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MOD Pizza submits plans for Twin Falls restaurant

TWIN FALLS — Another fast-casual pizza chain is making its way to Twin Falls.

MOD Super Fast Pizza has filed a building permit application for a remodel at 683 Blue Lakes Blvd. N., in the building right next to the former home of Chipotle. MOD (short for “made on demand”) also received its sign permits from the city in December.

The restaurant plans to open in April, depending on the construction schedule, company spokeswoman Charlotte Wayte said.


A rendering of the exterior of MOD Pizza. 

According to the application, MOD Pizza wants to do a $250,000 tenant improvement to build out the space.

MOD Pizza is a fast-casual pizza chain based in Seattle and makes artisan-style, individual pizzas and salads on-demand.

“We have over 400 locations now,” Wayte said. “It’s really grown a lot in the last few years.”

MOD has been expanding with mostly company-owned restaurants by almost 100 restaurants per year, she said.


The site of the future MOD Super Fast Pizza on Thursday in Twin Falls.

“We will continue to grow pretty aggressively this year,” Wayte said.

MOD Super Fast Pizza has plans to open a restaurant in Pocatello in March and one in Boise by the end of this year. The restaurant has done well in smaller communities, she said, and it tries to offer local brews.

Other building permits of interest the city issued in December:

Rocky Mountain Flooring Inc.

  • received a permit for a $1.1 million retail store with showroom and storage at 1643 Locust St. N.

Dutch Bros. Coffee

  • received a building permit for a $660,000 coffee shop with a drive-through at 326 Blue Lakes Blvd. N. The company also received permits for more than 10 signs valued at $38,941.

Hong Kong Restaurant

  • received a permit for a remodel at 163 Cheney Drive West, No. 600, valued at $310,349.


  • received permits for: a $60,000 interior remodel to expand process equipment space; a $150,000 remodel of the existing viewing mezzanine; and a $166,000 interior remodel for a two-story office space at 3450 Kimberly Road. The company also received a building permit for wastewater plant upgrades at 341 Hankins Road South, valued at $144,500.


  • received a permit for a tenant improvement remodel for offices at 1505 Madrona St. N., No. 900, valued at $70,800.

Summit Creek Capital

  • received a permit for a $15,000 remodel for offices at 205 Shoshone St. N. No. C.

The Little Red Schoolhouse Preschool

  • received a permit for a $10,000 remodel for a daycare/preschool at 401 Filer Ave.

Tyler Davis-Jeffers

  • received a demolition permit to demolish a snack shack at 240 Eastland Drive. The project was valued at $4,700.

Joshua Olsen

  • received a permit for interior demolition at 324 Hansen St. E., the future site of a dance studio with a mammoth skeleton in the basement.

Blacker Appliance and Furniture

  • received a permit for demolition of a portion of the damaged roof and floor, valued at $7,800, at 223 Second Ave. E.

Newmont plans 120 layoffs in northeast Nevada by March

ELKO, Nev. (AP) — Newmont Mining Corp. plans to lay off 120 workers by March at its mining operations in northeast Nevada.

The Elko Daily Free Press reports the workforce reduction is planned at facilities in Carlin west of Elko where the company operates gold mines at the Emigrant and Gold Quarry open pits and a related underground mine.

Newmont told the newspaper in an email on Tuesday that the company has more staff than it needs this year due in part to a slide that caused the suspension of operations at Gold Quarry in October.

Newmont says it started notifying the union representing the workers to be laid off earlier this week. Management plans to meet with impacted employees over the next two weeks to further discuss the plans for the layoffs effective March 9.

The company employ approximately 5,000 workers and contractors in Nevada.

Gillette climber scales Devils Tower at least once a month

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — Leigh Lassle doesn’t know what he’s chasing.

He’s spoken to a number of groups, large and small, over the last eight years, giving motivational speeches and offering words of encouragement. He’s a people person.

Throughout those talks, his audiences have asked him questions:

What does he likes most about what he does?

What drives him to be better?

What motivates him to finish what he started?

He has answers to those questions:

“My passion is people-driven. I do what I can do to make a difference.”

“What takes me back every time is the fear. That’s what keeps you on track.”

“I have a really particular behavior. If I set out to do something, nothing is going to stop me. I’ll stick it out to the end.”

But what is he chasing?

Standing at the foot of the Durrance route at Devils Tower National Monument with the sun rising behind him last Friday morning and minutes before summiting the Tower for the 100th month in a row, he was stumped.

“No one’s ever asked me that before,” he said. “I don’t have a good answer for that one.”

Maybe that’s what makes his journey all the more special.

Lassle’s story has been told before in the Gillette News Record.

At about this time nine years ago, he was diagnosed out of the blue with thyroid cancer.

“Off the couch,” he said about his attitude in dealing with the disease.

Lassle had always been a bit of a daredevil. He rode dirt bikes when he was young and rarely tuned down a good time.

But there was one thing that until then he could never get over.


“I was so afraid of heights,” he said. “Couldn’t do it.”

After his thyroid surgery, Lassle gained a few extra pounds due to the medication he was on and struggled to get back into the swing of everyday life. That was when his wife, Rose, suggested he meet with Frank Sanders, a local legendary rock climber.

Lassle had never climbed a rock in his life. He was afraid, intimidated and unsure of himself.

The diagnosis prompted him to change that.

“That was a wake-up call to reality,” Lassle said. “That’s when I realized not only is there more to life, but whatever you put into life is what you’ll get out of it.”

Lassle’s first climb more than eight years ago is still his most memorable.

“Hands down that is the ultimate climb,” he said. “It was all about the fight. Getting up there will change everything about you.”

After falling in love with Devils Tower, the climbing community and the thrill of the sport, Lassle joined Sanders’ team and became a climbing guide.

Eight years later, Lassle has also accomplished something no person ever has at Devils Tower.

He’s climbed the tower at least once for 100 straight months.

Friday’s climb up Durrance in 30-degree weather in early January was climb No. 100.

Although he’s done it at least once each of those months, Lassle has no idea how many times he has climbed the tower overall. He has conquered all 12 of the official routes.

“Once you get it, it’s yours,” he said about the lure of climbing Devils Tower. “It sucks you in.”

Lassle started out wanting to climb the tower every month for one year. Once a buddy of his dropped out of the consecutive streak, he picked up the slack and kept it going.

It was never his intention to make a run of 100 straight months. His goals were always changing and as the years went by, Lassle said he couldn’t think of a reason to stop.

Last winter was when he came the closest to interrupting the streak.

The climbs in December 2017 and January 2018 were the most difficult he has endured in the last eight years.

“The weather was so challenging that it got to a point where it was borderline insanity ... in those conditions,” he said. “It made me think about the whole challenge last year.”

Then again, here he was in January at the Tower, kicking away snow with his climbing shoes from the base of Durrance while the wind whipped around the southeast corner of the rock.

What’s next?

Although Lassle doesn’t know what he’s chasing specifically, he knows the why carries over month after month.

It’s because he’s still scared.

“Everybody in the world, their setbacks are fear-based,” he said. “I think if you can overcome the fear and know you can get through it, then you can move forward and accomplish even more difficult, harder tasks. The fear pushes you.”

At 49, Lassle is the most active he’s ever been in his life.

He hosts a martial arts course every weekday at his house, rides motocross competitively and guides climbs up Devils Tower every weekend during the open season.

In a lot of ways, climbing saved Lassle’s life.

His world went off the rails after his cancer diagnosis and now he has something full of life to be obsessed with.

He has something that pushes, inspires and helps him inspire other people in the process.

Now that he has made it to 100, many will ask what’s next, to which he answers: “Now I’m looking at 200.”

Idaho legislative committee OKs 12th-grade immunization rule

BOISE — The state Legislature’s House Health and Welfare committee is recommending approval of a rule that adds a second meningococcal vaccine dose to the list of school-required vaccinations.

Parents and legal guardians still have the option of exempting their children from the required immunizations. Deputy State Epidemiologist Kathy Turner says the new Department of Health and Welfare rule will help remind families to make sure their children are fully immunized against the rare but often catastrophic disease.

Students who receive the meningococcal vaccine before the age of 16 have to receive two doses of the vaccine to be fully immunized. Students who get their first dose of the vaccine after turning 16, however, need only one dose.

The requirement goes into effect for 12th-grade students at the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

The vaccine protects against meningococcal disease, a serious illness that spread through coughing, kissing or prolonged contact. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meningococcal disease kills 10 to 15 people out of 100 even with treatment, and many of those who survive will sustain hearing loss, brain damage, amputations or other medical disabilities.

The proposed rule change passed the committee 7-6.

Rep. John Green, a Republican from Post Falls, was among the “no” votes, saying he couldn’t imagine a circumstance where it would be appropriate for government to mandate a personal health choice. Rep. Bryan Zollinger, a Republican from Idaho Falls, also voted no after questioning whether the costs and risks of the vaccine would outweigh the benefits.

Rep. Jarom Wagoner, a Caldwell Republican and the vice chair of the committee, voted yes, saying the benefits of the vaccination greatly outweigh any negatives. Committee chairman Rep. Fred Wood, a retired doctor and Republican from Burley, also voted in favor of the rule. Wood noted that the advent of vaccinations led to some of the most significant lifespan increases in public health history.