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Spokane adding 225 more parking meters

The city of Spokane is installing 225 more parking meters along the edges of downtown near hospitals and Lewis and Clark High School.

The Spokesman-Review reports the city expects to collect up to $50,000 a year from the new meters.

Residents with meters near their homes may be able to buy a $25 monthly pass.

Working 4 you: Saving on back-to-school costs

It's late July, and that means stores and families are already thinking about back-to-school, ready or not. And families are expected to spend more on their children this year.

Retailers are estimating families with grade-school children will spend an average of just over $669 this year on back-to-school expenses. That's a total of $26.5 billion, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation.

Spending has increased five percent per household from a year ago.�

There's also an increase as school districts are asking families to provide more of their own classroom supplies, with spending on those items increasing 12 percent.

As you can imagine, students will spend the most on the necessary electronics. Likely, families will spend more than $212 on average on needed electronic items.�

And this year, shoppers are hitting stores early.

Two thirds of those surveyed said they'll start at least three weeks early, some saying they're getting a two-month head start. And families say they're hitting the stores early, hoping to get the best deals.�

Spokane residents donate water, generators to Carlton Complex fire victims

Some of the hardest hit towns in Central Washington will have a tough road ahead even after the Carlton Complex has come and gone, and that's where people from our area are stepping up to give them a helping hand.

At the Dutch Bros. coffee stand at 2nd and Washington Monday morning, community members were rallying to bring those affected by the Carlton Complex fire two things they need more than anything else: Power and water.

Dean Keifer was one of those that came out. He's had his generator sitting in his basement, unused, for more than two decades.

?If it started I would bring it down and so it started on the second pull believe it or not and so here it is,? he said.

He understands there's a chance he may not get it back. If he does who knows what condition it will be in. Dean doesn't care.

?Looking at those fires there is nothing you can get out of them it's just reduced to rubble and that, that touched me," he said.

The Bickett Building to give downtown a boost

The Bickett Building to give downtown a boost

From the outside, The Bickett looks like many buildings outside – old, brick and in need of a little TLC. On the inside, however, developer Jed Conklin and his band of construction workers have transformed the one-time hotel (and rumored brothel) into a streamlined work of art.

Standing at the bannister of the second floor, Conklin says they had a lot of work ahead of them when they first walked in.

“The entire building was open and full of pigeons,” he said. “The droppings were ankle deep in places, and the rain was pouring in.”

Amazingly, Conklin was able to salvage the original floors, now scraped clean and polished to a smooth finish without even a creak to give away its century of history. The original floor plans are still visible in the wood, outlining the four single-occupancy rooms that now make up each apartment.

“We wanted to save as much as we could,” Conklin explained. “Even the shelves are made of recycled lumber from somewhere else in the building.”

Monday update for Watermelon Hill Fire

Monday update for Watermelon Hill Fire

More than 300 fire crews are continuing to work on containing the Watermelon Hill Fire burning seven miles southwest of Cheney and four miles east of Interstate 90.

The fire started Saturday afternoon and quickly grew – numbers released Monday place the fire at 11,000 acres, 40 percent of which have been contained.

Level two and three evacuation notices for the fire have been lowered to level 1, with the exception of the Fishtrap Lake Resort which remains at a level 3.

Today fire crews expect to deal with winds from the southwest at 8-11 miles per hour, and the occasional gust of up to 16 miles per hour.



CenturyLink 911 services impacted near wildfires

CenturyLink 911 services impacted near wildfires

As wildfires continue to burn across the state, 911 services in Omak, Okanogan, Oroville and Mallot are being stressed to the point that some callers are receiving busy signals when they call.

CenturyLink is asking customers to be patient and limit their calls to true emergency situations. Calls are going through, but it may take several attempts – and the few people calling, the greater the chance.

Meanwhile, CenturyLink says all 911 services along with local and long distance phone lines and internet services remain down in Mazama, Pateros, Twisp and Winthrop due to extensive fire damage in the area.

With destroyed fiber cables and equipment CenturyLink says they are unable to provide an estimated time for restoration and say customers should expect them to remain down for an extended period of time.