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Deadline for guaranteed Hoopfest entry Monday

Deadline for guaranteed Hoopfest entry Monday

If you want to one of the over 7,000 teams hitting the court for Hoopfest this year, you better register now. The registration deadline for guaranteed entry is Monday, May 5th.


Guaranteed registration for Hoopfest ends at midnight on May 5th. After that, teams will be accepted on a space available basis.

Cracked Columbia River dam not anchored in bedrock

A utility official says repairing the Wanapum Dam will likely require anchoring the entire spillway to bedrock, not just one section where a crack was discovered.

Grant County Public Utility District chief financial officer Kevin Nordt said Tuesday his $61 million repair estimate includes the cost of installing anchors on each of the spillway's 12 monoliths or massive concrete sections.

The Wenatchee World reports when the Columbia River dam was built in the early 1960s designers believed its mass alone would be enough to hold it in place.

The reason for the 65-foot crack that was discovered Feb. 27 has not officially been determined, but officials have said it could have been caused by water pressure. The reservoir has been lowered for repairs.

Washington 911 calls got stuck in Colorado

Washington 911 calls got stuck in Colorado

A report to regulators on the statewide 911 outage in Washington says emergency calls failed because they were stuck in a processing center in Colorado.

In the report last week to the state Utilities and Transportation Commission, CenturyLink says an estimated 4,500 calls over a six-hour period early on April 10 were stranded at the center in Englewood, Colo., operated by the database manager Intrado. It ran out of capacity to route the calls.

The News Tribune reports the outage affected 127 dispatch centers in Washington until calls were re-routed.

A state 911 project manager, Andy Leneweaver, says the outage also affected six-to eight call centers in North Carolina and about 11 in Minnesota.

Century Link and Intrado say changes have been made to prevent another such 911 outage.

Lime prices causing consumers to pucker up

Lime prices causing consumers to pucker up

Lime, the little fruit that causes some to pucker, is causing that same reaction when consumers look at the price lately.

"The price of limes has been crazy," Casa De Oro owner Enrique Torres said.

Torres owns Casa De Oro in North Spokane. He said he's squeezing out hundreds of dollars each week on limes to keep the restaurant running.

"You can't go to a Mexican restaurant and order a margarita or beer without the lime," he said.

Torres just put in a $150 order Tuesday for a case of 140 limes.

"Like four months ago they were $20 a case," Torres said.

It's going to be an expensive week for the restaurant, with their annual Cinco de Mayo celebration coming up on Saturday. Torres said they'll need up to six cases of limes for Cinco de Mayo alone.

"It's going to be $700 for the limes," he said.

At grocery stores, customers are seeing the same thing. Limes that usually only cost a couple dimes are now pushing a dollar. Some stores haven't even had them because of the shortage.

Early cherry blooms promise good Washington crop

The cherry trees are still in bloom but growers say the 2014 crop in Washington looks promising.

Dan Kelly of the Washington Growers Clearinghouse in Wenatchee says weather has been cooperating. The bloom is nearly a week ahead of usual.

The first cherries should be picked in early June. Growers hope the harvest will last three months, which would give them better sales than with a crop that ripens all at once.

The Columbia Basin Herald reports cherries are grown from the Tri-Cities to Omak and the harvest starts in the south and moves north.

FDA proposes e-cigarette regulations

FDA proposes e-cigarette regulations

Electronic cigarette shops are popping up all over the Inland Northwest and the product they're selling is largely unregulated but that may soon change as the FDA proposed new regulations on e-cigarettes Thursday morning.

The regulations would include:

  • No sales to minors.(Already banned in Spokane)

  • No more free samples in the stores.

  • There must be warning labels saying the product contains nicotine and is addictive.

  • The liquid must be tested and approved.

The owner of Lilac City Vapor E-Cigarettes, Brad Bellinger, agrees with those regulations.

"The accuracy of what's on the label can come into question. So if the FDA has oversight ... that's probably a good thing," Bellinger said.

People like Karin Lucas swear e-cigarettes are safer than ones filled with tobacco. Her entire family switched over.

"I see the difference everyday in my husband and my son. They're more active, they breath better, they sleep better," Lucas said.