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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.

Will recreational marijuana supply meet public's demand?

Will recreational marijuana supply meet public's demand?

Recreational marijuana is being grown right now and will hit retail store across Washington in early July but will there be enough to go around?

"This strain is called Train Wreck, it's being harvested today," said Scott O'Neil with Pacific Northwest Medical, as he trimmed a 12" long 1/4 lb. marijuana bud.

Right now O'Neil works in the medical marijuana field but in two weeks he'll be on his own.

"And we'll be selling recreational marijuana," O'Neil added.

He hopes his new store will be the first recreational marijuana store to open in Washington; O'Neil Industries, an authorized retailer of Kouchlock.

"We've secured product from a couple of vendors, definitely working on getting more. The product we have right now is probably going to last a couple days," said O'Neil.

O'Neil said some producers are already sold out for the next year and that's weeks before retail stores even open.

That supply will depend on how many growers can get up to speed in the next couple of months. In hopes of building clientele early O'Neil says he's going for as much variety as he can get his hands on.

Hells Canyon Visitors Bureau gets new name

Hells Canyon Visitors Bureau gets new name

The Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Board of Directors has voted unanimously to change the name of the organization to "Visit Lewis Clark Valley" as part of a rebranding initiative.


Northwest Media Productions is developing the organization's initiative to rebrand itself. The revised name and logo have already appeared in print advertising, while the complete transformation will coincide with the launch of the redesigned website in January.

CdA MMA fighter to wear Idaho made gear in televised fight

CdA MMA fighter to wear Idaho made gear in televised fight

A professional Bellator MMA fighter will be sporting a LC Valley apparel and fight gear company's product this weekend in a nationally televised fight.


Steven Smith, who started Kumite in 2008, says light heavyweight Jamelle Jones of Coeur d'Alene will be wearing Kumite fight shorts Friday, June 6, at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Jones also coaches college wrestling at North Idaho College.

Department of Labor holding Hero 2 Hired job fair in Lewiston

Department of Labor holding Hero 2 Hired job fair in Lewiston

The Idaho and US Departments of Labor are joining forces with veterans groups and other local leaders to sponsor a special job fair for veterans in Lewiston. The “Hero 2 Hired’ job fair targets veterans, active duty military, National Guard, Reserve members, and military spouses.


The event will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 22nd at the Idaho Army National Guard Armory, 2707 16th Avenue in Lewiston.

Washingtonians flocking to Idaho for cheaper alcohol

Washingtonians flocking to Idaho for cheaper alcohol

Just hundreds of yards from Washington, and barely into Idaho, the shelves of the State Line Liquor Store are stocked, but sticker shock proves they won't be for long.

The store opened months after Washington voters passed I-1183. When privatized liquor started almost two years ago in Washington, Kootenai County saw an increase of $7 million in liquor sales each year. So many people are crossing the border to buy booze. Those purchases from Washingtonians left nearly $420,000 in sales tax for Kootenai County last year.

If you put the average price for a bottle of liquor at about $20, that means 350,000 bottles would leave the county each year. The sales tax would stay.

The Idaho State Liquor Division says Kootenai County had the highest growth in the state.

"It's not a regular thing but when I'm over here, pop in, just do it," said Eric Carlson of Spokane Valley.

Almost every license plate KXLY saw at the liquor store this afternoon was from Washington, including Eric Carlson's.

"How come they can do it cheaper here, not there. It's not like we're crossing oceans?" Carlson said.

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.