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

In brief: Deaconess CEO shifts to Valley

Community Health Systems Inc. announced leadership changes at its two Spokane hospitals Thursday.

Dennis Barts will leave his post as chief executive officer of Deaconess Medical Center to take over the top post at Valley Hospital and Medical Center.

Rob Quist, who had led Valley, resigned after taking a personal leave of absence, according to hospital spokeswoman Christine Varela.

Tim Hingtgen, a divisional vice president of operations for CHS, will take over the Deaconess CEO post on an interim basis.

CHS announced it would conduct a national search for a new Deaconess CEO.

The changes are effective March 1.

Olympia

Wheat leads state’s ag exports

Washington exported $14.8 billion worth of food and agricultural products last year, a 60 percent increase from 2007, according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.

Wheat exports led the way. Reports show that $2.21 billion worth of wheat left Washington ports destined to buyers in Japan, the Philippines, Korea and other countries.

Other valuable crops and food products included apples and cherries, fish and seafood, processed foods, dairy goods, hay, vegetables and meat.

Despite the recession, much of 2008 was a good year for agriculture, with big harvests, high prices and the low value of the dollar that made U.S. products competitively priced.

Much of the wheat was grown in Washington, though grain harvested from other states also contributed to the total, said Jason Kelly, spokesman for the Washington Department of Agriculture.

Eight of the top 10 countries buying food and ag exports were in Asia. The exceptions were Canada and Mexico.

Washington ranks third among exporting states.

Moses Lake

SkyWest bringing air service back

Commercial air service is returning to Moses Lake after a two-year hiatus.

As of June, SkyWest Airlines of St. George, Utah, operating as United Express, plans to fly twice daily between Grant County International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Commercial air service to Moses Lake ended in 2007 when Big Sky Airlines of Billings withdrew after six years because the company was losing money. Big Sky went out of business the next year. Horizon Air previously flew to Moses Lake from 1985 to 2001.

Promoters say 108 businesses pledged $517,500 to attract SkyWest.

From staff and wire reports
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