Ski outlook rosy at white-clad Bluewood

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The springlike weather hasn't dampened the energy at Ski Bluewood, operators say.

After balmy temperatures forced a two-day closure late last week, the ski and snowboarding resort re-opened for business over the weekend with eight inches of fresh powder. Another inch has fallen since, according to Bluewood's website.

Despite abnormally high temperatures in the Valley this week, the snow on the mountain is "holding up nicely," operators say. The depth at the summit was 33 inches, according to the website this morning. Operators say January is also Learn to Ski month at the mountain. More details on the program and Bluewood are available at 509-382-4725.

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Sears will host a Family and Friends event this Sunday.

Special sales will take place, and discounts will be offered to military personnel with valid identification. The Rose Street store will operate that day 11 a.m.-9 .m. Storewide savings will be offered 6-9 p.m.

All shoppers will get an additional 20 percent off most family apparel -- regular, sale and clearance prices -- all day. Footwear will also have additional 15 percent discounts.

At the same time, the store will be accepting new or gently used coats and canned food to be donated locally.

The sale is not connected to the pending closure of the store, part of a nationwide retrenchment of Sears.

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Graze is giving back.

Starting Sunday, the Colville Street eatery will give 10 percent of all of its sales through Jan. 14 to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane.

The fundraiser has become an annual event for John and Becca Lastoskie, owners of Graze -- a place to eat.

Four years ago the Ronald McDonald House became a second home to the couple after their prematurely born daughter, Frances, was admitted in the neonatal intensive care unit at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center amp; Children's Hospital. They spent numerous weekends at the Ronald McDonald House, a temporary lodging and support unit for families accessing medical services. The house offers a central family kitchen, private family bedrooms and room for children to play. Families that stay there get support from one another as well as Ronald McDonald House staff and volunteers.

"Frances is great by the way," John Lastoskie said in the announcement on the fundraiser. "She is a healthy and strong little 4-year-old."

The Lastoskies aren't asking for donations. "We just want to give something back for this charity," John said.

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You've heard of "Mission Impossible." Stone Hut Bar amp; Grill operators have just completed a two-day remodel they've dubbed "Restaurant Impossible."

The neighborhood bar, 1427 Plaza Way, went through a 48-hour makeover. The new look includes new bamboo floors, all-new lighting, a kitchen remodel and fresh paint. A little change in d?copy;cor is still in the works, said owner Juston Watson. But the changes so far are dramatic, he said.

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Health education, training and mentoring are the focus of a new Milton-Freewater business called Heart, Soul amp; Mind. Owner Mari Meza-Quezada will host a grand-opening celebration for the business Tuesday. Food, music and fellowship will be part of the festivities for the daylong event at 613 N. Main St., across from Saager's Shoe Shop. Heart, Soul amp; Mind will offer an array of classes, including First Aid, CPR, babysitting certification and bloodborne pathogens by independent, Red Cross-trained professionals. The site will also be a hub for fellowship, Bible study and mentoring programs for all age groups, said marketing coordinator Nancy DeJesus in an announcement. To learn more, drop by the open house, which runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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