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Avista receives $240K state grant

Aug. 26, 2021 Updated Thu., Aug. 26, 2021 at 7:36 p.m.

The Washington State Department of Commerce awarded Avista Corp. a grant to design a solar- and energy-storage microgrid project in partnership with the Spokane Tribe of Indians.

The Spokane-based company received $240,000 from the state’s Clean Energy Fund for the microgrid project, which will provide energy resilience during wildfires, energy independence for critical facilities and billing benefits for customers, according to a department release.

The department awarded more than $3.9 million in grants to 18 electricity grid modernization projects that will expand renewable energy in the state.

The state’s Clean Energy Fund program was established in 2013 to support research and development of clean energy technology. It has invested more than $131 million in 98 projects statewide.

Feds announce ITT Institute student debt forgiveness

The federal Education Department announced Thursday it will forgive student debt for more than 100,000 borrowers who attended schools in the now-defunct ITT Technical Institute chain but left before graduating.

In a rarely used move, the agency said it will erase federal loans for borrowers who left the for-profit colleges during an eight-year window before their 2016 closure. During that period, the department said, ITT Tech lied about its financial health and misled students into taking on debt they couldn’t repay.

The action will offer $1.1 billion in loan forgiveness to 115,000 borrowers who attended ITT Tech, which had more than 130 campuses across 38 states. About 43% of those borrowers are in default on their student loans, the department said.

Students are usually eligible for loan forgiveness if they attended a college within 120 days of its closure and were unable to complete their degrees. But for ITT Tech, the Education Department is extending the window back to March 31, 2008.

Stocks drop Thursday after suicide attack in Kabul

Technology and communication companies led a broad sell-off on Wall Street Thursday following deadly suicide attacks at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan.

The S&P 500 fell 0.6% a day after capping a five-day winning streak with an all-time high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5%, while the Nasdaq composite lost 0.6%.

Despite the losses, the three major indexes are on track for weekly gains.

Twin suicide bombings struck Thursday outside Kabul’s airport, where large crowds of people trying to flee Afghanistan have massed.

At least 60 Afghans and 12 U.S. troops were killed, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

Scores of other people were wounded. The airport had been the focus of NATO evacuations from the country after the Taliban took over last week.

The declines were widespread, with 10 of the 11 sectors in the S&P 500 closing lower.

Technology stocks, communication services providers and a mix of companies that rely on consumer spending accounted for much of the pullback.

Banks and energy stocks also weighed on the index. Only real estate stocks closed higher.

Stocks had been moving lower in early trading before the bombings, following pullbacks in markets in Asia and Europe, as investors looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s two-day conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which began Thursday.

The selling accelerated swiftly once news of the attacks broke.

“The unfortunate news that we had around the airport bombing perhaps gave people a reason to sell more aggressively,” said J.J. Kinahan, chief strategist with TD Ameritrade.

The S&P 500 fell 26.19 points to 4,470, while the Dow dropped 192.38 points to 35,213.12.The Nasdaq lost 96.05 points to 14,945.81.

The tech-heavy index closed above 15,000 points for the first time a day earlier.

From staff and wire reports

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