May 19 / Medical school here adds department
Washington State University said the nutrition and exercise physiology program at WSU Spokane has been named as an academic department and incorporated into the university’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine here. It said the move reflects the College of Medicine’s goal to be one of the first medical schools in the nation to make scientific wellness - where critical health indicators, including DNA and lifestyle, are accessed and followed by nutritional coaching - part of its curriculum.
May 19 / Flurry of sports events kick off
The Spokane Sports Commission said a flurry of sporting events that kicked off this past weekend is expected to bring more than 13,000 sports visitors to Spokane, generating more than 7,000 overnight hotel stays. The activities are expected to provide an economic boost here of as much as $8 million in May alone, it said. The scheduled events range from high school softball, golf, and track-and-field championships to a BMX bike race, marathon run, baseball tournaments, and a longtime annual judo competition.
May 18 / County to launch Alert Spokane system
Spokane County said it was preparing to launch a new Alert Spokane notification system that will send emergency alerts and time-sensitive messages to county residents. The new system is part of technology upgrades made possible by county voters’ recent renewal of a one-tenth of 1 percent sales-and-use tax. To receive emergency alerts, residents and visitors can either download the CodeRed app on their smartphone or register their cellular or VoIP phone on the Alert Spokane webpage, at alertspokane.org.
May 15 / Avista plans Steam Plant upgrades
Avista Corp., of Spokane, said a roof-top event center will open at the historic Steam Plant downtown as part of $1.5 million worth of improvements that are just getting underway. The Stacks restaurant and brew pub that are located in the iconic building also will be renovated, shutting down operations on June 1 and reopening this fall to ensure safety during the project, Avista says. Avista affiliate Avista Development is majority owner of the Steam Plant, which will be undergoing renovations for just the second time in its 100-year history, and the adjoining Seehorn Lang building, located on the west side of the Steam Plant Square complex.
May 11 / Retail sales show healthy gains here
The Washington state Department of Revenue reported $2.42 billion in taxable retail sales in Spokane County during the fourth quarter of 2016, up 7.3 percent from the year-earlier quarter. The city of Spokane had $1.27 billion in taxable sales during the quarter, up 4.1 percent in a year-over-year comparison, and Spokane Valley had $608 million in sales, up 11.9 percent. Growth in the county and Spokane Valley outpaced the state as a whole, which had total sales increase 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with the year-earlier period.
May 8 / Itron to acquire Comverge for $100M
Itron Inc., of Liberty Lake, said it has agreed to acquire Peak Holding Corp., the Norcross, Ga.-based owner of energy-management company Comverge, in a transaction valued at about $100 million. The transaction is expected to be completed during the current fiscal quarter.
May 8 / Red Lion reports first-quarter loss
Red Lion Hotels Corp., of Spokane, reported a first-quarter net loss of $3.6 million, or 18 cents a diluted share, compared to a loss of $4.8 million, or 24 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The company said it’s continuing its transition to a franchise-fee business model that’s less capital intensive than owning and operating all of its own properties.
May 8 / Hecla Mining’s earnings improve
Hecla Mining Co., of Coeur d’Alene, posted first-quarter net income of $26.7 million, or 7 cents a diluted share, up compared with a net loss of $756,000 in the year-earlier quarter. The company said it started the year with strong sales, which led to better earnings. However, Hecla said it has suspended operations at its Lucky Friday Mine until a strike there is resolved.