Casper discusses state of the city

Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper poses for a portrait in City Hall on Friday. During her state of the city address on Thursday, Casper listed many of the new businesses that opened in Idaho Falls in 2017. “Things are vibrant in Idaho Falls, economically,” she said. John Roark/ jroark@postregister.com

After a contentious local election cycle full of shallow advertisements and misleading, often false claims, Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper reaffirmed during her state of the city speech Thursday night the duty to thoughtfully and collectively address complex city issues.

Fund that keeps rural phone rates affordable in peril

Pay phones used to be a popular way for people to make telephone calls away from home. Most phone booths have disappeared as more and more people carry cell phones. The same trend has led to people canceling landline service at home, which has cut the revenue collected from a surcharge that helps subsidize landline service in parts of rural Idaho. This 1957 photo was taken at Fort Lewis in Washington by the Richards Studio of Tacoma. Courtesy photo

A 30-year-old state fund that keeps landline phone service affordable for rural Idahoans is in jeopardy as more people drop landlines.

How to turn motorized rec into a sustainable economy

Ernie Lombard, the namesake for the Lombard Trail, checking out the information kiosk at the beginning of the Lombard trail at Land of the Yankee Fork. Lombard served on the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation trails and recreation board. For 25 years he wanted to purchase the old mining town named Bayhorse. Because of his passion for mining towns and off-highway vehicles, he was instrumental in getting Bayhorse Ghost Town opened and connected with trails. Courtesy of the IDPR-Land of the Yankee Fork

Editor’s note: This story is part of The Montana Gap project, produced in partnership with the Solutions Journalism Network.

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