Friday, February 26, 2016

Bish’s RV buys Brockman’s in Jerome

Bish’s RV announced this week it has bought Brockman’s RV in Jerome, which had been in business for more than 45 years, building a strong reputation for great customer service and competitive prices.

Mindful of that reputation, Idaho Falls-based Bish’s is keeping the existing staff. “Brockman’s business values went hand-in-hand with the values we hold,” said Troy Jenkins, president of Bish’s. “We want to continue that
legacy that Steve Brockman started.”

A huge selling feature for Bish’s RV was that Brockman’s RV is a Jayco-only dealership. Currently, Bish’s RV sells Jayco products at three of its locations, but was lacking the ability to sell the brand in the Twin Falls area.

“We’ll continue to keep this location a Jayco-only dealership,” said Kacey Jensen, Bish’s RV’s regional director. “We’re excited to now offer Jayco products to our existing customers in the Magic Valley.”

A grand opening in April is planned to coincide with the Annual Jayco Days sales event to welcome the new location to their dealership line-up. With this acquisition, Bish’s now has four locations in Idaho, making it the largest RV dealer in the state.

For more information about Bish’s RV, visit www.bishs.com.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

INL hosting high school students for tours, education

Idaho National Laboratory will host high school students from throughout the region Friday at a new event designed to support the federal My Brother’s Keeper initiative.

President Obama announced the MBK initiative in 2014 to address opportunity gaps faced by disadvantaged and minority youth. INL added it this year to the roster of events it sponsors to interest students in the potential for a career at the national laboratory. The goal of the event is to break down stereotypes about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers and provide students with role models and mentors to follow.

Workforce development is one of the great challenges right now, said INL Director Mark Peters. “It’s vital that we engage students now and make sure they are aware of the incredible opportunities right here in Idaho, along with the education and training needed to take advantage of them.”

Students will participate in a full day of hands-on activities and laboratory tours, interact with research scientists and nuclear engineers, and learn about STEM careers and opportunities for post-secondary education and internships. MBK will engage students in STEM activities relevant to the mission of INL and related to the curriculum they are learning in school.

“Too often, students, parents and teachers are not aware of the opportunities available in their own backyard,” said Amy Lientz, INL’s director of Partnerships, Engagement and Technology Deployment. “In the end, this type of event builds interest in STEM careers and helps to grow our talent pipeline, enabling a sustainable future workforce.”

This year’s event will be held at the Energy Innovation Laboratory in Idaho Falls, and in several other INL facilities.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tai Pan Trading plans soft opening Tuesday

These letters will spell "Tai Pan Trading"before long.
The Idaho Falls Tai Pan Trading store, at 1568 E. 17th Street, was still a work in progress today — the sign was a jumble of letters in the front window — but owner Jon Lee said he is determined to have a “very soft” opening Tuesday, with a grand opening to follow April 1-2.

“We’re trying to unpack as quickly as we can,” he said. “I think it will be a good reception. This is by far the biggest investment we’ve made in three or four years in a new store.”

Lee is the CEO of TPT Home, a company that franchises Tai Pan Trading stores in Boise, Logan, Utah, and Costa Mesa, Calif. He also owns shares in the parent company, Tai Pan Trading, which is based in Utah.

Store Owner Jon Lee
At nearly 23,000 square feet, the Idaho Falls store is twice the size of the store in Logan. He said he has seen a lot more excitement from people in Idaho Falls than he has in other markets. “Maybe it’s because it’s near Utah,” he said. “There is an existing fan base, for sure.”

Shane Murphy of Venture One Properties, who negotiated the Idaho Falls lease, is a Tai Pan Trading fan himself and he said he knows plenty of people who make special trips to Utah to shop there. “They loved the location and the price was right,” Murphy said. “I think they already knew they wanted to come here.”

Once it’s up and running, the Idaho Falls store will employ 15 people. Lee said he hopes customers will find it unique. “If we had to pick a competitor it would probably be Hobby Lobby, but the way we merchandise is completely different.”

Lee, 27, is taking extension business classes from Harvard, and anticipates having his degree in the fall. His first business, mysportsguys.com, involved streaming Utah high school sports, and through it he got acquainted with the Tai Pan Trading people.

If he opens any more Tai Pan stores, they could be “pop up” locations along the lines of Halloween City. The company makes half its money in the first three quarters of the year and the other half in the fourth quarter, he said.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Lucy’s Pizza moves to Idaho Falls side of Hitt Road

Lucy's Pizzeria owner Geoff Padigimus tosses dough in the kitchen at their new location, where Winger's used to be.
Lucy’s New York Style Pizzeria has relocated into the old Winger’s location at 2770 S. 25th East, a move that only brought them a little more space but a lot of other advantages.

Although they only have 270 more square feet than they did across Hitt Road, the floor plan allows them to seat 45 more people, owner Geoff Padigimus said.

The lease on their space in Ammon was expiring, but when they learned that Gator Jack’s was pulling out, “We decided to get over here for this building,” Padigimus said.

Most of the renovation was done in the kitchen. In the restaurant area, they added subway tile to give it a more Big Apple feel, and they rewrapped the tables with metal as well.

A native of Roberts, Padigimus started Lucy's there in June 2009. The first Idaho Falls location, at 725 E. Anderson opened in November 2009. The Ammon location opened in fall 2011, and there is a Lucy’s now in Orem, Utah, as well.
From one store in Roberts, Lucy's has expanded to four locations.

Padigimus said his original idea was to do hot-­and-­ready pizza part time, but the recession and subsequent slowdown in the construction industry, in which he was employed, made him think again. So did his introduction to Rich Franco, who showed him how to make New York style pizza. In fact, Lucy's was named after Franco's bulldog, Lucy, and the pizza ovens and equipment came from Franco's kitchen on First Street.

The visibility of the new location, with a sign right on Hitt Road, ought to be an advantage, as will its next ­door proximity to Panera Bread in the old CD World store. Padigimus said the lease will soon be up on the Anderson Street store and that they are on the lookout for a new location on that side of Idaho Falls.

Other Hitt Road construction news

On the southwest corner of Hitt and Sunnyside, Skidmore Construction is moving dirt for a Washington Federal branch and three retail buildings.

The site plan at the Idaho Falls Building Department includes a 2,750 square foot building for financial use at at 3450 S. 25th East. The biggest building is an 18,480 square foot retail center, at 3352 S. 25th East, and there are two other retail buildings planned as well, a 7,020 square foot building at 3,340 St. 25th East and a 3,575 square­-foot building at 3350 S. 25th East.

Meanwhile, on the north side of Sunnyside we have preliminary information on two projects. First, the building at 2940 S. 25th East, formerly the home of Syringa, is slated to be remodeled into a Car Wash Express. Second, despite what looks to be significant progress at the old CD World location, Panera Bread is looking at opening its Idaho Falls bakery-­cafe this fall. That was the word at least from Amanda Cardosi, the company spokeswoman who responded by e­mail to our question.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

DOE allows evaluation of INL site for small modular reactor project

An graphic rendition of how what a small modular reactor might look like.
An energy consortium of which the city of Idaho Falls is a member has moved one step closer toward building a nuclear small modular reactor on the desert west of Idaho Falls by 2025.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced Thursday that an agreement has been reached to support possible siting of an SMR project within the boundaries of its 900-square mile Idaho National Laboratory site, the home of 52 reactors between the 1950s and 1980s.

A site use permit has been granted to the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, of which Idaho Falls Power is a member, allowing UAMPS access to the INL site to analyze environmental, safety, and siting conditions for its Carbon Free Power Project.

“Small modular reactors are an important new step toward safe, reliable, carbon-free technology,” said Lynn Orr, undersecretary for Science and Energy at DOE. “(This) announcement is a part of the Department of Energy’s ongoing commitment to strengthening nuclear energy’s role in America’s low carbon future.”

If UAMPS identifies a suitable area for the project within the INL site boundary, and if the Energy Department determines it would not conflict with INL mission work, the design, construction and operation would be licensed and inspected by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, following extensive safety and environmental reviews.

The design for the project is being provided by NuScale Power, a Portland, Ore., company that announced its interest in Idaho in the fall of 2012. A subsidiary of Fluor, NuScale was picked in 2013 as winner of the second round of the DOE's competitively-bid, cost-sharing program to develop SMR technology.

The regulatory hurdles are formidable and the permitting process alone will cost $1 billion, said Michael McGough, chief commercial officer for NuScale, in a 2012 interview. NuScale has had a prototype small modular reactor in operation since 2003.

Fluor wants to market nuclear power plants to the world, which is why it bought NuScale in October 2011. In December 2015 the company announced it had signed a contract with AREVA Inc. for the manufacture of SMR fuel assemblies. Mechanical and thermal hydraulic testing of the new fuel assemblies is under way as part of NuScale’s design certification application, which is planned for submission to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission late this year.

McGough said review of that application would take 39 months, after which they need to get NRC permission to build. "There's lots of things you have to do, and you have to do them right," McGough said.

Unlike traditional pressurized water reactors, which use electric pumps to keep water on fuel rods to keep them from melting, NuScale's self-contained, self-circulating reactors are designed to shut themselves down in a power failure.

As for the selection of Idaho Falls, it's a case of going where you are wanted, McGough said. "If the community won't support it, you just shouldn't try.”

The Western Governor's Association has had nuclear energy on its mind since 2012, when it released its "State of Energy in the West" report. One of the stated goals was to find ways to accelerate introduction of small modular reactors into Western states. Shortly after that, NuScale announced its Western Initiative for Nuclear, a demonstration project in Idaho to be built and owned by a consortium of regional utilities including Energy Northwest and UAMPS.

"The electrical industry is changing – that change is driven in part by regulations and technology," said Idaho Falls Power’s general manager, Jackie Flowers (who was also elected UAMPS chairwoman this past December). "The opportunity to participate on a project that is leading the evolution of the nuclear energy industry is exciting. And the opportunity to evaluate siting potential at the country’s lead nuclear laboratory is thrilling."

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

INL, REDI, businesses produce video to attract new talent to eastern Idaho

This video file was too large to load onto this page, but to view it follow this link: Working For Tomorrow. 
Here’s a percentage that has given eastern Idaho’s leaders in business and government some cause for concern: at Idaho National Laboratory, 30 percent of the workforce is at least 50 years old.

What that means is a lot of people in jobs requiring highly specialized skills and advanced education are going to be retiring, probably sooner rather than later. It's been nicknamed the "silver tsunami," but in reality it's more like an ebb tide, and business leaders are scrambling to prime the lab’s “talent pipeline.” In the last six months, INL, local employers and REDI for Eastern Idaho, the economic development authority for 14 counties, have started a campaign to get the word out about what the region has to offer.

“Economic development isn’t about chasing smokestacks anymore,” said Stephanie Cook, program manager for INL’s Office of Tech Based Economic Development. “It’s more about ensuring that you have a talented workforce.”

How does one reach the best and brightest of Gen X and the Millenials? On its Web site, REDI has recently unveiled two videos, showcasing the region’s attractions. They focusing specifically on the fantastic opportunities for outdoor recreation and heartland community values where a work-life balance can be more easily attained than in places like California’s Silicon Valley or North Carolina’s Research Triangle. In addition to business leaders extolling eastern Idaho’s virtues, the videos feature intelligent, attractive people doing the things they love — rock climbing, kayaking, skiing, etc.

“More than anything, I was just amazed at the level of expertise these people have,” said Steve Smede, a videographer for Harris Media Services who shot 10 hours of footage that had to be condensed to less than five minutes. “They all care passionately about what they do, and the opportunities for recreation and family life, I think that energizes them to do their work a lot better.”

There was no script, just people talking about their lives and their work. Smede admitted that while he was setting up he would hit the “record” button without informing his interview subjects. He had no plan to use any of that footage, but when the actual interview started he told them already been recording them and it seemed to put them more at ease.

“A few questions and these folks would get going," he said. "We ended up with a narrative between people who hadn’t even been talking to each other. It was almost like one was picking up where the other left off.”

The videos have been posted on REDI’s Web site, http://easternidaho.org/, as well as on those of the businesses and institutions that helped with the production: INL, Idaho Steel, the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, CRI Advantage, NanoSteel, Portage, Inc., and Premier Technology. Since it is tech-savvy people they’re trying to reach, a heavy push is being made on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube,  Cook said.

“There’s been a tremendous response to it,” said Jan Rogers, REDI’s CEO. Businesses like Bingham Memorial Hospital have asked whether they can post the video, which is exactly the reaction they hoped to see from local employers.

Like Cook, Rogers says talent attraction is the No. 1 priority. “If you can attract the talent, business will follow,” she said. “Business will not land on a place where they cannot find talent.

The marketing emphasis is not so much on quality of life as quality of place. “Everybody’s got their own lives. If you can define quality of place, for the millennial generation that’s a big deal.”

Here is the shorter version of the Working for Tomorrow video:

REDI CEO speaking at luncheon Thursday

Jan Rogers
Jan Rogers, the CEO of REDI (Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho), will be the guest speaker at the Idaho Falls Advertising Federation’s Lunch and Learn session this Thursday at Dixie’s Diner.

REDI was established in April 2015 as a public/private partnership established to help diversify and strengthen the economies of the 14 counties in eastern Idaho. As CEO, Rogers is charged with working closely with community partners to promote economic development, through expansion of existing business and by implementing a focused consistent marketing program to attract new businesses to the region.

Before joining REDI, Rogers was the executive director of the Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization for 14 years. She has also spoken or participated as a panelist at several national, state and local economic development conferences. Since 2013, she has been invited by the International Economic Development Council and the U.S. government’s business investment initiative, SelectUSA, to attend the annual White House Economic Development Forum. She serves on the board of directors of the International Economic Development Council and is also past president of the Idaho Economic Development Association.

Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. and the presentation begins at noon. Cost is $12 for members and $15 for non-members.

Indoor skate park opens this week

The interior of Skate Hard Idaho in Idaho Falls
For years Mike DeFord and Travis Thomas have shared a passion for skateboarding. There’s one problem in Idaho, however. Several months of the year the ground is covered with snow and ice, or it’s simply too cold.
The two shared a dream of an indoor skate park, and two years ago they finally got started on making it a reality. On Saturday, Skate Hard Idaho, 1550 Jones Street, Unit H, will have its grand opening.

The business includes a skateboard shop dedicated to products and brands skaters find preferable to the mass-produced corporate products found elsewhere. “These are brands that are owned, managed and run by skaters,” said DeFord, the owner. Among others, they include Dogtown, Street Plant, Alva, Real, Toy Machine and Bones.

Alongside the shop there will be the indoor skate park, which will be open year round. The park is designed to provide skaters a diverse landscape, with ramps, rails, boxes, hips and other urban/street style objects. The park will also have “vert,” large vertical walls connected to ramps.

In addition to the park, Skate Hard Idaho is working with local youth and skateboarders to manufacture its own line of skateboards. “This has been a long time coming” DeFord said. “Skating for over 30 years, you see a lot of trends come and go but what has never gone away is the passion that skaters have. We love and live to skate. Skaters have always wanted their own place, 
while the public skate parks are great they are limiting, they are often crowded and they are what they are.”

The Feb. 20 grand opening, from noon to 8 p.m., will offer free skating, with plenty of special activities. 

The park is open five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. Late night sessions will take place on occasion.

There are two sessions per day, noon until 4 p.m. and 4 p.m. until close. The cost to skate is $3 per session or $5 all day

For more information visit www.skatehardidaho.com

Friday, February 12, 2016

Longtime Valley Glass employees become co-owners

Four longtime Valley Glass employees have joined Marc Naylor as the owner of Valley Glass in Idaho Falls and Boise. Although this brought an end to 60 years of family ownership, the movie is anticipated to bring experience, commitment and service that will ensure the company's continued success.

The new owners are Bryon Moore, manager of the Idaho Falls Valley Glass, Paul Robinson, Jared Ellis and Dave Pearl.

Moore and Robinson, both Idaho Falls natives, joined the company more than 30 years ago as home and commercial installers. They worked together as the outside installer crew and in the shop. Moore became manager in 2014.

Ellis, of Rigby, joined the company about 20 years ago, starting as an installer, but graduating into the company’s head sales position.

Pearl has more than 25 years of management experience in the greater Boise area. Like his new partners, Pearl started working for Valley Glass out of high school and worked his way up to manager. He will continue to manage the Boise operation.

Naylor, who lives in Ogden, Utah, is the grandson of company founder William Naylor, who started Valley Glass in 1956. He laid out three basic principles — superior service, customer loyalty and quality products — which the new owners said they are committed to honoring.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

NanoSteel recognized for innovation, gets attention in automotive press

NanoSteel, a company with roots in the Idaho National Laboratory, has been on a roll lately. It has been named to the Cleantech Group’s Top 100 list for the third consecutive year. The list recognizes the top 100 private companies in clean technology and is collated by combining proprietary Cleantech Group research data with over 11,000 nominations and specific input from an expert panel. And in the past week, its Advanced High-Strength Steel has been written up in auto industry publications.

The company, which dates back to 2002, was started by Dan Branagan, who led the INL team that developed Super Hard Steel. Now NanoSteel’s chief technical officer, Branagan took processes and patents he developed at the INL and spun them out for licensing to industry. He was recognized the 2002 Forbes Special Anniversary Big Ideas Issue as “one of the important innovators of our time, one of 15 people who will reinvent the future,” and was selected by Massachusetts Institute of Technology as one of the top 100 “brilliant young innovators” in the world whose work will have “a deep impact on how we live, work, and think in the century to come”.

NanoSteel’s corporate headquarters are in Providence, R.I., but its research and development and applications engineering take place in Idaho Falls. Its products are used in the auto industry, oil and gas, mining, power generation and cement and concrete.

In 2012, BizMojo Idaho reported the company had developed three classes of advanced high-strength steel that they hoped would will give automakers new ways to safely stretch steel in the design of lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Nearly four years later, the progress has been remarkable, said Craig Parsons, who heads the company’s automotive division.

“The AHSS steels we’re developing are cost-efficient to manufacture with unique combinations of high strength and formability not normally associated with steel,” he said, in a Feb. 2 article posted on TodaysMotorVehicles.com (Steelmakers are rising to challenges from other automotive materials). “(Our) steels are designed to be manufactured into parts on existing stamping and assembly lines," he said. "Automakers can keep using their current production infrastructure and employees won’t need retraining.”

The company also got a writeup this week in Automotive World, The Shape of Steel to Come: Why Ductility Matters.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Obama mentions INL battery research in weekly address

Idaho National Laboratory battery researchers got a shoutout from President Obama during his weekly address last Saturday. It happens at 2:07. Check it out.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Chesbro Music ups emphasis on homegrown guitar brand

Ben Parker of Chesbro Music
Chesbro Music, one of Idaho Falls’ most enduring businesses, is about to begin the second phase of remodeling its store on Broadway.

While the first phase, completed last fall, dealt with the west side of building’s main floor, this new phase will bring a look to the guitar sales floor. The company is working with Idaho Falls Power and Home Lighting Center to install digital LED lighting. This ought to not only offer better product display but save the company money eventually by significantly reducing their electrical consumption.

While this will shed new light on the Fender, Gretsch, Guild and Taylor guitars in the store, a whole new emphasis will be brought to the store’s own brand, Teton Guitars.

When Chesbro Music says it is the “Home of Teton Guitars” it is the literal truth. Teton Guitars are made in China for Chesbro’s, which sells them not only in its store but in stores across the nation.
The project has proven to be a great success, said Ben Parker, Chesbro Music’s marketing and project manager. It dates back to the 2010 NAMM show in Anaheim, Calif., a huge annual trade show for everybody in the music business.

At the time, Chesbro’s was looking for a company to make inexpensive nylon-string classical guitars for them. At NAMM, they met representatives from a Chinese manufacturer that did nothing but classical guitars, so a tentative deal was made.

“We wanted to see what their mass production and quality would be,” Parker said. When the first 10 guitars came in that November — just in time for Christmas — the results were outstanding.
In addition to a big order, Chesbro’s asked the manufacturer if it would consider expanding into steel-string guitars. “They made a fantastic guitar,” Parker said. This was the cedar-top STS105NT, an dreadnought with a $399 list price.

By the end of 2011, the line had expanded to four classical models and three steel-strings. “We wanted to make something that working musicians could afford that would play well,” Parker said. The most expensive Teton is the newly minted STA150CENT-AR, an electric cutaway that retails for $799.
Chesbro Music has been doing business in the Far East since the early ‘70s, when Joan Chesbro, the president of the company, forged a close relationship with Hoshino, maker of Ibanez guitars and Tama drums. The company was Hoshino’s U.S. wholesaler for decades, and its connections proved valuable when it came time to market Teton Guitars.

Parker said they have Tetons in 200 to 250 stores, including the six new accounts they added at the 2016 NAMM show last month.

One new dealer, Guitar Villa in Bethlehem, Pa., reported that people from the nearby C.F. Martin and Co. factory in Nazareth have come in to buy Tetons. “It makes me feel good to hear a story like that,” Parker said.

The guitars are not intended to compete with premium brands, but a lot of professional players are leaving their Martins and Taylors home and using Tetons onstage. Overall, since 2010 Chesbro’s has sold more than 15,000 Teton Guitars, about a third of them in 2015.

“We’re looking to sell 50 to 60 percent more this year,” Parker said.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Proposals sought for major downtown Idaho Falls projects

An old postcard showing the Bonneville Hotel in earlier days.
The Idaho Falls Redevelopment Agency, which has handled urban renewal in Idaho Falls for more than 25 years, has released a Request for Proposals for two major downtown revitalization projects.

The first project is for the property at Broadway and Memorial Drive, where Savings Center was. The agency is offering the site to potential developers as a location for a multi-story property with commercial and residential uses.

The second project is the renovation of the Bonneville Hotel, at the corner of Constitution Way and Park Avenue. The RFP encourages developers to consider using the building for housing on the upper floors and office or retail uses on the first floor.

The Bonneville Hotel was built in 1927 by a consortium of investors from the community as a hotel and convention center. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and developers could likely be assisted by historic preservation tax credits, low income housing tax credits, and Community Development Block Grants available from other sources.

Proposals are due to the Agency by May 2. Full packets can be obtained by contacting the agency’s executive director, Brad Cramer, also the city of Idaho Falls' community development services director, at (208) 612-8276.

“We hope that creative developers will come forward with innovative ideas and exciting plans for buildings that will encourage further development of downtown Idaho Falls,” said Lee Radford, chairman of the agency.

The Savings Center property is owned by Vern Kelsch, who ran the store for years. The Bonneville is owned by Kent Lott. Radford said the agency is very grateful that the owners have shown a desire to see the properties developed in the best interests of the community.

The Redevelopment Agency has been responsible for the transformation of big sections of Idaho Falls, especially the Idaho Falls Greenbelt. Snake River Landing and Taylor Crossing on the River would not have been possible without tax increment financing administered by the agency.

It began work in the Snake River Urban Renewal District in 1988, reconstructing  Lindsay Boulevard, Utah Avenue, Wardell Avenue, a portion of Milligan Road, and Memorial Drive with the tax proceeds from new development. As part of this street reconstruction, the agency administered funds that allowed the city to install water and sewer lines and storm drainage. It also financed the relocation of transmission lines to spur development east of Interstate 15.

In all, the assessed valuation of the district has increased by over $140 million. The Snake River district will end on Dec. 31, 2018, although the agency may continue to receive the tax increment money into 2019.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Junior Zoo Crew applications being taken

The city of Idaho Falls and the Tautphaus Park Zoo are inviting teen-agers to participate in the Junior Zoo Crew this summer.

The volunteer education program is designed for teens ages 14-17 to assist zoo staff, learning about animal care, conservation, zoo careers and education within a zoo setting. They will assist animal keepers in the Children’s Zoo, care for the animals, answer questions from the public and assist with animal shows and special projects.

Applications are available under the Education tab or under Get Involved on the zoo’s Web site at www.idahofallszoo.org. Applications submitted after the April 1 deadline will not be considered. 

Selected applicants will be asked to undergo an interview. For those accepted into the program, there 
is a participation fee of $85 for Tautphaus Park Zoo Society members and $105 for non-members. Scholarships may be available. The fee goes toward providing training materials, a uniform shirt, name tag and an appreciation party at the end of the season. Fees will be collected during the parent/guardian information meeting on May 7, upon acceptance.

For more information on Idaho Falls education programs or to register for classes, visit the Web site, call (208) 612-8453 or email zooeducation@idahofallszoo.org.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Century 21 High Desert affiliates recognized

Several Century 21 High Desert affiliates have been named by the company’s corporate office to the top 20 producing sales agent and teams in the Rocky Mountain region for 2015.

The rankings were determined by sales production and closed transaction sides among the region’s top award winners. The Rocky Mountain region covers Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, and Colorado.

The following affiliates were named: Ted Whyte, Kevin Taggart, Patrick Malone, Luke Stallings, Marge Foster, Karen Cameron; and Synergy Group, Anne Mitchell and Beth Ferrara.

“These agents managed to surpass even these standards of excellence to provide their customers with exemplary service and we are very proud of them," said Kerry Howell, owner of Century 21 High Desert, in a news release.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

TEDx Idaho Falls looking for speakers

TEDxIdahoFalls has extended its search for presenters for its 2016 event. The site will still be the Colonial Theater, but the date has been moved to April 2.

This is the third year for the event. In that time, millions have become familiar with TED Talks. In the spirit of "ideas worth spreading," TED, the global idea-exchange platform, has created TEDx, a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

The local event will feature TEDTalks video and live speakers to spark deep discussion. This event will be larger than the previous events because the 100-attendee cap has been lifted.

The local event organizer, Brad Christensen, is curating speakers for the event. “I say we’re looking for speakers, but we’re really looking for ideas,” he said. “Our community is rich with talent and insight, we’d like to provoke that, invite those people to make interesting arguments, to change our perceptions, or to inspire wonder.”

All potential speakers are advised to visit TEDxIdahoFalls.com and fill out the request form to be considered. Requests must be received by Friday, Feb. 5,  and the panel will be chosen by Feb. 10.

Information for those requesting to attend will be available in March.

For updates, information may be found at TEDxIdahoFalls.com, on FaceBook at facebook.com/TEDxIdahoFalls and on Twitter at twitter.com/TEDxIdahoFalls.

For more information, call (208) 890-0547.