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Dan Dickau bringing his second local barber shop to the South Hill

Former Gonzaga University basketball player Dan Dickau will open The Barbers on Grand, his second area barber shop.


It’s going into 1,200 square feet in the former Walgreen’s drive-through pharmacy at 1304 S. Grand Blvd. He said he hopes to open on June 19.


Dickau, a TV and radio broadcaster during basketball season, opened his first barber shop near the North Division Y in 2013. It’s at 9331 N. Newport Highway. During the first month, his business will offer $5 haircuts, Dickau said. 


“That's how I hope to help people get introduced to the business,” he said.


Liberty Lake loses 100 more jobs, as Express Scripts shifts its focus

Express Scripts Inc., a national pharmacy benefits manager, is cutting back its Liberty Lake workforce by 100 jobs, but plans to leave 200 others in place.

This is the second major job reduction in Liberty Lake announced this week. Earlier, Utah-based Vivint said it will close down its Liberty Lake call center, cutting an unspecified number of positions.

Express Scripts' Liberty Lake office, at 23102 E. Appleway, has been an intake or front-end pharmacy center since the 1990s. Express Scripts, based in St. Louis, acquired it in 2012 by buying the assets of Medco Health Solutions, the original pharmacy benefits manager in that building.

Express Scripts negotiates drug prices for large employers and major health insurers and fills orders for their members and employees.
Express Scripts is the largest pharmacy benefits manager in the country, with 29,000 workers nationwide.

Announced earlier this year, its corporate restructuring will convert the Liberty Lake operation from an intake pharmacy to a customer prescription and insurance-coverage review center.  As a result it will need fewer workers, said spokesman Brian Henry.
Starting Monday instead of having 45 registered pharmacists, Liberty Lake will have 36 pharmacists, along with roughly 164 other workers.

Front-end pharmacies receive prescriptions faxed or emailed in bulk from insurance providers, government agencies and others. Those high-volume prescriptions were verified and processed, followed by workers transmitting the prescriptions to company fulfillment centers.

Workers at those sites shipped the prescription drugs to patients across the country.

Preparing for the shift two months ago, the company offered 200 of its 300 Liberty Lake employees jobs within the new division or taking a severance offer. About 100 took a severance package, Henry said.

The other 100 who didn't take the severance will fill similar or different positions in the newly realigned coverage-review unit, he said.

North Idaho seeing the rebound of the high-end vacation home market

There's another monthly update on Spokane County home sales in the June 6 Spokesman Review.

Near the bottom is the interesting little detail out of North Idaho.

Here's how the story reported it:

While Spokane’s home sales are slightly behind a year ago, they’re increasing in Kootenai County.

Through April this year, home sales are up 5 percent – from 583 to 613, said Kim Cooper of the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors.

Median prices there are up 6 percent, from $169,000 to $179,500, he added.

What’s clear, Cooper said, is there’s a rebound in sales of high-end, waterfront properties. In the first four months of 2013, there was one home sale in excess of $1 million.

This year so far, Kootenai County has had eight such sales, Cooper said.

“That tells me we’re seeing the rebound of the vacation-home market here,” Cooper said

Numerica is among the 2014 Agora Award winners announced by GSI

Five Spokane companies and two nonprofit organizations were winners Wednesday of the 2014 Agora Awards, chosen by a panel to recognize business excellence.

 They were:

  • U-District Physical Therapy (small business)
  • Asuris Northwest Health (medium business)
  • Numerica Credit Union (large business)
  • Blessings Under the Bridge (small nonprofit)
  • Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations (large nonprofit)
  • Quality Inn Downtown (community service award)
  • Lee & Hayes (entrepreneurial spirit)

 The awards were presented Wednesday by Greater Spokane Incorporated.

Eighteen SCC student business ideas will be on display Friday downtown

Eighteen students in an entrepreneurs program at Spokane Community College will showcase their business plans on Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the atrium of River Park Square, 808 W. Main Ave.

The students are graduating from the school's IBE (Integrated Business and Entrepreneurship)  program. They have formed business plans and will summarize their efforts to research the market and prepare to launch their companies.

This year's list of businesses range from social media marketing for dental offices to opening a Leavenworth, Wash., restaurant.

The IBE director, Jeffrey Waybright, will be on hand.


Here’s an interactive U.S. map that tracks jobless rates since 2004

Hats off to the data geeks at the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. They produced a cool interactive (animated) US map tracking the rise and fall of unemployment rates since 2004.

As long as your browser can run basic scripts, this map should work for you.

For me, the cool part is watching the varying dark and light shades for the Northwest states and for bordering states Nevada and California.

Also, since Alaska is parked off a little from the rest of the map, it's easy to watch its rate change. Notably, it was hit by unemployment well before the rest of the country.

For what it's worth, I suggest spending a few minutes taking a look at the map.

The full link is below in case you couldn't jump in.

Historic 1889 Building in downtown Spokane acquired by new owners

The oldest downtown Spokane building constructed right after the Great Fire of 1889 has changed ownership.
The historic 1889 Building, at the corner of Main Avenue and Stevens Street, has been sold for $1.02 million to Spokane real estate investment company CitiBrokers.

It purchased the property from the Amron Corp., which bought it in the 1990s and later had the three-story brick building added to Spokane’s Register of Historic Places.

Amron Corp.’s investor group includes Spokane residents Mick McDowell and Shelley McDowell.

CitiBrokers’ partners are Aaron Cunningham, Landon Cunningham, John Urquhart and Nick Barnes CitiBrokers will renovate the building and take over the third floor, said Aaron Cunningham.

The Downtown C.O.P.S. Shop will continue using the second level, while Nectar Tasting Room will remain in the building’s first level. A catering business uses the basement level.

When first constructed, it was called the Soss Building and was the main structure on the Bodie Block. Its first use was as a single-occupancy hotel. Over the next six decades it was converted into several uses including a saloon, a restaurant, an apartment house and the Bootery Shoe Company. The building underwent a major renovation in 1973 and acquired the 1889 Building name.

Cunningham said CitiBrokers will move into the renovated third floor offices in August and has begun hiring additional brokers to represent customers in the market to buy or sell residential and commercial property.

Spokane Valley Cancer Center joins the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Spokane Valley Cancer Center joined the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) Network to become that group's 12th member.

The Valley center's services include medical oncology, radiation oncology, diagnostic imaging, research, specialized oral pharmacy, and patient and family support.  It also offers radiosurgery using Spokane Cyberknife & Radiation Oncology Center.

The SCCA was formed by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine, and Seattle Children’s Hospital to unite the oncology-related patient-care services of these organizations.

“We are thrilled SCCA invited Spokane Valley Cancer Center to become part of its network,” said Arvind Chaudhry, an oncologist and hematologist at Spokane Valley Cancer Center.

The benefits for Spokane Valley Cancer Center oncologists include being able to offer patients expanded treatment options. rapid second opinions, and arranging for local patients to enroll in SCCA clinical trials without having to travel to Seattle.


Advanced Fire Systems relocating to larger building in North Spokane

From this weekend's Here's The Dirt column:

Advanced Fire Systems will move into a bigger warehouse in July, having purchased a building at 3518 E. Everett Ave., in north Spokane.

The company, operated by Melissa Skelton, installs fire suppression systems for commercial, industrial and residential projects.
It paid $260,000 for the building, which has 6,360 square feet of space. Advanced Fire Systems has operated out of 1606 E. Holyoke Ave.
The seller was the Crabtree Trust. Brokering the deal were Mark Lucas and Tracy Lucas, of Kiemle & Hagood.

In high-roller dispute along shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene, there’s a back story

Today's busiest online story was the account of the battle going on between Denny Ryerson and Dana Martin, both of whom are connected to a sprawling lake home on Mica Bay.

Today's tale is about the struggle over who owns many of the items and fixtures removed from the Ryerson home before a foreclosure sale in April.

If you wanted the full background on the dispute, here's our earlier SR story which ran in March.

The photo here shows one of two Lincoln Fox bronze sculptures in dispute between the two parties. It's been removed and is in storage in North Idaho. Photo by Insight Photography/Jewel Simisky.

Here’s the full story on new Anthony’s going into Spokane’s South Hill

Anthony’s Restaurants will open a second Spokane location on the city’s South Hill this fall, near a new Target store.

The Kirkland-based company said the new location will be called Anthony’s Beach Cafe. It will take the pad building in the development near the new Target, which is due to open in July. (Map shows the “B” pad building on the northwest corner of the development.)

The new Anthony’s eatery will open in October, after hiring about 50 workers, said Lane Hoss, the company’s marketing director.

It will be the company’s 24th property in the Northwest. “It will focus on more casual, relaxed dining, with a lighter menu” than other Anthony’s restaurants, Hoss said. For instance, its traditional restaurants don’t serve fish tacos. The beach cafe will, she said.

“We also see it appealing to families and people who are looking to go out for a spur-of-the-moment meal,” she said.

The restaurant is using about 4,000 square feet in the northwest corner building. It's designed with 106 interior seats and 70 seats for outside dining. It will offer lunch and dinner seven days a week.

The company has a downtown Anthony’s at Spokane Falls which will continue in business

Skype version coming that gives users instant translations, due later this year

Redmond-based Microsoft is working on a beta version of Skype that gives real-time translations of conversations between people speaking different languages.

CEO Satya Nadella, who showed off the app at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., said the service has been in the works for 15 years.

It will be available free to Skype users by the end of this year as a Windows 8 beta app, the WSJ’s Douglas MacMillan reports.


GSI has GenPrime for Thursday, the Agora Awards next week

Two Greater Spokane Incorporated deals coming in the next week. To make reservations, go to the GSI events page.

Tomorrow (May 29)is the next GSI sponsored Executive Breakfast. It will feature Buck Somes and Darby McLean of Spokane company GenPrime.

It starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Spokane Club downtown.

GenPrime develops testing services to detect microbes and potentially harmful or illegal substances. It has also developed kits used by first-responders dealing with possible toxic materials.

The second event is the June 4 Agora Awards presentation. Here are this year's nominees. The awards are annually presented to recognize local business achievement. The event runs from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Small Business
Design Source, Inc.
Quality Inn - Downtown 4th Ave.
Red and Associates LLC.
U-District Physical Therapy

Medium Business
Asuris Northwest Health
Incyte Diagnostics
Lee & Hayes
USKH, Inc. (Soon to be Stantec)

Large Business
Coffman Engineers, Inc.
Numerica Credit Union
Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories, LLC (PAML)
Wagstaff, Inc.

Small Nonprofit
Blessings Under the Bridge
Spring of Hope International
The First Tee of the Inland Northwest

Large Nonprofit
Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest
The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations

Seattle is still most popular airline destination from Spokane’s airport

So Delta Airlines in Novermber is adding four daily flights from Spokane to Seattle.

Here's the story version:

Delta Air Lines will add four daily flights to Seattle from Spokane starting Nov. 3.

At present only Alaska Airlines flies to and from Seattle from Spokane. In January 2012 Southwest Airlines stopped providing service between the two cities.

The daily flights from Spokane are scheduled to leave at 8:25 a.m., 10 a.m., 3:35 p.m. and 7:05 p.m. Return flights leave Sea-Tac International Airport at 6:50 a.m., 10 a.m., 1:35 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

The flights between Seattle and Spokane will use Bombardier 65-seat CRJ-700 aircraft.

Delta is also adding Seattle to Bozeman flights starting Dec. 20.

In recent years Seattle has been the most frequent destination for Spokane passengers, according to federal transportation

numbers. The next four most frequent connections are Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland and Denver.


Here are the latest data from the Federal Aviation Administration for total passengers from Spokane, based on 2013 flights:

The number shows total ticketed passengers leaving Spokane, by volume:


1 Seattle/Tacoma  180,146
2 Las Vegas             88,508
3 Phoenix                76,909
4 Portland                74,170
5 Denver                 64,169 


New owners at the Hop Shop, plus how much beer we all drink in ‘beer season’

We pause this weekend to celebrate …. great American beer and beer pubs.

Two notes are called for. First, the switch in ownership at the Hop Shop, on Spokane's South Hill.

Spokane resident Mel Kathryn Wood took over the shop on April 15, from previous owners Andy and Glen Gardner, who opened the neighborhood pub in 2010.

Wood will rely on her twin sister Emily Redington to help run the South Hill business, which is open Tuesday-Saturday.

Wood said she will keep the same shop philosophy: no TV, no Wi-Fi, no loud music, and a wide selection of craft beers.

Based on customer preferences, Wood said she’s considering having food trucks in the parking lot a few days per week. Another option is occasional acoustic music performances.

The second key note:  Americans will drink a lot of beer. The accompanying infographic shows how much, based on industry data. If you get releases from the American Beer Institute, you'll be reminded of this fact: In the 15 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day in 2013, beer and malt beverage sales topped $11 billion, making it one of the largest selling categories of all food and beverage categories.




Local accounting firm merges with North Dakota firm — No. 23 top CPA company

Spokane accounting firm McDirmid, Mikkelsen & Secrest PS has agreed to a merger with North Dakota-based Eide Bailly, the company announced Thursday.

The local firm will change its name to Eide Bailly in June, when the deal becomes effective.

Company officials say the deal will not mean reductions to the staff of just over 50 workers in Spokane.

If anything, the merger with much larger Eide Bailly should lead to additional hiring here as the firm expands services for customers, said principal Andrew McDirmid.

The Spokane firm has traditionally specialized in financial services for privately held firms and medical groups. That focus will not change, other than having a fuller range of accounting and auditing options, McDirmid said. “We will continue making our decisions locally,” he added.

MMS is considered Spokane’s second largest CPA firm based on total employees. Moss Adams, with around 75 employees, is the largest. Moss Adams, based in Seattle, has national offices and moved into Spokane when it acquired local firm McFarland & Alton in 1999.

Eide Bailly, headquartered in Fargo, N.D., is ranked the 23rd largest U.S. accounting firm. That size made it an appealing partner when considering whether to join forces with Eide Bailly, McDirmid said. It has more than 20 offices in 10 states

“Moving into the state of Washington continues our strategy to expand west of the Mississippi River and into the Intermountain Region to fully serve mid-market clients,” said Eide Bailly Managing Partner/CEO Dave Stende, in a press release.


How many people in Spokane County work in retirement centers and nursing homes?

Spokane County got itself closer to the 6.0 percent unemployment rate, based on preliminary April numbers released Tuesday by the state.

Today's SR  story tried to cover the bases.

Here's one piece of data not listed in that story. Just measuring the nursing and retirement services subgroup for Spokane, the change from first quarter employment 2013 to first quarter 2014 went this way:  6,649 to 6,966.

Those are somewhat preliminary numbers, said Doug Tweedy of Employment Security.

But that's a telling statistic.  As the population ages, we'll be seeing a continuing growth in that part of the job market.

Jim Sheehan is a genuinely quiet guy who avoids the limelight

Jim Sheehan has already created a major upgrade to the east side of downtown Spokane. He helped launch the Main Market Co-op, runs the Community Building and its neighbor, the Saranac Public House.

We featured Sheehan's latest project, the Saranac Commons, on today's SR front page.

More than one reader emailed asking why Sheehan's face wasn't featured in the story. The answer is: he's a modest guy. He doesn't like to be the center of attention. We have had photos of Sheehan in previous articles. This time, I didn't even bother him to consider being in a photo.

Here's a 2001 photo from the SR files.


Here’s a state-by-state map of laws related to Uber rideshare services

Let's keep rolling on the topic of rideshare services, which just arrived in these parts. See last's week's story here.

The issue is going to be tossed into the laps of local officials who need to study the issue and decide if regulation is needed, if only because there are some concerns about the services providing safe rides to people relying solely on a smartphone to find a driver.

We checked in with Spokane city officials, who last week said they're likely to review the possible options. We did not check with Spokane County or with the City of Spokane Valley, or Coeur d'Alene, which the two main services provide rides to.

There are numerous similar efforts across the country trying to establish rules and guidelines for rideshares. Here's a map produced by NBC Chicago that tries to track the different regulations occurring nationwide.


It’s easy to be confused by the difference between names Uber or UberX

Last week's story on the arrival of rideshare companies Lyft and Uber to the Spokane area generated more than 85 comments. They covered both sides of the street and identified the chief concerns: should they be regulated, are they well-run businesses, and what good they're providing.

One commenter made an assumption about the term “UberX”:

Uber cars are insured properly as limos-not taxis
That is in reference to Uber cars/drivers. UberX (note the X), Lyft, and SideCar cars/drivers do not necessarily go through the regulated vetting process, are not necessarily licensed to provide rides in exchange for compensation, and do not necessarily carry adequate insurance for doing so.

For some reason Shelalal thinks the company name is UberX. It's not. The company is Uber. It provides a number of levels of cars, from basic to high-end.

The low end, basic tier of car offering is called UberX.


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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

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Alison Boggs Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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