The Panhandle Health District has opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all persons 16 and older. To date, the health district has administered roughly 90,000 doses, or 85% of its 106,000 distributed doses. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Amid falling COVID-19 case counts and dropping test positivity rates, Panhandle Health District has rescinded the masking mandate for the five northern counties. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Idaho Transportation Department has begun a multiyear improvement project on State Route 41 between Post Falls and Rathdrum. The work will include widening the highway with additional lanes and a median, as well as safety improvements including bridges over railroad crossings and new traffic signals. The $131 million multiphase project is slated for completion in 2023. Source: Journal of Business
Construction has begun on the Atlas Mill site in Coeur d’Alene. The first phase of work on the mixed residential and commercial redevelopment will include 30 single family homes, 24 townhomes and 150 multifamily units. Two more construction phases will subsequently add additional residential, retail and office space. Source: Journal of Business
J.C. Penny announced it will close its store in the Silver Lake Mall in Coeur d’Alene. This pending closure will shutter the last J.C. Penny in northern Idaho, following the closure of stores in Lewiston, Moscow and Ponderay. Source: Spokesman Review
MetalQuest Unlimited, a precision machine manufacturer based in Nebraska, has chosen Post Falls for its new manufacturing facility. The company, which specializes in precision production for clients in oil, agriculture and firearms manufacturing, expects to begin production at its new Post Falls facility by the end of January, with roughly 25 employees at first. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Health care providers in Kootenai County have received the first batches of COVID-19 vaccine and have begun vaccinating frontline medical staff. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The JC Penny in the Silver Lake Mall is now slated to close in the spring after being included in the company’s recent list of planned store closures. The store had been an anchor tenant of the Silver Lake Mall and was the last remaining JC Penny in North Idaho following the previous closures of stores in Lewiston and Ponderay. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Post Falls City Council approved the purchase of a $415,000 parcel of riverfront property, which was the final privately held plot in the Post Falls Water Treatment Facility’s easement to the Spokane River. The parcel is expected to be acquired in anticipation of a future expansion of the city’s wastewater treatment capacity. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
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The Panhandle Health District approved a mask mandate for all five northern counties, effective for 60 days. All five counties are currently in the “red” category for COVID cases, with high test positive rates and hospitals nearing or at full capacity. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Northwest Specialty Hospital has terminated an agreement with MultiCare Health System, which would have allowed MultiCare to become the majority owner of the hospital. Northwest Specialty will instead enter into a new agreement with Mountain View Hospital of Idaho Falls which will allow Northwest Specialty to remain physician-owned and operated. Source: Journal of Business
The city of Post Falls adopted a city-wide mask recommendation and a mask requirement on city property. The city also has begun revising guidelines to reduce occupancy at city facilities to align with Idaho’s movement back to Stage 2 COVID requirements. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Tamarack Aerospace Group is continuing its rapid expansion and is on track to triple its space in Sandpoint with additional office and hanger facilities. The company, which successfully completed a restructuring and emerged from bankruptcy filings, is aiming to leverage the new space for intensified research and development. Source: Journal of Business
Lakeside Capital Group LLC is planning a large new residential development on more than 1,000 acres of land, located between Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene. The land, acquired by the developer last year, was recently rezoned from agricultural land to transitional use. The planned new residential community, called Coeur Terre, could potentially include more than 2,000 units in a mixture of single and multi-family developments. Source: Journal of Business
Hagadone Hospitality is working on a new mixed-use development in southeastern Coeur d’Alene, which will feature three 200-foot tall towers to include a mixture of hotel rooms, apartments and condominiums. The development is still in the planning stage, has not been assigned an address and does not have a concrete timeline for completion yet. Source: Journal of Business
COVID masking mandates in northern Idaho are in flux, with the Panhandle Health District rescinding its mask order and the city of Coeur d’Alene implementing a mask order of its own, which went into effect on Oct. 27. Coeur d’Alene Public Schools are currently facing a significant COVID-19 outbreak, with large numbers of students quarantined. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Fatbeam LLC – a Coeur d’Alene-based fiber provider – is introducing a new product called Cloudbeam, which will allow its customers to connect securely to cloud services. Cloudbeam will function as Fatbeam’s proprietary alternative to VPN (virtual private network) services. Source: Journal of Business
Engel & Volkers, a German-based international luxury real estate brokerage, has opened an office in Coeur d’Alene with plans for a Sandpoint office in 2021. Source: Journal of Business
Quest Integration Inc., a Post Falls technology firm providing support for the manufacture and design of 3D printers, has been acquired by Hawk Ridge Systems, a California-based manufacturer of 3D printing systems. Quest will continue to operate under that name during the integration process but will eventually operate under the Hawk Ridge name. Source: Journal of Business
The Idaho Department of Labor has hired Bonang Seoela as its new labor economist for Idaho’s south central region, which includes Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls counties. He will also cover Bingham and Power counties in the southeastern region.
Seoela holds a master’s degree in economics from Boise State University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the College of Idaho.
While a research assistant at Boise State, Seoela received the College of Business and Economics’ Signature Student award and a Vice President of University Advancement award. As part of his undergraduate work, Seoela studied in China for six months. He speaks five languages.