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Washington's pot license lottery gets underway

Washington state is holding a lottery this week to select more than 300 licensees across the state to run recreational marijuana shops.

In places like Spokane eight recreational pot stores are allowed but 108 people applied to run those stores, so the state is holding a city-by-city lottery to see who gets the licenses.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board started the lottery Monday and it runs through the end of the week.

It's double-blind, which means absolute anonymity for the applicants so no one gets special treatment.

The people applying still have to pass a background check, financial investigation and other requirements before any licenses are issued.

Although we won't know who gets a license for a few weeks it's an exciting time for the applicants, like Dan Magadanz, who manages "The Peaceful Choice," a local medical marijuana dispensary.

"The second recreational market in the United States is opening and nobody has anything right now. We're standing in a position where we're really excited to be one of the people that help this industry move into legitimate business," Magadanz said.

Idaho businesses caught selling alcohol to minors

Idaho businesses caught selling alcohol to minors

The Idaho State Police says an alcohol age compliance check in north-central Idaho over the weekend resulted in 9.46% of the businesses failing to comply with the state law.

ISP's Alcohol Beverage Control, with the assistance of the Lewiston and Moscow Police Departments, conducted checks on Friday and Saturday nights at 74 businesses licensed to sell alcoholic beverages in Nez Perce, Latah, Clearwater, Lewis, and Idaho counties.

Bar burns day after grand opening

Bar burns day after grand opening

A small-town bar and grill held its grand opening Monday in Palouse. By dawn Tuesday the restaurant, housed in a century-old building, was a smoldering ruin.

The Brick Wall Bar & Grill was open for less than 24 hours before it burned to the ground.

When fire crews arrived early Tuesday morning, smoke was billowing out of the iconic downtown building which had been recently renovated.

Like just about everyone in Palouse, Fire Chief Mike Bagott was at the Brick Wall Bar & Grill for the opening party, hosted by owners Adam and Olivia Barron.

"The awesome thing about these small towns is that everybody mobilizes when something like this happens," Bagott said. "Everybody is just trying to stay alive out here and the thought of a new business and some activity to help build the community is such an exciting thing. To have it not last 24 hours is just very frustrating."

The early-morning fire burned with an incredible amount of energy.

"You could see all of the smoke in the windows and coming out of all of the crevices at first, just billowing out of the building," Palouse resident Chris Vanharn said

WSU to name new building for major donor

WSU to name new building for major donor

From WSU News:

Washington State University President Elson S. Floyd announced today that the College of Engineering and Architecture will name its newest building in recognition of PACCAR’s major donation to the school.

Report shows high rate of tobacco sales to WA minors

Report shows high rate of tobacco sales to WA minors

The number of retailers in Washington that illegally sell tobacco to minors is high for the second year in a row. An annual report that tracks illegal sales shows about 15% of tobacco retailers sold tobacco to minors in 2013, which is about the same as it was in 2012. As recently as 2009, the rate was much lower, at about 9%.

Building boom underway in Pullman

There's a building boom in Pullman, with the college town on track for another record year in new construction.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that Pullman set a record last year with more than 500 building permits and more than $75 million in construction.

Through February, construction activity is higher this year than last.

Pullman planning director Pete Dickinson says many big projects are still in the review stage, including apartments and housing subdivisions.

Submissions wanted for 2014 Moscow Farmers Market poster

Submissions wanted for 2014 Moscow Farmers Market poster

Three days until spring, and the City of Moscow is already getting ready for the Moscow Farmers Market to get underway. The Farmers Market Commission is seeking submissions for the 2014 Moscow Farmers Market poster.

The call for submissions is open to everyone, regardless of age or art experience. The deadline is Friday, March 21st at 5 pm. The winning entry will be awarded a $100 prize.