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Washington Healthplanfinder helps register Spokane customers

Last year's roll out of the Washington Healthplanfinder was less than spectacular. Now, the online service has been revamped to be more user-friendly with more service representatives offering hands on help to people renewing or finding a plan.

Healthplanfinder representatives and insurance companies were at River Park Square mall on Saturday offering free assistance to help people sign up. The people that stopped by said the service was a welcome relief, since signing up online can be confusing. Even on Saturday, the first day of the second enrollment period, the site was pulled down due to technical issues.

Chuck Martin is looking for new health insurance coverage for his four teenagers. He came to the Washington Healthplanfinder's workshop at the mall because he's had trouble navigating the website himself.

"I have yet to be able to figure out the website," he explained, "and the calls were not answering the questions, they added more questions for me."

Working 4 you: You could be seeing a pay increase in 2015

American workers may be feeling pretty good about the current economy, and it looks like there's reason to keep feeling good into the new year. Economists predict many Americans will be seeing pay increases in 2015.

Unemployment is at its lowest levels since 2008, but still wages haven't been increasing in recent years, rising just 2% in the past year. Many people have jobs, but many of those workers say they're still "just getting by." But economists say 2015 is surely going to bring in some much needed wage growth for U.S. workers.�

Economists predict wages growth is expected to get close to 2.5% growth by the end of the year. It's now where near the growth we saw before the economic crisis, but it's a step above the sluggish wage gains seen in most of the recovery.�

Here's why economists say wages will likely increase:

First, people are finding jobs. Short-term unemployment, which tracks workers who are out of the job market for six months or less, is at its lowest since the start of the recession. This shows a strong market for workers who come with readily available skills and can often demand higher wages.�

Working 4 you: Why Millennials aren't saving money

Americans across the board are saving more, but there is one generation that is not saving enough. According to a new study Millennials (people under 35) actually have a negative savings rate. Millennials are struggling in spite of an improving job market, where unemployment dipped to 5.8% for the month of October.�

According to Moody's Analytics, workers between the ages of 35 to 44 have a positive savings rate of 3%. But those under 35 have a savings rate of negative 2%. That means they are taking on debt.�

But things are a little better than just a few years ago. In 2007, Millennials had a deficit of about 15%, according to Moody's. So, why aren't Millennials saving. Experts say a lot has to do with the economy.�

The careers of many young people are stuck in a holding pattern because the workers ahead of them are delaying retirement. That creates a trickle-down effect and has left Millennials with stagnant wages, but with costs that continue to rise. Even when Millennials are earning the same amount, they are forced to spend more on daily expenses, and savings take the hit.�

Council Member to hold mobile office at Triple L Cafe

Spokane City Council Member Amber Waldref will host a mobile office at the Triple L Cafe on Friday, Nov. 14 from 12:00 pm -1:00 pm.

Citizens are encouraged to attend, learn about the 2015 Spokane City budget, and voice their opinions or ask questions about issues or policies facing the city.

Council Member Waldref represents District 1, which includes Northeast Spokane and parts of the East Central Spokane.

The Triple L Café (formerly the Outlaw Café) is located at 5012 North Market St. Reservations are not needed.

New trial opens old wounds for murder victim's family

Dozens of Spokane area killers and rapists could receive new trials, thanks to a Washington State Supreme Court ruling about the way their juries were selected.

One of those killers is Brian Frawley, convicted of kidnapping, raping, and killing Spokane mother Margaret Cordova in 2004. Now, a new trial for Frawley could happen as early as January.

A flood of emotion came over Vicki Solis when she learned the man convicted of murdering her daughter will be tried again.

"Disbelief," she said,�"irritated, confused about everything."

Now because of a Supreme Court decision, the nightmare the family went through a decade again will start over.

"[It's] pretty much like starting all over again," Solis explained,�"like they just found her and we're just starting to go through it, reliving everything."

At the time of the trial, in order to select an impartial jury, the court needed to ask prospective jurors personal questions, specifically if they had been raped. In order to protect those potential jurors' privacy, those questions were asked in the judge's chambers.

University of Washington secures building lease in Spokane

University of Washington secures building lease in Spokane

The Spokane City Council on Monday night formally approved the lease of the former Spokane Visitor Information Center to the University of Washington, which will use the space for many purposes, including business outreach, alumni activities and student admissions. The site will also help support the UW's efforts to expand its existing medical school in Spokane.

The city of Spokane sought tenants for the roughly 2,550-square-foot space and the UW submitted its lease proposal on Oct. 2, 2014. The space is expected to become a hub for prospective students and their parents, alumni and other members of the community to learn more about the university. It may also provide opportunities for startup companies and other innovators in the Spokane area to interact with the UW.

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: