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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Office Hours Scott Maben

TUESDAY, AUG. 17, 2010

Spokane sees no change in jobless rate

Washington’s private sector picked up 3,100 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate fell for the fourth consecutive month, to 8.9 percent, state officials said this morning. But payrolls overall were down 2,300 in July due to the elimination of an estimated 5,400 government jobs,…

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MONDAY, AUG. 16, 2010

Washington reports big jump in e-filing of taxes

Washingtonians may not like filing taxes, but they sure like electronic filing. More than 70 percent of returns are now filed electronically, the Washington State Department of Revenue says.The agency reports that nearly 1.3 million of 1.8 million state tax returns were filed electronically this…

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FRIDAY, JULY 23, 2010

Big wheat yields due to cool, wet spring

All that rain and cool weather in the spring made for ideal growing conditions for dryland wheat farmers across the region, and growers anticipate big yields as they begin their summer harvests. Yields of Washington winter wheat are predicted this year to reach about 65…

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Coming up Friday in Here's the Dirt

We'll profile Pine Springs Farm, going up about 10 minutes south of Interstate 90 along Highway 27. The Wolff Company wants its apartment complex to feel more rural than your average suburban housing development.Also, work will wrap up by summer’s end on the first piece…

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Ambassadors reports drop in travelers, profits

Spokane-based educational travel company Ambassadors Group Inc. posted lower earnings in the second quarter as it arranged travel for fewer people.The company today reported earning $15.2 million in April, May and June, or 78 cents per share. That's down from $19.2 million, or 99 cents…

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Group sues Gregoire over climate order

A conservative think tank and a handful of Washington residents are suing Gov. Chris Gregoire over a 2009 executive order aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Associated Press.The Evergreen Freedom Foundation and six residents from around the state filed the lawsuit today…

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Good news for those with a lot of dough in the bank

You won't have to stash your cash in as many different banks now. The financial overhaul bill President Obama signed today permanently raises the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s deposit insurance to $250,000 per depositor.The insurance had been temporarily raised from $100,000 to $250,000 on Oct.…

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TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2010

Did you leave some money behind?

If you used to bank at WaMu, you may have left some cash behind.The Washington Revenue Department says nearly $10 million deposited in Washington Mutual went unclaimed after the Seattle bank failed in 2008.J.P. Morgan Chase received most of WaMu’s accounts, but inactive accounts were…

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Idaho will now tweet job posts

Idaho's Division of Human Resources is posting state government job openings on Twitter.The popular social networking site will enable the state to more quickly communicate job opportunities and let followers quickly alert friends and relatives about openings, Gov. Butch Otter says.“When job opportunities come along…

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Employment picture brightens

The unemployment rate in Spokane County dropped more than half a point in June, and statewide joblessness is back down to where it stood a year ago, state officials said today. Unemployment last month fell to 8.5 percent locally, down from 9.1 percent in May…

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MONDAY, JULY 12, 2010

Spokane home sale prices up from May

Home sales in Spokane County dipped slightly in the past month but remain near levels seen a year ago.The average sales price in June was up from May but lower than one year ago, the Spokane Association of Realtors reported today.Closed sales totaled 506 in…

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Miller Paint to open Spokane store

Miller Paint Company of Portland, Ore., will open a store in Spokane June 28.It will be the employee-owned company’s 36th retail store and the first company-owned store east of the Cascades, President and CEO Steve Dearborn said today.The Spokane store will open in a building…

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THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010

Tourism award winners announced

The Spokane Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors has named Jack Lucas, president of TicketsWest and WestCoast Entertainment, the bureau’s 2010 Extraordinary Leadership in Tourism Excellence Award winner. Lucas was honored Thursday at the Inland Northwest Tourism Awards.Lucas began his career three decades…

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Avista reports lower earnings due to mild winter

Avista Corp. saw its earnings drop in the first quarter, and officials with the Spokane company say weather was largely to blame.“We had a challenging first quarter because our region experienced one of the warmest January to March periods on record combined with low precipitation…

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Spokane's jobs scene improves

More people found work in the Spokane area last month, bringing the unemployment rate down to 10.5 percent. It was 11.3 percent in February, and stood at 9.7 percent one year ago.Spokane County had an estimated 214,500 employed people in March, or about 2,400 more…

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Full economic recovery still years off

The economic recovery is on the horizon, but it will take four years or longer to erase the stain of the recession, an economist and a marketing professional told business and community leaders in Spokane this morning.“I’m reasonably, vaguely optimistic” the Inland Northwest is headed…

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Homebuyers scramble as mortgage rates jump

The era of record-low mortgage rates is over, reports The Associated Press today. The average rate on a 30-year loan has jumped from about 5 percent to more than 5.3 percent in just the past week. As mortgages get more expensive, more would-be homeowners are…

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Andy Christensen (cq), left, 15, and Marche Osborne (cq), 14, cool off from 90-degree heat in the Thomas S. Foley federal courthouse fountain in downtown Spokane after school Wednesday afternoon, May 17, 2006.  More record-breaking temperatures are expected this week.  Holly Pickett The Spokesman-Review (Holly Pickett / The Spokesman-Review)

Contract awarded for federal courthouse upgrades

The federal government plans to spend about $31.3 million to upgrade the Thomas S. Foley U.S. Courthouse in Spokane, making it a “high-performance green building,” the U.S. General Services Administration announced today. Lydig Construction Inc. of Spokane and McKinstry of Seattle were awarded the design-build…

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Moses Lake selected for BMW parts plant

SEATTLE — The companies planning to build a parts plant for lightweight BMW cars have selected a site at Moses Lake in central Washington because of the availability of hydroelectric power, The Associated Press reports.The decision by SGL Group and BMW AG was announced today…

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

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