Filmmakers Invited to 50 Hour Challenge

Filmmakers in the Spokane and Coeur d'Alene area are invited to participate in the '50 Hour Slam', a film competition and festival designed to encourage both amateur and established filmmakers to stretch their creativity. The filmmakers will have fifty hours to write, develop, shoot and edit a 3 to 6 minute short-film. Actors for the films will be provided by local talent agencies. The kick-off of the '50 Hour Slam' will be at 7p.m. on Friday, April 1st at the Magic Lantern, located at 25 W Main Ave. downtown. Interested filmmakers should arrive at 7p.m. sharp because doors will be closed promptly at that time and the fifty hours will begin.

John A. Finch Arboretum to Receive New Trees

Residents of West Spokane can expect some new additions to their John A. Finch Arboretum. Coming all the way from Garden Gate Nursery in Pasco, Washington, members of the , a sector of the City of Spokane's , are shipping in 7-year old . 

Grant Attracts Underpriviledged Students to Nursing Careers

Rogers High School students, interested in nursing careers, are spending their Saturday mornings in the classroom.  And they're getting paid to do it. The students are learning how to search medical databases and find medical studies at the WSU Spokane Nursing Building. The class is funded by an $894,550, three-year workforce diversity grant from the federal Heath Resources Service Administration.  Each student who attends 8 half-day Saturday sessions this spring, and a two-week summer camp on the WSU Pullman campus, will get a $500 dollar stipend.  There are also $4,000 tuition stipends up for grabs.

'Minuscule amount' of Radiation found in Spokane milk

During a screening of milk in Spokane a few days ago, the EPA found a 'minuscule amount' of iodine-131 in the sample, and officials say there is no public health concern.The EPA has been monitoring milk for signs of radiation as part of its RADNET program and found, on March 25, a sample that contained 0.8 pCi/L of iodine-131, which is more than 5,000 times lower than the derived intervention level set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.The findings, according to the FDA and EPA, are "far below levels of public health concern, including for infants and children. Iodine-131 has a very short half-life of approximately eight days, and the level detected in milk and milk products is therefore expected to drop relatively quickly.""Radiation is all around us in our daily lives, and these findings are a minuscule amount compared to what people experience every day. For example, a person would be exposed to low levels of radiation on a round trip cross country flight, watching television, and even from construction materials," Patricia Hansen, an FDA senior scientist, said in a joint statement written by the EPA and FDA.Shortly after the EPA and FDA statement was released, Gov. Christine Gregoire issued her own statement, confirming that "Washington milk is safe to drink." "This morning I spoke with the chief advisers for both the EPA and the FDA and they confirmed that these levels are minuscule and are far below levels of public health concern, including for infants and children," Gregoire said."According to them, a pint of milk at these levels would expose an individual to less radiation than would a five-hour airplane flight," she added.Since the nuclear incident at the Fukushima nuclear complex in Japan, federal agencies including the EPA, FDA and the CDC have been monitoring for signs of radiation across the state."At no point have detection levels come close to levels of concern," Gregoire added.

Small Fire Evacuates Apartment Building

A small fire in a second-story apartment sent tenants of a downtown apartment building into the street early Wednesday morning.The fire alarm went off around 3:00 am at the complex on 6th and Stevens. Fire crews saw smoke at the front of the building and on the second floor. Crews went into an unlocked apartment on that floor and found flames and smoke. They found the tenant asleep in the apartment. Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer says the tenant later said he had been drinking and slept through the smoke and alarm. 

Spokane Club Transforming into Fashion Mecca

Forget Bryant Park - this week, the Spokane Club in downtown Spokane will turn into a local fashion mecca. Spokane's Best Boutiques Runway Show hits the club Friday night and tickets are still available.The show features several of Spokane's best boutiques, showing off this season's trends in a runway fashion show. After the show, you can buy clothes you love directly from the boutiques. Tangerine, Serendipity and Fringe are among the vendors at Friday's show, which also includes trend demonstrations from the Make-Up studio and a Girls Night Out dance party.Cocktails start at 7:00 pm with the runway show beginning at 8. It's followed by champagne and dessert and the dance party lasts until midnight. Swag bags are also available, with goodies and coupons from the vendors.

Warm Reception Expected for South Hill Frozen Yogurt Shop

They're still more than a week away from opening day, but people are already getting fired up about a new frozen yogurt shop, set to open on the upper South Hill.Blu Berry Frozen Yogurt is still under construction in the shopping center on 57th Avenue. It's next to Starbucks, in a spot once occupied by Taco del Mar. Owners Jim and Jennifer Heggenstaller say the shop will be open for business April 8th.Shortly after the sign went up outside the shop, Blu Berry launched a Facebook page, which already has 180 admirers. The site says the shop will have 10 rotating flavors of its self-serve yogurt, 50 toppings, ample parking, music and a gas fireplace. Blu Berry will offer 10% discounts to active duty/retired military, police and fire fighters.

Getting Ready For Spring

 Spokane has had one of the wettest Marches on record this year but that isn't stopping area nurseries from getting ready for a full bloom this spring.  Blue Moon Nursery and Garden in southwest Spokane on Inland Empire Way has been providing beautiful flowers, fruit trees and plants since it started out in the 1920's as Nissen Greenhouses.

A Cardinal Fan In Bulldog Territory

Regan Drew is a Mead High School teacher and girls' basketball coach.She grew up in Spokane, played high school basketball at Mead, her dad graduated from Gonzaga and her mom works there now.Despite the rich Gonzaga heritage in her family, Drew isn't a Bulldog fan. She's a Cardinal fan.

Crews to smooth I-90 west of downtown Spokane

Crews will smooth five miles of deeply-rutted Interstate 90 west of downtown Spokane starting April 4. Drivers should be prepared for slow traffic, congestion and delays between Geiger Boulevard and the downtown Spokane freeway viaduct. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and contractor Acme Concrete Paving Inc. will grind the lanes down 1 ½ inches to remove the ruts, repair several hundred concrete sections that are cracked and broken, and repave the Latah Creek Bridge. "This is a very busy section of I-90," said Keith Metcalf, Region Administrator. "The high volume of traffic and studded tires have significantly damaged the roadway, especially across the bridges. We're going to smooth it all out."

Sweet Tickets

Gonzaga fans lined up early Tuesday morning for tickets to the Sweet 16 after the Bulldogs decimated the UCLA Bruins 89-75 in the Kennel.

A BYU Grad in Gonzaga Territory

KXLY4's McKay Allen, who's also a BYU grad, decided to see how welcome he was on the Gonzaga campus. So he donned his BYU sweatshirt, put on his BYU ballcap, and walked around campus Friday to see what would happen.Note that this story aired before Gonzaga lost to BYU in the NCAA Tourney over the weekend, and attempts to get McKay to return to Gonzaga wearing his BYU apparel have proven unsuccessful.

Ambassador Ryan Crocker to deliver keynote at Spokane Scholars Foundation Banquet

The Spokane Scholars Foundation announced Monday morning that career diplomat Ambassador Ryan Crocker will serve as the keynote speaker at the 19th annual banquet honoring Spokane high school senior scholars. The foundation will honor 134 students from 23 public and private schools in the area in six content areas including English, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, World Languages and Fine Arts. Since its inception the foundation has distributed nearly $900,000 in grants to area students. Crocker, a Spokane native, spent 37 years in the foreign service and served as ambassador to Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon. He has received multiple awards from the State Department and Defense Department for his work, and also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian award, in 2009.

Beacons Handed Out To Keep GU Students Safe

In the last four months, four Gonzaga University students have been hit by cars on or near campus. The problem is serious enough that now the Gonzaga Student Body Association is providing safety beacons to students.You wouldn't expect to hear three Sophomore students talking about witnessing two students getting hit so nonchalantly, but with the amount of students hit this year the conversation is commonplace."We saw a search helicopter, we saw some police," Hannah Bowen recalled.

VFW to host Honor Flight Benefit Dinner

VFW Post 51, in cooperation with the American Legion Riders Post 9 / Spokane, is hosting a dinner to benefit the local Chapter of Honor Flight on Saturday March 26 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The dinner, which is open to the public, will cost $10 per person, with all proceeds going to Honor Flight, an organization which helps WWII veterans travel to Washington, DC to see the WWII Memorial.

Three people escape North Spokane house fire

Spokane County District 9 responded to a house fire just before 11 p.m. on Friday night.Fire officials say flames erupted in the basement of a house in the 11000 block of North Wall, and it appeared mattresses caught on fire. Three people were able to get out of the house unharmed. Fire damage was contained to the basement near the mattresses, but fire officials did say smoke damage was apparent throughout the house. The exact cause remains under investigation.

30 Spokane Businesses Burglarized Since February 1

Since February 1, Spokane police say 30 businesses have been burglarized and most were broken into by tearing the deadbolt out of the front door.The owner of Peters and Sons Flowers says that thieves only took $10 in change and a wireless computer mouse. Susan Matteson of Peters and Sons said she is confused by how much effort the thieves spent trying to break in compared to what they stole."They took a wrench to it and unscrewed it. Destroyed the threads and stripped and literally pulled it out of the door," Matteson said. The thieves did that to not one but two deadbolts on each front door leading into Peters and Sons Flowers."You shake your head and go, you know all the energy could have been put to productive use and really help somebody," Matteson said.All American Tattoo on Monroe had the same thing happen a week ago Wednesday."They went to our front door. We assume with a crescent wrench and ripped our lock off and threw it in the street," Tom Morris, owner of All American Tattoo, said.Morris said he knows of ten tattoo shops that have been robbed since February 1."Nine or Ten shops out 30, I am not a mathematician but that's 33 percent," Morris said.Neither Susan nor Tom can put rhyme or reason to their burglaries. Both shops robbed in the same way, both had little taken and both owners are confused about why they were targeted."I don't know their minds. I don't know why they do what they do," Matteson said."It's hard to get into an idiot's mind like that," Morris said.The police are just as confused about the burglaries as the business owners. If you have information on the burglaries you're asked to call Crime Check at 456-2233.

Gonzaga Students Long To Return Home

Mixed in with sadness and fear, Yuta Hamaya and Yohei Namazu, say is pride. The two young Japanese men, who are students at Gonzaga University right now, say they have a renewed sense of patriotism for their country not only as individuals but as a generation.Even though Yuta and Yohei are physically in Spokane their hearts and minds are more than 5,000 miles away."I feel I can't do anything," Yohei Namazu said."I feel it's just like a disaster, it's heartbreaking," Yuta Hamaya said.Yuta was skyping with a friend who was at his university in Akita, Japan at the exact moment the earthquake happened. Akita is more that 100 miles from the earthquake's epicenter, but Yuta could still see the shaking."I could see the earthquake, like a shivering," Yuta Hamaya recalled. "Yeah. Unbelievable."Yohei Namazu says he watches television in disbelief. "When I see the disaster area, I can't believe it's Japan," he said.Yohei and Yuta say everyone in Japan is carrying the burden of recovery the same. People in the south are trying to conserve energy so more will be available; everyone is sharing food and water. Each person is volunteering to lend a helping hand even if they were not directly impacted."That's the greatest point of Japanese people. We are truly caring about the people in devastating area," Yuta said.Like their fellow Japanese back home, doing whatever they can to help their country get through the devastation, Yohei and Yuta want to do the same. However the helplessness they feel is overwhelming."I am so sad here. I want to be in Japan. I want to help them in Japan," Yohei said."Every time I see the news and watch the TV, I couldn't keep watching that because its too hard," Yuta said.  

Three SFCC students return from storytelling weekend in Issaquah

SFCC students Mariah Hottell, 19; Justin Vinge, 20; and Josephine Davis, 22, have seen a lot in their young lives. As foster youth, they have moved many times, attended different schools and had key family members move in and out of their lives. Sometimes, they've even found themselves homeless. No one in their lives ever told them they would succeed at anything – especially college. Unfortunately, statistic supports this. It is estimated that less than three percent of all foster youth complete college. Most don't even finish high school and many end up homeless. Thanks to high school counselors and a Volunteers of America education advocate, the three were made aware of the for former foster youth to help them pursue their career dreams. Passport scholarships are funded by the and enable 23 students to attend SFCC.

Businesses Preparing For Construction Season's Return

Spring is in the air and so is road construction season, which means Spokane road crews have begun the second phase of their work to rehabilitate 2nd Avenue from Howard to Arthur.Drivers and businesses are keen to remember how 2nd Avenue was torn up last year. The road construction made for tough driving and many businesses saw a big drop in customers. This year, some businesses in the construction zone and the City of Spokane are trying to be more proactive than reactive as the road crews get to work.The traffic cones, construction equipment and detour signs seemed to pop up overnight on 2nd Avenue. And then, according to Willem Bosch, "in a matter of just a few hours, everything was torn up."

Spokane Police Find Missing Teen

Spokane Police have found a developmentally disabled boy after a brief search Friday morning. Skylar Kessler was found on an STA bus just before 10 a.m. Kessler, who is 13-years-old but functions at the level of an 8-year-old, was discovered missing when his mother woke up this morning.His mother told police he was gone when she woke up this morning so he could be wearing his pajamas.