Our network

34,000 Avista customers still without power

Approximately 34,000 Avista customers are without electrical service as of Sunday morning.

Avista crews worked throughout the night to assess and begin repairs to restore power to the remaining 34,000 customers who lost power due to damage to Avista?s power grid from the severe winds and thunderstorms that passed through the area early Saturday evening.

At the height of the outage, over 48,000 Avista customers were without power.

Preliminary assessment indicates damage primarily to transmission and distribution lines.

Crews report that the majority of damage appears to have come from large tree branches coming into contact with lines.

Especially hard hit are areas in north central Spokane, Deer Park, Colbert and Colville, Wash., and Sandpoint and Priest River areas in Idaho.

Avista crews from areas not affected by the storm along with contract and mutual aide crews from Boise, Moses Lake and areas in Eastern Washington are relocating to assist crews in areas hardest hit.

Due to the extensive damage caused by the storm, restoration times are still being assessed.

Working 4 you: Is your news feed biased?

Working 4 you: Is your news feed biased?

As the crisis in Gaza and Israel plays out, the world is paying attention online. That's where most of us get our information, and it could be influencing how we view the conflict.

Many of us see the world through an internet filter and that can be dangerous when it comes to forming opinions about major issues such as the conflict in the Middle East.

If you use Facebook, for example, your news is processed through a filter of things you are most likely to "like." It may keep you engaged with the story, but you will only be fed information that agrees with your point of view or that of your friends.

And Facebook isn't the only company that uses these algorithms to filter you news feed.

Eli Pariser, author of "The Filter Bubble," has warned about the dangers of internet customization. He points out that a Google search of a country or conflict will yield completely different results for different users, dependent upon what they have viewed in the past.

Yahoo News also personalizes stories to fit what the company believes is the user's perspective.

Fire Boss logging triple the stick time in 2014 firefighting effort

Fire Boss logging triple the stick time in 2014 firefighting effort

In Spokane County there were over 50 wildfires in July, burning 11,000 acres and keeping air crews busy running missions to help crews on the ground tame these fires.

"It's been pretty crazy this year, the fire season started early and very hot," Eric Johnson said.

Johnson is the pilot of the Fire Boss, a water-dropping aircraft that he's been flying out of Deer Park for 24 years to fight fires around the region.

"In the Fire Boss the tank area is between the engine and the cockpit, it's an 800 gallon hopper," he said.

About this time last year, Johnson had logged about 30 hours of stick time fighting fires. This year he's logged 90 hours and counting already.

"I don't think anyone really anticipated it coming on as hard as it did," Johnson said.

2014 is one of the busiest fire seasons Johnson has ever seen.

"Right now at Deer Park we have six fire bombers," he said. "I've never seen that many in Deer Park in one season before."

Johnson will be spending more time in the Fire Boss this summer fighting fires, he just doesn't want to guess how many.

One dead in Deer Park crash

One woman is dead in a car crash that is blocking a portion of Highway 395 in Deer Park.

The collision, which happened at 4:24 p.m., involved an SUV and a pickup truck. The woman was trying to cross from east to west across 395 when her vehicle collided with a second vehicle.

Highway 395 southbound lanes are blocked, but there is a detour in place around the crash scene.

Deputy discovers deceased woman during Mullen Hill Terrace welfare check

Spokane County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the death of a woman at the Mullen Hill Terrace park in south Spokane County.

A deputy discovered the woman at a residence in the mobile home park while conducting a welfare check early Friday afternoon.

Spokane County Sheriff's Sergeant Bill Beeman said the woman has facial injuries but deputies have not pinpointed a cause of death. There are no signs of a struggle on the front porch of the home where she was found.

Major Crimes detectives, who are already investigating a body found in Spokane Valley Thursday night, have not arrived on the scene yet. When they do they'll request a search warrant in order to investigate the residence and start working to determine how the woman died and whether foul play was involved in her death.

Local game designer looking for success with Kingdoms in Peril

If you're a board game enthusiast who's always on the lookout for a new addition, you may want to check out local Spokane designer Thomas Kaufman and his fast-paced, highly competitive card game Kingdoms in Peril.

I had the chance to sit down and learn Kingdoms recently, and picked it up almost immediately. Set in the ancient middle east (the cards themselves designed with historical carvings from 700 BC, featured in the British museum), each player builds their own kingdom of villages and towns with their capital as the crowning jewel.

Once set-up is complete, players then go to work building a hand of cards that houses their armies, equipment and defensive tactics before turning on each other in an ancient battle royal. To the victor go the spoils, and with a two-hour time limit the winner is declared by either a tally of points (each village, town and city has a numbered value when captured) or when one kingdom emerges victorious.

World Breastfeeding Week in Spokane

World Breastfeeding Week in Spokane

The Spokane Regional Health District announced Thursday that starting tomorrow, August 1, they will celebrate World Breastfeeding Week here in Spokane. The event draws attention to the positive health impacts of breastfeeding for both babies and mothers.

On Saturday, breastfeeding supporters like peer counselors and other staff from the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) nutrition program will participate in the World Breastfeeding Walk and Celebration hosted by the Breastfeeding Coalition of Spokane. Participants should meet at 10:00 am at Riverfront Park's Red Wagon.

Shortly after at 10:25 am, all breastfeeding mothers are welcome to join in the Big Latch On – a simultaneous international breastfeeding event to focus attention on communities' efforts to provide ongoing breastfeeding support.