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Report shows high rate of tobacco sales to WA minors

Report shows high rate of tobacco sales to WA minors

The number of retailers in Washington that illegally sell tobacco to minors is high for the second year in a row. An annual report that tracks illegal sales shows about 15% of tobacco retailers sold tobacco to minors in 2013, which is about the same as it was in 2012. As recently as 2009, the rate was much lower, at about 9%.

Tech companies landing in Spokane Valley

Is Spokane County the Silicon Valley of the north? Maybe not, but many tech companies are starting to expand to the area.

The company Egnyte just opened its first non-Californian office in Spokane Valley in February.

Senior Director of Customer Success Antoine Valentone says our area was too good to pass up.

"Resources are scarce in the Bay Area and they're looking to branch out to other places and I see again because of the uniqueness of the situation with the four universities here, all in one place, that other organizations will see that opportunity and try to seize it," Valentone said.

There's nearly 70,000 college students and potential employees in eastern Washington.

Austin Garner is a West Valley High School grad and proud WSU Coug alum. He's now a regional manager.

"It's relieving to know I don't have to leave the comfort of Washington state and seek out great opportunities in California which is extremely expensive," Garner said.

Valley residents concerned about E. coli contamination notification

It's been four days since a possible E. coli contamination in Spokane Valley was identified and some people have yet to be notified about the contamination by Pasadena Park Irrigation District 17.

Some residents who haven't been notified actually found out from their neighbors or the media.

The Health Department said they have 24 hours to notify customers. Pasadena Park Elementary School was notified about the possibly contaminated water on Friday. The health department sent out a news release Friday and say they have staffers going door-to-door to let people know about the contamination.

Those who were told early took precautions like stocking up on bottled water, but for those who just found out the situation is not sitting well with them.

One of those people who was not notified was Honey Poppe. She never got the word her water could possibly be contaminated with E. coli.

"Today's Monday; they've known since 4 o'clock on Friday. They could canvass the area and still do it, but they should have been proactive and had a protocol," Poppe said.

E. coli water advisory for part of Spokane Valley

A water advisory has been issued to 2,300 homes and businesses in a part of Spokane Valley because E. coli bacteria was detected in the water.

The affected area stretches two miles east and west of Argonne Road, and from the north bank of the Spokane River to about one mile south of Stoneman Road.

The advisory affects only Pasadena Park Irrigation District 17 customers. To find out if you are in this district, you can check your monthly water bill.

The city is notifying customers by placing paper notices on their property.

The Department of Health is advising residents to boil their water for at least one minute before drinking, brushing teeth, preparing food, making ice, and washing dishes.

There haven't been any reports of illnesses yet, but common symptoms include cramping, nausea and diarrhea. It is recommended if you experience any of those symptoms to call your doctor.

The Office of Drinking Water will have an engineer out Monday looking into the source of the outbreak.











Volunteers needed for Bike Swap

Volunteers needed for Bike Swap

Just a few short weeks away from the 3rd Annual Spokane Bike Swap and Expo, and the event is in need of volunteers.


Volunteers are needed for all aspects of the weekend long event, April 12th & 13th. From setup, to event support, security, bike technicians and registrations teams are all needed to make sure the discounted bike event runs smooth.

"Cars For Charities" parts out used cars for cash

"Cars For Charities" parts out used cars for cash

People can't always give cash to their favorite charities, but there are other ways to help, like the "Cars For Charity" program, which has been around since 1996 and has collected thousands of used cars to be parted out for cash.

Donating to your favorite charity has never been easier all you really need to do is call a telephone number, Pull and Save will come get your vehicle and they will donate the proceeds from parting it out to your favorite local charity. It is a great way to help out and do a little spring cleaning around your property.

"Call the number, 928-1900, very, very simple process to do," Carlos Orelanna with Pull and Save Auto Parts said.

Ken Daniel with the Spokane Guild School said these car donations go a long way.

"Every dollar counts for what we receive. All of us need those extra dollars. Every dollar goes so far," Daniel said.

And the process couldn't be easier.

"It takes about five to ten tops as far as doing the paperwork, it's very, very simple we have free towing," Orelanna said.

New home construction continuing to rise across Spokane County

New home construction continuing to rise across Spokane County

Building permits in Spokane County are on the rise again after taking a big hit early in the recession, another sign the regional economy is slowly improving.

According to the Spokane Homebuilders Association, the area hit a low point in 2011 with only 664 permits issued for new home construction. That number climbed to 874 in 2012 and topped 1,100 last year.

From Kendall Yards to Liberty Lake, things seem to be looking up for Spokane County.

"Over the last couple of years there's been a really exciting time for this market let alone River District," Jeremy Nichols with Greenstone Corporation said.

Nichols handles River District developments in Liberty Lake and has experienced the housing market rollercoaster firsthand.

"Statistically over the last couple of years we have tripled our sales in the last two years. In 2011 we sold 17 homes, 2013 we handed off 48 keys to homeowners," he said.

This year alone they are going to build another 35 homes in the River District and hundreds more between Spokane and Kootenai County.

"We just plotted 225 more lots heading north towards the river," Nichols said.