Ryan Suppe


The Idaho Falls and Ammon city councils unanimously approved a joint powers agreement that sets rules for the cities’ fiber networks when they cross city limits.

The agreement says that Ammon Fiber has the right to cross Idaho Falls city limits for the purpose of extending its fiber network when it would bring “regional benefits.”

Ammon Fiber will extend its network in the coming months to the College of Eastern Idaho, which is within Idaho Falls city limits.

With Ammon Fiber and Idaho Falls Fiber, the community college will have a safeguard against internet outages because it will be able to switch between the two networks, according to Jeremy Fregoso, CEI’s director of IT networks and security.

“If one piece of fiber fails, we’ll be able to use another path,” Fregoso said.

CEI also will be able to hook up to the Idaho Regional Optical Network, a statewide fiber optic network that allows researchers and educators to share big data.

Fregoso said CEI will be able to partner with other entities on the network — such as Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho State University or the Center for Advanced Energy Studies — to share data.

The joint powers agreement limits encroachment of fiber beyond city limits to areas of education, public safety and government services. Ammon cannot extend its network to businesses and residents in Idaho Falls.

“It’s for specific, targeted reasons that are very legitimate and involves school safety and so forth,” said Thomas Hally, Idaho Falls City Council president, at an Oct. 25 meeting. “It’s important to the total region to do this.”

The Bonneville County Sheriff’s office in downtown Idaho Falls will be able to connect to the Sheriff’s annex office in Ammon through the network, according to Ammon mayor Sean Coletti.

“It’s for safety purposes,” Coletti said. “If you’re connecting the sheriff’s offices together, then they have better communications. It’s nice that Idaho Falls and Ammon are working together on a joint understanding.”

Bank of Commerce to donate homeless kits

Employees at the Ririe Branch of the Bank of Commerce are donating kits — with cold weather accessories, toiletries and food — to homeless shelters in Idaho Falls.

Kits include a stocking hat, socks, gloves, a washcloth, soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, hot chocolate packets, soup packets and water bottles.

The hats were crocheted by Bank of Commerce employees and each one took about five hours to complete, according to a Bank of Commerce news release.

To date, 30 hats have been made, 14 of which were crocheted by Gay Gallup, a Bank of Commerce customer, the release said. Gallup and bank employees contributed personal resources for the kits, which will be donated this week.

Dept. of Labor to host veteran hiring event

The Idaho Department of Labor is hosting a veteran-focused hiring event Thursday at its Idaho Falls office.

Multiple “veteran-friendly” employers from eastern Idaho will attend the event, a Department of Labor news release said.

The event will focus on veterans but it’s open to anyone looking for a job.

From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Catie Bennett, an economic development specialist at the U.S. Small Business Administration, will present a class for veterans who want to start a business.

The event will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Idaho Falls Department of Labor office at 1515 E. Lincoln Road.

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Reporter Ryan Suppe can be reached at 208-542-6762. Follow him on Twitter: @salsuppe.

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