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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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IT-Lifeline opens office in Bellevue

Compiled from staff and wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Liberty Lake technology firm IT-Lifeline Inc. has launched a Seattle-area office to provide data-recovery and backup services for large companies there, the company announced Monday.

Starting with a one-person office in Bellevue, IT-Lifeline sees its market as businesses between Portland and Bellingham that do between $1 billion and $10 billion in annual sales, said company President Steve Tabacek.

IT-Lifeline started three years ago with a tiny office in Steam Plant Square in downtown Spokane. It now fills a suite of offices in its business recovery center at Liberty Lake Internet Exchange, at Molter and Mission. It has four Spokane-area workers, plus one person in charge of sales in Seattle.

The privately held company’s customer list includes several large financial institutions in Eastern Washington. Tabacek said he has one Seattle customer that prefers not to be identified.

Its Puget Sound-area headcount should grow following the completion of a current round of fund raising, said Tabacek.

Comment sought on copper, silver mining plan

Helena Agencies considering a proposal to mine copper and silver beneath the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness Area near Libby are accepting public comment on the plan until Sept. 15.

Mines Management Inc. of Spokane wants a state permit to develop the Montanore Project, pursued earlier by Noranda Inc. That company made a major investment, then withdrew its interest in 2002.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Forest Service are taking comment on the proposal to mine in the Cabinet Mountains about 18 miles south of Libby, near the Idaho border. Issues include mining’s possible effect on grizzly bears and other wildlife.

The state permit would apply to some 3,000 acres managed by the Forest Service and 200 acres owned privately.

The silver and copper beneath the wilderness is part of the same ore body that Revett Minerals Inc., also of Spokane, wanted to tap for its proposed Rock Creek mine, which a federal judge blocked in March. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy of Missoula issued his decision in response to a lawsuit filed by environmental groups charging the mine’s potential effects on grizzlies and bull trout were weighed inadequately.

E-Trade purchases competitor Harrisdirect

New York Online brokerage E-Trade Financial Corp. said Monday that it agreed to acquire rival Harrisdirect in a $700 million deal as the online brokerage industry consolidates amid fierce price competition and declining customer activity.

“When we look back three years ago, we’d talk about how there was a need for consolidation,” said Jarrett Lilien, E-Trade’s president and chief operating officer. “It’s mind boggling that there hasn’t been any consolidation. … We’ve been talking to a lot of people for the past three years, but the tone has changed.”

E-Trade plans to announce more deals in the next three months, Lilien said. The company had $685 million in free cash at the end of June.

Montreal-based BMO Financial Group, which owns Harrisdirect parent Harris Bankcorp, said it is selling the online-trading unit following an assessment of the company’s ability to compete “in a changing landscape.”

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