Local News

Rabbit Billboard

Its that time of year again when bunnies are thought to be great gifts on Easter.  They are great pets but much responsibility. There is an ad campaign being run called Choose Chocolate - a Real Rabbit is a Ten Year Commitment.  There is a website that is dedicated to this campaign called www.rabbitron.com 

Ski Areas Get More Snow

Operations at many of the area Ski hills are starting the wind down and the snow is piling up! 49 Degrees North has added another 4 inches and will wrap up operations on April 10. 

Monique Cotton Joins Hutton Settlement as Director of Community Relations and Communication

Spokane public relations professional and Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Board member Monique Cotton is the new Director of Community Relations and Communication for the Hutton Settlement.She will be responsible for managing Hutton's community and media relations, communication, marketing, PR, web, social media, and development programs.Monique was previously with the Inland Northwest Blood Center as their Communication Officer, where she developed their communication and PR program as well as implemented locally and nationally recognized TV public service announcements and marketing campaigns. The Hutton Settlement was founded in 1919 by Levi Hutton, who was himself, an orphan.  Hutton Settlement is a non-profit organization which provides a safe and stable home as well as development programs for children in need.

Economy Showing Signs Of Life

News from Japan and Libya has dominated headlines during the last month, but Americans say their top concern is still the economy, and new numbers released by the Labor Department Friday show signs of life in the work force. The nation added 216,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in two years, dropping from 8.9 to 8.8 percent. March numbers for Washington State haven't been released yet but unemployment has been at 9.8 percent. Economists say slow-but-steady progress is a legitimate sign that the job market is improving, and in Spokane some businesses are starting to hire again.

Electric Power Giant Announces Job Openings

Nearly 180 new jobs are open at Pullman-based electric company Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. This number pushes SEL's total employees to over 2,500. Since January 2011, SEL has provided new career opportunities to 194 people. This growth is a product of the companies expansion into new markets and countries, said CEO Ed Schweitzer. Majority of the new positions are in engineering, including hardware, software, power, and automation engineers. Careers are also available in accounting, finance, human resources administrative and technical document specialists.

Special Turkey Hunting Season for Youth

The 2011 Wild Turkey season hasn't begun quite yet, but if you're a young hunter, specifically 16-years old and under, you have a two day window to get in some experience. Starting April 2nd at 5:56 a.m. until April 3rd at 7:21 p.m., young hunters state-wide have the opportunity to use standard hunting practices as defined by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife [.PDF] to hunt down gobblers and hens. 

Pilot walks away from crop duster crash on Kamiak Butte

Whitman County dispatchers confirm that a crop duster crashed just after noon Friday in the area of Kamiak Butte.  The crop duster landed about a quarter of a mile west of SR27 at the edge of Kamiak Butte. The pilot, 31-year old Morgan Stanton of Fairbanks, Alaska, suffered a broken arm, a knee injury and a possible concussion, but was able to walk away from the crash. He's currently being treated at Pullman Regional Hospital. A small amount of dry fertilizer was spilled in the crash.  Investigators are on their way to the scene to determine what caused the crop duster to crash.

A Look at Moscow's Past Renaissance Fair Designs

We're a month away from the kick off of the 38th Annual Moscow Renaissance Fair. Leading up to the fair, the Moscow Food Co-Op will be hosting a historical display of 38 years of past renaissance fair posters. This is all in anticipation to the unveiling of the 2011 poster created by a so far unknown artist. The unveiling of the new poster and fair program is happening on April 9th at the Co-op starting at 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. with an opening reception with the winning artist. 

Who Carved That Totem Pole?

     Vinegar Flats is one of the most "looked down upon" neighborhoods in all of Spokane, after all, most people only see it from the Interstate 90 bridge over Hangman Creek or the extreme western edge of the South Hill. Vinegar Flats draws its name from its history. Decades ago a vinegar plant say just below the I-90 bridge. Local growers would bring their harvest of apples to the vinegar producing facility where it was turned into vinegar.      The area was also once the sight of a Native American village, in fact, Hangman Creek derives its name from a dubious encounter between the U.S. Calvary and Native tribes in 1858 in which Chief Qualchan and 6 others were hanged. The official name change from Latah Creek which in the native tongue means, "fish creek," to Hangman Creek occurred in 1899.     So one could be forgiven for thinking that a Totem Pole standing on the banks of Hangman Creek in Vinegar Flats was carved by one of many native tribes in the area. The pole proudly stands near the Chestnut street bridge over Hangman Creek with an eagle on top. In Native American culture, the eagle is the symbol of freedom, strength and illumination.

Green Thumb, Need Garden?

The recently completed Rocky Hill Park has a new addition: community garden plots.  The 11 raised beds are available to anyone with a desire to grow their own flowers or foods, but no space to do so.  Plots can be reserved now by contacting the City of Liberty Lake, and come with the added advantage of on-site gardening education by WSU Master Gardeners who are helping to manage the site. One of the plots will serve as a teaching garden for children.  A deer fence will be built around the garden by mid-April.

Rural Road Weight Restrictions

    Seasonal road restrictions are now in place for many rural roads throughout Spokane County.   Every year the melting snow and spring rain saturates the ground making roads soft and vulnerable to damage, but this year is extra wet.  During March, the Spokane area received more than twice the average amount of rainful.  The ground is so water logged that even landscapers are frustrated because they haven't been able to work.    The weight restrictions will help reduce damage and the need for future repairs. The restrictions typically won't affect the average car or truck. However, construction vehicles may have to lighten their loads to comply with restrictions. Violators of the road weight restrictions may be fined.

Spokane Valley Karate School Helping Tsunami Victims

When Loren Broyles, Sensei at Dragon Martial Arts in The Spokane Valley saw what was going on in Japan in wake of the devastating Tsunami he knew he had to do something about it."I knew about this wonderful organization called Soles for Souls and I brought the idea to my students and they loved the idea," said Broyles.

Habitat Opens New Store

The Habitat Store is reopening at the Spokane Industrial Park, 3808 N Sullivan Building #10 on April 1st, 2011 at 9am. Prizes, food and beverages will be provided to the first 100 customers through the door. The new location will offer more parking, a larger space and easier access for donating and picking up large purchases. The Habitat Store will offer donation pickups for convenience. 2011 marks the 11-year anniversary of the Habitat Store, a retail outlet selling new and used building supplies. Revenue at the Habitat Store is used to fund Habitat for Humanity homes throughout Spokane County.

Spokane Valley Candidate School

The Spokane Valley Chamber is looking for a few good men and women who want to take part in public office. There are a number of positions that will be on the ballot in Spokane County that need candidates. Before you jump in, the Spokane Valley Chamber wants you to be prepared. They are offering a candidate school at the Spokane Valley Chamber Business Center? Conference Room.  The class will teach you everything about what it takes to run a successful campaign, working with the media and what it means to hold a public office. The class is Wednesday April 13th from 1pm to 5pm and cost $25. Call 509-924-4994 to sign up.

Principal Gets Ready To Shave His Head

Orchard Center Elementary Principal Travis Peterson is about to say goodbye to his hair and hello to a bald head.  Mr. Peterson promised his students he'd get his head shaved if they raised $2,000 in the school's Penny's for Patients fundraiser.  The students, staff and parents rallied and reached their goal an entire day early. Mr. Peterson gets his new do in an all school assembly Friday at 10:45 am.  Congratulations to the student body for coming through with such a big chunk of change and to Principal Peterson for stepping up to the plate.

Police Looking For Suspects in Shooting Incident, Arson

Update: Lewiston Police officers arrested 27-year old Jeremiah Lafave early Thursday in the 2700 block of 9th Ave after receiving a tip that he was in the area.  He is currently in the Nez Perce County Jail on charges of Criminal Conspiracy.  Fuchs is still wanted by police. ----------------------------------------------------

Whitman County Among Healthiest in State

Whitman County ranks among the top three healthiest counties in Washington, according to a study out this week.The Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin ranks counties based on things like premature deaths, unemployment, high school graduation rates and pollution.San Juan County was named healthiest county in the state, followed by Kittitas and Whitman.

Spokane Co. In Bottom Half of Statewide Health Rankings

Spokane County is the 22nd healthiest county in the state of Washington, based on data from vital statistics and government health surveys.The report, compiled by the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, looks at factors such as premature deaths, low birth-weight babies, obesity, unemployment, high school graduation rates and pollution. Rankings are compiled for each state.The study lists 14% of people in Spokane has having poor or fair health, 21% adult smoking rate and 69% of people with at least some college education. According to the study, 74% of people in Spokane County have access to healthy foods.

The Songs Of The Trumpeter Swans

     The trumpeter swans have returned to ponds in Southwest Spokane County.   People driving along Highway 195 just north of Spangle, Washington were treated to the sight of the graceful birds in a pond right next to the roadway. What the drivers missed was the beautiful songs of the 11 graceful birds as they glided through the water. If the drivers had taken the time to stop and listen, they would have heard the birds "talking" to one another as they dove for food and cleaned themselves in the fresh water.   According to the Trumpeter Swan Society, the trumpeter swan is North America's largest waterfowl and one of its rarest native birds. To many people, it is the embodiment of grace, beauty, and unspoiled wildness.

Highway 195 Safety

 Crews along Highway 195 in southwest Spokane, near Meadow Lane Rd. are installing the first pieces of a new cable barrier that will be put into place over the coming month. The cable barrier will reduce the risk of serious cross-median collisions.  The cable barrier will run from Hatch Road to the I-90 interchange.  The barriers have been used on I-90 from Spokane Valley to the Idaho state line for several years.

"Chicken Revolution" hits Spokane Valley

After months of debate the Spokane Valley City Council made changes to the city's chicken regulations. Those changes make it possible for people who live with in the city limits to own chickens on small residential pieces of property. Craig Goodwin has four chickens in his backyard right next to his children's swing set.