Time to toot our own horn a little bit. The Idaho Business Review scored nine awards in the annual Idaho Press Club awards against tough competition.
Most of the kudos go to our intrepid reporter, Catie Clark. Here’s what she won. Check out her range.
- Opinion, second place: “Lies, damn lies, and how happy are Idahoans, really?”
- Arts / Entertainment Report, second place: “No Fair? Eastern Idaho State Fair grapples with the decision to cancel”
- Political Report, first place: “Safe Space: What’s behind the 2007 Capitol office space compromise”
- Agriculture Report, third place: “Where’s the Beef: Cattle prices steer downward as retail beef prices soar”
- Crime / Courts Report, third place: “Albertsons Gets Served”
- Health/Medical Report, first place: “COVID-19 financial repercussions slam Idaho health clinics” and third place, “Idaho hospitals’ land of confusion over relief funds”
In addition, the staff (including former editor Kim Burgess, and freelancers like Alx Stevens) won second place in Special Section for the January 2020 issue of Square Feet, “Urban Living.”
Finally, I came in third place for best headline with “Holey Schist!” about the landslide on US-95.
We do love our puns here.
Catie has finished her mammoth six-part series on mining pollution in Lake Coeur d’Alene, focusing this week on the economic development impacts that could affect business. It’s worth checking out the whole series.
And speaking of water, Catie also wrote how Proud Source Water has signed a distribution agreement with PepsiCo that could see its non-plastic bottles in grocery stores all over the West. She also did her usual deep dive on Boise rents, covered nationwide recognition for Idaho hospitals and what’s happening with Meridian’s takeover of the Lakeview Golf Course.
Alx covered a speech by Idaho State University President Kevin Satterlee, who addressed how Idaho universities in general have been treated this legislative session and how important they are in developing the skilled workforce that Idaho needs to continue its economic expansion.
She also wrote about how Idaho’s three major power companies are working to help Idahoans, especially low-income ones, weatherize houses to reduce energy use and cost. In a win-win, Bonneville Power Administration is working with small businesses to help them get a piece of that business.
This week’s Focus section is on finance. We’ve been covering Idaho’s growing “banking deserts” as more communities are left unbanked after a branch is closed (which is still happening), so it was great to hear a possible solution that would also help hurting rural post offices: let the post offices also be banks. And it was fascinating to learn that until not that long ago, this was actually a thing. It isn’t clear whether it’ll actually happen anytime in the immediate future, but it was an interesting concept to discuss.
Finally, there’s plenty of news in Idaho’s startup community, including the sale of VisitPay for $300 million.
Sharon Fisher is interim managing editor of the Idaho Business Review.