Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Super Chix plans to open in Ammon on Wednesday

Super Chix will have a soft opening Wednesday at 11 a.m. at its new Ammon location inside the Hillcrest Plaza, 2671 East Sunnyside Road, with a grand opening to follow Saturday. For that event, the first 100 people through the door will receive a free chicken sandwich and a free regular fry.”

Super Chix is a fast-casual dining franchise that offers a variety of chicken sandwiches, hand-cut fries, salads and frozen custard. The restaurant comes courtesy of Flying H Holdings, LLC, the same franchise company involved in bringing Five Guys to Ammon. Company President Bill Hawes told East Idaho News in December that the experience played a role in his decision to open Super Chix.

“It’s got a lot of gravity in that area,” he said. “It’s great to be close to the high school, other (places to shop) and the movies. There’s a lot of food choices in that area and it’s growing.”

Super Chix first opened in Dallas in 2013 and now has stores throughout Texas, Alabama and Utah. New locations are have been planned for Bozeman, Mont., Fort Collins, Colo., and San Jose, Calif. Hawes said he plans to open stores in Logan, Utah, Pocatello and Rexburg.

The Hillcrest Plaza will also be home to Duck Donuts and Jersey Mike's Subs, both due to open soon.

Super Chix will be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday with a 10 p.m. closing time Friday and Saturday. Visit the website or Facebook page for more information.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Fall River Electric offering scholarships to high school seniors

Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative is once again offering scholarships to local area high school graduating seniors whose parents or guardians are members of Fall River Electric. A “member” is anyone who receives electric service from Fall River, whether at a permanent residence, a vacation property or commercial business. Over $70,000 in scholarship funds are available this year while throughout the history of this program, Fall River Electric has awarded over a half a million dollars in scholarships to deserving graduating high school seniors.

Fall River Electric scholarships are valued at $2,400 and are paid in increments of $600 annually. To apply, graduating seniors must have at least a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) and provide two short written essays stating why they are deserving of a scholarship. Applications are now being accepted from seniors enrolled in the Madison, Jefferson, Ririe, Sugar-Salem, Fremont, Teton, and West Yellowstone school districts.

Interested seniors or their parents or guardians may obtain a scholarship application by visiting the Fall River Electric website at www.fallriverelectric.com , then click “My Community” and open the “Scholarships” tab on the dropdown menu to download an application.

Applications must be postmarked by Friday, March 26, 2021 or can be dropped off at any of Fall River’s offices in Ashton, Driggs or West Yellowstone. For further information or to answer questions, call Angela Haws at 208-652-7002 or email her at angela.haws@fallriverelectric.com.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

INL leader named to Top 100 Women in Energy list

Dr. Marianne Walck
Dr. Marianne Walck, Idaho National Laboratory's deputy laboratory director for science and technology, has been named a Top 100 Women in Energy at the national Energy Inclusion Conference.

The award recognizes top women leaders who directly contribute to business growth and strategic direction within their organizations. Honorees must maintain a record of accomplishments in their areas of expertise, be effective role models who inspire others, demonstrate a deep commitment to corporate citizenship, and operate with the highest level of integrity and ethical behaviors.

Walck has nearly four decades of experience as a leader in the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratory complex, both at Sandia National Laboratories and INL. As a female executive, Walck has championed INL’s efforts to become a national employer of choice for women, people of color, people with disabilities, military veterans and the LGBTQ+ community. As co-chair of INL’s Executive Inclusion Council, she has helped embed visible diversity, inclusive thought leadership and employment equity across INL’s workforce, STEM outreach, university partnerships, marketplace, supply chain and charitable giving.

“This is a well-deserved honor for Dr. Walck. Her commitment to active, visible and transformational leadership continues to make an impact on America’s energy future; and her support and mentoring is developing the next generation of scientists to respond to our energy challenges,” said Ron Crone, INL associate laboratory director and co-executive sponsor of INL’s Women in Leadership Council.

In addition to leadership roles at SNL and INL, Walck chaired the National Laboratory Chief Research Officers Council, which steers the research operations for 17 Department of Energy national laboratories and, in 2020, she joined the executive committee of the National Virtual Biotechnology Laboratory, to shape America’s R&D response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For a full list of the Top 100 Women in Energy honorees, follow this link: The Energy Inclusion Conference Announces the Top Women in Energy

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Alaska Air to start nonstop flights to SEA-TAC in June

The 76-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprop

Idaho Falls Regional Airport announced today that Alaska Airlines will begin nonstop service between Idaho Falls and Seattle on June 17, making it the fourth destination added to the airport’s route map this year and a major milestone for the community.

The addition of the new, direct Seattle flight gives IDA travelers 12 nonstop destinations to choose from, as well as hundreds of one-stop connections. Alaska Airlines will become the fifth major airline to now operate out of IDA, the second busiest airport in the state.

“We are very pleased to welcome Alaska Airlines to our market and wish them every success,” said Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper. “Providing direct flights to Seattle opens up a whole new set of destinations for our passengers at very competitive rates.”

Seattle will be the first nonstop destination offered locally by Alaska Airlines, and will connect passengers to over 60 cities from its Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) hub. “With the only year-round nonstop flight to the West Coast, guests will benefit from shorter journeys, low fares and great service,” said Brett Catlin, Alaska’s vice president of network and alliances.

IDA Director Rick Cloutier said the agreement has come after many years of hard work on the part of the airport team to grow air service options for the region. "We are thrilled to welcome Alaska Airlines and are working hard to continue to provide additional flights and destinations to the people of Idaho Falls and throughout the region,” he said.

The daily, year-round flight will be operated with a Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft offering passengers a comfortable and reliable flight experience. With 76 seats arranged in a two-by-two configuration, customers will enjoy the spacious interior cabin during the easy flight. Tickets are now available for booking at www.alaskaair.com or by contacting a local travel agent.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Idaho Falls, INL, REDI announce grant for innovation district planning

The city of Idaho Falls, in partnership with Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI), has been awarded an economic development grant from Battelle Energy Alliance, operator of Idaho National Laboratory, to begin conceptual development of an innovative new project called the Idaho Falls Innovation District.

“There are less than a handful of innovation districts in this country that converge on science and cutting edge research,” said Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper. “I expect some very big things will happen here in the future and it’s thrilling to know that the city will have played a significant role in helping to launch this kind of creative space right here in Idaho Falls.”

All innovation districts contain economic, physical, and networking assets.

The $55,700 grant award will be used to develop a master plan for the district, which is designed to focus on developments that support start-up companies, business incubators and accelerator type businesses. Innovation districts also often include a larger, main anchor-type business in addition to housing, office space, research facilities, retail, and hospitality areas.

“Working towards an Idaho Falls Innovation District is an effort that has the potential to impact our community in a profound way. There is prevalent demand and interest, and it is our job now to provide a study and framework that can lead to implementation,” said Dana Briggs, economic development coordinator for the city. “I appreciate the funding granted by Battelle Energy Alliance to move the project forward, as well as the support and work of other partners and stakeholders.”

Article: The Rise of Innovation Districts (Brookings Institution)

The plan is to focus on the area around MK Simpson Boulevard, where INL has the bulk of its in-town operations, said Briggs, who will also be manager of the Innovation District project. The goal is to create a dedicated area where public and private partners can work together to attract businesses and organizations that generate ideas for technology advancement and economic growth.
“Idaho Falls has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years, and now is the right time to take a look at fostering an innovation district,” said Marsha McDaniel, senior advisor with INL. “Idaho National Laboratory looks forward to supporting the city in its efforts.”

Innovation districts are commonly used in an effort to create new products, technologies, and market solutions by grouping together what can often be disparate sectors and specializations. With an area dedicated to keeping these groups in close proximity to one another, collaboration is richer, incubation of ideas is more efficient, and a synergistic dynamic is created.
“REDI is thrilled to be invited to work with the city of Idaho Falls as they investigate the design and development of an innovation district,” said REDI CEO Teresa McKnight. “These unique districts are catalysts for tech-oriented areas adjacent to research-intensive anchor institutions like the Idaho National Laboratory. Not only are they catalysts, they are also place makers for feeding startups to drive advanced industry growth.”

The city and REDI will work with the consulting firm of Agnew::Beck, a multidisciplinary consulting firm from Boise, on the initial design. The 12-month planning process is anticipated to involve a variety of steps including stakeholder outreach and engagement, focus group interviews, technical research, a land use site plan, and implementation report. The project is anticipated to begin in March 2021.
“Idaho Falls has a proven ability to both dream big and be practical,” said Ellen Campfield Nelson, principal and owner of Agnew::Beck. “As an Idaho-based planning and public engagement business, we are excited to be part of helping shape and implement the community's vision.”