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Workers’ comp programs fight addiction among injured workers

UPDATED: Mon., April 10, 2017, 5:29 p.m.

Jimmy Duran stands near Phoenix House, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, in Quincy, Massachusetts. Duran was prescribed opioids for years after hurting his neck and fracturing vertebrae in a workplace accident in 2004. “OxyContin, Percocet, morphine,” he recalled. “It ruined my life. It brought me to my knees.” Clean now, he’s become a licensed counselor at a substance abuse prevention and treatment program. (Charles Krupa / Associated Press)
Meet a victim of the nation’s opioid addiction scourge: the American worker. A number of U.S. states are taking steps through their workers’ compensation systems to stem the overprescribing of the powerful painkillers to workers injured on the job, while helping those who became hooked to avoid potentially deadly consequences. Injured workers, like so many others dealing with pain, are often prescribed opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin.

Retail woes drag takeover premiums to lowest level since 2008

Mon., April 10, 2017, 10:23 a.m.

Mergers involving apparel, shoes and jewelry were down 12 percent in 2016, and the deals getting done fetched the smallest premiums since the recession in 2008, data compiled by Bloomberg shows. (Jim Cole / Associated Press)
The retail trends that are keeping U.S. shoppers away from malls are also putting a damper on deal-making. The number of mergers involving apparel, shoes and jewelry dropped 12 percent to 115 in the past year. And the transactions that are getting done are fetching the smallest premiums since the recession in 2008. They plunged to 3.4 percent from 23 percent a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Wells Fargo claws back $75 million from top bosses in sales scandal

UPDATED: Mon., April 10, 2017, 5:29 p.m.

In this May 6, 2012,  photo, a Wells Fargo sign is displayed at a branch in New York. An investigation into sales practices at Wells Fargo released Monday has blamed the bank’s top management for creating an “aggressive sales culture” that led to a scandal involving millions of unauthorized accounts being opened. (CX Matiash / Associated Press)
An investigation into sales practices at Wells Fargo released Monday has blamed the bank’s top management for creating an “aggressive sales culture” that led to a scandal involving millions of unauthorized accounts being opened.

Knowledge gained as power conserved

Sun., April 9, 2017, 7:17 a.m.

A volunteer group of Pullman Avista customers saw their power consumption decline by 9.3 percent after they were given high-tech thermostats.

Front & Center: Saving soles, one shoe at a time

Sun., April 9, 2017, 5 a.m.

Shoe stretchers hang in a back room at Ressa’s Shoe Service at 20 E. Indiana Ave. in Spokane. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Greg Ressa, owner of Ressa’s Shoe Service, discusses his introduction to shoe repair, how footwear’s evolution has changed his business, and which brands he most admires.

Stores closing at a record pace as e-commerce chews up retailers

Sun., April 9, 2017, 4:10 a.m.

The rapid descent of so many retailers has left shopping malls with hundreds of slots to fill, and the pain could be just beginning. More than 10 percent of U.S. retail space, or nearly 1 billion square feet, may need to be closed, converted to other uses or renegotiated for lower rent in coming years, according to data provided to Bloomberg by CoStar Group.

NerdWallet: Can’t decide what to do with your tax refund? Split it

Sun., April 9, 2017, 4 a.m.

If your tax refund vanishes too quickly, don’t have it all sent directly to your checking account. The IRS can divvy your refund among up to three different accounts, including IRAs, college savings accounts and brokerage accounts. (Brennan Linsley / Associated Press)
For many people, getting a tax refund is like getting a handful of sand: It’s virtually impossible to hang on to much of it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have the IRS split your refund across a number of accounts, perhaps some less accessible than your checking account, and thus keep that windfall from slipping through your fingers.

Business Beat

Sun., April 9, 2017, midnight

Numerica Credit Union has announced a number of new hires and promotions.

Week Ahead

Sun., April 9, 2017, midnight

Conventions 2017 WWDB Spring Leadership – World Wide Group, Through Sunday, Spokane Arena, 10,000 attendees.

Uber said it didn’t use smuggled secrets

UPDATED: Fri., April 7, 2017, 2:22 p.m.

Uber told a federal judge Friday that it didn’t use stolen trade secrets for its driverless car project, and therefore the court shouldn’t force the company to stop that work.

Advisory firm: Vote out most of Wells Fargo’s board

UPDATED: Fri., April 7, 2017, 8:17 p.m.

An influential firm that advises big shareholders says the majority of Wells Fargo’s board of directors should be removed at the bank’s annual shareholders meeting later this month, accusing the board of having a lack of oversight over the bank’s sales practices.

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