Spokane Journal of Business

Top Stories

SPOKANE-AREA EMPLOYERS ADD 1,300 JOBS

Spokane County employers added about 1,300 jobs in October, compared with the year-earlier month, according to preliminary figures from the Washington state Employment Security Department. The county’s unemployment rate in October came in at 4.5 percent, down from 4.6 percent in October 2017.

COUNTY CONSERVATION PROGRAM PURCHASES 900 ACRES

The Spokane County Conservation Futures Program acquired 900 acres of land it calls the Mica Peak North property from Inland Empire Paper Co. for $2.3 million. The purchase creates the fourth largest block of preserved public land in Spokane County by connecting Mica Peak Conservation Area to Liberty Lake Regional Park for a total of 5,300 acres of contiguous parkland. The county anticipates it will be reimbursed up to $1.2 million of the purchase price through a Washington Recreation and Wildlife Program urban wildlife habitat grant, said Paul Knowles, special projects manager for Spokane County Parks.

YMCA ACQUIRES SANDPOINT HEALTH CLUB

Club Industry magazine reported that the YMCA of the Inland Northwest has purchased Sandpoint West Athletic Club with the intent of transforming the Idaho health club into a new Y branch. Sandpoint West Athletic Club, located about 90 minutes northeast of Spokane in Sandpoint, Idaho, is expected to complete its transition into a Y branch this month.

L&I HONES PROPOSED OVERTIME RULE CHANGES

The Washington state Department of Labor & Industries is seeking input on its latest proposed changes to overtime rules. With the new proposal, the state is considering increasing the salary exemption to 2 to 2.5 times minimum wage, or $49,920 to $62,400 in 2019. If approved, employees making less than that would be eligible for overtime pay.

CENTRAL VALLEY’S NEW SCHOOL WILL BE RIDGELINE HIGH

Central Valley School District has selected Ridgeline High School as the new name for its planned, third high school, which will be located at Country Vista Drive and Henry Lane, west of Liberty Lake. The $95 million school is expected to be completed in time for the 2021-22 school year.

GOLD RESERVE REPORTS DECLINE IN EARNINGS

Gold Reserve Inc., of Spokane, reported third-quarter net income of $3.7 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with income of $34.3 million, or 36 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. For the first nine months of the year, Gold Reserve posted earnings of $67.8 million, down from $81.8 million in the first nine months of 2017.