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Spokane Fire Department offers candle safety tips for holiday season

Spokane Fire Department offers candle safety tips for holiday season

The Spokane Fire Department is offering tips to prevent candle fires this holiday season. According to SFD, home fires related to candles cause an average of 115 civilian deaths, 903 civilian fire injuries, and $418 million in direct property damage each year. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day top the list of days with the most reported home candle fires. Remember these important safety tips to prevent fire and fire injury.

While the addition of candles can add to the holiday atmosphere, the SFD noted it is important to be cautious, as candles can act as a dangerous fire hazard when not used safely.

The Spokane Fire Department encourages the use of battery operated candles rather than open flame candles. However, if open flamed candles are used, keep the following tips in mind:

City leaf pickup begins Wednesday, Nov. 12

City of Spokane Street Maintenance crews will begin regularly scheduled leaf pickup Wednesday, Nov. 12.

Cars will need to be moved off the street during the scheduled leaf pickup time to ensure neighborhoods are cleared of as many leaves as possible. In the event of snow, leaf pick up will stop and then continue when weather allows.

Pickup times for various locations and neighborhoods can be found at SpokaneCity.org. In addition, people can call the Leaf Hotline (509-625-7737) for information on the next day's work areas.

The three different types of leaf pickup crews may operate during the following hours:

Avista Energy Fair next Thursday

Avista Energy Fair next Thursday

Avista is inviting the public to come learn about free energy-saving materials and meet with community partners at their Energy Fair next Thursday, September 25.

From 3-6 pm at the Northeast Community Center (4001 N. Cook) in Spokane, area residents will learn about energy efficiency, managing their home energy bills and more. The event includes demonstrations and free energy-saving materials to help keep your home comfortable and safe for the winter ahead.

“Each year our customers ask for help in managing their energy use and costs during the winter. It's never too early in the year for us to offer a broad range of ideas and demonstrations that will help residents keep the warm air inside and the cold air outside their homes,” said Ana Matthews, Avista's consumer affairs program manager. “This event provides a great way for customers to conveniently access Avista's many services. Information about payment options, energy assistance and energy efficiency will be especially helpful for those struggling to pay their bills.”

Avista hosting fall energy fairs

Avista hosting fall energy fairs

Avista is hosting a free energy fair to help homeowners manage their home energy bills, including demonstrations and free energy-saving materials to help keep homes comfortable and safe for the winter ahead.

It will be held Tuesday, August 26 from 3 pm until 6 pm at the Avista Pavilion in Coeur d'Alene's McEuen Park. People who attend the Avista Energy Fair will find the following benefits:

Demonstrations of how to install energy efficiency materials like rope caulk, window plastic and v-seal. Then receive free samples of these and other materials to install at home.

Complimentary food and beverages, door prizes and activities for the kids.

Speak with Avista staff and learn about low-cost and no-cost energy effiency tips.

Free storm debris disposal ends Sunday

Free storm debris disposal ends Sunday

The city's free green storm debris disposal program is ending Sunday after receiving more than 85 tons at two transfer stations.

Nearly 350 people have dropped off tree branches and other debris after last Saturday's storm moved through the area. Normally the cost for disposal is $5 for up to 220 pounds of material. The service does not include logs, roofing, vinyl fencing or similar materials, and is only available to individuals – not commercial landscaping or yard care businesses.

Small amounts of green debris can also be placed in personal green yard waste carts.

Yard debris will be accepted through Sunday from 7:30 am to 5 pm at the following facilities:

  • North County Transfer Station, 22123 N. Elk-Chattaroy Road
  • Waste to Energy Facility, 2900 S Geiger Blvd.

Lowe's stores to accept Red Cross donations through Aug. 27

Lowe's stores to accept Red Cross donations through Aug. 27

In response to the recent wildfires in Washington and Oregon, Lowe's has activated its customer donation program in all Washington and Oregon stores to provide a convenient place for customers to make financial donations to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

Donations enable to Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small, like the wildfires in several states.

In Washington, the Red Cross has served nearly 33,000 meals and snacks to affected residents and distributed more than 3,500 cleanup supplies. In Oregon, the Red Cross served more than 2,000 meals and snacks and opened four shelters in response to the wildfires.

As a member of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, Lowe's pledges donations on an ongoing basis in advance of disasters to help the Red Cross deliver immediate aid to communities in need.

Since partnering with Red Cross in 1999, Lowe's and its customers have contributed more than $25 million for disaster relief.

Could last week's storm lower your taxes?

Could last week's storm lower your taxes?

If your property took a big hit during last week's storm, did you know your federal taxes could be impacted?

The Spokane County Assessor's Office is responsible for administering a state program for property that has been destroyed by natural disasters called “Taxpayer’s Claim for Reduction of Assessments resulting from Destroyed Real or Personal Property or Loss of Value in a Declared Disaster Area.”

Qualifying property owners will receive an adjustment to the taxes due for 2014, depending on the value of the remaining property. If the property is a total loss, then abatement (tax reduction or exemption) will be done for the remainder of the year.