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Avista thanks customers, employees for patience and hard work after storm

Avista thanks customers, employees for patience and hard work after storm

Avista released a big thank-you today to all their customers impacted by last Wednesday's wind storm for their patience during repairs, and to their crews for working non-stop to get everyone back online.

Avista says last week's storm caused the worst damage to their system since a massive ice storm in 1996, nearly 20 years ago. This time around it took nearly 96 hours to restore power to the nearly 40,000 customers left without.

Now that all the power is back on, Avista is getting a better look at the damage. Preliminary numbers show that more than 120 poles had to be replaced after high winds toppled trees onto power lines and snapped poles. That's double their initial estimate.

Dispatchers worked around the clock to prioritize work and dispatch crews to areas of highest need, organizing nearly 14,000 outage reports from customers.

Fundraiser for young girl with rare leukemia

Fundraiser for young girl with rare leukemia

The family of an 8-year-old Spokane girl diagnosed with an extremely rare form of leukemia is asking for your help.

Bella Carvalho was diagnosed with blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) in June, a rare and aggressive blood disease that can cause, along with many other things, painful lesions on her skin. BPDCN is also a disease most commonly found in elderly men, not little girls.

From her GoFundMe Page:

Local Pony league baseball champs head to California

Local Pony league baseball champs head to California

A plucky group of 10-year-old boys are preparing to hop on a plane and head down to California to represent Washington as the regional Pony League Baseball champions!

All 11 kids have been involved with Spokane Indians Youth Baseball who united the Pony, Baby Ruth and Spokane Youth Sports Association leagues under one umbrella. After the regular season was over, try-outs were held for the all-star team and just a few weeks later the hard hitters swept the Mustang Northwest Regional Championship, winning all 11 games.

Since then, they've been working hard at Albertsons grocery stores around Spokane, asking for donations to help them make the trip to Anaheim.

“The money will help pay for their hotel room,” said Stephanie Erickson, the mother of one of the players. “The Pony organization books flights, which the parents pay half of, and this will help cover expenses like hotel rooms, food and other incidentals. We have a couple of families driving down with equipment to save on expenses like checking bat bags.”

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.”

Spokane Valley Sheriff's Deputy saves newborn

Spokane Valley Sheriff's Deputy saves newborn

A Spokane Valley Sheriff's Deputy is being credited with saving the life of a newborn infant Friday morning.

Deputy Randy Watts was on patrol around 1:40 am when he heard a medic call explaining a woman had given birth at her home but that the baby wasn't breathing. Deputy Watts was nearby and has basic medical training, so he sped to the home and was met by the newborn's father who led him upstairs.

Deputy Watts could see the child was purple and not breathing so he began administering rescue breaths and chest compressions until the child was attempting to breath on her own.

He then turned the child over and began striking her on the back to help clear the mucus from her nose and mouth. Once it was clear, Deputy Watts resumed rescue breaths and color began to return to the newborn's skin.

Hoopefest announces Bailee Neyland as new marketing director

Hoopefest announces Bailee Neyland as new marketing director

Bailee Neyland has been named Marketing Director for Spokane Hoopfest, joining Executive Director Matt Santangelo, who took over the organization’s leadership role in April.

Like Santangelo, Neyland is a Gonzaga alum who brings a great deal of enthusiasm for the event and opportunities Hoopfest presents for the Spokane community. She holds a Master’s of Business Administration and participated in the Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program at Gonzaga during her undergraduate study.

Neyland brings with her a wealth of marketing experience from previous positions with Gonzaga University, Zak! Designs and Desautel Hege Communications, and has been widely involved in the Spokane community, having served as the Susan G. Komen Communications Chair, Secretary for the Communities in Schools Executive Committee, Board Advisor for the New Venture Lab and is a recent graduate of the Leadership Spokane program.