Ski For Free This Spring Break

Dear Parents of Spokane Public School Kids,It's Spring Break week.  Sure, the kids are happy now, but it's only Monday.  By Thursday, they will likely be bouncing off the walls. Keep in mind, it's going to be chilly and rainy the next few days.  Do yourselves a favor and take the kids skiing.  It's free all week at 49 Degrees North.  You can't do much better than free.  Details at the , or watch the KXLY video above for a little inspiration.

Expect A Grind Of A Commute On I-90

The good news: the massive ruts on I-90 west of downtown Spokane are going away.  The bad news: it's going to take about a year for that to happen.  Until then, expect construction slow-downs.Details from the Washington Department of Transportation:

Studded Tire Deadline Extended

For the second time this year, the Washington Department of Transportation has extended the deadline for removing your studded tires.  Snowy conditions in higher elevations and mountain passes, especially Snoqualmie and Stevens, prompted them to extend the deadline until April 14th.  If you're traveling through those areas, up-to-the-minute road conditions can be found on the Washington Department of Transportation's website.

Berg's Collects Shoes for Japan Quake Victims

What a great way to help!  Here are the details from Berg's Shoes' news release:Berg's Shoes, Soles4Souls, and several Gonzaga University students are uniting to bring shoes to victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Missing Cat Found After Nine Years

For pet owners, this is a story that doesn't happen enough. Nine years ago, the Fulkerson Family's sweet and friendly black cat, two-year old Rusty, went missing. It was suggested by neighbors that during that time, Otis Orchards was experiencing multiple disappearances of black cats. Nine years and 10.3 miles later on April 1st, Stephanie Fulkerson received a call from saying that Rusty had been found near Felts Field and identified thanks to the microchip Stephanie had implanted in his ear. 

Waiting For a Perfect Heart

14 year old Kyle Erwin is waiting for a perfect heart. Almost a year ago Kyle found out his heart was failing and doctors placed him on the heart transplant waiting list. Kyle goes to Assumption middle school and can't wait until he gets his new heart so he can play sports, run, jump on a trampoline and just be active again. As Kyle waits for his perfect heart he wants others to know about the importance of organ donation.  One organ donor can save the lives of 50 people. April is organ donation awareness month. For more information on organ donation go to donatelifenw.org.

It's A Plane On A Train

     While hundreds of Boeing 737's are being inspected today around the world for possible cracks, 3 fuselages cruised through downtown Spokane this morning.      The 737 fuselages on special train cars are a somewhat common sight for people in Spokane. The plane bodies are being transferred from Wichita, Kansas to Renton, Washington for final assembly.      Before loading and transporting, the fuselages are sprayed with a green protective coating to prevent the aluminum skins from corroding during the trip. All the openings, such at windows, doors and access panels are sealed with a special yellow tape to prevent moisture from seeping into sensitive components of the future jet that could lead to corrosion. The larger openings are sealed with specially designed inserts to prevent contamination from moisture.

Rabbit Rescue Urges Caution

A Spokane Animal Sanctuary is urging people to choose chocolate rabbits this Easter Not real ones.   The River's Wish Animal Sanctuary in Northwest Spokane rescues rabbits.  Its rabbit house current holds close to 100 rabbits and animal advocates say it's at capacity.  It rescues rabbits from area animal shelters and takes them from people who can't care for them any longer. Kit Jagoda and her husband, Pete, founded River's Wish.  Jagoda predicts the rescue will see a spike in rabbit rescues soon after Easter.  Many parents give their children rabbits for Easter without realizing how much work the pets can be.   Rabbits are third on the list of animal left at shelters behind dogs and cats.  Jagoda reminds people rabbits are not Easter novelty gifts but living creatures.  She hopes people will consider the amount of care and work necessary to raise a rabbit before buying one as a gift.

2nd Annual Earth Day Celebration In Spokane Valley

The Orchard Crest Retirement Community will host their second annual Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 16, 2011 from 1 pm to 3 pm.  The focus of the event is to provide information, products and money saving ideas on how to conserve energy and better our planet. The event is free and open to the public.  It will be held at the Orchard Crest Retirement Community on 222 S. Evergreen in Spokane Valley. There will be several booths set up for viewing and gathering information.  Participating vendors include Spokane Regional Solid Waste System, SNAP Living Green, Spokane Regional Clean Air, Inland Northwest Wildlife Council and Clean Green.  , the featured speaker of the event, will share her "Secrets to a Green Thumb."  Refreshments will be served.

NAACP President Visits Spokane For 'Unity March'

National NAACP President Benjamin Jealous was in Spokane Sunday for the first time. He was there to lead the 'Unity March' with the local chapter of the NAACP and anyone else who wanted to join.This was, obviously, in response to the attempted MLK Day bombing on January 17th, in which Stevens County man Kevin Harpham has been named a suspect. Though that was on everyone's mind, many in attendance expressed that this march and rally was about more than a bomb it was about coming together as a community to say hatred is not tolerated in Spokane.Other Spokane dignitaries included the Spokane Chief of Police Ann Kirkpatrick, Mayor Mary Verner and Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.

K-9 Maximus Nabs Felon On The Run

Spokane Police K-9 Officer Maximus helped nab a felon involved in a domestic dispute Sunday night.Officers arriving at a home in the 1600 block of West 12th Avenue were told by the wife of 30-year-old Leo Landon that he had a felony warrant for escape and ran from the home as police arrived. Maximus and his handler Officer Gorman tracked the suspect to a location two blocks away. Landon was hiding in the backyard of a house. He started to run away again, but quickly surrendered when he heard Maximus.

God's Garden Needs Help

A north Spokane man dedicated to growing fresh fruits and vegetables for families in need now needs your help.   A year ago, Kerry Absher cultivated an empty lot on the corner Maple street and Kiernan into a bountiful garden, named God's Garden.   "Because it's His garden," said Absher.    "We're planting, He's blessing and we're giving it out to people who need it," he said   Absher does most the work himself from tilling, planting seeds to harvesting.   Last summer, God's Garden did so well Absher donated hundreds of pounds of fresh food to hundreds of families.   As the garden expands, Absher, who is on a limited income, said he needs help paying the water bill.   "A little nervous and worried," he said.   "We didn't have a problem growing stuff it was a matter of being able to afford it," he said.   Absher said the water bill averages between $80 to $100 a month.  He said it took him several months to pay off a $400 water bill from last summer.   Absher also needs new fiberglass for his greenhouse so he can start his tomato plants as soon as possible.   "It looks pretty shabby and it is, there's holes and everything," said Absher   Absher could also use a few good volunteers to help with weeding throughout the summer.   If you'd like to help call Kerry at 638-7480.  

New Movie Features Spokane Animator

At just 23 years old, Teresa Nord has already accomplished her life long dream of animating feature length films. For the past year, Nord, who grew up in the Spokane Valley has spent the past year in Los Angeles working on HOP, an animated comedy about the Easter bunny in theaters now Nord said she worked on various aspects of the film, including animating several of the chicks in the movie.

Dalmatian Puppy Found Abandoned In Dumpster

A Good Samaritan at a north Spokane gas station Wednesday heard barking and whimpering from a nearby dumpster and retrieved a six-week-old Dalmatian puppy that had been left inside.That person took the dog him, gave it a bath, then brought it to the Spokane Humane Society. The Humane Society in turn notified SCRAPS, which is now investigating the incident."We are taking this incident very seriously and are in the middle of our investigation," SCRAPS Director Nancy Hill said.The puppy was placed in foster care, where Hill says the dog is doing well.The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for abandoning the puppy.Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call SCRAPS at (509) 477-2532.

Ben Burr Trail-head Temporarily Closed

The western end of the Ben Burr Trail has been temporarily closed following a small rock slide earlier this week.  Park Operations Staff (OPS) cleared the trail and contacted the City's Risk Management Department to assess the safety of the trail.  They have advised the Parks Department to close the trail between the new trailhead at West Liberty Park and the Liberty Aquatic Center entrance at Pittsburg Street. Risk Management will have an engineer look at the stability of the remaining rock wall, while OPS staff devise a permanent solution.  At this point, it is unclear how long the trail closure will last. Barricades and caution tape, as well as "Trail Closed" signs, will be placed at either end of the closure and near the slide itself.

Play Him Off, Flugelhorn Feline!

Fatso, the South Hill cat who gained fame around the world as "Keyboard Cat", has returned - sort of - for a new video this April Fool's Day.YouTube rolled out a mock version of their site filled with Viral Pictures from way back in 1911. Among them was a riff on Keyboard Cat, called Flugelhorn Feline.

Ocean Surge In Tsunami's Wake

KXLY4 Reporter Jeff Humphrey was vacationing in Kona, Hawaii when the Japanese tsunami hit the Hawaiian Islands last month, and shot this video showing the ocean surges hitting Hawaii in the wake of the tsunami. Pretty compelling footage Jeff shot and narrated the morning after the tsunami hit.

Screaming Deals in April at the Post Street Ale House

Despite sending out the announcement on April 1st, the Post Street Ale House insists, this is no joke: half-price food all day, every day in the month of April! The downtown pub, attached to the Hotel Lusso, announced screaming deals for the entire month. In addition to half-price food all day, the Ale House will also offer half-price drinks between 3 and 6 pm. "I want the people of Spokane to know how much we have appreciate their business this first year, and I am willing to give evreyone a good deal," said owner Walt Worthy.

Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Donation

The American Red Cross accepted a check from Sterling Savings Bank for their Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. Some 700 plus employees from 178 branches in the the northwest raised the money through the company's Jeans for Charity. Sterling bank allowed any employees who made a donation to the cause to wear jeans to work on Friday, March 18th. Sterling would like to encourage other business to consider implementing similar programs to help those that have been effect by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Northtown Macy's Opens Maternity Section

As long as I've lived in Spokane Macys Northtown has not had a maternity section. My wife is now pregnant and has lamented at this fact.But now they do!It opened about two weeks ago. So, for all you women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, you can now shop at Macys.

Donations Depleted At Salvation Army Thrift Store

The Salvation Army Thrift store is in need of donations. The store hasn't seen a dry spell like this in six years, according to the manager. Anna Moran manages the Thrift Store on North Division in Spokane and is using their giant reader board to advertise the fact that they need donations. "Our furniture, our clothing, it's just really depleting and I think it's our economy," Moran said. "People are putting them on eBay to sell, s lot o people are coming in asking if we do consignment, or sell clothes for people."

Suspect Robbed Stores To Pay Bills

Spokane police have arrested a man who says he committed three armed robberies last weekend to help keep a roof over his familiy's heads. 23 year old Joey Maine is suspected of holding up the Zip Trip and Mike's Groceries on north Hamilton street and the Broadway Mini-Mart in Spokane Valley in less that 24 hours. When KXLY interviewed Maine in jail he explained that because he quit his job four months ago, he's struggling to pay his rent and utilities. Maine said he committed the robberies with a B.B. gun as a spontaneous way of solving his money problems. Maine told KXLY he was not addicted to drugs but court documents show Maine confessed to detectives that he was hooked on heroin.

Sacred Heart Children's Hospital Executive Director Wins Award Children

Peggy Mangiarcina, Executive Director of the Sacred Heart Children's Hospital was awarded The 2011 "Making Our Kids My Business Award" Friday morning.Peggy has been instrumental in the health and well-being of children and families in the Spokane community for many years, beginning her work at Sacred Heart Medical Center in 1982. Since then Peggy has acted as Assistant Vice President of Patient Care Services and Director of Children's Services. Peggy chaired the design committee for the Children's Hospital and began her work as Executive Director in 2004. Since assuming the position of Executive Director Peggy has broadened the scope of services by bringing specialists in every pediatric subspecialty including: cardiology, surgery, emergency, oncology, and state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care services. Many of these specialists may not have come to Spokane without the tireless efforts of Peggy Mangiarcina.

Gardening Fun for Kids

If you're looking for something fun and free to do with your kids during Spring Break one local store has an idea. Sun People Dry Goods Company in downtown Spokane will be offering a free class on how to start a vegetable garden. Kids will learn how to plant a vegetable seedling in their very own pot to take home and watch grow.