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Tax revenue for Idaho robust in January

BOISE – Idaho’s January tax revenue likely beat forecasts by about $15 million.

The news, which indicates the economy could be picking up steam, may help mitigate concerns that arose last week about a yawning $185 million budget hole.

The robust January receipts come despite $9 million in unexpected sales tax rebates paid out to alternative energy companies.

Still, this news likely won’t ease lawmakers’ job of determining what revenue figure to budget to when they set the 2012 spending plan, due to start next July 1.

For instance, legislators still must decide whether to synchronize Idaho’s tax code with new federal tax rules, a move that could cost Idaho an estimated $70 million over two years.

Associated Press

Lighting retrofit at dam lauded for energy savings

A $1.2 million retrofit of its lighting system is allowing Grand Coulee Dam to produce enough extra electricity each year to power the equivalent of all U.S. household televisions during the Super Bowl.

The work at the nation’s largest hydropower dam won a regional environmental leadership award Tuesday.

The Bonneville Power Administration and the Bureau of Reclamation together installed energy efficient lights in more than 10,000 fixtures at the Columbia River dam, west of Spokane. The work took place over three years.

The combined energy savings means the 6,809-megawatt dam is delivering about one additional megawatt of renewable energy to the region.

The nearly 9 million kilowatt hours of added electricity per year could power all U.S. household TVs tuned into the Super Bowl this Sunday.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Seattle office recognized the lighting retrofit at its 2010 Champions of Environmental Leadership and Green Government Award.

Becky Kramer

Some HP, Dell computers have faulty Intel chip

SAN FRANCISCO – Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc. are warning that some of their new computers are affected by a technical flaw in an Intel Corp. chip.

The problems were expected when Intel revealed the design error in one of its support chips on Monday.

HP, the biggest personal computer maker, says only a “small fraction” of its PCs sold since early January are affected.

Dell says four of its computer models are affected, along with several planned products. People who bought affected Dell computers can return them or get them fixed when Intel’s replacement chips become available.

Intel is hustling out a fix to a faulty “chipset” whose ability to communicate with a computer’s hard disk drive and DVD drive erodes over time.

Associated Press


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