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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Week in Review

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Kaiser Aluminum and the United Steelworkers of America agreed to a new five-year contract; the smooth negotiations that resulted in the agreement stood in marked contrast to the last labor pact between the two parties. The previous contract was signed only after Steelworkers struck the aluminum company for three months, then Kaiser illegally locked out union members for 20 months.


On the first day of the Paris Air Show, Airbus said it had won enough orders to launch its mid-sized A350 jet, a competitor to Boeing Co.’s 787 “Dreamliner.” Airbus said Qatar Airways ordered up to 60 of its jets, a blow to Boeing, which had hoped Qatar would add to the 266 Dreamliners already on its order books.

Inland Re-Tech, of Spokane, said that instead of collecting discarded computers and shipping them to Asia for recycling, it now will begin dismantling the machines here and shipping parts overseas. Inland Re-Tech’s president said he made the change because he expects the state of Washington eventually to mandate that such dismantling work be done domestically.


Merlin Motors said it has started shipping its high-end, three-wheeled motorcycles to dealers around the country. The company, which is based in Seattle and has a manufacturing plant in Spokane, opened its doors a year ago. It hopes to sell more than 200 of the roadsters this year.

“ Following a $700,000 remodeling project, Wheatland Bank moved to the first floor of its building at 222 N. Wall in an effort to be more visible and attract people in off the street. The building has been renamed the Wheatland Bank Financial Center.


Kootenai County home prices jumped nearly 24 percent between the first quarter of 2004 and the first quarter of 2005, making it one of the fastest-appreciating housing markets in the nation, according to a federal housing study. Through May, the average sales price for a home in the county was about $193,000, up from about $153,000 a year ago.

Spokane County’s jobless rate dipped slightly in May, to 5.3 percent from 5.8 percent the previous month.


Tom Reese, the city of Spokane’s economic development adviser, said he is quitting his job to become project manager for Marshall Chesrown’s Kendall Yards project taking shape on the Spokane River’s north banks.

“ Rates on 30-year mortgages rose for the first time in five weeks, averaging 5.63 percent up from 5.56 percent the previous week. Mortgage rates have been falling for much of this year, providing support for the red-hot housing market.

Most Americans would now rather watch films at home than in theaters, according to a new poll. At the same time, almost half think movies are getting worse. Hollywood is in the midst of its longest box-office slump in 20 years, and 2005 is shaping up as the worst year for movie attendance in nearly a decade if theater business continues at the same lackluster rate.

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