February 25, 2006 in Business

Average wage rises in North Idaho

The Spokesman-Review
 

The average wage in North Idaho rose 2.5 percent last year, to $15.10 an hour, according to recent survey by the Idaho Commerce & Labor Department.

The average annual paycheck was $31,408, according to the survey. The median – or midpoint wage – was $12.40 an hour, or $25,792 a year.

The annual survey compiles data for more than 200 types of jobs.

Some of North Idaho’s highest paid professions included family physicians, with average wages of nearly $60 an hour; lawyers, $49 an hour; pharmacists, $39 an hour; and chief executives, $35 an hour.

Among the lowest paid jobs: bartenders, $6.50 an hour; fast-food cooks, $6.91 an hour; and taxi drivers, $7.28 an hour.

Ex-CIA chief to speak about alternative fuel

Former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey will speak Monday in Spokane about growing crops for fuel as a national security measure.

His talk is part of the “Northwest Harvesting Clean Energy” conference at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park.

Also, Tom Dorr, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s undersectretary for rural development, is scheduled to give a luncheon talk about how farmers and small towns can gain from the renewed interest in farm-based fuels.

The conference is open to the public. For more information, go to www.harvestcleanenergy.org

Boise

Court backs companies in condemnation case

Businesses are entitled to claim damages from local governments when private property where they are located is condemned for a public project, even if the business does not own the property, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The court upheld a decision by a 4th District Court jury against the city of McCall in a case involving a nearly four-acre parcel that the Idaho Transportation Department and the city condemned in 2003 for a new road.

The jury awarded the owners of the parcel $550,000 for the taking of their land and found that two concrete and paving firms operating on the parcel should receive a total of $485,000 in business damages.

The city appealed the awards, arguing the two businesses did not have a property interest in the land. But the court held that any business that has been operating on a property for at least five years prior to the condemnation of the land is entitled to seek damages from the government agency that takes it.

What should stay and what should go?

Note to readers: Some readers have requested that we reinstate dividends in our weekly stock listings, which are published in the Investments section. We’re still working out the logistics of that addition, but we’ll try to have dividends back next Saturday.

In the meantime, we’d like to hear from more of you – which data could you live without to bring back dividends?

Our weekly stock tables now list 52-week high and low prices, year-to-date change, last trade and the weekly change. Please contact Business Editor Addy Hatch at (509)459-5458 or by e-mail at addyh@spokesman.com.

Compiled from staff

and wire reports

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