Molly Messick

Reporter

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The housing market is recovering in much of the country, not so much in Idaho. Home prices dropped by 46 percent in the Boise area during the financial crises. Forty-six percent. Today's business bottom line takes us to the home of a family that rode out the crash and are still waiting for better times. Here's Molly Messick of Boise State Public Radio.

In the West, in Idaho's arid, high desert, the drought has a mixed effect. There's a big divide between farmers with deep wells and irrigation and those without.

Hans Hayden is a rare find: a talkative farmer. He likes to explain things. But when it comes to the wheat he planted this spring, there's not much to say. This field needed rain. It didn't get it.

"At this point in time, it kind of looks like a desert," he says.

Cutbacks in airline routes affect more than disgruntled passengers — it may hinder a city's opportunity to turn around economically. Business owners say, as one of the most remote U.S. cities, Boise can't afford to lose flights.

In the last few years, more than 4,000 refugees have found their way to a far-flung spot: Idaho. Most of the state's incoming refugees come to Boise. For years, the city's strong economy, good-quality affordable housing and supportive community created an especially favorable environment for refugee resettlement. The recession has shifted that picture.

StateImpact Idaho's Molly Messick reports on two people coping with the lingering effects of an economic downturn.

Before the recession, Idaho had one of the fastest growing economies in the country. But last year, its jobless rate peaked at nearly 10 percent. That number has begun to creep downward – but many workers in the state are still struggling to replace the jobs they've lost.

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On July first, the state’s driving under the influence law will change in a big way. Drivers arrested for driving drunk will no longer be able to refuse a test of their blood alcohol level. Instead, law enforcement officers will be able to have tests performed, whether drivers like it or not. But implementing that kind of change is a tricky process. Wyoming Public Radio’s Molly Messick reports.