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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Briefs for Friday

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 19, 2020

Public libraries in Cheney, Deer Park, Medical Lake and Millwood are working to connect patrons with local businesses as part of the Neighborhood Champion for Small Business Saturday.

However, because of the pandemic and distancing challenges the effort has been extended to a weeklong event that will last from Nov. 28 to Dec. 5. It’s sponsored by the Spokane County Library District.

To participate, patrons must shop at one or more businesses in those four communities.

The list of Shop Small businesses can be found at Secondly, patrons are asked to write a review about the shopping experience on Facebook or Google; or they can stop at one of the area libraries for a Shop Small prize using curbside pickup.

Many local businesses are offering specials as part of the event. To learn more about how the county libraries support local businesses, please visit

Existing home sales continue to climb in U.S.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Sales of existing homes rose for a fifth straight month in October, reaching a level not seen since before the housing bubble popped 14 years ago.

The National Association of Realtors said Thursday existing homes sales rose 4.3% to an seasonally-adjusted rate of 6.85 million annualized units. Reflecting the searing-hot housing market, that figure is up 26.6% from a year earlier.

The 6.85 million figure is the highest for that data since February 2006 – the eve of when the housing market reached its apex and subsequently collapsed.

Realtors and housing market experts have said the housing market is in a different and healthier place than it was the last time sales were at these levels. With interest rates at near-record lows, mortgage rates have dropped to historically low levels. Also the pandemic has caused many families to seek out different living arrangements to reflect that many people are likely to work remotely for the foreseeable future.

Report: Millions of full-time U.S. workers get federal aid

WASHINGTON — Millions of Americans who are working full-time jobs still rely on federal health care and food assistance programs because of low wages, a bipartisan congressional watchdog says.

A report from the Government Accountability Office found that about 70% of adult workers participating in Medicaid, which provides health care to low-income Americans, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, are working full time.

The report was requested by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, who said its findings show an urgent need to raise the federal minimum wage.

“At a time when huge corporations like Walmart and McDonald’s are making billions in profits and giving their CEOs tens of millions of dollars a year, they’re relying on corporate welfare from the federal government by paying their workers starvation wages.,” Sanders said in a statement. “This is morally obscene.”

He said it was long past time to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15.

From staff and wire reports

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