Billionaire Burkle said to be eyeing Supervalu
Ronald Burkle and private equity firms are looking at parts of Supervalu, though the troubled Minnesota-based supermarket chain that owns Idaho Albertsons stores would prefer a deal for all of its assets.
Supervalu has about a dozen supermarket arms and pharmacies, and a distribution business. Cerberus Capital Management has looked at some of the companys assets as well, say unnamed sources, who add that Supervalu extended its offer deadline beyond Oct. 15.
The companys market value has tumbled more than three-fourths since the end of 2010 and has lost $2.5 billion in the past two fiscal years.
Commerce chief showcases software
A smartphone application created in Idaho in August 2011 allowed private business leaders to weigh in on the state of Idahos business climate Oct. 4 by pressing buttons on their cellphones.
Idaho Department of Commerce Director Jeff Sayer spoke to leaders at a lunch honoring the states top 75 private businesses and invited them to sign on to the SlideKlowd app from Klowd.com, an Eagle technology company. As Sayer went through his talk and PowerPoint presentation, he used the app to query the audience on policy preferences, infrastructure needs and other topics.
What to do with the governors mansion?
The 7,100-square-foot house that potato magnate J.R. Simplot built on a North Boise hilltop in 1980 and gave to Idaho in 2004 is vacant.
With a projected maintenance bill of $177,400 this year, it costs more to keep up than the median price of a Boise-area home.
At a recent hearing, most speakers recommended either selling it or giving it back to the Simplot family. But the heirs dont want it, saying it was meant to be used as the governors house.
Gov. Butch Otter, who divorced Simplots daughter in 1993, prefers his riverside ranch west of Boise.
Idaho general fund revenues beat hopes
The funds revenue was 3.7 percent higher than expected in September, reaching $239.2 million. The cause: strong individual income tax receipts and a 13.2 percent increase in withholding.
Sales tax collections slightly beat forecasts at $97.2 million, up 6.8 percent from a year earlier.
Flying Pies plan: To Meridian and beyond
Flying Pie Pizzaria will open a third restaurant early next year on South Main Street at South Meridian Road. Owner Florian Penalva took over Flying Pie last year with the goal of expanding it.
Depending on the success of the new Meridian restaurant, Penalvas five-year plan is to add another location possibly near Boise State University followed by expansion outside of Idaho.
Flying Pie surveyed about 34,500 customers in its restaurants and on Facebook this year to find out where they wanted the next restaurant to be located. Meridian and Nampa had a large share of the votes, so Penalva chose a Meridian intersection accessible from Nampa via Interstate 84.
Can Idaho Power shut down wind plants?
The power company says it is preparing to appeal a federal ruling that challenges efforts to shut down wind farms during low-demand periods. The next move depends on a decision by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission that is expected next month. A federal commission ruled in September that Idaho Powers proposal for shutdowns goes against a 1978 public utility law.
Energy developers, banks and power utilities across the nation are affected by the debate over whether utilities can take actions such as what Idaho Power is proposing, and they are watching to see how the debate ends.
PUC OKs Intermountain Gas rate decrease
Intermountain customers got their sixth consecutive drop in gas rates because of increased gas supply and declining cost of gas the company buys for its customers.
Commercial rates will decrease 3.1 percent, averaging about $6.46 per month. Residential customers who use natural gas for water and space heating will see cuts of 3.1 percent, or $1.51 per month. Those who use natural gas only for space heating will have a 0.4 percent, or 17-cent, decrease.
The company also will issue a one-time $3.7 million credit to its customers in December.
Prepare for more bad news, HP CEO says
Hewlett-Packards Meg Whitman says internal and economic trouble will drag down the Silicon Valley companys earnings by more than 10 percent next year. The company is coming off its biggest quarterly loss ever and has cut jobs in its Boise office.
Whitman says she has a strategy for an HP turnaround, but investors dumped shares the day she spoke, sending the stock price down 13 percent.