Business in brief: Inquest reveals identity list

A Yakima drug investigation turned up a 10-year-old list containing personal data for about 4,000 Hanford employees.

The printout, which shows Social Security numbers, birthdates and other information, was made in December 1996 a time when Hanford transitioned from previous U. S. Department of Energy contractor Westinghouse Hanford to Fluor Hanford, a DOE news release said.

Employees were notified of the breach and are getting information about monitoring their credit, said Karen Lutz, spokeswoman for DOE. While it’s too soon to tell if anyone on the list has experienced ID theft during the past decade, Hanford employees are asked to provide details of any identity-theft incidences.

“We can put them in touch with the Yakima police to see if there’s any connection with this event,” said Lutz , who’s based in the Tri-Cities.

Jeff Eig, special agent and spokesman for U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s Seattle field division, said the investigation is ongoing and arrests were made. However, it’s still unclear how the list was obtained or why it appeared in the midst of a suspected drug operation.

Spokane: AmericanWest asks to expand

AmericanWest Bank has asked state and federal regulators for permission to open branches in Airway Heights and College Place, just west of Walla Walla, the company announced Monday.

The Airway Heights branch would be located in the Crosspointe Plaza Shopping Center at 10510 W. State Route 2, just east of Hayford Road. The College Place branch would be located in the Meadowbrook Plaza Shopping Center.

If AmericanWest’s applications are approved, the branches would open during the third quarter this year, the Spokane-based bank said in a press release. The two new branches would bring AmericanWest’s total number of branches to 44.

Spokane: Wal-Mart opens Supercenter

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will celebrate the grand opening of its expanded north Spokane store on Wednesday.

About 90,000 square feet of space has been added to the store at 9212 N. Colton St., creating a Wal-Mart Supercenter, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company announced Monday. The expansion added a full line of groceries and a drive-through pharmacy. It also will create about 350 new jobs, bringing total employment at the store to about 600.

Wal-Mart’s charitable foundation will donate about $29,000 to various agencies in celebration of the grand opening, the company said. Recipients include Mid-City Concerns Inc., Second Harvest Food Bank of The Inland Northwest and Sacred Heart Medical Center.

San Francisco: Orange juice futures climb

Futures on frozen orange juice climbed to their highest level in more than two weeks Monday, with traders concerned about supplies as Tropical Storm Alberto triggered a hurricane warning for parts of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

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