Our network

News

USDA offering financial assistance for farmers impacted by wildfires

USDA offering financial assistance for farmers impacted by wildfires

The United States Department of Agriculture wants to help farmers impacted by this year's brutal wildfire season in central and eastern Washington.

The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Services is now accepting applications from agriculture producers in Kittitas, Grant, Chelan, Okanogan and Douglas counties impacted by wildfires in 2014. Financial assistance is offered through the Wildfire Initiative of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help resource concerns on private and tribal land.

NRCS will be offering two financial assistance options:

Option 1 – General EQIP

The key conservation practice available for assistance under this option is deferred grazing. This practice allows grasses time to recover while livestock producers seek alternate feed sources. And for the first time, NRCS is also offering broadcast seeding as part of this initiative.

Option 2 – Wildfire Special Initiative

Sue the T-Rex takes over Mobius Science Museum

Sue the T-Rex takes over Mobius Science Museum

Few things will ever be as cool or awe-inspiring as dinosaurs, and today is the first day you can meet one up close and personal at Mobius Science Museum. Not just any dinosaur either, but Sue – the largest and most complete fossil of a T-Rex ever discovered.

Sue's trip to Spokane began as a whirlwind affair, with an empty stretch in her schedule the options were to either be shipped back to Chicago for storage or find a museum who would be willing to take her.

“Sue is what we call, in the business, a last minute booking,” said Mobius CEO Phil Lindsey. “Some of our board members had been reaching out to the Field Museum in Chicago about her availability and we reached a point where we thought we were going to be able to get her out here. From the booking to the shipping, everything was about six weeks.”

Controversy continues over proposed WSU medical school

Controversy continues over proposed WSU medical school

 The University of Washington released a scathing rebuttal this week to a report supporting the creation of a medical school for Washington State University, saying it contains “a number of deep flaws,” and is based on “faulty assumptions, omissions and erroneous data.”

WSU first approached consultant MGT of America in February to conduct a feasibility assessment for a new medical school based on the University's health sciences campus in Spokane. Specifically the assessment was to focus on the need for physicians in Eastern Washington, the best educational model to meet those needs, if current WSU resources were capable of creating a program to meet accreditation standards and the required time and resources to develop a new medical school.

Grant County child hospitalized with possible enterovirus

Grant County child hospitalized with possible enterovirus

A Grant County child has been hospitalized with a severe respiratory that may be enterovirus D68. A test returned positive for enterovirus/rhinovirus, but was unable to distinguish between the two. Additional testing is being done at the Centers for Disease Control that will determine which it is, with results expected next week.

Grant County Health Officer Dr. Alexander Brezny issued a public health advisory to local healthcare providers and schools. The CDC has said this is a rapidly evolving situation. Previously EV-D68 has been rare in the U.S, but in other states the outbreaks are resulting in many children requiring ER visits and hospitalizations, mostly for breathing problems and severe asthma.

The virus spreads from person to person like a cold and has been causing mild to severe breathing illnesses (runny nose, cough, difficulty breathing) both with and without fever. Children with per-existing asthma may suffer worse infections. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for enteroviruses.

Working 4 you: Be prepared for the cost of fall sports

Working 4 you: Be prepared for the cost of fall sports

There's been a lot of inspiration for young Washington kids in sports this year, with Clint Dempsey being the star of Team USA in the World Cup, and not to mention the Seahawks winning the Superbowl. But, if it's a child's first season playing sports, many parents may underestimate just how much it's going to cost.

Events like the Superbowl, the Olympics and the World Cup give aspiring athletes new heroes. Most children want to go out and play just like them, and parents are rarely going to hesitate, realizing the benefits that team sports offer.

"It's teamwork. You get to work together, and I always get to know the other team a lot," said Emma Pelletier, a youth soccer player.

Jahehi Burford, another youth soccer player added, "If you're a kid that doesn't talk in school, you can go to soccer, and you have many friends there you can just talk to."

And Soleil Brown, another youth soccer player, said, "I get to do things that I love, and I get to exercise too."

But what parents of kids playing sports for the first time might not realize is the costs can certainly add up.

Fire safety reminder for dormitory living

Fire safety reminder for dormitory living

Dorms are filling up fast around Washington State as students begin or continue their college education, and the state Fire Marshal wants to make sure everyone has a safe school year.

“Fire safety should be reviewed as students settle into their new places,” said State Fire Marshal Chuck Duffy. “Understanding the safety features of a building and knowing your escape routes can significantly increase your personal safety.”

The United States Fire Administration reports an estimated 3,800 university housing fires occur each year. The leading causes include cooking, intentionally set fires, careless smoking, unattended candles and overloaded electrical wiring. Marshal Duffy suggests the following tips to reduce the risk of fire and increase safety:

Cooking should only be done in a location permitted by the school’s policies. Never leave your cooking unattended. If a fire starts in a microwave, leave the door closed and unplug the unit.

Working 4 you: How to crave healthy foods

Working 4 you: How to crave healthy foods

Could it be possible to rewire your brain so that it wants, even craves healthy food? New research suggests it could be possible.

So how do you do it?

Researchers suggest all you have to do is eat healthy. They say by following a healthy diet, a person can actually change how their brain reacts to high- and low-calorie foods. It could be the difference between deciding to snack on carrots or cookies.

Researchers divided the participants of this study into two groups.

The experimental group was offered healthier meals for six months and asked to reduce their calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 calories per day. The meals in the second group, the control group, were not adjusted.

The experimental group ended up losing about 14 pounds, on average during that period.

Then, at the end of that six months, both the experimental and control groups were shown photos of healthy and unhealthy foods.