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'Sharknado' producers bring zombie apocalypse to Spokane

'Sharknado' producers bring zombie apocalypse to Spokane

They're coming to get you, Spokane. Local production company North by Northwest is helping to bring the zombie apocalypse to the Inland Northwest later this year.

This fall, the SyFy Channel will premiere "Z Nation," a new, 13-episode series that will be filmed on-location in Spokane.

The Asylum, which produced "Sharknado", and Go 2 Digital Media are producing the series, which is being helmed by Karl Shaerfer, who was the co-executive producer for the SyFy TV series "Eureka."

Filming in Spokane will mean local talent will be needed to help flesh out the apocalypse, so 1,200 extras and 200 actors will be hired in the coming month. Rich Cowan, with North by Northwest, said this production could make a large financial impact in Spokane.

"Doing a series you have many, many months of work for the crew and then you have a second year and then a third year and then on. So it's a game-changer for production here. Sustainable jobs here in Spokane," he said.

Greater Spokane Incorporated hires new leader

Greater Spokane Incorporated hires new leader

News release from Greater Spokane Incorporated:


The Board of Trustees of Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) has appointed Steve Stevens as the organization's new President and CEO. Stevens will officially begin July 1.

New center helping women get ahead in business

New center helping women get ahead in business

SNAP's women's business center, now open in the East Central Community Center, is open and ready to give women a helping hand to get their small businesses off the ground.

The women's business center is the only one of its kind in the region. It's been open for less than a month, and is already helping women launch businesses throughout the area.

Inside, manager Laurie Roth offers advice to clients like Heather Riviere, who wants to open a crepe food truck, a sweet idea that actually came during a sour time.

"I was laid off in November and thought this is the perfect opportunity for me to do something in synch with who I am," Riviere said.

For the last month, Riviere has been using the center, getting one-on-one help from Roth and taking courses on how to run a business.

"There is no way I could have taken the idea and gotten to this point on my own, the team has just been amazing," Riviere said.

Right now there are about 20 women who are using the resources of the center.

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.

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.

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.

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