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State legislators attend grand opening of two new INL cybersecurity facilities

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Watch: Rep. Doug Ricks talks about the eastern Idaho legislative tour. | Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS — Legislators from around the state spent Monday in eastern Idaho.

The lawmakers visited businesses, schools and new research facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory. The visits are part of the 2019 Legislative Tour, hosted by the Idaho Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, and brought 50 senators and representatives to east Idaho.

“You really can’t get a good perspective on what’s going in an area without visiting it,” Rep. Doug Ricks from Rexburg said. “About a year ago we went up to north Idaho and did a tour of that area and it was quite eye-opening.”

The legislators visited Premier Technologies in Blackfoot, Idahoan Foods, White Pines Charter School, Melaleuca and attended the opening of INL’s two newest facilities in Idaho Falls.

The INL, the Idaho State Board of Education and the Idaho State Building Authority officially opened the Cybercore Integration Center and the Collaborative Computing Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Both facilities will help with collaboration between researchers and students from Idaho State University, University of Idaho and Boise State University.

The Cybercore Integration Center will serve as an education, training and research facility for cybersecurity students and professionals.

Cybercore Integration Center | Courtesy INL

The Collaborative Computing Center will house INL’s Falcon and Lemhi supercomputers. Next year, students will also have access to what is expected to be one of the most powerful supercomputers in the Pacific Northwest – Sawtooth.

“I think this is a great thing for Idaho and cyber research and the ability to partner with the universities in doing this type of work. I think it will be a great benefit to our universities and our students who want to get involved in cybersecurity,” Ricks told EastIdahoNews.com.

Representative Wendy Horman visits White Pine Charter School. | Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews.com

Prior to attending the ribbon-cutting, the legislators visited with some of Idaho’s younger students at White Pine STEM Academy and White Pine Charter School K-6.

During a tour of the school, they learned about what projects students were working on and about the Core Knowledge Curriculum the school uses.

On Monday evening legislators visited Melaleuca Global Headquarters where CEO Frank VanderSloot spoke with them about legislation he wants implemented concerning medical billing and medical debt collection in Idaho.

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