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Lowe's stores to accept Red Cross donations through Aug. 27

Lowe's stores to accept Red Cross donations through Aug. 27

In response to the recent wildfires in Washington and Oregon, Lowe's has activated its customer donation program in all Washington and Oregon stores to provide a convenient place for customers to make financial donations to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

Donations enable to Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small, like the wildfires in several states.

In Washington, the Red Cross has served nearly 33,000 meals and snacks to affected residents and distributed more than 3,500 cleanup supplies. In Oregon, the Red Cross served more than 2,000 meals and snacks and opened four shelters in response to the wildfires.

As a member of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, Lowe's pledges donations on an ongoing basis in advance of disasters to help the Red Cross deliver immediate aid to communities in need.

Since partnering with Red Cross in 1999, Lowe's and its customers have contributed more than $25 million for disaster relief.

Local game designer looking for success with Kingdoms in Peril

If you're a board game enthusiast who's always on the lookout for a new addition, you may want to check out local Spokane designer Thomas Kaufman and his fast-paced, highly competitive card game Kingdoms in Peril.

I had the chance to sit down and learn Kingdoms recently, and picked it up almost immediately. Set in the ancient middle east (the cards themselves designed with historical carvings from 700 BC, featured in the British museum), each player builds their own kingdom of villages and towns with their capital as the crowning jewel.

Once set-up is complete, players then go to work building a hand of cards that houses their armies, equipment and defensive tactics before turning on each other in an ancient battle royal. To the victor go the spoils, and with a two-hour time limit the winner is declared by either a tally of points (each village, town and city has a numbered value when captured) or when one kingdom emerges victorious.

Avista thanks customers, employees for patience and hard work after storm

Avista thanks customers, employees for patience and hard work after storm

Avista released a big thank-you today to all their customers impacted by last Wednesday's wind storm for their patience during repairs, and to their crews for working non-stop to get everyone back online.

Avista says last week's storm caused the worst damage to their system since a massive ice storm in 1996, nearly 20 years ago. This time around it took nearly 96 hours to restore power to the nearly 40,000 customers left without.

Now that all the power is back on, Avista is getting a better look at the damage. Preliminary numbers show that more than 120 poles had to be replaced after high winds toppled trees onto power lines and snapped poles. That's double their initial estimate.

Dispatchers worked around the clock to prioritize work and dispatch crews to areas of highest need, organizing nearly 14,000 outage reports from customers.

Fundraiser for young girl with rare leukemia

Fundraiser for young girl with rare leukemia

The family of an 8-year-old Spokane girl diagnosed with an extremely rare form of leukemia is asking for your help.

Bella Carvalho was diagnosed with blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) in June, a rare and aggressive blood disease that can cause, along with many other things, painful lesions on her skin. BPDCN is also a disease most commonly found in elderly men, not little girls.

From her GoFundMe Page:

Local Pony league baseball champs head to California

Local Pony league baseball champs head to California

A plucky group of 10-year-old boys are preparing to hop on a plane and head down to California to represent Washington as the regional Pony League Baseball champions!

All 11 kids have been involved with Spokane Indians Youth Baseball who united the Pony, Baby Ruth and Spokane Youth Sports Association leagues under one umbrella. After the regular season was over, try-outs were held for the all-star team and just a few weeks later the hard hitters swept the Mustang Northwest Regional Championship, winning all 11 games.

Since then, they've been working hard at Albertsons grocery stores around Spokane, asking for donations to help them make the trip to Anaheim.

“The money will help pay for their hotel room,” said Stephanie Erickson, the mother of one of the players. “The Pony organization books flights, which the parents pay half of, and this will help cover expenses like hotel rooms, food and other incidentals. We have a couple of families driving down with equipment to save on expenses like checking bat bags.”

The Bickett Building to give downtown a boost

The Bickett Building to give downtown a boost

From the outside, The Bickett looks like many buildings outside – old, brick and in need of a little TLC. On the inside, however, developer Jed Conklin and his band of construction workers have transformed the one-time hotel (and rumored brothel) into a streamlined work of art.

Standing at the bannister of the second floor, Conklin says they had a lot of work ahead of them when they first walked in.

“The entire building was open and full of pigeons,” he said. “The droppings were ankle deep in places, and the rain was pouring in.”

Amazingly, Conklin was able to salvage the original floors, now scraped clean and polished to a smooth finish without even a creak to give away its century of history. The original floor plans are still visible in the wood, outlining the four single-occupancy rooms that now make up each apartment.

“We wanted to save as much as we could,” Conklin explained. “Even the shelves are made of recycled lumber from somewhere else in the building.”