SPOKANE, Wash. -

The busiest travel week of the summer is going to cost you more this year. Also, why beer companies love summer holidays and who has dethroned Oprah as America's most powerful celebrity.

Gas Prices Up

It's the least surprising news of the week: gas prices going up, just in time for the 4th of July weekend. Nationwide, gas costs 15 cents more a gallon than it did at this time last year. Prices at the pump have risen every day for the last two weeks. In Spokane, we're paying $3.78 a gallon, which is up 13 cents from last month. It could always be worse; drivers in some parts of the Bay Area are paying $4.71 for a gallon of unleaded!

You don't have to cancel your road trip, though. Find an app like Gas Buddy, which will help you find the cheapest pump near you. Also, rolling up your windows will make you more aerodynamic and help improve gas mileage. Losing the luggage roof rack can improve your fuel economy by five percent. And, pardon the expression, get the junk out of your trunk. Driving around with boxes and other heavy items in your trunk will weigh down your vehicle and kill your gas mileage. For a complete list of tips that can save you money on gas, check out this link (http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/06/24/10-tips-to-cut-the-cost-of-your-road-trip)

Beer Sales Surge for Holiday

Another sign the holiday week is upon us? Beer sales, surging across the United States. Roughly a third of all beer sales take place between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The week of the 4th of July, sales are up between 30 and 40 percent. It's not good news for the good guys; America's largest breweries have seen a decline in sales, losing customers to the craft beer craze. Local breweries are cashing in, though, seeing a 20 percent increase in sales over last year. Spokane's No-Li Brewhouse says sales definitely go up around summer holidays. Orlison Breweing says it's even better when the 4th falls on a Friday, like it will this year.

Forbes: Beyonce Dethrones Oprah

Before you get after me for reporting celebrity news, keep in mind I'm quoting Forbes here; this is their study, not mine. The mag has crowned a new queen in the celebrity world, saying singer Beyonce is the most powerful celebrity over the last year. The Forbes list ranks the hottest stars based on money and fame. Between June 2013 and June 2014, Beyonce took in $115 million over the last 12 months, much of it from her wildly successful Ms. Carter tour last year. For what it's worth (specifically, $127 for a ticket), I'll be adding to her bank account when I see Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z at Safeco Field in Seattle next month. For the full list and to see where former queen Oprah landed this year, check out this link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorothypomerantz/2014/06/30/beyonce-knowles-tops-the-forbes-celebrity-100-list/

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