June 1 / New candy, gum, bottled water taxes take effect
Washington extended its retail sales and use tax to candy, gum, and bottled water effective June 1. Separately, Costco Wholesale Corp., of Issaquah, Wash., and the Wilsonville, Ore.-based Northwest Grocery Association, which represents 1,600 Washington, Oregon, and Idaho grocers, announced their support for Initiative 1100, which would privatize the distribution and retail sales of distilled spirits in Washington state. They said I-1100 would allow for modernization of the law, and competition would cut liquor prices.
May 28 / Apple store appears slated for downtown
A city of Spokane commercial remodeling permit application listed computer giant Apple Inc., of Cupertino, Calif., as the planned tenant for a store that's to open at 710 W. Main, downtown. Apple representatives declined to comment. An ad on Monster.com recruited candidates for a new Apple store to be located at River Park Square. The commercial remodeling permit application is under review.
May 28 / Sheriff's layoffs climb to 67
The Spokane County Sheriff's Office said it will lay off 10 employees at the Geiger Corrections Center and Spokane County Jail in addition to 57 layoffs it had announced May 18. The sheriff's office said the layoff decisions were due to a $1 million budget shortfall and a declining jail population, which recently has averaged 750 inmates, down from an earlier average of 920 inmates.
May 24 / Sterling agrees to add another big investor
Sterling Financial Corp., Spokane-based parent of Sterling Savings Bank and Golf Savings Bank, announced that Warburg Pincus Private Equity X LP, agreed to invest $139 million in Sterling as part of the Spokane company's recapitalization and recovery plan. Sterling also said that Thomas H. Lee Partners LP, of Boston, which had agreed earlier to boost its investment in Sterling to $170 million, would adjust its investment to an amount equal to the Warburg Pincus investment.
May 20 / EPA endorses river cleanup
The Washington state Department of Ecology said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the state's plan to reduce by 90 percent the amount of phosphorus discharged into the Spokane River. The EPA said it supports credits and offsets which would allow certain dischargers to raise their phosphorus emission limits if other sources of phosphorus are reduced.
May 19 / SIA's on-time departures rank second
Spokane International Airport's on-time departure record in 2009 was second in the U.S. only to Portland International Airport, SIA Manager Neal Sealock said. Spokane Ranked 14th in the U.S. for on-time arrivals. The airport also approved a new police contract that includes a cumulative 7 percent pay increase for its 15 officers over the next three years, Sealock said.
May 11 / Valley dealership buys Chrysler franchise
Dishman Dodge, of Spokane Valley, said it bought the Chrysler dealership franchise formerly operated for more than 30 years by Spokane Chrysler Inc., and the longtime Dodge dealership, at 7700 E. Sprague, changed its name to Dishman Dodge Chrysler. Meanwhile, Spokane Auto Center, a used-car dealership and auto-service center, announced it has opened at the former Spokane Chrysler lot at 6818 E. Sprague.
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