Our network

People

Local game designer looking for success with Kingdoms in Peril

If you're a board game enthusiast who's always on the lookout for a new addition, you may want to check out local Spokane designer Thomas Kaufman and his fast-paced, highly competitive card game Kingdoms in Peril.

I had the chance to sit down and learn Kingdoms recently, and picked it up almost immediately. Set in the ancient middle east (the cards themselves designed with historical carvings from 700 BC, featured in the British museum), each player builds their own kingdom of villages and towns with their capital as the crowning jewel.

Once set-up is complete, players then go to work building a hand of cards that houses their armies, equipment and defensive tactics before turning on each other in an ancient battle royal. To the victor go the spoils, and with a two-hour time limit the winner is declared by either a tally of points (each village, town and city has a numbered value when captured) or when one kingdom emerges victorious.

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.

Washington unemployment drops to lowest in six years

Washington unemployment drops to lowest in six years

Thanks to a boost in June, Washington's unemployment numbers have dropped to their lowest levels in six years to 5.8 percent – that's according to the state's Employment Security Department.

Industry sectors saw the largest growth with 2,600 jobs. Retail grew by 2,200, leisure and hospitality by 1,900 and wholesale trade by 1,400. Professional and business services, information, manufacturing, financial services and mining also saw growth in the hundreds.

“After a hiring lull in May, Washington employers really picked up the pace in June,” said Paul Turek, an economist with the department. “The state's economy is picking up momentum and the near term job outlook is good.”

During the one-year period ending in June, Employment Security estimates that employers created 84,700 jobs.

A first-timers guide to legal recreational marijuana

A first-timers guide to legal recreational marijuana

Legal marijuana sales kicked off Tuesday across Washington, including at one of three confirmed stores here in Spokane, with enthusiasts in line hours before opening.

But what about the curious among us who have never taken a puff in our lives, but are ready to give it a try now that it's legal and easily accessible?

“It can be a little alien if it's their first time,” said Green Leaf customer service representative Chad Welsh. “To walk in here and think 'What are these devices?' and 'What is your product all about?'”

A big part of Chad's job is to help guide first-timers through the experience, with tips on the product, how to smoke and what to smoke with. I also spoke with Daniel Wendling, general manager at Piece of Mind and assistant manager at the licensed pot shop Satori just next door, and put together a how-to of sorts for the first time smoker.

 

Be Somewhere Comfortable

Burn ban on DNR forestland east of Cascades starts July 1

Burn ban on DNR forestland east of Cascades starts July 1

Another warning in the face of the upcoming Fourth of July weekend – the Washington State Department of Natural Resources has placed a burn ban on all DNR-protected land east of the Cascades.

Starting July 1 and running until September 30, the burn ban applies to all forestland under DNR fire protection.

“The seasonally dry weather creates a greater risk for wildfires,” said Commission of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “A burn ban helps to prevent them and protects forests, habitat and property.”

So far this year DNR has already had 172 wildfire starts, which have burned approximately 779 acres across the state.

The ban applies to all outdoor burning on DNR forestland with two exceptions:

Recreational fires in approved fire pits

Gas or propane stoves and barbecue grills

Fireworks and incendiary devices like exploding targets, sky lanterns or tracer ammunition are also illegal.

Washington State survey shows job vacancies, hiring on the rise

Washington State survey shows job vacancies, hiring on the rise

A state-sponsored survey of Washington employers shows both hiring and job vacancies increased between fall of 2012 and fall of 2013 and employers say it's taking a lot longer to fill the openings.

The Employment Security Department’s “2013 Fall Job-Vacancy and Hiring Survey Report” estimated job vacancies increased by 23 percent to 86,600 in fall 2013. Estimated hiring rose nearly 10 percent to 209,100.

Employers also reported that vacant positions remained open for more than two months before being filled. That's a striking contrast to the rate of just 19 days in 2012.

The report also shows more than half of the state's job vacancies were in urban areas of Western Washington, accounting for nearly 82 percent of all new hires from July to September last year.

The industry sector with the most job openings was agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and the average estimated hourly wage for $13.69.