Published: April 17,2012
Port of Lewiston could get hay processor
A hay processing plant is considering locating in the Lewiston-Clarkston area on the Idaho-Washington border. The Port of Lewiston is in competition with at least one other location.
Port commissioner Dan Johnson of Lewiston said the hay processor contacted more than one entity in the Lewiston-Clarkston valley. The processor is a potential tenant of the port, he said.
“They’re just looking around at this point,” said Johnson, who is also a Republican state senator.
Johnson said the processor is looking around the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley and has more than one site under consideration locally. He has not spoken to the company and does not know who it is, he said.
David Doeringsfeld, Port of Lewiston manager, would not comment. The port district operates the port complex and owns an industrial-technology park in Lewiston.
Hay processing plants buy baled hay, cut it into smaller pieces and compress it, said Ted Wheeler, a hay farmer in southeast Meridian. Processing enables more hay to be stored in a smaller area, and hay turned into pellets can be hauled and handled like grain, he said.
Boise high nationally in housing price increase
The Boise housing market ranked third in the U.S. in year-over-year increase in median list price for homes. The middle price point went up almost 20 percent from March 2011 to March 2012 to $155,532, according to statistics released by the National Association of Realtors April 17. Boise trailed only Phoenix-Mesa and Miami in the list price increase.
The dramatic increase could be a sign that the Boise housing market is in recovery mode, according to the realtors’ website. Median list prices in Boise rose by 3.69 percent from February 2012 to March 2012, as opposed a 1 percent gain nationally.
The number of houses listed in the Boise market dropped less than half a percent from February to March to 2,576. Year over year, Boise’s for-sale inventory dropped 35 percent from March 2011, preceded by a year with a 28 percent decline.
Boise ranks 136th on Realtor.com’s search rankings for March, ahead of both Spokane and Portland.
Treasure Valley onion producer expanding
The parent company of Owyhee Produce, the onion producer 50 miles west of Boise in Nyssa, Ore., is increasing production after it purchased another 1,300 acres.
Froer Farms Inc., Owyhee Produce’s parent company, said in a news release that the acquisition would mean a 200-acre increase in onion farming per year. The company’s lesser known crops, including asparagus, beans, beats corn, mint, peas and wheat, will also increase production. The company markets and brands its onion and asparagus crops, with the other crops grown to be sold in the commodities markets, said Shay Myers, Owyhee Produce general manager.
Myers said the extra 200 acres, which represents a 33 percent increase in production, would mean about $1.5 million in increased revenues for the company, Myers said. The acreage will be phased into production over years, however, in order to avoid over-supplying the market, he said.
The land was purchased from the Kiesel family in Oregon’s Treasure Valley, according to the release.
Owyhee Produce supplies local and national distributors.
Idaho has reached a $2.6 million settlement with a prescription drug company accused of selling products at false or inflated prices.
The agreement announced Tuesday with drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline marks the state’s 14th settlement over price fixing matters with drug companies since 2005.
Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says an investigation revealed the company inflated average wholesale prices of drugs eligible for Medicaid reimbursement by as much as 27 percent.
The inflated price results in overpayments to pharmacies that provide the drugs to Idaho Medicaid clients.
The settlement will return $620,000 to Idaho’s general fund and $1.5 million to the federal government, bringing the total recovered since 2005 to $20 million.
Three other cases naming eight other drug manufacturers are still pending.
The Associated Press
Welding-caused fire at INL prompts evacuations
Welders working on the roof of a building at the Idaho National Laboratory nuclear research site caused a fire that prompted the evacuation of employees.
KIFI-TV in Idaho Falls reported April 16 that no one was injured in the blaze at the Materials and Fuels Complex.
Workers at the Materials and Fuels Complex, located 28 miles west of Idaho Falls, conduct research on nuclear fuels. Prototypes of new reactor fuels are developed and evaluated here.
The INL said there was no risk to the public or employees. Evacuated workers were delayed in their departure from the site in the eastern Idaho desert following work on Monday evening.
The Associated Press