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

Tom Sowa

This individual is no longer an employee with The Spokesman-Review.

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News >  Spokane

Finance experience an issue in county treasurer race

Current Spokane County Treasurer Rob Chase learned one lesson in defeating his predecessor, Skip Chilberg, in the 2010 election. “For sure, I’m campaigning. I’m raising money,” said Chase, the 60-year-old self-described constitutionalist who’s facing a primary challenge from two Spokane accountants, Mary Kuney and Amy Biviano.

News >  Business

First licensed pot grower has big plans – that he’d like to sell

Sean Green, the Spokane resident and first person in Washington to get a legal pot-growing license, said he’s ready to sell out and try to make money as a pot-business consultant. Green, 32, is among several dozen pot pioneers with approved marijuana licenses who already want to sell those licenses.
News >  Business

Grand Hotel Spokane to be part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection

More than nine months after starting construction, the new downtown Spokane convention center hotel has a new name and a formal franchise deal with Marriott International. The hotel, across the street from the INB Performing Arts Center, will formally be called the Grand Hotel Spokane, an Autograph Collection Hotel.
News >  Business

Spokane home sales, prices rising steadily

The Spokane area saw 601 homes sold in June, the highest mark for that month since the real estate bubble. June’s sales were 9 percent higher than May’s 551 home sales. During Spokane’s frothy home-buying splurge in June 2007, area Realtors saw 806 sales.
News >  Business

First-time buyers key in Spokane County housing recovery

If the Spokane home market is a tad soft, it’s because there aren’t enough first-time homebuyers like Joe Weber and Alicia Isensee. The two area residents are closing on home purchases. For each, it’s a chance to stop renting and build some home equity.
News >  Business

Yahoo Data Center plans growth in Grant County

When the World Cup started last month, the little blue lights on thousands of racks inside Yahoo’s Quincy data center began flickering faster than usual.  Millions of people on phones, tablets and computers were tracking teams and watching video from the event, a once-every-four-years sports spectacle that garners intense online interest.
News >  Business

Spokane’s Holley Mason Building sold to investors

Four area investors, including Hall of Fame baseball star George Brett, have purchased the Holley Mason Building in downtown Spokane for $4 million. The six-story brick landmark at 157 S. Howard St. has been used for commercial offices for the past 35 years. The previous Spokane-based owner, developer Rob Brewster, defaulted on bank loans in 2012 and his lender, Prudential Bank, took over the building.
News >  Business

Downtown businesses have adapted to Hoopfest after decades of practice

Like most major events, Hoopfest owes its silver-plated success to good luck, persistence and the good fortune of following a bona fide example – in its case, Bloomsday – say people who’ve nurtured Spokane’s 3-on-3 annual downtown hoops avalanche. Hoopfest’s two founders asked Terry Kelly for help to get the city’s first-ever basketball tournament off to a good start 24 years ago. Kelly, a Gonzaga Prep and Washington State University hoops star, had doubts. Spokane and North Idaho just didn’t have enough dedicated players and fans to make Hoopfest a success, he told them.
News >  Business

Vacant downtown Otis building fenced off

City officials have blocked off sidewalks around the old Otis Hotel in downtown Spokane, keeping out transients and others who have used the long-vacant building as a gathering spot or temporary home. The immediate objective was to block access to the sidewalk vaults alongside the building, said Jan Quintrall, the city’s director of business and development services.
News >  Business

HUD loan key to Ridpath redevelopment

After more than three years of watching private developers struggle to save the derelict Ridpath Hotel, Spokane city officials are prepared to arrange limited financing to help convert the building into affordable downtown housing. Chief Financial Officer Gavin Cooley said the city is likely to apply for a $2.5 million “plug” loan through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and use it to help a private developer start rehabbing the empty hotel, which closed in 2008.
News >  Business

E-cig study finds labels often wrong

People buying e-cigarettes generally think they’re getting a product much safer than regular tobacco. But there needs to be more research on whether “vaping” is as safe as the people selling the product claim, said Donelle Howell, a public health researcher at Washington State University Spokane who has spent the past three years researching e-cigarettes.
News >  Spokane

Karl Thompson’s conviction upheld in Otto Zehm death

A federal appeals court panel on Tuesday upheld the conviction of former Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson. The three judges denied claims by Thompson’s attorneys that courtroom errors following the 2006 beating death of Otto Zehm justified sending the case back for a new trial.
News >  Spokane

Appeals court upholds Karl Thompson’s conviction in death of Otto Zehm

A federal appeals court panel has upheld the conviction of former Spokane Police Officer Karl Thompson. The three judges ruled that Thompson doesn’t deserve a new trial in the 2006 beating death of Otto Zehm, and denied claims by his attorneys that courtroom errors should send the case back for a new trial.
News >  Business

Jubilant HollisterStier names new president

Bill Simmons, a 30-year veteran in the pharmaceutical industry, has been named president of Spokane’s Jubilant HollisterStier contract manufacturing operation. The company announced his appointment this week. He takes over from former CEO Marcelo Morales, who has left the company.
News >  Business

Judge dismisses Tapio lawsuit against WSDOT

Owners of a prominent business center say the long delay in finishing the North Spokane Corridor has cost them millions. But the claim made in a lawsuit by the owners of nine office buildings and the Wolf Creek Lodge restaurant at the Tapio Office Center, 104 S. Freya St., was rejected Wednesday by Spokane County Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno.
News >  Business

Sandpoint-based Kochava tracks app downloads, usage for advertisers

Companies around the globe are creating apps that allow users to shop, play games, connect, manage bank accounts, share photos or watch videos on their mobile devices. Kochava, a Sandpoint company launched in 2011, is a fast-growing provider of a key part of that app-driven economy: It tells companies and advertisers how many people download apps, and then what they do with them afterward.
News >  Business

Providence, Kadlec Health team up for cost control, better services

Providence Health & Services, the region’s largest private employer and medical provider, has formed an affiliation with Kadlec Health System, based in the Tri-Cities. The goal, said officials from both groups, is to control rising health care costs and provide improved services for the growing population of southeast Washington and northeast Oregon. Kadlec Health is the largest provider of primary and specialty medical care to more than 350,000 residents.
News >  Business

Senior management

Alan Curryer, 59, is the CEO of Rockwood Retirement Communities. The nonprofit group, operated by Spokane United Methodist Homes, manages senior living properties at its Rockwood at Hawthorne; at its much larger Rockwood on the South Hill facilities; and at its new affordable senior community, Appleway Court. It’s in the middle of building the Summit, on its South Hill campus. This expansion, its largest, is scheduled to open in 2016.