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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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One local liquor store open Sundays

Compiled from staff and wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Twenty state-owned liquor stores in Washington will be open Sunday under a two-year experiment launched earlier this summer by the state Liquor Control Board.

A law approved this year by the state Legislature allows the Sunday sale of hard alcohol for the first time since Prohibition. In July, 158 liquor stores operated by contract agents statewide were given the option of staying open on Sundays. Starting Sept. 4, 20 of the about 160 state-owned stores will follow suit.

The only such store scheduled to be open Sundays in Spokane is at 2401 W. Wellesley. It was chosen because it has “the best performance potential,” the Liquor Control Board said in a news release.

The board expects that Sunday sales at state-owned stores alone will boost the agency’s gross revenue by $3.9 million in the 2006 fiscal year.

New Spokane warehouse in operation

Steel distributor Earle M. Jorgensen Co., which opened a Spokane warehouse in July, said this week the new facility is fully operational.

The Lakewood, Calif., company employs five people in its Spokane facility, at 305 N. Lake Rd.

Earle M. Jorgensen has 37 locations nationwide. The company had sales of $1.6 billion and net income of $97.5 million in its most recent fiscal year, ended March 31.

Avista wants extension of Idaho PUC surcharge

Avista Utilities has asked the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for permission to extend for one year a surcharge already paid by customers. The 2.45 percent surcharge allows Avista to recover above-normal costs for supplying power, which can be caused by low water or high energy prices.

In this case, Avista has asked for an extension of the surcharge because of a shortfall in hydro generation and increasing gas-fuel expenses at its generating plants.

Extension of the surcharge wouldn’t result in a rate increase, the PUC said.

The Idaho PUC is taking written comments on the proposal. Comments are due by Sept. 22 and can be filed via e-mail at www.puc.idaho.gov, then click on “comments and questions.” The Case number is AVU-E-05-06.

Unicep packaging receives $296,000 grant

Sandpoint Unicep Packaging Inc. was awarded a $296,000 research grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a new factory machine.

The machine will fill plastic vials with single-dose applications of medicine and cosmetics. Company officials anticipate that the machine will be ready for use by late 2007.

Unicep Packaging was founded in 1992 by Dr. John Snedden. The company employs about 100 people in Sandpoint.

The new machine will allow Unicep to expand production and hire more people, Snedden said. This is the second research grant that the company has received. An earlier, $80,000 grant paid for initial research on the new machine.

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