J.R. Simplot in 1999 in his high-rise office in his company’s soon-to-be-former headquarters at One Capital Center in Downtown Boise. Simplot died in 2008. J.R. Simplot’s french fry pact with McDonald’s was key for company, Idaho

By Zach Kyle Idaho Statesman In 1967, Idaho potato magnate J.R. Simplot shook hands with McDonald’s CEO Ray Kroc, sealing a deal that made Simplot the first frozen french-fry supplier to the fast-food chain. That deal brought billions of dollars to the Idaho economy. Until then, McDonald’s had purchased only fresh potatoes. The J.R. Simplot
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Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal
Joe Vallery, a representative for Claas of America, which is an ag machinery manufacturer, talks about the Claas 780 combine during the Eastern Idaho Ag Expo at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena last week in Pocatello. The combine’s chassis is made in Germany before it’s shipped to an assembly plant in Omaha, Nebraska. He said it’s about 60 percent U.S. content and 40 percent German content. Ag Expo showcases high-tech farm equipment

By Shelbie Harris sharris@journalnet.com POCATELLO — It’s surprising there isn’t a space combine at the rate farming equipment is technologically evolving, but that’s not to say someone hasn’t started the development process. Though it isn’t threshing space corn, the high-tech capabilities of the Lexicon family of Claas combines are, perhaps, out of this world. The
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Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal
Kent Oram in front of one of the new buildings that is being built on the Idaho Central Credit Union campus in Chubbuck. Idaho Central Credit Union headquarters prepares to double in size

By Sarah Glenn For the Journal $30 million campus expansion aims to open early 2019 CHUBBUCK – From the fourth floor window of Idaho Central Credit Union’s Chubbuck headquarters, Kent Oram looks out over acres of new construction. When the dust settles in early 2019, the credit union’s headquarters will more than double in size
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Idaho’s home prices increased 0.3 percent from August to September, and have risen 7.7 percent since September 2015. The increase has prompted the Federal Housing Administration to raise the dollar amount on the home loans it will insure. Feds insuring bigger home loans for buyers

By Sarah Glenn POCATELLO — As housing prices go up in Idaho, so do the amounts available on federally insured loans that help people buy homes. Someone seeking a single family home, who doesn’t mind paying monthly mortgage insurance, and who wants a lower interest rate, can now borrow up to $275,665 backed by the
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Elk Ranching SMALL Idaho elk ranchers see strong demand

By John O’Connell Capital Press VICTOR — Rancher Kent Bagley and his sons Greg and Stephen derive almost a third of their income from agricultural tourism, and their farm-raised elk are the main attraction. The Bagleys bought their first 15 elk in the late 1990s, seeking to diversify their beef and dairy business. They’ve since
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The former Odd Fellows building in Salmon has gone from being unused to being a thriving bakery, thrift shop and community gathering place. Old building put to new business uses

By Scott W. Elliott For the Journal SALMON — Seven years ago, any out-of-towner might not have looked twice at the old Odd Fellows building in downtown Salmon, which is in central Idaho north of Challis. But volunteer Cindy Phelps and the Craig and Jessica McCallum family saw potential — a tan brick facade on
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Jeff Hough Fulfilling talent’s promise

By Jeff Hough Talent and potential get used too often. Whenever we see someone who appears to be doing something better than the rest of the pack, we use it. Living up to the fulfillment of either term is a fragile process. Conditions must be perfect. Planets and opportunities must align for the individual to
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FreeImages.Com Idaho dairy owners bringing immigrant labor plight to GOP lawmakers

By Zach Kyle/Idaho Statesman Hans Nederend, the third-generation owner of Nederend Dairy near Marsing, mostly employs Latino immigrants for a simple reason: Idaho-born workers don’t want the jobs. Idaho’s worker pool evaporated as the state’s unemployment rate fell to a meager 3.7 percent, causing worker shortages in agriculture as well as hospitality, construction and food
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Drivers see higher premiums after not-at-fault crashes

By Jennifer C. Kerr/Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Most drivers don’t expect to be hit with a rate hike on their auto insurance after a car accident that wasn’t their fault. But a consumer group says it happens, and it’s a problem. The Washington-based Consumer Federation of America says it found rate hikes on annual
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FILE - This file photo made April 22, 2010 shows a Wall Street sign in front of the New York Stock Exchange. U.S. stock futures rose on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, as investors await the minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent meeting in April. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) Yellen: Expect Fed to gradually hike rates over next 3 years

By Martin Crutsinger/AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says she expects the Fed to raise its benchmark interest rate several times a year through 2019, as it moves closer toward to its economic goals of maximum employment and stable inflation. But in a speech in San Francisco Wednesday, she said
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Health care

health insurance Primary care bill targets Idaho’s Medicaid gap population

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho House panel has introduced legislation that would create a new state program designed to provide basic health care to Idaho adults who currently don’t have health insurance. The Spokesman-Review (http://bit.ly/2lCjNZJ ) reports that House Health and Welfare Committee Chairman Fred Wood, a Republican from Burley, said Monday that his
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WikiCommons Photo GOP moves to undo Obama coal rules protecting streams

By Andrew Taylor /Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Republicans are moving swiftly to repeal Obama administration regulations aimed at better protecting streams from coal mining debris. Coal country lawmakers unveiled legislation Monday to block the rules, which they say would kill jobs in the coal industry, which is reeling from competition from cleaner-burning natural
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Stephanie Palagi What’s happening in Old Town Pocatello

By Stephanie Palagi Show some local love this Valentine’s Day!  The shops and restaurants in Old Town have the perfect gift for your Valentine and the perfect menu for that special night out.  Give the gift of local and help support the small businesses and restaurants that love doing business in our community. Enjoy a
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Pack your bags

A 15-acre lake within the Horse Station at Cache Valley
near Cache National Forest adds to the beauty of the nearby
physical environment. That will add to the attractiveness of
the overall project. State parks exceed goal in securing business sponsors

By Kimberlee Kruesi Associated Press BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation has received $40,000 in corporate sponsorship since getting legislative approval nearly a year ago to reach out to businesses to help offset the agency’s depleted budget. The amount is double the estimated $20,000 department officials hoped to secure in
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Physician burnout linked to time spent on digital record-keeping

By Sarah Glenn For the Journal In July, the Mayo Clinic Journal Proceedings published a paper that tied physician burnout to their increasing use of cumbersome electronic health systems. The study looked at several months of 2014 survey data from 6,560 U.S. physicians measuring features of work life, including burnout and electronic use. Even after
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Business news

Portrait of a happy young business people working on laptop discussing Attracting talent: The Millennial

Press Release Cities across the nation are vying to attract millennials. Surprisingly, one rural community in Eastern Idaho is home to one of the country’s largest groups of young talent – branding itself “Millennial City USA.” Over 81% of the 26,000 people living in Rexburg are under 30, and the median age is 22 –
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