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IRS phone scams continue to be a serious threat

Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain near the top of the annual "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams for the 2015 filing season, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.

The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent months as scam artists threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things. The IRS reminds taxpayers to guard against all sorts of con games that arise during any filing season.

"If someone calls unexpectedly claiming to be from the IRS with aggressive threats if you don't pay immediately, it's a scam artist calling,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "The first IRS contact with taxpayers is usually through the mail. Taxpayers have rights, and this is not how we do business."

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Spokane Co. Sheriff searches for funding for drug task force

Many parts of eastern Washington have become hotbeds for drug trafficking and gang activity, and the Spokane County Sheriff's Office says Spokane could be next if it loses a key task force.

"This is the only drug and gang enforcement effort the Spokane County has," said Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.

The Spokane County Drug and Gang Task Force have been nationally recognized for their "outstanding task force effort" in a 2013 multi-agency raid that seized over 10,400 OxyContin pills, and arrested 57 people on charges ranging from drug trafficking to money laundering.

"Which at the time was the largest number of indictments handed down in eastern Washington," said Lt. John Knowles with the Spokane Regional Drug Task Force.

The investigation targeted criminals here in Washington and the Los Angeles area.

"We were able to reduce crime in Los Angeles and here in Spokane. We were able to affect the drug distribution and price of narcotics here," said Knowles.

Now, the team's future is in peril.

"Without funding from the county, that task force in is jeopardy of being shut down in June," said Knezovich.

Disney on Ice to bring Frozen to Spokane

Disney on Ice to bring Frozen to Spokane

Disney on Ice is bringing Frozen to the Spokane Arena from Wednesday, November 4th to Sunday, November 8th for eight performances.

Tickets will go on-sale Tuesday, January 27th at 10:00 a.m. at the Spokane Arena Box Office, all TicketsWest Outlets, at TicketsWest.com or by calling 800-325-SEAT. Reserved seat tickets will range from $20.00 to $65.00.

“In our more than 30 years of producing Disney On Ice shows, Feld Entertainment has been waiting for a film like this,” said producer Nicole Feld.  “While it might seem obvious that Frozen is well suited for the ice, this Disney On Ice production will touch audiences emotionally through innovative show elements and world-class skating.”

OMWBE Get Certified Campaign to host educational workshops around the state Jan. 20-23

OMWBE Get Certified Campaign to host educational workshops around the state Jan. 20-23

The Washington State Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) has announced the office will  launching a statewide ‘Get Certified’ campaign starting January 20th intended to help more women- and minority-owned businesses win contracts with state and local governments.

 

The campaign will be held from January 20th through January 23rd. Activities will include conducting more than 35 educational workshops and other stops across the state to help boost understanding for small, diverse businesses regarding the benefits getting a variety of certifications – including OMWBE certification.

Area Get Certified Roadshow events will take place at the following:

Wednesday, January, 21st

  • Republic |10:00 a.m. |Ferry County PUD 686 S Clark Ave Republic, WA 99166
  • Kettle Falls| 2:00 p.m. | Sandy's Drive Inn 1045 U.S. 395
  • Colville | 5:00 p.m. Dept of Transportation Upstairs Meeting Room 440 North Hwy, North Roundabout

 

Thursday, January 22nd

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Spokane County Library District receives grant to host The Big Read in Spokane County

Spokane County Library District receives grant to host The Big Read in Spokane County

The Spokane County Library District announced Tuesday that they are the recipient of a $11,000 grant to host The Big Read in Spokane County. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture by exposing citizens to iconic works of literature and encouraging them to read for pleasure and enrichment.

The Library District is one of 77 nonprofit organizations, and the only organization in Washington to receive a grant to hose a Big Read between September 2014 and June 2015. The Big Read in Spokane County will focus on The Call of the Wild by Jack London.

According to the Spokane County Library, The Call of the Wild was chosen because it is a wonderful adventure story, yet also presents some big philosophical questions and is still accessible to readers of all ages. The Library District will take educational programs related to the book to area schools. The grant will allow the District to give away hundred copies of the book to area students.

Schools have until Jan. 21 to sign up for Fit for Bloomsday

Schools have until Jan. 21 to sign up for Fit for Bloomsday

Elementary schools from Eastern Washington and North Idaho have just a few more days to sign up for the Fit for Bloomsday...Fit for Life youth fitness program. After the entry deadline, over 60 schools are expected to have signed up, with more than 6,000 kids participating in the ten-week running and walking program.

“We’re really pleased with the support this program receives from principals, teachers, PE instructors and parent volunteers,” said Bloomsday Race Director Don Kardong. “They’re really making a difference in the fitness of kids in the community.”

Fit For Bloomsday...Fit For Life—dubbed Fit For Bloomsday for short—was developed by Bloomsday volunteers in cooperation with PE instructors, coaches and parents in the Spokane area. The Lilac Bloomsday Association provides information, materials, structure and incentives for the 8-10 week program, which is administered by school personnel and volunteers at participating schools. Now in its 30th year, the program prepares kids to run or walk Bloomsday while teaching them the importance of fitness, nutrition and safety.