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Spokane innovation awards announced

Greater Spokane Incorporated on Wednesday announced winners of the 14th Catalyst Awards, which honor area businesses for innovation and excellence. They are:

• Ken Grunzweig Innovator of the year: Jon Eliassen, CEO of Red Lion Hotels Corp.

• Company of the year: Purcell Systems Inc.

• Clean/Green company of the year: ReliOn.

• Organization of the year: Eastern Washington University School of Computing and Engineering Sciences.

• Clean/Green organization of the year: Sustainable Resources Inland Northwest.

• Mentor of the year: Yvonne Luman.

• Emerging innovators of the year: Josh Neblett and Sarah Neblett, co-founders of Green Cupboards.

Tom Sowa

Sears considers move as tax credits expire

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Sears Holding Corp. says it’s talking with two prospective destinations for its headquarters even as it talks to Illinois about staying in that state.

Sears spokeswoman Kimberly Freely says officials recently conducted tours of two sites and continue to talk with government leaders in Illinois about the looming expiration of a package of tax incentives tied to its suburban Chicago headquarters.

A person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press the two sites are Austin, Texas, and Columbus, Ohio.

Associated Press

Universal feature film to go straight to TV

LOS ANGELES – Movie studio Universal Pictures and its new parent, cable TV giant Comcast, will test out giving film buffs a chance to watch a movie that is still in theaters from the comfort of their living rooms. But the price tag for a single movie could have consumers spitting out their popcorn: $60.

The test involves “Tower Heist,” a PG-13 rated comedy caper starring Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller due out Nov. 4.

Subscribers of Comcast Corp.’s digital cable service who live in Atlanta and Portland and have a high-definition TV will be able to rent the movie starting Nov. 23 and watch it unlimited times in a 48-hour window.

Associated Press

Labor contracts may help carmakers’ debt

NEW YORK – Detroit’s biggest carmakers have their labor costs under control thanks to new contracts. Now they’re hoping to lower the cost of their debt.

Ford and GM have agreed to new four-year labor contracts that could save them money.

Agencies that rate the credit worthiness of companies like Ford and GM are putting investors on notice that the two automakers could get an upgrade in debt ratings, potentially lowering their cost for borrowing.

Associated Press


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