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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Tom Sowa

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News >  Spokane

Developer Jerry Dicker is expressing his creative side in Spokane

Jerry Dicker spent more than 40 years in California developing large shopping centers and malls. After moving to Spokane in 2001, he became a different type of developer. This version, Jerry Dicker 2.0, has focused on smaller projects, downtown arts venues and community efforts that showcase innovation and smart design.
News >  Business

Central Pre-Mix strikes deal with Spokane Rock

Spokane Rock Products Inc. will lay off 42 workers as it sells its asphalt operations to Central Pre-Mix Concrete Co. The deal between the two companies also calls for Spokane Rock to take over CPM’s concrete and aggregate business in the Tri-Cities.
News >  Business

State’s e-cycling reflects societal trend to flat-screen TVs

It’s another banner year for recycled television sets across Washington. Managers of the state’s free electronics recycling program say TVs are being recycled more often than any other consumer electronic product. At the same time, two other recyclable items – computers and monitors – are dropping in volume.

News >  Business

Spokane man’s app lets fans fund mixed martial arts moves

Spokane gym owner Joel Thomas has developed an app that he hopes will dial up more excitement during professional mixed martial arts bouts. A former pro MMA competitor, Thomas said he’s seen too many pro matches turn safe and predictable, lacking the pizazz that fans want to see. In response, he designed the free FighterBonus app to allow fans to collectively offer cash incentives to fighters for trying daring moves during a match.
News >  Pacific NW

Veterans voice concerns over reduced ER hours, staff

Military veterans are worried that reduced hours at Spokane Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s emergency room could delay access to health care and lead to unexpected medical bills. About 20 veterans aired concerns Monday during a town hall meeting in the wake of the VA’s elimination this month of full-time emergency care. As a replacement, the medical center’s emergency care is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for walk-ins and referrals.
News >  Business

Home sales see typical November downturn

November home sales in Spokane County typically sag compared to prior months, and that held true this year; 455 homes sold in November, 107 fewer than the month before. The bit of good news is the 455 sales were the highest November total since 2008, said Rob Higgins, executive director of the Spokane Association of Realtors.
News >  Business

Red Lion purchases Baltimore property for 130-room hotel

Spokane-based Red Lion Hotels has purchased a downtown Baltimore building with plans to convert it into a 130-room hotel, marking the first East Coast property in the company’s 50-year history. The deal underscores the company’s business shift from being a West Coast company to one with hotels spread across the nation’s top markets, company officials say.
News >  Business

Gem of a career

Kim Contos has owned and operated a retail jewelry store in downtown Spokane since 1973, first as Lord of Rings and later as Evan Michaels & Son Credit Jewelers. Contos graduated from North Central High School in 1967, and skipping the chance to play junior college football, enlisted in the Marine Corps. He served for nearly two years in Vietnam, then returned to Spokane in 1969 and became an “anti-establishment” hippie.
News >  Business

Fight over Coeur d’Alene mansion fixtures ends in settlement

The former owner of a lavish Lake Coeur d’Alene mansion has agreed to return several large items he had removed from the home prior to losing it in bankruptcy. A settlement in Idaho Bankruptcy Court this week means former owner Denny Ryerson, 70, will return the large dock and three power generators that were removed from the house before it was acquired by the current owner, Dana Martin.
News >  Business

Kirkland Analytics wins $10,000 prize in startup competition

A Spokane tech company launched quietly two years ago has landed a $10,000 prize in a startup competition hosted by the Washington Technology Industry Association. Kirkland Analytics, which has a team of five, won the top prize this week during the WTIA’s First Look Forum event held in Bellingham.
News >  Spokane

Spokane to host 2015 World Science Fiction Convention

About 5,000 science fiction fans are expected to beam down to Spokane next summer for the 2015 World Science Fiction Convention. The gathering, the 73rd annual WorldCon, is a big deal in sci-fi. It’s where the annual Hugo Award winners are announced – among the most prestigious honors for science fiction and fantasy writing.
News >  Business

Economists say local job growth may slow

The Inland Northwest economy in 2015 will roll on at a modest pace, two economists said Tuesday during the annual Greater Spokane Incorporated forecast breakfast. Just don’t expect it to pick up speed, said Avista Chief Economist Grant Forsyth and former US Bank economist John Mitchell.
News >  Business

Trader Joe’s coming to north Spokane in 2015

California grocery retailer Trader Joe’s plans to open its second store in Spokane next year, taking space at the Franklin Park Mall. The popular Southern California-based company has leased 12,100 square feet in the north Spokane retail mall at 5420 N. Division St., company spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki said.
News >  Business

Adventure takes the prize at Startup Weekend

A travel website catering to people looking for affordable adventure won the sixth Startup Weekend Spokane. That idea, with the business name Go-Kefi, earned three months of free office space, the chance to make a pitch to a Spokane investment group, and 40 hours of website development.
News >  Business

Startup Weekend demands winning pitch and lots of teamwork

The battle to come out a winner during the latest Startup Weekend Spokane starts from the moment people walk through the door. The event, the sixth over the past three years to be hosted in Spokane, started Friday evening at the Jepson Center at Gonzaga University. GU is one of the ongoing sponsors of the event, which takes its name from the national group that launched the 54-hour boot camps for entrepreneurs and licensed the name.
News >  Business

Company leaving Post Falls; 260 jobs to be lost

A manufacturing company that Idaho officials recruited to much fanfare in 1994 announced on Thursday it will close its Post Falls site within two years, laying off 260 workers. Kimball International, which moved a California operation to Post Falls 20 years ago, plans to save costs and improve its product line by moving the jobs to three of its Indiana factories. Another factor is a significant tax incentive from Indiana.
News >  Legal

Shriners hospitals to give gay couples benefits after Spokane complaint

Starting Jan. 1, Spokane’s Shriners Hospital for Children will extend health benefits for same-sex married partners, a change that followed a call by a hospital worker to the Washington attorney general’s office. The change will take place at all 22 Shriners hospitals in the nation, said Spokane’s administrator, Peter Brewer.
News >  Business

Valley’s ATC Manufacturing moving to Idaho for tax breaks

A Spokane Valley company that makes parts for Boeing and other aerospace companies is moving to Post Falls next year to take advantage of a new Idaho tax break. Advanced Thermoplastic Composites Manufacturing, also known as ATC, will transfer its 70 jobs from Spokane Valley, and expects to add about 50 jobs in several years.
News >  Business

Next IT developing ‘virtual health coach’

Spokane tech company Next IT is developing a virtual assistant to help patients manage their health care by interacting with a phone or tablet to keep on top of meds or doctor visits. Like Apple, which developed an interactive assistant called Siri, Next IT’s interactive “virtual health coach” is named Sara.