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Dickey’s Barbecue Pit opens in Idaho Falls, eyes Pocatello 

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit opened Jan. 27 in Idaho Falls and the franchise owners are now eyeing Pocatello for their next restaurant.

The 2,000-square-foot Idaho Falls restaurant at 2090 E. 17th St. “was one of the top sales-volume openings nationwide,” said area developer B.J. McDougal, who works for franchise owners Deanne and Bob Wilkins.

Dickey’s on Feb. 9 plans to open in a former Qdoba restaurant at 1807 12th Ave. Road in Nampa, McDougal said. Dana and Cheryl Phillips are the franchisees for Nampa.

The moves are part of a plan by Dickey’s to open eight restaurants in Idaho within the next five years, including two locations in Boise and one each in Twin Falls and Rexburg, McDougal said. He’s looking for Boise, Twin Falls and Rexburg franchisees.

It costs about one-third less to enter the restaurant business now than it did about five years ago because of low rents and discounted equipment like grease traps and hoods, McDougal said. The new Idaho Falls location once housed a Taco Johns restaurant.

Dallas-based Dickey’s Barbecue Pit operates 204 locations in 36 states. McDougal said many of the 70 opened last year are in second-generation restaurant spaces.

McDougal, who operates other restaurants in the Boise area, is the Dickey’s franchisee for the 15-employee Meridian restaurant on East Overland Road. He took it over just over year ago from an operator who dropped the Dickey’s franchise to open an independent restaurant, which closed.

Brad Carlson

New brewpub to open in Boise

Bend, Ore.-based 10 Barrel Brewing Co. plans to open a brewpub in early summer at the northeast corner of Ninth and Bannock streets in downtown Boise.

Remodeling of a 9,000-square-foot building owned by the Idaho Department of Lands is expected to start in early March, said Garrett Wales, a 10 Barrel partner who will manage the new location

“The five breweries (in Boise) do a great job,” Wales said. “By adding more quality breweries to the scene, it increases the overall market and adds to the education of the craft beer consumer. We think it benefits everyone in the market.”

Bend has 11 breweries and about 80,000 residents, he said. Boise’s population exceeds 200,000.

Wales said 10 Barrel Brewing, launched in 2006, is finishing a production brewery in Bend, where it operates a brewpub. The production brewery will enable the company to increase production and increase service to Oregon, Washington and Idaho, he said.

The Boise brewpub will employ about 75 people full- and part-time, said Wales, who plans to move to Boise.

The remodeling project involves Boise firms CTA Architects and CSDI Construction. Costs were yet to be determined as of Jan. 27, when subcontractor and supplier bids were being gathered, Wales said.

Brad Carlson

Recession cut the number of Idaho child care providers by a quarter

When unemployed Idahoans do start finding work again, they might have a little trouble finding someone to take care of the kids.

The recession cut the number of licensed child care providers in the state by a quarter.

In 2007, the number of licensed daycares was 2,467, according to the state Department of Health and Welfare, which regulates daycares that have more than six children. In 2011, that number was 1,845.

Tom Shanahan, a spokesman for the department, said whenever unemployment rises, the number of child care providers goes down. The department has also seen that trend reflected in its childcare assistance program, which helps low-income workers pay for childcare.

“Hopefully as the economy recovers, things will recover for them too,” Shanahan said Jan. 30.

IBR Staff

Mercy Housing senior complex underway

Construction of the Mercy Housing Northwest-Idaho senior apartment complex in downtown Boise has reached the halfway point, said Bob Reed, vice president and director of housing development. The three-story, 53-unit complex is under way on the east side of 12th Street north of River Street.

The project is on schedule and should be ready for move-ins starting in August, Reed said Jan. 26.

Scott Hedrick Construction and architecture firm Glancey Rockwell & Associates are involved in the project, to cost about $8.4 million including land, Reed said. Financing includes U.S. Housing and Urban Development money the city administers, and a U.S. Bank equity investment qualified for federal tax credits.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification will be sought from the U.S. Green Building Council, Reed said.

IBR Staff

Environmental group opposes N. Idaho gravel mine

An environmental group wants the state to deny a mineral lease and a stream-channel alteration permit that would allow a northern Idaho company to mine gravel in the Salmon River.

The Idaho Conservation League is opposing a new permit that would replace the five-year permit that expires next month. The lease was first issued in 1955.

Jonathan Oppenheimer, a senior conservation associate, said the group isn’t opposed to gravel mines but the one in question could harm Salmon River salmon and steelhead habitat.

“The question is, are there more appropriate places to mine for gravel and secure this type of material in Idaho?” he told The Lewiston Tribune. “We feel strongly there are hundreds, if not thousands, of better places to remove gravel than the bed of the Salmon River.”

The lease and permit allow the Kaschmitter Enterprises Inc. to take gravel from dry areas of the river bed below the ordinary high water mark. The Grangeville company generally does that in the fall or winter when water levels are low. Spring runoff deposits new gravel on the site.

“They don’t go below the water at any time,” said Jay Sila, manager of the Craig Mountain Supervisory Area of the Idaho Department of Lands at Craigmont. “They are not in the water.”

Kaschmitter is owned by Tim Kaschmitter, who declined to comment when reached by The Associated Press.

Besides salmon and steelhead, the river is also used by river runners. Gary Lane, a river rafting outfitter from Riggins and a member of the conservation league, said the gravel mine detracts from the experience for people floating the river.

“They don’t drive hundreds of miles to listen to equipment and see the scars left over from what we do to the land,” he said.

The Associated Press

Meridian public meeting to cover development

A public meeting set for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at Meridian City Hall will cover service needs on the city’s south side.

It follows a September meeting and survey involving needs in the city limits from Interstate 84 south to Amity Road and from Ten Mile Road east past Eagle Road.

Meridian Interim Planning Director Pete Friedman said city land-use and utility plans anticipate growth in the area, which currently lacks the density found in other parts of the city.

More than a dozen themes recur in results of the September survey, he said. They range from a need to attract more businesses and jobs to a need to manage and balance growth, he said.

Survey respondents also pointed to a lack of public transportation and a need for more bike lanes and pathways, especially on I-84 overpasses, Friedman said. Some said overbuilding and congestion should be prevented, and others wanted more grocery and restaurant options.

Meridian will use the survey results, and comments at the Feb. 9 meeting, in its development and infrastructure planning as well as its work with the Ada County Highway District and other agencies  Friedman said.

IBR Staff

Auditor, Idaho treasurer at odds over report

Legislative auditors found several problems with how Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane oversaw his office’s accounting, including how he documented trips to New York City where some costs were found to exceed allowable limits.

Crane disputes the findings, contending no previous audits of his office raised similar concerns.

Still, the four-term Republican agreed to report expenditures through Idaho’s accounting system in the future, among other changes.

For months, it’s been public knowledge Crane’s office was under scrutiny, after The Associated Press reported he used stretch limousines on New York trips to transport family members.

The Jan. 30 report outlines three findings: Crane’s New York trips weren’t adequately documented; he didn’t properly account for a taxpayer-provided Chevron card used to gas up his private vehicle; and he exceeded his office’s authority with several programs.

The Associated Press

ID motel settles discrimination complaint, charged fee for disabled customer’s service dog

The U.S. attorney’s office in Idaho has settled a case in which a Coeur d’Alene motel discriminated against a disabled customer by charging an extra fee for having a service dog in the room.

Olson says the motel also posted a service dog policy that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and trained employees with regard to the policy.

U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson said Jan. 30 the Budget Saver Motel refunded the fee, issued a written apology and paid the customer $500 for her distress.

The ADA provides equal access to public accommodations for people with disabilities.

The Associated Press

Idaho Medicaid to get $625,000 to settle lawsuit over inflated prescription drug prices

Idaho is getting $625,000 in the settlement of a lawsuit with a prescription drug maker accused of selling products at false or inflated prices.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced the resolution Jan. 30 with Mylan Laboratories Inc. and Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The state sued the companies after conducting its own investigation into the average wholesale price companies post for specific drugs. This price is then used to compute the reimbursent to pharmacies that provide the drugs to Idaho Medicaid clients.

In one case, Wasden says his staff determined a 293 percent difference in the published wholesale price compared to the actual price for a Mylan product.

Since 2005, Wasden’s office has resolved 13 separate cases targeting inflated wholesale prescription drug prices and recovered more than $17.2 million from settling those lawsuits.

The Associated Press

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