Work is now underway on a major Idaho Department of Transportation improvement project on State Route 41 between Post Falls and Rathdrum. The work includes widening the highway with additional lanes in both directions as well as new traffic lights and improved railroad crossings. The $131 million project is scheduled for completion in 2022. Source: Journal of Business
Coeur d’Alene Schools suspended its mask requirement for staff and students and replaced it with a mask recommendation. Mandatory masks for students have been a continued source of consternation for Coeur d’Alene parents. Source: CDA Press
Despite the nationwide pandemic, the number of cybersecurity job openings in Idaho saw a 28% increase in 2020 with an estimated 1,200 available postings through the course of the year. Since 2015, openings for cybersecurity jobs have grown by 160%, sustained by accelerating demand across multiple industry sectors. Nationwide, job postings rose to more than 350,000 in 2020.
* Job postings have been filtered to reflect computer/math occupations with job postings that request cybersecurity skills as determined from the Burning Glass skills taxonomy.
The Panhandle Health District board voted by a 4-3 decision to extend the mask mandate for all five northern counties. The mandate will now remain in effect until the next board meeting, currently scheduled for April 22. Source: KREM
Housing inventories in Kootenai County continue to drop due to high demand and aggressive offers by out-of-state buyers looking to move to northern Idaho. Inventory of homes below $1 million fell to only 27 in early February, with median prices up more than 30% from 2020. Source: Spokesman Review
Community Network Libraries, which have been closed since November due to COVID-19, have reopened with social distancing and occupancy regulations in effect. Source: Coeur d’ Alene Press
Dollar Fulfillment, a Hayden based e-commerce fulfillment company, has purchased several acres in the Post Falls Bighorn industrial park and is planning a future expansion there. Source: Journal of Business
Heritage Health is now partnering with the Kroc Center in Coeur d’Alene to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. Source: Coeur d’ Alene Press
The Idaho Division of Veteran Services plans to proceed with construction of a 64-room home for veterans in Post Falls. The 83,000-square-foot skilled nursing facility is slated for completion in 2022. It will be Idaho’s fourth veterans home and the first in northern Idaho. Source: Journal of Business
Redevelopment of the former Atlas Mill site in Coeur d’Alene is underway, with the first phase now scheduled for the first half of 2021 to include a mix of housing. The first development phase includes 24 townhomes, 54 single family homes and 93 multifamily units along with a mix of retail and office space. Altogether, this first phase of construction will use four of the Atlas Mill site’s 13 development plats. Source: Journal of Business
Kenworth Trucks is planning to build a new facility in Post Falls to offer parts, sales, service and leasing. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
December’s economic data showed that Idaho continued to progress in what has become one of the fastest economic recoveries in the country, following the economic shock of the COVID pandemic in the spring months of 2020. Idaho’s nonfarm jobs continued their recovery and are now slightly above the breakeven point for the year, with total nonfarm jobs now exceeding the totals reached in December 2019.
Idaho’s total nonfarm jobs grew by 4,900 (0.6%) to 773,700 for December 2020. Substantial gains in trade, transportation and utilities (+2,400) as well as leisure and hospitality (+1,800) drove the increases, although most of Idaho’s major sectors enjoyed gains in December.
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