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Zions Bank plans to add new jobs

Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson said the Utah-based bank will continue to invest in Idaho after it opens its new state headquarters in the soon-to-open Eighth and Main building. Anderson said the bank is planning to add 40 to60 new jobs in the next several years, as it moves into Eighth and Main before a planned February grand opening.

Anderson, speaking at the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho’s annual conference Dec. 11, said the bank might also offer a wider array of financial services, though he didn’t mention any specific new products.

“At Zions, we are very bullish on the future of Idaho,” he said.

Anderson said he likes what he sees from Idaho’s economy recently, including increases in home prices and building permits, decreases in the unemployment rate and improvements in the construction and tourism industries. He said there are five reasons why Zions is investing in Idaho, including low energy and construction costs, high quality of life and being well-positioned for transporting goods.

Brad Iverson-Long

UPDATED: Dec. 12 with new planned jobs added by Zions Bank

4 miners injured at Lucky Friday Mine sue Hecla

Four miners who were injured and trapped by a rock burst at a northern Idaho mine two years ago are suing Hecla Mining Co., alleging mine mangers sent them into unsafe working conditions while assuring them the area was safe.

The Spokesman-Review reports  Ronnel E. Barrett, Gregg Hammerberg, Eric J. Tester and Matthew Williams are seeking more than $1 million for injuries, medical treatment and lost wages.

The lawsuit, filed Dec. 10 in 1st District Court in Idaho, also names the Lucky Friday Mine manager, superintendent and safety foreman. Hecla officials said they hadn’t seen the lawsuit and declined comment.

The lawsuit alleges Hecla and its managers ignored increasing incidents of rock bursts and failed to take measures to protect workers at the underground silver mine in Mullan.

The Associated Press

Micron agrees to $280 million deal with Rambus

Micron Technology ended more than a decade of legal wrangling by agreeing to a patent cross license agreement with Rambus Inc.

Micron agreed to pay Rambus $280 million over the next 7 years. In return for that money, which will be paid out quarterly, Micron gains the right to use any Rambus patent for making memory products.

Rambus first sued Micron and other chip makers in 2000 for allegedly conspiring to fix prices for DRAM and force Rambus out of the market. Rambus also alleged that several other chip makers, including Micron, were using Rambus-developed technology in their products without paying royalties.

Lawsuits and countersuits alleging fraud, anti-competitive practices and destruction of evidence by Rambus were filed over the years.

The Micron-Rambus agreement is Rambus’ last outstanding major litigation against another chip maker. Rambus also settled with SK Hynix in June. The deal with Micron includes patent disputes that Rambus had with Elpida, which Micron acquired in late June.

The deal, announced Dec. 9, is Rambus’s first deal with another chip maker that is longer than five years. After the seven year period, Micron has the option to extend its patent license.

IBR Staff

Governors gather in Vegas to talk land use, fires

Leaders from around the West convened a two-day meeting Dec. 11 in Las Vegas to discuss land use, wildfires and environmental conservation.

Among the governors attending the winter meeting of the Western Governors’ Association are John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, C.L. “Butch” Otter of Idaho, Steve Bullock of Montana, Gary Herbert of Utah and Matt Mead of Wyoming.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell was expected to deliver the keynote address Dec. 12 highlighting the federal government’s commitment to collaborating on conservation and water issues.

Established in 1984, the association includes governors from 19 states in the West, as well as Guam and American Samoa. Members share ideas, concerns and approaches to dealing with issues unique to the region.

The governors will discuss ways to manage wildland fires, expand interstate transportation infrastructure and accelerate the adoption of environmentally friendly vehicles.

They are also taking in a quintessential western event — the National Finals Rodeo, a championship known as the Super Bowl of the sport.

The Associated Press

Idaho motorists finally get break at gas pump

Idaho motorists are finally getting a break at the gas pump.

AAA Idaho reports that gasoline prices have dipped below the national average. The state’s 26-cent drop in prices in the last 30 days is also the nation’s biggest price decline.

The state’s average price Dec. 10 was $3.15 per gallon, down from $3.41 a month ago and $3.43 the same time a year ago.

AAA Idaho spokesman Dave Carlson says the last time Idaho’s average price dipped this low was in late January.

The national average price is $3.20, and three states have average prices below the $3 mark — Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Pump prices vary across the state, from $3.19 in Boise to $2.93 in Coeur d’Alene and $3.23 in Lewiston.

The Associated Press

 

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