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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Agora award winners named

From Staff And Wire Reports

Seven Spokane area businesses or nonprofits won Agora awards, an annual excellence in business honor presented by Greater Spokane Incorporated.

The winners announced Wednesday were: Two Wheel Transit (small business); Arbor Crest Wine Cellars (medium business); STCU (large business); Spokane H.O.P.E. School (small nonprofit); Christ Clinic/Christ Kitchen (large nonprofit); Rosauers (community service award); VEBA Service Group LLC (entrepreneurial spirit award).

Prius, Lexus hybrids recalled

TOKYO – Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it is recalling about 242,000 of its Prius and Lexus hybrid vehicles due to problems with their braking systems.

The recall applies to about 233,000 Prius vehicles made between March and October 2009 and about 9,000 Lexus HS250h models made between June and October 2009.

The Prius vehicles affected are sold worldwide. The Lexus sedans are sold in the U.S. and Japan.

Of the total, 91,000 were sold in North America. Another 30,000 were sold in Europe.

The automaker said brake pressure parts in the vehicles are made of a weak material that could crack due to vibration, slowing response times.

It said there were no accidents or injuries caused by the problem so far, but the company has received dozens of complaints.

Ikea heir takes chairmanship

Ikea’s 87-year-old founder is slowly letting go of the reins at his company as his youngest son steps into a major board position within the Swedish furniture giant.

Ingvar Kamprad, who launched the business 70 years ago in a small Swedish village, is stepping down from the board of Inter Ikea Group, a key entity within Ikea’s convoluted corporate structure.

His son Mathias, meanwhile, will become the board’s chairman.

The Kamprad family also controls Interogo Foundation, which owns Inter Ikea Group’s parent company.

“I see this as a good time for me to leave the board of Inter Ikea Group,” Ingvar Kamprad said in a statement. “By that, we are also taking another step in the generation shift that has been ongoing for some years.”

Kamprad, who stepped down from his executive roles at Ikea in 1986, initially launched the company as a mail-order business selling pencils, postcards and other merchandise.

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