30th Anniversary of Epicurean Delight

With summer around the corner, the last thing you're probably thinking about is planning your November. Right, we know, it's a long way off. However, the Inland Northwest Blood Center wants a headcount, a headcount for it's 30th Anniversary of the Epicurean Delight. The event, held at the Spokane Convention Center, showcases exclusive tasting from the region's premier wineries and microbreweries. It begins with a social hour, includes a formal dinner with the area's top restaurants and culinary talents, followed by raffles and awards, and wraps up with dancing. And let us not forget, a balloon drop and jewelry give-away at 11:11pm on 11-11-11. You can't deny that's sounds like a good time! So if November plans aren't yet on your radar, get on it. Epicurean Delight has been sold out for the past 4 years. You can get your tickets now .

License to Drive

If you had to take a written drivers test again would you pass? According to a new survey, one in five Americans would not.   On Friday, GMAC Insurance released the shocking results of its 2011 National Drivers Test.   "That's a lot of them who don't know what they are doing," said one Spokane driver   " I believe it, I believe it," said another driver.   Washington State ranks 14th out of 50 states surveyed, with local participants scoring on average 80 percent on the test.   Idaho ranks 11th on the list.   Take the test for yourself here.  

The Soccer Balls Are Still There

Fresh video has come into the newsroom from one of the many Soccer Ball Watch 2011 enthusiasts. Todd Sackmann was down there today and took this wild video of the soccer balls continuing their never ending ride of doom. The question continues though, what are those half-globes that joined in on the fun Wednesday?

WSU May Get More Expensive

This coming school year could get more expensive for students attending Washington State University. WSU may increase tuition 16 percent for in-state undergraduate students for the 2011-12 academic year. The Board of Regents will be asked to approve that increase at a special meeting early next month. Sixteen percent is the amount recommended by the Legislature when it passed the state budget earlier this week. It would raise the annual tuition paid by a typical in-state undergraduate student to $9,374 a year.

Recipe: Beer Tiramisu

There's never a bad time for recipe. Especially for one called Beer Tiramisu. I saw this being exchanged between some Spokane Twitter users and it was too good to ignore. Imagine this with a local brew such as Northern Light's Chocolate Dunkel from the university district. The recipe recommends using either coffee stout, chocolate stout or Porter beer. As for the strong brewed coffee or espresso, imagine out of Post Falls.

Gonzaga Prep Turns Out First Grads of 2011

The Class of 2011 is ready to take on the world! The first graduates of Spokane's high school classes will collect their diplomas from Gonzaga Prep Sunday afternoon.G-Prep is releasng 217 new grads into the world during a ceremony at 4:00 at the Spokane Convention Center. 217 bullpups will walk across the stage; 97% of them will head to college this fall. In addition to the rite of educational passage, the ceremony marks the beginning of Gonzaga Prep's celebration of 125 years of Jesuit education in Spokane. That tradition began with the founding of Gonzaga College in 1887. Graduates will begin the day with a baccalaureate mass at St. Aloysius Church Saturday afternoon.61 graduates will attend public universities in Washington, 10 will enter four-year schools in Idaho. Gonzaga Prep grads will go as far away as NYU and the University of Manchester in Great Britain to further their education.

Spokane Regional Health District Wants to Know What You Think

Some of the best ways you can help your community is by providing input. The Spokane Regional Health District is looking for your advice on their next series of public service announcements that will be shared on local television. They're hoping you'll tell them, on a scale 1-10, the appeal of the campaign as well as any suggestions you can provide.

Downtown Bar Fight Leads To Triple Stabbing

Three men were stabbed Friday morning in North Spokane and two landed themselves in jail.Spokane Police say it all started as a fight between the men at a downtown Spokane bar Thursday night. Officers broke up the fight, but the same three men started fighting a second time near Ruby and Augusta in North Spokane shortly before 2 a.m.All three men were stabbed and taken to the hospital. Two of the men, 22-year-old Andre Jones and 23-year-old Christopher Petty, were treated and then booked into Spokane County Jail.

Staying Safe On The Water

The tragedy on the Kettle River of a 14 year old girl presumed drowned is a reminder to take precautions on the water. Water safety is also especially important as we approach Memorial Day weekend as boaters plan to hit the water for the first time this year.   The Washington State Department of Health says about 100 people drown statewide every year. It says most of those deaths are preventable. It's therefore reminding people to take precautions on the water.

Bicyclist Survey for 37th

Are you a South Hill bicyclist? A team of Eastern Washington University students are looking for riders to participate in an online survey to assess the use and behavior of the improved bicycle facilities on 37th.

Suspicious Solicitors Going Door-to-Door

This came in from Twitter just a few minutes ago. @ManitoFamilies, said there were "weird solicitors in the neighborhood today. Be on the lookout for "security" people knowing on your door." None of the neighbors are able to confirm the title of the group that was going door-to-door. It was in the area near Manito Park off of Grand. I'll be posting any updates I find, to this page.  If you have information regarding this, send an email to .

"Bricks of the Past II"

The Spokesman Review has released another set of before and after photos displaying some of the major brick buildings in downtown Spokane. One of the earliest photos dates back to the early 1900s showing the corner of Lincoln and Riverside. As someone who was not around to see Riverfront Park before Expo '74, it's fascinating to see the park before it's current state. It's almost mind boggling to think that generations before weren't able to enjoy the park like we do today.

Remembering Bob Hope and the USO Show

Remember the good ole days when Bob Hope and the USO would entertain our troops?  Come relive those days this Memorial Day weekend at Heritage Funeral Home, 508 N. Government Way, Spokane. There will be Veterans'  and Aerospace displays, with Andrews Sisters Tribute Shows each day at noon and 1:30pm in the Heritage Chapel.  There will be a Tree of Remembrance and of course come see the Antique & Classic Car Display!  Come enjoy all this May 28th  through May 30th.  In addition there will be a concert Sunday, May 29th at 6pm.   

Free Big Bits, Pizza and Wings at 7 Eleven Today

The 7 Eleven located at 323 West Indiana Avenue, in Spokane is offering up free Big Bits, Pizza and Wings today until 6pm.  They are doing it to celebrate new ownership, Nina and Kahar.  So if you're looking to score some free lunch, the 7 Eleven on the corner of Washington and Indiana is the place to go.  I've gone twice already.

26 Dresses Makes it To St. Louis

It's been a few weeks since we've heard from Ron Ulrich, the man behind 26 Dresses, 26 Weeks and 2,600 miles. He's still in the process of collecting wedding dresses to wear during his epic hike through the Pacific Crest Trail. Hopefully when this is all done, he'll have a story for his upcoming 20-year high school reunion.His latest update, through in St. Louis, Missouri, revealed that he had seven out of the 26 dresses he needed for his trip. Charlie Brennan, a mid-morning talk-show host for the station, had a chance to interview Ulrich.

Salvation Army Has Way to Help

The Salavation Army has put the call out to all communities to come up with potential volunteers to go to the South and assist those hit by Tornadoes. Emergency services is one of the many things the Salvation Army does along with emergency housing, food bank and out reach. To help their efforts you can make a $10 donation by texting JOPLIN to 80888. That money will go towards the recovery efforts. Locally  On June 7th any child on reduced or free lunch can get a card for free swimming all summer, limited supplies right now but with more donors, more passes may be purchased. Contact them at 222 E. Indiana or call 325-6810.

Local Red Cross Volunteers Heading To Joplin

The Inland Northwest Red Cross is sending two volunteers to Joplin, Missoui Thursday to assist with disaster relief efforts.The volunteers, who have participated in other disaster relief operations in the past, will be assisting in Red Cross shelters in Joplin.A third volunteer will be heading to Birmingham, Alabama to provided disaster mental health counseling to survivors there.

Soccer Ball Watch 2011 Continues!

We're one week into Soccer Ball Watch 2011. Our eye on the water, Mark Simonds, has reported that it's getting a little crowded in the eddies of the Spokane River under the footbridge. The red soccer ball that started it all, has made some friends.

Come Have (FREE) Breakfast With An ESPN Star

It doesn't get much better than this: helping kids, hanging out with a local guy-turned ESPN star, AND getting a free meal! Get this on your calendar.  Next Thursday, June 2nd at Northern Quest Resort & Casino, SYSA (Spokane Youth Sports Association) is hosting its fundraising breakfast.  As if a free breakfast wasn't , you'll get to hear from Spokane native, now ESPN SportsCenter's Neil Everett. If you watch SportsCenter, you are familiar with Neil's witty dialogue and frequent mentions of Spokane, Gonzaga and the like. 

Pend Oreille County Celebrates its Centennial

Pend Oreille County is celebrating its Centennial. It is the last county in the state of Washington to turn 100! Please join us on June 1st, 2011at the historic County Courthouse Building at 625 West 4th Street, Newport, Washington for our Centennial Day Celebration as we as we commemorate Pend Oreille County's 100th birthday. A full schedule of special events have been planned that will provide fun and entertainment for young and old alike including: the Frog Island Singers, the Howard's Follies Band with old-time music, a presentation honoring the County's longest registered voters, winners from the children's art & essay contests, a Centennial Auction, and a BBQ picnic lunch with cake and coffee for dessert plus much more. The celebration begins at 11:00am and ends at 2:00pm and will feature special guest speaker, and a presentation by the . We look forward to seeing you there as we "Honor the Past and Look to the Future."

Washington Leads For Bicycle Friendly America

The state of Washington leads the way for Bicycle Friendly America. For the past four years it has ranked number 1 with high grades in legislation, policies and programs, infrastructure, education and encouragement as decided by the League of American Bicyclists.  [.PDF] showing that Maine has been working hard over the past four years to work their way up to second. In 2009, they sneaked past Arizona, Oregon and Minnesota. Wisconsin was slacking for the first time in the four years they've been applying for the award. This year they sank to third on the ranking decided by the League.

Browne's Addition Summer Concert Series Fundraiser

6 Foot Swing Headlines Fundraiser to Celebrate 15 Years of The Browne's Addition Summer Concert SeriesThe Browne's Addition Summer Concert Series is presenting a fundraising concert on Thursday, May 26th at 7:00 pm at nYne Bar and Bistro located at 232 West Sprague Avenue. Spokane's favorite band, 6 Foot Swing, along with Kari Marguerite & the Seventy-Six are performing. Free swing dance lessons will round out the event. A $15.00 donation is requested with proceeds going to the 2011 concert series."We're celebrating our 15th year of showcasing local Spokane musicians and feel the concert series and the fundraiser are a great way of drawing attention to the diversity and culture in our local music scene." says Browne's Addition Summer Concert Committee Chair, Sarah Calvin. "The concert series has really grown in the past few years and we believe that growth is due to the richness of musical talent we've been able to offer. Each week is different. In the past we've had Latin Night with Los Vigiles, Klezmer band Chutzpah and nationally recognized bands such as Mon Cheri. Hopefully, this year's fundraiser will allow us to increase our support for our musicians. We have a suggested $15.00 donation for the fundraiser and are also accepting Sponsorships."Each Thursday in July and August families, friends and neighbors from the local Browne's Addition neighborhood and the larger Spokane area gather at Coeur d'Alene Park to hear some of the area's best musicians. The series began in 1996 with local bands playing for free and a few Browne's Addition neighbors in attendance. With the addition of monetary support for the performers, the quality of bands increased as did the attendance. The gazebo – a remake of the historical original – makes a wonderful backdrop for the performers and provides a tangible sign of the revitalized neighborhood. The concerts are free to the public.Browne's Additions Summer Concert Series is part of the Browne's Addition Neighborhood Council.