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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.

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.

Battle brewing over bed and breakfasts

Battle brewing over bed and breakfasts

A battle over bed and breakfasts has sparked in Spokane, pitting new online rentals against longtime business owners, and now the City of Spokane is getting in the middle of it.

The Marianna Stoltz House in the Logan neighborhood offers rooms to guests and bed and breakfast connoisseurs.

"It's a wonderful old house in a wonderful neighborhood," owner Phyllis Maguire said.

Maguire has run the business for 27 years. She says she's paid her dues and abided by regulations.

"My dishwasher has to be 150 degrees," Maguire said. "My tap water can't be more than 120 degrees."

If you want a different place to stay, a website like Airbnb.com may suit your needs. There are entire homes or just rooms for rent. You only have to book for one night too.

Rebecca Mack owns several properties she lists on Airbnb.com.

"During Expo ('74) the city residents were encouraged to do exactly what we're doing. To invite people into their homes and make Spokane a welcoming accommodating place for visitors," Mack said.

But Maguire argues these 'overnights in homes' are trying to do what she's doing, without the legal paperwork.

Thousands enrolled for insurance through Washington, Idaho health exchanges

Thousands enrolled for insurance through Washington, Idaho health exchanges

President Obama announced Thursday eight million people have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, while enrollment numbers in Washington and Idaho have been relatively high so far,

According to Washington's insurance commissioner, 146,000 people signed up for private insurance in the first six months. In Idaho, 44,000 people signed up, making the Gem State second in the nation per capita. So why has it been so successful in our two states? Washington and Idaho created their own state-run exchanges, while many states didn't and rely on the federal government.

Washington and Idaho have their own online marketplaces for families to shop for insurance and, despite some challenges like website issues, they've proven to be effective in enrolling people for health care.

Deanna Davis with Better Health Together said sign-up numbers in eastern Washington were higher than expected.

"We did triple enrollments than what we projected to do in our 14 country region," Davis said.

Photoboxx looks to plug into Instagram market

Photoboxx looks to plug into Instagram market

200 million people worldwide have heard of Instagram, the picture sharing social media app that boasts more than 20 billion photos shared using its software. Now a local company called Photoboxx is looking to tap into that global market.

Here's how Photoboxx works: Say you're planning an event, a guest at the event can snap a picture on Instagram using a specific hashtag and then, about a minute later, the picture prints out on a photobox. Your guest gets to keep the print and you have endless possibilities for marketing not only your event, but your brand.

Owners Michael Fisk and Devon Lind spent about a year, and plenty of their own money starting Photoboxx and the concept behind it is pretty simple.

"At an event people are already taking photos. They are taking pictures with their camera but there is no real incentive for them to use that company or the brand for that event's hashtag," Fish said.

Photoboxx gives them an incentive as the people taking pictures get to keep their Polaroid-like print. But the business side of Photoboxx is maybe the best part