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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Interplayers theater group rescued by Dickers

The husband-and-wife team who acquired Spokane’s Bing Crosby Theater earlier this year has taken on one more Spokane arts group: Patty and Jerry Dicker said Friday they’ve bought out the mortgage on the building used by Spokane Interplayers Ensemble. The move will allow Spokane’s only professional live theater company to lease back its building and continue planning its future seasons, said Jerry Dicker.

Caldwell: Prudent Wheatland a star in banking circles

Wheatland Bank earned a profit last quarter, as it has for every quarter since it was founded in Davenport 32 years ago. The holding company, Community Financial Group Inc., raised $3.7 million in mid-summer without any prompting from regulators who have been, let us say, emphatic in the case of other area institutions.

Banks seek to reassure depositors

With global financial institutions failing and trillions in investor dollars evaporating, Inland Northwest banks and credit unions are reassuring depositors their money is safe, and many are offering high-interest certificates of deposit to capture money from people fleeing unsound banks and tanking stock markets. Several area institutions are reporting double-digit percentage growth in deposits compared with a year ago. Many people were trying – often unnecessarily – to divide deposits among several banks in a bid to assure no one held more than the $100,000 insured by the FDIC.

Wheatland Bank gets new look downtown

Susan Pittman Horton would like people to come into Wheatland Bank's remodeled downtown branch to watch Oprah, drink coffee and check their e-mail for free. And while they're at it, maybe they'll open a checking or savings account.

Community banks rely on personal assets

PORTLAND — There are no velvet ropes or marble teller's counter, no dark wood or imposing glass panels. Instead, the interior of Umpqua Bank has the feel of a sleek living room — hip leather chairs flank a plasma TV screen, with a shelf of best sellers nearby. The bank offers more than just cozy decor — customers can sign up for yoga class and movie night.

In Spokane, relocation can speak volumes

Spokane's leaders have bemoaned the flight of corporate headquarters from downtown since Expo folded its tents in 1974. Well, in the case of the banks, anyway, that's changing. Last month's announcement by AmericanWest Bancorp. that its headquarters will be moved to a new namesake building at Riverside and Browne brings to five the number of commercial banks clustered within a few blocks of Domini's, home to Spokane's unique, mustard-covered twist on power-lunching. The others are Washington Trust, Sterling Savings, Inland Northwest and Wheatland Bank, another newcomer. Together, they control about $2 billion in Spokane County deposits — more than 40 percent of the market — and hundreds of millions more in a footprint that extends eastward to Billings, Mont., and westward to Forks, Wash. Even once-dominant Old National Bank, merged into US Bank in 1987, never had so long or so strong a reach.