101 small ways you can improve your city – Curbed

The least you can do to make a big difference where you live.

Source: 101 small ways you can improve your city – Curbed

This is such a great article.  We can think of several of these ideas that some of our local communities have implemented here in Southern Idaho.  Check it out and be inspired by what YOU can do to improve your community.

Posted in Community Design, Placemaking, Rural Design, Southern Idaho Rural Development | Tagged | Leave a comment

Idaho Department of Commerce Upcoming Events Calendar

Want more information like this?



SEP 15
STEP Applications Due
SEP 22
Pricing Your Exports Seminar
SEP 28
OCT 28
Governor’s Trade Mission to China
FEB  5
IWA Outdoor Classics
MAR 20
APR 12
Secutech Security Show
MAR 11
Paris Air Show

View all upcoming events

Posted in Idaho, Idaho Department of Commerce, Southern Idaho Rural Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Idaho’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant

Source: Idaho Commerce


STEP Year 2016-2017


The State of Idaho is still awaiting the announcement of awards by the U.S. Small Business Administration for the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant for federal fiscal year 2016. However, in anticipation of the potential award, we are moving forward as planned and are now open for applications for eligible projects occurring in the grant period: September 30, 2016 – September 29, 2017.

All Financial Assistance Award applications (Option #1) are due by 5:00 p.m. MDT on Thursday, September 15, 2016. This is to be the only application period for this option.

Visit our website for complete program guidelines.

All awards are contingent upon receipt of the 2016 award from the SBA.

Applications are accepted online at Idaho Commerce’s Grant Portal. To register for your online portal account and apply, contact STEP Grant Program Manager, Tina Salisbury at (208) 287-3164 or by email at tina.salisbury@commerce.idaho.gov.

*Please note that log-in set ups are available Mondays-Fridays only, and we require a minimum of 48 hours prior to application due date.

“Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration”
There are two options to take advantage of STEP funds:

Option #1
Financial Assistance Award

Awards range from $3,000 minimum up to $15,000 maximum and a 35% cash match is required.

Maximum of 40 awards available; review and scoring process will be very competitive.

Eligible activities for Financial Assistance Awards include:

  • Governor’s or Foreign Trade Mission
  • Foreign Market Sales Trips
  • Services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Website translation to a foreign language, search engine optimization, localization services
  • Trade Shows – International or Domestic (supported/selected for the U.S. Department of Commerce International Buyer Program)

Option #2

Application Deadlines to be announced on a per project basis.

Outdoor Recreation:
ISPO Munich
Munich, Germany
February 5-8, 2017

Arms and Ammunition:
IWA Outdoor Classics
Nuremburg, Germany
March 3-6, 2017

Hannover, Germany
March 20-24, 2017

Pet Products:
Bologna, Italy
May 11-14, 2017

Paris Air Show
Paris, France
June 19-25, 2017

Director Led Trade Mission (Tentative):
Spring 2017

International Pricing Seminar

International Pricing Seminar
Thursday, September 22
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Get ahead of the competition!

Learn how to analyze pricing fees when exporting products to effectively grow your business. International fees and expenses can create obstacles for small businesses to integrate into global markets. New and even experienced companies sometimes struggle to identify costs associated with exporting products.

Join the Idaho District Export Council (IDEC) at the International Pricing Seminar to learn how to expand your business abroad! Learn about the costs of international trade and how you can effectively maintain your profit margin.

The Seminar will focus on pricing factors including:

  • International Transportation
  • Financing
  • Value Added Taxes
  • Foreign Exchange
  • Payment Methods

Cost: $35 (includes box lunch)
Location: 800 W. Main Street 17th floor, Boise ID, 83702

Click here to register.

Posted in Idaho, Southern Idaho Rural Development | Tagged , , , ,

2016 Gooding County Fair & Rodeo

Info in this article was taken from The Courier News, written and published by Edward Reagan. 

BANNERFAIRThe Gooding County Fair exhibit entries begin today  – August 15th .  All Open Class items (except flowers and garden produce) will be accepted from 9am to 9pm.  The flower exhibit will be open for entries on Tues Aug 16th from 4 to 8PM and field crops can be brought in on Wed morning at 8AM.

Wednesday evening August 17th the parade will roll down Main Street at 7PM.  Sign up begins at 4PM behind ISDB (Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind). Large entries (tractors, trucks, etc.) can line up along Main Street south of 13th Ave.  There is no fee to enter,  but if you have questions, contact Pete Etchart at the Gooding Valley County Store.  This year’s theme is “Fair-a-dise.”  GOODINGFAIR

After the parade you can head on over to the fairgrounds for Family Night at the carnival ($1 rides) or stick around downtown at the Sidetrack Bar for the Street Dance featuring Dirty Johnny.  Or, you can get your first taste of rodeo with the WPRA Barrel Racing Slack event starting at 9pm.  slide4

All fair exhibits are open for public viewing on Thurs from 10 to 10. Thurs August 18th is also Family Night at the Rodeo starting at 8PM. Friday August 19th is Tough Enough to Wear Pink luncheon and live auction at 12 noon and rodeo at 8pm.  The 4H/FFA Livestock Sale will be held on Sat August 20th at 10AM.

BULLSpecial event this year after Saturday’s rodeo – stick around for Bullfighters Only. Six of the world’s top bullfighters will go head to head with some of the country’s’ best bulls.  The 2016 Gooding County Fair will wrap up on Sunday morning with Cowboy Church 9AM at the Commercial Building.

The following link will take you to a full calendar of the week’s events and activities.  Gooding County Fair Schedule of Events

Posted in Bliss, Gooding, Gooding County, Hagerman, Southern Idaho Rural Development, Wendell | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Small Business Focus: The Oxbow Diner – Bliss ID

If you’ve lived in Southern Idaho for any length of time, you have likely had the pleasure of stopping for coffee and pie, lunch or dinner at the historic Oxbow Cafe right off the freeway in Bliss ID.  This local restaurant used to be a favorite stop for travellers, truckers and locals alike as the highway to / from Boise ID passed right through the city of Bliss. Things change and scenic highways and biways were passed by in lieu of speedier Interstate freeways – which was the case near Bliss.  The loss of through traffic affected several small businesses in Bliss.  The Oxbow Cafe finally closed, sitting vacant till recently, when the team of Bill Jones and Leslie Jones had the vision of re-opening this wonderful throw-back to more relaxed days of travel, homey diner atmosphere, and delicious homecooked foods.  The old Oxbow Cafe has now been given new life and a new name – the new Oxbow Diner.  Their hours are below: 

Closed Currently on Mondays
Tue-Thu: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm
Fri-Sat: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sun: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm

Continue reading

Posted in Bliss, Buy Local, Facebook, Gooding County, Southern Idaho Rural Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Small Business Focus: Jerome/Wendell Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Clinic


This article focusses on a new small business operating in the towns of Jerome & Wendell ID.   We would like to introduce Lon Egbert, PT, ATC, DPT and his team who are ‘movement experts’ as their website states.

Jerome Wendell PT

Lon Egbert, PT, ATC, was selected in 2002 to be part of the medical staff as a Physical Therapist and Certified Athletic Trainer for the Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games. He was also selected for the World Games and the Olympic Trials leading up to those games. In 2007 he was again selected to help out at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO and the most recently at the 2008 Track & Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. He continues to volunteer his time and expertise with the local athletes at Jerome and Wendell schools.

“I continue to volunteer at the Certified Athletic Trainer for Jerome, Wendell, Gooding, Hagerman Athletic programs. I volunteer to help out with the all star games for the High Schools. We are currently trying to get donations to help Wendell MS/High Schools put in underground sprinkler system so our soccer and football fields are watered sufficiently and not by hand lines for more efficient watering system and to decrease injuries in our school district. All donations are accepted at Wendell school district office payable to Sprinkler System project.”


We encourage you to patronize this locally owned small business in Wendell OR Jerome ID.

Posted in Buy Local, Gooding, Gooding County, Idaho, Southern Idaho, Southern Idaho Rural Development | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

MVAC Art Scene Summer 2016 Upcoming Events

We love art and support local artists of all kinds in each of our communities.  In support of that; we want to share upcoming art related events and classes for the communities.  Check out the full roster of events hosted by Magic Valley Arts Council (MVAC).   We’re sure you’ll find something you will enjoy!

 Magic Valley Arts Council “Art Scene” Summer 2016
Twin Falls Center for the Arts
195 River Vista Place
Mark your calendars!

Click the name of the event to be re-directed to the
detail/registration page for that event

MVAC Offers Drawing Class – June 22 thru July 27, 2016
Jazz on the Canyon
– June 30, 2016
Corporate Evening June 29 is Sold Out!
Fabio Zini Performance – July 16, 2016
MVAC Arts in the Park – July 29 & 30, 2016
Kids Art in the Park – Sat. July 30, 2016
Thousand Springs Arts Festival – September 24 & 25, 2016



July 12-15 
Handmade Books with Tammy Scott, All Ages, 9:30-11 am – We’ll create simple sewn structures, accordion fold styles and instant books.  These will be tools for the artists and authors to create their own stories and sketchbooks.  We all have a story to tell!

Mixed Media with Cheryl Bruce, 3:30-5 pm – Explore creativity with a  variety of mixed media: paint, ink washes, colored pencils, markers, pens, custom-cut stencils, and more.

July 19-21 
Color Exploration with Tammy Scott, All Ages, 9:30-11 am – Color, color everywhere!  This class will lead you through the exploration of color as we learn how to mix e colors using primary colors.  Then, we will practice this skills creating art together!

Make Your Own Art Journal with Cheryl Bruce, 3:30-5 pm – Turn your morning’s cereal box into a one-of-a-kind journal while exploring a variety of mixed media. Learn basic bookbinding skills and equipment while making a simple book structure for your mixed media work. Discussion will cover various types of journals and methods for developing content for your pages.

July 26-28 
Printmaking with Tammy Scott, All Ages, 9:30-11 am – Let’s make prints!  Learn to make monoprints, screen prints, and create prints with found objects.  Each class will be paint, color and texture filled fun!

Getting Shady with Andy Juarez, Grades 6-12,  3:30-5 pm – Turn your drawings into realistic works of art by discovering the importance of shading.

Aug. 2-4 
Figure Drawing with Karen Fothergill, Grades 3-6 from 10-11:30 am – For beginners as well as those continuing with their figure drawing practice. Learn and practice proportions and correct relationship between the parts of the body and negative space

Eggshell Mosaics with Cheryl Bruce, 3:30-5 pm  – An eggs-ceptional experience for your little chicks! They will love seeing their art pop off the page as they peck away at this project.

Aug. 9-11
Collage with Tammy Scott, All Ages, 9:30-11 am – Who loves to cut and glue?  We do!  Learn art vocabulary while practicing the art of collage.  We’ll have fun      creating art from recyclables.  Magazines and found objects can inspire the artist within us all!

Zentangle with Cheryl Bruce, 3:30-5 pm – Zentangle is fun and creative way to increase your focus and state of mind.

Aug. 16-18
Explore Painting with Corinne Slusser, 10-11:30 am – Explore painting techniques as you learn.

Getting Shady with Andy Juarez, Grades 6-12,  3:30-5 pm – Turn your drawings into realistic works of art by discovering the importance of shading.

All classes are taught by local artists. Fee are $25 for Magic Valley Arts Council Members or $40 for non-MVAC members. Class size at the Twin Falls Center for the Arts is limited.  Reserve your space today by calling the Magic Valley Arts Council at (208) 734-ARTS (2787).

Posted in Calling All Artists, Gooding County, Hagerman, Magic Valley Arts Council (MVAC), Southern Idaho Rural Development, Tourism, Twin Falls, Twin Falls County | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Schools, Nonprofits Offer Free Summer Meals for Children | Southern Idaho Education | magicvalley.com

TWIN FALLS • School’s out for summer, but hunger doesn’t take a vacation.

Source: Schools, Nonprofits Offer Free Summer Meals for Children | Southern Idaho Education | magicvalley.com

Meals are being offered M-F in Twin Falls and surrounding communities of Buhl, Gooding, Hagerman, Wendell, Dietrich, Shoshone, Hansen, Filer, Kimberly, Jerome. Download or view the statewide PDF to find a local site. Feel free to spread the word!

Here’s the link to the PDF listing:  Free Summer Lunches

Posted in Buhl, Dietrich, Filer, Gooding, Gooding County, Hagerman, Hansen, Kimberly, Lincoln County, Shoshone, Southern Idaho Rural Development, Twin Falls, Twin Falls County, Wendell | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Invest in a Sustainable Local Food System

(This article shared with permission from Idaho’s Bounty Cooperative, 7665 Mossy Cup St. Unit B. Boise ID  83709)

Dear Idaho’s Bounty Cooperative member, producer, customer and supporter,

Fantastic things are happening at Idaho’s Bounty Cooperative!  We just moved our distribution headquarters to a new location in Boise.  With this move we have quadrupled our warehouse space.  This provides us with a proper space to accurately pack orders, more space to house product, and fantastic freeway access, which is important to a trucking company.  These advances will save us time, miles traveled and give us the ability to expand to even more locations.

In establishing a local food system, its critical that we discuss distribution.  For many years we shied away from our position as a trucking company.  We are so much more than that!  And while that remains true, its also important to recognize the role we play in the food system so that we can meet the needs that are not otherwise being met.  We are becoming a logistical powerhouse that brings the smallest farmers a marketplace in which to sell their goods and the largest farms to markets in which they would not otherwise have access.  Because we do what we do, there is more local food available and being sold locally.  No other distributor does it with so much influence in our community. What we are doing is so special, that’s what keeps us going.

We need you.  You can have no greater impact in creating and supporting our local food system than through Idaho’s Bounty Cooperative.  Every purchase made, every dollar invested impacts every farmer and producer in our network and all the ones to come down the road.  There are 3 ways you can get involved.

  1. Place your order!  Its as simple as that.  Use our distribution system to gain access to the best food around.  Whether its for your restaurant or for yourself, every dollar you spend with us is a statement that you care about local food in Idaho.
  2. Donate to our crowdfunding campaign!  This initiative is specifically for outfitting our new warehouse with the tools we need.  We couldn’t have gotten this new warehouse if it wasn’t for our investors, this is an approachable way for the public to make a huge difference.  We need freezers, racking, electrical work, pallet jacks, carts, and much more.  The best part of our new space is it has a 680 square foot room that we will convert to cold storage.  This is where the bulk of the money will be spent.  https://www.crowdrise.com/idahos-bounty-cooperative

  3. Invest!  Last June we set out to raise $500,000 to lease trucks, get a new space, buy some equipment and reduce the AP lapse for producers.  We are almost to our goal!  We have just over one more month to raise the final $85,000.  Please email ian.jameson@idahosbounty.coop for details or check out our webinar here:
 Thank you.  For all of your support over the years and for a renewed commitment to us and our local food system, I thank you.
In cooperation,


PS. Please share this message shamelessly!

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Scandal and Tragedy Hit Twin Falls in the 1930’s – Rogerson Hotel & Bertha Campbell’s Dress Shoppe

Another offering in our Southern Idaho History – Community Series – Twin Falls ID. Director, Julia Oxarango-Ingram is deeply involved in Twin Falls and Twin Falls County restoration and salvage of our downtown buildings; most recently the salvage and salvage repository from the Rogerson Hotel.  We discovered this fascinating article about the Rogerson and establishments nearby. This event took place in the 1930’s.

This excerpt comes from the book by Mary J. Inman entitled, Twin Falls Centurybook 1904-2004 – Celebrating the Twin Falls, Idaho Centennial.

Twin Falls was rocked by a murder and scandal on May 24, 1938.  The lifeless body of George L. Olson, a diamond salesman from Salt Lake City, was discovered in a car parked behind the Park Hotel and a half a million dollars in gems was missing.   Police Chief Gillette investigated.  The clues pointed to a prominent citizen of Twin Falls: former mayor Duncan Johnston who owned a jewelry store on Main Avenue E and was the last to see the salesman alive.

The police chief and an electrician took a room at the Rogerson Hotel and obtained a key to Bertha Campbells’ Dress Shop, both establishments being in the same block with Johnston’s store.The two men went into the common basement to “bug” the jewelry store. There they happened upon the cache of gems wrapped in a towel hidden in a recess in the basement wall.  Officer Craig Bracken was assigned to a stake-out and he caught the ex-mayor.  Johnston was tried and convicted and sent to prison.  Also arrested was an employee of Johnston’s; William LaVonde, a desk sergeant at the police station, which was in the same building as the mayor’s office.  But not enough evidence was found to convict this accomplice and he skipped town.


Vintage Postcard of this grand hotel

article murder


Article from The Pittsburgh Press Dec 21, 1942 about Johnston’s ‘escape’ from prison


Tragically, Officer Bracken died in the line of duty on 8 May 1939. Two bums from Nevada stole a car and robbed a service station.  They were spotted by Officers Bracken and Baraclay who then followed and stopped the suspects.  Shots were fired on both sides; both miscreants were wounded, and one of them wounded Officer Bracken who died the next day.  The murderer got a sentence of life in prison where he spent twenty years; his accomplice got seven years.

Historical Update:  Sixty-one years later on 20 January 2000, the Twin Falls Police Department awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously to the fallen forty-five-year-old policeman, the only one of any Twin Falls force to die in the line of duty.  The presentation was made to Craig Bracken’s daughter Virginia Bracken O’Dell and son Frank Bracken.

Interested in an even more comprehensive re-telling of this story? Check out the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Family Search site for a historical document sharing the ‘Rest of the Story’!   Click HERE


Posted in Building Restoration, Old Building Salvage, SIRD, Southern Idaho, Southern Idaho Rural Development, Twin Falls, Twin Falls County | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment