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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Business

Week in Review

top story The Spokesman-Review

Registered nurses at Sacred Heart Medical Center ratified a new three-year labor contract Tuesday night. The new pact boosts wages by 5 percent this year, followed by 4 percent in 2005 and a 3 percent raise in 2006. The contract also requires nurses at Spokane’s largest private employer to pay more for their health insurance.

Tuesday

• The price of oil rose to its highest level in more than 13 years and the wholesale price of gasoline also set a record, signaling the likelihood of even higher prices at the pump in the future. Unleaded gasoline futures were the highest on record since those contracts started trading in 1984.

• A computer worm dubbed “Sasser” hit hundreds of thousands of machines worldwide. It was the latest virus-like outbreak to take advantage of a flaw within the Windows operating system.

Wednesday

• U.S. Bank said it would open a $15 million call center in Coeur d’Alene next year that eventually could employ 500 people. The 60,000-square-foot call center will be built in the Mill River development along Seltice Way. Construction is to start this summer, with a projected opening in spring 2005.

• Federal Reserve policy-makers left a key interest rate at a 46-year low but signaled that rates could start rising this summer. Most analysts said they believed the Fed’s first rate hike in more than four years will occur in August.

Thursday

• A federal judge denied Martha Stewart’s request for a new trial, dismissing claims that a juror in her earlier trial lied to conceal a bias against the celebrity homemaker.

• Sysco Corp. broke ground on a 120,000-square-foot warehouse in Post Falls that will supply restaurants in three states. About 150 people are expected to work there after the warehouse opens next year.

Friday

• Spokane Mayor Jim West said the city is looking at the Metropolitan Financial Center as a possible new City Hall. The city’s interest in the high-profile office tower owned by Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities Inc. has been fueled by proposals from developers to buy the current City Hall building, at 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., and turn it into upscale condominiums.

• A state legislator in Montana has proposed a voter initiative that would make it possible for Montana to acquire power-generating facilities in that state. The initiative, if it makes it onto the November ballot, puts at risk Spokane-based Avista Corp.’s largest power-generating resource, the Noxon Rapids Dam. A similar measure was defeated by Montana voters two years ago.

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