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Washington's pot license lottery gets underway

Washington state is holding a lottery this week to select more than 300 licensees across the state to run recreational marijuana shops.

In places like Spokane eight recreational pot stores are allowed but 108 people applied to run those stores, so the state is holding a city-by-city lottery to see who gets the licenses.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board started the lottery Monday and it runs through the end of the week.

It's double-blind, which means absolute anonymity for the applicants so no one gets special treatment.

The people applying still have to pass a background check, financial investigation and other requirements before any licenses are issued.

Although we won't know who gets a license for a few weeks it's an exciting time for the applicants, like Dan Magadanz, who manages "The Peaceful Choice," a local medical marijuana dispensary.

"The second recreational market in the United States is opening and nobody has anything right now. We're standing in a position where we're really excited to be one of the people that help this industry move into legitimate business," Magadanz said.

Five Spokane students named Washington Scholars

Five Spokane students named Washington Scholars

Five Spokane students have been named Washington Scholars, the state’s highest academic honor.


The Washington Scholar program was started by the Legislature in 1981 and honors the accomplishments of three high school seniors from each of Washington’s 49 legislative districts.

Purina plant fined for safety violations after worker loses leg

Purina plant fined for safety violations after worker loses leg

The industrial accident that cost a Spokane man his leg has triggered thousands of dollars in fines for alleged safety violations at the Purina mill.

The Department of Labor and Industries has cited the plant, located on East Trent, for more than a dozen safety issues, including the October 2013 incident that left 29-year-old David Olinger trapped in a horizontal auger.

Olinger was working on a catwalk when his leg got caught in a horizontal screw used to push feed through the plant. Surgeons drove to the scene and freed Olinger from the machinery by amputating his leg.

Occupational safety inspectors came here the same day Olinger was rescued from the auger hoping to find what led to his injuries, however as they began looking around the mill they found 15 other alleged safety violations.

Labor and Industries has now fined Purina $1,500 for not guarding against the equipment from starting up while Olinger was working on it.

As inspectors toured the plant they found three other places where workers were exposed to moving machinery and a half dozen fall or trip hazards where employees could fall up to 25 feet.

Five sherpa in Everest avalanche employed by Seattle guide service

Five sherpa in Everest avalanche employed by Seattle guide service

An avalanche on Mt. Everest has claimed the lives of 13 sherpa from Nepal, some of whom were working for a Seattle-based climbing company, in the single deadliest disaster on the tallest mountain in the world.

Witnesses said the deadly avalanche came out of nowhere during the early morning hours as the guides had gone to set up ropes for hundreds of climbers gathered at base camp.

Among the dead were five sherpa who were contracted through the Seattle guide company Alpine Ascents.

Local climber Kay Leclaire summated Everest in 2009, used Alpine Ascents before and has been to the exact spot where the sherpa were killed.

"They were wonderful strong people," Leclaire said.

When she summited Everest in 2009, Chhewang Nima Sherpa was by her side. The next year he was killed while climbing.

Sherpa are native mountain people who are extremely fit. Many have climbed Everest multiple times.

"Most climbers, the majority of us, would not be able to summit Everest without their help," Leclaire said.

Master compost at the 36th semi-annual Compost Fair

Master compost at the 36th semi-annual Compost Fair

From the City of Spokane:


The Spokane Master Composters/Recyclers will host the 36th semi-annual Compost Fair at the Finch Arboretum on Saturday, April 26. The Fair is being held as part of the Arbor Day Celebration and starts at 11 a.m. Attendees must arrive by 1:30 p.m. to complete all of the activities by the 2 p.m. end time.

Egg hunt for dogs (and children)

Egg hunt for dogs (and children)

Have you heard? The Easter Bunny is set to arrive in Spokane on Saturday, April 19, and make a stop at SpokAnimal’s Dog Park at High Bridge. He will hide plastic eggs filled with dog treats and pose for photos with the kiddies.

If you want to participate in the hunt, there is a suggested $10 per dog registration, and begins at 9am in the parking area. Dog park regulars should be aware that the upper dog park will close at 9am to get ready for the Bunny’s arrival , then reopen for the hunt at 10am along with free kids’ activities. Three golden eggs will be hidden somewhere in the upper park with egg-stra special prizes inside.

The SpokAnimal Dog Park at High Bridge is located at 163 South A Street in Spokane’s Peaceful Valley. All proceeds raised from the event benefit the park’s on-going cleanup and maintenance. For updates and activities become a fan of SpokAnimal’s Dog Park at High Bridge on Facebook

SCRAPS testing dogs for adoptability

SCRAPS testing dogs for adoptability

Very little background information is known on most of the animals SCRAPS takes in however, through a series of tests they are able to identify a dog's strengths and weaknesses to determine if the dog is adoptable.

"We're going to look at three things to help us determine if a dog is safe to adopt out into a new home," said Nancy Hill of SCRAPS.

The shelter considers information received by intake from the person turning the dog in.

"Was the dog doing something bad and that's why people or an officer brought it in here? Was it a really nice dog that's just lost," said Hill.

After the dog is at the shelter for a minimum of 24 hours, they take a safe assessment test. The safe assessment is a national test used by shelters throughout the United States.

"We're going to put the dog into different situations and evaluate the dog's reaction," Hill said.

The test ranges from anything like a simple touch to a squeeze to a fake hand being placed in and near the dog's food bowl while they are eating. The dog is ranked in each area on a scale system from one to five.