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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Performing arts center begins breaking ground in Valley

Organizers are breaking ground on a proposed performing arts venue in Spokane Valley.

A groundbreaking ceremony is taking place Saturday at 11 a.m. for the Idaho Central Spokane Valley Performing Arts Center at 13609 E. Mansfield Ave., next to the Tru by Hilton Hotel, according to a news release.

The 59,000-square-foot privately-funded facility, when complete in 2024, will house a main-stage theater with more than 475 seats, a studio theater with 200 seats, an acting conservatory and event space.

Plans were publicly announced in November for the $48 million state-of-the-art venue.

Organizers are raising funds for the facility via a capital campaign. Naming rights are also available for areas of the venue and surrounding grounds.

Grocery inflation could increase

U.S. consumers are already grappling with historically high food prices. It still stands to get worse.

Prices paid to U.S. producers for finished consumer foods jumped nearly 16% in the year through July, the biggest surge since 1974, according to Labor Department data released Thursday.

A good chunk of that was due to a 44.2% rise in the cost of eggs, plus substantial increases in the prices of fresh and dry vegetables as well as beef and veal.

That’s an ominous sign for Americans who are already doling out much more for groceries, because producer prices tend to eventually filter through to consumers.

Overall, consumer and producer prices both moderated in July, but it was largely due to a drop in energy costs.

Food prices remain stubbornly high and risk keeping inflation elevated.

Food prices have risen globally since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reduced grain shipments from one of the world’s top suppliers.

While some exports have resumed, the pace remains well below normal.

“Food inflation shows little sign of abating,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities, said in a note.

Home affordability still sliding

It’s harder than ever to afford a home in the U.S., with higher mortgage rates claiming a bigger share of incomes and prices still rising at double-digit rates across most of the country.

The monthly bill on a typical existing single-family home with a 20% down payment jumped to $1,841 in the second quarter, according to the National Association of Realtors.

That’s up 32%, or $444, from the first quarter and a 50% jump from a year earlier.

Families spent about 24% of their incomes on mortgage payments in the second quarter, up from 19% in the previous three months and 17% last year.

The median price topped $400,000 for the first time, reaching $413,500.

From staff and wire reports