Avista to start upgrade at Post Falls dam


Avista Corp. will begin a $13.5 million upgrade and restoration of the utility’s South Channel Dam at Post Falls this spring.

The dam is one of three at the historic Post Falls hydroelectric development on the Spokane River. The North and Middle Channel dams were upgraded earlier.

Max J. Kuney Co. of Spokane is the general contractor for the project, which will replace the original concrete facing, spillway gates and hoists and add new automated equipment.

Together, the three dams at Post Falls produce enough energy to power about 13,500 homes, according to Avista. The dams also regulate Lake Coeur d’Alene’s water levels for flood control and recreation.

Construction work will begin in late March, with the dam work expected to be finished in December.

An open house on the project is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the council chambers at Post Falls City Hall, 408 N. Spokane St.

Cracks found in 787s

Boeing Co. said Friday that discovery of a 787 Dreamliner manufacturing defect by wing-maker Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan means 42 of the jets have to be inspected for small hairline cracks inside the wings.

None of the 787 Dreamliners involved have been delivered to airlines.

The affected wings are either on the production lines in Everett and North Charleston, S.C., or still at the Mitsubishi plant in Nagoya, Japan.

Trade deficit widens

WASHINGTON – The U.S. trade deficit widened slightly in January as a rise in imports of oil and other foreign goods offset a solid increase in exports.

The trade deficit increased to $39.1 billion, up 0.3 percent from December’s revised $39 billion deficit, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

The trade deficit is the difference between imports and exports. A higher trade deficit acts as a drag on economic growth because it means U.S. companies are making less overseas then their foreign competitors are earning in U.S. sales.

Borrowing increases

WASHINGTON – Consumers increased their borrowing in January on autos and student loans but cut back on credit card use.

Consumer borrowing rose $13.7 billion in January following an even larger $15.9 billion rise in December, the Federal Reserve said Friday.

The category that includes auto and student loans increased $13.9 billion, while the category that covers credit cards fell $226 million, marking the third time in the past five months that credit card loans have declined.

The big overall increase pushed total borrowing to a record $3.11 trillion. Gains in borrowing are seen as an encouraging sign that people are more confident and willing to take on debt to finance consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.


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