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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Thanksgiving Day kicks off with slew of parades

Giant balloons, floats, marching bands and clowns with confetti brought smiles to thousands of revelers today eager to catch a glimpse of a parade as steeped in Thanksgiving Day tradition as turkey and pumpkin pie.

Consumer group warns about toy hazards

Holiday shoppers should look out for toy hazards such as small parts, loud sounds, soft plastics and lead contamination, consumer advocates warned today.

Stores strategize in light of last year’s difficult holiday season

Retailers across the region have just one wish: Whatever else happens, please spare us a winter like last year. Consumers are still in a cautious state of mind, but store owners and managers say they’re going to work hard to get them to spend money over the next five weeks.

Hero Mail

Employees of Pitney Bowes in Spokane are collecting hand-written Christmas cards to send to US military and veterans for the holiday season.

Pitney Bowes workers salute troops with cards, display

Army veteran Mark Upmeyer took a break on Veterans Day on Wednesday to send a personal greeting to someone in the armed forces. “I’ve been in your shoes and respect and honor all you are doing,” he penned on a handmade card to be delivered during the holiday season through the American Red Cross.

Flag Retirement

From 2007 video archive: On Flag Day in Pullman, Wash., two generations of men and boys came together to honorably retire about 50 old, torn and weathered American flags. Members of the American Legion Post 52, Boys Scout Troop 477 and about two-dozen onlookers gathered around a bonfire in a field. Kind words about the flag's service were said and taps was played. After the solemn ceremony, each flag was then committed to the fire by teams of Boy Scouts who saluted their ashes.

Weekend craft fairs attract seasonal shoppers

Craft shows, the unofficial start of the holiday season, swelled to a crescendo Saturday, leaving tired shoppers recovering across the Inland Northwest. All together, more than 15 arts and crafts fairs dotted the region, ranging from big affairs, such as the two-day Central Valley High School craft fair, to the folksy Millwood Presbyterian Church crafts and bake sale.

Wineries celebrating with special events

Not that you need one, but there are a handful of excuses to stop by a local winery in the next week or so. Whitestone Winery in Wilbur, Wash., will host its annual harvest party Saturday. Winemaker Michael Haig promises Eggers Meats sausages from the grill, a taste of wines from the barrels and the latest release of the winery’s Pieces of Red.

Wash. bans Capitol holiday displays, tree to stay

The Christmas tree can stay — but no more Nativity scene. That’s the word from Washington’s Capitol, where protests erupted last winter over competing private holiday displays.

Man finds truckful of stolen belongings

Donnie Spivey went to bed Tuesday night praying for a miracle. The church pastor and his family, en route from British Columbia to Florida, lost their possessions when their rented, locked U-Haul was stolen from a Spokane Valley motel parking lot last weekend.

Family hopes for miracle in U-Haul heist

A family that lost everything when a moving truck was stolen from a Spokane Valley motel parking lot will stay in the area at least another day as support pours in from around the Inland Northwest.

AAA expects increase in holiday travel

A three-year decline in Memorial Day travel is expected to reverse itself this weekend with a small increase in the number of Americans hitting the road, rails or skies. The American Automobile Association is predicting that 32.4 million Americans will travel this holiday, an increase of 1.5 percent from the 31.9 million who traveled last year.

Chinese New Year

Chef Raymond Kong and Hui Xu, owners of the China Garden restaurant, say that the Chinese New Year holiday is about family and food, not necessarily in that order. Read the story.

Taking toy tradition for a holiday spin

DEER PARK – When 84-year-old Robert Forman spins a small, dented brass top on Christmas Eve, it will move for a matter of seconds. But for Forman, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, the spinning of the top has spanned decades.

Have a Green Holiday with budget-friendly gifts

'Tis the season to draft your gift list, and you need something that will suit everyone -- from your always-on-the-go brother to your happy-at-home aunt. You need something special for each and, of course, homemade would be perfect. Something fresh and unexpected, customized, yet easy on your pocketbook. And while you’re at it, something environmentally friendly as well.

Sales slow to a crawl

Not even Santa showed up for work Thursday. Most days, the downtown Santa at River Park Square’s Christmas photo station is swarmed by parents and kids. Santa was probably taking refuge at the North Pole. The few shoppers who traveled downtown after Wednesday and Thursday’s snowfall found no sign of St. Nick and many shuttered stores.