December 3, 2008 in Business

Avista donates heating aid


Avista Corp. has given out $380,000 in heating assistance money to various nonprofits.

The utility recently gave $100,000 to Eastern Washington charities. The money comes from a state tax credit Avista receives for a low-income rate assistance program.

In addition, Avista gave $280,000 to Project Share, which aids households in Washington and North Idaho. Households do not need to be Avista customers to receive help, said spokeswoman Jessie Wuerst.

The $280,000 came from Avista shareholders. It’s money that would otherwise be profit, or be invested back into the utility, Wuerst said.

The Project Share check will be presented at tonight’s Spokane Chiefs hockey game.

Weather hits pea, lentil harvest

The pea and lentil harvest fell by more than 25 percent this year as cold temperatures and inadequate rainfall hurt the crop. The legumes are grown in the Palouse as rotation crops with wheat.

The decline was due to lower yields, according the U.S. Dry Pea and Lentil Council based in Moscow, Idaho.

Yields also dropped in Montana and North Dakota.

The disappointing crop mirrors problems farmers had growing wheat and barley this summer.

Harvest numbers were down, along with market prices for the grains.


Gas prices dip to three-year low

Retail gasoline fell to a three-year low Tuesday, and, in an unprecedented decline, crude oil costs $100 less per barrel than it did four months ago with a U.S. recession eating away at energy demand.

Analysts believe prices at the pump may finally be bottoming out after a precipitous decline from record highs this summer. Yet demand could fall even further in January with job losses reducing the number of people who drive to work.

Light, sweet crude for January delivery fell more than 4 percent, or $2.32, to settle at $46.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

From staff and wire reports

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