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Salt Lake point of sale company buys Boise, Spokane offices

Spark Solutions Group has acquired Micros Boise and Micros Spokane, two offices that provide point-of-sale services for restaurants. Spark Solutions, based in Salt Lake City, is the authorized distributor for Micros and Dinerware, both POS systems in Boise.

Spark said there won’t be any staffing changes at either of the acquired offices, which each have two employees. Both offices had previously been owned by DirectPOS, a Boise company that sold its POS dealerships in September 2013.

Spark Solutions has been in the POS business for 40 years, and company leaders say the acquisition will allow for improved service for existing customers.

“We are excited to work with the Spark staff and current customers in the Boise and Spokane markets to continue to be the type of business that restaurant owners and food service providers want to do business with,” company president Jason Cowan said in a news release.

IBR Staff

Ada landfill adds odor eating scrubber, odor website

The Ada County Landfill will have a new $3.2 million hydrogen sulfide gas scrubber by the end of the year.

County commissioners recently signed an agreement with SCS Consulting Engineers, based in Long Beach, Calif., for the landfill scrubber, which will reduce unpleasant smells at the landfill and increase the amount of gas that can be turned into renewable energy.

According to a county news release, the scrubber will remove hydrogen sulfide from gas extracted from the landfill. By removing that, the county can draw more gas from the landfill’s gas field. That gas can then power electric generators, a form of renewable energy that also generates revenue for the landfill, offsetting costs of the new scrubber. Hydrogen sulfide has an unpleasant odor in small concentrations, and when burned, it produces sulfur dioxide, which is also a foul-smelling air pollutant.

The landfill scrubber is in design stages, with construction set to start in July and be completed by November.

Ada County Solid Waste Management also launched a new application available on its website that lets people notify officials about landfill odors. The website collects data on the location and intensity of the odor, as well as weather conditions when the odor was reported.

IBR Staff

Northern Idaho postal worker indicted

A former northern Idaho postal worker has been indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of misappropriation of postal funds and making a false statement to a postal inspector.

The Lewiston Tribune reported in a story Jan. 24 that an initial hearing for Mari A. Mort is set for Feb. 18 in U.S. District Court in Coeur d’Alene.

Grangeville Postmaster LeAnn Randall says that Mort is no longer employed with the U.S. Postal Service.

Authorities say Mort converted more than $1,000 in postal funds for her own use from February 2011 to June 2013.

The Associated Press

Idaho economist: Wealthy aided by grocery tax shift

Idaho’s former chief economist says families of four earning more than $117,750 would see lower taxes, should lawmakers adopt House Speaker Scott Bedke’s proposal to shift money from a grocery tax credit to individual and corporate income tax cuts.

Mike Ferguson, chief economist for six governors including Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, said Jan. 23 that families earning less would likely see a higher tax burden, according to his calculations.

For instance, Ferguson said somebody earning $50,000 would see their tax liability increased $305, based on his analysis of Bedke’s proposal, which Otter says he’d at least consider.

Bedke’s plan would leave the grocery credit intact for families earning 138 percent of the federal poverty line, or $32,499.

Ferguson now heads the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy, which analyzes budget and tax policy.

The Associated Press

Innocuous tax vote is tense over gay filing status

Lawmakers annually match up Idaho’s tax code with the federal one, to ease filings for state residents.

This year, however, what’s normally an innocuous vote was fraught with partisan tensions.

That’s as minority Democrats protested a provision barring same-sex couples legally married elsewhere from filing joint Idaho tax returns — even though they can file jointly with the Internal Revenue Service.

A Jan. 23 57-12 House vote was along party lines.

Rep. Janet Trujillo, R-Idaho Falls, argued Idaho’s 2006 gay-marriage ban left lawmakers no option than barring joint filings — though it could add cost and hassle to gay couples.

Rep. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, countered this denied Idaho residents equal protections.

Burgoyne says Idaho will eventually lose in court, unnecessarily costing the state legal fees.

Senators still must vote.

The Associated Press

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