Friday, January 29, 2016

New apartments going into old Montgomery Ward building

The scene this week in the unit on the building's southwest corner.
Mike Allen
The residential side of downtown Idaho Falls is getting a big boost with the development of loft apartments at 504 Shoup Avenue, upstairs from Happy’s, in the old Montgomery Ward building.

Doing business as Camp Bench Holdings, Mike Allen and Neil Campbell have lined up tenants for five of the seven lofts and suites they are setting up on the second floor. Sizes range from 800 to 1,700 square feet, and rents start at $800.

Allen said they were looking in 2015 for a property to develop into lofts and learned the Montgomery Ward building was for sale. Built in the Renaissance style, with its high ceilings, birch hardwood floors and leaded glass, it was exactly what they were looking for, he said.

As might be expected with a building from 1929, there were some issues. They had to replace the window sashes, as the original wood was too far gone. But there were pluses as well, first and foremost a working sprinkler system. “That was one of the nice things about this building,” Allen said.

One unit is already occupied. Sandy Crowley, who has moved to Idaho Falls from Salt Lake with her husband, Jim, to open a gallery on A Street across from Great Harvest Bread, said they were keen to find something with character for themselves and their two kids. She was walking up Shoup Avenue when she saw the 504Shoup.com sign in the window, made a call and made a deal. “These are great spaces,” she said.

Krisi Staten, executive director of the Downtown Development Corp., said she sees 504Shoup as a harbinger of things to come.

“I think there is more demand for downtown residential than anyone ever realized,” she said. “What Mike’s done, they’re beautiful the way they combine the new with traditional elements. I think wha this says is there is a real desire for beautiful places to live downtown.”

Other developers have paid notice, she added. “The success he’s had, filling up those condos without even advertising, I think it has caused a lot of other people to take another look. This proves the market it there, and I think were going to see more of this.”

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Uptown Boutique opening on Cliff Street

The front of Uptown Boutique, on Cliff Street.
You may have noticed a new look to the building at 287 Cliff Street, with big pictures of stylishly dressed women in the windows.

Arun Petrus, who recently moved to Idaho Falls, is planning to open her Uptown Boutique the first week of February. Originally from Phoenix, Petrus has lived all over the country — Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Seattle and, most recently, Las Vegas — but came to Idaho Falls for family reasons. She has been pursuing an aesthetician’s license at Vogue Beauty College, also on Cliff Street. That’s why in addition to selling affordable, eclectic women’s clothing, Petrus plans to offer services such as eyelash extensions.

“This is a new adventure,” she said.

She does not plan to sell any one particular brand, she simply hopes to have something that customers might see themselves wearing. “Women all have different types of personalities,” she said. “My philosophy is if I wouldn’t have something in my closet at home it’s not going to be in my shop.”

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Idaho Steel, Conrad & Bischoff receive rebates for energy-saving efforts

Two Idaho Falls companies were recognized Tuesday night for energy-saving measures they recently adopted through Idaho Falls Power’s Commercial Lighting Retrofit Program.

Conrad & Bischoff and Idaho Steel received rebates of $52,998 and $39,172, respectively, for measures that are predicted to save a combined total of 606,169 kilowatt-hours — enough to power nearly 50 homes for a year.

Idaho Steel’s project involved upgrading the lighting at three facilities from fluorescents to LEDs. With the rebate and expected energy savings (280,321 kWh), the project is expected to pay for itself within three years.

“We were at a crossroads with our lighting, where we needed to replace existing out-of-date lights (and) move in a more improved and efficient direction,” said Alan Bradshaw, Idaho Steel’s CEO. “Because of the incentive that was offered, we made the decision to replace the out-of-date lighting in all of our facilities. This has provided us with a much better work environment utilizing efficient instant-on LED lighting.”

Conrad & Bischoff is expected to save 325,848 kWh through its projects, which consisted of installing LEDs at its car wash, retail stores and in the canopies over its gas pumps.

“(We are) very grateful to the city and the power companies for the opportunity we had to cut back on our power consumption,” said Jake Hansen, the company’s chief operating officer.

Idaho Falls Power has offered energy efficiency programs since 1982. Free energy audits, loans, rebates and incentives are among the options available to all customers. In fiscal year 2015, 469 customers participated in the programs, leading to a savings of more than 5.25 million kWh.

The programs are run in conjunction with the Bonneville Power Administration, the federal non-profit agency from which Idaho Falls purchases most of the electricity used in the city.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bank of Idaho receives Brightest Star award

Idaho Falls-based Bank of Idaho was recently awarded the Idaho’s Brightest Star Award at a ceremony Jan. 21 at the Owyhee in Boise.

The purpose of the Brightest Star Awards program is to recognize and encourage volunteerism by citizens of all ages throughout the state. Bank of Idaho was the winner in the Corporation and Small Business category, based on the efforts put forth by its employees.

The award came in recognition of an internal initiative in which employees committed to “A Year of Service” — 8,760 employee hours (literally, one year’s worth of hours). At the end of 2015 the final tally stood at 9,011 hours of donated time.

“The Year of Service has been a fun undertaking for us, and it was really worth the effort. For the people in our hometowns, and even for our employees, it put some real meaning behind our motto, ‘Committed to Community,’” said Bank of Idaho President and CEO, Jeff Newgard. “The award for our employees’ efforts is just icing on the cake.”

Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne and the Governor’s Coordinating Council for Families and Children established the Governor’s Brightest Star Awards in 2001 in partnership with the Association of Idaho Cities. Since its inception, more than 500 individuals and groups have been recognized as Brightest Stars.

Roger's Revue this year features music from animated film

Friday and Saturday at the Idaho Falls Civic Auditorium
From “When You Wish Upon a Star” to “Let It Go,” music has always been a huge element in animated film. This weekend, Roger Evans and company will be paying tribute at the Idaho Falls Civic Auditorium with a live concert featuring top local talent.

This year’s “Roger’s Revue” will feature music from animated films such as “Aladdin,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Frozen,” “Prince of Egypt,” and many more. Performers come from the Idaho Falls Symphony, Teton Chamber Orchestra, Idaho Falls Opera Theatre, Sounds Summer Musical, and Idaho Falls Youth Arts Centre. Proceeds will benefit the performing arts programs at six local high schools: Idaho Falls, Skyline, Bonneville, Hillcrest, Compass Academy and Rigby.

If you think the performing arts are trivial, I beg to differ. Last fall I got to play Captain Hook in the Youth Arts Centre’s production of “Peter Pan,” with Roger as musical director. There were 86 kids in the cast, and although I didn’t get to know each one of them personally I can say I’ve never seen a more energetic and dedicated bunch. For my part, I hope I inspired them with my willingness to get crazy and give all in a part that cannot be played too broadly.

As great as community productions are, though, what takes place in the schools is just as important if not more so. It’s been proven time and again that music, dance, and theater increase students’ productivity. Beyond that, let’s take a look at two people we’ve been mourning recently, David Bowie and Alan Rickman, aka the Goblin King and Professor Snape. Both English and both working class, both benefitted from publicly funded art college, where they were allowed to explore their creativity and develop their ambitions.

When you buy a ticket to the show, you will have the ability to designate which high school you want the money to go to. To purchase tickets online, visit www.rogersrevue.org. Tickets are $12 for Adults, $8 for ages 17 and under. Family passes are available for $40, but it is asked that you limit it to immediate family or people living in the same household.

Curtain on Friday and Saturday evening is at 6:30. The Saturday matinee performance starts at 1:30 p.m. In addition to the Web site, tickets may be purchased at Chesbro Music and at the door. For more information, call Erin Nazario at (206) 794-4350.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Tai-Pan Trading plans March 1 opening in Idaho Falls

One of the more eagerly embraced announcements of 2015 was the news that Tai-Pan Trading would be opening a store in Idaho Falls, on 17th Street in the Hall Park Shopping Center.

To update you, the store will be opening to the public March 1, with a grand opening date to be announced soon. Information about the store can be found on its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/tptidahofalls/?fref=ts.

If you are interested in applying for a job, or know someone who is, visit this link: taipantrading.com/employment.

The actual address is 1568 E. 17th Street. The store will be occupying 22,750 square feet, where $2 Fabric and KC Frame formerly were. This is one of two Tai-Pan stores moving into Idaho, the other one being in Twin Falls. The Salt Lake-based company has five stores in Utah, one in California and one in Idaho, in Boise.

On its Web site, Tai-Pan describes itself as “an importer of quality home d├ęcor products at affordable prices.” The company started in 1979 as a wholesale floral supplier, in a small space with two cash registers and very few parking stalls. As the business expanded into home decor, the owners decided to open a showroom and offer merchandise directly to the public.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

DOE Grid Modernization Initiative brings 15 new projects to Idaho lab

Using computer modeling and weather station data, a $2.35 million project could increase the capacity of existing power lines. Wind blowing on a high-voltage line can cool it enough to safely increase the amount of current it can carry by 10 to 40 percent.
Idaho National Laboratory is slated to lead several projects over the next three years as part of the $220 million Grid Modernization Initiative announced last week by the U.S. Department of Energy.

INL has been designated the lead laboratory on four projects that received DOE funding, and will collaborate with other national laboratories on 11 other projects. Although funding levels are subject to change, the work is expected to amount to roughly $10 million for INL through September 2018.

“I am proud to see INL involved in so many winning proposals for important collaborative projects,” said INL Director Mark Peters. “DOE’s Grid Modernization Initiative is a critical nationwide effort.”

The Grid Modernization Initiative is a strategic portfolio of projects intended to set the United States on a cost-effective path for an integrated, secure, sustainable and reliable electric grid. As described in DOE’s Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan, these projects focus on new concepts, tools, platforms, and technologies to better measure, analyze, predict, and control the grid of the future — one flexible enough to support a competitive national economy and an array of emerging services, while remaining affordable to consumers.

The initiative includes the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium, a strategic partnership launched in 2014 between DOE and 14 of its national laboratories. This followed a 2012 White House report that said outages caused by severe weather typically cost the U.S. economy between $18 billion and $33 billion a year from lost output and wages, spoiled inventory, delayed production and disruptions to energy distribution.

Many of the INL projects will involve its Real-Time Power and Energy Lab, said Rob Hovsapian, lead engineer for INL’s Energy Systems & Technologies Division and an author on nine winning proposals. These projects will leverage the lab’s expertise and infrastructure to analyze dynamic and transient aspects of advanced power and energy systems in real time.

Information below highlights the projects that INL will lead.

Smart Reconfiguration of Idaho Falls Power distribution network

The $1 million two-year collaboration with the city of Idaho Falls aims to make the city’s municipal power distribution more robust and dependable. Idaho Falls Power Director Jackie Flowers said the idea of working with INL came after an outage in December 2013 left city residents without electricity for hours in subzero cold. Idaho Falls and INL will work with Schweitzer Engineering Labs, Washington State University and Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems to test smart reconfiguration. INL’s Real-Time Digital Simulator (RTDS) allows engineers to model how the city can spread load evenly during times of high demand. Battery research at the lab will allow the utility to explore ways to store energy from its hydroelectric and wind turbines.

Systems Research Supporting Standards and Interoperability

The project seeks to understand how plug-in electric vehicle charging will affect the grid and how disturbances on the grid could affect PEVs. This project will leverage capabilities of multiple national laboratories to perform “hardware-in-the-loop” studies that integrate communication and control system hardware with simulation and analysis activities. The $3.6 million, three-year project includes Siemens Engineering, Bonneville Power Administration, DTE Energy, Eversource, University of Delaware, California Energy Commission and USDRIVE Grid Interaction Technical Team.

Diagnostic Security Modules for Electric Vehicles to Building Integration

The overall goal of this project is to develop a Diagnostic Security Module framework to protect against cyberattacks that might come through communications systems required for PEV charging and load management. INL will lead a consortium of national labs and private partners including University of Louisiana-Lafayette, ChargePoint, and California Energy Commission. The project will cost about $1.65 million over three years.

Weather Data to Improve Capacity of Existing Power Lines

This $2.35 million project could increase the capacity of existing power lines using modeling and weather station data. In areas where wind plants are being developed, wind blowing on a high-voltage line can cool it enough to safely increase the amount of current it can carry by 10 to 40 percent. INL’s work includes a transmission line planning and routing toolkit and Human Factors R&D to help integrate weather and simulation information into control room operations. Partners include Idaho Power Company, WindSim, Altalink, Alberta Electric System Operator, StormGEO, Stantec and Oregon State University.

INL is part of DOE's complex of national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of DOE's strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation's leading center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

See more INL news at www.inl.gov.

Fall River and Lower Valley coop directors consider merger

The directors of Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative and Lower Valley Energy have announced they are interested in merging.

Fall River is based in Ashton and Lower Valley is based in Afton, Wyo. Both coops serve a broad rural area in which many Idaho Falls and Upper Snake River Valley people have cabins and vacation homes, said Ted Austin, Fall River’s marketing and communications manager.

The next step in the process is for the two boards to define the terms of consolidation. Once that takes place, each cooperative would take the consolidation plan to its respective members for a vote of approval.

Fall River Electric serves more than 16,000 customers in eastern Idaho, western Wyoming and southwest Montana. Lower Valley Energy serves members from Flagg Ranch in Yellowstone National Park, down to Smoot past Afton, Wyo., over to Wayan in Idaho, and east to Kendall and Cora, Wyo. Austin said the two cooperatives have considered merging for decades, but changing energy policies and regional policies planned by the Bonneville Power Administration make the idea of consolidation more appealing than ever.  Two consolidation studies that have been done concluded that a consolidated operation could save members nearly $4 million dollars annually or an estimated $38 million over 10 years.

Consolidation would mean greater financial resources for dealing with changes in the electrical industry, an opportunity to expand natural gas and propane services to more members, plus greater workforce efficiencies. But both boards have said consolidation would not result in employee layoffs or reductions in pay for the existing staffs.

Much more work is needed on the plan before it is presented to the owner-members of each cooperative for a vote later this

year, Austin said. If approved, implementation of the entire consolidation plan could take two to three years.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

GOBankingRates.com gives Idaho some good press -- again

Idaho has been getting some great press on the www.gobankingrates.com Web site.

Last June, the Gem State ranked third best in a listing of Best and Worst States to Retire Rich, behind only New Hampshire and Delaware. Here’s the writeup on Idaho from that feature:

Idaho’s extremely low living expenses catapulted it to third in our study, with one of the lowest cost-of-living scores in the nation — only Mississippi and Tennessee are cheaper. Retirees also have access to higher-than-average local deposit rates to grow their savings and low local tax rates; residents pay no Social Security, estate, or inheritance taxes and fairly low sales and property taxes.

Idaho was bumped out of the top two spots due to less-stellar health care scores: The state is middle of the line (24th place) when it comes to its seniors’ health, and its Medicare payouts are only average. Still, the state’s average individual insurance premiums are low — among the 10 cheapest in the nation.

In the wake of that news, today we have another piece: 10 States Most (and Least) Likely to Live Paycheck to Paycheck.

This time, Idaho ranked fifth, earning this endorsement:

Potatoes are cheap, and Idahoans' food costs are among the lowest in the nation at $172 per the median $2,055 paycheck (just 8 percent). Housing (22 percent), healthcare (5 percent) and utilities (7 percent) per-paycheck costs are all also modest, with transportation being one of Idahoans' biggest expenses (20 percent).

When all is said and done, living in Idaho is pretty easy on your budget. If you earn the median income, you can have a little more than 37 percent left over ($769) per paycheck.

GOBankingRates.com is part of the GoMediaNetwork, which is owned and operated by ConsumerTrack, Inc. Click here for its Facebook page and here for its Twitter feed.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Ted Austin named new Rexburg chamber CEO

Ted Austin
Ted Austin has been selected as the next CEO of the Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce. Austin, a longtime resident of the area, will officially begin leading the chamber on Tuesday, replacing Donna Benfield, who has served as CEO of the Chamber for twenty years.

The official announcement was made Jan. 12 by Dr. Geoffrey Thomas, president of the chamber, at the monthly board meeting. “After reviewing and meeting with a deep and talented pool of applicants over the last several months, the executive board made a unanimous decision to hire Ted. He is clearly qualified and enthusiastic about leading the Chamber as it benefits our growing business community.”

Austin served as president of the chamber in 2011. He most recently has been the communications manager for Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative, based in Ashton, and also served as the marketing and advertising manager for its subsidiary Fall River Propane. He has held management positions at Melaleuca, ML Technologies, and Diet Center. He also has been extensively involved in local broadcasting, having owned and operated Q102-KCHQ FM radio in Rexburg, which he sold to Rich Broadcasting in 2011.

Austin and his wife, Connie, have six children and eight grandchildren.

“My first order of business will be to attempt to digest 20 years of experience and knowledge that Donna Benfield has gained,” he said, in a news release. “She has done an exceptional job on behalf of the members of the Chamber.”

Friday, January 15, 2016

INL, Idaho Falls Power collaborating on two-year $1 million project

The Gem State Hydroelectric facility is capable of generating 22.4 mega­watts of electricity for Idaho Falls, but that is subject to the run of the river, which will be part of what is studied in the collaboration between the city and INL.
Jackie Flowers
Idaho Falls Power and the Idaho National Laboratory are entering into a two-year, $1 million collaboration as a result of the Energy Department’s $220 million electrical power grid modernization initiative.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced the program Thursday. In all, INL is leading or acting as a partner in 15 projects that could bring more than $5 million to the lab over the next three years. One of those proposals involves improving the physical security of Idaho Falls’ municipally owned distribution system.

Idaho Falls Power Director Jackie Flowers said the idea of working with INL came after an outage in December 2013 left city residents without electricity for several hours in subzero cold. The morning of Dec. 4, she arrived at work to learn that the Balancing Authority  -- which controls the electric grid that
serves power providers in the area — had ordered the city to shed 35 megawatts in 30 minutes. This was to cope with an outage already going on in the wider territory served by Rocky Mountain Power.

“For 10 minutes, we stood there asking, ‘Are they serious?’” Flowers said. They were, and between 7:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., about 3,500 Idaho Falls Power customers were without juice. All this was judged necessary to keep the entire grid from crashing when Rocky Mountain Power attempted to restore service to nearly 49,000 Idaho customers left in the dark. Afterwards, city officials began talking about how they could make the grid more robust.

Idaho Falls Power had already been working with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on the Pacific Smart Grid Demonstration Project. After hearing a talk on grid modernization by David Danielson, assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, they began to learn what was available through INL, which does a lot of battery research for DOE.

The proposal approved Thursday teams Idaho Falls Power and INL with Schweitzer Engineering Labs, Washington State University and Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems to test smart reconfiguration. INL has a real time digital simulator that allows it to model how the city can spread load evenly during times of high demand. Battery research at the lab will allow the utility to explore ways to store energy from its hydroelectric and wind turbines.

“It’s so fun to coordinate with folks that have all these,” Flowers said.

Overall, a more secure grid is likely to save the city money. Outages caused by severe weather cost the U.S. economy an average of $18 billion to $33 billion a year, according to a White House report released in 2012. The hits come from lost output and wages, spoiled inventory, delayed production and damage to the electric grid. In 2012, when 8.5 million people lost power due to Superstorm Sandy, those costs rose as high as $52 billion.

The report argued for the need to update the nation's electric grid: high-voltage transmission lines connected to power plants, local distribution systems, and power management and control systems. Seventy percent of the nation’s transmission lines and power transformers are more than 25 years old.

“Modernizing the U.S. electrical grid is essential to reducing carbon emissions, creating safeguards against attacks on our infrastructure, and keeping the lights on,” Moniz said Thursday. The Grid Modernization Initiative represents a comprehensive DOE effort to help shape the future of the United States' grid. It seeks to solve the challenges of integrating conventional and renewable sources with energy storage and smart buildings while ensuring that the grid is resilient and secure in the face of growing cyber security and climate challenges.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Dave's Bike Shop eyes Jan. 25 opening in new location

Dave Wilding of Dave's Bike Shop in his new location on Broadway.
Dave Wilding, owner of Dave’s Bike Shop in downtown Idaho Falls, is hoping to be open in his new location on Broadway, in the old Catmull’s store.

“There’s nothing really crazy we have to do, just framing and painting, just to make it ours,” he said. When they removed the old carpet they found hardwood floors underneath. Those will be sanded and sealed, because they still have marks from when the space was the Western Auto garage.

When it’s all said and done, they will have 8,000 square feet, a vast expansion over the space they’ve been in, next door to Chesbro’s. “The service area will be four times as big, and we will have a studio for bike fittings,” he said. “We want to keep the vibe of the old store, but just have a little more room to move.”

Wilding opened his store in late summer 2011 and has carved out a nice niche. “The community has been very supportive, easy to deal with and trusting,” he said. He started talking with Dale Catmull over year ago, as soon as he learned the furniture store would be closing.

Dave’s has been renting giant-tire bikes for people who like to ride in the winter. With spring and summer coming, they plan to start renting cruiser bikes for people who want to ride on the nearby Greenbelt.

“We like being downtown,” Wilding said. “I think there’s a certain feel. You’ve got more people out walking, and more cyclists. It’s fun to have the small restaurants nearby.”

Monday, January 11, 2016

Rich Broadcasting adds frequencies to boost KID's reach

In a major expansion of its broadcasting reach, Rich Broadcasting has added three more frequencies to carry the KID Radio’s programming and advertising.

Company President and CEO Richard Mecham said KID programming (590 AM & 92.1 FM) now will be heard also on Idaho Falls station 106.3 FM (KQEZ), as well as Jackson, Wyo., stations KSGT (1340 AM) and 96.3 FM.

On the air since 1928, KID is eastern Idaho’s oldest radio station.

In a news release General Manager DeLyn Hendricks underscored the business-related and commercial significance of the expansion. “We are now able, to deliver our advertisers’ messages more effectively to an expanded range of consumers in eastern Idaho and the Upper Valley, as well as in Jackson Hole. We’re confident this will provide a terrific opportunity for business owners who truly understand the power of their advertising investment on radio.”

Program director and morning news host Neal Larson said the station's expanded broadcast reach will have a big social impact.

"With this year's major presidential election season underway there's no better time to expand the reach of our incredibly successful news and talk programming, including our regional morning show with Cala Curtis and me, along with Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Michael Savage. KID's rich heritage across this region just gets bigger and better with these changes.”

Rich Broadcasting is a broadcast group of 19 radio stations specializing in small-market radio. Prior to founding the company, Mecham managed Bonneville International’s flagship Salt Lake City stations KSL Television and KSL Newsradio.

Short Stop offers free delivery to seniors

You can get this as a refrigerator magnet.
From its base of operations across West Elva Street from Melaleuca Field, Short Stop Market has been making home deliveries for more than a year. In a new development, however, owners Jason and Jennifer Anderson have decided to waive delivery fees to seniors.

Ordinarily, if you’ve got a hankering for Cheetos, Ho-Ho’s or a six-pack of Rolling Rock, there is no charge only when an order is more than $45. For an an order of between $10 to $14.99, the delivery charge is $4. This is still pretty good considering what it would cost you in time and gas to get off the sofa and go to the store, possibly missing a key play in a must-see game.

The Andersons bought the Highland Park convenience store and laundromat two years ago. Anderson said he did his homework before the purchase, and that he knew what he was in for.

“With a convenience store, you’ve got to put in 50, 60, 70 hours a week,” he said. “You gotta be here.” Nevertheless, the experience has exceeded his hopes for the business.

When she was with Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership, Jennifer Anderson saw that no grocery was making deliveries, to seniors or anybody. Jason Anderson had gained some experience with the concept, having worked for Broulim’s in Rexburg when it was making deliveries to college students.

Although there is a lot of out-of-town business in the summer when people are coming to ball games, most of the year the store’s business is geographically limited. “We wanted to see if we could expand,” he said.

Although there is no way to order other than over the phone, a PDF version of the store’s catalogue is available for download on its Web site, shortstopmkt.com. Anderson isn’t sure whether they will ever get to having an app like Domino’s. “That would be great, but something like that is way too expensive,” he said.

Seniors make up a big part of the delivery service’s customers. “People who have a hard time getting around, group homes, people who just don’t want to go out,” Anderson said. As for what’s being delivered, “Beer is probably our biggest category.”

The store has expanded its delivery area to Ammon and Lewisville. Delivery hours are noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Anderson prides himself that he and his wife came up with the home delivery idea the same time 7-Eleven started its service. He is under no illusions that operators with bigger marketing budgets may move in.

“It’s a trend in the industry,” he said. “We’ve got to build the brand now.”

For more information, call 716-6538.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Longtime EIRMC executive Lou Fatkin retiring

Lou Fatkin
After 36 years of service, Lou Fatkin, Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center’s executive director of risk management, is retiring.

During his career, which dates back to the days of Idaho Falls Consolidated Hospitals, Fatkin has held positions in Medical Staff Relations and served as the hospital’s ethics and compliance officer.

In November 1979, Idaho Falls had two hospitals, Parkview and Riverview. Fatkin had offices and worked in both facilities. In all, he has been associated with five hospital management companies, including Intermountain Healthcare, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), HealthTrust, Columbia, and again HCA.

“Lou is one of the most passionate and dedicated people I've ever worked with,” said Brenda Baumgartner Stanley, a former EIRMC colleague. “He truly loved his job and the people he worked with. I also don't ever remember him not being happy. He just always seemed to have this upbeat and positive attitude. I am sure he will be missed.”

Cindy Smith-Putnam, another former EIRMC colleague, said Catkin’s office was called “The Confessional.”

“Doctors, employees, patients, families ... everyone trusted Lou as a guy you can really talk to,” she said. “And he loved the hospital. The throb of the days, no two ever alike. Several times, we laughed so hard we cried. There will be a gaping hole at EIRMC when he cycles, skis or runs off into his retirement.”

Fatkin said he feels grateful for his career. “Over the years, I have been fortunate to have worked with a number of hospital administrations,” he said. “In all, I will miss the whole EIRMC staff, who I consider my family.”

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Sunnyside Road Popeyes set to open Monday

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in Ammon is scheduled to open Monday.
Here we go, the first big restaurant news of the year: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in Ammon's Sandcreek Commons Shopping Center is scheduled to open Monday, Jan. 11.

This is the fourth in Idaho, but part of a six-restaurant expansion into the state. Norcal Cajun Foods, a company in Concord, Calif., has the rights to franchise Popeyes in Idaho.

Norcal has opened Popeyes in Nampa, Caldwell and Boise. In addition to Ammon, it also has plans for Pocatello and Twin Falls. The company has 17 Popeyes in Northern California.

Popeyes dates back to 1972, when Alvin C. Copeland, Sr. opened a restaurant called Chicken on the Run in the New Orleans suburb of Arabi, serving traditional Southern fried chicken. After several months of mediocre sales, he changed the menu to spicy, New Orleans-style chicken and renamed the restaurant Popeyes, after the character Popeye Doyle in the movie “The French Connection.”

The menu features Cajun-style fried chicken and seafood that is typically served with buttermilk biscuits and a variety of sides, including Cajun rice, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, or french fries.

Today, there are more than 2,000 Popeyes in the United States and 25 foreign countries. Only 40 Popeyes locations are company-owned, according to the business profile on Hoovers.com.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Idaho places fourth in 2015 moving destination study

Idaho has placed in the top 5 as “Top Moving Destination,” as Americans continue to pack up and head West and South. Those are the results of United Van Lines' 39th Annual National Movers Study, which tracks customers' state-to-state migration patterns over the past year.

Oregon was the most popular moving destination of 2015, with 69 percent of moves to and from the state being inbound. The state has continued to climb the ranks, increasing inbound migration by 10 percent over the past six years.

With 61 percent moves inbound, opposed to 39 percent outbound, Idaho ranked No. 4, behind Oregon, South Carolina and Vermont.

The Southern states also saw a high number of people moving in with 53 percent of total moves being inbound. In a separate survey of its customers, United Van Lines found the top reasons for moving South included company transfer/new job, retirement and proximity to family.

The Northeast continues to experience a moving deficit with New Jersey (67 percent outbound) and New York (65 percent) making the list of top outbound states for the fourth consecutive year. Two other states in the region — Connecticut (63 percent) andMassachusetts (57 percent) — also joined the top outbound list this year. The exception to this trend is Vermont (62 percent inbound), which moved up two spots on the list of top inbound states to No. 3.

"For nearly 40 years, we've been tracking which states people are moving to and from, and we've also recently started surveying our customers to understand why they are making these moves across state lines," said Melissa Sullivan, director of marketing communications at United Van Lines. "Because of United Van Lines' position as the nation's largest household goods mover, our data is reflective of national migration trends."

"This year's data reflects longer-term trends of people moving to the Pacific West, where cities such as Portland and Seattle are seeing the combination of a boom in the technology and creative marketing industry, as well as a growing 'want' for outdoor activity and green space," said Michael Stoll, economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. "The aging Boomer population is driving relocation from the Northeast and Midwest to the West and South, as more and more people retire to warmer regions."

United has tracked migration patterns annually on a state-by-state basis since 1977. For 2015, the study is based on household moves handled by United within the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C. United classifies states as "high inbound" if 55 percent or more of the moves are going into a state, "high outbound" if 55 percent or more moves were coming out of a state or "balanced" if the difference between inbound and outbound is negligible.

Moving In

The top inbound states of 2015 were:
1. Oregon
2. South Carolina
3. Vermont
4. Idaho
5. North Carolina
6. Florida
7. Nevada
8. District of Columbia
9. Texas
10. Washington

The Western U.S. is represented on the high-inbound list by Oregon (69 percent), Nevada (57 percent) and Washington (56 percent). Of moves to Oregon, a new job or company transfer (53 percent) and wanting to be closer to family (20 percent) led the reasons for most inbound moves. Nevada remained on the high inbound list for the fifth consecutive year.

Moving Out 
The top outbound states for 2015 were:
1. New Jersey
2. New York
3. Illinois
4. Connecticut
5. Ohio
6. Kansas
7. Massachusetts
8. West Virginia
9. Mississippi
10. Maryland