicopter and jet fly-overs from Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, Utah Helicopter, National Guard Gowen Field and Hill Air Force Base.

The AT&T Liberty Festival on the Falls bridges the gap between the parade in the morning and the fireworks in the evening. Sponsored by Snake River Landing, Melaleuca and Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, it will be on Memorial Drive between Broadway and E Street. More than 25 food vendors and 50 businesses, including arts and crafts vendors, will showcase their products and services during the festival. Classic cars will line the center of Memorial Drive from noon until 4:30 p.m. There will be games, pie and watermelon eating contests for children and adults, Play-N-Trade video game competition, and Apple Athletic Club volleyball and basketball challenges. Onstage, there will be music by the Old Time Fiddlers, Happyville, 40 Something Band, Affection Collection, and dance performances by Ballet Folklorico del Sol.

In the evening comes the fireworks display, presented as the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration, frequently billed as the largest fireworks display west of the Mississippi River. I don't know how a claim like this is ever substantiated, or even how such a thing could be done. I do know, however, that Idaho Falls' fireworks show has a reputation as one of the big ones and it draws tens to thousands of people to town. Here's a little bit of video from last year's show, brought to you through the modern miracle of YouTube:

Want to know more? Go to the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce Web site,, for a complete schedule of events.

Monday, June 18, 2012

New business aims to offer live "Call of Duty" style action

A city skyline silhouette goes up on the wall of Idaho Tactical Games, which opens Friday.
Idaho Tactical Games, 546 W. 21st St., will be holding a grand opening Friday.

Located on West 21st, just off Rollandet Avenue, the business aims to combine the action-packed world of first-person shooter video games like "Call of Duty" with adrenalin pumping, heart pounding physical activity.

Owner Mike DeFord has set up his business in an indoor facility that features the layout of a war-torn city, with buildings, bunkers, oil barrels and fences. Visitors can play paintball, airsoft or a new version of laser tag that uses real paintball guns and is similar to the military’s Laser Engagement System.

No matter which activity they choose, players battle their way through the streets, eliminating members of the other team and completing objectives. Players that work as a team and communicate are usually the winners.

“Team building and sportsmanship are two of our fundamentals here," DeFord said. "We focus on providing an A-plus experience for all players. The facility is designed to entertain new players with little or no experience and challenge veteran players, as well as being the ideal training facility for law enforcement and military personnel.”

The full-service facility includes an indoor playing field, pro shop and snack bar, and is open six days a week. For their grand opening, they are offering free field fees through June 28.

More information is available at, and the Facebook page is

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Western Recycling to begin offering curbside service Aug. 6 to Idaho Falls, Ammon

Western Recycling will begin offering curbside recycling to Idaho Falls and Ammon residents starting Aug. 6.

The cost will be $5 a month for homes and $10 for businesses, with billing conducted quarterly. The cost includes a 65- or 95-gallon container (customer's choice). Pickup will be every two weeks on the same days as regular trash pickup. Containers must be placed at least four feet away from other trash containers.

“I think (curbside recycling) is something that the people in Idaho Falls have been wanting to do,” said Craig Stephenson, Western Recycling's manager.

Idaho Falls residents can currently drop off their recycling at sites located throughout the city. The materials get picked up by a truck operated by Idaho Falls. Western Recycling’s management hopes that once curbside recycling catches on, these sites will be phased out, ultimately saving the city money.

With the Western Recycling program, no sorting is necessary. Here's what can be placed in the container:
  • Mixed paper products: newspapers, magazines, phone books, catalogs, cardboard boxes, cereal Boxes, frozen food boxes, paper towel cores, office paper, note pads, index cards, coated paper, brochures, envelopes, manila folders and junk mail.
  • All plastic beverage, food, and household cleaner containers #1-7 (must be rinsed of contents and caps replaced).
  • Tin and aluminum cans (must be rinsed of contents).
Materials that can't be recycled include glass, plastic bags, medical waste, food waste, packaging materials (peanuts, bubble wrap, styrofoam, etc.)

Neighborhoods outside of city limits will be included in the program case by case, depending on participation levels and distance from city limits.

You can sign up by visiting Western Recycling's Web site,, or by calling 1-888-977-4733.

This is the second big recycling story in the region. Earlier this month, after a two-month trial period in two neighborhoods, the Rexburg City Council approved moving forward with a city-wide curbside recycling program. The city plans to spend about $170,000 to buy a baler and household containers. The program will expand city-wide after the equipment arrives.

Under a cooperative agreement, Brigham Young University-Idaho students will sort and transport collected recyclables. Revenues generated through the sale of those products will be used to hire student workers and pay transportation costs.

During a two month test period, BYU-Idaho project manager Eric Conrad reported 23 percent to 25 percent participation in a trial area. The program's initial goal is 30 percent overall participation. He estimates recycling will save the city $90,000 per year by keeping recyclables out of Rexburg's overall waste cycle.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Former Post Register staffer wins prestigious environmental reporting award

Brandon Loomis
Former Post Register reporter Brandon Loomis is one of a three-person team from The Salt Lake Tribune to be awarded the 2012 Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment. 

Loomis, Rick Egan and Dave Noyce will receive a total of $75,000 for "Our Dying Forests," a series examining the link between climate change and the spread of beetles that are destroying millions of acres of forests in the American West.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse named winners at the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation's Leadership Awards Dinner on June 5, in conjunction with Capitol Hill Ocean Week, the premier ocean conference in our nation's capital. Sunshine Menezes, executive director of Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting, which administers the prize, introduced the winners to the public at a news conferenceat the National Press Club.

"I'm thrilled to have such recognition for a project we knew from the start was bigger than Utah or the Rocky Mountains," he said. "I hope reporters everywhere will pick up where we left off to investigate and explain what's happening where they live."

The Grantham Jury praised the Tribune team's methodical and measured reporting. "Experts have long been aware of the dangers implicit in the wholesale disappearance of ancient forests," said Grantham Prize Juror Robert Semple, Jr. of The New York Times. "Brandon Loomis' incredible reporting has now deftly alerted a wider public to this important issue."

Here is a link to the series:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Three at EIRMC receive Frist Humanitarian Awards

Dr. Ronald Arbon
Dr. Ronald Arbon, Education Coordinator Bonny Jennings, and Volunteer Sharon Laird have won Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center’s Frist Humanitarian Awards for 2011.

The annual award recognizes physicians, employees and volunteers who have demonstrated concern for patients and service to the community.

Nominated by fellow physicians and hospital staff, Arbon has been practicing medicine for 54 years, 42 of them in Idaho Falls. With typical humility, he said he was "very surprised” to receive the award.

Bonny Jennings
Sharon Laird
An EIRMC employee for more than 30 years, Jennings is also a longtime volunteer in the community, serving as an instructor for the American Heart Association and with the Boy Scouts of America, currently serves as vice-president of training.

Laird serves at EIRMC as a volunteer and also represents the hospital as a member of the Idaho State Hospital Association Committee on Volunteers. She is also the treasurer for the EIRMC Volunteer Auxiliary. All three were honored May 10 in a reception at the hospital.

MCS Advertising execs receive certification

Lisa Fischbach and B.J. Kane of MCS Advertising in Idaho Falls received their official certification last week as Certified Agency Account Managers from the Second Wind Certified Seminars Program they recently attended in Chicago.

Based in Wyomissing, Pa., Second Wind offers one of the few training programs for agency bookkeepers, controllers, traffic managers, production managers and operations managers. This is really important, in case you've been watching too much "Mad Men" and think advertising is all about whiskey at 11 a.m. and round-the-clock hanky-panky.

Checking out Second Wind's Web site,, I found a lot of interesting information that I would encourage anyone who's involved in marketing to investigate.

This link in particular, on how to make a pitch and win new business, caught my attention:

For those of you who don't want to go all in, here are the bullet points:
  • Rehearse every word of every pitch before you do it for real.
  • Try to give the presentation on your turf or neutral turf.
  • Insist the written presentation be fully completed at least one day before it is due to be presented.
 MCS is a full-service ad agency with its offices in historic downtown, at Park Avenue and B Street.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

EIRMC promotes Rick Goodwin to program development director

Rick Goodwin
Rick Goodwin has been promoted to the position of director of program development at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

He has been with EIRMC for 10 years, most recently as director of therapy services (which
encompasses physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, employee health,
wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy). In his new position, he will step back from day to day clinical management to take on new responsibilities helping to shape overall strategy.

Mileen Langley
Goodwin has a master's degree in speech-language pathology and brings more than 20 years of management and clinical experience to a newly-created position. He is well-published in the rehabilitation and therapy field, and frequently gives guest lectures and presentations at local, state and regional conferences. He has served as an adjunct faculty member for several universities. He said his guiding philosophy has always been, “If we focus on the patient, we will always do the right thing.”
The position he is leaving has been filled by Mileen Langley, a 17-year EIRMC veteran who served most recently as manager of therapy services.

In that job, she has demonstrated a proactive and innovative clinical approach to therapy, particularly in sharing knowledge of advanced wound healing techniques through her leadership of the annual EIRMC Wound Care Conference in Idaho Falls. That event has drawn hundreds of caregivers from rural practice environments, giving them access to advances in the field and allowing them to better serve their communities.

Remembering Perry Swisher, one of a vanishing breed

Perry Swisher
Here's Rocky Barker's obituary in the Idaho Statesman for Perry Swisher, who died this week at 88. When I was at the Post Register, I interviewed Perry several times. He always had great insights and intriguing stories, especially about Idaho Falls in the '40s, when it was Honky Tonk Central (if you can believe that!)

For all his experience in politics and public service, in his heart Perry was a newspaper man. His passing marks a big loss in the ranks of a vanishing breed.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Idaho Liquor Division relents (sort of) on "Five Wives" vodka

By Associated Press, Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 7:48 PM

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho reversed direction in the face of a lawsuit Wednesday and said it will sell Five Wives Vodka, but the liquor producer whose label makes an unmistakable reference to polygamy would not immediately rule out legal action.

The Idaho State Liquor Division rejected as offensive last week the product that features an antiqued sketch of five women hiking up their skirts. Idaho is more than 25 percent Mormon and the church at one time allowed polygamy but abandoned the practice in 1890.

The vodka originates from Ogden’s Own Distillery in Utah, where the Mormon church is based. The company said it would sue Idaho on principle if necessary.

Then on Wednesday George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley in a letter to Idaho officials and posted on his website said he planned to sue on behalf of the producer of Five Wives Vodka. He called the ban unconstitutional and gave the state 10 days to reverse its position.

The state only took hours:

“In a shared desire to avoid unnecessary litigation costs to Ogden’s Own Distillery and the people of Idaho, today we have informed the makers of ‘Five Wives’ vodka that we will immediately begin processing special order requests for both on-premise licensees and retail consumers,” Anderson said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Steve Conlin, a partner and marketing chief for Ogden’s Own Distillery, said Wednesday the company’s attorneys would review Idaho’s decision before making a statement, likely on Thursday.

But he said selling the vodka as a special order request meant it wouldn’t be available on store shelves but only as a special order. Bars would face the same hurdle.

“It’s a cumbersome process on special orders,” Conlin said. “But I’m not saying that it’s not a solution for us at this point. I can’t say one way or the other right now.”

The company is also apparently still smarting from comments made by state officials questioning the quality of Five Wives Vodka as part of the state’s initial decision not to sell it in Idaho.

Anderson, in a letter to alcohol distribution company Elite Spirits Distribution owner John Challenger and officials at Ogden’s Own Distillery informing them of the change in Idaho’s policy, included an apology that wasn’t a part of his public statement.

“I apologize for comments reported in the media that may have led consumers to believe ‘Five Wives’ is an inferior vodka product,” Anderson wrote. A copy of the letter, obtained by The Associated Press, was also sent to Idaho Deputy Attorney General Tim Davis.

Turley did not respond to an email Wednesday evening concerning the change in Idaho’s position and his website had not been updated to reflect the change either. Earlier he wrote, “Idaho is the only state to raise religious and social sensibilities as a basis to deny entry to this product.”

Five Wives Vodka was first sold in Utah in December 2011. Shortly after the ban was announced in Idaho the company started selling T-shirts with the five women behind bars and the caption “Free the Five Wives.”

Conlin said the publicity from the ban has been good for the company but hasn’t boosted sales much because the vodka has only been available in Utah.

Villa Coffeehouse has new owners

Chip and Alexis Langerak, the Villa Coffeehouse's new owners
The Villa Coffeehouse in downtown Idaho Falls has new owners, Alexis and Chip Langerak, who boiught the property in February but had a ribbon cutting Wednesday morning.

Both were fans of the place -- he likes coffee, she likes tea -- when they learned last fall the business was for sale. Alexis Langerak comes from a background in software training and conversions, while Chip Langerak is a shift manager at the Utah Avenue Wal-Mart.

They plan to carry on with much of what went before -- fresh roasted coffee, more than 100 varieties of tea -- and would like to expand the menuu for baked goods, featuring goodies made from scratch. The Villa has its own house blend of coffee, developed for them by Steve and Harry's, a local roaster, and has begun sellingg Steve and Harry's espresso as

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Museum of Idaho prepares for King Tut opening June 15

Tutankhamen is perhaps Egypt's best known pharaoh because of the wealth of treasures -- including a solid gold death mask -- found during the surprise discovery of his intact tomb in 1922.
It's been almost 90 years since archaeologist Howard Carter opened the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen. On June 15 visitors to the Museum of Idaho will have their chance to find out why story of the boy king continues to fascinate more than 3,000 years after his death.

"King Tut: Treasures of the Tomb" will remain in Idaho Falls through Nov. 24. Unlike the exhibition that came to the Smithsonian in 1977, this exhibit features none of the actual priceless artifacts from the tomb. But the artisans of the Pharaonic Village in Giza, Egypt, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, have devoted exquisite care in the reproduction of the legendary treasures from the richest archaeological find of all time.

With an expansive scope of over 131 artifact replicas, this showcase of King Tut’s treasures is larger and more complete than any previous exhibition of the originals (which only included approximately 55 artifacts). Displayed in open glass cases, the exhibition includes replicas of the pharaoh’s sacred
and personal possessions along with associated artifacts from the period surrounding Tutankhamen’s reign.

“The objects are all cast to look like the real thing . . . with the flaws and all,” said Marty Martin, curator from The Origins Museum Institute, where the exhibit originally was put together. “People can really experience them [the pieces] and they can actually breathe and live within the exhibit. While the experience of seeing the original artifacts is unsurpassable, there are enormous benefits to viewing these reproductions. The sheer number of replicas far exceeds the number of original objects which were allowed to leave the Egyptian Museum for view abroad.”

While earlier exhibitions have displayed the artifacts according to how they were removed from the tomb, this exhibit groups the artifacts into five different categories, each according to a different aspect of the pharaoh’s life: an Introductory Hall, the Hall of the Discovery, the Private Pharaoh, the Public Pharaoh, and the Sacred Burial.

The exhibit also features an authentic 18th Dynasty sandstone stela, bearing a superb relief of Akhenaten, and three genuine 26th Dynasty funerary necklaces.
For more information about the exhibit and the Museum of Idaho, visit this link:

And for those of you who can't hear the name King Tut without thinking of the Steve Martin novelty hit of 1977, here it is, albeit a bluegrass version from 2010.

Venture One lands Social Security Administration office job

It has taken a great deal of work, but Shane Murphy of Venture One Properties said he is looking forward to having the Social Security Administration as a long-term tenant in his building in the 2100 block of Channing Way.

Before they were awarded the bid, Venture One worked for three years with the General Services Administration. The remodel will involve 6,100 square feet in the building that also houses the UPS Store and Batteries Plus. The space will be refitted to accommodate about 60 people.

For all the red tape, the upside is 10-year fixed lease with a five-year extension option. Murphy said he expects construction to begin in the fall and to have people moved in by April 2013.

Monday, June 4, 2012

International Isotopes clears major hurdle for New Mexico project

Steve Laflin, President of International Isotopes
International Isotopes Inc. of Idaho Falls has gotten approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the $125 million plant it is planning to build in New Mexico to handle depleted uranium and fluorine extraction.

The commission has published the final safety evaluation report, online and in the Federal Register. Approval represents a major milestone in the licensing process for the plant, near Hobbs, N.M., said Steve Laflin, the company's president and CEO. Only the final environmental impact statement remains to be completed before the company receives its combined 40-year construction and operating licenses. This is expected to be around September.

The company is taking job applications and proposals, which can be sent to

International Isotopes submitted its license application in December 2009. The report documents the commission's evaluation of safety and what could go wrong for workers and the public under both normal operations and accident conditions. The NRC also considered the management organization, administrative programs and financial qualifications provided by the company to ensure safe design and operation of the facility.

Last year the company applied for a $97 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Renewable-Energy Technology Development program, which evaluates whether a technology might reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "Our patented fluorine extraction process uses seven times less energy than conventional industrial processes for making hydrofluoric acid," Laflin told blogger Dan Yurman of Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes. "This means we can show reductions of six million pounds of carbon dioxide a year over the life of the plant"

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fleenor honored by Idaho Housing and Finance Association

Joni Fleenor, branch manager and senior vice-president of InterWest Mortgage, has been recognized by the Idaho Housing and Finance Association as its top individual loan originator in eastern Idaho for the first quarter of 2012. She was also was honored as the region's top lending partner.

Fleenor has more than 30 years' experience in the mortgage business. She also serves on the board of directors for the Idaho Falls Area Habitat for Humanity.

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association, which provides loans for first-time home buyers, honors the top individual loan originators and top lending partners in six regions across the state every quarter and also yearly.

InterWest Mortgage is a division of iBERIABANK Mortgage, and has its offices at 1275 E. 17th St.

Subway opens in Ammon shopping center

Subway has opened in the new shopping center at 3379 E. 17th Street, which has been under construction since last fall.
Dean Mortimer’s company, Comfort Construction, is putting the finishing touches on the 11,000-square-foot retail strip center at 3379 E. 17th Street, next door to Ace Hardware. In addition to Subway, which is leasing space, Mortimer said his real estate management company, Command Properties, has lined up Domino’s Pizza and Salon Suites.

“What gave us the confidence to move forward was good solid tenants,” said Mortimer.

Domino’s will own its own part of the building. Salon Suites, another one of Mortimer’s companies, leases beauty salon and massage therapy spaces to contractors who want to operate on their own.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Snake River Landing host Man Show on June 9

The 2nd Annual Man Show is scheduled to take place June 9 at Snake River Landing.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the day will be filled with everything a man loves and wants: trucks  SUVs, boats, trailers, guns, camping equipment and outdoor gear to trackers, Harley Davidsons, sport bikes and equipment and helicopter rides with Utah Helicopters.

There will be food and free live entertainment provided all day by the likes of Spunk Pharm, Snake Bones, and Peak Theory.

For more information, call Jeremy at (208) 403-6520