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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Early preparation will ease worries over retirement income

Retirement may seem like a long way off, but as the decades pass time seems to move faster and faster. Planning for retirement can seem overwhelming as we deal with day-to-day life, but it is a worthwhile proposition. A common mistake made in retirement planning is to rely on Social Security to fully fund your retirement. Social Security was never intended to be the only source of income; it usually will fund about 40 percent of income needs if you wait until full retirement age. A Social Security statement is mailed to individuals annually, or you can request a report. These statements are full of helpful information, so take time to read the statement and run some retirement projections long before you reach retirement age.

Airport getting security camera upgrade

Spokane is one of five U.S. cities whose airports will receive a major upgrade of video surveillance cameras provided by the Homeland Security Department. The Spokane International Airport will install the new closed-circuit advance video cameras throughout the terminal complex, said airport spokesman Todd Woodard.

Liquid limits will stay in place

WASHINGTON – Airline passengers in the U.S. won’t be saying goodbye anytime soon to one of the thorniest hassles in air travel: restrictions on the amount of liquids that can be carried on a plane. Government and security officials say the ban is still likely to be lifted someday – but not as quickly as they once thought.

IRS may reduce 401(k) limits

Low inflation has made food and gas more affordable during the recession, but there’s a downside: Social Security beneficiaries probably won’t get a raise next year, and the IRS may reduce the amount workers can contribute to their 401(k) plans. The IRS will announce 2010 contribution limits for 401(k) plans in October, based on a formula tied to the inflation rate in the third quarter vs. the year-ago quarter. For 2009, most workers can contribute up to $16,500 to their 401(k) plans, plus an additional $5,500 if they’re 50 or older.

Ridge links terror level, politics

WASHINGTON – Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge claims in a new book that he was pressured by other members of President George W. Bush’s Cabinet to raise the nation’s terror alert level just before the 2004 presidential election. Ridge says he objected to raising the security level despite the urgings of former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, according to a publicity release from Ridge’s publisher. In the end the alert level was not changed. Ridge said the episode convinced him to follow through with his plans to leave the administration; he resigned on Nov. 30, 2004.

Average pay in Washington up 3.4 percent

The average annual wage in Washington grew by 3.4 percent in 2008, to $46,256, the state Employment Security Department reported today. The increase equals $1,535. In 2007, the average wage grew by 5 percent compared to 2006.

U.S. may go solo on N. Korea sanctions

SEOUL, South Korea – The United States has told South Korea that it will impose its own financial sanctions on the North apart from punishments the U.N. has been mulling for Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test, a news report said today. The U.S. sanctions call for blacklisting foreign financial institutions that help the North launder money and conduct other dubious deals, the South Korean Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported.

Stimulus translates to contracts, grants

New water lines in Republic. A large sewage project in Airway Heights. Millions for schools, for crime-victim advocates, and to expand broadband access into rural areas. Hundreds of miles of new or overhauled paths, bridges and roads. And that’s just the start.

Fairchild memorial honors security officers killed in Iraq, Afghanistan

Eight Air Force security officers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan are now pictured on a memorial at Fairchild Air Force Base. The base’s Security Forces Squadron unveiled the memorial Monday with a reading of their names, a ceremonial salute from a mounted machine gun and the playing of taps. Military personnel and civilian guests filed past the memorial to the strains of “Amazing Grace” played on a bagpipe.

Baby names Barack, Miley move up

Move over, baby Emily. Emma is the new top name among baby girls, ending Emily’s 12-year reign. Jacob remained king among the boys in 2008, his 10th straight year at the top, the Social Security Administration said Friday.

Homeland Security to combine offices

Spokane’s Homeland Security department will consolidate 30 of its workers from three downtown offices into a single building on the north side of the Spokane River. The move is part of a national initiative being followed by many federal agencies, said Ross Buffington, a General Services Administration spokesman in the Seattle area.

STA honors security officers

Two security officers at the Spokane Transit Authority Plaza in downtown Spokane chased down one of two armed-robbery suspects at the Plaza in February, tackling the youth to the ground and allegedly finding a loaded .22-caliber revolver in his waistband. STA security officer Chris Stein and Securitas security officer Chris Hamilton were honored Thursday evening by the STA board for teaming up with Spokane police in taking the suspects off the streets.

STA security honored for apprehending robbery suspects

Two security officers at the Spokane Transit Authority Plaza in downtown Spokane chased down one of two armed-robbery suspects at the Plaza in February, tackling the man to the ground and finding a loaded .22-caliber revolver in his waistband.