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Cantwell honors veterans

Cantwell honors veterans

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell released the following statement honoring our nation’s veterans on Monday:


On Veterans Day we take time to remember and honor the millions of Americans who have given so much while wearing the uniform of our nation’s armed forces. In every conflict our nation has faced, men and women have bravely stood up and fought to preserve the freedoms we hold dear. We are particularly proud of the hundreds of thousands of veterans in Washington state, who have proudly served our nation.

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Boeing tax breaks will affect local economy

Boeing tax breaks will affect local economy

Washington lawmakers want Boeing to keep building jets in the state and on Saturday afternoon the legislature extended tax breaks for the aerospace company to accomplish that.

Even though Boeing's plant is located on the west side of the state, many of the parts are made right here in the Inland Northwest.

"A lot of people don't know that we are a major supplier to Boeing," Mike Schelstrate with Triumph Composite Systems.

Triumph is based in Airway Heights and employs 600 people. The company manufactures floor panels and sells the parts to Boeing, which accounts for 90% of their business.

Triumph is one of about 100 aerospace related companies in our region. There are roughly 600-700 aerospace companies in the state and many of them rely on Boeing for business.

"Some of them have told me if Boeing goes away, they go away too because that's a majority of their business," State Representative Kevin Parker said.

That is why Governor Jay Inslee called for a special session to vote on tax breaks that would save the company billions.

Confidential tip foils Spokane jail escape plans

Confidential tip foils Spokane jail escape plans

Spokane County jail guards found rope made of bed sheets and a steel rod in a cell from which two inmates had planned to escape this week.

The Spokesman-Review reports their plans were foiled by a confidential tip that Bryan J. Storms and Kirk A. Beaulieu had spent a week working to remove the window in their cell.

The two, who both face trial for violent crimes, have been cellmates since September on the fifth floor of the jail.

The tipster also told officials that someone "on the outside" would help the inmates escape.

Corrections officers found a damaged window and the homemade rope when they searched the cell.

Both men will now face additional charges of attempted second-degree escape.

Fatal semi vs tree crash on SR195

A semi truck versus tree crash on State Route 195 killed one woman on Saturday morning.

It happened around milepost 84, roughly 12 miles south of Spokane, at 7 a.m.

21-year-old Braden Bundy of Spokane was driving a semi truck on a northbound lane when the truck went off the road and hit a tree.

Bundy's passenger, 20-year-old Kelsey Heidecker, also of Spokane, died at the scene.

Bundy was taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center with injuries.

Downed trees blocked northbound traffic for over five hours.

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Transportation package with funds for Spokane may include tax breaks for Boeing

Transportation package with funds for Spokane may include tax breaks for Boeing

Lawmakers in Olympia are in the process of discussing a $10 billion transportation package that plays an important part of Washington's future, especially here in Spokane, but there's a catch.

Governor Jay Inslee called a special session this week to discuss adding tax breaks for aerospace company Boeing. The tax break is worth $9 billion and would ensure Boeing keeps production of the 777X in Washington State.

If it passes the transportation bill would include funding for Spokane's North/South Freeway, under construction since 2001. Last June a five-mile stretch opened between Highway 2, Highway 395 and north Spokane, but it's planned to continue for another five miles until it connects with Interstate 90.

There are three lawmakers from Spokane that are part of the Transportation Committee - Matt Shea, Andy Billig and Marcus Ricelli - who will be in Olympia this weekend to discuss the governor's proposal.

A vote on the Boeing tax break is scheduled for Saturday morning, and it's expected Governor Inslee will ask for a vote on the package before the end of the special session.

INHS undergoing strategic realignment

INHS undergoing strategic realignment

Providence Healthcare and Inland Northwest Health Services are strengthening their partnership and creating more opportunities for health care expansion in the region.

INHS announced Thursday they are aligning more closely with Providence and hope to expand their services to other areas with Providence hospitals.

"This is just a great opportunity for us to continue to demonstrate the strong relationship," INHS CEO Tom Fritz said.

In the past, Providence and Empire Health Foundation served as members of INHS and helped establish strategies and policies for the group. On Thursday that changed as Empire Health Foundation, a non-profit grant-making foundation, stepped down from that role, leaving Providence the sole member of INHS.

This will enable the two groups to work together to grow services to hospitals around the region.

"It will give us greater opportunities to expand in other regions and do business where other Providence facilities are, so that has great opportunity for us to expand our workforce and create new jobs and revenue for Spokane," Fritz said.

Inland Northwest Blood Center seeking donors

Inland Northwest Blood Center seeking donors

The Inland Northwest Blood Center is seeing a decline in negative blood types and is urging people to roll up their sleeves and give blood.

Every day the blood center needs 200 people to donate in order to meet the area's demand. Right now they are seeing less people come in than they usually do during this time of year.

INBC especially needs O- donors as donations for that blood type are down by 50-percent.

"Being able to come in for less than an hour of your day, you have a chance to save three lives and what's better for the spirit of giving then come in and help save a life," Elizabeth Giles with the INBC said.

To promote blood donations this month INBC has launched the "Don't be a turkey -- give blood" campaign. If you give blood between now and November 15 you could win an iPad Air and if you donate between November 18 and 23 you will be entered to win a $500 Visa gift card.

For more information about how and where to donate blood, click here