Sunday, September 23, 2018

Dutch Bros plans grand opening Monday for second Idaho Falls location

The new Dutch Bros Idaho Falls store, at 830 E. 17th Street, is having its grand opening Monday. 
Dutch Bros Coffee will be holding a grand opening Monday morning at its second Idaho Falls location. The new location at 830 E. 17th St. (in the Shopko parking lot) will be open Monday from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The coffee stand will also be offering a 9-stamp loyalty card with every large drink purchased. The drive-thru coffee stand will be donating all of its opening day proceeds to Idaho Falls High School. (Other schools will be getting their own turn, according to the Facebook page, so nobody get upset, OK?)

Dutch Bros opened its first location in Idaho Falls on Woodruff Ave. in May and is hoping to find the same levels of success. “We are so excited to be expanding our presence in Idaho Falls,” said Tonya Thomason, operator of both Idaho Falls stores, in a press release. “We can’t wait to celebrate with everyone in the community.”

Dutch Bros Coffee is the country’s largest privately held drive-thru coffee company, with more than 300 locations and 9,000 employees in seven states.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Four from INL honored by Profiles in Diversity

Cheré D. Morgan
Dr. Donna J. O’Kelly
Four women from Idaho National Labora-tory have been selected as Women Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity, a national publication dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the corporate, government, non-profit, STEM and higher education sectors.

The list of Women Worth Watching contains leaders from a variety of industries throughout the U.S. and the world. The recognition is designed to recognize and publicly celebrate the achievements of women who are “leading the way to excellence in the workplace, marketplace and the world.”

Each awardee is featured in a full-page highlight in the fall issue of Diversity Journal magazine.

Congratulations to the four INL winners:

Cheré D. Morgan, Radiological Control and Emergency Management director (p. 97)
Dr. Donna J. O’Kelly, Materials and Fuels Complex chief operations officer (p.35)
Jennifer B. Porter, battalion fire chief (p. 36)
Heidi K. Scott, Performance Management lead (p. 39)

Heidi K. Scott
“We’re honored to have these four incredible women at Idaho National Laboratory recognized as Women Worth Watching. Recognition of our employees is confirmation that the steps we’re taking to promote a vibrant culture of inclusive diversity to fuel growth and drive innovation is making a real-world impact,” said Dr. Mark Peters, INL director.

Jennifer B. Porter
You can view each INL awardee’s spotlight profile in the online magazine issue here.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Distinguished Under 40 honorees named

The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce has announced its Distinguished Under 40 honorees for 2018.

Distinguished Under 40 is an annual awards program exclusive to eastern Idaho area that honors 10 young professionals who have “gone above and beyond to accomplish great things in their careers, community, and education,” a chamber news release said. To be considered for the award, young professionals are nominated by co-workers, managers, and business associates.

Winners are selected by a panel of past and present Chamber of Commerce board members, the release said. Fifty nominations were received this year.

The 2018 honorees are:

  • Jeff Sollis, Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center
  • Travis Zmak, Teton Toyota
  • Mark Baker, Bingham Memorial Hospital
  • Noel Bakhtian, Idaho National Laboratory
  • Nate Sunderland, East Idaho News
  • Daniel Quintela, Northwest Cosmetic Labs
  • James Hanneman, INL/Battelle Energy Alliance
  • Ryan Leland, Bank of Idaho
  • Jennifer Veldkamp, Northwest Cosmetic Labs
  • Monica Bitrick, YMCA.

The 10 recipients will be honored at a luncheon at noon Sept. 25 at the Hilton Garden Inn. RSVP by calling Lois Mackes at 208-523-1010 or emailing programs@idahofallschamber.com. Reservations also can be made at idahofallschamber.com/event/distinguished-under-40/.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Wind energy company opening office in Idaho Falls

WindSim, a Norwegian company that has been conducting wind energy research with Idaho National Laboratory, announced this week it will be opening an office in Idaho Falls. The company plans to continue the commercialization of its Power Line-Optimization Solution.

Putting too much electricity on the power grid can cause transmission lines to overheat and sag. Because of that, power has been traditionally managed using conservative static line ratings. But wind power and other renewables, combined with changing consumption patterns and smart grid management, have opened up new possibilities to operators.

Around 2010, INL researchers studying wind power plants noticed that transmission lines being cooled by the wind seemed able to handle more load. Using a commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) program, the team blended data from commercially available weather monitors and electric utility load data with CFD-enhanced weather analysis algorithms.

Taking wind and weather conditions into account, along with solid computer modeling and control approaches, dynamic line rating (DLR) has shown potential to unlock latent network transmission capacity – a welcome development, as it typically takes five to 10 years to bring new transmission from the planning stage to construction and operation, costing millions of dollars of investment per mile.

To use DLR effectively, however, engineers need accurate real-time information about wind conditions and factors such as the line’s temperature and amount of current it’s carrying. That information then has to be conveyed to utility operators in a way that enables them to quickly and safely adjust generation to meet load demands while operating within transmission safety limits.

Idaho Power has been working on DLR solutions with INL for close to ten years, and the utility now has roughly 450 miles of transmission line in two test beds set up to provide real-time weather information. INL discovered WindSim's CFD software around 2015, integrating it with INL-developed software called General Line Ampacity State Solver (GLASS), a finalist this year for the annual R&D 100 Awards.

In early 2016 the project was included as part of a $220 million Grid Modernization announced by DOE. Last year, DOE announced it would be receiving $300,000 in Technology Commercialization Funding. WindSim is also the recipient of a DLR project grant from Innovation Norway for implementation of the project in 2018-19.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Bonneville County real estate market shows sharp jump in median home prices

Bonneville County real estate numbers from the Snake River Multiple Listing Service for the first seven months of this year show that while houses are selling in about the same numbers, prices are up dramatically along with new listings, and properties are selling faster than they were last year.

If you look at the median price from 2011 -- $134,578 -- compared to the median price this year -- $193,121 -- you've got an increase of 43 percent. It would be hard not to conclude that the market has rebounded from the hole it was in.

We took a look at the HPI Calculator to find out the value today of a house valued at $134,578 in the second quarter of 2011 and it shows that house would be worth $186,894, a 38 percent increase.

All in all, if you're thinking about selling a home you've been hanging onto for a while, it looks like now would be a pretty good time to do it. Of course, you'd have to find some other living arrangements, wouldn't you?

 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

A.C. Moore holding grand openings Saturday in Idaho Falls, Rexburg

A.C. Moore now occupies the two Porter's stores in Idaho Falls and Rexburg.
A.C. Moore, a New Jersey-based arts and crafts retail chain, will be opening its first stores in Idaho this Saturday, in Rexburg and Idaho Falls.

The company will kick off a craft-filled grand opening weekend with doorbuster deals, giveaways, special discounts and free $10 gift cards to the first 100 customers at both locations.

Both stores are where Porter’s Craft & Frame used to be. A.C. Moore started as a single crafts store in Moorestown, N.J. in 1985. It has since grown to more than 130 stores, mainly on the East Coast.

The grand opening will showcase more than 40,000 arts and crafts products, home decor, special occasion accessories, and kids’ activities. A.C. Moore also offers custom framing, as well as free floral arranging from in-store designers.

College students, teachers, and members of the military receive a 15 percent discount on purchases.

“The A.C. Moore family is growing, and we can’t wait to share our value-trusted products and unmatched in-store shopping experience with the creative community of Idaho,” said A.C. Moore President Anthony Piperno. “We will work hard to uphold the legacy left behind by the Porters, and look forward to building our own personal and inspiring relationship with the community for many years to come.”

The stores — at 19 College Ave., in Rexburg, and 2455 E. 25th St. in Idaho Falls — open Saturday at 8 a.m.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Cardamom Indian restaurant opening in downtown Idaho Falls today

The staff at Cardamom, a new downtown Indian restaurant, enjoy some down time Friday afternoon.
Here’s a heads-up for all of you people eager for a new place to eat: Cardamom, a new Indian restaurant in downtown Idaho Falls, is having its soft opening today.

Located at Park Avenue and B Street, the restaurant is owned by Sheba Bakshi-Sofi and her husband, Javed. A native of Kashmir, in the north of India, Bakshi-Sofi has lived in the United States for more than 40 years. She has worked for Nestle and Con-Agra Foods, and was most recently vice-president of international marketing for Melaleuca, Inc.

She left Melaleuca earlier this year to pursue her restaurant dream, and on Friday morning it was her former Melaleuca colleagues she invited to the restaurant for a trial run. “There were 40 to 45 people, which was more than I expected,” she said. “I told them ‘Don’t hold back, order anything off the menu you want.’”

Kashmir is unlike the rest of India in that it borders China, Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Its cuisine is a reflection of its crossroads status, and Bakshi-Sofi said they wanted to be eclectic when it came to Cardamom’s menu. “You’ll find dishes traditionally not on the big menus,” she said. “We do serve Chicken Tikka Masala, though.”

In addition to her husband, Bakshi-Sofi’s mother, Nasira Sofi, has been involved in menu decisions and training the staff. Cardamom has five people in the kitchen, led by head chef Jessica Guison and sous chef Stuart Stansifer. Emily Ketchum is taking care of the front-of-house.

Located in the Earl Building, 501 Park Avenue, Cardamom has capacity for about 70 dinners. Bakshi-Sofi said they are planning a grand opening for Sept. 7. “We have fallen in love with downtown,” she said. “Your have to really love what you do to make things happen.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Six GEM Fellows study at INL this summer

INL’s first GEM Fellows (from left): Jordan Galloway, Denise Owusu, Stephanie Jones, Diana Perales, Terrence Buck (program manager), Malik Hayes, Jorge Ramirez
As part of Idaho National Laboratory’s inclusive diversity efforts, the lab has recruited its first cohort of GEM Fellows. The six students arrived in June to begin their internship experience.

Established in the mid-1970s, the National GEM Consortium’s mission is to increase the involvement of underrepresented talent pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering. GEM interns work as paid summer interns while completing their studies, offering public- and private-sector employers the opportunity to assess their abilities. The GEM partnership allows the laboratory to develop grant proposals with underrepresented universities, encouraging some to become GEM schools.

Terrence Buck, an INL senior inclusion and diversity consultant, manages the GEM program at the laboratory. A New York native, he has been a GEM board member for 15 years and brought the program to INL when he started working at the laboratory last May.

“The program is designed to identify, recruit and bring underrepresented talent to STEM,” he said. “The three most underrepresented groups are blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans. By recruiting these GEM Fellows to INL, we are providing them real hands-on experience at a leading research institution. Ultimately, we would like to see these experiences translate into full-time positions here at INL.”

Representatives from INL’s senior leadership team and the GEM CEO met last August to discuss INL’s mission and vision and determine if GEM and INL were a good match. “The team decided it was a good fit,” said Buck. “These fellowship interns will bring their unique backgrounds and innovative ideas to INL.”

The following are the first six GEM Fellows to begin their intern experience at INL:

Jordan Galloway, University of California, Merced
Field of Study: Chemistry, Ph.D.
INL Mentor: Dr. Shannon Bragg-Sitton

Malik Hayes, Georgia Institute of Technology
Field of Study: Computer Science, M.S.
Virginia Wright

Stephanie Jones, Northwestern University
Field of Study: Computer Science, Ph.D.
INL Mentor: Virginia Wright

Denise Owusu, Carnegie Mellon University
Field of Study: Energy Engineering & Technology Innovation Management, M.S.
INL Mentor: Dr. Shannon Bragg-Sitton

Diana Perales, Purdue University
Field of Study: Chemistry, Ph.D.
INL Mentor: Dr. Russell Watson

Jorge Ramirez, Purdue University
Field of Study: Materials Science, Ph.D.
INL Mentor: Dr. Gabriel Ilevbare

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Fall River Electric board names new director

Jeff Keay
Fall River Electric’s Board of Directors has selected Jeff Keay of Island Park to fill the remaining two years of board member Ralph Burton’s term, which expires in June 2020.

Burton moved from the area, leaving a vacancy the board was required to fill by appointment. Keay was one of four candidates who were interviewed by the full board. He lives in District 8, which comprises members residing in northern Island Park.

Keay is the retired deputy regional director of the U.S. Geological Survey, where he guided 13 scientific research centers with 1,500 employees in five western states. He holds a doctorate in wildlife resources from the University of Idaho. Keay has extensive experience in budgeting, ethical and safety issues, as well as policy development and implementation.

“Jeff’s experience and background will provide a new and exciting
dimension to our board. We look forward to his future contributions,” said Fall River Electric CEO/General Manager Bryan Case.

Fall River Electric’s board of directors consists of nine members from all parts of the co-op’s service territory. Each board member is elected to a three-year term by the owner-members. The board manages the business and provides direction to the co-op’s CEO, who has the responsibility for managing the day-to-day affairs.

The board meets monthly at the cooperative’s headquarters in Ashton. The minutes of their meetings are posted on the co-op’s website, www.fallriverelectric.com.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Planet Doom eyes September opening

It might be early August, but I know people who are planning their Halloween decorations right now — it’s that big a deal to them. Then there’s Brent and Brian Wilson, who are in a whole different league.

Commercial real estate agents by day (with Thornton Oliver Keller, a BizMojo Idaho supporter) the Wilsons are the driving force behind Planet Doom, 680 First Street, now Idaho’s largest all-indoor haunted attraction. For years it was Dr. Slaughter’s House of Terror, a creative non-profit project to benefit the Idaho Falls D.A.R.E. program. When that closed in March, after 18 years, Brent Wilson said he and Brian saw an opportunity.

“(We) used to build home haunts in Florida. When Brian relocated to Idaho Falls in 2015 we started doing it again because we love haunted houses.”

In 2017, their home haunt was voted “Best International Haunt” (Canadian Haunters Association) and “Best Walkthrough Haunt” (Halloween Yard Haunts and Props). They donated the proceeds to Snake River Animal Shelter.

The old Dr. Slaughter’s offered them a bigger, scarier venue. With the new signs up, they are continuing to remodel the prior haunted maze inside the 32,000 square foot location. they are planning to open in September.

Proceeds from Planet Doom will continue to benefit D.A.R.E. The Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/planetdoomhaunt.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Blaze Pizza, Costa Vida opening in Sandcreek Commons

Blaze Pizza and Costa Vida will be the next national tenants at the 40-acre Sandcreek Commons in Ammon, the second largest shopping center in eastern Idaho.

These eateries will fill most of Sandcreek’s 12th structure, which is now under construction along Sunnyside Road, said Eric Isom, chief development officer at Ball Ventures, the Idaho Falls developer of Sandcreek Commons.

The 8,600-square-foot retail strip still has 2,600-square-feet in the center of the building available for one or two tenants. Construction started at the beginning of June. Isom said he expects Blaze and Costa Vida to open in late fall.

The architect is Dixon & Associates of Salt Lake City, the designer of several of the Sandcreek Commons structures. The general contractor is R. Jay Taylor Construction of Ammon.

Blaze Pizza has four locations in Idaho. The first was built in Meridian in 2014, and others followed soon after in Boise, Nampa  and Twin Falls. Established in Pasadena, Calif., in 2012, ith more than 270 locations in 40 states, Blaze Pizza is the second-fastest-growing restaurant chain in the nation, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.

Costa Vida is a Utah-based chain that opened in 2003. With a heavy concentration in the Intermountain West, it has franchise locations as far east as Chicago and several on the West Coast.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Goddard named Bank of Idaho branch manager

Goddard
Jennifer Goddard has been named retail branch manager of Bank of Idaho’s downtown Idaho Falls branch, at 399 N. Capital Ave. Goddard has 25 years experience in the credit union industry and brings “a wealth of experience and a sterling reputation to the table,” a company news release said.

Goddard’s duties will involve management of retail deposits, loans, and operations at the Capital branch. A Rexburg native, she hopes to contribute to the bank’s strategic plan of expanding its small business portfolio. Goddard is active in the community, serving on the board of the Idaho Falls Senior Citizens Center. For more information, call 208-524-5500.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Strip mall going in behind 17th Street Dutch Bros

Construction of a strip mall in the ShopKo parking lot, behind the 17 Street Dutch Bros.
We had a question over the weekend from one of our faithful readers, Julia Townsend, about the building going up behind the Dutch Bros on 17th Street.

I wish we had something more exciting to report, but it is a 4,718-square-foot strip mall that’s going up as part of the Dutch Bros development. The site plan was filed with the Idaho Falls Building Department in April, but approved on July 3, which is why we’ve only been seeing action in the last two weeks.

The owner is listed as Needles Eye Holding of Eagle, and the architect is HB Architecture of Nampa.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

U.S. Chamber of Commerce report projects tariffs' effects on Idaho exports

Over the years, the State of Idaho has spent millions of dollars cultivating exports of everything from dehydrated potatoes to pumice to computer chips. In the midst of projecting what the effects of the emerging trade war might be, here comes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with a state-by-state breakdown.

The article’s headline, “Trade Works. Tariffs Don’t” sums up the view of the chamber (which I might add is hardly a hotbed of liberalism).

Canada has targeted $104 million for higher tariffs, including preparations for perfuming and deodorizing rooms ($19 million), fungicides ($16 million) and sauces, mixed condiments and seasonings ($15 million).

Mexico has targeted $36 million in Idaho products, including potatoes ($15 million exported annually), cheese ($14 million) and iron and steel ($2.7 million).

China has targeted $42 million in Idaho exports, including whey and modified whey ($36 million), dried and shelled peas ($3.8 million) and “products of natural milk constituents” ($2.2 million).

Europe has targeted dried kidney beans and white pea beans ($8.2 million), cold rolled tubes and pipes ($192,000), and iron or steel tanks over 300 liter capacity ($131,000).

Overall, the chamber report estimates 202,200 Idaho jobs are supported by trade, and that new tariffs threaten $190,732,525 in exports. We might also consider that farm equipment is going to be a lot more expensive, since the price of steel has risen 40 percent since January. And the bond your city passed to build that new school? The bids from contractors are likely to come in a lot higher now.

For a more detailed breakdown, follow this link: https://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/tariff_data/one_pagers/id.pdf

Monday, July 9, 2018

1 Fine Cafe opening at old Babe's Bakery location

Remodeling inside the 1 Fine Cafe location on Channing Way.
Babe’s Bakery is gone, but it looks like its longtime location at 1900 Channing Way is soon going to be the home of 1 Fine Cafe. They are shooting for a Sept. 1 opening.

The operators are billing it as a fast casual restaurant offering dishes that feature their handcrafted breads. “Fast casual” means customers order at the counter and have their food and drink delivered to their tables. Wine and beer will be sold. There will be a designated floor person providing service to patrons by making sure their needs/wants (water and coffee refills, plate clearing, condiment fetching, etc.) are met.

This is from their Facebook page: “The cool twist to the cafe is customers (adults included) are encouraged to draw, sketch, or paint on provided paper canvases that cover the tables and easels placed around the restaurant. The art media will include colored and graphite pencils, crayons, and watercolor paints (easels only). Aprons will be provided to protect clothing. The idea is for people to do something interesting and fun while they wait for their food. There will be a wall displaying some of the art that customers complete.”

There will be breads, danish, and sweets for retail sale. The menus are available for review at http://www.1finecafe.com. Menus are subject to change and will vary with the seasons, with lighter fare in spring and summer, more comfort food in the fall and winter. For more information, call (970) 389-9569.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Idaho Falls Power to hold program at Museum of Idaho

Idaho Falls Power will be at the Museum of Idaho Friday to promote electricity with demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The demonstrations will highlight how electricity is generated, specifically hydroelectricity, and how electrical circuits work.

Idaho Falls Power is currently sponsoring the Museum of Idaho’s Discover Steampunk Mary Shelley Gallery that focuses on electricity. This exhibit which features the work of Frankenstein (celebrating its 200th anniversary) by Mary Shelley with interactive stations highlighting amperage, voltage, and magnetism, the electrical principles essential to Shelley’s work and the electrophysiology, which inspired Victor Frankenstein to pass electrical current through his creation to give it life.

The Discover Steampunk exhibit focuses on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics) content, interactivity, and historic artifacts on loan from the Franklin Institute. This exhibit invites visitors on a re-imagined journey, where they can learn about the convergence of science, art, technology, and history. In addition, the exhibition excites visitors to pursue their passions and work together to create a better future.

Idaho Falls Power has a limited number of tickets available for the museum this weekend.
If anyone has questions or for free tickets, contact IFP at 208-612-8436.

Friday, June 29, 2018

New director named for Idaho Falls Power

Bear Prairie
The Idaho Falls City Council voted unanimously Thursday to appoint Bear Prairie as the new general manager of Idaho Falls Power.


Prairie has worked for Idaho Falls Power since 2010, and his latest role has been as assistant general manager. With more than 20 years of experience in the energy industry, Prairie started his career in energy at the Idaho Power Co. in Boise.  He has extensive experience and expertise in commodity trading and management of a broad range of energy products.

"(In) his role as assistant general manager for IFP, Mr. Prairie has been professionally prepared to step in and lead the utility," Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper said. "He is eminently qualified to lead any energy utility in the county and we are very fortunate that he has chosen to continue his career here with us.”

Prairie has helped manage the daily operation of Idaho Falls Power’s four hydroelectric dams, 450 miles of distribution lines and service to over 28,000 customers including a fiber optic communication business. He was also responsible for the utility’s long rage power supply planning, power operations, resource development and risk management.

The city has set his annual salary at $225,000. Prairie will take over from the longtime general manger, Jackie Flowers, who is departing to take leadership of Tacoma Public Utilities in Washington. Her last day with Idaho Falls Power will be July 20.

“I am humbled to be chosen to fill Jackie’s shoes. She has provided great leadership to the team and vision to the utility,” Prairie said.  “I plan to continue to listen to the community, as she did, so we are well positioned to continue delivering services.”

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Flowers announces she is leaving Idaho Falls Power for job in Tacoma, Wash.

Jackie Flowers
I don’t think I’m alone when I say the best thing Jared Fuhriman may have done as mayor of Idaho Falls was hiring Jackie Flowers to run Idaho Falls Power, the city-owned utility.

Flowers, who came from Sheridan, Wyo., in July 2006, has tendered her resignation and is headed to Tacoma, Wash., to become that city’s director of public utilities. Her last day at Idaho Falls Power will be July 20. The move came as no surprise to anyone. Her youngest child, Mary, graduated from Idaho Falls High School this year. Considering her talent and reputation, I imagine there were a lot of bigger cities courting her.

“Jackie has not only served the utility well, she also served the community as president of the board for Partnership for Science and Technology, as a board member for EIRMC and as president of the Rotary Club,” said Mayor Rebecca Casper, in a press release. “(Her) tenure here at the city was one of great accomplishment and our city is a better place for her years of service. She will be missed by many throughout the community.”

Flowers led the utility in several major structural rebuilds, including the old lower plant, the dredging of sedimentation at the upper plant, as well as the advanced metering infrastructure upgrade. On her watch the utility accomplished these major renovations under budget and without significant disruptions in service to customers.

Idaho Falls Power also paid off major 30-year bonds in 2015, the same year the utility celebrated its 115-year anniversary. In 2017, the utility achieved RP3 status, an elite award for public power utilities celebrating reliability and safety.

The last 12 years have seen dramatic changes in electrical power distribution. One of Flowers’ first initiatives when she arrived was persuading the community to pass $26 million in bonds to fund Idaho Falls’ share in a new coal-fired plant, IPP-3, being planned near Delta, Utah. The effort was being led by Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), a power wholesaling consortium in which Idaho Falls takes part. The concern at the time was for reliable baseload power, because Idaho Falls’ longstanding relationship with the Bonneville Power Administration was changing. Power for shaving peaks in the summer months was needed, and the concern was for avoiding high prices on the open market.

Idaho Falls voters approved the bonds, but IPP-3 ended up never getting built. Because of wind and solar coming onto the grid, the concern has been less with big baseload producers and more with balancing load with power that can be ramped up and scaled down fast, one reason for natural gas' ascendency. Eastern Idaho got a good lesson in balancing with the power outage of December 2013, which left a lot of people shivering in the cold for hours.

That was when Idaho Falls started talking to INL about studying microgrids and “islanding,” looking for ways to incorporate its run-of-river hydro with other sources to guarantee reliability when things get sketchy. With Idaho Falls Power and UAMPS, which she headed as president, Flowers has lent support for the small modular reactor NuScale is planning to have up and running at the Department of Energy’s Idaho site by the middle of the next decade. This is something the whole world is going to be watching.

One of the important roles Flowers helped fill was to develop a solid leadership team through training, development and involvement in leadership roles in industry organizations, with a strong focus on succession planning for the organization.

“It has been my privilege to work with the talented team at Idaho Falls Power as we have together served the citizens of Idaho Falls,” Flowers said in her letter. “You have a very talented, dedicated team of professionals … who take great pride in their work and in the fact that they continue the legacy of electric service to our community.”

Casper is expected to nominate a replacement for Flowers and to ask the City Council to approve the appointment at the next regularly scheduled City Council meeting.



Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Kirkham named REDI CEO

Dana Kirkham
Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI) for Eastern Idaho has named former Ammon Mayor Dana Kirkham as its new chief executive officer. Kirkham had been the organization's Science, Technology and Research director since September 2017, and is replacing Jan Rogers, who is retiring as her three-year contract expires.

"My experience working on behalf of Eastern Idaho and growing the region's economy as STAR Director will enable me to move seamlessly into the CEO position," Kirkham said in a news release from the organization. "REDI will continue to promote economic development and market the region to ensure economic growth in the years ahead."

REDI chairman Park Price said Kirkham is a natural successor. "During her time as STAR Director, Dana has demonstrated she is a quick study and a trusted leader. She has the full and enthusiastic support of the board," Price said in the release.

REDI represents 14 counties in eastern Idaho and is focused on job growth, industry retention and business development.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Ahhhsome Relaxation adds Halotherapy Cabins

Halotherapy cabins at Ahhhsome Relaxation in Ammon
Ahhhsome Relaxation has added three Halotherapy Cabins to its facility at 939 South 25th East #115 in Ammon. These Halotherapy Cabins were imported from Estonia and the first to open in Idaho.

Centuries ago, European monks noticed when they treated respiratory ailments in natural salt caverns, their patients got better faster. The monks produced salt dust by grinding salt rocks against each other, which the patients then inhaled.

Dr. Felix Bochkowsky, the state authority for occupational health in Polish industry in the 1840s, saw the same thing was true with miners: while metal and coal miners battled relentless, deadly respiratory ailments, workers in salt mines were healthier than average people, let alone other miners.
In 1843, he published a book about the health benefits of salt dust. His successor, Mstislav Poljakowski, followed by establishing the first salt clinic near Krakow, Poland, which is still in operation today.

By the 1950s, scientific studies (primarily in the USSR) were proving how effective salt therapy is in treating respiratory ailments. Manmade, above-ground Saltrooms provided a controlled environment, and Halotherapy (from “halo”, Greek for salt) became a new option for respiratory treatment.
The first Halotherapy salt chambers opened in the 1960s in Eastern Europe. They were destination health sanatoriums and respiratory hospitals, paid for by the socialized medical system of those countries. As Halotherapy grew more popular in the 1980s and 1990s, health and beauty resorts throughout Europe and Scandinavia began to install Saltrooms and offer Halotherapy as one of their restorative treatments.

Halotherapy is an exposure to kinetically activated dry salt where the micro sized particles are being inhaled while the large salt particles are spread on the top of the skin.  Since dry salt is antibacterial and super absorbent it actively kills bacteria, reduces the inflammation in the respiratory system, and widens the airways for better breathing.

Medical studies in Europe and Russia have confirmed that Halotherapy is safe and that the benefits of Halotherapy are accumulative.  It helps children effectively manage existing respiratory conditions, support better breathing, and build a stronger immune system.  Regular Halotherapy, two or three times a week, can help prevent the common coughs, colds, runny noses, earaches and skin rashes. In addition, regular Halotherapy also calms the nervous system and helps children to focus better in school as well as sleep better at night.  Many adults and children suffering from asthma, allergies, cystic fibrosis, COPD, or other respiratory conditions found that Halotherapy sessions  helped manage respiratory problems and reduce the intake of respiratory medications.

“Our mission has always been to help our members improve their health and now we have another way to specifically help with many types of respiratory conditions without the negative side effects often experienced from prescription drugs,” said Alyce Jeppesen, co-owner of Ahhhsome Relaxation, which has been open since November 2015. More information can be found on their website at www.ahhhsomerelaxation.com.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Visiting Angels of Eastern Idaho hires marketing director

Wendy Spradley
Visiting Angels of Eastern Idaho has hired Wendy Spradley as director of marketing. A seasoned marketing and sales leader in the senior home care industry, she was responsible for market expansion for First Choice Home Health & Hospice in Ogden, Utah. She has worked in various capacities in multiple Visiting Angels locations in the Salt Lake City market, including marketing, administration, community relations, partner channel development and caregiving.

Spradley is also founder/owner of Signature Marketing, a marketing consulting agency in Northern Utah (now operated by her daughter). Wendy’s passion to serve the senior and veterans communities is represented through her service with the Alzheimer’s Association, Round to Honor, The Inn Between and other charitable organizations.

“I was a part of Visiting Angels previously in my career and have always had a love for the service they provide our seniors,” she said. “Visiting Angles of Eastern Idaho has a very kind and caring approach in the way they serve the senior community. That, combined with the way their caregivers talk about loving to work there, told me I want to be a part of this journey.”

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Melaleuca taking applications for free IT Boot Camp for teens

This is the third year for Melaleuca's free Information Technology Boot Camp.
Melaleuca is now accepting applications for high school students to participate in a free Information Technology Boot Camp this summer.

Twenty-five high school students from across eastern Idaho will be chosen to attend the free five-day workshop, which offers a hands-on IT experience. Now in its third year, the camp will run July 30-Aug. 3 at the Melaleuca Global Headquarters, south of Idaho Falls.

Returning to lead the camp is Rex Barzee, who chairs BYU-Idaho's Computer Information Technology Department. Under his direction, students will spend the week learning how to create their own smartphone apps and build interactive webpages that use animation, calculations, Visual Studio software, and other IT tools.

"Melaleuca created this hands-on technology camp in an effort to help students develop into leaders of innovation while educating them about the exciting and meaningful opportunities within the field of information technology," said Melaleuca's Chief Information Officer Todd Sorenson. "We want more of Idaho's students to be thoroughly prepared for these opportunities, and we believe that strengthening their foundation in computer science will serve them in securing rewarding careers in science and technology."

Throughout the week, Barzee and two teaching assistants will help the students develop their apps and create webpages using a variety of software, including C#, .NET, and iOS. Students will also be treated to guest lectures and personal tutoring from Melaleuca's IT executives.

Melaleuca relies heavily on IT innovation and implementation to achieve its business goals. Camp attendees will gain an inside look into the various ways technology is used at a $2 billion global enterprise.

"Based on the high level of interest and students' positivity about this program, we know that many Idaho students are passionate about innovation and technology," Sorenson said. "This has been a fun program, and we are regularly impressed with the previous students' ingenuity and abilities."

Because space is limited, the camp is designed specifically for students intending to graduate high school by 2020. As the camp's host and sponsor, Melaleuca will select applicants based on their interest in IT, their experience with computer programming, relevant coursework and GPA.

Applications are being accepted until June 27 and can be submitted online by visiting melaleucajobs.com/current-openings. If you are interested or have questions about the camp, email ITBootCamp@Melaleuca.com.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Cardamom Restaurant planned for downtown Earl Building

The inside of the building at 501 Park Avenue late last week. This is where Pachanga's used to be.
The remodel going on in the Earl Building, at 501 Park Avenue, is for the Cardamom Restaurant. A building permit for remodeling of 2,945 square feet got the OK from the city of Idaho Falls Building Department in mid-May.

The business owner listed on the building plans is Sheba Bakshi-Sofi, who according to her LinkedIn profile, spent close to 10 years at Melaleuca before leaving in April to pursue this endeavor. Before that, she was with ConAgra Foods and Nestle.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Submissions open for Idaho Innovation Awards

Submissions are now being accepted to the 13th annual Idaho Innovation Awards. The annual awards program is presented by Stoel Rives LLP, Trailhead, and the Idaho Technology Council. The program recognizes innovations, innovative professionals and companies throughout the Gem State.
Entries are being accepted through July 31.

Nominations from any industry will be accepted in the following categories:

Commercialized Innovation of the Year. This category recognizes innovations from established companies that are commercialized, on the market contributing to the local economy, and generating revenue.

Consumer Product of the Year. This category recognizes new concepts, technologies or products that fill a niche or meet market needs and have the potential to revolutionize the process, product, segment or scientific field.

Early-Stage Innovation of the Year. This category recognizes innovations that are less than five years old, that have not been commercialized or are not generating revenue, and that are from companies or nonprofit/academic entities such as a university technology transfer office.

Innovative Company of the Year. This category recognizes innovative companies—through culture, management, products or services, technology and/or marketing—that have used an innovative solution to overcome a challenge or obstacle and that have a unique, clear and relevant strategy in using innovation as a means to achieve their strategic goals.

Innovator of the Year. This category recognizes innovative professionals—women and men who demonstrate innovative characteristics and thinking in their careers, accomplishments and leadership.

For more information on the program, visit www.idahoinnovationawards.com/ and follow the conversation at #IdahoInnovationAwards.

Winners will be announced Oct. 18 at the Idaho Technology Council Hall of Fame ceremony at Boise Centre.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Idaho Falls names new airport director

Rick Cloutier
The city of Idaho Falls has hired Rick Cloutier as the new director of Idaho Falls Regional Airport. The hiring was approved by the City Council at its regular meeting Thursday night.

Cloutier is expected to begin on or before July 2, at an annual salary of $125,000. He has an extensive background in airport administration, most recently serving as assistant director of airports at Myrtle Beach International Airport, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

His professional experience also includes municipal management experience in both general and commercial aviation, and as a private pilot.  Prior to his career in airport administration, Cloutier served for 20 years in the United States Marine Corps. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Maine.

“I am confident Mr. Cloutier will serve well as a valuable member of the city’s leadership team,” said Idaho Falls Mayor Casper.  “His successful record of accomplishment will bring much to IDA and enable this particular city enterprise to continue to grow and build and improve air service, not just for the citizens of Idaho Falls but for all of eastern Idaho.”

Besides expertise in general aviation, Cloutier also has expertise in federal/FAA reporting and compliance, TSA security regulations, FBO oversight, ground transportation, and airport real estate management.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

DOE names Peters Laboratory Director of the Year

Dr. Mark Peters
The U.S. Department of Energy has selected Dr. Mark Peters as the Laboratory Director of the Year for his commitment to partnering small businesses with Idaho National Laboratory.

Peters stood out as an exceptional candidate among the various laboratory directors within the Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC) for meeting all of INL’s small business goals in fiscal year 2017, according to a press release from the lab. The DOE’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) selects recipients for various awards under the Annual Small Awards Business Program for the previous fiscal year.

The OSDBU will present the awards during the 17th Annual DOE Small Business Forum & Expo in Houston, Texas, May 22-24.

In fiscal year 2017, the INL Small Business Program exceeded all of its annual procurement goals. INL prioritized strengthening its partnership with small business, paying particular attention to businesses in Idaho. Small business goals are part of the DOE contract, and each year new goals are negotiated to determine what percentage of procurement volume is to be set aside.

“These accomplishments help ensure the lab and government have access to the best competitive rates while supporting a sufficient small business base to ensure quality delivery of services and products,” said Rick Provencher, DOE-Idaho Operations Office manager.

Charles Smith, director of OSDBU, congratulated Peters and the laboratory on furthering the department’s mission to be a leader in providing contract and subcontract opportunities to small businesses.

“Small businesses generate innovation and technical solutions that contribute towards the fulfillment of our national security and energy missions,” Smith said. “This award recognizes the efforts and commitment of DOE’s small business advocates who take every opportunity to utilize small business concerns to meet its requirements.”

“I am honored to receive this award,” Peters said. “At INL, we believe that small businesses are an indispensable asset to the energy industry, enabling us to fulfill our mission and vision. This collaboration between the businesses and the laboratory would not have been possible without the diligent efforts of INL’s Small Business Program, and we are grateful that the program’s accomplishments will be recognized.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Pop's Ice Cream opens on Park Avenue

Jennifer and Steve Jones, owners of Pop's Ice Cream.
Just in time for summer — and Alive After 5 — Pop’s Ice Cream is open at 475 Park Avenue, right between the Center Theater and La Vanilla Bean.

“I think every kid dreams of having an ice cream or candy store,” said Jennifer Jones, who owns the shop with her husband, Steve. The Joneses are shaping up as true believers in downtown Idaho Falls. In addition to Pop’s, they own Idaho Escape Rooms, also on Park Avenue, which has expanded from one to four rooms since opening in 2016.

Jennifer Jones said she sees plenty going in the downtown district that is encouraging. The Broadway project, at Capital and Broadway, is due to be open in the fall. Across Park Avenue the space is being developed into a reception center, and around the corner, in the Rogers Building, the third floor is being developed into 12 residential lofts similar to the ones on Shoup Avenue above Happy’s.

“It’s such a fun place, and the Downtown Development people have been so supportive of everyone,” she said.

For Pop’s, the Joneses serve 24 flavors of Russell’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream and 12 flavors of Mountain Fresh Italian Ice. The eating area is 700 square feet with seven tables. The color of the walls is “Pepto Pink,” and the logo was done by the Joneses’ daughter, Blair Kolbet.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Bank of Idaho CEO to speak at Chamber series in June

Jeff Newgard
Jeff Newgard, president and CEO of Bank of Idaho, will be the featured speaker June 28 at the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce’s CEO Speaker Series.

The event is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Waterfront at Snake River Landing, 1220 Event Center Drive in Idaho Falls. Questions from audience members will be taken.

Newgard came to Bank of Idaho in July 2015 from HomeStreet Bank, where he was responsible for management and strategic expansion throughout central and eastern Washington. He had joined HomeStreet with the company’s acquisition of Yakima National Bank, where he had served as president and chief executive officer.

He has held a number of leadership positions in regional and community banking since 1998. Newgard is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking (Colorado) and holds a Masters of Business Administration from Washington State University and a bachelor’s degree from Walla Walla College.

In the community he currently serves as Area 5 Chair of the Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve, also on the Independent Community Bankers’ of America Select Committee on Cyber Security, the Idaho Falls Symphony Board, and War Bonnet Rodeo Board of Directors.

There is no charge for the event, but space is limited. RSVP to programs@idahofallschamber.com
to reserve a spot.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Old Bubba's BBQ on First Street being remodeled into Adam & Eve

After sitting vacant for at least a year, the old Bubba's/Dad's property at First Street and Northgate Mile is being radically repurposed into Adam & Eve, a lingerie and adult toy store.
The building at 118 First Street, formerly Bubba’s then Dad’s barbecue, is being remodeled into Adam & Eve, a store with 2,454 square feet of retail space, two changing rooms and an office.

The building permit, which was granted by the city of Idaho Falls in late April, lists Kraig and Kara McGee as the business owners and Resin Architecture, an Idaho Falls firm, as the architect.

As you might surmise from the name Adam & Eve, the business is of a mature nature. With stores all over the United States, Adam & Eve bills itself on its website as “America's #1 Trusted Source for Sex Toys.”

The McGees started with a store in Nampa in 2007, expanded to Coeur d’Alene in 2009, and Boise in 2010. (This says a lot when you consider the shape the economy was at the time.) They have since expanded to Pocatello, and were interviewed last year by Ted Vayos of Body Magazine. You can follow the link to that interview here, http://www.bodymagazine.us/retail.php?idStore=328, or if you’re too lazy to click through here are a few of their comments:

“Our Adam & Eve Stores are well-lit, clean and organized. We pride ourselves in creating a comfortable and safe environment for women and couples to explore and learn about what products are available to them, and to provide a professional atmosphere when purchasing any item. …

“The striking improvement over the “old school” adult store makes for a much more appealing and fun shopping experience. From the friendly, knowledgeable staff, to the wide variety of products, to the clean and classy store appearance, we easily outperform our competitors.”

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Montana & Idaho Community Development shortens name

Dave Glaser
Montana & Idaho Community Development Corp. has changed its name to MoFi, a name intended to better represent its expanding geographic footprint and product line, said Dave Glaser, the company’s president.

MoFi provides financing and consulting services to business and communities that are just outside the financial mainstream, with solutions including business lending and tax credit financing for businesses, non-profits and real estate developments.

In 2017, MoFi provided over $11 million in small-business financing to businesses that were unable to access traditional bank capital, with roughly half that amount going to Idaho borrowers. It expects that amount to increase in 2018. It has also been responsible for catalyzing multiple projects using New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC), a program of the U.S. Treasury that is designed to incentivize investment and development in economically underserved areas. Since 2012, MoFi has used NMTC to support over $150 million in projects in Idaho, including Fresca Mexican Foods (Caldwell), Golden Valley Natural (Shelley), Hemming Cedars (Rexburg), Kootenai Health (Coeur d’Alene), Targhee Professional Services (Rexburg), Western States Caterpillar (Pocatello), and Idaho Burger Grill (St. Anthony).

Glaser said the new name came after recent expansions into Wyoming, Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon.

“For over 30 years, we have aggressively grown our organization to meet the needs of low- and middle-income people in our region,” he said. “But for many, the inequality of opportunity continues to grow. We’ve realized that the people we serve need more, so we’re responding to the need for flexible, responsible capital by expanding our reach. In addition to Montana and Idaho, we are now serving Wyoming, eastern Washington and eastern Oregon. We look forward to continuing our work with the hardworking people and communities of Idaho in pursuit of our mission, which remains unchanged: to transform the lives of individuals and strengthen community prosperity.”

Last fall, MoFi relocated and expanded its Boise office, led by Ben Wright, Director of Consulting Services. Wright oversees the organization’s asset management division, which provides technical support to loan clients, including free bookkeeping and accounting services, connecting them with marketing and advertising grants, providing management advice and helping them establish a lasting relationship with a local bank.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Orangetheory Fitness opening in Sandcreek Commons

Orange Theory Fitness will be opening in Ammon’s Sandcreek Commons shopping center early this summer. The 3,600-square-foot fitness center will be at 2678 E Sunnyside Road near Broulim’s Fresh Foods, Bill’s Bike & Run, Lunchbox Wax, Hobby Lobby and others. The business is owned by J&J Fitness IF, LLC.

OrangeTheory Fitness’ concept is the one-hour full-body workout. The gym offers trainer-led classes all day for all levels of fitness. Based in Boca Raton, Fla., it offers group personal training workouts based on high intensity interval training (HIIT) that blend cardiovascular and strength training.

The Ammon location marks the 1,049th location for the chain, which was named the fastest-growing woman-owned company in 2017 by Forbes and brought in $451 million in revenue in 2016.

“We are eagerly anticipating the opening of the new OrangeTheory Fitness,” says Sandcreek Commons Chief Development Officer Eric Isom. “OrangeTheorgy will be a wonderful addition to the center and to the Ammon community.”


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

CEI names dean of student affairs

Michael Walker
Michael J. Walker has been named dean of student affairs for College of Eastern Idaho (CEI). He comes to eastern Idaho from Utah Valley University, where he has held leadership and teaching positions since 2008, including instructor, assistant director and, most recently, director. He launched UVU’s professional education program (certifications and workforce training) in 2015. From 2009 to 2015, he served as assistant administrator for the UVU Wasatch Campus in Heber City, facilitating student and faculty services.

Walker holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Brigham Young University, and a master’s in higher education and student affairs from Utah State University. He is working on his doctorate in education (instructional leadership) with Utah State University. His research focuses on concurrent and dual enrollment. He has taught more than 60 collegiate courses in history, ethics and the humanities for over ten years, having taught at UVU, USU, and Salt Lake Community College.

Monday, April 30, 2018

NuScale plan for small modular reactor in Idaho clears regulatory hurdle

NuScale began life as a spinoff company based on research conducted by Oregon State University professor Jose Reyes. (NuScale Power photo)
NuScale Power's plans for a small modular reactor west of Idaho Falls has cleared another regulatory hurdle, as the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has completed the first and most intensive phase of review for the company’s design certification application.

This is the first and only SMR application to ever undergo NRC review. The NRC is expected to certify NuScale’s design, and the company’s first customer, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems -- of which Idaho Falls Power is a member -- is planning a 12-module SMR plant to be in operation by the mid-2020s.

“We are thankful for the rigorous review of our revolutionary nuclear design and greatly appreciate the government recognizing the importance of furthering NuScale’s advancement,” said the company's power chairman and chief executive officer, John Hopkins. “Our technology means significant economic and job benefits for the country and it’s positioned to revitalize the domestic nuclear industry by virtue of NuScale’s affordable, flexible, and safe solution to providing zero-carbon energy.”

During the 115,000 hours the NRC spent reviewing the application, it issued far fewer requests for additional information compared to other DCAs, validating in NuScale's view the simplicity of the design and quality of the application.

On a separate but related front, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy announced Friday it was awarding NuScale $40 million in cost-sharing financial assistance. The federal award supports early-stage research and development and the industry’s embrace of these technologies, with the stated goal of promoting U.S. energy independence, electricity grid resiliency, national security, and clean baseload power.

Headquartered in Portland, Ore., NuScale, majority-owned by Fluor Corp., has already received more than $200 million in federal support. The $40 million award announced Friday, the lion's share of $60 million doled out under the DOE’s new "U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology" program, comes with an equivalent cost share.

In a Portland Business Journal story, NuScale Director of Communications Mariam Nabizad said the company has "commitments from private investors to cover the NuScale $40 million portion of the DOE award." She added that the company "looks to continue to seek additional investment beyond our DOE cost share award to provide the funding to complete our commercialization program."

In a Bloomberg story earlier this month, "First Small-Scale Nuclear Reactor May Be Just Eight Years Away," CFO Jay Surina said NuScale was looking for "deep-pocketed" individuals who could provide it up to $120 million in equity investment.


Friday, April 27, 2018

Freddy's gets new chief for Idaho restaurants

Eric Stine
Eric Stine of EMS Management will be the new principal in charge of the Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers locations in Idaho. Idaho's first Freddy's opened in 2014 in Meridian, and the chain has since expanded to Nampa, Idaho Falls, Caldwell, Chubbuck and Eagle. Stine is also part of the management team for the restaurant in Rexburg.
 
“Our focus is on high-quality food, genuine hospitality and maintaining a clean and comfortable atmosphere for guests of all ages,” Stine said.

Stine's was the first general manager at the first Freddy's location in Wichita, Kansas. His management team has more than 25 years of combined experience.

“We strive to provide fast, friendly service and premium quality food,” said Stine. “With the recent closing of our Boise location and Caldwell's restaurant being put up for lease, we are dedicated more than ever to building our Freddy's restaurants to be the place all our guests want to go. We want to be more than just another place to eat in the community by becoming familiar with our guests and their stories.”

Co-founded in 2002 by Scott Redler and Bill, Randy and Freddy Simon, Freddy’s opened its first location in Wichita. Today, 300 Freddy's restaurants serve 31 states across the nation from California to Pennsylvania, Virginia and down the East Coast states to Florida. Freddy’s has been named Franchise Times magazine’s 2018 Fast & Serious top 10, Entrepreneur’s 2018 Franchise 500 top 50, Inc. Magazine’s “Fastest-Growing Private Companies” 2017 list and many other nationwide and local industry awards.

Monday, April 23, 2018

INL honors inventors, achievements in 2017

Idaho National Laboratory held its annual Laboratory Director Awards reception Friday night in Idaho Falls, honoring outstanding research and development accomplishments in support of INL’s mission and highlighting achievements from 2017, including 20 newly issued patents and six copyright assertions.

"2017 was a year of achievement and success at INL, thanks to our dedicated employees," INL Laboratory Director Mark Peters said. "Tonight's ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate those achievements and express our gratitude. Congratulations to this year's winners, and to our entire workforce for what was truly a memorable year. I appreciate everyone's passion and hard work."

Rick Demmer, Harry Rollins and Robert Mariani were inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame at the five-patent level. Douglas Akers and Kevin Gering were inducted at the 10-patent level. 


The 2017 award recipients were:


  • Community Award: Mary Adamic

  • Inclusive Diversity Award: Theron McGriff

  • Leadership Award: Eric Dufek

  • Mission Advancement: Partnership and Collaboration Award: Consequence-driven, Cyber-informed Engineering Team: Curtis St. Michel, Robert Smith, Sarah Freeman, Amanda Belloff, Roya Gordon, Kara Turner, Jeffrey Klingler

  • Mission Enabling Individual Award: Gregory English

  • Mission Enabling Team Award: Advanced Test Reactor Electrical Upgrade Team: Scott Despain, Michael Corbridge, Benjamin England, Russ Howard

  • Laboratory Award for Early Career Exceptional Achievement: Aaron Craft

  • Laboratory Award for Exceptional Engineering Achievement: Craig Rieger

  • Laboratory Award for Exceptional Scientific Achievement: Masashi Shimada

  • Laboratory Award for Individual Lifetime Achievement in Science and Technology: Stephen G. Johnson

  • Inventor of the Year Award: Hussein Moradi

  • Research and Development Technician of the Year Award: James Milloway, Byron White

  • Operations Technician of the Year Award: Jordan Cox, Tiffany Schorzman

  • INL Vision Award: Irradiated Materials Characterization Laboratory Team: Emil Franklin, Aaron Balsmeier, Noel Duckwitz, Jeffery Bailey, Jayson Bush

  • INL Vision Award: No-Idle Motor Coach Team: Ira Pray, Jeffrey Brown, Michael Perez, Bill Ziegler, Colin Letham


Thursday, April 19, 2018

INL named finalist for two IT security awards

Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has been named a 2018 SC Award finalist by SC Media in recognition of exceptional information technology (IT) security. The two categories for which INL received recognition are Best IT Security-related Training Program and Best Security Team.

Selected by an expert panel of judges, the annual SC Awards are seen as the industry gold standard of accomplishment for cybersecurity professionals, products and services.

“INL’s cybersecurity team and training program focuses on people, processes and technology,” said INL Chief Information Officer Robert Hillier. “We differentiate ourselves by effectively utilizing multiple channels and platforms to secure our networks and train our employees on safe cyber practices.”

Team members realize that as threats evolve, they must continue to develop and manage an inclusive approach to protecting the organization’s data. Because the team has actively branded itself through proactive problem-solving, INL employees value them as a trusted resource, rather than an enforcement arm. Key to this success is evolving the team’s ability to be agile as they implement processes and controls, while remaining user friendly and whenever possible, invisible to end users.


Periodic cybersecurity training, disaster recovery planning and incident response exercises are key components to the lab’s success in the awareness and management of security risks. Incident response planning includes INL end users, management and IT professionals, and extends to other national laboratories and the Department of Energy.

"Helping organizations manage risk in ways which are cost-effective, user friendly, and mission enabling takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Ensuring the nation's lead nuclear energy laboratory can continue forward safely is no easy task," said INL Deputy Chief Information Officer Darren Van Booven. “In a field where this hard work is often underappreciated, it is very rewarding to see the team be recognized with such high honors.”

To view the complete list of winners and finalists, click here.

For over 25 years, SC Media has armed information security professionals with in-depth and unbiased information through timely news, comprehensive analysis, cutting-edge features, contributions from thought leaders, and independent product reviews in partnership with and for top-level information security executives and their technical teams.

Bill's Bike & Run plans grand opening Friday for Ammon store

Bill’s Bike & Run has scheduled a grand opening for its new Ammon location Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. It will start with ribbon cutting by the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce.

Free grilled food and cold drinks will be served from 4 until 7. A large
bike and gear demo area will be open, and guests are invited to test out the all new Specialized Stumpjumper and Electric bikes. Attendees can enter raffles for free giveaways by participating in activities. Bill’s is also offering $10 additional “Bill’s Bucks” for each purchase of $100 or more.

The 1,200-square-foot store opened last November in the Sandcreek Commons shopping center. It is the second
location for Bill’s Bike & Run, which also has a shop in Snake River Landing in Idaho Falls.

Regular store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Bill’s Bike & Run of Ammon also offers community group runs starting from the shop beginning at 6:15 p.m. every Wednesday.

Bill’s Bike & Run has gained recognition over the decades through its support of community and youth programs, including Shop with a Cop and the Salvation Army, and has given away hundreds of restored bikes to underprivileged youth in the area.

The business dates back to 1947 when it was founded by Bill Murdock as Bill's Bike Shop, selling motorcycles and bicycles. In 2010, Gary Wight purchased the business from the Murdock family, and in 2012 the business moved to Snake River Landing, to a store much larger than its longtime Holmes Avenue location. The name change came in 2013, when products and services for runners were added.

Sandcreek Commons shopping center is a 40-acre joint venture between Ball Ventures, LLC of Idaho Falls and Woodbury Corp. of Salt Lake City, Utah. Located at Hitt Road and Sunnyside Road, it is home to Cabela’s, Hobby Lobby, Broulim’s Fresh Foods, D.L. Evans Bank, Zions Bank, Mountain American Credit Union, Great Clips, Wendy’s, 7 Nail Spa, Kneader’s Bakery & Café, Ferraro’s Italian Cuisine and others. Additional space is available for lease. For more information, call 208.523.3794 or visit ballventures.com.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

INL, State of Idaho break ground on two new research facilities

From INL Public Affairs

Officials from Idaho National Laboratory and the State of Idaho held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday morning on two new research facilities: the Cybercore Integration Center and the Collaborative Computing Center (C3).

Both buildings will be located off University Boulevard on Idaho Falls' north side, near the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, INL's Energy Innovation Laboratory, and ISU's Bennion Student Union Building.

The Cybercore Integration Center will host advanced electronics labs for industry, government and academia to work together to systematically engineer cyber and physical security innovations to protect the nation’s most critical infrastructure, for example the power grid.

The Collaborative Computing Center will provide a modern computing environment, hosting research collaborations and opportunities that would otherwise not be possible – a place where INL researchers, Idaho universities, and industry will explore computer modeling and simulation to develop new nuclear materials, advance nuclear energy concepts and conduct a broad span of scientific research.

“Supporting this collaboration is about much more than new facilities; we are investing in Idaho’s future,” Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said. “But in addition to the INL’s continuing economic importance, this partnership provides Idaho universities with an important edge in preparing tomorrow’s world leaders in cyber-security and nuclear energy research.”

The new facilities will help strengthen partnerships with Idaho universities by tailoring internships for students seeking advanced degrees in nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering, materials science, chemical engineering and computer science, INL Director Mark Peters said. “Students are the talent of the future, and we want to invest in their success. By offering these career-enhancing opportunities, everyone wins," Peters said.

Idaho State Board of Education will retain the economic benefit that will be created by the financing, construction, and operation of these facilities. Off-site computer users, such as students and faculty at Idaho’s universities and colleges, will also have remote access to the high-performance computing systems in the Collaborative Computing Center through the Idaho Regional Optical Network (IRON).

“This is an exceptional example of a public/private partnership working to advance the educational offerings across the entire state,” said Linda Clark, president of the Idaho State Board of Education.