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Judge upholds Wal-Mart OK

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is one step closer to building a supercenter in Pullman.

A Whitman County Superior Court judge denied an appeal by a citizens group opposing the building of a 223,000-square-foot store near Pullman Regional Hospital.

Judge David Frazier upheld Hearing Examiner John Montgomery’s previous ruling that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. could develop a store in the area.

The ruling capped nearly two years of opposition from a group called Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development. PARD challenged the traffic impact study submitted by the developer and said the mitigations recommended by the city failed to address problems.

Pete Dickinson, planning director for Pullman, said the judge’s recent decision emphasized that the city did a thorough job evaluating the project and its impact.

Dickinson said there is room for PARD to further appeal the project.

Spokane Valley

Free talk to cover paying for college

Author and college-scholarship specialist Ben Kaplan will give a free talk Tuesday that’s billed as “the ultimate scholarship seminar.”

Kaplan, author of “How to Go to College Almost for Free,” will speak from 7-9 p.m. at University High School in Spokane Valley. The event is open to the public, although reservations are required.

The seminar, sponsored by Spokane Valley-based Damon & Magnuson Orthodontics, will cover topics such as finding and landing scholarships, student loans, tuition credits and other financial aid.

Kaplan, 26, speaks and writes widely on the topic, and claims to have landed enough scholarships to pay for nearly all of his Harvard education.

For more information or to make reservations, visit www.scholarshipcoach .com/spokane.

Bentonville, Ark.

Wal-Mart workers to get new outfits

Wal-Mart employees’ familiar blue vests emblazoned with “May I help you?” and the smiley face logo may become a thing of the past as the world’s largest retailer makes another visible change as part of its efforts to upgrade stores and attract more shoppers.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Friday it will adopt a new dress code of blue polo shirts and khakis in about 1,400 stores in the Northeast and South. Nationally, it has over 3,600 discount stores and Supercenters, which combine a discount store with a full grocery section.

It may expand the new dress code to the rest of the country based on reactions from customers and employees, Wal-Mart said in a statement.

It is the latest visible change at Wal-Mart, which is currently remodeling about 1,800 of its more than 2,100 Supercenters to make them more appealing to shoppers by adding wider aisles, faux-wood floors and clearer signage as well as trendier products in areas including electronics, apparel and home furnishings.

The blue vests have been around for about 15 years, Wal-Mart said. The new dress code was quietly tested in about 160 stores throughout the country.