BIZ BUZZ: Local couple wins big, new Maverik store opening and more

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Marianne and Jody Boline with their brand new Nissan Rogue | Rett Nelson,

Do you want to know what’s happening on the east Idaho business scene? We’ve got you covered.

Here is a rundown of this week’s business news across the valley.

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Pocatello Regional Airport to offer additional flights

City of Pocatello

The following is a news release from the city of Pocatello.

POCATELLO — Air service to and from the Gate City is growing again.

SkyWest Airlines, operating as the Delta Connection to Salt Lake City, recently told Pocatello Regional Airport staff that it would begin offering a fourth daily flight Sunday through Friday and a third flight Saturdays starting March 1.

“We’re ecstatic that SkyWest is continuing to expand in the Pocatello market,” said David Allen, Pocatello Regional Airport Manager. “The new flights will connect passengers to 32 domestic cities on the 5 p.m. bank of departures from Salt Lake City, which is one of the most popular connecting banks. Almost all of our top 15 destinations are available plus many others such as Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Boston.”

Tickets for the new flights will be available for purchase beginning Jan. 14. Once the new flights hit the runway, the addition represents a 35 percent increase in service for travelers. The new flights arrive at approximately 2:45 p.m. and depart at approximately 3:15 p.m. every day of the week.



Future of Blackfoot swimming pool remains uncertain

File photo |

BLACKFOOT – Blackfoot city leaders are deciding the fate of the Blackfoot Swimming Pool.

Four options were presented at last week’s City Council meeting. The options presented included:

  • Closing the pool permanently
  • Doing nothing
  • Closing the pool temporarily
  • Trying to pass a pool bond again

City Councilman Chris Jensen has been fighting for the Blackfoot pool since he was elected 12 years ago.

“I believe we can get a bond passed, but we have to do it the right way, and we’ve failed to do that,” Jensen says. “There are no fatal flaws with (the pool). There are a few minor problems. Those problems can be fixed.”

Jensen says the new mayor, Marc Carroll, is looking at previous reports of issues with the pool and costs attached to those repairs. He is trying to determine which repairs are absolutely crucial, and which are not. At this point, Jensen says the mayor has not indicated one way or another, what he thinks about it.

We reached out to Carroll, but he has not returned our calls.

The pool opened around 1973. The city failed to perform regular maintenance checks on the facility, which is the reason for the concerns surrounding the pool now.

Jensen says the public perception of the pool is directly impacted by how the mayor talks about it. Former Mayor Paul Loomis always questioned whether the pool should remain open, but Jensen says Mike Virtue, Loomis’ predecessor, said there was no question the pool should be repaired and kept open.

Jensen anticipates Carroll will make his recommendation to the City Council within the next couple of months.


Local couple wins 2017 Nissan Rogue

Rett Nelson |

IDAHO FALLS – Marianne and Jody Boline of Idaho Falls are the owners of a new Nissan Rogue from Ron Sayer Nissan.

The Bolines entered a national sweepstakes last year, which they heard about through an email. They had bought a Nissan about three years before that, which was part of the reason they received the email about the sweepstakes.

Matt Jolley, the general manager of Ron Sayer Nissan, told us Nissan has similar promotions like this every year. Winners are selected randomly, and this year just happened to be a lucky one for someone locally.

“It just goes to show you, never delete your emails,” Jolley said.

Marianne was the person who entered the sweepstakes. The Bolines first received a call about winning the contest in November.

“I’m glad she’s lucky, and I’m not,” Jody Boline told “I never win anything, so I was skeptical at first.”

“It didn’t seem real until (last) Friday, when we started talking about picking up our new car,” Marianne said. “It’s amazing. We are so excited.”

Watch the the Bolines officially being awarded the new car below:



Rigby man’s toy invention being considered for national award

RIGBY – A Rigby man’s invention is being considered for a Toy of the Year award.

Jeff Larson and his Watermelon Ball | Courtesy Jeff Larson

Jeff Larson grew up playing watermelon ball, a water game similar to football or rugby, at the Ammon swimming pool with his friends. When he went to college, he would play the game at the pool in his apartment complex.

“The games got really intense. We went through a lot of watermelons,” Larson told

They played with the fruit because watermelons would sink to the bottom and slowly float to the surface, making for easy handling in the water.

But the watermelons would often break and make a big mess.

That’s when Larson started thinking of a way to play with a ball that looked, felt and floated like a watermelon, yet was durable enough to withstand intense use.


New Maverik opening for business

Maverik store at 105 S. State Street in Rigby. | Rett Nelson |

RIGBY – The new Maverik store in Rigby will officially open its doors with a grand opening event Wednesday, Jan. 10, from 4 to 8 p.m.

“Join the Maverik team to celebrate with giveaways, free samples and awesome deals,” states a news release about the event.

Glen Taylor, the store director, says staff are excited to serve the community and grateful to be here.

“We really appreciate our Maverik family. It’s a long time coming to get a new Maverik store here,” Taylor says.

The 4,300-square-foot store is on the site formerly occupied by Abbott’s Craft & Variety store. Maverik bought the property in early 2017.

The new Maverik is at 105 S. State Street in Rigby.

A new Maverik store also opened on Sunnyside and Yellowstone Highway in Idaho Falls last month.


Brigham Young University-Idaho Business Management Department divides

Courtesy Brigham Young University-Idaho

The following is a news release from Brigham Young University-Idaho.

REXBURG – Beginning Winter Semester 2018, the Department of Business Management will be split into three new departments: the Department of Finance, the Department of Management and the Department of Marketing.

The creation of these three departments was decided upon at the beginning of this fall semester, though the nature of the changes have been discussed since this past spring.

Edwin Sexton, the Dean of the College of Business and Communication, approached the Department of Business Management with the idea of splitting it into three, and suggested faculty members consider the change. A positive consensus among the faculty was reached.

Business Management faculty member Drew Eagar will serve as the chair of the newly created Department of Marketing in January. According to Eagar, as curriculum is formed, the departments can structurally take measures to resolve various concerns from administration, one of which being the high level of students leaving BYU-Idaho prior to graduating.



Experience the magic of the Ice Palace at Labelle Lake

RIGBY – Seven miles north of Rigby, tucked away in the South Fork Estates subdivision, is a 7-acre parcel of land known as Labelle Lake.

Located on the property is a 7,000-square-foot log home next to the Snake River. This is where Jim and Shannon Youngstrom raised their family.

“Our last child just graduated high school this year. My wife and I have this big place and we thought, ‘What should we do now?’” Jim Youngstrom tells



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