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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Ecowell heads south to quench dream

A Moscow, Idaho, company originally formed from a Washington State University student project is leaving the area. Ecowell is a plastic-free beverage vending machine connected to a water source. Users can choose hot, cold or carbonated water. They can add flavors to their drink, as…

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Curt Acuff spreads herbicide in a wheat stubble field in the Reardan area Monday. Farmers and scientists from Washington, Idaho and Oregon will participate in a $20 million, five-year study of climate change and its potential effect on the Northwest wheat industry. (Jesse Tinsley)

Washington farm exports on record pace

The Washington Agriculture Department reports farm exports reached record highs in the final quarter of last year and first quarter of this year — more than $1.9 billion a quarter. The department says sales beat the old record set in 2008, the Associated Press reports.…

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THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2011

In this April 28, 2011, photo, Costco shoppers load the conveyer belt at the check-out counter at Costco in Mountain View, Calif. Americans saw their incomes rise in March and this spurred higher spending. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Costco tops Fortune 500 list in Northwest 

Seven Washington-based companies and one in Idaho are on this year's Fortune 500 list. The Washington state firms, along with their rank and revenues, are: 25. Costco Wholesale, Issaquah: $71.4 billion 36. Microsoft, Redmond: $58.4 billion 100., Seattle: $24.5 billion 241. Starbucks, Seattle: $9.8…

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Labor union blasts Herrera Beutler over worker votes 

Communications Workers of America, one of the nation’s largest labor unions, is attacking U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Vancouver, for her vote last week to retain language in a massive Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that treats workers who do not vote in union representation…

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FRIDAY, FEB. 25, 2011

Americans are feeling more confidence in the economy, and in turn are increasing their willingness to use credit to make purchases. The first increase in credit-card debt since the financial crisis hit helped to boost overall consumer borrowing 3 percent in December. (Associated Press)

It pays to be rich if you need a credit card

COMING UP IN SUNDAY BUSINESS A year after sweeping credit card regulations upended the industry, banks are showering perks and rewards on big spenders with sterling credit scores. And they’re socking customers with spottier histories with higher interest rates, lower credit limits and new annual…

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MONDAY, FEB. 14, 2011

FRIDAY, FEB. 11, 2011

Washington beverage container deposit proposed

Washington State. Sen. Maralyn Chase of Shoreline has introduced a bill in the Legislature that would require that all drink containers sold in Washington have a 5-cent recycling deposit. The bill, SB5778, aims to reduce the number of glass and plastic bottles and metal cans…

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Brace for more bank fees

Reversing a trend that began in the mid-1990s, big banks are imposing new fees on their least-profitable customers — those who want just a bare-bones checking account. Those who can’t maintain fat balances, or who don’t use other services that would make them more lucrative…

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A Valentine's Day date with the tax man

The Washington Department of Revenue will visit with local business owners in Spokane on Monday (yes, Valentine's Day) to get input on how the agency can simplify the tax process for small businesses. The visit to Greater Spokane Incorporated's offices, 801 W. Riverside, Suite 100,…

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THURSDAY, FEB. 3, 2011

McMorris Rodgers introduces bill on health care mandate 

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington has introduced legislation that would prohibit the IRS from hiring new employees to enforce the individual health care mandate included in the 2010 health care law. McMorris Rodgers, a Republican and vice chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, cited…

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Idaho tax revenue beats expectations

Idaho’s January tax revenue likely beat forecasts by about $15 million. The news, which indicates the economy could be picking up steam, may help mitigate concerns that arose last week about a yawning $185 million budget hole. Division of Financial Management director Wayne Hammon confirmed…

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 19, 2011

Joblessness creeps up in December

Washington added an estimated 2,100 jobs in December, with the manufacturing and retail sectors leading hiring. Still, the estimated unemployment rate increased slightly from 9.2 percent to 9.3 percent, the state reported this morning. Job numbers and the unemployment rate are derived from separate surveys.…

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TUESDAY, JAN. 18, 2011

Ezra A. Eckhardt, president and chief operating officer of Sterling Savings Bank. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Eckhardt to discuss Sterling's recapitalization

Ezra A. Eckhardt, president and chief operating officer of Sterling Savings Bank, will visit Greater Spokane Incorporated this week to talk about how he helped lead the bank’s recapitalization project. The BIZStreet “A Conversation With….” event will be Thursday from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Attend…

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TUESDAY, JAN. 4, 2011

Gee Automotive acquires Spokane Kia

Gee Automotive, one of the largest auto retailers in Eastern Washington, has acquired Spokane Kia. The acquisition closed today and the dealership opened as part of Gee Automotive, the company said is a news release. Sales and service operations have moved two doors down to…

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FRIDAY, NOV. 12, 2010

TUESDAY, NOV. 2, 2010

Dan Jackson returning to Red Lion Hotels

Red Lion Hotels Corporation of Spokane has hired Dan Jackson as senior vice president and chief financial officer. He will begin Nov. 10.Jackson has been involved in senior-level finance and strategic planning for more than 20 years, and he has significant experience in the hospitality…

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THURSDAY, OCT. 7, 2010

TUESDAY, SEPT. 28, 2010

Women not bringing home much bacon in Idaho

Women in Idaho are among the nation’s lowest wage earners, the Census Bureau reported this morning.Median earnings for Idaho women were $29,122 last year – 72 percent of the $40,440 median earnings for men. Women are paid less in just five states, including Montana.In Washington,…

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FRIDAY, SEPT. 10, 2010

Scott Maben
Scott Maben joined The Spokesman-Review in 2006. He currently is the Business Editor.

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