Mystery of the Missing Contract
Last year, VIVINT was given $150,000 through the Governor's Economic Development Strategic Reserve Fund in order to convince the controversial alarm and home-automation company to bring a call center to Liberty Lake. Greater Spokane Inc. directed the incentives toward Vivint and announced the company would bring up to 400 new jobs.
But in June, citing "reallocation of resources," Vivint closed its Liberty Lake plant less than a year after it officially opened.
The Washington State Department of Commerce, which oversees the fund, now says the company will pay back the state money it received. "State funds will be repaid in full," says Penny Thomas, spokeswoman for the department.
However, Robin Toth, VP of economic development for Greater Spokane Inc., cautions that details for the final repayment agreement are still being worked out.
In the meantime, another problem in the Vivint deal has been uncovered. The state had required GSI to provide a copy of a signed final contract with Vivint to Commerce no later than July 12, 2013, outlining repayment provisions if certain goals were not met. But that doesn't appear to have ever happened.
"I don't think there ever was a final signed contract. ... There wasn't a signed contract that we were able to locate," Thomas says. "That is not a good thing."
Toth says GSI doesn't yet have the copy of the contract either.
"We've been working to get a copy of the contract. Vivint has it in their office," Toth says. "Because of all the changes in personnel, they can't find it."
Vivint did not respond to a request for comment. Thomas, however, says the discovery of the oversight has inspired reform at Commerce.
"We have changed our processes," Thomas says. (DANIEL WALTERS)
Newlywed, Newly Insured
Same-sex couples whose domestic partnerships were converted into marriages at the end of last month are eligible to sign up for HEALTH INSURANCE through a special enrollment period.
A provision under Washington's gay marriage law automatically changed thousands of domestic partnerships into marriages on June 30. Exchange officials consider the conversation a "qualifying life event," allowing Washington residents to purchase health insurance outside of the next open enrollment period, which begins on Nov. 15.
Qualifying events also include marriages between straight couples; having or adopting a child; getting a divorce; and job loss.
"The summer months are traditionally the most popular time of year for Washingtonians to get married," says Richard Onizuka, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. "Any newlywed same-sex or heterosexual couple can take advantage of the opportunity to find free or low-cost coverage outside of the standard open enrollment period."
Newlywed same-sex couples have until Aug. 28 to apply for a special enrollment period. To apply, go to wahealthplanfinder.org and complete the enrollment questionnaire. You will be asked to supply documentation, such as a marriage certificate, to the exchange, where your application will be reviewed within two to three weeks. Approved applicants will be given a 60-day enrollment window to buy qualified health plans. (DEANNA PAN)
Authorities believe a domestic dispute left two people dead Tuesday after a man walked into a cancer treatment center on the DEACONESS MEDICAL CENTER campus and fatally shot his wife, then himself. No other injuries were reported.
Spokane Police spokeswoman Officer Teresa Fuller says investigators believe the man entered the seventh-floor treatment center at about 9:30 am Tuesday, killing his wife, an employee at the center, before turning the gun on himself.
"It's a husband and wife," Fuller says. "Murder-suicide is what it looks like."
Dozens of emergency vehicles and responders flooded the surrounding blocks along Fifth Avenue as officers evacuated the building and secured the area. Major Crimes detectives soon took over the investigation as most of the hospital campus quickly reopened to patients and staff.
Fuller says the Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office will release the identities of the couple in the coming days. (JACOB JONES)