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Spokane protesters add their voices to the national cry for $15/hour minimum wage

Spokane protesters add their voices to the national cry for $15/hour minimum wage

The fight for a minimum wage increase entered a new phase Thursday, with protests at fast food restaurants in over 150 cities across the country including Spokane.

Protesters want a minimum wage of $15 an hour and the right to form unions without retaliation from bosses.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, but Washington has set a higher rate of $9.32. That's still not high enough for the protesters who marched through downtown Spokane Thursday afternoon, waving signs and chanting.

"We're fighting for $15 an hour minimum wage for working people," said protester Rachel Griffin. "There are a lot of people in the country struggling because of not making enough wages to pay their rent and support a lifestyle. So we're out here fighting for all working people."

Critics, like the Employment Policies Institute, say nearly a half-million workers nationwide could lose their jobs if the minimum wage increases that dramatically.

Orlison canning Pilsner 37 in support of Team Gleason

Orlison canning Pilsner 37 in support of Team Gleason

It's a big day for Orlison Brewing and Team Gleason, Steve Gleason's ALS foundation as the Airway Heights brewing company unveils its new beer that will help raise money for the non-profit organization.

It's a little hectic at Orlison Brewing, as it always is for canning date, but the guys at the brewery are especially proud of their latest batch of Pilsner 37. It's already been in area bars, but now that it's being canned it opens them up to an entirely new market and it's also great exposure for Team Gleason

Orlison couldn't be happier to be a part of Steve Gleason's foundation. They get some great exposure for a new product and, "it also gives the Gleason Foundation additional revenue from the sales of this so it is a good partnership, we make a good team together," brewmaster Bernie Duenwald said.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of Pilsner 37 go directly to Team Gleason so Orlison hopes the beer sells well.

From Seattle to Clayton, marijuana stores getting ready to open

From Seattle to Clayton, marijuana stores getting ready to open

Each day Washington grows closer to legal marijuana sales and some business owners are now setting up shop as the liquor control board pushes forward with its investigations.

The success of potential pot store Savage THC in Clayton could all depend on traffic. Not trafficking but traffic on Highway 395, which connects Spokane to Canada.

"I'm trying to suck in the Canadian visitors by telling them it's only 138 clicks (kilometers)," owner Scott Dekay said.

Dekay is currently building the infrastructure for his pot business.

"I'm thinking like a bank style window, maybe with bars or plexiglass, I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet," he said.

Dekay is excited since receiving this letter from the liquor control board stating his application is moving forward.

"My daughter is here for a visit, I don't see her very often, and I just told her, 'This is the best day of my life since you were born,'" he said.

If he passes a background check and financial investigation he could be awarded a license, but there's still a lot of work to do. Counters, signs, security cameras, everything built to the specifications he presented in his application.

Washingtonians flocking to Idaho for cheaper alcohol

Washingtonians flocking to Idaho for cheaper alcohol

Just hundreds of yards from Washington, and barely into Idaho, the shelves of the State Line Liquor Store are stocked, but sticker shock proves they won't be for long.

The store opened months after Washington voters passed I-1183. When privatized liquor started almost two years ago in Washington, Kootenai County saw an increase of $7 million in liquor sales each year. So many people are crossing the border to buy booze. Those purchases from Washingtonians left nearly $420,000 in sales tax for Kootenai County last year.

If you put the average price for a bottle of liquor at about $20, that means 350,000 bottles would leave the county each year. The sales tax would stay.

The Idaho State Liquor Division says Kootenai County had the highest growth in the state.

"It's not a regular thing but when I'm over here, pop in, just do it," said Eric Carlson of Spokane Valley.

Almost every license plate KXLY saw at the liquor store this afternoon was from Washington, including Eric Carlson's.

"How come they can do it cheaper here, not there. It's not like we're crossing oceans?" Carlson said.

City considering ordinance to regulate food trucks

City considering ordinance to regulate food trucks

A new ordinance proposed at Monday night's Spokane City Council meeting would regulate cooking on street corners. It's a plan to give food trucks some guidance but not everyone serving out of a window is happy.

There are food trucks and carts popping up all over Spokane; a dozen of them cooked at the food truck rally about two weeks ago. Now city leaders are proposing changes that'll help and hurt truck owners.

The issue was first brought to light more than a year ago and, since then, the city conducted a study with leaders, planners, and truck owners. The result was a new city ordinance proposed Monday night.

One major change is the ten minute rule. Technically trucks can only stay in one place for ten minutes, though it's not often enforced. The ordinance would allow for as long as the meter's limit.

"We wanted to make sure our rules accommodated that industry," Andrew Worlock with the city planning department said.

Truck owners would also have to get permission from the business they're parked in front of, even if it's a city spot.

Spokane's Cork District kicks off wine season with Spring Release Weekend

Spokane's Cork District kicks off wine season with Spring Release Weekend

Spring Release Weekend is considered to be the kick off of wine season in Spokane.

Between 23 tasting locations and over 30 new wines to taste, it's the perfect way to treat mom for Mother's Day.

Michelle Ensinger and her friends have participated in the event for nearly a decade.

"It's a good time to just relax and have good conversation, good friends, good wine, no kids!" Esinger said.

The weekend allows the wineries and tasting rooms to showcase their new wines.

"This is an opportunity for people to come into the winery to see where we make the wines and taste the wines," said Greg Lipsker, co-owner of Barrister Winery.

This is the 12th year Barrister Winery has participated in Spring Release Weekend. Even though they event has added more venues over the years, they still get a great turn out. Lipsker said around 1,000 people come out, each year brings new faces through the door.

"We're a little off the beaten path so many people don't even know we exist until we walk through the door," said Lipsker.

Lipsker said the event is crucial for business.

New car service Uber offering rides at the touch of a button

New car service Uber offering rides at the touch of a button

The car service Uber launched in Spokane yesterday. It's one of many cities worldwide to welcome the service.

"It's an amazing service when you're out and about to get from one end of the city to the other end," said Greg Kauwe, the first Spokane Uber customer.

Kauwe said the whole process is completely user friendly.

"It's really simple! I downloaded the app on my iPhone and it works by GPS it links all your payment information. You just set it to pick up at your coordinates and it just cruises along side of you, hop in and they ask you where you want to go," said Kauwe.

Uber says they are on average 28 percent more affordable than taking a cab. When compared to several other Spokane cab companies, Uber is almost a dollar cheaper per mile.

"When I use a cab it usually takes me about maybe 10 minutes just to set the whole thing up, but with Uber I just simply log into my app and I click," said Kauwe.

A few other added features, the application allows you to see how close the nearest driver is; estimate the total fair of a trip; and there is no exchange of money, it is all paid for on your phone.