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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Kalispels give $500,000 for hospital rooftop courtyard

From Staff And Wire Reports

The Kalispel Tribe will give $500,000 to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center to build a rooftop courtyard for patients of the hospital’s cardiac intensive care unit.

The money will be matched by the Providence Health Care Foundation supporting the hospital’s $20 million fundraising efforts to expand and modernize the CICU – the first such undertaking in 29 years, according to a statement from the hospital.

The courtyard is envisioned as a place of respite for patients with long hospital stays. It will include native plants along with symbols of the tribe’s history and values.

The CICU expansion will be completed next year.

Pending home sales rise for third month in row

WASHINGTON – More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in March, the third straight month of gains as housing heats up with the start of the spring buying season.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 1.1 percent to 108.6 last month. The index has climbed 11.1 percent over the past 12 months after having dipped in 2014.

Signed contracts are at their highest level since June 2013.

Bud Light ‘no’ slogan draws brewer’s apology

NEW YORK – Anheuser-Busch is apologizing for a slogan that appeared on bottles saying Bud Light removes the word “no” from drinkers’ vocabulary.

Photos of bottles with the slogan went viral on social media on Tuesday with widespread complaints about the slogan, particularly at a time of national debate about college rape.

“The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night,” the copy read in full.

The response on social media ranged from crude jokes to criticism that the slogan is part of a culture that tacitly condones sexual assault.

Lumber Liquidators may face criminal counts

NEW YORK – The Justice Department is seeking criminal charges against Lumber Liquidators in an ongoing investigation over imported products.

The company revealed the Justice Department push in a regulatory filing Wednesday while also posting a surprise loss for the quarter and announcing the departure of its chief financial officer.

The CBS news show “60 Minutes” reported in March that the company’s laminate flooring made in China contained high levels of formaldehyde, a carcinogen. According to a regulatory filing, the Justice Department is seeking charges under the Lacey Act, which, among other things, bans illegally sourced wood products.

The best estimate of the probable loss that may result from the Justice Department action is about $10 million, the company said.

Political ads banned on NYC buses, subways

NEW YORK – The nation’s largest mass transit system banned all political advertising on its subways and buses Wednesday after a judge ruled that a pro-Israel group was allowed to display an advertisement containing the phrase “Hamas Killing Jews” on New York City buses.

The resolution passed at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board meeting, prompting indignation from members of the board and the public who accused the agency of blocking New Yorkers’ First Amendment rights.

The cash-strapped agency says such advertising accounts for less than $1 million of its annual advertising revenue of $138 million.

MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg said the policy is effective immediately. The agency is checking to see if any political ads are currently running in the system, and if so, what the timeline would be for removing them.

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