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Washington state parks free to visit Monday

Washington state parks free to visit Monday

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission wants the public to know that Monday, August 25 is a state parks “free day,” Visitors will not need a Discover Pass to visit state parks.

The free day is in honor of the birthday of the National Park Service, which was established on August 25, 1916.

State free days are part of the legislation that created the Discover Pass, a $30 annual of $10 one-day permit required on lands managed by Washington State Parks, the Washington departments of Natural Resources and Fish & Wildlife. The Discover Pass legislation provided that state parks could designate up to 12 free days each year when the pass would not be required. The pass is still required to access lands managed by DNR and Fish and Wildlife.

The free days apply only to day use, and not to overnight stays or rental facilities.

The next free days coming up on September 27 for National Public Lands Day and November 11 for Veterans Day.

Volunteers needed for SNAP ombudsman program

Volunteers needed for SNAP ombudsman program

SNAP is largely known for their services helping low-income individuals and families, but did you know they also offer a vital service for the elderly?

Lisa Petrie has been the regional Long Term Care Ombudsman for Eastern Washington since 1990, responsible for overseeing 284 nursing homes, assisted living facilities and adult family homes across Spokane, Pend Oreille, Ferry, Stevens and Whitman counties.

“This population is so very vulnerable, and it's so hard for them to speak up for what they need. The ombudsman is that voice,” said Petrie. “The whole idea is to visit with residents and make sure that they have the quality of care and quality of life that they deserve. Residents have rights, and we make sure they know that.”

Petrie has 38 volunteers that all make weekly and monthly visits to facilities from Colville to Colfax, getting to know the staff and residents. From their official paperwork, the responsibilities of ombudsman include:

Idaho awarded grant to help low-income students take exams

Idaho awarded grant to help low-income students take exams

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Idaho $75,552 as part of its efforts to boos college and career readiness for historically under-served students. The grant will help defray the costs of taking advanced placement tests for low-income students.

“This is an opportunity for students throughout Idaho to excel. This grant, along with Advanced Opportunities programs like Fast Forward, offered through the Idaho Department of Education, give students the opportunity to earn college credits in high school,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna. “It's a chance for students to excel without the worry of a financial burden.”

The grants are used to help pay for low-income students taking approved placement tests administered by the College Board, the International Baccalaureate Organization and Cambridge International Examinations. By subsidizing test fees for low-income students, the program is intended to encourage students to take advanced placement tests and obtain college credit for high school courses, reducing the time and cost required to complete a degree.

Deadline today for $900k in scholarships

Deadline today for $900k in scholarships

Today is the deadline to apply for a scholarship for North Idaho College, and with more than $900,000 being offered you don't want to wait.

Today's deadline is for the fall 2014 semester and allows students time to attend an orientation session, register for classes, purchase books and pay for classes prior to the start of school on August 25.

New students can click here to download an application. Awarding criteria of each scholarship varies and all students are encouraged to apply.

Recipients also include traditional credit students who can click here for information on how to apply. NIC Foundation scholarships are also available for Workforce Training and Dual Credits students with applications available through those respective programs.

 

Perseid meteor shower Star Party tonight

Perseid meteor shower Star Party tonight

If the storm clouds clear we'll be in for an incredible show from the stars tonight, and the Nez Perce National Historical Park wants to make sure you get the most out of it.

Ranger Kevin Peters and Lewis-Clark State College Professor Emeritus Dr. Victor Kriss will hose a Perseid meteor shower Start Party tonight, August 12, at the park in Spalding.

Starting at 8:00 pm at the visitor center, Kriss will talk about the meteor shower and its origin, and Peters will talk about the influence of stars in the Nez Perce culture.

As the sky darkens, everyone will be invited to go outside and view the shooting stars. Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on, and something warm to wear.

The actual peak of the meteor shower will be at about midnight, but a bright moon will interfere with the best watching. However, the meteors at around 9 or 10 pm should be long, spectacular shooting stars – about one every five minutes.

EWU sending financial aid counselors to students in Carlton Complex fire

EWU sending financial aid counselors to students in Carlton Complex fire

In an effort to help students and their families impacted by the Cartlton Complex fires, Eastern Washington University will send a team of financial aid counselors and outreach staff to Okanogan County to assist those who are planning to attend Eastern this fall.

The financial aid and outreach team will be in Okanogan County the week of August 11 to meet with students and their families. As the date approaches, details on the exact location and times will be announced and posted on the university website and Facebook page.

Eastern has also authorized $250,000 of aid for an EWU Student Hardship Fund to help with tuition and housing for current and incoming students.

EWU Vice President for Student Affairs Stacey Morgan Foster said financial aid counselors will have the authority to award hardship grants during their visit. The grants are also available to EWU students outside of the Carlton Complex fire area.